Studio Ghibli: The Complete Works Review
Who hasn’t heard of Studio Ghibli? Whether you’re an anime fan or not, Studio Ghibli is a household name these days, thanks to movies such as Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away.
Studio Ghibli The Complete Works is a summary of every movie published by the production studio in preparation for its first 3DCG movie release, Earwig and the Witch in 2020. While we all know that Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) is a Studio Ghibli movie, did you know that the actual studio was founded only after the success of the movie? Established in 1985, its founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata have become some of the most well-known movie producers to this day. Their movies are liked by children and adults alike. But their relationship well precedes Studio Ghibli as the two worked together on a number of anime TV series, like Heidi (1974), based on the novel by Swiss author Johanna Spyri, and Conan, The Boy in the Future (1978).
This book is almost an archive of the studio’s history. There are character details and relationship diagrams, plot synopses and even newspaper extracts and posters from all around the world for each movie. And if that wasn’t enough, there are also behind-the-scenes and trivia questions with fun anecdotes on where names in the movies come from or what was the inspiration behind something.
As a fan of Studio Ghibli, I had never realised how many movies they released, and I have to admit that I still have a few left to watch. Each movie has the beloved art that we have come to love, and it seems like there is always a moral lesson in each story.
Earwig and the Witch is the first movie produced by Studio Ghibli that is completely 3DCG (3D computer graphics). Produced by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, it was released in Japan in 2020, and it’s based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones who also wrote the novel Howl’s Moving Castle.
Earwig is a 10-year-old girl who has been raised in a children’s home. But things aren’t as bad as you might think. She has an easy life, bossing the people around her and doing what she wants. Adoption doesn’t even come close to her mind. Why would she get adopted and risk not getting her own way anymore?
Well, things change for Earwig when the witch Bella Yaga and her partner, the Mandrake, adopt her. Now, she’s not at the top as she was in the children’s home, but she’s at the bottom of the bottom. Bella Yaga treats her as a slave, and this is something that Earwig is not used to. It’s time for Earwig to fight back and find out more about her new family.
Earwig and the Witch is currently available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime and the DVD was released in 2021.
I loved Studio Ghibli The Complete Works. It’s the perfect coffee table book for an anime aficionado. It has so much information about the movies that you can absorb, and I definitely enjoyed seeing how the movies’ poster art changes from country to country. The only downside for me is that as it covers all of the movies released by the studio, a lot of information had to be cut out, otherwise the book would have turned into a massive encyclopaedia. But when I read this type of book, I like to see the character art, so that’s why I felt like something was missing.
The book has been published in the English language by Kodansha in 2022 under the editorial supervision of Studio Ghibli.