Monday, 15 October 2012

She Loves: Studio Ghibli

A few months ago, I discovered something which made me question my raising. Why didn't my parents ever tell me who Hayao Miyazaki was? How did I miss Studio Ghibli? I can vaguely remember the name "Spirited Away", but I definitely never saw it. Really, these movies are just great. No, I don't have a thing for child movies, and neither for anime. And I'm eighteen. But Studio Ghibli's movies are ageless, and made by people who have a heart for it. Sometimes they're a little bit weird (Japanese humor, you know) but above all, this movies are very endearing. Here are my favorites!

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle is about Sophie, an eighteen years old hat-maker, who is very unconfident. Sophie's life takes a dramatic turn when, after first crossing paths with the wizard Howl, she gets cursed by another wizard, the Witch Of The Waste. Sophie turns into an old woman, and she has to leave her family because she don't want to let them see her this way. And that's where the adventure starts! She wants to find the witch who done this her, and on her way into the Wastes she meets a scarecrow. She asks him to find her a place to sleep, and he turns up with Howl's house, which is a moving castle. The demon Calcifer (the flame) is what keeps this house moving, and after a little bit of grumping he accepts Sophie into the house and the other strange 'people' who live in it.

I'm not giving you anymore; you should just watch this movie. Sophie is an amazing character, she really grows in this story. First she is just so shy and uncertain of herself, but when she turns into an old lady she gets sarcastic and has loads of self spot, which is really funny. Like: "Why do you get so cold when you're old? I'm fatter than ever and yet the wind blows right through me!" Also I laughed my freakin' ass off because of a witty flame, a lazy dog and the Crazy Old Woman the Witch Of The Waste becomes. This is definitely the movie with the most humor in it and I've watched it like three times already.

The Secret World Of Arrietty

The Secret World Of Arrietty is a bit more serious. It tells the story of a little Borrower, named Arrietty, and a human boy, Sho. Sho has a heart-disease and has to rest for a week at his aunts house, because the next week he will be under life-threathening surgery in order to make his heart more healthy. Where Sho is a quiet, polite boy, Arrietty is a brave girl with a little bit too much enthusiasm. Borrowers aren't supposed to be seen by humans but, as you can guess, Sho discovers Arrietty in his house. He is very curious about her and wants be friends, but the maid of the house, a nasty old woman, has other plans with Arrietty and her family.

The storyline may be less complicated then House Moving Castle, but the ending was really sad! One of the talents of Studio Ghibli is letting the characters really grow on you, even though they're animated. I think that this was movie was my least favorite - but still a favorite - because it was too realistic. Doesn't that sound weird? I mean, it's about little people, after all. But aside from Arrietty's family everything else was normal, and I just missed those crazy characters like the ones they've put in Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away, the Academy Award winning movie. And for a reason! Oh my, I don't even know how to explain this storyline, it's just so strange. The amazing characters are what made this movie; I think we all can relate to Chihiro, a little girl who is sobbing in the back of her parent's car because she doesn't want to move; she's going to miss her best friend. Aw, that could have been us when we were her age! 
And then her father takes the wrong turn, and they end up at a - what they think is a - abandoned amusement park. Inside they amusement park her parents find food, and while they're eating Chihiro is exploring the environment. She meets a boy named Haku, and he tells her to get away from this place, but unfortunately, it's too late. Chihiro can't cross the river and leave the park anymore. 

And that's where things are starting to get crazy. Our little heroine has to work at the Bath House, and we get to know more (weird) characters. But there is something about this movie that is just so.. I don't know, sweet. Chihiro is really at a loss what to do and most of the time you're like "argh, can't anybody just help that poor little girl?!" And I also loved Haku, they were just so sweet together. There are lots of jokes in this movie, similar to Howl's Moving Castle. If you haven't seen this movie in your youth, you definitely should watch it now. 

Tales From Earthsea

Tales from Earthsea was not made by mr. Miyazaki himself but by his son, and that's why the opinions about this movie are variating. One thing the lovers and haters can agree on is the lack of a good storyline, and sadly I have to agree with that. It's about Prince Arren, who killed his own father, the King of Enlad. Of course there's now a price on his head and he escapes from the castle, and meets a wizard, named Root. And then there's a dragon-thing going on.

 It was really hard to follow the story and after watching it I felt like this story just wasn't complete, but the reason I still added it to my favorites is because of the music and wonderful animation! Maybe Miyazaki's son focused to much on that, and forgot that also a good story is needed to make a movie? The ending was a real spectacle, I think it has the biggest 'wow' factor of all the Giblie movies, but that God damn loose ends. Maybe you should just watch the trailer and decide for yourself if you want to see it.

Princess Mononoke

Last but not least; Princess Monoke! This one's from 1997 so the animation is a little bit old-fashioned comparing to the other movies, but this movie is sure worth watching! A giant demon-possessed boar attacks an Emishi village. The last Emishi prince, Ashitaka, is forced to fight and kill him. In the struggle, Ashitaka receives a curse on his right arm, which grants him superhuman strength but will eventually kill him. He has to leave his village and is going to search for the Forest Spirit, and while he does that he meets Princess Mononoke, a girl who has been raised by wolfs. I won't spoil the story for you, because this is such a beautiful story that you have to discover on your own.

I loved this movie. There sure is a message in it - I'm sure you know which one when I say industry meets forest - but the animation is just splendid. And they get heavy on the blood in this one! After I watched the trailer I thought 'mwoah' but really, there's so much to this movie. And the tree spirits (picture) they are so terrifying yet cute. There's not much humor in this one, but it doesn't need it; it's a dark movie. A very different Ghibli movie!



  1. great post honey, it seems to be nice!


  2. Ik ken heel dit genre (als ik het kon lezen vanwege mijn slechte engels haha) niet, ziet er opzich wel nice uit!

  3. Nice post dear!!!

  4. kende het niet , ziet er wel leuk uit!

  5. ahwwww, het eerste plaatje is zooooo cute!