Book Review: Studio Ghibli : The Films of Hayao Miyazaki & Isao Takahata

Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata by Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc. 2009.

Any book with Totoro on the cover has to be good, right?

I found this one at my local library and quickly added it to my purchase list. If you are a fan of the Miyazaki films then you should consider buying this. It is also one of the only definitive works in English about Studio Ghibli.

In addition to being authors, Colin and Michelle are film critics and broadcasters. Their main focus has been horror- and fantasy-related.

The authors do a great job in offering their interpretations of the films based on their research and experience. They never talk down and the book is not an over-academic treatise; it is accessible to most age groups and people who have seen the films. Oftentimes, the point they make about an image or cultural definition was floating in my periphery and I was just missing the connection. This book is a wonderful companion to the output of Studio Ghibli. The authors look at the works that led Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki to found the Studio.

So, if you find yourself wondering what the cultural meanings of the imagery in Spirited Away or Nausicaa, then pick up a copy of this book for yourself and enjoy.

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