|Studio Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Japan|
I just watched the new feature film by Studio Ghibli, When Marnie Was There, a beautiful film, both visually and in the story that it tells. This wonderful movie reminded me just how much I love Studio Ghibli, the greatest animation studio in film today as far as I am concerned and it made me want to write about how much I love their films.
Based on Joan G. Robinson's book of the same name, When Marnie Was There follows the life of 12 year old Anna during a summer trip to stay with family by the sea. Anna is an introverted, lonely child who suffers from Asthma and her foster mother thinks the sea air will do her good. Whilst staying with her family, Anna meets the mysterious Marnie, who lives in a mansion by the water. The mansion appears at times to be desolate and abandoned and at times to be bustling with life and fancy parties. Anna's uncle tells her the building is haunted. Is Marnie a ghost? Is she a figment of Anna's imagination? Or is she in fact another lonely little girl in need of a friend. Whatever she is, she brings Anna out of her shell.
This is a truly moving film, stunningly depicted through Studio Ghibli's unique hand-drawn style. The visuals are stunning and so clearly lovingly and painstakingly done to ensure that every scene is full of life and soul. Anna and Marnie's relationship is uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Of all of Ghibli's films that I have seen, I think that this delves deepest into the emotions and humanity of its characters. I would recommend it to anyone! When Marnie Was There proves that the film-makers at Studio Ghibli still have wonderful and amazing things to offer us and makes their financial difficulties all the more worrying.
If you aren't too familiar yet with Studio Ghibli's work, they have made many stunning films. I would recommend starting with the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, as well as the magical Howl's Moving Castle and the powerful Princess Mononoke. If you're wondering where their logo comes from, it shows Totoro from the beautiful My Neighbour Totoro, a brilliant children's film that all ages can enjoy. And if you're ever so lucky to go to Tokyo, I recommend a trip to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka (above), a weird and wonderful museum.