10 Typical Features Of Ghibli Movies (Part 1)

Hayao Miyazaki is a famous name in the global film industry. As both director, producer, screenwriter, graphic artist, author, comic artist and co-owner of the Ghibli Studio, Miyazaki has shaped and enhanced the influence of the anime on worldwide, bringing this genre of film to a wide range of audiences

Hayao Miyazaki’s most remarkable masterpiece is Spirited Away . This is a record-breaking film in the Japanese film industry and also the first and only anime to date touching the Oscar for the Best Animation Award. In 2014, Miyazaki was awarded the Honorary Prize of the Academy for his great contributions to world cinema and animation.

Throughout his lifetime, Hayao Miyazaki has told many stories to the world. People were passionate about the films of Miyazaki and his studio, but they did not forget to extract the good things in the content of the work. The number of approximately 50 small and large works of Japanese film master can make people overwhelmed by the amount, admiring the value of content and art, but also enough to make people fall in love and immerse in his own values.

Did you discover these 10 features that are always present in Hayao Miyazaki’s movie world?

1. Peaceism

Hayao Miyazaki seems to believe that every dispute can be reconciled without resorting to violent methods. He expressed that strong belief in his characters by forcing them to engage and change conflict-filled worlds.

Even though his film still has fierce conflicts, it’s all just to prove that human weapons and aggression are really meaningless. Hayao takes advantage of conflicts, even spreading war to highlight his message of peace.

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In Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind , it is said that when the few surviving Tolmekian groups on earth decided to preserve their species by destroying the Dead Forest, they were ready to fight thousands of poisonous bees Ohms is residing in it. The pacifism of the film was thrust up when Nausicaa with the determination to protect this creature succeeded in ending the conflict with words that shook everyone’s heart.

Or in Laputa: Castle In The Sky, the battles that take place between Sheeta, Pazu and bandits, as well as the fighting between Muska and soldiers are all in vain to solve their problems. Once again in Princess Mononoke, the conflict between the town and the forest did not come to a good end.

2. The dream of flying high

“Father” of Ghibli has mentioned many times his interest in studying aircraft or airplanes. At home, his relatives also opened a company that produced components for fighter jets. This greatly influenced his artistic perspective. The scenes flying in various forms have appeared and are beautifully portrayed. Although he loves this kind of medium, Miyazaki also admits that he hates military aircraft.

This contradictory personality was brought into the movie The Wind Rises by Miyazaki and included in the character of Jiro Horikoshi. In the movie, Jiro always dreamed of creating an engine that could fly, but he soon realized the consequences of the fighters made from that invention. Jiro considers his product to be a killing machine and constantly blames himself all the time afterwards.

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The image of the aircraft has also been transformed through many other films such as Porco Rosso – a very well-described film that helps viewers distinguish many types of helicopters. Whereas Howl’s Moving Castle draws strange figures of flying objects and examines them in both aspects of beauty and brutal destruction.

The Ghibli staff’s imagination seems to have no limit as we continue to see the protagonist of Kiki’s Delivery Service fluttering the sky on a flying broom, or cat-shaped buses carrying Satsuki sisters in My Neighbor Totoro . And yet, in the masterpiece Spirited Away, Haku can turn into white dragon so Chihiro rides on his back moving in the sky. The dream of flying in the air was never too illusory in Hayao Miyazaki’s film.

3. Honor feminism

Most female characters in Hayao Miyazaki’s films become leaders or take the initiative. In his view, women have extraordinary courage and the image of a female character shooting a gun always leaves a deeper impression on the audience. In an interview, when asked why Miyazaki always prioritized women as leaders in the film, he calmly replied “Because I like them.”

Women in Miyazaki’s films are also not trivial. Whether they are princesses or warriors, whether they are young or old, the Ghibli female characters are both assertive and even somewhat cruel. You can easily recognize this truth through the image of the wind kingdom princess in Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind or the wolf princess in Princess Mononoke.
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Even other seemingly ordinary characters like the old Sophie, theThe most distinctive is the case of the heroine Eboshi in Princess Mononoke. She has just played an antagonist with brutal destruction but at the same time taking care of other vulnerable women. This is the clearest proof that the respectful feminist thought of a major influential filmmaker of the era. girl who served in the Chihiro bath or the little witch Kiki when faced with a challenge did not shiver.

4. Awareness of environmental protection

The natural environment is always the central context in Hayao Miyazaki’s work. Sometimes in his movies, nature and people live very harmoniously. This is how he patted and educated the natural sense of conservation of the audience. As you watch My Neighbor Totoro , you can see Miyazaki’s message more clearly that children should be exposed to nature to develop comprehensively.

Newmain 25However, he did not hesitate to give a warning about the bad scenarios that could happen when humans betrayed Mother Nature. Whether the forest is constantly spreading in Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind or the collective animal protest strongly in Princess Mononoke are also bitter lessons about the sense of environmental protection that is becoming more and more degraded.

5. Optimism

Hayao Miyazaki knows that his products will reach a lot of children, so he tries to express positive views and advises viewers to nurture hope for life. Dramatic films like Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, though going a long way, end up with a happy ending.


However, the activism in his films sometimes puts behind the challenge of pessimists. For example, in Laputa: Castle In The Sky, human greed almost destroys the Levistone stone before the audience can breathe a sigh of relief to see Laputa Castle.

For a person with a sense of environmental protection like Miyazaki, nature always tries to balance and adapt to humanity, not the other way around. That may be the reason for overlapping his optimism, as a result, there are many films that begin with painful and miserable situations, then the characters have to pay the price and atone for their mistakes.

Read more : 10 Typical Features Of Ghibli Movies (Part 2)

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