This engrossing documentary takes us inside Studio Ghibli, the renowned Japanese animation studio. Located in a Tokyo suburb, Studio Ghibli looks like a modest office building. But behind its doors some of the greatest creative talents in cinema work. These are the imaginations behind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo. Mami Sunada’s documentary takes us inside the studio, offering unprecedented access to the work of world-renowned filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

Shooting Miyazaki at work on The Wind Rises and Takahata making The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, Sunada establishes Ghibli as an enchantingly oldfashioned workshop. Wearing a craftsman’s apron, Miyazaki toils on meticulous drawings that he times with an analogue stopwatch. To watch Miyazaki, Takahata and Suzuki in conversation with their teams is to understand the success of Studio Ghibli. No detail escapes their attention. Whether it’s the toughminded Suzuki negotiating marketing elements or Takahata investigating how to adapt a tenth-century folktale for Princess Kaguya, the team exhibits a patient, truly inspiring dedication to excellence.

Cameron Bailey
Toronto International Film Festival


Please note that the festival is over 18s only