I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long, long time. I haven’t done an Art Attack in awhile, and what better to feature than Studio Ghibli? For as long as I can remember, Ghibli has been a huge part of my life- Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away were beloved childhood films that I watched over and over. Fascinated by Hayao Miyazaki’s stunning take on animation, I’ve been making my way through the rest of his films- and loving every one of them. Each have their own inspiring message and enchanting characters that help bring to life fascinating stories. I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to elaborate a bit further on the life of Miyazaki before continuing on with some art pieces inspired by different Studio Ghibli films.
(photo via LA Times)
Miyazaki was born January 5, 1941, in Akebono-cho in Bunkyō, Tokyo. Growing up during WWII, this left a mark on Miyazaki. Having dreams of becoming a manga writer from an early age, he was a member of the Children’s Literature research club, or the closest thing to a comics club, at his university, Gakushuin University. After graduating, Miyazaki worked at Toei, A Pro, and Zuiyo Eizo/Nippon Animation. It took awhile for Miyazaki to build up to directing, and he worked on animation for many years on such films and TV series as Hols, Puss ‘n Boots, Moomin, Panda! Go, Panda, and Sherlock Hound, among many others. In June 1985, Studio Ghibli was born, going on to become one of the most beloved animation companies. Along with Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Yasuyoshi Tokuma were both brought along to the company as founders. From then on, Miyazaki would go on to direct or produce almost all of Studio Ghibli’s films, with My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo being some of his most famous. Miyazaki has said he was ‘retiring’ on six different occasions, but after the release of The Wind Rises, he announced he was officially retiring to work on the Studio Ghibli musuem and his manga. Some are dubious of this being his official retirement, but if it is, we salute Miyazaki for leaving a beautiful collection of films to inspire us to always stay young at heart. If you would like to know more about ‘the godfather of anime’ , you can check out his memoirs Starting Point: 1979-1996 and Turning Point: 1997-2008, or the recently released documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, which tells a more in depth tale of Studio Ghibli and their two most recent films, The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
Now, on to the cute stuff! Here are all kinds of art pieces for fellow Ghibli lovers to put on your walls. And, seriously, if you haven’t watched any of these films: go. now. Kiki’s Delivery Service or Howl’s Moving Castle are both excellent places to start at.
Stasia is one of my favorite artists, and I didn’t even know she had this print until now! One of Miyazaki’s less known films, Nausicaa is definitely one to check out. I mean, come on. Can’t you tell how cute it is from this print?! It’s all about girl power, saving the environment and freedom. What could be better?
Totoro is probably the cutest of Miyazaki’s films. Add some water color art to the adorableness of the film, and you’ve got a real winner. This would be cute in a child’s bedroom.
I wanted to be Kiki when I was little. A witch, on her own, with a cat and a cool older lady as a friend? Living in a bakery? Count me in! She also wasn’t perfect, but was able to overcome her fears. Still one of my top favorite Ghibli films.
One of the best things about Ghibli films is how they’re super inspirational, but still child-like at heart. Here’s one of the best quotes, in beautiful poster form.
This sturdy and modern take on a movie poster would hold up nicely in your living room. Cute, but still unique enough to show your true inner geek!
The upcycled book prints have been quite the rage the past few years, and here’s a Studio Ghibli spin.
One of the best moments in the film, immortalized in the incredible art style of The Gorgonist.
I haven’t actually seen Ponyo yet (I know, I know!), but this print makes me want to watch it as soon as possible. So cute!
*sniffles* Miyazaki’s last film. It looks gorgeous though, and it’s based on actual events! This art print is just as gorgeous.
Jiji, soot sprites, and baby Totoros! This print represents some of the best of Ghibli’s work.
That’s it, folks! If you want something still Ghibli but not artwork, here are three other suggestions: a cute tote, some Jiji earrings, and an adorable No Face inspired skirt. There are also tons of other Studio Ghibli items on Etsy- go find something you love! Also, what’s your favorite Ghibli films? Top 5? What are your thoughts on Miyazaki’s retirement? Until next time, iggles.
(Miyazaki bio info via Wikipedia, cover image via Japan Lover Me)