Tags: Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli

Article: The Summer’s Best-Kept Secret: From Up on Poppy Hill

Co-written by Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyzaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki (Tales From Earthsea), From Up on Poppy Hill is a gently naturalistic departure from the high-flying fantasy for which the studio is best known.   Read more >

Post: New Ghibli Blu-rays! My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle

This week, one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most beloved and accomplished features, along with one of his less successful efforts, debut on Blu-ray.   Read more >

Post: From Up on Poppy Hill [Video]

Studio Ghibli takes a break from high-flying fantasy in this naturalistic, nostalgic coming-of-age story.   Read more >

Review: Whisper of the Heart (1995)

A | **** | +2| Kids & Up

(Reviewed by Sarah E. Greydanus) Even at their most stunningly far-fetched, Ghibli films also have a history of celebrating the details of everyday life: cooking, cleaning, planting, studying, mending, become important and precious functions, worthy of devoted attention … Whisper of the Heart may represent the studio’s simplest gesture of this honoring of everyday life.   Read more >

Article: The Secret World of Studio Ghibli

It’s still one of the better-kept secrets of family entertainment that the most imaginatively daring and influential animation house in the world isn’t Pixar, but Japan’s Studio Ghibli, best known for co-founder and animation virtuoso Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is revered in animation circles, but Ghibli films haven’t yet become the phenomenon in the States that they are in Japan and around the globe.   Read more >

Post: The Secret World of Arrietty [Video]

The Secret World of Arrietty in 60 seconds: My “Reel Faith” video review.   Read more >

Post: Are the Borrowers thieves?!

Reader response to the lovely family film The Secret World of Arrietty, I’m delighted to say, has been almost entirely positive. However, I did receive one negative email from a reader who not only didn’t enjoy the film, but considered it downright immoral. Why? Because the Borrowers, tiny people who live in secret in big people’s homes, survive by “borrowing” (i.e., taking) the things they need from the big people.   Read more >

Review: The Secret World of Arrietty (2012)

A- | ***½ | +2| Kids & Up

The Secret World of Arrietty just might change the way you look at the world around you — right around you. A wide-eyed sense of discovery and revelation permeates the film, and what it reveals is … the mystery and wonder of an ordinary home.   Read more >

Review: Tales From Earthsea (2006)

B- | **½ | +2-2| Teens & Up

Does Tales From Earthsea, the latest Studio Ghibli release brought to North American theaters by Disney, have the Miyazaki touch? Well, yes and no.   Read more >

Review: Porco Rosso (1992)

B+ | *** | +1| Teens & Up

Seaplanes combine Miyazaki’s twin gravity-defying loves of water and sky, flying and floating, as well as his affinity for vintage technology — and the movie’s haphazard, kitchen-sink style suggests that the director just wanted to kick back and have fun with this one. There are aerial dogfights, star-crossed romance, gorgeous scenery, a hat tip Fleischer-style vintage animation, a rip-roaring escape sequence set in Milan, a nightclub where enemies sit at adjacent tables like Rick’s in Casablanca and the proprietress sings torch songs, and a showdown between the titular hero and an American antagonist that plays like the ultimate Humphrey Bogart / Errol Flynn smackdown that never was.   Read more >

Review: Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

A- | ***½ | +1| Kids & Up

From the Leonardo-like engineering illustrations of the opening credit sequence to the hauntingly surreal final image on the edge of space, Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa, or Castle in the Sky as it’s been dubbed for English-speaking audiences, displays the filmmaker’s visionary brilliance as a shaper of worlds as compellingly as any film he has made.   Read more >

Post: Miyazaki Week at Decent Films!

Marking this week’s DVD release of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo — as well as new special editions of three of Miyazaki’s most family-friendly films, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky), I’ve posted a new article on “The Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki,” written for this month’s issue of Catholic World Report.   Read more >

Article: The Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki

Miyazaki’s whole body of work (less one or two sub-par exceptions) offers unduplicated vistas of imaginative wonder and beauty, images of startling power, admirable and likable heroines and heroes, humanely conceived supporting characters, elusively engaging storytelling, wholesome moral themes, and unexpected sly humor. He is the sort of artist whose work doesn’t just entertain audiences, but wins enthusiasts. For those who haven’t yet discovered him, Miyazaki is a taste well worth acquiring.   Read more >

Review: Ponyo (2008)

B+ | *** | +1| Kids & Up

Although Ponyo seems as disjointed and free-floating as Howl’s Moving Castle, somehow the younger milieu here makes it more acceptable. Or maybe it’s just that there’s more here to latch onto emotionally.   Read more >

Review: My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

A- | **** | +2-1| Kids & Up*

How can I describe the inexplicable power of My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki’s timeless, ageless family film? It is like how childhood memories feel, if you had a happy childhood — wide-eyed and blissful, matter-of-factly magical and entrancingly prosaic, a world with discovery lurking around every corner and an inexhaustible universe in one’s backyard.   Read more >

Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

A | **** | +2| Kids & Up

A loosely structured coming-of-age story, Kiki’s Delivery Service features one of Miyazaki’s most personable protagonists, a delightful cast of supporting characters, and a rambling, episodic storyline full of charming incident and irresistible imagery.   Read more >

Review: Spirited Away (2001)

A- | **** | -2| Teens & Up*

Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is a work of pagan imagination. So are the works of Homer and Sophocles. In all these works there is much for Christian audiences to take exception with as Christians, but also much to marvel at as audiences.   Read more >

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