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Studio Ghibli | The success story of the Japanese Animation Studio.



Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli Inc. is a Japanese animation film studio. The headquarters is based out of Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. The first non-English film to win the Oscar for an animated film.


Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki the founders of Studio Ghibli met in the 1960s when they were working for the Japanese animation studio Tôei Dôga. They worked in Tôei Dôga for more than a decade, when they thought of starting their own animation studio. Takahata, Miyazaki, and Suzuki founded Studio Ghibli, a small production studio in Tokyo. The name ‘Ghibli’ refers to the Italian word ‘Hot Sahara Wind’. The name also refers to Miyazaki’s love for Italy and planes. He was inspired by the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli, used during the Second world war.

The first film was Nausicaa of the Valley of the wind, based on the same name Manga published by Miyazaki. Their film it was a success and prompted the small team to begin their next production. Their next work was Laputa: Castle in the sky. Initially, Studio Ghibli did not care about commercial success at first, they only wanted to use art and tell poetic stories. 

Way Towards Success

Miyazaki, Takahata and Suzuki the founders of Studio Ghibli

My Neighbor Totoro is arguably Ghibli’s most widely recognized film. The studio’s first real success was Kiki’s Delivery Service in 1989. Porco Rosso topped Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Japanese box office. In 2003 ‘Spirited Away’ won the Oscar for the best-animated film, it was the first non-English film to win it. The first film to gross $200,000,000 before opening in the U.S. Spirited Away became the highest-grossing film ever released in Japan.

In 1988, Ghibli released Grave of the Fireflies. One of the studio’s most profoundly beautiful works was based on Akiyuki Nosaka’s heartbreaking short story of two children struggling to survive during World War II. The film was a moderate success at the Japanese box office. However, ‘Grave of the fireflies’ later received critical acclaim. Studio Ghibli produced a total of 15 highest-grossing anime films in Japan. 

Awards and Achievements

Many of Studio Ghibli’s works have won the Animage Grand Prix award, which includes films like, ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’, ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’, ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and many more. Films like ‘Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea’, and ‘Up in the Poppy Hill’ have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Five of their films have received Academy Award nominations. Spirited Away won the 2002 Golden Bear in the Berlin film festival and the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Streaming Rights

In  2019, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max announced it had signed an exclusive contract streaming rights to Studio Ghibli’s catalogue in the United States as part of a deal with GKIDS.

In 2020, it announced that Netflix acquired exclusive streaming rights to stream in regions except for the United State. Seven of the twenty-one films in the studio’s catalogue were released in 2020. Netflix signed a separate deal with GKIDS for streaming rights in Canada in June 2020. Currently, no streaming rights deals have been announced for Studio Ghibli’s home country of Japan, nor for markets such as China where neither Netflix nor HBO Max is available.

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