Studio Ghibli is a Japanese film animation studio that started in 1985. Since it’s founding it has released many successful films, notably My Neighbor Totoro which became the studio’s mascot and won an Academy Award for best animated feature.
Each Studio Ghibli film has a unique style, but all play with the theme of magical-realism and things that aren’t quite what they seem. With bright colors and lovable characters these films are great for children, and their plots often have deeper meanings for adults as well.
Here is a short review for five of Studio Ghibli’s most popular films.
My Neighbor Totoro – Satsuki and Mei move to a new house in the countryside with their father, and discover the strange spirits that live in the house and surrounding woods.
This film expertly captures the anxiety and excitement of coming to a new home, and the tensions of the family dynamic. But fear not, the drama is spaced around wondrous adventures and feel-good moments with the character that came to represent Studio Ghibli- Totoro!
Kiki’s Delivery Service – This coming of age film follows Kiki, a young witch, and her familiar, a black cat named Gigi, as they travel to a new town and attempt to make a living as is tradition for all young witches. This film is equally heart-warming and funny, and was Studio Ghibli’s first film in their fifteen year partnership with Walt Disney.
Spirited Away – One of the darkest Studio Ghibli films, Spirited Away focuses on Chihiro, a ten year old girl trapped in the spirit world after her parents have been turned into pigs.
Howls Moving Castle – Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle takes place during a war between two kingdoms. A girl named Sophie is aged into an old woman by a witch, and taken in by a mysterious man named Howl and his moving house.
Ponyo – A small goldfish called Ponyo escapes her father and washes ashore, rescued by a boy named Sōsuke. They become fast friends, but Ponyo’s escape brings a fierce storm that threatens the family and her one wish- to become human.
Come by Bedrock to check out these films!