Castles in the Sky: The Return of Studio Ghibli

By popular demand, the return of the smash-hit retrospective!

JULY 4-6, 8, 10-14, 18-31

This major retrospective of the films of Studio Ghibli, the world-renowned anime studio founded in Tokyo in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki, was a positive sensation — in fact, our most popular large-scale series in years — when we first presented it in December. By popular demand, we’re pleased to bring it back for a return engagement during our 2013 summer season. And we’ve added two additional Ghibli features to the 14 we screened the first go-round.

Frequently referred to as the Disney of Japan, Studio Ghibli (pronounced “jib-lee” or “gee-buh-lee”) is known for startlingly original animated feature films that combine dazzling visual virtuosity, vivid characterizations, and epic storytelling. These include some of the most magical, most beloved animated movies ever made, including Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Ghibli’s warm, intelligent, poetic films, often full of great flights of fancy that borrow from fairytale, folklore, and science fiction, are always grounded in a deeply-felt humanism that embraces family and community and believes in essential human goodness (despite considerable evidence of human folly), and in a deep concern for the environment and our relationship with nature. They typically feature strong female protagonists. Ghibli films, it is also worth noting, are still primarily (and lovingly) crafted the traditional way, through the labour-intensive, hand-drawn, frame-by-frame technique of cel animation.

The program includes two rare titles — Only Yesterday and The Ocean Waves — never released in North America. It also features two films not included in The Cinematheque’s first presentation of the retrospective in December: popular Ponyo, a great favourite of children, and the recently-released From Up on Poppy Hill, the latest wonder from Studio Ghibli.

LANGUAGE FORMAT: All films, with the exception of Ponyo, will screen in their original Japanese-language versions with English subtitles. Ponyo will screen in its English-voiced version.

SCREENING FORMAT: All films, with the exception of The Ocean Waves, will be presented in recent 35mm prints struck for this touring retrospective.

The Cinematheque welcomes all ages to this family-friendly presentation of the films of Studio Ghibli. All films in the series are rated G or PG (with the exception of Princess Mononoke and The Ocean Waves, which are 14A - under 14 requires adult accompaniment). Membership required for those 18+.

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Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: The Cinematheque is grateful to Dave Jesteadt and GKIDS (New York) for assistance in making this presentation possible. Program notes by (or adapted from) GKIDS, except where otherwise noted.


Click for film notes + showtimes

Recent Showings

Miyazaki's debut is considered by many to be his masterwork. There are few films, animated or otherwise, of such sweeping scope and grandeur.
Miyazaki's first Studio Ghibli feature is this beautiful, exhilarating eco-fantasy adventure of a young boy and girl searching for a long-lost floating island in the sky.
RARE GHIBLI! Never released in North America, this tale of self-discovery may delve deeper into the real emotional experiences of women than any animated film before or since.
Miyazaki's most endearing, most beloved, and most iconic film tells the touching tale of two sisters who discover a forest full of spirits and magical creatures next to their new home.
A resourceful young apprentice witch and her wisecracking black cat set up a delivery service for a bakery — via flying broom.
This Academy Award-winning film was Japan's biggest box-office hit of all time, and cemented Miyazaki's reputation as an icon of inspired animation and wondrous, lyrical storytelling.
Miyazaki's epic story of conflict between humans, gods, and nature is a landmark of animation and a film of unsurpassed power and beauty with an environmental message.
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This delightfully offbeat, rarely-seen gem was the first Ghibli film to be created entirely on computers, in order to achieve its soft watercolour look.
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE VERSION! Perfect for audience's of all ages, this is the story of the friendship between a five-year-old boy named Sosuke and a magical goldfish named Ponyo.
This tribute to early aviation is set between the World Wars in Fascist Italy, where flying ace Marco - cursed with the head of a pig - and beautiful Fio are catapulted into high-flying conflict.
The forest home of the deceptively cuddly tanuki - a group of magical raccoon-like creatures - is threatened by the construction of a new suburb. Now, they must fight to save it.
A visually-stunning wonder about the awakening of creative talent, this is the sole feature directed by Miyazaki’s protégé Yoshifumi Kondô before his sudden death at age of 47.
Walking home after a dreary day at school, Haru saves a cat from being hit by a speeding truck. Little does she know, she is about to be plunged into into a fantastical feline world...
Studio Ghibli's latest feature was co-scripted by anime master Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Gorō Miyazaki. A poignant, nostalgic coming-of-age drama set in 1963.
When a shy teenager is cursed by the jealous Witch of the Waste, she seeks refuge with a handsome wizard named Howl in his magical moving castle, while they fight to lift the spell.