The Ghibli Museum (Video w/Subs)

For all dedicated Ghibli Freaks, the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan is the Mecca. You must make your pilgrimmage at least once in your lives.

I think I read one US film critic refer to this museum as Hayao Miyazaki's answer to Disneyland, which is one of those ridiculous throwaway sentiments born from pure ignorance. It says more about the American need to identify all animators as The Next Walt Disney. Miyazaki, of course, is not Disney, nor does he aspire to be. They share a profession and an artform, which is like saying The Wizard of Oz and The Third Man are the same thing because they're both live-action movies. This has always been a pet peeve of mine, and it speaks volumes about the poverty of language in America when it comes to animation.

If you want an idea of what the Ghibli Museum is like, take a look at this segment from the Hayao Miyazaki and the Ghibli Museum DVD. This is a documentary about the museum, its construction and inspiration, hosted by Isao Takahata with Goro Miyazaki, then the museum's director. There are also cameo appearances by John Lasseter and Yuri Norstein (he even appears on the cover, a nice honor).

This museum always reminds me more of a grand treehouse, or maybe a University art department. It's a place that feels liveable, as though you could sign the lease and move in for the next semester. This is not a temple to commercialism, but a shrine to animation as art.

As you can see, this DVD does include English subtitles, which is immensely helpful as always. If I had the chance to meet Miyazaki during his recent California visits, I would most definitely thank him for the Ghibli DVD subtitles.


Daniel said...

Daniel, not sure if you got my email?

Anyway the Ponyo genga list is here --

feel free to chop it up and all that as you wish

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Ah, great! I haven't had time to check my email all night. I've been busy either putting together material for this blog, or chatting with Marcee. Thank you so much for reminding me of this. It will prove very useful!

Chris said...

I posted many times on this blog how much I love the Ghibli Museum. It a wonderful physical representation of all that Miyazaki and Ghibli are.

Daniel, might I also encourage you to write about the Miyazaki Clock at the Nippon Television Studios in Shimbashi.

I find myself coming back here again and again. It is so magical but quite difficult to describe here in words why.

Please go here:

and click the Flash Panorama link. As you scroll around the larger picture you can really get a sense of how spectacular this is.

The show lasts for about two minutes. There's music and "animation". A story is told. It's maginificent!

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