Having planted seeds in their back garden, sisters Satsuki and Mei awaken and spy ‘keeper of the forest’ Totoro dancing and prancing around the garden patch.
Joining in, the girls help the seeds first sprout, then grow, and finally rocket towards the sky as a giant tree. Totoro then takes them on a windswept tour of the surrounding countryside...
Porco Rosso (1992)
"Porco, what if I try kissing you?"
Rubbishing Fio’s attempts to cure his curse, porcine pilot Porco tells her a bedtime story to help her sleep.
As the ivories tinkle, he talks of planes that plummeted from the sky during an aerial assault, ablaze and doomed.
The last one flying, Porco finds himself high up in a field of clouds...
Spirited Away (2001)
What's Ghibli without its cute/creepy critters?
There are other, showier great moments in Miyazaki’s first big hit with Western audiences, but you can’t go wrong with these soot sprites.
Smart little buggers. When Chihiro recues one from death by coal and does its job for it, the other sprites catch on pretty sharpish, feigning misadventure to get out of work.
When it comes to dinner time, they go saucer-eyed over little multi-coloured star sweets.
Now where can we get one for a pet?
Princess Mononoke (1997)
“I’m going to show you how to kill a god”
Ghibli’s green-fingered precursor to
climaxes as Irontown leader Eboshi confronts the Forest Spirit and blows its head off.
The ensuing avant-garde imagery is half chilling, half stunning.
, in which San takes on the residents of Irontown, also packs quite a punch.
Tales From Earthsea (2006)
She's a firebreather...
Though much of Gorō Miyazaki’s (son of Hayao) adaptation is disappointing, it comes to a fittingly epic climax here, atop Lord Cob's castle. Seemingly killed by Cob, young Therru recovers and transforms into a dragon to conquer him.
Laputa: Castle In The Sky (1986)
Yep, back to
again. Ghibli opening credits are another delight, and the animated curtain drawn aside for
's beginning is a mini work of art in itself. Ethereal and eye-achingly gorgeous, it's only matched by the closing credits that follow.
Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)
“Rice balls. I made them for you”
The most devastating thing about this scene is that it’s based on something that really happened. Who says cartoons are for kids? When Seita returns with food for Setsuko, he finds her malnourished, hallucinating, and on the verge of death... The worst is yet to come.
Under the sea
Ghibli’s greatest asset is its supreme attention to even the tiniest of details, meaning its landscapes always swell with life and warmth.
Witness, then, the opening to
. Set beneath the shiny surface of the sea, we encounter the creatures that dwell in the ocean’s depths in a scene of breathless beauty... Check it out when it opens
this Friday, 12 February.
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