Legendary films have been produced from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, the retired director of Studio Ghibli. These films have inspired countless people across the world, spawning fanart, subcultures, and international awards. What is it about these films that make them so immersive, beautiful, and nostalgic to watch?
Studio Ghibli, for those who may not know, is an animation company founded in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Toshio Suzuki, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma. However, it was Miyazaki who is best remembered because he was the mind behind the fantastical stories in his films; his career spanned over nearly forty films including Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Castle in the Sky.
These films, although rendered in 2D animation, are incredibly detailed and beautiful to watch. There is an undeniable quality to these films; because the majority of the scenes are hand-drawn. The scenes and backgrounds in each shot look as if they are painted, and as if they are brushstrokes on the projector screen. The attention to detail creates immersive worlds that seem real and vivid to the viewer, even more so than many other animation studios.
Ghibli films also do not shy away from darker topics, such as the human condition. Many films explore what it means to be human in creative ways, using emotive storytelling to reach the audience. Their films are thought-provoking, each film telling a unique and original story without unnecessary sequels. These magical worlds simultaneously bring the viewer into the world, from the first time they watched the film.