Studio Ghibli is one of the only foreign animation studios to reach relative mainstream success in North America and Europe. Chances are you might have already seen one of Studio Ghibli's films or have at least heard of them, even if you did not realize it, thanks to Disney's brilliant marketing. A few of the studio's most recognizable works include Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl's Moving Castle, although their work spans more than 20 feature films.
Pixar producer and director, John Lasseter, often cites Studio Ghibli founder, Hayao Miyazaki, as an inspiration for his work, and he has worked personally with Miyazaki as the director of Disney's English dubs of Ghibli films. There is even a Totoro plushie in Toy Story 3.
In short, regardless of your opinion of Japanese animation, if you consider yourself a film fan, especially of animation, you need to at least watch the studio's most critically acclaimed works. Fans of Pixar, Disney, or family films should also check out the studio's work.
My inspiration for this Studio Ghibli retrospective comes a request from reader, Matthew Birkhofer, who requested "You should make a list of the best Pixar & Studio Ghibli movies, in one list to see where movies add up!" during the "Ask Me Anything" post, which I will answer soon. Since ranking Studio Ghibli and Pixar would result in the bottom half being mostly Pixar and the top half mostly Ghibli, it felt redundant. So, instead, I plan to review every single Studio Ghibli film over the course of this year, including the early work of Hayao Miyazaki before he started Studio Ghibli. The retrospective begins tomorrow with a review of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. Please give me some feedback on your opinion this idea in the comment, and whether or not you are interesting.
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