Studio Ghibli Anime Are As Classic As Any Live-Action Movie

By Nina Phillips | Published

studio Ghibli Anime

Many times, anime doesn’t age well. They have tropes sometimes considered unpopular in today’s media or have a rather outdated animation style. However, Studio Ghibli anime is different, offering themes that are still relevant and an animation style that will sweep you away no matter the year. 

Dated Art

sky hotel

That’s not to say that Ghibli’s art style isn’t dated, especially with some of its older films, like Castle in the Sky. However, they manage to be dated and still work. They don’t have as much technical detail as Demon Slayer, but they have their own charm. 

Even as the anime style adjusts and changes, there’s something familiar and comforting about Studio Ghibli anime and the easily recognizable art style, at least for most of its films. 

Art Style

studio ghibli anime

Most commonly, when people say Studio Ghibli, they mean Miyazaki, who did a lot of the more famous works like My Neighbor Totoro, The Boy and the Heron, and Spirited Away.

These are the ones that stand out most, however, even Grave of the Fireflies and From Up on Poppy Hill have similar designs. There are some outliers, of course, like The Tale of Princess Kaguya and My Neighbors the Yamadas, but these films have styles that match their story a bit better and make nods to more traditional art in Japan. 

However, it’s not just the art style that ensures almost all Studio Ghibli anime go down as classics.

There are a lot of arguments on what defines a classic. Generally, to be considered a classic, a film needs to be something that defines or is impactful for a generation, it needs to leave the viewer with a lasting impression, and it needs to have made an impression in the industry. 

Influential Animation

tale of princess kaguya

Studio Ghibli anime does all of that. These films not only influenced other Japanese animators but also those around the globe. Ghibli makes a point to take the mundane and add a little magic to it, and many people have incorporated this into their own work. 

They’re also emotional stories that leave viewers with, at a minimum, a sense of nostalgia for life, especially during childhood. The stories are, mostly, warm and comforting, and remind many of their childhood. 

Childhood Innocence

Studio Ghibli stretches back to 1985, so Studio Ghibli anime as a whole can’t necessarily define a generation.

Instead, they have a sense of agelessness about them. They cover common themes that fit every age group, such as war, growing up, family, friendship, and environmentalism. 

The simplicity of Studio Ghibli anime also helps them out. Some live-action films end up losing popularity due to themes and topics that are no longer acceptable today, such as treating women like they’re lesser, or owning slaves.

Studio Ghibli avoids a lot of these problems and focuses more on childhood innocence, making them much more easily digestible. 

Studio Ghibli Ages Well

studio ghibli anime

When compared to live-action films, sometimes animated films don’t age as well, and don’t end up considered classics. However, Studio Ghibli anime are an exception. They can turn into classics as easily as any live-action, and perhaps even easier by tugging on the heartstrings and telling a simple, yet detailed, story. 

Source: Thousand Faces