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    Why Animation Feels Universal

    There’s something special about the pure feeling that animated films give their viewers. There’s a certain depth of emotion that comes from these moments, and it’s the kind of depth that translates well to both critics and general audiences. Just look at the opening of Up, where we meet Carl as a young man, and […] More

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    Sketchy Episode 173 – ‘My Neighbor Totoro’

    We finish our double feature with the 1988 Studio Ghibli film “My Neighbor Totoro” by Hayao Miyazaki, the fun contrast to last week’s film “Grave of the Fireflies.” The recognizable “Totoro” serves as Studio Ghibli’s mascot, akin to Mickey Mouse and Disney. So, even if you’ve never seen the film, you’ve likely seen this character […] More

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    Hayao Miyazaki’s films reimagined as woodblock prints

    The Japanese master of whimsical animation, Hayao Miyazaki, is one of animation’s most admired and successful directors. At the age of 72, he announced his retirement, but his films continue to inspire cinephiles and artists world-wide. Now, the films of Miyazaki are spotlighted in this amazing series of prints inspired by Japanese woodblock artist Kawase […] More

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    Hayao Miyazaki confirms retirement, closing of Studio Ghibli

    Back in August we speculated on whether Studio Ghibli, the legendary animation studio behind films like Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbor Totoro, might be closing its doors due to financial difficulties. Now in an interview with the LA Times, the studio’s most vaulted director Hayao Miyazaki has announced that Ghibli is […] More

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    Witchcraft Wednesdays: The Salving Calm of ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’

    In a month full of horror and malevolent covens and blood-curdling scares, I offer now the soothing respite of Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful and serene Kiki’s Delivery Service. Possibly Miyazaki’s most under-appreciated film, it is surely his most modest, which I mean as a compliment. It is the epitome of Miyazaki’s quiet filmmaking, letting the soft emotion and warm aesthetics of the animation do most of the talking. The fact that Kiki is a witch is rather beside the point, because this is a coming-of-age story for a young girl committed to helping others but forgetting about herself. More

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    Watch an 8-bit tribute to legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki

    With a filmography that includes movies such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, animated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has made his mark in the film community, leading to laments at the news of his upcoming retirement. As one of the few filmmakers whose signature style involves hand-drawn animation, Miyazaki’s films have led to a number of […] More

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    Week in Review: Is Studio Ghibli closing?

    Could the magic that has come from films like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies be coming to an end? Thompson on Hollywood is reporting that Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli may be closing its doors because the cost of making hand-drawn animated films with the attention to detail they include might […] More

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    Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 133: ‘The Wind Rises’

    This is what’s called serendipitous timing, folks. If you’re downloading this episode the day it drops on iTunes, then we’re just one day away from the Academy Awards, and the film we’re talking about on the new episode of Mousterpiece Cinema may very well walk away with an Oscar this year. No, we’re not going […] More

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    The Definitive Original Screenplays: 40-31

    As we continue to move forward through the list, let us consider: how do you define an original screenplay? In theory, everything is based on something. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is basically a modern A Streetcar Named Desire. But, somehow, Jasmine is classified as an original screenplay. When a film is wholly original, nothing like it […] More

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    Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 130: ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’

    As we quickly approach the American release of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, The Wind Rises, it’s time once more for Mousterpiece Cinema to wade into the past of Studio Ghibli. This week, Gabe and Josh focus their sights on Howl’s Moving Castle, with two special guests: Simon Howell of The Televerse and Andrew Daar of This Was […] More

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