There is no better cure for what ails you than an afternoon spent in the safe, warm glow of a Studio Ghibli film. The godfather of Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation film studio based in Tokyo, Japan, is Hayao Miyazaki, a unique and masterful storyteller who brought the world such classics as My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away.
At the heart of most of Miyazaki’s fantastical stories is a deep respect for nature, a belief in the innate goodness of mankind and a plea for peace. To the horror of Ghibli fans everywhere Miyazaki recently retired leaving as his legacy 11 perfect tales of friendship, courage and magic. And it is to these tales we can turn whenever we need a moment’s respite from the hardships of the world.
Read on for 11 quotes from Studio Ghibli that will make your day.
The Beatles knew it and Miyazaki knows it, all you need is love. Taken from the first film officially created and produced by the Studio Ghibli team, Castle in the Sky, this quote comes from Sheeta, an orphaned farm-girl who turns out to be the rightful princess of Laputa.
A firm favourite of highbrow cinephiles and four year-old film fans alike, My Neighbour Totoro is arguably the most famous Studio Ghibli film ever. This quote is from Tatsuo Kusakabe, the father of Mei and Satsuki, the two girls who are lucky enough to meet Totoro.
Miyazaki rarely gives interviews but when he does he often highlights the importance of instilling courage in children and encouraging them to believe in themselves. This quote is taken from The Cat Returns, a super-bizarre tale of a girl who ends up being transported to the Kingdom of the Cats.
I don’t recall Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid expressing the same sentiment about Ariel’s inconvenient scales.
Taken from the most recent and my personal favourite Studio Ghibli film, The Wind Rises, a moving, biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, a passionate young man who dreamed of flying airplanes and created a ground-breaking Japanese World War II bomber.
Chihuro, the protagonist of Spirited Away, has a lot of remembering to do when she is transported to the spirit world where she will remain unless she can identify her parents in their new pig form, break her curse and return to the human world.
Good things can come in teeny, tiny packages. Inspired by The Borrowers, The Secret World of Arrietty teaches that you don’t need to be big to be bold.
Spoken like a true forest princess. The first film to be created by the founding members of Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke explores the struggle of the natural world in the face of encroaching urbanisation.
In Japanese, this title of this film translates literally as ‘if you listen closely’ and tells the tale of a young girl who falls in love with a violin-makers and is centred around a quest for creative fulfilment, talking cats and a magical antique shop, of course.
Only Merida, female protagonist of Disney’s Brave can even hope to match up to the fearlessness of Princess Mononoke.
It wouldn’t be right to end on anything but a quote from the big man himself. Miyazaki forever.