Blog Archives

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

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Howl’s Moving Castle is as charming, as astonishingly detailed, as wonderful and magical as anything Miyazaki has ever offered to date. More fairytale than mythology, the story is based on the work of Diana Wynne Jones, a British fantasy novelist of long and popular standing. Sophie Hatter has a quiet and perfectly satisfying life taking after her name as a hat-maker, that is until the she meets both handsome magician and wicked Witch of the Waste in the same day … (read more)

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Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

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You know, reviewing all these Studio Ghibli films is beginning to take its toll. My thesaurus is shredded trying to find new superlatives and let’s face it, if I say, perfectly realised characters one more time the Reviewers Guild is going take away my keyboard, fez and ceremonial dagger.

In Kiki’s Delivery Service Myazaki explores a character’s need to define themself and establish their independence in the world. His heroine Kiki, bursting with verve and enthusiasm, moves to a large … (read more)

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Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

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Miyazaki’s follow up to Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a distinct change of pace. Perhaps as a reaction to Nausicaa’s overly dense plot and general grimness, Miyazaki creates a film that lets its elements breathe.

Laputa can almost be viewed as the base clay of Miyazaki’s career: it features a surprising number of themes and elements that recur throughout his work. The danger inherent in the abuse of technology is at the core of Nausicaa. … (read more)

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Princess Mononoke (1997)

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Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime) is not a film to watch. It is a film to feel. It is one of those rare films that is as much an experience as it is entertainment and it appeals on a level that goes deeper than thought or analysis, to a place inhabited by the most enduring of truths. This is the same place that all truly good stories come from, the place where mythologies take on the aspect of reality – Jung’s … (read more)

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