Studio Ghibli is famous for their incredible works in the world of animation. The legendary studio has a few cool tidbits you might not know about.
Studio Ghibli is responsible for some of the greatest animated movies ever made from some of the most renowned directors in the medium, including Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Their influence is felt far and wide, with several animation houses paying tribute to them throughout the years.
Almost as interesting as the plethora of films to come out of the studio, including world-renowned classics like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Grave of the Fireflies, are some of the things that went on and are currently happening behind the scenes. To prove our point, the following ten entries showcase lesser-known interesting facts about Studio Ghibli. Maybe some don’t want to know these for fear of taking away the films’ magic, but if anything these tidbits will only deepen one’s appreciation for the master artists and storytellers in the Japanese studio.
Troma Distributed My Neighbor Totoro
Given their penchant for raunchy horror-comedies filled with bad taste, it is surprising to learn Troma was the first distributor of My Neighbor Totoro in the United States. The original English dub was made for airline flights to Japan, and the company known for cult classics like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ‘Em High released it to US theaters in 1993. A new dub was recorded in 2004 when Disney bought the rights and redistributed it, and this version has since become the standard for subsequent releases.
Why Hayao Miyazaki Boycotted The Oscars
When Spirited Away was nominated for the Academy Award for best animated film, Miyazaki refused to attend the ceremonies because of the country’s involvement in the Iraq War. It wasn’t just a one-time thing, either. The legendary filmmaker didn’t set foot in the United States until 2009 when he went to the San Diego Comic-Con at the behest of his friend John Lasseter. The boycott isn’t too surprising when analyzing the pacifistic ideals from his films.
The Story Behind The Name
The term Ghibli is an Italian word for a summer wind coming from the Sahara, affecting several countries in North Africa and Southern European countries. There was also a World War II aircraft from the same country which garnered the same nickname. Its name indicated the studio’s ambitions to be a force within the animation industry. Judging by their catalog of respected works, it is safe to say they accomplished their goal.
No Cuts Policy
When bringing their films to foreign markets, the studio has a strict policy against cuts and re-edits. This includes the translations needing to be as close to the original words and ideas as possible.
This came to a head when Miramax distributed Princess Mononoke and the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein insisted on making cuts to the movie. In response, he was sent a katana with the message “no cuts.” Talk about getting a point across.
Why Miyazaki Is Coming Out Of Retirement
The Wind Rises was announced as Miyazaki’s final feature film. It seems like you cannot keep a good artist down, however, and the almost eighty-year-old director is currently working on another film titled How do You Live? which is intended as a gift to his grandson. The movie has been in the works since 2016, though less than a quarter of it is said to be completed at this point. His increased age has slowed his pace of work down significantly, where he gets about one minute of animation done a month versus the ten minutes he used to accomplish.
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