Studio Ghibli, Inc is a Japanese animation and film studio founded in June 1985. The company's logo features the character Totoro (a large forest spirit) from Hayao Miyazaki's film My Neighbor Totoro. It has its headquarters in Koganei, Tokyo.
Many anime features created by Studio Ghibli have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award including: Castle in the Sky in 1986; My Neighbor Totoro in 1988; and Kiki's Delivery Service in 1989. In 2002, Spirited Away won a Golden Bear and an Oscar for Best Animated Feature which remains the only film made outside the English-speaking world to have done so.
History in the Making
Founded in June 1985, the studio is headed by the directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and the producer Toshio Suzuki. Prior to the formation of the studio, Miyazaki and Takahata had already had long careers in Japanese film and television animation and had worked together on Hols: Prince of the Sun and Panda! Go, Panda!; and Suzuki was an editor at Tokuma Shoten's Animage manga magazine.
The studio was founded after the success of the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, written and directed by Miyazaki for Topcraft and distributed by Tōei. The origins of the film lie in the first two volumes of a serialized manga written by Miyazaki for publication in Animage as a way of generating interest in an anime version.Suzuki was part of the production team on the film and founded Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki, who also invited Takahata to join the new studio.
The studio has mainly produced films by Miyazaki, with the second most prolific director being Takahata (most notably with Grave of the Fireflies). Other directors who have worked with Studio Ghibli include Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita and Gorō Miyazaki. Composer Joe Hisaishi has provided the soundtrack for all of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films.
Many of Ghibli's works are distributed in Japan by Toho. Internationally, the Walt Disney Company has rights to all of Ghibli's output that did not have previous international distribution, including the global, non-Japan distribution rights to Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.As of September 7, they currently share North American theatrical rights with GKids while domestic right remain with Disney.
Over the years, there has been a close relationship between Studio Ghibli and the magazine Animage, which regularly runs exclusive articles on the studio and its members in a section titled "Ghibli Notes." Artwork from Ghibli's films and other works are frequently featured on the cover of the magazine. Between 1999 and 2005 Studio Ghibli was a subsidiary of Tokuma Shoten, the publisher of Animage.
In October 2001, the Ghibli Museum opened in Tokyo. It contains exhibits based on Studio Ghibli films and shows animations, including a number of short Studio Ghibli films not available elsewhere.
The company is known for its strict "no-edits" policy in licensing their films abroad. This was a result of the dubbing of Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind when the film was released in the United States as Warriors of the Wind. The film was heavily edited and Americanized, with significant portions cut and the plot rewritten. The "no cuts" policy was highlighted when Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein suggested editing Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable. In response, a Studio Ghibli producer sent an authentic katana with a simple message: "No cuts".
On February 1, 2008, Toshio Suzuki stepped down from the position of Studio Ghibli president, which he had held since 2005, and Koji Hoshino (former president of Walt Disney Japan) took over. Suzuki said he wanted to improve films with his own hands as a producer, rather than demanding this from his employees. Suzuki decided to hand over the presidency to Hoshino because Hoshino has helped Studio Ghibli to sell its videos since 1996, also helping to release the Princess Mononoke film in the United States. Suzuki still serves on the company's board of directors.
Currently, Takahata and Goro Miyazaki (director of Tales from Earthsea and Hayao's son) are developing projects for release after Hiromasa Yonebayashi's The Borrower Arrietty. Goro Miyazaki's next film will be From Up on Poppy Hill while Takahata is working on an adaptation of the tale of Princess Kaguya or the bamboo cutter, Taketori Monogatari.
Never before has a Studio Ghibli short been shown outside Japan, but for the Carnegie Hall Citywise Japan NYC Festival, "House Hunting" and "Mon Mon the Water Spider" were screened on March 26, 2011.