Comfort In Studio Ghibli Films

After a long day, we usually indulge in an activity that comforts us or helps us unwind from the hectic routines that we came back from. For me it’s TV shows, movies, or films, specifically, the collection of Studio Ghibli films. Personally, I have always found comfort and contentment from movies, ones that contain a variety of meanings with beautiful cinematic effects. I don’t know how to describe the feeling that I get while watching any Studio Ghibli films. It never fails to introduce a story line that feels so special to the viewer, opening up room for different interpretations. One of my first impressions of these films was first seeing it in the theater. Nothing will compare to being sucked into the world of the film, and feeling a sense of connection to it. Their most popular films vary from Kiki’s Delivery Service to Howl’s Moving Castle, both containing different themes. 

Many of the characters are so unique in their personality and opinions. Studio Ghibli is committed to a wide demographic, which for decades has had the ability to appeal to both children and adults of all ages. It’s no surprise that there are hidden meanings behind these masterpieces. The different stories are filled with a type of liveliness and artistry that can only be found in these films.

How Strong Curiosity Is

Chihiro in Spirited Away embodies how curiosity is in all of us, especially from a young age. The younger you are, the less you feel pressured to have an endless eagerness about the world. We can see that she explored the city, the Spirit Realm (Jiufen), and without her sense of curiosity she wouldn’t have got far in saving her parents. Throughout her journey, she keeps a determined attitude and goes forth with what she had to do. Although she faced many tough and long struggles along the way, she was very curious and ambitious in what she wanted. Just like this, Doc from the Mojave Phone Booth shared that same amount of driven motivation and curiosity.

When listening to the Mojave Phone Booth situation, all I could think about was how much curiosity and persistence Doc had. We’ve learned from a young age to “never give up” and how that can lead to experiences we never would’ve thought of happening. However, as we grow up, it’s not encouraged to continuously ask questions and the spark of curiosity dies down. We learn to keep quiet and follow directions, and that’s just how the school system is. But who knows if our thoughts, ideas, and opinions could’ve come to a different outcome? Just like Doc, without allowing himself to be patient and curious, he would have never known about the phone booth’s possibilities.

Inspiring Characters

In Studio Ghibli films, the characters are immersive, unique, and inspiring. Each film introduces us to another story-line of how these characters can truly “pave” their own future. For example, Chihiro still had the ability to stay calm and follow into this open new world that she’s never seen before. One quote that we’ve seen from Chihiro is when she says, “I promise I’ll get you out of here!” to her parents, showing her resilient personality. In the short film “Scavengers”, we see that the two human scientists also are very determined with their task or goal. The two are seen as continuously working and even when they’ve encountered struggles, they fought it off with resilience.

Spirited Away (2001) - IMDb


Only Yesterday, however, stood out to me the most while watching. I found it fascinating how the animation can always be associated with nature and the lighthearted themes. This film in particular follows two timelines of a girl, one from her childhood and the other switching back to her present self. I believe that her moments of her childhood represent her self-discovery and the way she reacts to the situations in the future. Moments from Spirited Away, such as when she didn’t want to move to the new town, this poses as a relation to Taeko in Only Yesterday. The recurring theme in both films can be of growth, and how they don’t want to stray away from their current situations. There are many similarities between Taeko and Chihiro, their struggles that they face, which further contribute to the “coming of age” theme. There is a sense of clear nostalgia from both; Taeko’s school days can be seen as fragmented and Chihiro’s detachment from the real world. Chihiro’s experience could almost be viewed as dream-like and altered. 

Spirited Away Gif - IceGif

Not only that, but the elements of nostalgia and creation of the world can easily attract people of all ages. Due to how detailed these films are, I can see myself re-watching it numerous times. From the landscape to buildings and people, every scene is packed with details, giving into the realism. It’s clear that this is one of the reasons why Studio Ghibli films can be seen as comforting, capturing the small actions, and feeling almost like an “escape from reality.”

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