Monday, September 9, 2013

The Artistry of Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli

Did anyone out there check out the Studio Ghibli Festival at the Guild Cinema recently? I revisited Princess Mononoke - 16 years down the road, it was a like a new movie to me, and still great! (Plus, the kodama - tree spirits - are quite adorable.) I was very sad to learn that Hayao Miyazaki, writer and director of Princess Mononoke and co-founder of the studio, has recently announced his retirement from filmmaking.

For anyone out there who might be unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli, the studio was co-founded in 1985 by acclaimed Japanese director, anime, and manga artist Miyazaki and his collaborative partner Isao Takahata.  Miyazaki was virtually unknown in the west until the huge success of Princess Mononoke in 1997, but he has written and/or produced and/or directed much if not all of Studio Ghibli's output. What are the hallmarks of a Miyazaki movie, you ask?  "Miyazaki's films often contain recurrent themes like humanity's relationship with nature and technology, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. The protagonists of his films are often strong, independent girls or young women." [Wikipedia] A couple of his movies are adaptations from novels - Eiko Kadono wrote the novel on which Kiki's Delivery Service is based, Diana Wynne Jones is the author of Howl's Moving Castle, and The Secret World of Arrietty is taken from Mary Norton's Borrowers series.

I missed a lot of the films during the festival this go-around, but I was delighted to discover many of the films and some Studio Ghibli related material available in the library catalog! 


The Animé Art of Hayao Miyazaki by Dani Cavallaro

Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation - Films, Themes, Artistry by Helen McCarthy

Kiki's Delivery Service: Picture Book [English adaptation] by Naoko Amemiya

Anime: From Akira to Princess Mononoke, Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan J. Napier

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Vol. 1 by Hayao Miyazaki

International Collection

Ya shang no Boniu  yuan zuo, jiao ben, jian du Gongqi Jun [Chinese]


The Castle of Cagliostro [1979]

Films by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

The Secret World of Arrietty [2010]

Castle in the Sky [1986]

Ponyo [2008]

Kiki's Delivery Service [1989]

My Neighbor Totoro [1988]

Howl's Moving Castle [2004]

Porco Rosso [1992]

Spirited Away [2001]

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind [1984]

From Up on Poppy Hill [2011]


Ghibli Museum

Yahoo!'s Beginner's Guide to Studio Ghibli

The Wondrous, Melancholy Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki

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