We’ve been waiting patiently for the latest Studio Ghibli movie; it’s been about six years since the 2014 film ‘When Marnie was There’ was released. To keep us entertained in the magical world of Ghibli, the animation studio recently released 400 images from eight movies – 50 pics for each film – that are completely free to download. Although Studio Ghibli gifted us with a set of virtual backgrounds in spring for our WFH video calls, these new images tell the movie’s story instead, almost like a picture book.
Toshio Suzuki, one of the co-founders along with Hayao Miyzakai and Isao Takahata, released the images online, along with a warning to use them with ‘common sense’. That means you can use them as your computer or phone wallpaper but don’t go around abusing or selling the images.
Here are the films featured this month, from 2003 to 2014.
‘When Marnie was There’ (2014) shows off the beautiful Hokkaido countryside as Anna meets the beautiful Marnie who reveals secrets about both of their lives.
‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ (2013) is based on the traditional Japanese tale of a princess born inside a bamboo shoot. The film’s watercolour-style animation reflects ancient paintings that told the story of Princess Kaguya.
Aeroplane lover Hayao Miyazaki directed ‘The Wind Rises’ (2013), a fictional biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese airplane designer responsible for the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane.
‘From Up on Poppy Hill’ (2011) follows the life of Yokohama teenager Umi Matsuzaki in 1963 as she navigates Japan’s increasing modernisation before the 1964 Olympic Games – incredibly relevant today.
‘The Secret World of Arrietty' (2010), a Japanese version of 'The Borrowers’ written by British author Mary Norton, is about a tiny family living inside a normal-sized human’s house.
One of Studio Ghibli’s cutest movies is ‘Ponyo’ (2008), about a young boy named Sosuke who befriends a magical goldfish-turned-human in his seaside town.
Fantasy-action movie ‘Tales from Earthsea’ (2003) is a wild film of dragons, magic and warlocks inspired by Ursula K Le Guin’s epic sci-fi series.
Everyone’s favourite Studio Ghibli film, and arguably Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, is ‘Spirited Away’ (2001), about young Chihiro who gets sucked into the ancient Japanese spiritual realm.
More film stills will be released soon, although a date hasn’t been announced. Fingers crossed we’ll be seeing classics such as ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ or ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ in time for Halloween.
Check out the free images on Studio Ghibli's website here.