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What is Studio Ghibli?

Studio Ghibli is a well-established, world-leading company from Japan. They are most famous for their animated films.

Let Sarah Olive introduce you to Studio Ghibli.

Studio Ghibli

Don’t just take our word on Studio Ghibli. They’re regularly written about in the film sections of newspapers internationally as well as studied in university film departments.

Below are a few snippets from them about Ghibli’s history and the principles and practices of its founding fathers:

The Telegraph

‘“Ghibli” is inspired by the Arabic word for the hot, dry winds that blow across the Mediterranean from the Sahara Desert, a term that Miyazaki had found in an aviation textbook.

The intention was that, as with a sirocco, so the Studio would blow fresh air into the Japanese film industry… Miyazaki recommends that parents should restrict their children to watching his films only once a year so that the experience of watching them becomes a memory to be treasured, and dislikes the notion of children consuming too much media’. Telegraph

The Economist

‘Studio Ghibli…has frequently been described as Japan’s answer to Disney. It’s perhaps closer to the truth to call it Japan’s antidote to Disney. Studio Ghibli’s lush, hand-drawn, 2-D animation, disregard for Hollywood narrative formulae and guiding philosophy—that animated films can be for grown-ups—are sadly foreign concepts in the paradigm of modern animation’ The Economist

‘Like Miyazaki, Takahata’s films feature children and childhood, and depict the childlike in such sensitive ways, they are never childish nor made only for a children’s audience. Rather they speak to the commonality of experience for adults and children, and use the emphases on everyday gesture that animation so powerfully amplifies – the cutting of fruit, a baby pursuing frogs, picking a flower, placing a comforting hand on a shoulder – to communicate universal themes and connections…He noted that drawing always suggests the hand that creates the image, and as such, the human feeling that resides within it, and might be shared.

The Conversation

He argued, too, that drawing always reminded him of the resourcefulness, energy and vulnerability of the child, which he tried to show in his films…Takahata observed that he didn’t believe audiences watched live-action films carefully, but that animation forced them to do so, because it produced reality more solidly than it actually is’. Paul Wells, The Conversation

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