Studio Ghibli ("jeeblee")note
was founded in the 1980s by celebrated Japanese anime
directors Hayao Miyazaki
and Isao Takahata
in the wake of Miyazaki's overwhelming success with Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind
. Studio Ghibli is known for its incredibly rich and detailed animation, exacting attention to detail, and imaginative plots (frequently involving flying scenes, a personal favourite of Miyazaki's).
Ghibli has been rated as the top brand in Japan, and is a household name even among non-otaku
. New Ghibli films are consistently the top grossers for the year in Japanese theaters, and some films such as Spirited Away
and Princess Mononoke
have gained a mainstream following in North America (in part thanks to a distribution deal with Disney
). The studio tends to focus on films rather than television series, but it is frequently the "gateway drug
" for new anime
fans. Ghibli is also like Disney in that Ghibli maintains their animation staff as full-time employees instead of the typical Japanese practice of employing freelance artists paid on a piecework basis, and Miyazaki has stated that this was intended to improve his animators' standard of living as much as the quality and consistency of their work.
Miyazaki has said that he chose the name of a World War II
Italian fighter for his studio based on his love of aviation and Italy (vis. Porco Rosso
). Unfortunately the wrong characters were chosen to represent "Ghibli" in Japanese based on a mispronunciation (the word is actually pronounced "ghee-blee" in Italian) but Miyazaki didn't discover this until after he'd already named the studio. He has since pronounced himself satisfied with the "jiblee" pronunciation even though it's technically wrong.
Several Maserati automobiles and at least one modern fighter plane have also been named Ghibli, which means "hot wind off the desert". This is actually a Libyan word — the Italian equivalent is "Scirocco" — and it refers to a particular wind that sweeps across the Sahara.
Trope namer for Ghibli Hills
. Has absolutely nothing to do with the jibblies
To date, Studio Ghibli
has produced the following movies:
- Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1984) (Technically, Studio Ghibli didn't exist yet when this one was made. However, the team behind it formed the studio, and it was included in Ghibli and Disney's dubbing deal.)
- Castle in the Sky, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1986)
- My Neighbor Totoro, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1988)
- Grave of the Fireflies, directed by Isao Takahata (1988)
- Kiki's Delivery Service, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1989)
- Only Yesterday, directed by Isao Takahata (1991)
- Porco Rosso, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1992)
- Ocean Waves, directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (1993) (TV movie, a.k.a. I Can Hear the Sea)
- Pom Poko, directed by Isao Takahata (1994)
- Whisper of the Heart, directed by Yoshifumi Kondo (1995)
- Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (1997)
- My Neighbors the Yamadas, directed by Isao Takahata (1999)
- Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (2001)
- The Cat Returns, directed by Hiroyuki Morita (2002)
- Howl's Moving Castle, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (2004)
- Tales from Earthsea, directed by Goro Miyazaki (2006)
- Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (2008)
- Arrietty, known in North America as The Secret World of Arrietty and based on The Borrowers, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010)
- From Up on Poppy Hill, directed by Goro Miyazaki (2011) (a.k.a. Kokuriko-zaka kara)
- The Wind Rises (2013) directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on a manga he did during the 2000s about the creator of a Japanese fighter plane during WWII
- The Tale Of Princess Kaguya, directed by Isao Takahata (2013) (a.k.a. The Legend of the Bamboo Cutter)
As do many other Asian studios, they have also worked on the following productions as a support studio through their C unit (Hayao Miyazaki
runs the A unit and Isao Takahata runs the B unit; their C unit is random):
produced cooperatively by Studio Ghibli and Level 5 was released in 2010. Its name is Ni No Kuni
. Before that, they provided the character designs and artwork for the PS2 monster battler Magic Pengel
Has its own museum
that shows exclusive short films. The short that evolved into Ponyo
was first shown here.
Also distributes Western animated films in Japan such as the works of Michel Ocelot, Sylvan Chomet, and Aardman under the Ghibli Museum Library label.
In recent years there has been some concern on the part of Studio Ghibli management over their ongoing lack of a new generation of directors capable of taking over for founding directors Miyazaki and Takahata. Yoshifumi Kondo died prematurely shortly after directing Whisper of the Heart
and Goro Miyazaki's directorial debut Tales of Earthsea
received mixed reviews and was not considered a success. Producer Toshio Suzuki's decision to tap the younger Miyazaki to direct Earthsea
caused a rift between the two Miyazakis, as Hayao believed that Goro was not ready to direct a film, a belief that the film's subsequent performance appeared to confirm. However, the elder Miyazaki's opinion of the finished film, "It was made honestly, so it was good" did much to repair their relationship, as Japanese culture considers sincerity more praiseworthy than success.
Miyazaki appears to have chosen Borrowers
director Yonebayashi as his successor. According to interviews with Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli would be shut down if Borrowers
did not do well enough at the box office to allow Ghibli to secure financial backing for another film. Borrowers
did relatively well (over 80 percent of Ponyo
's receipts), enough to to ensure backing for their next film, Goro Miyazaki's From Up On Poppy Hill
, Japan's top-grossing film in 2011 and winner of the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The critical and commercial success of the younger Miyazaki's second film appears to have secured him a place as one of his father's successors as well as the future of the studio.
Projects currently in development:
- The Red Turtle by Dudok de Wit, a co-production with Why Not Productions and Wild Bunch.
- When Marnie Was There by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, adapted from a children's book by Joan Robinson, planned for summer 2014.
- Unnamed project by Goro Miyazaki, rumoured to include samurai, probably based on work by Yoshie Hotta.
For anyone interested in perusing Ghibli's archives, JesuOtaku
(of That Guy with the Glasses
) is currently doing a full retrospective of all the Miyazaki/Ghibli