The world-renowned Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, is currently re-showing a select lineup of films in theaters for their annual Ghibli Fest. The studio, founded in 1985 by director-animators Hayao Miyazaki and Takahata Isao, is recognizable for its vibrant animation style and dreamlike artistry that feels like a painting come to life. Few production studios are as consistent in quality as Studio Ghibli, which maintains a loyal fan base through their creative stories that feature thoughtful and multidimensional commentary. While in Western culture animation rarely appears beyond children’s entertainment, especially in film, do not let false assumptions about animation dissuade you. Ghibli films captivate children and adults alike.
The films shown during Ghibli Fest have been admired for years, however, this event gives both fans and newcomers the opportunity to experience the serene landscapes, enchanting moments of magic, and nail-biting action sequences on the immersive big screen. Although five films have been re-released since the 2022 lineup began in April, two more have yet to be screened. Howl’s Moving Castle (September 25-28) and Spirited Away (October 30, November 1-2) are among the studio’s most widely regarded projects but also inhabit their own imaginative fantasy worlds, making the animation particularly extraordinary. Local showings are available on the Ghibli Fest website. The screening dates alternate between the original Japanese (with subtitles) and English dubs, giving audiences the option to attend the films in their preferred language. While many recommend viewing with subtitles for a more authentic experience, Studio Ghibli dubs are notably well-done—Miyazaki himself supports the dubbed version of his films as a worthwhile alternative. Regardless of how you choose to watch, Ghibli Fest is a celebration of childlike wonder and is an unforgettable welcome to Studio Ghibli, the Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.
Sydney is a sophomore in the SFS studying Culture and Politics. She is the INDY’s Suggest Editor.