Studio Ghibli East Meets West
Robbie Collins and Jon Jones
The films of Studio Ghibli are often counted among the greatest ever made. But the revered Japanese animators’ distinctive house style can be as hard to pin down as it is easy to spot – not least because of the dizzying breadth of their output, from pastoral fairy tales to sweeping historical epics and intimate psychological portraits.
In this video piece, I’ve tried to unpick exactly what it is that makes Ghibli Ghibli, by tracing their unique approaches to image-making and story-telling back to a formative filmmaking experience shared by the studio’s co-founders, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, in the 1960s. And as the venerable studio winds down after three extraordinarily fruitful decades, it’s heartening to see the torch being carried forward by a new generation of animators and artists.