Studio Ghibli – things for which I am grateful #50/365

Well, for my 50th post, it has to be something special. And, what better than the inimitable, Studio Ghibli.

If you’re unfamiliar with them, they are a Japanese animation house who produce some of the most original and sumptuously animated movies you will ever see.

Of course, I only really got into them because I have children, (both of whom love their films). But I would argue that any adult could watch their movies and enjoy them – they are that unique.

What I don’t want to do is get into a critique of all their films that I like. So, suffice it to say, just trust me, and try and watch as many of their films as possible – even if you don’t have kids.

How I think they differ from western animation houses is that they draw upon Japanese folklore, which is new to us and makes for very unusual storylines. Not only that, but the colours seem so much richer and vivid than what we are used to.

Another thing I love about them is that their leading protagonists tend to be girls. Which is good for my children.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

A young girl has to enter a spirit world in order to save her parents from being permanently turned into pigs.

Spirited Away.

Spirited Away.

My neighbour, Totoro.

My neighbour, Totoro.

Totoro is a giant forest spirit who comes to the aid of two young girls who have moved to the countryside with their father while their sick mother recuperates in hospital.

My neighbour, Totoro.

My neighbour, Totoro.

Howl's Moving Castle.

Howl’s Moving Castle.

Sophie starts out as an 18-year-old hat maker, but then a witch’s curse transforms her into a 90-year-old grey-haired woman. Sophie is horrified by the change at first. Nevertheless, she learns to embrace it as a liberation from anxiety, fear and self-consciousness. She begins cleaning for the powerful wizard, Howl. And soon finds she is more and more attracted to him. But can she break the curse, not just on her, but Howl too?

Howl's Moving Castle.

Howl’s Moving Castle.

Ponyo.

Ponyo.

Ponyo is a fish who befriends a boy and desperately wants to become human.

Laputa - Castle in the Sky.

Laputa – Castle in the Sky.

Sheeta is wanted by a ruthless government agent who wants her magic amulet which will help him control the once mighty kingdom of Laputa. Aided by her faithful friend, Pazu and a gang of flying pirates, they have to thwart the dastardly, Muska.

Laputa - Castle in the Sky.

Laputa – Castle in the Sky.

Kiki's Delivery Service.

Kiki’s Delivery Service.

A young witch goes out into the world to make it for herself and sets up a delivery service.

Grave of the Fireflies.

Grave of the Fireflies.

Absolutely heartbreaking story of two brothers trying to survive the aftermath of the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.

Grave of the Fireflies.

Grave of the Fireflies.

Some other titles that are worth mentioning: The Cat Returns, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, Arrietty and Tales from Earth Sea.

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8 Comments

Filed under Animation, Art, Children, Children's stories, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Film, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Screenplays

8 responses to “Studio Ghibli – things for which I am grateful #50/365

  1. Spirited Away and Arrietty were two of the most delightful movies we watched only recently. So glad you listed all those other titles for us to look for. Thanks for this.
    Ruth from At Home on the Road

  2. My daughter studied graphic design/animation and has a great collection of these movies. Spirited Away is beautiful and great insight into Japanese culture.

    • I love Spirited Away. My Neighbour, Totoro is also one of my favourites. It never says what their mother is suffering from in hospital. I wondered if it was anything to do with the nuclear bombs – radiation sickness perhaps?

  3. Pingback: Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Studio Ghibli Songs: Piano (Uta Piano Studio Ghibli) | euzicasa

  4. I showed Spirited Away to a 9 year old and she found it very scary! Grave of the Fireflies was quite upsetting but still very beautiful. I am trying to find the Studio Ghibli movie ‘Up on Poppy Hill’ but with great difficulty in the UK!

    Great post and wonderful pictures đŸ™‚

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