Studio Ghibli: Popularising Anime Throughout the World
Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio that was founded in 1985. The studio is known for creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle. Their first film, Castle in the Sky, was released in 1986 and was a commercial success. It explored themes of environmentalism and industrialization in a fictional late 19th century world.
Castle in the Sky, L-R: Pazu (James Van Der Beek, English dub), the Robot Soldier of Laputa and Sheeta (Anna Paquin)
My Neighbor Totoro is considered one of the greatest animated films of all time. It continues the themes of nature and environmentalism and explores the relationship between children and nature. The film follows two young children as they settle into their new rural home and encounter a benevolent forest spirit.
My Neighbour Totoro was a huge hit with children and adults alike
Throughout the late 80s and 90s, Studio Ghibli continued to release critically acclaimed films, including Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, and Princess Mononoke. In 2001, the studio released Spirited Away, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and became the highest-grossing film in Japan at the time.
Spirited Away, L-R: Chihiro (Daveigh Chase, English dub) and No Face (Bob Bergen)
In recent years, the studio has released films such as The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which have been praised for their animation and storytelling. Studio Ghibli has also released short films and television series and has had a major impact on the animation industry worldwide. High-profile western animators like John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars) credit Miyaziki as one of their most important influences.
Howl's Moving Castle, L-R: Young Sophie (Emily Mortimer, English Dub) and Calcifer (Billy Crystal), Older Sophie was voiced by Jean Simmons