A Scribbly on Ghibli

 

Studio Ghibli Title-card

 

I’m sure most if not all of us has seen either My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away at some point in their lives. I didn’t see either for the first time until I was about fourteen years old and for a very long time they were the only Studio Ghibli movies I had ever seen. About a year or so ago, with the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki and the founding of Studio Ponoc, I decided to end my days as ignorant swine and proceeded to binge as many Studio Ghibli movies as I possibly could (except for Grave of Fireflies, I was told to stay away from that one), which ended up being about thirteen out of twenty movies. With the theatrical release of Studio Ponoc’s debut film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, I decided to do the Ghibli marathon all over again (because really you can never get too much Ghibli) and revisit exactly what makes the movies so astonishing and influential.

Miyazaki built his company on the backbone of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and produced some of the top grossing animated films in Japan (and the US) to this day. His story telling and animation is some of the most vibrant and creative there is and has demonstrated to many what good filmmaking actually is. Yoshiaki Nishimura, founder of Studio Ponoc, aims to do ultimately the same thing Miyazaki did when he created Ghibli, create a new wave for the animated film industry. Whether or not he does so is left to be seen but for now we can get a glimpse of where they’re headed with their debut; before we do that, however, we need to take a look at their roots. Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing different Studio Ghibli films, starting with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and ending with Mary and the Witch’s Flower, noting how they craft their stories, their characters, and what exactly makes them so great.

If, in the end, I learn nothing about the influence Studio Ghibli has on Studio Ponoc, then I will have spent the next few Fridays watching some pretty damn great movies. Either way I think it’s a win-win.

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About the Author

Sierra Beeler is a junior English major at UNC Charlotte. An aspiring screenwriter, she hopes to one day entertain the masses with a book series turned television show she hopes will “put J.K Rowling to shame.” When not working on one of her many uncompleted projects, Sierra enjoys watching Hulu and crying over fictional characters.
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