The Japanese Animation Masters
There are few animation studios in the world more beloved than Studio Ghibli. Some refer to Ghibli as the “Japanese Disney” – and while that comparison is problematic in many ways, it does speak to the incredible cultural impact that the studio has made in its native country. Led by legendary Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli has created some of the best-loved works in the history of the medium, including Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and Princess Mononoke. The following video essays look at the remarkable work of the studio’s founders and their approach to creating incredible animated worlds.
If you are interested in learning more about Studio Ghibli and how it operates, I would highly recommend the lovely 2013 documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. If you’re interested in Miyazaki’s unique use of female protagonists, I’ve actually written about the subject – you can download my thesis Goddesses of Water & Sky on Kindle or as a free PDF.