Ever since I was in school anime and video games went hand in hand for me which pretty much also explains why I love JRPGs so much. Its about 20 years later and I still cannot get enough of either one of them. What I’d like to focus on however is the studio that’s not only produced some of the best anime movies out there, but also produced one of my favorite anime movies – Spirited Away. The movie won a Golden Bear (an award handed out at the Berlin Film Festival for the best film) in 2002 and in 2003 received an Academy Award.
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 making it more than 30 years old and has since spawned multiple films with most being critically acclaimed. Sadly in 2014 the studio announced that they will be holding all production since the co-founder and director Hayao Miyazaki retired. Although Miyazaki has come out of retirement this year to direct one more time for Studio Ghibli. The studio also has a museum based in Mitaka. A city in Tokyo, Japan. One of my dreams is to visit the museum sometime in the near future.
Some of my favorite movies from the studio include the below:
1988 – My Neighbor Totoro
The movie stars a family that moves to what seems like the country side. The reason for their move is so that they can be closer to the hospital that their mother has been booked into due to her recovering from a long term illness. Whilst their father works during the day the girls encounter forest spirits. One of the spirits being Totoro which is in fact Studio Ghibli’s mascot.
2001 – Spirited Away (I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie)
Spirited Away follows the story of a young girl who while on her journey with her mother and father to their new home enter the spirit world. Here she has to over come challenges set out by the witch Yubaba who has turned her parents into pigs. She will need to fight in her own way and free her parents from the spell cast upon them and escape back into the world of the living.
2004 – Howl’s Moving Castle
In a world filled with magic there is war amongst two kingdoms. The story follows a young women who is cursed by a witch and turned into an old women. She encounters and cares for a young wizard known as Howl. Little does she know that she in turn has just become apart of the war.
2008 – Ponyo
The movie revolves around a fish named Ponyo who in fact is the daughter of a wizard and scientist. After adventuring away from her home she is caught in a fishing trap but saved by a young human boy. The story revolves around this unusual friendship and their struggle to over come the ‘magic’ set out to keep them apart.
Now keep in mind that I am solely focusing on Studio Ghibli in this post but will in the future cover my other favorites.
Do you watch anime? Are you a fan and what are some of your favorite movies and studios?