Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

1984 / 116 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Michio Kondo, Isao Takahata
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay); Hayao Miyazaki (Manga)

Written and directed by Academy Award®-winner* Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is an epic masterpiece of sweeping scope and grandeur that remains one of the most breathtaking and exhilarating animated films of all time.

A thousand years after the Seven Days of Fire destroyed civilization, warring human factions survive in a world devastated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects. The peaceful Valley of the Wind is nestled on the edge of the Toxic Forest and led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, whose love of all living things leads her into terrible danger, as she fights to restore balance between humans and nature. Featuring the voices of Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos and Shia LaBeouf.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Director’s Statement: “A Film For People Who Have Not Read The Original Story To Enjoy”

For several years, I have proposed making “films that give a sense of liberation to the minds of present-day young people whose path toward independence is blocked and who are neurotic due to overprotectiveness, within the suffocating confines of our managed society.” But they have not borne fruit. So I put those feelings into a comic I began to draw in the monthly Animage.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a story set on earth during the twilight era of humanity. Its heroine is a girl who is led to gaze farther and farther into the distance while she is pulled into the conflict among humans. But that doesn’t mean I will depict the conflicts themselves. An important theme is the relationship of humans to nature, which surrounds humans, and on which they are dependent.

Can hope be found even in this twilight era? If we are to seek hope, what point of view do we need to have? I expected to gradually make this issue clear as I drew the series I thought would continue for many more years.

As the original comic was not drawn under the assumption that it would be turned into an animated film, when the idea for animation came up, I was frankly concerned. A strong feeling rose up in me that I would like to go ahead and try if I could treat the themes I mentioned above.

I would like to express my gratitude to Tokuma Shoten publishing and Hakuhodo for giving me the chance to make this film. Confronting my original story with humility, I think I fulfilled my intention of making a film that people who have not read any of the original story can enjoy.

June 20, 1983

Hayao Miyazaki

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"Magnificent! Stirringly hopeful!" – Michael Sragow, The New Yorker

"Imaginative..." – Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide

"...the director’s first masterpiece..." – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"...sprawling and imaginative..." – Indiewire

 Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli

1985 / Founded

Founded on June 15, 1985, the studio is headed by the directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and the producer Toshio Suzuki. Prior to the formation of the studio, Miyazaki and Takahata had already had long careers in Japanese film and television animation and had worked together on Horus: Prince of the Sun (aka The Little Norse Prince Valiant) and Panda! Go, Panda!; and Suzuki was an editor at Tokuma Shoten's Animage manga magazine.

Castle in the Sky

1986 / 125 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Isao Takahata
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay)

Castle in the Sky is a timeless story of courage and friendship, with stunning animation from acclaimed Academy Award®-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki.

This high-fl ying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, spies a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, held aloft by a glowing pendant. Both Sheeta and Pazu are searching for the legendary fl oating castle, Laputa, and they vow to travel there together to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal. But their quest won’t be easy, as soon they are being pursued by greedy air pirates, the military, and secret government agents, who all seek the power Sheeta alone can control.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Director's Statement: "I Want To Speak To The Hearts Of Children"

Can we tell an adventure story that has a classic framework in present-day language?

Because this is an age when justice has become an expediency, love has become a plaything, and dreams have become mass-produced products; because this is an age when uninhabited islands are disappearing, outer space is being devoured, and treasures are being converted to currencies; because of this, children are waiting with anticipation for a story where a boy sets out with a burning passion, a story that speaks of discovery, wonderful encounters, and hope.

Why do we hesitate to speak about the bonds that can only be attained by self-sacrifice and dedication?

I sincerely want to create a story that speaks directly to the hearts of children, normally hidden beneath a thin layer of their pretension, sarcasm, and resignation.

October 17, 1985

Hayao Miyazaki

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"Stunning! A masterpiece of action filmmaking!" – Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide

"...[a] solid gold-classic..." – Indiewire

"...[a] rollicking adventure..." – Charles Solomon, The Los Angeles Times

"...extraordinary...the film is always a joy to watch." – Caryn James, The New York Times

"...imaginative..." – Richard Harrington, The Washington Post

Grave of the Fireflies

1988 / 89 Min
Directed by: Isao Takahata
Produced by: Toru Hara, Ryôichi Satô, Shinichirou Ueda
Written by: Isao Takahata (Screenplay); Akiyuki Nosaka (Novel)

As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources. Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares. Beautiful, yet at times brutal and horrifying. Based on the retellings of survivor Nosaka Akiyuki and directed by Iaso Takahata (co-founder, with Hayao Miyazaki, of Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli), Grave of the Fireflies has been universally hailed as an artistic and emotional tour de force. Now digitally remastered and restored, it is one of the rare films that truly deserves to be called a masterpiece.

  • New English Dub
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" emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made." – Roger Ebert

"Ranks among the greatest of anime." – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

"Writer-director Isao Takahata, a frequent collaborator of Miyazaki's at Studio Ghibli, adapted a partly autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, and his handling of the tragic story is masterfully understated." – J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader

"Grave of the Fireflies might be the pinnacle of adults-only animation...The latest Pixar movie made you weepy? This one will rip your heart and soul out." – Tim Grierson, Rolling Stone

My Neighbor Totoro

1988 / 88 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay)

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award®-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family.

When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece featuring the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in one of their earliest roles.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Director’s Statement: “I Wanted to Make a Delightful, Wonderful Film Set in Japan”

I wanted My Neighbor Totoro to be a heartwarming feature film that would not only entertain and touch its viewers, but stay with them long after they have left the theaters. I wanted the spirit of the film to endear lovers to each other, inspire parents to fondly recall their childhood, and encourage kids to roam around temple grounds or climb trees.

What can Japan be proud of? Until recently, parents and kids have been able to easily answer, “nature and the seasonal beauty,” but no one can say that anymore. Those of us who live in Japan—and who are indeed Japanese—shun [the reality of] our country, where animation is a form of escapism. Is this country that awful, so devoid of hope now?

Even in this global age, it’s the most local things that can have a worldwide effect. Yet why doesn’t anyone make a delightful and wonderful film set in Japan?

We need a new method and sense of discovery to be up to the task. Rather than be sentimental, the film must be a joyful, entertaining film.

The forgotten.

The ignored.

Those that are considered lost.

Yet I made My Neighbor Totoro with the firm belief that these things still exist.

What Is Totoro?

It is the name that our protagonist, the four-year-old Mei, gives these creatures. No one knows what their real name is.

They dwelled in the forests here a long, long time ago, when the country was nearly uninhabited. Apparently they live over a thousand years. The large Totoro is over two meters tall. Big and furry, not unlike a big owl, beast, or bear, this animal might be considered a monster, but it never attacks people. These serene, carefree creatures have dwelled in forest caves or old tree holes, away from humans, but somehow the sisters Satsuki and Mei manage to find them.

The Totoros don’t want any commotion, and although this is their first contact with humans, they’ve opened up to Satsuki and Mei.

December 1, 1986

Hayao Miyazaki

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"Totoro is an enchanting tale for all ages." – Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

"Miyazaki’s most iconic work to date..." – Indiewire

"[A] Gentle, infectious animated tale..." – Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide

"...a charming fantasy..." – Charles Solomon, The Los Angeles Times

"...mesmerizing..." – Mike Hale, The New York Times

"One of the most beloved of all family films" – Roger Ebert

" animated achievement almost without parallel." – Trevor Johnston, Time Out

Kiki's Delivery Service

1989 / 102 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Mikihiko Tsuzuki, Horihisa Takagi, Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay); Eiko Kadono (Original Story)

From Academy Award®-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the beloved coming-of-age story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt.

It is a tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and fly off into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a seaside village, where her unique skills make her an instant sensation. Don’t miss this delightfully imaginative and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world, featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hartman, and Debbie Reynolds.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Director's Statement: "The Hopes And Hearts Of Today's Girls"

The wonderful children’s book Kiki’s Delivery Service (written by Eiko Kadono and published by Fukuinkan Shoten publishers in Japan) gives an affectionate depiction of the hopes and spirit of today’s girls struggling to become independent. In previous tales, spiritual independence comes with the protagonist’s economic independence. Now, as the recent expressions, freelance part-time worker, slacker, and torabayu (changing jobs) indicate, economic independence doesn’t necessarily include spiritual independence. Nowadays, spiritual poverty is a much more urgent matter than material poverty.

Leaving home can’t really be considered a rite of passage these days. You only need a nearby convenience store to live in a world of strangers. The issues of independence girls have to confront now are in some ways more difficult since they must discover, develop, and then actualize their talents.

There are girls, for example, who move to Tokyo hoping to pursue a career in the manga industry. According to surveys, there are 300,000 kids who’d like to become manga artists. Given how common the profession is now, it’s pretty easy to be published. One can even make a living at it. The real challenge occurs when it becomes a routine part of your life. While her mother’s broom might give Kiki protection, her father’s radio solace, and her black cat a friendly sidekick, Kiki experiences loneliness—a yearning to connect with others. She represents every girl who is drawn to the glamour of the big city but finds themselves struggling with their newfound independence—in spite of their parents’ love and financial support. Today’s girls also share Kiki’s naiveté and lack of awareness.

In the original story, Kiki resolves each dilemma she encounters with resolve, and in doing so, she develops a circle of friends. For the anime, we had to alter this premise slightly. Although it is nice to see her talent bloom so gracefully, today’s city girls are much weaker and jaded in spirit. For many girls, the struggle to achieve independence is too demanding. Many of them feel like they’re treading water. We wanted to explore this issue of independence more thoroughly in the filmed version. As a result, the film has a realistic edge. The isolation and disillusionment Kiki experiences are much stronger in the film than they are in the original story.

When I first came across Kiki, the first image that occurred to me was a small girl flying across the city at night. A sea of lights—but not a single one offers her a warm welcome. There’s a profound loneliness high above the city. In flying, one may no longer be confined to land, but this freedom also implies insecurity and loneliness. The heroine of our film is a girl who defines herself by flying. There have been many animation films based on “witch girls,” but their magic is only a device to realize their wishes. They function as celebrity idols without any real problems. The witch’s magic in Kiki’s Delivery Service doesn’t come so easily.

Magic in this film is a limited power no different from the talents of any average kid.

Later on, as she flies above the city, Kiki feels a strong connection to the people below, but her sense of self is much stronger than it was at the beginning. We realize that our film’s story must develop in a convincing manner in order to make the film end on this happy note.

We have no desire to dismiss the flamboyance of young girls. We only wish our viewers won’t be too spellbound by the flamboyance of youth. Ultimately, this film celebrates their struggle to become independent. (After all, we were all boys and girls at one time; the struggle is just as urgent for our younger staff.) We also believe this is absolutely essential for the film to succeed as a work of entertainment for its message must be relevant and universal.

April, 1988

Hayao Miyazaki

“The Hopes and Hearts of Today’s Girls,” reprinted English translation, from The Art of Kiki’s Delivery Service, published by VIZ Media, LLC.

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  • Ursula’s Painting
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"A beautifully animated, kindhearted gem." – Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide

"It’s sweet, observant, and radiates a child’s easy sense of wonder." –Steve Daly, Entertainment Weekly

"...utterly charming...a lovely little film." – Indiewire

"...captivating..." – Mike Hale, The New York Times

"Breathtaking animated feature...unimaginably beautiful..." – Ken Eisner, Variety

Only Yesterday

1991 / 120 Min
Directed by: Isao Takahata
Produced by: Geoffrey Wexler, Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Isao Takahata (Screenplay); Hotaru Okamoto & Yuuko Tone (Original Comic)

Having lived her whole life in the city, 27-year-old Taeko (Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) decides to visit her relatives in the countryside. As she travels, memories of her youth resurface, and after meeting young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire), she wonders if she’s been true to the dreams of her childhood self.

Deftly switching between past and present, Only Yesterday is a masterpiece of time and tone, rich with humor and stirring emotion, and beautifully animated by Studio Ghibli, one of the world’s most revered animation studios. From Academy Award®-nominated* director Isao Takahata and General Producer Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), this critically acclaimed film has never before been released in North America until now.

*2014: Best Animated Feature, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

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“Isao Takahata's film is an animation miracle so subtle that it doesn't fully hit you till you take it home and into your dreams.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"...a breathtaking work of art..." – Glenn Kenny,

"This is an utterly beguiling classic: delicate, charming and tender..." – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Porco Rosso

1992 / 94 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Matsuo Toshimitsu, Yoshio Sasaki, Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Original Story and Screenplay)

From Academy Award®-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a dazzling aerial adventure set in and above the scenic port towns of the Adriatic Sea. "Porco Rosso" is a world-weary flying ace-turned-bounty-hunter, whose face has been transformed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell. When he infuriates a band of sky pirates with his heroics, the pirates hire Curtis, a hotshot American rival, to get rid of him. But with the help of the teenage girl Fio, an aspiring airplane designer, and a sultry lounge singer named Gina, Porco takes to the skies for what may be his final high-flying showdown.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Director’s Statement: “Resurrecting The Spirit Of Early Cartoon Movies”

Porco Rosso is designed to be a work that businessmen exhausted from international flights can enjoy even if their minds have been dulled from lack of oxygen. It must also be a work that boys and girls, as well as aunties, can enjoy, but we must never forget that first of all it is a cartoon movie for tired, middle-aged men whose brain cells have turned to tofu.

Porco Rosso is fun and upbeat, but not an over-the-top party.

It is dynamic, but not destructive.

It abounds with love, but needs no lust.

The story is filled with freedom and pride, is simple and stripped of artifice, and the motivations of its characters are depicted with the utmost clarity.

In the film we will make, the male characters are always upbeat and lively, the women are always charming, and everyone enjoys life; the world they inhabit is always cheery and beautiful.

When Depicting Characters, Remember We Are Only Showing The Tip Of The Iceberg

All the main characters—including Porco, Fio, Donald Curtis, Piccolo, the hotel madam, the members of the Mamma Aiuto gang, and the various other air pirates—must have a seasoned realism about them. They engage in foolish antics because they must also endure hardships, and the simplemindedness they exhibit is a result of their lifestyles. We must treat every character respectfully. We must love their foolishness. Depicting any crowds or groups of people in a shoddy way is absolutely forbidden. One common mistake—the belief that to draw a cartoon is to draw someone sillier than oneself—must be avoided at all costs. Otherwise, we won’t be able to attract the oxygen-deprived middle-aged men we are targeting.

Rather Than Details, Go For Dynamism With Numerous Drawings

Rather than increase the number of lines used to depict the ocean, the breaking waves, the flying boats, and the characters in detail, depict all these things with movement. Forms should be simplified, and the drawings should be done easily, with the effort saved applied instead to creating movement. Let’s discover the pleasure of movement, and of being upbeat.

On Coloring

Coloring should be vivid and elegant, not garish.

We should aim for an upbeat and busy look, making sure to achieve a proper balance so that the result is not visually exhausting!

On Artwork

A town that people would like to visit. A sky through which people would like to fly. A secret hideaway we ourselves would want. And a worry-free, stirring, uplifting world. Once upon a time, earth was a beautiful place.

Let us make a film like this.

April 18, 1991

Hayao Miyazaki

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"Magnificently entertaining!" – Robert Koehler, Variety

"...irresistible..." – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

Pom Poko

1994 / 119 Min
Directed by: Isao Takahata
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Seiichiro Ujie, Ritsuo Isobe, Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Isao Takahata (Original Story and Screenplay)

From Academy Award®-nominated* director Isao Takahata, comes an action-packed ecological fable about the clash between nature and human civilization. The tanuki (raccoon dogs) of Tama Hills find their fun-loving community under attack when their quiet woodlands are threatened by encroaching developers looking to create still more houses and shopping malls. Desperate to survive, the tanuki band together and learn the ancient art of transformation, shape-shifting into a comical variety of humans and spirits as they undertake a last-ditch plan to scare away the humans and save their home, in this deeply affecting, funny and heartfelt look at what it means to live in the modern world.

*2014: Best Animated Feature, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Director’s Statement: “The Present-Day Predicament Of Tanuki”

One day, a nearby bamboo grove owned by a landlord suddenly disappeared, and it turned into an empty lot. The bamboo grove was called “the sparrows’ lodging” because sparrows made a chirping racket when they returned to their nests at sunset. When it became an empty lot, the

first thing we worried about was where the sparrows had gone.

Tama, Senri, Tsukuba, and other new towns and golf courses are largescale developments that have completely altered the landscape. The creatures living in those areas lost their habitats, and it goes without saying that many of them were wiped out. The surrounding areas were also affected by these disasters, which must have led to fierce competition for survival even as humans paid no heed. The struggle for territory must have been ferocious not only among inter-species animals but also within the same species. Many lives were lost and there must have been many individuals that were unable to produce offspring.

It appears that we tanuki (raccoon dogs), long inhabitants of semi-natural woodlands and having a close relationship with humans, were unable to escape the ravages of this calamity. Recently tanuki have been spotted not only in rural villages but even in towns. Despite facing the danger of traffic accidents, they scrounge around for food thrown out by humans and wheedle rice cakes from children. Reports of sightings of their dogged efforts to survive have come in from all over the country. These are likely the last ditch stands of tanuki confronting the havoc caused by waves of development.

How did tanuki live and die through this period of tumult and warfare? How did they use their specialty of “illusion science” to combat their bitter fate? Did this come across to present-day humans, whose senses have become dulled? And, did the flower of love bloom even in such trying times? Were they able to produce offspring to leave descendants? Pom Poko delves into the harsh predicament faced by these tanuki.

February 1994

Isao Takahata

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“Wondrous! Filled with great flourishes of imagination!” – Chris Cabin, Slant Magazine

Whisper of the Heart

1995 / 111 Min
Directed by: Yoshifumi Kondo
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Toshio Suzuki, Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay); Aoi Hiiragi (Original Manga)

Discover the brilliance of this heartwarming coming-of-age classic from the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of My Neighbor Totoro and the Academy Award® -winning* Spirited Away. A chance encoutner with a mysterious cat sends Shuzuku, a quiet schoolgirl, on a quest for her true talent. Together with Seiji, a boy determined to follow his dreams, and enchanted byThe Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers of her heart, Shuzuku embarks on a life-changing adventure that takes her beyond the boundaries of her imagination. This beautiful tale based on a screenplay from Hayao Miyazaki will delight and amaze audiences of all ages!

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Producer’s Statement: “Whisper of the Heart”

Out of necessity, I watched Whisper of the Heart. By my calculation, it had been sixteen years since I had last seen it. As the film began, I was stunned. What great animation. I could tell just by their movements the characters’ gender, approximate age, and personality. The heroine, Shizuku, and her sister, their mother and father, each of their features stood out. Their upper bodies, particularly their hand movements, displayed their special characteristics, and when they walked, these were enhanced. Then there is the use of space. There is depth. Take the size of the kitchen in the apartment complex where the family eats. It is narrow. And because it is narrow, the distance among the family members becomes close. This is the way it is for families who live in apartment complexes. Life is breathed into the screen. The backgrounds that support the action are also wonderful. The drawings are like a model of how to bring out the change of seasons from summer to autumn.

There is a scene where Shizuku visits World Emporium, the antique shop, and at one point she runs down a flight of stairs. She catches her breath when she notices that the familiar town she has always seen has a completely different expression. And she is captivated by that view. But what is amazing is that she is shown from the back in that scene. I wonder if there have been any animation films that have shown a character acting with her back.

The director is the late Yoshifumi Kondō. He died at age 47, and we were of the same generation. How could he create such a brilliant film? He worked hard, and he had talent. And that period of time and luck played a part. Compared to those days, what can we say about the present Studio Ghibli? It was tiring for me to watch this entire film in the midst of finishing From Up on Poppy Hill, but I am glad I did.

When I returned to the Studio office, I went immediately to Miya-san’s (Hayao Miyazaki’s) desk. Seeing that I was excited, Miya-san asked me what had happened. When I told him my impression of the film, he sighed deeply. Later, I returned to my desk for some work. Right away, Miya-san appeared. He said, “to continue what we were talking about before…”.

June 2011

Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki

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"Enchanting! Another beautiful work of art from Studio Ghibli!" - Brian Costello, Common Sense Media

Princess Mononoke

1997 / 133 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay and Original Story)

From Academy Award®-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes an epic masterpiece that has dazzled audiences worldwide with its breathtaking imagination, exhilarating battles, and deep humanity. Inflicted with a deadly curse, the young warrier Ashitaka heads west in search of a cure. There he stumbles into a bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi, the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Director's Statement: “The Battle Between Humans and Ferocious Gods”

In this film, samurai, lords, and peasants who are customarily featured in period dramas hardly make an appearance. Even when they do, they perform only in very minor supporting roles.

The main characters are humans who do not appear on the main stage of history, and ferocious gods of the mountains. The human characters are ironworkers, members of the iron-production group: engineers, laborers, blacksmiths, iron ore gatherers, and charcoal makers. They are transporters such as packhorse and ox drivers. They were in those days armed and had formed organizations that we might today call cottage industry manufacturing groups.

The ferocious mountain gods that confront the humans appear as wolf gods, boar gods, and in the form of bears. The Forest Spirit (Deer God), the key figure in the story, is an entirely imaginary creature with the face of a human, the body of a beast, and antlers of tree branches.

The young male protagonist is a descendent of the Emishi people, who disappeared after being defeated in ancient times by the politically powerful Yamato people. And if we search for a similarity for the female lead, she is in appearance not unlike a clay figurine from the Jōmon period (c. 12,000 BCE—300 BCE).

The main locations are the foreboding deep forest of the gods and the fortresslike Iron Town where iron is made.

The conventional period drama settings of castles, towns, and farming villages with rice paddies are merely distant backdrops. Rather, what I plan to recreate is the landscape of Japan when there were far fewer people, when there were no dams, and when the forests were dense— when nature had a high level of purity with its deep mountains and dark valleys, pure and rushing streams, narrow dirt roads, and large numbers of birds, beasts, and insects.

With this setting, my aim is to depict a freer image of the characters without being bound by the conventions, preconceptions, and prejudices of traditional period dramas. Recent research in history, ethnology, and archaeology has shown us that our country’s history is far richer and more diverse than we are generally led to believe. The poverty in period dramas has almost all been created from the drama in films. Disorder and fluidity were the norm in the world of the Muromachi period (1336—1573), the period setting for this film. It was a time when present-day Japan was being formed out of social upheaval, when those below overcame those above from the days of the Northern and Southern Court period (1336—1392), and the ethos of eccentricity, swaggering scoundrels, and the chaotic rise of new arts held sway. It differed from the Warring States period (1467—1568) when organized battles were fought between standing armies, and also from the Kamakura period (1185—1333) with its fierce and earnest warriors.

This was a more unpredictable and fluid time, more magnanimous and free, with less clear class distinctions between warriors and villagers and women as depicted in the drawings of artisans and tradespeople. In such a time, the contours of life and death were very clear. People lived, loved, hated, worked, and then died. Life was not full of ambiguities.

Herein lies the meaning in creating this work, as we face the coming chaotic era of the twenty-first century.

I am not attempting to solve the entire world’s problems. There can never be a happy ending in the battle between humanity and ferocious gods. Yet, even amidst hatred and carnage, life is still worth living. It is possible for wonderful encounters and beautiful things to exist.

I will depict animosity, but that is in order to show the fact there is something more precious.

I depict the bondage of a curse in order to show the joy of liberation.

What I will show is the boy reaching an understanding of the girl, and the process of the girl’s heart opening up to the boy.

In the end the girl may say to the boy, “I love you, Ashitaka. But I can’t forgive human beings.”

The boy will smile and say, “That’s all right. Won’t you live together with me?”

This is the kind of film I want to make.

April 19, 1995

Hayao Miyazaki

“The Battle Between Humans and Ferocious Gods”

Reprinted English translation, from The Art of Princess Mononoke, published by VIZ Media, LLC.

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"This intricate, epic fable is amazing to behold" — Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"...the movie is startling in its beauty...rarely does any film, animated or otherwise, immerse you in such a vivid landscape and engage your senses so strongly." — Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

"A windswept pinnacle of its art..." — Ty Burr, Entertainment Weekly

"Painting with the fullest palette of emotions, from love and empathy and kindness to hatred and rage and fear, 'Princess Mononoke' is perhaps the finest expression of Miyazaki's visual inventiveness...uniting seamlessly with his thematic concerns and his unparalleled storytelling." — Indiewire

"...a more satisfying use of the medium would be difficult to imagine..." — Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"a landmark feat of Japanese animation...this intricate, epic fable is amazing to behold." — Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"...unforgettable..." — Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

"'Princess Mononoke' is a great achievement and a wonderful experience, and one of the best films of the year." — Roger Ebert

My Neighbors the Yamadas

1999 / 104 Min
Directed by: Isao Takahata
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Isao Takahata (Screenplay); Hisaichi Ishii (Original Comic Strip)

From Academy Award®-nominated director* Isao Takahata, comes a classic comedy for the whole family, now available in high-definition Blu-ray for the first time ever in North America!

Join in the hilarious adventures of the quirky Yamada family in this wonderfully o beat celebration of the little and sometimes bigger victories of life. Presented in a series of brilliant comic vignettes, Takashi Yamada and his wacky wife Matsuko navigate their way through the ups and downs of work, marriage, and family life with a sharp-tongued grandmother, a teenage son who wishes he had cooler parents, and a young daughter with an unusually loud voice.

*2014: Best Animated Feature, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Director’s Statement: “Where The Wind Blows Freely Between This Life And The Film”

A large part of this film is made up of episodes based on the original manga story. The setting is the space in which we live that is familiar to all of us. For this reason, we have drawn only the bare necessities so as to leave space as an implicit presence. We made a bold choice to make the screen layout in the style of ink-wash paintings, leaving the blank space typical of manga. Through their expressions, I want to give the sense of the real person behind the characters, rather than presenting a faithful rendition of the manga figures. I am not aiming to create a “fantasy” by representing a finely detailed surface reality to enclose people in another world. Rather, I want to have people recollect the realities of this life by sketching ordinary human qualities with simple props. I want to have the wind blow freely between the reality of our daily lives and what we see in the film.

November 1998

Isao Takahata

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“Really hysterical and incredibly relatable!” – Kyle Andersen, Nerdist

Spirited Away

2001 / 125 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Original Story and Screenplay)

Chihiro's family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the soceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.

Director’s Statement: "Chihiro's Mysterious Town - The Aim Of This Film"

I would say that this film is an adventure story even though there is no brandishing of weapons or battles involving supernatural powers. However, this story is not a showdown between right and wrong. It is a story in which the heroine will be thrown into a place where the good and the bad dwell together, and there, she will experience the world. She will learn about friendship and devotion, and will survive by making full use of her brain. She sees herself through the crisis, avoids danger and gets herself back to the ordinary world somehow. She manages, not because she has destroyed the “evil,” but because she has acquired the ability to survive.

The main theme of this film is to describe, in the form of a fantasy, some of the things in this world which have become vague, and the indistinct world which tends towards erosion and ruin.

In everyday life, where we are surrounded, protected, and kept out of danger’s way, it is difficult to feel that we are working to survive in this world. Children can only enlarge their fragile egos. Chihiro’s skinny legs and her sulky face are their symbols. However, once the reality becomes clear and once she encounters a crisis, she will surely be aware of the life she actually possesses and of a capacity for flexibility and patience, and for decisive judgement and action.

Most people just panic and collapse while shouting, “It can’t be true.” Those people will be erased or eaten up in the situation in which Chihiro finds herself. In fact, Chihiro’s being strong enough not to be eaten up is just what makes her a heroine. She is a heroine not because she is beautiful or because she possesses a unique mind. This is the key characteristic of this work, and therefore it is a good story for ten-year-old girls.

Words are power. In the world Chihiro wandered into, words have a great importance and immutability. At “Yuya,” where Yubaba rules, if Chihiro were to say, “I don’t want to do this,” or “I want to go home,” she would be eliminated by the sorceress. She would be made to wander about with nowhere to go until she vanishes or is made into a hen to lay eggs until she is eaten. On the contrary, if Chihiro says, “I will work here,” even a sorceress can’t ignore her. In these days, words are thought to be light and unimportant like bubbles, and no more than the reflection of a vacuous reality. It is still true that words can be powerful. The fact is, however, that powerless words are proliferating unnecessarily.

To take a name away from a person is an attempt to keep them under perfect control. Sen shuddered when she realized that she was beginning to forget her own name. And besides, every time she goes to see her parents at the pigpen, she becomes used to seeing her parents as pigs. In the world where Yubaba rules, people must always live among dangers which might swallow them up.

In a dangerous world, Chihiro began to come alive. The sulky and languid character will come to have a stunning and attractive facial expression by the end of the film. The nature of the world hasn’t been changed in the least. I am arguing in this film that words are our will, ourselves and our power.

This is also the reason why I created a fantasy set in Japan. Though it is a fairy tale, I don’t want to make it like a Western type of story which allows many possibilities for escape, and is likely to be taken as a cliché. However, I would prefer to say that it is rather a direct descendant of “Suzume no Oyado” (The Sparrows’ Inn - a trap in which sparrows lure people by food and pleasant surroundings) or “Nezumi no Goten” (The Mouse’s Castle – similar to “The Sparrows’ Inn”), which appear in Japanese folk tales. Our ancestors had been dining at the Suzume no Oyado and enjoying a feast at the Nezumi no Goten.

I created a world where Yubaba lives in pseudo-western style to make it seem as if it is something that has been seen somewhere else and to make it uncertain whether it is a dream or reality. And also, Japanese traditional design is a rich source for the imagination. We are often not aware of the rites, designs, and tales of the gods. It is true that “Kachi-kachi Yama” and “Momotaro” are no longer persuasive. However, I regret to say that it is a poor idea to push all the traditional things into a small folk-culture world. Surrounded by high technology and its flimsy devices, children are more and more losing their roots. We must inform them of the richness of our traditions.

I think the world of film can have a striking influence by fulfilling the traditional functions, as a piece of a vividly colored mosaic, to a story which can be applied today. That means, at the same time, we can gain a new understanding of what it means to be the residents of this island country.

In this borderless age, a man who doesn’t have a place to put down his roots will be looked down upon. A place is the past and also a history. A man without history, or a people that forgot its past will have no choice but to disappear, like a shimmer of light or to lay eggs endlessly as a hen and consumed.

I would like to make this film something through which ten-year-old girls can encounter what it is that they truly want.

November 8, 1999

Hayao Miyazaki

“Chihiro’s Mysterious Town”

Reprinted English translation, from The Art of Spirited Away, published by VIZ Media, LLC.

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"Nothing less than magical!" - Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

"Spirited Away transports you to another world, so vividly imagined and so entrancingly realized that it generates its own spirit of wonder." – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

"Hauntingly beautiful..." – Indiewire

"One of the most extraordinary animated features of all time..." – Claudia Puig, USA Today

"...epic and marvelous..." – Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"...the film’s artistry and magic defy description..." – A.O. Scott and Manhola Dargis, The New York Times

"...surely one of the finest of all animated films..." – Roger Ebert

"...delectable treat..." – Richard Corliss, Time

The Cat Returns

2002 / 75 Min
Directed by: Hiroyuki Morita
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Aoi Hiiragi (Original Graphic Novel); Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay)

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of My Neighbor Totoro and the Academy Award®-winning* Spirited Away, comes a charming and magical adventure that will delight the entire family.

Haru is walking home after a dreary day of school when she spies a cat with a small gift box in its mouth crossing a busy street, and she jumps in front of traffic to save the cat from an oncoming truck. To her amazement, the cat gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely. But things take an even stranger turn when later that night, the King of Cats shows up at her doorstep in a feline motorcade. He showers Haru with gifts, and decrees that she shall marry the Prince and come live in the Kingdom of Cats!

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

Producer's Statement: "How To Get Along With Hayao Miyazaki"

How to have a young person make a film. This was a major issue for Studio Ghibli. First of all, any film would be compared to Hayao Miyazaki’s works. This would be distressingly painful for the young person. Secondly, Hayao Miyazaki would be close by. This is an immense pressure that only those who have experienced it can understand. Quite a while ago, a young director was chosen for a project, but within two weeks he was sent to the hospital with a gastric ulcer.

The Cat Returns was the film following Spirited Away. Who could we put in charge of a film to be made after that major hit? After going over it again and again, we chose Hiroyuki Morita to direct this film.

What set him apart was a tenacity that no one else could emulate. He was known for his dogged persistence in drawing figures and movements as an animator. I knew that his ambition was to direct.

When Morita began to work on The Cat Returns, Miya-san staked himself out next to Morita’s desk. I shuddered with anxiety. There was a danger that Morita might give up becoming a director. He might even abandon everything and run off.

Miya-san would say whatever came to his mind, and he would also draw pictures to show what he meant. And he would do this with uncommon speed. Most people couldn’t keep up with this, and would run away.

But Morita was different. Far from it, when he had doubts, he would go in search of Miya-san and catch him to question him on and on. This he did until he was thoroughly convinced of the direction.

For a while, Miya-san answered him conscientiously, but as the number of questions increased, it was he who became fed up. It was Miya-san who ran away.

Morita created The Cat Returns at his own pace from start to finish.

July 2013

Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki

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"Director Morita does an exemplary job of bringing a Japanese graphic novel to the screen." – Robert Pardi, TV Guide

"...moves along at a brisk clip and features a bright, vibrant animation style..." – David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

"The film has some of Miyazaki's exquisite timing, pacing and use of space." – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

"Catchy entertainment for kids and adults..." – Lisa Nesselson, Variety

"Another enjoyable fantasy adventure from Studio Ghibli." – Wally Hammond, Time Out

Howl's Moving Castle

2004 / 120 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Diana Wynne Jones (Original Novel); Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay)

From the acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award®- nominated* fantasy adventure for the whole family.

Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world.

*2005: Best Animated Feature, Howl’s Moving Castle

Producer's Statement: "Publicity Without Publicity"

There is always publicity involved with a film release, but we decided to not do any for this film. Well, to be more accurate, we decided not to give any details of the story or explanations of the themes or anything like that. It was Hayao Miyazaki’s fervent wish that the film be viewed unaffected by preliminary knowledge of the film.

We thought about what we have done in the past, and decided that the publicity for Spirited Away was excessive. Very well, this time, we won’t do the same! Once I made this decision, I received protests from people who are involved in our productions who support our films. We want to support your film! How can you ignore our offer of cooperation? I tried to explain to each and ask for their kind understanding.

How much publicity is adequate? We had many discussions involving members of our staff. More time was spent on this, than on the content of the publicity. Isn’t publicity just an opportunity to let people know about a film that is coming out? What’s important is what you say, not how much you say, right? When this self-evident opinion was given, an expression of relief lit up the staff members’ faces.

In short, the gist of this film is this: A young girl, Sophie, who thought that life is all hard work and boring, has a spell cast on her by a witch, and by being turned into an old woman, she learns some things about herself. If I say so myself, this is an entertaining and well-made film. Hayao Miyazaki is now sixty-three. How can he understand how young girls today feel? I have been working closely with this old scoundrel for more than twenty-six years, and he is still inscrutable to me.

The rest, I will leave up to you. Please watch the film, and we look forward to hearing your comments and opinions.

February 10, 2005

Toshio Suzuki

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“An animated tour-de-force” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"A strange delight awash in visual splendor...exhilarating...a silver-screen gem..." – David Germain, Associated Press

"...visually breathtaking..." – Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"...animation of astonishing invention and detail..." – Roger Ebert

"[An] animated triumph" – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"...inventive and whimsical..." – Claudia Puig, USA Today

Tales From Earthsea

2006 / 116 Min
Directed by: Goro Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Goro Miyazaki & Keiko Niwa (Screenplay); Hayao Miyazaki (Concept); Ursula K. Le Guin (Novel)

From director Goro Miyazaki (From Up on Poppy Hill), comes an animated fantasy epic based on the classic book series by Ursula K. Le Guin. As crops dwindle and dragons reappear, mankind stands on the verge of total chaos. Lord Archmage Sparrowhawk, a powerful wizard, and Arren, a troubled young prince, search for the force behind this mysterious imbalance that threatens to destroy the land of Earthsea. This tale of redemption and self-discovery that will take your breath away.

Director's Statement:

"The Human Mind Is Going Mad"

I believe I first encountered Ms. Le Guin’s Earthsea books some 20 years ago while I was still in high school. At the time, I was most fascinated by the first and second volumes of the series, particularly the first, where the proud Sparrowhawk’s setbacks and eventual acceptance of his Shadow overlapped with my own personal experience. In the second volume, I felt both the joy and the sadness of Tenar’s liberation from the dark Tombs of Atuan.

However, when planning this film, I revisited the entire series and, to my surprise, the third and fourth books and the sequel appealed to me most. This may be due to my getting older, but I feel that the social conditions around us provide the definitive reason.

Living In Hort Town: Where The Sense Of Being Alive Has Been Lost

The world in which we are now living is very similar to Hort Town and Lorbanery, the settings of the third volume The Farthest Shore. Everyone is frantically busy, always in motion, but all seems to be without purpose. It appears that people are driven by the fear of losing everything - as though madness is spreading in the minds of men.

I will not list one by one the problems we all face, as the drastic social changes in and outside Japan are obvious. The fact remains that no one can point out the way to change for the better. Thus adults lose their pride, sympathy and consideration for others, while the young see no hope in their future and are overcome by helplessness.

In the end, one loses the sense of the reality of life and death, one’s own and that of others. As one’s existence grows ambiguous, regard for others inevitably fades alongside it, leading to the increase of apparently meaningless suicides and murders.

The Story Of Life And Death, And Then Rebirth

I was pondering how we should carry on with our lives in this era when we began planning Tales From Earthsea. The loss of balance within the world originated from within man. Once you reach that conclusion you confront the issues of life and death. And that, I believe, is where the most important subject matter lies.

In the third book, there are recurring conversations between Sparrowhawk and Arren. Arren’s questions mirror my own and Sparrowhawk’s answers resonate in my mind. Perhaps Sparrowhawk’s answers are for me to pass on to Arren as I am in between their ages. Compared to when I was a teenager, I can now better comprehend Sparrowhawk’s words from Arren’s position. The third book tells the story of an adult who passes the baton to his young successor; I believe that is the reason why I chose this particular volume.

Furthermore, the message of “the rebirth of man” as conveyed by the fourth volume and the subsequent works made a huge impact. These are the stories of a new beginning for the powerless Sparrowhawk and Tenar, the rebirth of an injured girl, the rebirth of a proud magician, the encounter of two youths and their brand-new journeys. I believe what is common throughout the works is a positive message that affirms humanity: showing man and woman being equally supportive of each other, and that regardless of age, one can always recover and start again. If I were to add anything, it would be the importance of living in mutual harmony with the earth.

We are wandering off the path that must be followed. With the overdevelopment of civilization and its vast sprawling cities, we think that we can foresee and control all that is around us. In my opinion, to realize that man is powerless against the forces of nature, and to accept this, would allow us to live in contentment.

The Journey With Sparrowhawk

“Now, how should one live righteously?” was my question, revisited over and over, while listening to the voices of the characters as the film progressed. Now it is finished, I have the strange feeling that Sparrowhawk, Arren and I have been talking and travelling together for a long time. My deepest wish is for the audience to enjoy this film and, most of all, to experience a personal journey with Sparrowhawk and the characters of Tales From Earthsea.

Spring 2006

Goro Miyazaki

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"A visual marvel!" - Kyle Anderson, Nerdist


2008 / 103 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Original Story and Screenplay)

From Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a heartwarming adventure, now featuring hours of new bonus features never-before-released in North America. When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, her father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea.

Director’s Statement: “A Little Seaside Town”

This is the story of Ponyo, a little fish from the sea, who struggles to realize her dream of living with a boy named Sosuke. It also tells of how fiveyear-old Sosuke manages to keep a most solemn promise. Ponyo places Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid in a contemporary Japanese setting. It is a tale of childhood love and adventure.

A little seaside town and a house at the top of a cliff. A small cast of characters. The ocean as a living presence. A world where magic and alchemy are accepted as part of the ordinary. The sea below, like our subconscious mind, intersects with the wave-tossed surface above. By distorting normal space and contorting normal shapes, the sea is animated not as a backdrop to the story, but as one of its principal characters.

A little boy and a little girl, love and responsibility, the ocean and life—these things, and that which is most elemental to them, are depicted in the most basic way in Ponyo. This is my response to the afflictions and uncertainty of our times.

June 5, 2006

Hayao Miyazaki

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"Magical...An extraordinary vision of a dazzling undersea world rich with visual wonders." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.

"Visually dazzling! A charming adventure!" - Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

"...emotionally profound, visually thrilling..." – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"A visual feast full of some of the most stunning animation Studio Ghibli has ever produced." – Indiewire

"A wild, wondrous adventure..." – Leonard Maltin

"[A] masterwork..." – Manhola Dargis, The New York Times

"This poetic, visually breathtaking work by the greatest of all animators has such deep charm that adults and children will both be touched." – Roger Ebert

"...breathtaking..." – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

The Secret World of Arrietty

2010 / 95 Min
Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki & Keiko Niwa (Screenplay); Mary Norton (Novel)

From Academy Award®-nominated* director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, comes a gorgeous and adventure-filled adaptation of The Borrowers, one of the most beloved children's books of all time. In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live out of sight of humans. But when brave and tiny Arrietty is out gathering supplies, she is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, and they begin to form a friendship that blossoms into an extraordinary adventure.

*2015 Best Animated Feature - When Marnie Was There

Producer's Statement: “Karigurashi no Arrietty”

I believe it was early in the summer of 2008 that Hayao Miyazaki first suggested this project. Meanwhile, I had another idea for a film in mind. We repeatedly argued and debated, and neither of us would budge. I could see we were not getting anywhere, so out of respect for Miyazaki-san, who is older than I am, I gave in.

Nearly forty years ago in their younger days, Miyazaki-san and Isao Takahata wanted to adapt The Borrowers as an animated film. Miyazaki-san happened to recall this one day, and he strongly recommended that I read the books and began pushing quite persistently to make it into a film. Perhaps it was out of fond memories for those younger days, I don’t know, but these kinds of things come up now and then at Studio Ghibli.

“But why The Borrowers now?”, I asked Miyazaki-san, and he began giving me various, sometimes strained, justifications for making the film. The idea of the story being about “borrowing” is intriguing. It perfectly fits with the way things are today. The era of mass consumption is coming to a close. We are in a bad economy and the idea of borrowing instead of buying shows very well the direction things are headed, he explained.

Miyazaki-san likes to act quickly when he thinks he has a good idea, so he wrote a formal project proposal for me immediately.

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"Dazzling! Another Studio Ghibli triumph!" - Steven James Snyder, Time Magazine

"The Secret World of Arrietty is a marvelously captivating animated feature about very tiny people and the full-scale world they inhabit." – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

"Yonebayashi gives Arrietty an excellent sense of balance, with the adventure aspects of the story, which feel legitimately dangerous providing well-paced contrast the film's more placid moments." –
Ian Buckwalter, The Atlantic

"The Secret World of Arrietty is a magical and heartwarming story for older kids and adults. It's a secret world you will fall in love with." – Vince Horiuchi, Salt Lake Tribune

"The beauty of Studio Ghibli movies is that they have such depth and heart, and this film is a perfect example." – S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media

"A beautifully crafted, intimate adventure movie and – presented in hand-drawn 2D – one of the most visually arresting you’ll enjoy all year." – Dan Jolin, Empire

From Up on Poppy Hill

2011 / 91 Min
Directed by: Goro Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Koji Hoshino
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki & Keiko Niwa (Screenplay); Tetsurô Sayama & Chizuru Takahashi (Manga); Tetsurô Sayama (Original Story)

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Secret World of Arrietty, comes another animated triumph. Yokohama, 1963. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the Olympics. Against this backdrop of hope and change, a friendship begins to blossom between high school students Umi (Sarah Bolder) and Shun (Anton Yelchin) – but a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart. From a screenplay by Academy Award® winner Hayao Miyazaki and featuring an all-star English voice cast!

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

  • Original Japanese Version
  • Feature-length Storyboards
  • Celebrity Cast Recording Featurette
  • Interview With Goro Miyazaki
  • Music Video
  • Yokohama Featurette
  • Original Japanese Trailers And TV Spots
  • A 16-page booklet that including a letter by Goro Miyazaki and an excerpt from the Original Project Proposal by Hayao Miyazaki (Blu-ray version)
  • Speech And Press Conference From Hayao Miyazaki (Blu-ray version)

"From Up on Poppy Hill is frankly stunning, as beautiful a hand-drawn animated feature as you are likely to see. It's a time-machine dream of a not-so-distant past, a sweet and honestly sentimental story that also represents a collaboration between the greatest of Japanese animators and his up-and-coming son." – Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

2013 / 138 Min
Directed by: Isao Takahata
Produced by: Yoshiaki Nishimura
Written by: Isao Takahata and Riko Sakaguchi

From Studio Ghibli, the studio that brought you My Neighbor TotoroThe Wind Rises, and the Academy Award® winning* Spirited Away, comes a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary filmmaking career for director Isao Takahata. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

*2003: Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away

  • Exclusive Booklet
  • Feature-Length Documentary Isao Takahata And His Tale Of The Princess Kaguya
  • Announcement Of The Completion Of The Film
  • Trailers & TV Spots

"…a near masterpiece...This delicate, hand-drawn marvel is lyrical and heartbreaking in ways that most live-action movies never approach." – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

"...a marvel of Japanese animation, a hand-drawn, painterly epic that submerges us in a world of beauty." – Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"Exquisitely drawn with both watercolor delicacy and a brisk sense of line, the film finds a peculiarly moving undertow of feeling in a venerable Japanese folk tale about a foundling country girl who can’t shake a sense of being out of place." – Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

The Wind Rises

2013 / 127 Min
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay); Hayao Miyazaki (Manga)

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) comes a spellbinding movie beyond compare. Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, he becomes one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers, experiencing key historical events in an epic tale of love, perseverance and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.

  • Behind The Microphone
  • Storyboards
  • Announcement Of The Completion Of The Film
  • Original Japanese Trailers And TV Spots

"The film is one of the most rapturously beautiful that Miyazaki has made..." – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

"...a work of immense mystery and strangeness, loaded with unforgettable images, spectacular sweeps of color and nested, hidden meanings...It’s one of the most beautiful animated films ever made, and something close to a masterpiece." – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

When Marnie Was There

2014 / 103 Min
Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Produced by: Yoshiaki Nishimura
Written by: Keiko Niwa & Masashi Ando & Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Screenplay); Joan G. Robinson (Novel)

A sweeping story of friendship, mystery and discovery that delivers stirring emotions and breathtaking animation as only Studio Ghibli can. When shy, artistic Anna travels to the seaside to stay with relatives, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend. Based on the beloved young adult novel by Joan G. Robinson and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty), When Marnie Was There is a haunting tale gorgeously rendered with its moonlit seascapes, glowing orchestral score, and powerful portrayals of friendship and belonging.

  • Exclusive Booklet
  • Feature-Length Storyboards
  • The Making Of When Marnie Was There
  • Yohei Taneda Creates The Art Of When Marnie Was There
  • Behind The Scenes With The Voice Cast
  • Trailers & TV Spots

"There are moments of hushed magic here, of moonlit, seaside and tree-shadowed visual poetry, that rival anything Ghibli has ever created." – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

"It's a kid's movie that grown-ups will like. As Marnie does on Anna, the movie casts a spell." – Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post

Earwig And The Witch

2020 / 82 min
Directed by: Goro Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Keiko Niwa & Emi Gunji (Screenplay); Diana Wynne Jones (Novel)

Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted.