Studio Ghibli brings life with its art


Maycie Petrushak, A&E Editor

When we can’t see the world as others may see it, some people take initiative to show us. Hayao Miyazaki is one of those people who has worked his magic through animation to show us.

Miyazaki is the founder of the popular animation company Studio Ghibli. Some of his popular works are “Howl’s Moving Castle” (rated PG), “Ponyo” (rated G), “Spirited Away” (rated PG), and more. When watching any of these movies though, it fills one’s mind with a sense of nostalgia. Although each of these movies have different stories and meanings behind them, Miyazaki forms them in a way to produce that same bittersweet feeling in all of them.

As a young child, Miyazaki would draw to gain the attention and admiration of his fellow peers. At such a young age, he had already known he was going to be an extraordinary visual artist. As time progressed, his mind would wander, and he would be left wondering what the world would look like from other perspectives. When he would create his films, he would always keep in mind the important aspect of perceiving the movie in a different way than what we’re used to seeing. Even though Miyazaki is reaching his older years and has become more quiet to the world, he has still remained as his serene self when creating his works of art.

What does Miyazaki do differently?

Miyazaki’s movies are emotionally powerful, but how so? One main factor is the storyline he creates and the buildup. Such as in the movie “Howl’s Moving Castle”, in one of the first scenes the audience sees, the main female protagonist, Sophie, is leaving from work when a pair of guards begin pushing themselves onto her, when suddenly the other main character of the movie, Howl, comes to her rescue. As he escorts her away, he quietly explains to her how he’s currently on the run from magical creatures, and as he announces that, they appear. This scene introduces many factors that come into play later on into the movie.

Another factor that makes his movies distinguished is the songs he produces to go with certain scenes. Each song in his movies are produced to fit the certain scene they go with. The little hints of noises in each song match with the scene to bring more character to the scene. In the movie “Spirited Away,” the biggest and last scene of the movie occurs, the song “One Summer’s Day” plays. The song is played at the beginning of the opening scene as well, but when the audience hears it again, it brings that bittersweet feeling to us.

The distinct style

Something else that sets Studio Ghibli apart from other animated works is its unique, soft art style. Each character has their own features that set them apart from each other. Compared to other styles, Studio Ghibli’s is more realistic looking and proportionate.

How do you watch his movies?

The movies themselves are available on platforms like HBO Max, YouTube (for a fee), or watch them in person! Every year, a big event happens called the ‘Studio Ghibli Fest’. Movie theaters will post the schedule of each movie and when it will be shown. For 2023, the fest will begin on May 7 and end on November 1, 2023. The movies that will be shown this year are as follows: “Ponyo,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “Castle in the Sky,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Porco Rosso,” “The Wind Rises,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and finally “Spirited Away.”

Even though Miyazaki retired from producing films in 2013, the impact he has made on others will never be forgotten. His movies have influenced others and changed the mindsets of many. Miyazaki is one of the most influential individuals this world has created, and years after he may depart, many will still reminisce on him and his work.