Studio Ghibli has to be one of my favourite animation companies simply because the films they produce are so moving and magical. What I love most about this company is that the director Hayao Miyazaki creates characters who are strong, realistic and face issues head on. There is a beauty in watching a film that isn’t necessarily centered around the romance of two characters but more about seeking value in themselves or breaking out of a boring routine.
I find myself, as a viewer swept away up into a magical world, following the characters as they rediscover who they are. I think Miyazaki has a talent for publicising real issues that affect us all into his works for example: Howl’s moving castle was set amongst a war zone and demonstrated how people can be turned into monsters on both sides of the war front.How easy it is to lose ones values and beliefs in such a situation.
Over the next few weeks, I will be holding my own retrospective of the complete Studio Ghibli films to work out what makes them so great and why you should watch them. Although I consider myself to be a big fan of the company, I have to confess I haven’t watched all of the feature films produced.. Some people may shoot me for this, but I have yet to see My Neighbour, Totoro which seems crazy as the success of this film led the Studio Ghibli team to incorporate it into their logo. Nevertheless, I’m excited to record what my first impressions are of these great films and lose myself once again into the spectacular world of the characters.
My retrospective will end with what may be Miyazaki’s final film, The Wind Rises which is due to be released in May 2014. I wonder what direction the company will go in after his retirement. I am confident that Studio Ghibli will rise to the challenge as Miyazaki’s son Goro and Yonebayashi and Director Isao Takahata who founded the company along with Miyazaki in 1985, will be there to ensure that great works continue to be created. I cannot wait until the next Studio Ghibli film is produced so that I can see how this animation powerhouse will develop.
The 30th birthday of Studio Ghibli and the imminent release of Hayao Miyazaki’s final film The wind Rises, has spurred the BFI SouthBank to launch a complete showing of all of the Studio Ghibli feature films in April -May. I think this is a great idea and a chance to watch these great films in a cinematic atmosphere along with people who are also fans. For a complete listing of the films featured and where to buy tickets click here. I will definitely get some tickets to watch a few films, the only question is which film to watch? There are so many to choose from!
Image from deviantArt