Studio Ghibli progress report:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Laputa: Castle in the Sky Grave of the Fireflies My Neighbour Totoro Kiki’s Delivery Service Only Yesterday
- Porco Rosso
- Pom Poko
- Whisper of the Heart
- My Neighbours the Yamadas
Spirited Away The Cat Returns Howl’s Moving Castle Tales from Earthsea Ponyo Arriety
- From Up on Poppy Hill
Tales from Earthsea and Ocean Waves were underwhelming; Earthsea’s story wasn’t my cup of tea, and the animations seemed less polished than I’ve come to expect from Studio Ghibli, and Ocean Waves just didn’t have a great story. I don’t know, it reminded me somewhat of Norwegian Wood, minus the characters and setting that made the book (and film adaptation compelling.
Only Yesterday was the surprise delight out of the ones I’ve watched lately, and would certainly be one of my favourite Ghibli films if I had to order them. The mixture of the art styles was fantastic, the story mature, and having a middle-aged woman as the main character was a breath of fresh air. Isao Takahata is a fantastic director, and I find myself more interested in the prospect of his upcoming film than for Miyazaki’s.
Nausicaä was fantastically animated, and generally a joy to watch. While not technically a Ghibli film, it exhibited everything I love from the studio’s films. The story is a bit preachy, and the music a bit out of place sometimes, but overall it was a fantastic film.
Oh, and they pronounce Nausicaä incorrectly.