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Mayhem, Magic & Maelstroms - Japanese Animation from Studio Ghibli

Kiki's Delivery Service is an allegorical tale of the joys and sadness of puberty told via a young witch's coming of age. Just the idea alone is intriguing: young witches have to learn about human existence by spending time with humans and living under their conditions. Its execution in the film is ... Read more
Laputa has similar heroic themes to Nausicaa, this time centred on a young boy (Pazu) and girl's (Sheeta) quest to discover their heritage and unleash mystical powers bestowed upon them. More gender-balanced than some of Hayayo Miyazaki's other work, Laputa nonethe­less is hinged on Pazu's ... Read more
Inspired by a 12th century folk tale about'a princess who could talk to insects, Nausicaa transposes that idea of a human's hypersensitivi­ty to the natural order of life into a futuristic world ravaged by ecological disorder. The future of Nausicaa is one where deadly, microscopic spores ... Read more
Using the rich folklore of the indigenous tanuki (the fat happy 'raccoon dog' that welcomes you outside Japanese restaurants - now an endangered species in Japan), Pom Poko maps out a sociopolitical scenario to question the effectiveness of certain strategies in bringing attention to ecological ... Read more
Set during the horrendous fire bombings of Japan in the lead-up to the atomic bomb drops, Tombstone For Fireflies follows two children orphaned in the Kobe attacks - a girl (Setsuko) aged 5 and a boy (Seita) aged 10 - as they try to survive on the streets. The story is told in flash­back ... Read more
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