Fantasy and Studio Ghibli, Part 2

18th July 2014

In the first part of this series, I took a look at the earlier Ghibli films – NausicaäPrincess Mononoke andLaputa – and examined the ways in which they explored the eternal struggle between nature and mankind. In this second part, I’m moving on to films which utilise symbols and motifs typical of the fantasy genre and hope to show how Miyazaki employs them to such great effect.

“WE EACH HAVE TO FIND OUR OWN INSPIRATION.”: KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE ANDSPIRITED AWAY

Kiki by kyuriThese films are classic coming-of-age tales. When Kiki turns thirteen, her parents expect her to leave home in order to make her own way as a witch. Unlike the younger Chihiro, her subsequent adventures are deliberately courted. 10-year-old Chihiro is given less of a choice. Her own coming-of-age is thrust upon her by circumstances ostensibly beyond her control, though one could argue that her parents – by irresponsibly turning into pigs – also initiated her transformation.

Read on.

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