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Studio Ghibli ("jiblee")[1] was founded in the 1980s by celebrated Japanese Anime directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata in the wake of Miyazaki's overwhelming success with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Studio Ghibli is known for its incredibly rich and detailed animation, exacting attention to detail, and imaginative plots (frequently involving flying scenes, a personal favourite of Miyazaki's).

Ghibli was recently rated as the top brand in Japan, and is a household name even among non-Otaku. New Ghibli films are consistently the top grossers for the year in Japanese theaters, and recent releases such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke have gained a mainstream following in North America (in part thanks to a distribution deal with Disney). The studio tends to focus on films rather than television series, but it is frequently the "gateway drug" for new Anime fans. Ghibli is also like Disney in that Ghibli maintains their animation staff as full-time employees instead of the typical Japanese practice of employing freelance artists paid on a piecework basis.

Miyazaki has said that he chose the name of a World War II Italian fighter for his studio based on his love of aviation and Italy (vis. Porco Rosso). Unfortunately the wrong characters were chosen to represent "Ghibli" in Japanese based on a mispronunciation (the word is actually pronounced "ghee-blee" in Italian) but Miyazaki didn't discover this until after he'd already named the studio. He has since pronounced himself satisfied with the "jiblee" pronunciation even though it's technically wrong.

Several Maserati automobiles and at least one modern fighter plane have also been named Ghibli, which means "hot wind off the desert". This is actually a Libyan word—the Italian equivalent is "Scirocco"—and it refers to a particular wind that sweeps across the Sahara.

Trope namer for Ghibli Hills. Has absolutely nothing to do with the jibblies.

To date, Studio Ghibli has produced the following movies:

They have also worked on the following Anime as a support studio through their C unit (Hayao Miyazaki runs the A unit and Isao Takahata runs the B unit, their C unit is random) (as many Asian studios have):

A game produced cooperatively by Studio Ghibli and Level 5 was released in 2010. Its name is Ni no Kuni. Before that, they provided the character designs and artwork for the PS2 monster battler Magic Pengel.

Has its own museum that shows exclusive short films. The short that evolved into Ponyo was first shown here.

Also distributes Western animated films in Japan such as the works of Michel Ocelot, Sylvan Chomet, and Aardman under the Ghibli Museum Library label.

In recent years there has been some concern on the part of Studio Ghibli management over their ongoing lack of a new generation of directors capable of taking over for founding directors Miyazaki and Takahata. Yoshifumi Kondo died prematurely shortly after directing Whisper of the Heart and Goro Miyazaki's directorial debut Tales of Earthsea was not considered a success.

Miyazaki appears to have chosen Borrowers director Yonebayashi as his successor. According to interviews with Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli would be shut down if Borrowers did not do well enough at the box office to allow Ghibli to secure financial backing for another film. Since Borrowers did relatively well (over 80 percent of Ponyo's receipts) a shutdown does not appear to be imminent.

Projects currently in development:

  • The Legend of the Bamboo Cutter by Isao Takahata.
  • The Red Turtle by Dudok de Wit, a co-production with Why Not Productions and Wild Bunch.
  • Unnamed project by Hayao Miyazaki, rumoured to be an adaptation of an autobiography.
  • Unnamed project by Goro Miyazaki, rumoured to include samurai.

For anyone interested in perusing Ghibli's archives, Jesu Otaku (of That Guy With The Glasses) is currently doing a full retrospective of all the Miyazaki/Ghibli films.


  1. sort-of named after the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli fighter
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