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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogA brief history of Studio Ghibli

A brief history of Studio Ghibli

By Jojo Morsche
September 12, 2018

Studio Ghibli movies and the adorable characters have captured people's hearts from all over the world. There are few people who haven't seen or at least heard of classics like Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro. But did you know that it was a long, hard road to fame until Studio Ghibli was eventually recognized? You can read about it in this blog post! Also don't forget to check out our blog post about our top 5 Studio Ghibli films?

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 in Tokyo by the three men, Isao Takahata, Toshio Suzuki and the well-known film producer Hayao Miyazaki. The name Studio Ghibli was based on the Arabic name for "hot sahara wind" because the founders wanted Studio Ghibli to blow new wind through the anime industry. At the same time Ghibli was also the name of an Italian war plane and therefore it also represented Hayao Miyazaki's love for planes and for Italy.Before Miyazaki worked for Ghibli he had already directed a few films like Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro and Future Boy Conan. The first original movie directed by Miyazaki was Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984. Some people argue that it's not a real Ghibli production because the movie was released a year earlier than the official formation of Studio Ghibli. The official first Ghibli movie was Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

At this time anime was looked down upon in the film industry and Miyazaki a now influential and respected director was also not highly regarded at this time. Anime wasn't mainstream like it is nowadays in Japan, therefore the number of theaters showing the movies as well as viewers were also limited. Movies that are now regarded as big successes like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky and even My Neighbor Totoro were not famous at all back then.

The break through for Studio Ghibli was in 1989 with the Movie Kiki's Delivery Service, this was mainly thanks to advertisements on tv. After this Miyazaki and producer Suzuki continued to make many more hits after Kiki.

The movie that made Studio Ghibli grow into an international brand for anime was Princess Mononoke in 1997. Many people have argued about the reasons behind Studio Ghibli's success. 3 Important reasons could be:

1. The casting of popular celebrities as voice actors.

2. Active promotions through media and especially on TV.

3. Music composed by great composers.

Thanks to Nippon TV anime was no longer looked down upon and appreciated by a diverse audience. A lot of people who were actually not into anime would still love Studio Ghibli. Just like Disney movies, Ghibli's movies have become classics, not only are the movies high quality but they also have influenced the anime industry and the way people feel about anime.

We hope you enjoyed this (brief) history of Studio Ghibli. What was the first movie that you've watched? And what's your favorite movie? Let us know in the comments below!

Source 1, 2

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