Theme Times – Studio Ghibli

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Studio Ghibli, Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社スタジオジブリ Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Sutajio Jiburi) is a Japanese animation film studio based in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. The studio is best known for its anime feature films, and has also produced several short films, television commercials, and one television film. It was founded on 15 June 1985, after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), with funding by Tokuma Shoten. Studio Ghibli has also collaborated with video game studios on the visual development of several video games.

Six of Studio Ghibli’s films are among the 10 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, with Spirited Away (2001) being the second highest, grossing over US$290 million worldwide. Many of their works have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, and four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Five of Studio Ghibli’s films have received Academy Award nominations. Spirited Away won the Golden Bear in 2002 and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Totoro, a character from My Neighbor Totoro, is the studio’s mascot.

On 3 August 2014, Studio Ghibli temporarily halted production following the retirement of director Hayao Miyazaki, who co-founded the studio with the late Isao Takahata. In February 2017, Toshio Suzuki announced that Miyazaki had come out of retirement again to direct a new feature film, How Do You Live?, with Studio Ghibli.

This Theme Time bio is dedicated to Angie of King Ben’s Grandma!

Ihave to be honest and say that l haven’t seen many of these films at all, perhaps 5 or 6 at max, so l have listed these and Google ranked the remaining four.  So are you a fan, a follower of these films at all? If so, which, what are your best?

1 – 1988 – My Neighbor Totoro

This acclaimed animated tale by director Hayao Miyazaki follows schoolgirl Satsuke and her younger sister, Mei, as they settle into an old country house with their father and wait for their mother to recover from an illness in an area hospital. As the sisters explore their new home, they encounter and befriend playful spirits in their house and the nearby forest, most notably the massive cuddly creature known as Totoro.

2 – 2001 – Spirited Away

In this animated feature by noted Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, 10-year-old Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) and her parents (Takashi Naitô, Yasuko Sawaguchi) stumble upon a seemingly abandoned amusement park. After her mother and father are turned into giant pigs, Chihiro meets the mysterious Haku (Miyu Irino), who explains that the park is a resort for supernatural beings who need a break from their time spent in the earthly realm, and that she must work there to free herself and her parents.

3 – 1995 – Whisper of the Heart

Based on the manga with the same title, this animated film follows Shizuku, an inquisitive young girl and a voracious reader, who longs to be a writer when she grows up. One day she notices that all of her library books have previously been taken out by one Seiji Amasawa. Amid chasing after a large cat, befriending an eccentric antiques dealer and writing her first novel, Shizuku aims to find this mysterious boy who may well be her soul mate.

4 – 1997 – Princess Mononoke

In the 14th century, the harmony that humans, animals and gods have enjoyed begins to crumble. The protagonist, young Ashitaka – infected by an animal attack, seeks a cure from the deer-like god Shishigami. In his travels, he sees humans ravaging the earth, bringing down the wrath of wolf god Moro and his human companion Princess Mononoke. Hiskattempts to broker peace between her and the humans brings only conflict.

5 – 1989 – Kiki’s Delivery Service

In this anime feature, 13-year-old Kiki moves to a seaside town with her talking cat, Jiji, to spend a year alone, in accordance with her village’s tradition for witches in training. After learning to control her broomstick, Kiki sets up a flying courier service and soon becomes a fixture in the community. But when the insecure young witch begins questioning herself and loses her magic abilities, she must overcome her self-doubt to get her powers back.

6 – 1986 – Castle in the Sky

Young orphan Sheeta and her kidnapper, Col. Muska, are flying to a military prison when their plane is attacked by a gang of air pirates led by the matronly Dola. Escaping from a mid-air collision via a magic crystal around her neck, Sheeta meets fellow orphan Pazu and the pair join forces to discover the mystical floating city of Laputa while pursued by both Muska and the pirates, who lust for the city’s myriad treasures.

7 – 2004 – Howl’s Moving Castle

Sophie (Emily Mortimer) has an uneventful life at her late father’s hat shop, but all that changes when she befriends wizard Howl (Christian Bale), who lives in a magical flying castle. However, the evil Witch of Waste (Lauren Bacall) takes issue with their budding relationship and casts a spell on young Sophie, which ages her prematurely. Now Howl must use all his magical talents to battle the jealous hag and return Sophie to her former youth and beauty.

8 – 2008 – Ponyo on the Cliff

During a forbidden excursion to see the surface world, a goldfish princess encounters a human boy named Sosuke, who gives her the name Ponyo. Ponyo longs to become human, and as her friendship with Sosuke grows, she becomes more humanlike. Ponyo’s father brings her back to their ocean kingdom, but so strong is Ponyo’s wish to live on the surface that she breaks free, and in the process, spills a collection of magical elixirs that endanger Sosuke’s village.

9 – 1984 – Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Far in the future, after an apocalyptic conflict has devastated much of the world’s ecosystem, the few surviving humans live in scattered semi-hospitable environments within what has become a “toxic jungle.” Young Nausicaä lives in the arid Valley of the Wind and can communicate with the massive insects that populate the dangerous jungle. Under the guidance of the pensive veteran warrior, Lord Yupa, Nausicaä works to bring peace back to the ravaged planet.

10 – 1992 – Porco Rosso

In Italy in the 1930s, sky pirates in biplanes terrorize wealthy cruise ships as they sail the Adriatic Sea. The only pilot brave enough to stop the scourge is the mysterious Porco Rosso (Shuichiro Moriyama), a former World War I flying ace who was somehow turned into a pig during the war. As he prepares to battle the pirate crew’s American ace, Porco Rosso enlists the help of spunky girl mechanic Fio Piccolo (Akemi Okamura) and his longtime friend Madame Gina (Tokiko Kato).

BONUS

So there we go folks, my top ten of Studio Ghibli – now of these l have seen the first six as in sat down from start to finish and watched them through and l am no expert, have no problems with subtitles, but enjoyed them all the same, – how about you?

6 thoughts on “Theme Times – Studio Ghibli

  1. We have a Studio Ghibli DVD collection and we LOVE these movies! Thank you for highlighting them. Hopefully some of your readers will discover their magic. We only watch in Japanese. I think the exclamations are better done by the Japanese actors. I love the environmental issues addressed also. One movie not on your list is The Cat Returns. It’s pretty funny.
    I would recommend that you NEVER watch Grave Of The Fireflies unless you want to cry your eyes out. It’s about a boy and his little sister after the bomb dropped in WWII. A good movie but heartbreaking!
    Thanks again JB!💌

    1. Pleasure was all mine GMN,l haven’t seen the films you have mentioned, and yes if anything l prefer watching films with subt’s as it’s easy for me to follow, but Suze struggles, will have a look at for the funny one though 🙂

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