Ghibli Calendar - Kiki's Delivery Service

Studio Ghibli's annual calendars from Japan are a special breed. While most other companies would be content to reprint existing artwork from their catalog, Ghibli's artists create brand new production cels and illustrations based on their movies. These usually fall into two categories: recreations of scenes within the movies, or all-new scenes that take place outside the films entirely. And these works are drawn as actual scenes, with the same level of attention to detail in the background art and animation cels.

I'm not entirely certain who is responsible for creating the artwork for the calendars each year. Hayao Miyazaki has personally drawn at least some of them, including the illustration, shown here, of Kiki flying on her broom high above the skyline, her cat Jiji comically holding on. That one makes sense to me as belong to Miyazaki; it has his sense of comic timing, as well as Kiki's sense of purpose. These other Kiki illustrations, and many others from the Ghibli calendars, are too saccharine and happy faced to have come from him.

Ghibli used calendar illustrations for their DVD box art for many years, before finally settling on using the movie posters. I would expect that tradition to continue when the catalog is later released on Blu-Ray in 2010 and beyond. This is one reason why Ghibli Freaks love to collect the Japanese DVDs (to say nothing of extra features which are omitted from the US versions).

These three illustrations of Kiki's Delivery Service all come from the Ghibli calendars. Miyazaki's illustration, as I've said, is on the top and is on the cover of the Japanese DVD. The second illustration recreates a shot from the closing credits sequence in the film, although the woman in the window was different. The third illustration is all-new, an example of a moment after the movie's conclusion. I don't know who is responsible for these two, but I've no doubt the studio assigns the calendar duties to a team of artists.

1 comment:

asuka said...

don't y'all think that kiki looks maybe a year older in the face in these pictures than she does in the film?

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