The word legendary is almost always used to describe Studio Ghibli. All but one of the company's 20 films, Tales from Earthsea, has a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and five have been nominated for Academy Awards. Spirited Away took one home in 2003.
These accomplishments are particularly impressive because Ghibli still uses the old school, 2-D, hand-drawn animation method rather than CGI like most other companies such as Pixar. Realizing that every visceral image you see on screen was hand drawn is enough to make your head explode Scanners-style.
Founder Hayao Miyazaki, who says “hand drawing on paper is the fundamental of animation," has only used CGI twice: in Princess Mononoke, so they could complete the film on time, and in My Neighbors the Yamadas. Yamadas may have been an experiment that they later rejected in favor of continuing to hand draw. The cerebral storytelling and spectacular visuals are why the word legendary” is used so frequently.
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The Angelika Film Center Dallas and Plano are throwing a Studio Ghibli Film Festival. It started last weekend and runs through August 24. Showtimes are Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. English dubbed versions will be shown on Saturdays — you should never, ever see a foreign film dubbed unless you have a child who isn’t old enough to read. If I see you and your adults friends there without a kid on Saturday, I will be the one hurling tomatoes at you.
Attend the Wednesday 7 p.m. showings, where the films will be shown in their full, true format — Japanese with English subtitles.
Here's the lineup:
My Neighbor Totoro
Wednesday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m.
KiKi’s Delivery Service
Saturday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 18 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 25 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, June 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Whisper of the Heart
Saturday, July 2 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, July 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 9 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m.
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Saturday, July 16 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Spirited Away — Oscar Winner for Best Animated Film, 2003
Saturday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m.
The Cat Returns
Saturday, July 30 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, August 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Saturday, August 6 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m.
From Up On Poppy Hill
Saturday, August 13 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, August 17 at 7:00 p.m.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Saturday, August 20 at 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday, August 24 at 7:00 p.m.