Ecological Storytelling: Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli
EHI Film Series, 2014-2015
In a May 2014 interview with The Telegraph, acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki suggested that his original motives for his work were because, “I yearned for an earnest and pure world…. I could no longer deny the fact that I wanted to make something life affirming.” Visionary mind behind 11 films over 35 years, Miyazaki’s animated films speak to the inner child among us all. In this film series, which features some of Miyazaki’s most loved and critically acclaimed works, we intend to unpack the ecological forces inherent to this artist’s work and legendary imagination (image source).
Please join us in the Fall 2014 quarter as we watch, enjoy, and discuss: My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Secret World of Arrietty.
In Spring 2015, we will feature: Spirited Away, Pom Poko, Tales from Earthsea, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Princess Mononoke.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei when they move into a new home in the countryside. To their delight, they discover that their new neighbor is Totoro, a mysterious forest spirit who can only be seen by children. Totoro introduces them to extradordinary characters — including a cat that doubles as a bus! — and takes them on an incredible journey (source).
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.
Director Miyazaki brings to life a heartwarming and imaginative telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid. A young boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo, and they embark on a fantastic journey of friendship and discovery before Ponyo’s father, a powerful sorcerer, forces her to return to her home in the sea. In her quest to become human and reunite with Sosuke, Ponyo stumbles upon and releases her father’s magical Water of Life and triggers a gigantic storm. Now balance must be restored to the world they all cherish. Ponyo will delight your family with its magnificent animation and timeless story.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2012)
Discover The Secret World Of Arrietty, a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage in a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live quietly among us. Though when tenacious and tiny Arrietty is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, their secret and forbidden friendship blossoms into an extraordinary adventure.
Spirited Away (2002)
A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself her family.
Pom Poko (1994)
The Raccoons of the Tama Hills are being forced from their homes by the rapid development of houses and shopping malls. As it becomes harder to find food and shelter, they decide to band together and fight back. The Raccoons practice and perfect the ancient art of transformation until they are even able to appear as humans in hilarious circumstances.
Tales from Earthsea (2010)
In the land of Earthsea, crops are dwindling, dragons have reappeared and humanity is giving way to chaos. Journey with Lord Archmage Sparrowhawk, a masterwizard, and Arren, a troubled young prince, on a tale of redemption and self-discovery as they search for the force behind the mysterious imbalance that threatens to destroy their world.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley Of The Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth.
Princess Mononoke (1999)
Inflicted with a deadly curse, a young warrior named Ashitaka sets out for the forests of the west in search of the cure that will save his life. Once there, he becomes inextricably entangled in a bitter battle that matches Lady Eboshi and a proud clan of humans against the forest’s animal gods, who are led by the brave Princess Mononoke, a young woman raised by wolves!
More Miyazaki to come!