Hayao Miyazaki has the genius mind behind the insanely talented animated films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. Those are only just a few of the marvelous creations, but strap in as we are ready to explore many more!
Kiki’s Delivery Service
I’ve been a Studio Ghibli fan for as long as I can remember but for some strange, unknown reason I had never watched Kiki’s Delivery Service up until last year. I remember the viewing experience clearly as I had just found my favourite Ghibli film out of them all. I was in my usual film watching spot (my bed) with my usual film watching snacks (pop tarts, the Oreo ones to be precise). I pressed play around 1 AM as I hadn’t been able to sleep much that week. I don’t know about you, but when I watch a film in complete darkness, it enhances my viewing massively and is my favourite way to watch new films now.
I took a lot away from my first viewing, mainly I aspire to have the same aspirations and values as Kiki. The way she treats people with such kindness and how effortlessly selfless she becomes made me want to be her best friend instantly. I wanted to know how she could be so like-able to every person she meets and I truly wish there were more people like her character in this world. But not just more Kiki’s, I want more Gigi’s as well. Gigi is Kiki’s humorous sidekick but otherwise known as her cat. Kiki became the role model I never knew I needed, which leads me to my favourite quote of Hayao Miyazaki:
“Many of my movies have strong female leads – brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe in with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a saviour. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.”Hayao Miyazaki
My first memory of this Academy Award winning film is very vague and blurry, but I would like to give a shout-out to my brother who introduced me to this magical masterpiece. I knew I didn’t quite understand the full meaning and concept of this film when I was first watching it because I was too young to understand. A few years later after a re-watch, boy did I catch all the feels I missed!
I am constantly blown away by the originality of the characters and set designs and I view this as a practically perfect film. I feel sucked into the bath house whenever I re-watch and that’s mainly because I am someone who views set designs such as houses and hotels as their own character that plays one of the main roles in a film. The plot is so thick and leaves you with many unsolved questions but those things are almost too hard to focus on when the cinematography is THAT good. I am the type of person to notice small delicate details involving animation and the cinematography. I remember always being captivated by Haku transfiguring into a Dragon and the way he would climb onto walls. The animation made it so lifelike even though we are supposed to be in a magical world.
Chihiro and Haku have an emotional and magical, but real relationship that has captured the hearts of many Studio Ghibli lovers. Not to sound too cheesy, but Chihiro was a character I also needed to take notes from to use in my daily life such as being more open with my emotions and learning to cope without my parents surrounding me all the time. Even though it’s known that Miyazaki wanted this film to be targeted towards a younger demographic, this film’s audience has a variety of ages.
Whisper Of The Heart
Ever had that moment where every time you go to your local library to check out books, you see the same boy’s name who is checking them out also? Well that was the mystery that Shizuku Tsukishima was determined to find out. However when discovering who the signature on the books belonged to, she ended up finding him extremely irritating – can’t say I relate much. However like almost every romantic story, they end up growing closer and she later discovers he only read all them books to get to know more about Shizuku. Romantic right?
I feel as if Whisper of The Heart isn’t as appreciated as it should be in this day and age. It opens with a rendition of one of the most popular country songs, ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads‘, which won me over straight away. Shizuku ends up writing her first book about a statue of a cat she found alone in an antiques shop – this was a way of testing her writing abilities in which she lacked confidence in. Again, the concept of this story is original but also a very comfortable film to be able to watch as the plot isn’t too deep that you need to re-watch about four times just to be able to understand it.
I could honestly ramble on about my admiration and love for the Studio Ghibli universe, but I wouldn’t want to bore you all and keep you from doing the job you were meant to be focused on at this moment in time. If this hasn’t made you want to take a day off and treat yourself to a Studio Ghibli marathon then I haven’t done my job correctly.