Are you a die-hard anime fan like we are? Then you must have heard about Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli is the brainchild of two of Japan’s most talented and most famous animator directors i.e Hayao Miyazaki, Suzuki Toshio, and Takahata Isao. Hayao Miyazaki is a renowned director, writer, animator, producer, and a great manga artist.
From a very early age, Hayao Miyazaki showed interest in manga and animation. He joined his first animation studio in 1963 and helped to create masterpieces like Doggie March and Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon. He also played a critical role in creating Puss in Boots and Animal Treasure Island at Toei animation, before moving to A-Pro in 1971.
Before Studio Ghibli came into reality, Hayao worked with various other studios and directed masterpieces that were critically acclaimed by all critics and anime lovers. He changed the landscape of animation and what it is to create stories that touch the hearts of young children and adults alike.
Studio Ghibli is headquartered in Tokyo and has produced numerous anime blockbusters, 5 of which are song the 10 highest-grossing animated films in Japan. These movies have won awards like the Anime Grand Prix Award and the Japan Prize for Animation of the Year as well.
If there is one facet of the Hayao Miyazaki facts, it’s this that the animator has garnered respect and love for his creations among the animation industry and fan base in Japan and worldwide.
We are going to look at three of Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces in detail and explore what makes them special.
1. Howl’s Moving Castle
Among Hayao Miyazaki’s and Studio Ghibli’s most beloved and successful films, Howl’s Moving Castle encapsulates many of the elements that the Japanese filmmaker adores: extreme fantasy, magic that penetrates reality, and the shapes of imaginary creatures (or even buildings) that overcome the wildest creativity.
But one thing that distinguishes Miyazaki’s Castle from the other films is the strong educational component of the story, which is based on Diana Wynne Jones’ novel but, as told by Miyazaki, often takes unexpected turns in order to send specific messages. Oriental art aims to send some universal truths the viewers’ way from time to time and this animation feature tackles 5 such messages:
- You’re a coward if you have nothing to defend
- Love is what makes you young
- You cannot change what is away from you
- Appearances don’t matter as much as what’s inside you does
- War doesn’t make sense, ever
If you wish to watch this movie, you can always use a good Netflix unblocker and watch it wherever you are, even if Netflix is limited or banned in your region.
2. Princess Mononoke
This one is yet another masterpiece by Studio Ghibli, having won various awards for its excellence. A fierce demon boar comes face to face with a young prince Ashitaka who fights it with all his might to defend his tribe from harm.
As the beat dies, it curses the young prince’s arm. This curse means demonic powers for the prince at the expense of his life which deteriorates slowly. He travels to another village to seek a cure. When he reaches Iron Town, he finds that the village elder is in a fight with the spirit prince over deforestation. He tries to restore harmony between the two.
This Studio Ghibli creation is depicting the difference between technology and nature and how they coexist with conflict. It also shows how acceptance can lead to harmony in most conflicts.
This anime feature can be easily accessed by Netflix from anywhere in the world. Even if it’s not available in your country, you can download Netflix unblocker and unblock it anywhere and have a taste of this anime’s greatness.
3. The Wind Rises
This one is special because this is Miyazaki’s last anime creation. This is a story of an airplane designer in World War II, Jiro Horikoshi. Jiro loves everything about airplanes and the freedom they bring but he is nearsighted.
This means that this Studio Ghibli hero can never be a pilot. He is fascinated by planes still and is following his muse i.e an Italian aircraft designer. He understands that the world is way ahead of Japan when it comes to technology and aircraft.
He goes to Germany as he starts working with Mitsubishi to learn how planes are made and how are they made in a technologically advanced world. Although he is fulfilling his dreams, he slowly realizes that these are not machines of fantasy. These are killing instruments.
The plane he designed was used in the war and was quickly left for less important tasks as technology evolved. The film may have washed over some aspects of reality but it also touches on the moral qualms of technology and the chaos it can cause.
Next Steps – How to Watch These Studio Ghibli Masterpieces:
It’s simple enough, if you want to enjoy these anime films, you can access them on Netflix. But, these are mostly available on Netflix USA which might not be available in your region. But don’t worry, you can unblock US Netflix by simply downloading VeePN. It allows you to connect to a US-based server, which will give you access to all the US-based content in a jiffy.
There is no doubt that Hayao Miyazaki was a genius when it came to writing and executing anime. He is the reason many of us love watching Japanese anime and invest so much time and energy in it.