Category Archives: Studio Ghibli

The Red Turtle

This is something of a coda to my Studio Ghibli articles, for the time being at least. There’s one final Miyazaki movie in production, but for now The Red Turtle is the end of the line. It was co-production, and … Continue reading

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When Marnie Was There

I don’t particularly try to avoid spoilers in the Junkyard, as it’s effectively almost impossible to write about things on a sufficiently detailed level without drilling down into the plot, but When Marnie Was There is definitely one where I … Continue reading

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Long, long ago, there lived an old bamboo wood-cutter. He was very poor and sad also, for no child had Heaven sent to cheer his old age, and in his heart there was no hope of rest from work till … Continue reading

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The Wind Rises

In 1923 a terrible earthquake struck Japan.  It picked its moment: lunchtime.  What’s the problem with an earthquake at lunchtime?  People were cooking their lunches, and that means fires.  Firestorms swept across cities, and there was even a fire tornado.  … Continue reading

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From Up on Poppy Hill

When Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro directed Tales from Earthsea his work was not exactly received with rapturous praise, which is a shame because it’s a solid piece of work.  From Up on Poppy Hill is his second effort for Studio … Continue reading

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Arrietty

Back in the dim and distant past of 1992 I was just getting back into the world of Doctor Who when another magical television series arrived to enchant me: the BBC adaptation of The Borrowers, with the fabulous cast of … Continue reading

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Ponyo

It has been a long time since Studio Ghibli made a film that was so welcoming to a very young demographic.  I am choosing my words carefully there: “welcoming to”, rather than “aimed at”, because Ponyo is every bit as … Continue reading

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Tales from Earthsea

Adapting books into films comes pre-packaged with certain problems.  The audience is less easy to satisfy, because some of them approach their viewing experience with preconceived ideas and expectations.  If you try to adapt a fantasy book series with a … Continue reading

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Howl’s Moving Castle

In 2001 Spirited Away won an Academy Award.  In 2004 Howl’s Moving Castle was nominated.  Could lightning strike twice for a Japanese animation?  Unfortunately not.  It lost out to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (good grief), but … Continue reading

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The Cat Returns

Studio Ghibli don’t really go in for sequels.  They could be forgiven for doing so.  Spirited Away won an Oscar, but never got a sequel.  Several other films are ripe for a sequel, My Neighbour Totoro in particular.  But the … Continue reading

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Spirited Away

OK, this one is going to require a different approach.  Up until this point I have been writing about Studio Ghibli films that a good proportion of readers won’t have seen, and some will not have even heard of, but … Continue reading

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Princess Mononoke

We are only one film away now from Studio Ghibli’s big Oscar-winning moment, but Princess Mononoke was the studio’s breakthrough in terms of international recognition. It goes without saying that it was hugely successful in Japan, virtually all the Ghibli … Continue reading

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Whisper of the Heart

I dreamed of living alone but fearless, Secret longing to be courageous, Loneliness kept bottled up inside, Just reveal your brave face, They’ll never know you lied. Whisper of the Heart was Studio Ghibli’s third effort at a slice of … Continue reading

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Ocean Waves

I was recently lucky enough to be able to enjoy Only Yesterday dubbed into English for the first time, which really brought the film to life for me.  One Studio Ghibli film still remains frustratingly overlooked for an English dub: … Continue reading

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Porco Rosso

For the second week in a row, we are looking at a Studio Ghibli film that is generally underrated.  At least, it is probably underrated internationally, although it was the most successful film of 1992 in Japan.  I think the … Continue reading

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Only Yesterday

For the majority of their output, Studio Ghibli has had two main writer/directors: Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.  So far every film I have written about here has been a Miyazaki film, and I skipped Takahata’s first effort as it … Continue reading

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Growing up is a tricky business.  For 14-year-old Kiki it is going to be even more difficult than usual because she is a witch, and wants to follow an important tradition: spending a year away from home perfecting her abilities, … Continue reading

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My Neighbour Totoro

Studio Ghibli’s first release was Laputa: Castle in the Sky, and then came a double bill: Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbour Totoro, shown together in cinemas in Japan.  It must be the strangest pairing of movies ever.  I’m … Continue reading

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Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Last week we looked at Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, not strictly speaking a Studio Ghibli film, but made by a lot of the same people before the founding of the studio.  In 1985 the studio was founded … Continue reading

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Watching anime movies used to be a relatively niche hobby.  In most cases you had to be prepared to watch them in Japanese with English subtitles.  If we could point to one film that changed all that and brought anime … Continue reading

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