Studio Ghibli Releases ‘When Marnie Was There’ U.S. Trailer


Late last year, Studio Ghibli released the long-awaited animated film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. And if you thought you had to wait long before the next Studio Ghibli film, we have some exciting news. It’s just a little over a month before the release of Studio Ghibli’s latest feature animation, When Marnie Was There. Best part of all? You can now watch the official US trailer.

Based on the novel When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson, the story of twelve-year-old Anna comes to life in this animated feature. The protagonist, Anna, believes she’s an outcast from the “invisible magic circle” where most people belong, and shuts herself from those around her. During one summer Anna is sent away from her foster home to a town by the sea in Hokkaido.

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Whilst playing among the marshes by the town, Anna finds herself strangely drawn to an enigmatic house along the edge. Inside the house, Anna finds Marnie, an energetic young girl who seems to appear from nowhere, and the two become inseparable. Anna quickly discovers there’s more to Marnie than what meets the eye.

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Many are anticipating Studio Ghibli’s plans following the release of When Marnie Was There. On top of Hayao Miyazaki’s recent retirement after releasing The Wind Rises, there’s speculation that this may be Studio Ghibli’s last film considering there are no other films in production. Say it isn’t so, Ghibli! We hope to see only more imaginative animation from the powerhouse studios.


When Marnie Was There hits U.S. theaters on May 22nd.

Artists Creates Blueprints of A Miyazaki Theme Park


If Hello Kitty can have her own amusement park, then it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a Hayao Miyazaki theme park, right?

With about 26 animations under his belt, Miyazaki has been countlessly recognized and praised for his animation style. Sure, there’s the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo which Miyazaki had a hand in designing, but why not continue to expand it?

Japanese artist TAKUMI (@takumitoxin) melded together the different worlds of Miyazaki’s films including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and others to create “Ghibli Land” (modeled after Tokyo’s Disneyland). Imagine how fun it would be to venture into Totoro’s treehouse, to step inside Howl’s magical castle, or even to watch the little kodamas’ heads tick and rattle right before your eyes.

As much as I hope that Ghibli Land will manifest and become a reality, my wishes will remain unanswered for now. But hey, a girl can dream.

Below you can see the map’s before and after designs:

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Here are close ups of the map’s details:MiyazakiMapLeftTop






All photos courtesy of TAKUMI.


Disney Artist Combines ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ With ‘Big Hero 6′


Big Hero 6‘s Baymax is easily one of the most beloved animated characters of 2014. What’s not to love about this personal healthcare provider? He’s big, huggable and has a warm heart (metaphorically speaking).

But as we list all these lovable traits, it’s a little hard not to think about another popular animated character. Sure he’s decades older, but Studio Ghibli’s Totoro certainly holds many of the same qualities found in Baymax.

Jin Kim, the Character Design Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios, certainly seemed to see the correlation as well. Kim, a South Korean-native who worked on the character designs for Big Hero 6, has made it clear on his personal blog that he is a Studio Ghibli fan. He took this one step further by combining Big Hero 6 with the famed animated film My Neighbor Totoro.

Kim originally posted this image back in November, but it has recently gone viral on twitter and has delighted the hearts of many.

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Here is the original, iconic bus stop scene from My Neighbor Totoro.

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen artists recreate this bus stop scene. Hayao Miyazaki’s work has been so inspiring, we’ve seen this moment re-imagined with everything from Pokemon characters to Marvel characters.


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Photo courtesy of


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Photo courtesy of Team Yellow

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Photo courtesy of Know Your Meme

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Top 5 Miyazaki Films For Those Who Have Only Seen ‘Spirited Away’


By now, you’ve probably heard of the legendary filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki and his award-winning animated film Spirited Away (2001)Some other Miyazaki fan-favorites that come to mind include My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving CastlePrincess Mononoke and Ponyo (If you haven’t seen these yet — go watch them! They’re classic Miyazaki and beautifully rendered).

But apart from these five, how many other Miyazaki films are well-known? With so many Miyazaki films, the average movie-watcher may not bother with films beyond the fan-favorites, but many of the lesser-known films are definitely worth your time. The more you get into Miyazaki’s world, the more curious it gets.

In honor of famous filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki receiving an honorary Oscar last November 8th at the Governors Awards ceremony, here are five of our favorite Miyazaki films that often fly under the radar.




1. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is Miyazaki’s second feature film, and its animation, especially in the 1980s, is impressive. In fact, this is the very film that led to the creation of Studio Ghibli. The film is set a thousand years after an almost-apocalyptic war forces mankind to live in a polluted forest filled with huge insects. Luckily, the princess of the Valley of the Wind recognizes the importance of preserving the forest and its environmental significance.



2. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is often known as the most popular with mainstream audiences, but it’s on this list because many core Miyazaki fans may not regard it as such. While there might be less drama, the basis of the film is its focus on character. The story is of Kiki developing a sense of independence and confidence though her delivery service (by broomstick) in a faraway city.



3. Castle in the Sky (1986)

Photo courtesy of

Castle in the Sky is an epic fantasy story with beautiful animation adornment. Not only was it Miyazaki’s third feature film, it was also one of the first to put Miyazaki on the map for being an excellent storyteller. The film is of an orphan girl who inherits a crystal that links her to Laputa, a legendary kingdom. During the adventure, she crosses paths with a brave young man, evil forces and ancient technology.



4. Porco Rosso (1992)

Often referred to as Miyazaki’s strangest movie, Porco Rosso is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Kiki’s Delivery Service. An Italian pilot/bounty hunter has a curse that gives him a pig’s head in place of a human head. As he navigates his life in the early 1930s, Miyazaki gives us plenty of gorgeous airplane and aerial shots.



5. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Photo courtesy of

Right to the beginning is Miyazaki’s first feature film Castle of Cagliostro. Lupin III is a criminal genius and sly thief who accidentally steals counterfeit bills from a casino. He traces the money to a small country, where he and his ninjas team search for a fortune and save a damsel. As Miyazaki’s first film, the animation techniques are a bit unrecognizable, but there’s something about all Miyazaki films (this one included) that capture a sense of wonder and adventure.

Official English Trailer for Studio Ghibli’s “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya”


It’s less than a month away until Studio Ghibli fans get what they’ve been waiting for for an entire year! The Tale of Princess Kaguya was released last year in Japan, but the much-anticipated English language version will not hit theaters until October 17th.

This new film from Studio Ghibli (the people that brought you Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service) is based on the classic Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. According to the folktale, a bamboo cutter discovers a small child in a stalk of bamboo. This baby eventually becomes the beautiful Princess Kaguya.


The English language version of the film has quite a star-studded cast. Directed by Isao Takahata, the film features the voice talents of Chloë Grace Moretz as the princess and James Caan as the Bamboo Cutter, as well as Filipino American actor Darren Criss, Chinese American actress Lucy Liu as Lady Sagami, Korean American actors Daniel Dae Kim and John Cho, and Japanese American actor Dean Cain.

The official English language trailer has finally been uploaded onto YouTube. Check it out for yourself and be sure to catch this film in theaters next month!




The Studio Ghibli Film You HAVE To See This Fall: “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya”




Hailed by Variety as “a visionary tour-de-force” after its international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the newest film from Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Grave of the Fireflies) is based on the classic Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

Eight years in the making, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya tells the untold story of Princess Kaguya, who was found inside a shining stalk of bamboo and raised by an old bamboo cutter and his wife. Kaguya grows into a beautiful woman and eventually ends up in the capital, surrounded by riches and pursued by five noble suitors. But the princess cannot escape her past and must eventually face her fate.


Directed by Isao Takahata, the film features the voice talents of Chloë Grace Moretz as the princess and James Caan as the Bamboo Cutter, as well as Filipino American actor Darren Criss, Chinese American actress Lucy Liu as Lady Sagami, Korean American actors Daniel Dae Kim and John Cho, and Japanese American actor Dean Cain.

Details In theaters October 17.

This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here.

Get This Anime Look: Fashion Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki Films

Story by Katherine Chou.


Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki OutfitKiki is a thirteen-year-old witch leaving home for the first time to seek her fortune in the port city of Koriko. Her signature black dress rivals Holly Golightly’s, though Kiki’s is far from little. Sporting long sleeves and a generous cut, it billows behind her in the air. Add a belt for a figure-hugging silhouette.

The outfit makes good use of red accents that pop against the black backdrop of the dress. With the help of a floppy red bow and dainty ballet flats, standard bag lady uniform is transformed into the look of an ambitious and independent young witch.

As us ordinary folk can’t exactly walk around followed constantly by a cat (though there are those lucky few), hint at Jiji, Kiki’s black cat and best friend, with a cat-shaped ring. Throw some nautical earrings into the mix as a nod to Kiki’s fondness for Koriko.

As for the broom, well that’s up to you. I hear the Firebolt is quite good.


Howl’s Moving Castle

Sophie OutfitSophie is a quiet and unassuming hatter. When she is turned into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste, she stows away aboard the moving castle of the enigmatic wizard, Howl, in order to remove her curse.

While Sophie may not be the most stylish among the heroines here, it is her cleverness and strength that saves Howl from his fate, bringing peace to their land and restoring her youth. Furthermore, she’s done what eludes most women, rocking the same outfit in both her youth and old age.

Start with a cornflower blue dress detailed with ruffles or neatly-lined buttons. A relaxed denim dress also does the trick. A pair of solid brown boots anchors the outfit, saying to the world, “My dress might border on frumpy, but I can still kick ass.” Which, now that I think of it, is essentially a theme of the film.

An orange gemstone is reminiscent of Calcifer, the flame that powers the castle and that only Sophie can tame. Bird silhouette earrings evoke the dark secret at the heart of Sophie’s story.

In the movie, Sophie wears both a red hair bow and a straw hat. If you find the combination a bit overwhelming in real life, you can tie a braid together with a red bow or top it all off with a straw hat in the style of your choice. A boater sets you apart from the fedora-loving masses. Okay, any hat stands out these days, even if it was mass-produced in a factory and not by Sophie’s loving hand.

This is America – even a hat of humblest beginnings can come to be part of an extraordinary outfit. Dream big, guys.


Howl Outfit

Metrosexual is a good adjective for Howl, a wizard caught in the midst of an epic war, but his life does depend on keeping up appearances as he evades the draft with the help of his moving castle and a series of false identities.

Howl’s wardrobe staples are slim black pants and a relaxed white blouse, upon which he vainly piles layers of jewelry. Evidently he has never taken Coco Chanel’s advice. His jewelry is an eclectic mix of pretty trinkets and meaningful pieces like the ruby ring connecting him to Calcifer. Purists can find jewelry that match his piece for piece. You can also put together a unique collection of personal pieces and those that just bring out your inner magpie.

This is a perfect transitional look for fall. Howl’s patchwork pink and blue jacket is difficult to find in the wild, so substitute with a peacoat in similar shades. As the days get chillier, a frayed black scarf adds another layer of warmth while referencing Howl’s fowl alter ego. In warmer weather, a feathered hairpiece does the same trick. Keep shoes simple with black ankle boots.

This outfit also works for Halloween, if you’re eyeing trick-or-treating as a kaleidoscope.


Spirited Away

Chihiro OutfitChihiro is a ten-year-old girl who moves into a new neighborhood and finds herself in a surreal world of spirits and monsters, including the witch, Yubaba, who turns her parents into pigs. Although all the neon in her look may be daunting, consider it an upgrade from your outfits when you were ten.

A relaxed ombre lime top gives a nod to the ombre trend and Chihiro’s colorblock green t-shirt. Fight the heat with some heat of your own in the form of hot pink shorts. Tie your hair into a high ponytail and wind a dragon bracelet around your wrist in honor of Haku, the river spirit that befriends Chihiro.

Finally, slip on a pair of yellow sneakers so you’re prepared in case you need to race against time to save your parents from being pigs. For some especially angry thirteen-year-olds, that’s every day.


Princess Mononoke

San OutfitMononoke being a Japanese term for a spirit or monster, the heroine of this film is actually a girl named San who fights on the side of the forest and its supernatural guardians against rampant resource consumption by humans in the Iron Town.

In the sweltering summer heat, ditch the fur cape and hat for a cool, streamlined look. San layers a white tank over a black slip dress. You can do the same, or find a colorblock black and white top to pair with a black skater skirt.

To evoke the necklace of teeth that keeps San’s cape around her shoulders, add a shark tooth necklace. Grab one of the beachy hemp ones you inevitably collected in middle school or go classy with gold. Any necklace with a triangular pendant will do, really.

A pair of white pendant earrings brings attention to your face. The gold trim on this pair works with the gold of the necklace to pull the outfit together. Add a smear of lipstick as red as San’s face paint as the finishing touch.

It’s a minimalistic approach to Princess Mononoke, with the elements of her look pared down to the very basics, but her fierce strength still shines through. And whether you spend your days in a tree to prevent it from being chopped down or just own a recycling bin, I’m sure you’ll agree that minimalism keeps resource consumption low, which is totally in line with San’s passion for the forest.

Although if you’re currently residing in a tree, this might not be the most practical thing to wear.

My Neighbor Totoro

Mei OutfitSatsuki and Mei are sisters who move into an old house with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. While Satsuki attends school, Mei’s curiosity leads to the discovery of Totoro, a big friendly creature living in the giant tree just behind their new home.

Mei does all her adventuring in a casual pink sleeveless dress, which she layers with a white blouse. For an updated look, replace the puff sleeves with long ones. Mei is a girl who ascribes to function before form, and she’s all set with bright yellow accents that contrast with the pink and white of her ensemble. While traipsing around the village on Totoro-related missions, Mei keeps her feet comfortable in yellow mary janes. Her yellow satchel frees up her arms pick up the mysterious acorns she finds and holds them for safekeeping.

A few pieces of jewelry reference Mei’s first meeting with Totoro: acorn earrings like the ones she finds in a trail leading to Totoro’s hiding place, and a leaf-shaped necklace that could have been plucked off Totoro’s massive tree itself. Finally, sweep black nail polish onto your fingertips and see if you can convince anyone that you were catching soot spirits like the ones running rampant in Satsuki and Mei’s new house.


Of course, these are only a selection of Ghibli characters (or anime characters, for that matter). So tell us, what are some of your two-dimensional style icons?

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Voicing a Studio Ghibli Character

In honor of the upcoming U.S. release of Japanese-based Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises, here’s an interview with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who voices the main protagonist, Jiro Horikoshi, in the English-dubbed version.

Hayao Miyazaki’s reportedly last film as Studio Ghibli director (he recently withdrew this statement and has since come out of retirement) is a fictionalized biography focusing on the life of Horikoshi, a budding airplane designer whose life is changed by historical events like the Kanto earthquake of 1923 and the Great Depression.

Gordon-Levitt discusses his love for Miyazaki films and his ability to relate to his character.


Most Awesome Birthday Present Ever: Dad Gifts Daughter with Ghibli/Disney/Pixar-inspired Mural

For most parents, figuring out what to give their child as a birthday gift is always a tough call.  Toys are a usual go-to, but what if you want to be a little bit more creative?  One dad has seemed to have found the answer by managing to deliver what could possibly be the most impressive, if not the most incredible, birthday present for his young daughter.

A Reddit user, who goes by the name kordath, recently posted photos of a mural he painted for his 2-year old’s playroom, a surprise gift that was completed while his wife and daughter were away for a few weeks.

Done entirely in basic acrylic paints, the original piece depicts beloved characters from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo all happily swimming together underwater over a bed of coral, with the sun’s rays breaking through the water’s surface (challenge: see how many characters you can name!).  The precision and detail that can be seen in the final product is astounding and would amaze anyone, child and adult.

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(Source: 1, 2)

See It Here: New Image, Film Teaser for Live-Action Version of “Kiki’s Delivery Service”

Though Hayao Miyazaki may be heading into retirement, the Japanese animator’s films, which include much-beloved titles such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, have clearly made their way into the hearts of millions (including our own!).

To the delight of many, a still coming from the set of the live-action version (see below) of Kiki’s Delivery Service was released earlier this year, and since then, fans have been waiting anxiously for more information about this new take of the Studio Ghibli favorite.

Kikis Delivery Service live-action first look

Much to our delight, a new image as well as a teaser has been released for the Takashi Shimizu-directed flick.


The just-released film poster shows Kiki, played by actress (and former figure skater) Fūka Koshiba, smiling widely as  her black cat and best friend, Jiji, is in tow.  With smudges of dirt on her face, Koshiba already seems to embody the character’s precocious, yet lovable personality.  (We just have one qualm with the look though: while we think Koshiba looks absolutely adorable, we have to ask — where’s Kiki’s big red bow?!)

In this quick teaser, we’re placed in the shoes of the young witch-turned-mail courier as she zips through the skies.

One commenter on The Mary Sue translates the teaser:

Leaving on a journey from one’s [her?] hometown
Living in a strange town
Meeting people for the first time
New experiences
“Hope” and “Uncertainty” leaping/rising in one’s heart
A girl’s [or “girls’ “] story


That famous work is finally made into a live-action movie


Witch Delivery Service [majo no takkyûbin]


Hi, [nice to meet you], I’m Kiki!


You/we can meet her!


Cute, no?  But unfortunately, American audiences may have to wait to see the movie.  Because while the film is slated for release in Japan next March, no US release dates have been announced.