Guide to Studios – Ghibli
Founded in: 1985
Most well received works: Grave of the Fireflies, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Whisper of the Heart
Most popular works: Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away
Other recognizable works: Arrietty, Castle in the Sky, Ponyo, Porco Rosso,
Known for: Strong female leads, environmental messages, whimsical fantasy stories, flight sequences, flawless animation
Objective Analysis: Anyone who hasn’t heard of Ghibli (or “the Miyazaki studio”) has been living under a rock. Ghibli is essentially the Japanese Disney. Many of their movies are adaptations of foreign novels, though many of them are original stories. Their films are always well received worldwide. They’ve only had a few real letdowns (glaring at you, Tales of Earthsea), but they’re far outweighed by their successes. All of Ghibli’s works are exquisitely animated.
Subjective Analysis: While there are a handful of films that I don’t particularly care for, I think this studio is fucking amazing. Being an avid fan of spirits, demons, and magic in general, their films involving the fantastical really cater to my tastes. Their slice of life stuff…not so much. (Dear god, Only Yesterday was a fucking snoozefest.) Though I surprisingly really like From Up on Poppy Hill. The so-called retired founder, Miyazaki Hayao is dusting off his directing gloves and is returning to direct the upcoming Kaze no Tachinu that will be released this summer, along with The Story of Princess Kaguya. I’m so fucking excited.