Studio Ghibli’s success stems from the fact that it was formed to explore the human psyche via poetic stories
For decades, audiences around the world have been captivated by Japanese animation's distinct style and sense of whimsy, and this holds true for everything from the plot to the artwork as well as cultural references and ideas featured in the shows. What adds to the appeal is that the anime narratives and characters are grounded in reality, as are their problems. And because of the freedom of visual expression, anime producers can make these stories appear larger than life. The most well-known Japanese animation studio is Studio Ghibli, which was established in 1985 by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. There’s even a Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan, which was launched in October 2001 as a joint venture between Studio Ghibli and the Tokuma Memorial Cultural Foundation for Animation, while a Ghibli Park is set to open in November this year in Nagakute. It will feature attractions based on Studio Ghibli’s movies. Unlike other animation studios, Studio Ghibli was founded to explore the human pscyhe and offer audiences poetic stories that would express its complexities.
It has produced more than 20 films many of which opened at the top of the box office in Japan the year they were released. One of Hayao’s most popular films Spirited Away, which was released in 2001 earned over ¥30 billion (RM1 billion) at the box office. Film critics and animators from across the world have also awarded Studio Ghibli’s films with several awards and critical praise. Spirited Away got the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and the Golden Bear prize at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. The studio’s The Wind Rises, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There, and The Red Turtle have also been nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film. According to The New York Times, the next project will be Hayao’s last Studio Ghibli film. The 81-year-old and producer Toshio Suzuki gave little details about it, but it is said to be based on Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel, How Do You Live? The protagonist is a 15-year-old boy in Tokyo whose father just died. He is small for his age and often gets into trouble.
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