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Hayao Miyazaki Studio Ghibli - Best Album - F...


Hayao Miyazaki\u2019s masterpiece isn\u2019t just the best feature that Studio Ghibli has made; I reckon it\u2019s the best animated film of all time, introducing a character as beloved to Japanese audiences as Mickey Mouse is to Americans. The movie\u2019s genius owes to its simplicity and the intuitive way Miyazaki manages to suggest that we humans share the world with benevolent spirits, who watch out for us in times of need \u2014 an idea adapted from Japanese culture into cuddly anthropomorphic form. Sisters Satsuki and Mei move to the countryside to be nearer to their invalid mother, who is recuperating in hospital, and while exploring the house and its woodland surroundings, they discover a trio of \u201cTotoro,\u201d or forest spirits, who come in three sizes: small (white), medium (blue) and extra-large (the ginormous gray beast with a big smile and boomerang-shaped chest markings). American audiences weren\u2019t quite ready for Miyazaki\u2019s vision when the mesmerizing film was first released, and surprisingly enough, it was \u201cThe Toxic Avenger\u201d studio Troma that introduced the movie Stateside, buying rights to the English-dubbed airline version back in 1993. Later, once Miyazaki had become more acclaimed, \u201cMy Neightor Totoro\u201d went from being regarded as a cult item to the children\u2019s classic it is today \u2014 a movie of discovery and wonder for young minds, which challenges the notion that cartoons rely on conflict and instead encourages quiet observation of everyday details, finding magic in the mundane.\n","alt":"My Neighbor Totoro Best of Studio Ghibli","image_credit":"Courtesy of Studio Ghibli\/Everett Collection","url":"https:\/\/variety.com\/lists\/best-studio-ghibli-movies\/","image_id":1234878467,"image":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/My-Neighbor-Totoro-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","sizes":"pmc-gallery-s":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/My-Neighbor-Totoro-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=320","width":320,"height":180,"pmc-gallery-m":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/My-Neighbor-Totoro-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=640","width":640,"height":360,"pmc-gallery-l":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/My-Neighbor-Totoro-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=800","width":800,"height":450,"pmc-gallery-xl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/My-Neighbor-Totoro-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"pmc-gallery-xxl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/My-Neighbor-Totoro-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"fullWidth":1000,"fullHeight":563,"mime_type":"image","ad":"","appleSongID":null,"enableAppleGA":false,"additionalDescription":null,"subtitleColor":null,"additionalSubtitle":null,"additionalSubtitleColor":null,"ads":"html":"\t\n\t\t\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\t\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tblogherads.adq.push(function () \n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tblogherads\n\t\t\t\t\t.defineSlot( 'medrec', 'gpt-dsk-tab-list-inbody1-uid0' )\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setTargeting( 'pos', [\"in-body1\",\"mid\",\"in-bodyX\",\"in-listX\",\"in-list1\"] )\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setSubAdUnitPath(\"list\\\/inbody1\")\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.addSize([[300,250]])\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t;\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t);\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\t\n","data":["divId":"gpt-dsk-tab-list-inbody1-uid0","displayType":"medrec","targeting":["key":"pos","value":"in-body1","key":"pos","value":"mid","key":"pos","value":"in-bodyX","key":"pos","value":"in-listX","key":"pos","value":"in-list1"],"lazyLoad":"no","lazyLoadMultiplier":2,"zone":"list\/inbody1","sizes":[[300,250]]]},"ID":1234878694,"position":1,"positionDisplay":2,"date":"2021-01-05 03:06:59","modified":"2021-01-05 05:40:29","title":"2. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)","subtitle":null,"slug":"grave-of-the-fireflies","caption":"","description":"Astonishingly enough, Studio Ghibli\u2019s two greatest achievements were released as a double bill, which must have confounded audiences at the time, given the vastly different moods of \u201cMy Neighbor Totoro\u201d (a featherweight fantasy) and this more realistic World War II-set drama from Miyazaki\u2019s mentor and colleague Isao Takahata. Animation is so often dismissed as a medium for children, and yet, \u201cGrave of the Fireflies\u201d (adapted from Akiyuki Nosaka\u2019s 1967 novel) represents the artform\u2019s unique potential to tackle subjects too grim for most audiences to handle via live-action \u2014 a lesson later applied to films such as \u201cWaltz With Bashir\u201d and \u201cFunan.\u201d Here, Takahata presents audiences with the Japanese side of a devastating war, observing the wrenching toll this conflict takes on two children, 14-year-old Seita and his 4-year-old sister Setsuke, who are orphaned during the U.S. fire-bombing of Kobe. (These harrowing scenes were informed by air raids that Takahata himself survived. Fifteen years later, Miyazaki would draw from his own childhood memories for \u201cThe Wind Rises.\u201d) Homeless and starving through impossible circumstances, Seita struggles to protect and distract his sister from the horrors that surround them. Though the ending is tragic, it\u2019s the sparse moments of joy that stick with you.\n","alt":"Grave of the Fireflies Best of Studio Ghibli","image_credit":"Courtesy of Studio Ghibli\/Everett Collection","url":"https:\/\/variety.com\/lists\/best-studio-ghibli-movies\/","image_id":1234878464,"image":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Grave-of-the-Fireflies-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","sizes":"pmc-gallery-s":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Grave-of-the-Fireflies-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=320","width":320,"height":180,"pmc-gallery-m":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Grave-of-the-Fireflies-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=640","width":640,"height":360,"pmc-gallery-l":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Grave-of-the-Fireflies-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=800","width":800,"height":450,"pmc-gallery-xl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Grave-of-the-Fireflies-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":562,"pmc-gallery-xxl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Grave-of-the-Fireflies-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":562,"fullWidth":1000,"fullHeight":562,"mime_type":"image","ad":"","appleSongID":null,"enableAppleGA":false,"additionalDescription":null,"subtitleColor":null,"additionalSubtitle":null,"additionalSubtitleColor":null,"ads":[],"ID":1234878695,"position":2,"positionDisplay":3,"date":"2021-01-05 03:08:13","modified":"2021-01-05 05:41:26","title":"3. Spirited Away (2001)","subtitle":null,"slug":"spirited-away","caption":"","description":"Miyazaki\u2019s Oscar-winning marvel was the first Ghibli film to gross more than $10 million in the U.S. and is therefore the one that established most Americans\u2019 idea of the Japanese toon studio. Given the sheer ambition and scope of the film \u2014 a Japanese spin on such Western classics as \u201cAlice and Wonderland\u201d and \u201cPeter Pan,\u201d in which 10-year-old Chiro crosses the river to an enchanted bathhouse from which, if she\u2019s not careful, she may never be able to return \u2014 it\u2019s no wonder that those who started with \u201cSpirited Away\u201d have trouble working backwards through the Ghibli catalog. The film represents the apotheosis of Miyazaki\u2019s imagination, full of iconic visuals and larger-than-life characters, unfolding according to the filmmaker\u2019s dream-like logic. This is something to watch for in all of Miyazaki\u2019s films, as his plots don\u2019t follow \u201ctraditional\u201d narratives, but instead flow from scene to scene in such a way that one can never quite predict whatever surprises lie around the corner. A boy might transform into a dragon, pursued through the sky by paper Shikigami, or a stink spirit could come in for a bath, disgorging all the debris humans have thrown into the river. And so we watch with eyes wide as the anime artist leads us on this marvelous ride.\n","alt":"Spirited Away Best of Studio Ghibli","image_credit":"Courtesy of Studio Ghibli\/Everett Collection","url":"https:\/\/variety.com\/lists\/best-studio-ghibli-movies\/","image_id":1234878472,"image":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Spirited-Away-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","sizes":"pmc-gallery-s":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Spirited-Away-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=320","width":320,"height":180,"pmc-gallery-m":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Spirited-Away-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=640","width":640,"height":360,"pmc-gallery-l":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Spirited-Away-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=800","width":800,"height":450,"pmc-gallery-xl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Spirited-Away-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"pmc-gallery-xxl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Spirited-Away-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"fullWidth":1000,"fullHeight":563,"mime_type":"image","ad":"","appleSongID":null,"enableAppleGA":false,"additionalDescription":null,"subtitleColor":null,"additionalSubtitle":null,"additionalSubtitleColor":null,"ads":"html":"\t\n\t\t\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\t\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tblogherads.adq.push(function () \n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tblogherads\n\t\t\t\t\t.defineSlot( 'medrec', 'gpt-dsk-tab-list-inbodyx-uid1' )\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setTargeting( 'pos', [\"in-bodyX\",\"mid\",\"in-listX\"] )\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setSubAdUnitPath(\"list\\\/inbodyX\")\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.addSize([[300,250]])\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setLazyLoadMultiplier(2)\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t;\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t);\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\t\n","data":["divId":"gpt-dsk-tab-list-inbodyx-uid1","displayType":"medrec","targeting":["key":"pos","value":"in-bodyX","key":"pos","value":"mid","key":"pos","value":"in-listX"],"lazyLoad":"yes","lazyLoadMultiplier":2,"zone":"list\/inbodyX","sizes":[[300,250]]],"ID":1234878696,"position":3,"positionDisplay":4,"date":"2021-01-05 03:09:26","modified":"2021-01-05 05:42:06","title":"4. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)","subtitle":null,"slug":"kikis-delivery-service","caption":"","description":"Years before J.K. Rowling started writing her Harry Potter novels, Japanese author Eiko Kadono published her story of an apprentice witch, who uses her flying ability to find work in the big city. After Totoro, Miyazaki\u2019s next most recognizable character is almost certainly Jiji, the wide-eyed black kitten who accompanies the 13-year-old trainee to Koriko, where she attracts the attention of an aeronautics-obsessed teen boy, Tombo. Miyazaki may have seen a younger version of himself in Tombo, considering his own lifelong interest in aviation \u2014 a theme which features prominently in all of his films, with their floating cities and flying contraptions. A sweet tale of young friendship centered around a precocious female protagonist (another recurring theme in Miyazaki\u2019s oeuvre), \u201cKiki\u2019s Delivery Service\u201d presents its young heroine with a very gentle challenge: Far from home and somewhat uncertain of her abilities, Kiki discovers that her powers seem to be fading, just one of the movie\u2019s clever metaphors for growing up. Once again, simplicity serves Miyazaki best as he invites audiences to identify with a girl who can soar through the skies on her rickety broom. (It would take live-action movies more than a decade to catch up with this very simple special effect.)\n","alt":"Kikis Delivery Service Best of Studio Ghibli","image_credit":"Courtesy of Studio Ghibli\/Everett Collection","url":"https:\/\/variety.com\/lists\/best-studio-ghibli-movies\/","image_id":1234878466,"image":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","sizes":"pmc-gallery-s":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=320","width":320,"height":180,"pmc-gallery-m":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=640","width":640,"height":360,"pmc-gallery-l":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=800","width":800,"height":450,"pmc-gallery-xl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"pmc-gallery-xxl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"fullWidth":1000,"fullHeight":563,"mime_type":"image","ad":"","appleSongID":null,"enableAppleGA":false,"additionalDescription":null,"subtitleColor":null,"additionalSubtitle":null,"additionalSubtitleColor":null,"ads":[],"ID":1234878699,"position":4,"positionDisplay":5,"date":"2021-01-05 03:34:17","modified":"2021-01-05 05:41:39","title":"5. Pom Poko (1994)","subtitle":null,"slug":"pom-poko","caption":"","description":"Both Miyazaki and Takahata shared a strong moral connection to the environment, which can be felt in nearly all of their films. In \u201cPrincess Mononoke\u201d (by far the most violent of Miyazaki\u2019s films, and ultimately too heavy to make this list), the tension between man and nature reaches near-apocalyptic proportions. The same eco-conscious message is far easier to take in the form of Takahata\u2019s earlier film, about a colony of tanuki (wild raccoon dogs) living in the woods outside Tokyo who are threatened by suburban expansion. At first, the creatures start to fight among themselves, which makes for some hilariously cartoony battle sequences, before wizening up and turning their frustration on the encroaching human developers. Depicting the problem from the animals\u2019 point of view, the film plays like Japan\u2019s answer to \u201cWatership Down,\u201d or else Don Bluth\u2019s \u201cThe Secret of NIMH.\u201d It should be noted that in Japanese culture, cartoony-looking tanuki statues are quite common, standing upright with swollen bellies and scrotums exposed, and that\u2019s just how Takahata depicts them for much of the film \u2014 although in some scenes, they return to animal form, a switcheroo gambit that recalls the way Calvin\u2019s stuffed tiger transforms into the real thing in classic \u201cCalvin and Hobbes\u201d comics.\n","alt":"Pom Poko Best of Studio Ghibli","image_credit":"Courtesy of Studio Ghibli\/Everett Collection","url":"https:\/\/variety.com\/lists\/best-studio-ghibli-movies\/","image_id":1234878469,"image":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Pom-Poko-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","sizes":"pmc-gallery-s":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Pom-Poko-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=320","width":320,"height":180,"pmc-gallery-m":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Pom-Poko-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=640","width":640,"height":360,"pmc-gallery-l":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Pom-Poko-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=800","width":800,"height":450,"pmc-gallery-xl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Pom-Poko-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"pmc-gallery-xxl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Pom-Poko-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"fullWidth":1000,"fullHeight":563,"mime_type":"image","ad":"","appleSongID":null,"enableAppleGA":false,"additionalDescription":null,"subtitleColor":null,"additionalSubtitle":null,"additionalSubtitleColor":null,"ads":"html":"\t\n\t\t\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\t\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tblogherads.adq.push(function () \n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tblogherads\n\t\t\t\t\t.defineSlot( 'medrec', 'gpt-dsk-tab-list-inbodyx-uid2' )\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setTargeting( 'pos', [\"in-bodyX\",\"mid\",\"in-listX\"] )\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setSubAdUnitPath(\"list\\\/inbodyX\")\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.addSize([[300,250]])\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t.setLazyLoadMultiplier(2)\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t;\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t);\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\t\n","data":["divId":"gpt-dsk-tab-list-inbodyx-uid2","displayType":"medrec","targeting":["key":"pos","value":"in-bodyX","key":"pos","value":"mid","key":"pos","value":"in-listX"],"lazyLoad":"yes","lazyLoadMultiplier":2,"zone":"list\/inbodyX","sizes":[[300,250]]],"ID":1234878703,"position":5,"positionDisplay":6,"date":"2021-01-05 05:38:10","modified":"2021-01-05 05:38:10","title":"6. Castle in the Sky (1986)","subtitle":null,"slug":"6-castle-in-the-sky-1986","caption":"","description":"On the heels of \u201cNausica\u00e4 of the Valley of the Wind\u201d \u2014 a hit 1984 manga adaptation whose success motivated the formation of Studio Ghibli \u2014 Miyazaki made this remarkably similar fantasy adventure which expands upon many of the earlier film\u2019s delights. For completists, it\u2019s worth circling back to \u201cNausica\u00e4\u201d (which is not technically a Ghibli production), though that film\u2019s science-fiction tone doesn\u2019t feel nearly as distinct from other anime features of the \u201980s, whereas this unmistably Miyazakian follow-up serves as a great introduction to the master\u2019s favorite motifs. High-flying battles between steampunk airships and a group of sky pirates (the leader of whom, Muska, looks an awful lot like the big-nosed witch in \u201cSpirited Away\u201d) forecast the Red Baron-like \u201cPorco Rosso,\u201d while the levitating city of Laputa is as breath-taking a location as the director ever imagined. Laputa, not unlike the Wakanda of \u201cBlack Panther,\u201d is a land that feels at once ancient and ultra-modern with its giant asymmetrical robots \u2014 dormant automatons designed to protect. The movie\u2019s heroine, Sheeta, has ties to this marvelous floating castle, and while the movie focuses a bit too much attention on all the greedy villains determined to plunder her mythical kingdom, it delivers that incredible sense of discovery that characterizes the best Ghibli outings.\n","alt":"Castle in the Sky Best of Studio Ghibli","image_credit":"Courtesy of Studio Ghibli\/Everett Collection","url":"https:\/\/variety.com\/lists\/best-studio-ghibli-movies\/","image_id":1234878463,"image":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Castle-in-the-Sky-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","sizes":"pmc-gallery-s":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Castle-in-the-Sky-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=320","width":320,"height":180,"pmc-gallery-m":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Castle-in-the-Sky-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=640","width":640,"height":360,"pmc-gallery-l":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Castle-in-the-Sky-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=800","width":800,"height":450,"pmc-gallery-xl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Castle-in-the-Sky-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"pmc-gallery-xxl":"src":"https:\/\/variety.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2021\/01\/Castle-in-the-Sky-Best-of-Studio-Ghibli.jpg?w=1000","width":1000,"height":563,"fullWidth":1000,"fullHeight":563,"mime_type":"image","ad":"","appleSongID":null,"enableAppleGA":false,"additionalDescription":null,"subtitleColor":null,"additionalSubtitle":null,"additionalSubtitleColor":null,"ads":[],"ID":1234878714,"position":6,"positionDisplay":7,"date":"2021-01-05 05:39:43","modified":"2021-01-05 05:44:45","title":"7. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)","subtitle":null,"slug":"the-tale-of-the-princess-kaguya","c


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