Studio Ghibli Inc. is a Japanese animation film studio headquartered in Koganei, Tokyo. The studio is best known for its animated feature films, and has also produced several short films, television commercials, and one television film. It was founded on 15 June 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki, after the success of Topcraft's anime film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Studio Ghibli has also collaborated with video game studios on the visual development of several video games.
Six of Studio Ghibli's films are among the 10 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, with Spirited Away being the second highest, grossing over US$360 million worldwide. Many of their works have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, and four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Five of Studio Ghibli's films have received Academy Award nominations. Spirited Away won the Golden Bear in 2002 and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Totoro, a character from My Neighbor Totoro, is the studio's mascot.
On 3 August 2014, Studio Ghibli temporarily halted production following the retirement of Miyazaki. In February 2017, Toshio Suzuki announced that Miyazaki had come out of retirement again to direct a new feature film, How Do You Live?, with Studio Ghibli.
NameThe name was given by Hayao Miyazaki from the Italian noun :wikt:ghibli|ghibli, based on the Libyan-Arabic name for the hot desert wind of that country, the idea being the studio would "blow a new wind through the anime industry". It also refers to an Italian aircraft, the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli. Although the Italian word is more accurately transliterated as ギブリ, the Japanese name of the studio is ジブリ.
HistoryFounded on June 15, 1985, the studio was headed by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and 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 The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun in 1968 and the Panda! Go, Panda! films in 1972 and 1973, and in 1978, Suzuki became an editor at Tokuma Shoten's Animage manga magazine, where the first film he chose was Horus. A year after his phone call with Takahata and his first encounter with Miyazaki, both about Horus, he made a phone call about the first film Miyazaki ever directed: The Castle of Cagliostro.
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 Toei Company. 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. Other directors who have worked with Studio Ghibli include Yoshifumi Kondō, Hiroyuki Morita, Gorō Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Composer Joe Hisaishi has provided the soundtracks for most of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films. In their book Anime Classics Zettai!, Brian Camp and Julie Davis made note of Michiyo Yasuda as "a mainstay of Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary design and production team". At one time the studio was based in Kichijōji, Musashino, Tokyo.
In August 1996, The Walt Disney Company and Tokuma Shoten formed a partnership in which Buena Vista Pictures would be the sole international distributor for Tokuma Shoten's Studio Ghibli animated films. Since then, all three aforementioned films by Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli that were previously dubbed by Streamline Pictures have been re-dubbed by Disney. On June 1, 1997, Tokuma Shoten Publishing consolidated its media operations by merging Studio Ghibli, Tokuma Shoten Intermedia software and Tokuma International under one location.
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. Saeko Himuro's novel Umi ga Kikoeru was serialised in the magazine and subsequently adapted into Ocean Waves, Studio Ghibli's only animated feature-length film created for television and it was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki.
In October 2001, the Ghibli Museum opened in Mitaka, Tokyo. It contains exhibits based on Studio Ghibli films and shows animations, including a number of short Studio Ghibli films not available elsewhere.
The studio is also known for its strict "no-edits" policy in licensing their films abroad due to Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind being heavily edited for the film's release in the United States as Warriors of the Wind. The "no cuts" policy was highlighted when Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein suggested editing Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable. A Studio Ghibli producer is rumoured to have sent an authentic Japanese sword with a simple message: "No cuts".
Between 1999 and 2005, Studio Ghibli was a subsidiary brand of Tokuma Shoten; however, that partnership ended in April 2005, when Studio Ghibli was spun off from Tokuma Shoten and was re-established as an independent company with relocated headquarters.
On February 1, 2008, Toshio Suzuki stepped down from the position of Studio Ghibli president, which he had held since 2005, and Koji Hoshino 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 and has also aided the release of the Princess Mononoke film in the United States. Suzuki still serves on the company's board of directors.
Two Studio Ghibli short films created for the Ghibli Museum were shown at the Carnegie Hall Citywise Japan NYC Festival: "House Hunting" and "Mon Mon the Water Spider" were screened on March 26, 2011.
Takahata developed a project for release after Gorō Miyazaki's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – an adaptation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. The last film Hayao Miyazaki directed before retiring from feature films was The Wind Rises which is about the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and its founder.
On Sunday, September 1, 2013, Hayao Miyazaki held a press conference in Venice to confirm his retirement, saying: "I know I've said I would retire many times in the past. Many of you must think, 'Once again.' But this time I am quite serious."
On January 31, 2014, it was announced that Gorō Miyazaki will direct his first anime television series, Sanzoku no Musume Rōnya, an adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's Ronia the Robber's Daughter for NHK. The series is computer-animated, produced by Polygon Pictures, and co-produced by Studio Ghibli.
In March 2014, Toshio Suzuki retired as producer and assumed the new position of general manager. Yoshiaki Nishimura replaced Suzuki in the producer role.
On August 3, 2014, Toshio Suzuki announced that Studio Ghibli would take a "brief pause" to re-evaluate and restructure in the wake of Miyazaki's retirement. He stated some concerns about where the company would go in the future. This led to speculation that Studio Ghibli will never produce another feature film again. On November 7, 2014, Miyazaki stated, "That was not my intention, though. All I did was announce that I would be retiring and not making any more features." Lead producer Yoshiaki Nishimura among several other staffers from Ghibli, such as director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, left to found Studio Ponoc in April 2015, working on the film Mary and the Witch's Flower.
The 2016 animated fantasy film The Red Turtle, directed and co-written by Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit in his feature film debut, was a co-production between Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch.
In February 2017, Toshio Suzuki announced that Hayao Miyazaki has come out of retirement to direct a new feature film with Studio Ghibli.
On November 28, 2017, Koji Hoshino stepped down as president; he was replaced by Kiyofumi Nakajima. Hoshino was then appointed as Chairman of Studio Ghibli.
In May 2020, Toshio Suzuki confirmed that a new film from Gorō Miyazaki is in development at Studio Ghibli. On June 3, 2020, Studio Ghibli announced that the film would be an adaptation of the novel Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones. The film was announced as the first full 3D CG animated Ghibli film and slated for a television premiere on NHK in late 2020.
Theatrical and home media rights
JapanIn Japan, the company's films are distributed by Toho theatrically, and by Walt Disney Studios Japan on home media along with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, The Castle of Cagliostro and Mary and the Witch's Flower. Before the Disney deal, Tokuma Shoten released Ghibli movies themselves through their "Animage Video" imprint, as well as all Laserdisc releases of the movies, as the Disney deal didn't include that format.
North AmericaManson International and Showmen, Inc. produced a 95-minute English-dubbed adaptation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, titled Warriors of the Wind, which was released theatrically in the United States by New World Pictures on 13 June 1985, followed by a VHS release in December 1985. In the late 1980s, Vestron Video would re-release the film and First Independent Video would re-release it again in 1993, with another minute cut from the film. The voice actors and actresses were not credited and were not even informed of the film's plotline, and the film was heavily edited to market it as a children's action-adventure film, although the film received a PG rating just like Disney's later English dub. Consequently, part of the film's narrative meaning was lost: some of the environmentalist themes were diluted as was the main subplot of the Ohmu, altered to turn them into aggressive enemies. Most of the characters' names were changed, including the titular character who became Princess Zandra. The United States poster and VHS cover featured a cadre of male characters who are not in the film, riding the resurrected God Warrior—including a still-living Warrior shown briefly in a flashback. Approximately 22 minutes of scenes were cut for the film's North American release. Dissatisfied with Warriors of the Wind, Miyazaki eventually adopted a strict "no-edits" clause for further foreign releases of the company's films. Warriors of the Wind also prompted Miyazaki to allow translator Toren Smith of Studio Proteus to create an official, faithful translation of the Nausicaä manga for Viz Media.
In the late 1980s, an English dubbed version of Castle in the Sky was produced by Magnum Video Tape and Dubbing for international Japan Airlines flights at the request of Tokuma Shoten. The Castle dub was briefly screened in the United States by Streamline Pictures. Carl Macek, the head of Streamline, was disappointed with this dub, deeming it "adequate, but clumsy". Following this, Tokuma allowed Streamline to dub their future acquisitions My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. In April 1993, Troma Films, under their 50th St. Films banner, distributed the Totoro dub as a theatrical release, and the dub was later released onto VHS and eventually onto DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. In the early 1990s, an English dubbed version of Porco Rosso was produced by an unknown company, again for international Japan Airlines flights. The original dubs can be seen on the 1996 Ghibli ga Ippai Laserdisc set, and on the initial Japanese DVD releases of Totoro, Laputa, and Porco.
In 1996, Walt Disney Studios acquired worldwide distribution rights to the Studio Ghibli library, with Disney redubbing all prior films. In addition, Walt Disney Studios Japan agreed to contribute 10% of the funding for all future releases, starting with My Neighbors the Yamadas, in exchange for right of first refusal regarding international distribution. Disney continues with this practice to this day, even extending it to the works of Studio Ponoc and to co-productions like The Red Turtle in Japan. It was said to have taken four years for Disney and Studio Ghibli to reach a distribution deal. Originally, the Ghibli films were meant to headline a line of videos called Animation Celebration, highlighting critically acclaimed animated films from around the world. These plans never materialized in full, but the Animation Celebration logo can be seen on Disney's original VHS release of Kiki's Delivery Service. During Disney's tenure, the studio produced the English dubs and released 15 of Ghibli's films, plus Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind through the Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Home Video, Miramax and Touchstone Pictures banners.
In 2011, GKIDS acquired the North American theatrical distribution rights of the aforementioned Ghibli films, with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment retaining the home video rights. Afterwards, in 2013, GKIDS acquired the US and Canadian distribution rights to From Up on Poppy Hill. The film, which Disney passed on to GKIDS due to dealing with potential incest, marked the first time since 1996 that Disney handed a Studio Ghibli film off to another distributor. Afterwards, GKIDS would go on to distribute the films Disney found to be too mature or unmarketable for American audiences: Only Yesterday, Ocean Waves, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and When Marnie Was There. Finally, in July 2017, Disney relinquished its home video rights to GKIDS, which currently handles all theatrical and home media distribution of Ghibli films in North America along with Mary and the Witch's Flower. Nonetheless, Disney still continued to handle select distribution in Japan, France and Taiwan.
GKIDS' home media releases have been handled by multiple distributors. Cinedigm distributed the home media release of Poppy Hill, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment distributed the home media releases of Kaguya, Marnie, Mary, Yesterday & Waves and Shout! Factory has distributed all subsequent releases thus far. The Studio Ghibli films owned by GKIDS were made available for digital purchases on most major services in the United States and Canada on December 17, 2019 through Shout! Factory.
InternationallyOutside Japan and North America since 2003, Wild Bunch has held international sales rights to Ghibli's film library. The company sells distribution rights to separate distributors across the world, including StudioCanal UK, The Walt Disney Company, Universum Film and Madman Entertainment. Notably, The Secret World of Arrietty received a second dub exclusive to the United Kingdom, produced by StudioCanal, likely due to the film's origins being from Mary Norton's British novel The Borrowers.
Disney formerly held the international sales rights as well until Wild Bunch's purchase in 2003.
Streaming rightsPrior to 2019, Studio Ghibli opted not to make its films available digitally, feeling that physical media and theatrical events like GKIDS' Studio Ghibli Fest would work more towards their goal of mindful care and curation for their films. The studio heads changed their minds after hearing a quote from American actor and director Woody Allen about how there should be multiple outlets for feature films.
On October 17, 2019, WarnerMedia's HBO Max announced it had acquired exclusive streaming rights to Studio Ghibli's catalogue in the United States as part of a deal with GKIDS; these films were available when the service launched in May 2020. On January 20, 2020, it was announced that Netflix acquired the exclusive streaming rights to this catalogue in all regions except for the United States, Canada and Japan, as part of a deal with Ghibli's international sales rights partner Wild Bunch. Seven of twenty-one films in the studio's catalogue were released on February 1, 2020, with the others following on March 1 and April 1. Netflix then struck a separate deal with GKIDS for streaming rights in Canada which was announced on June 22, and comes into effect on June 25 for most films. Currently, no streaming rights deals have been announced to date for Studio Ghibli's home country of Japan.
''Grave of the Fireflies''Most of the above deals exclude Grave of the Fireflies; unlike most of the other films, which were published by Tokuma Shoten, Grave of the Fireflies was produced and is owned by Shinchosha, which also had published the short story it was based on, and as such, fell into different rights holdings.
Grave of the Fireflies was released in Japan on VHS by Buena Vista Home Entertainment under the Ghibli ga Ippai Collection on 7 August 1998. On 29 July 2005, a DVD release was distributed through Warner Home Video. Walt Disney Studios Japan released the complete collector's edition DVD on 6 August 2008. WDSJ released the film on Blu-ray twice on 18 July 2012: one as a single release, and one in a two-film set with My Neighbor Totoro.
It was released on VHS in North America by Central Park Media in a subtitled form on 2 June 1993. They later released the film with an English dub on VHS on September 1, 1998 and an all-Regions DVD on October 7 the same year. It was later released on a two-disc DVD set on October 8, 2002. It was released by Central Park Media one last time on December 7, 2004. Following the May 2009 bankruptcy and liquidation of Central Park Media, ADV Films acquired the rights and re-released it on DVD on 7 July 2009. Following the 1 September 2009 shutdown and re-branding of ADV, their successor, Sentai Filmworks, rescued the film and released a remastered DVD on 6 March 2012. A Blu-ray edition was released on 20 November 2012, featuring an all-new English dub produced by Seraphim Digital, along with a digital release that same year.
StudioCanal released a Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 1 July 2013. Madman Entertainment released the film in Australia and New Zealand.
WorksWhile not technically Studio Ghibli films, The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun, Panda! Go Panda!, The Castle of Cagliostro, Jarinko Chie, Gauche the Cellist, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, The Red Turtle, Mary and the Witch's Flower, and Modest Heroes are sometimes grouped together with the Studio Ghibli library due to their ties to the studio.
Horus and Cagliostro were the feature-length directorial debuts of Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki respectively, and were produced by Toei Animation and TMS Entertainment years before the founding of Studio Ghibli.
Nausicaä was directed by Miyazaki at Topcraft, a studio which Miyazaki, Takahata and Toshio Suzuki later purchased and renamed Studio Ghibli. As a result, the film has often been rereleased and marketed as a Studio Ghibli movie.
The Red Turtle was a collaborative effort by Studio Ghibli with Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit and was branded as a Studio Ghibli release internationally. It was distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in North and Latin America.
Mary and the Witch's Flower and Modest Heroes were produced by Studio Ponoc, a company founded by Studio Ghibli veterans Yoshiaki Nishimura and Hiromasa Yonebayashi following the 2014 restructuring of Ghibli.
For the purposes of the list below, only films fully produced and released by Studio Ghibli are listed. Other Studio Ghibli productions are listed here.