You cannot bring up Studio Ghibli as a geek and not smile. They have brought us so many amazing animated classics. So many in fact, any fan of animation can tell you it is quite hard to pick a favorite (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and so many more). But like any good animation studio, Studio Ghibli has had some good years, and some not-so-good years. ToplessRoboy has a deep exploration of that right now, pointing out some very interesting things we may not have known:
Castle in the Sky – a cult classic – was the first official Studio Ghibli project, but Miyazaki, Takahata and Suzuki’s ambition did not truly hit the scene until their second and third efforts hit theaters in 1988 with the duel release of Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbor Totoro.
While not massive financial hits for the fledgling studio, the one-two punch represented by the tonally disparate Grave and Totoro – directed by Takahata and Miyazaki, respectively – stood as a marker of things to come. While Takahata took on the heartbreaking tragedy of war, Miyazaki introduced children and families to one of the enduring characters in Japanese pop culture, one that has even seeped into Western works such as the Toy Story franchise.
So really, 1988 was the year people realized, these guys and ladies do not make animated movies. These people make magic.
[image via ToplessRobot]