Ghibli Collection of Memories!


Michelle Li ‘20

Studio Ghibli. A Japanese animation film studio that helps create many emotional memories for people of many ages. This studio is famously known for its gifted creations such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and many more. Not only is this studio famous for it’s brilliant films produced by Hayao Miyazaki, but also it is known for its phenomenal music composed by Joe Hisaishi.


Japanese animation director, Hayao Miazaki, has illuminated the filming world with his exceptional imagery and emotional narratives. Miyazaki has written and directed a total of 11 films in his career and is one of the most notably well known directors of Studio Ghibli. He rose to fame after his animated film Spirited Away (2001), which gained the studio and Miyazaki great media attention. Spirited Away is a narrative about a young girl, Chihiro Ogino, who enters into the world of Kami (spirits) of Japanese Shinto folklore. Throughout the whole film-making process, Miyazaki did not have a script and decided to write, direct, and draw the storyboards all by himself throughout the entire film. This film was a success in Japan’s box office and even made its way to the United States awarded as “Best Feature Animation” in the 75th Academy Awards. Not only has Miyazaki captured the minds and hearts of many viewers around the world internationally through his stories, but also he has even motivated several animators and directors in Hollywood. Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki has touched the world with its brilliant artistic style and the emotional-bearing narratives that have become masterpieces in the field of animation. 


Along with its talented filming and artistic animations, Studio Ghibli is also well known for its heart wrenching and beautiful music. Composer of many Studio Ghibli films, Joe Hisaishi, is arguable the most acclaimed Japanese composer who ever worked in the animated film industry. Joe Hisaishi and Hayao Miyazaki’s relationship in the filming industry started in 1983, when Hisaishi was recommended by a friend to create a soundtrack for the 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Not long after Miyazaki establish Studio Ghibli, they soon would work together on each one of Miyazaki’s long list of influential and brilliant animations. Hisaishi has written the music for four of the top 11 overall all-time successful animated films in Japan (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, and Ponyo). His music compositions ring and transcend across many generations and fill the hearts of many people around the world. These music scores bring comfort and beloved memories to viewers who have watched these films throughout their childhood.  


For many people in our school, there are many that agree that Studio Ghibli has played a significant role in their childhood and present lives. Karen Fung ‘20 expresses that in her childhood “Ghibli was one of the first 2D animation films I ever watched. Spirited away was a film that was so creative in its design and had beautiful art” and further highlights how “Joe Hisashi was excellent at composing pieces that effectively enhanced the scene, or soundtracks that conveyed emotion incredibly well.” The art and music of these films have allowed some of our students to flourish their creative interests such as art and writing. For instance, Hannah Zhang ‘22 notes that as an imaginative person she has “gained a lot from the beautiful art style” and uses it to “bring out her own writing by using the imagery of these films she learned when she was little.” This fantastic world of imagination and creativity from these childhood films has influenced the minds of many students at our school and continue to influence their lives in the future.