Studio Ghibli Makes 1,178 Images Free to Download from My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away & Other Beloved Animated Films

Stu­dio Ghi­b­li make lush and cap­ti­vat­ing ani­mat­ed films. So, on occa­sion, do oth­er stu­dios, but of how many of their pic­tures can we say that each and every still frame con­sti­tutes a work of art in itself? As a test, try putting on a Ghi­b­li movie and paus­ing at ran­dom, then doing the same for any oth­er major ani­mat­ed fea­ture of sim­i­lar vin­tage: chances are, the for­mer will far more often pro­duce an image you’d like to cap­ture in high res­o­lu­tion and use for your desk­top back­ground, or per­haps even print out and hang on your wall.

Now, Stu­dio Ghi­b­li have pro­vid­ed such images them­selves, in an online col­lec­tion (click here and scroll down the page) that offers more than 1,100 stills from their films, all free for the down­load. This trove has grown con­sid­er­ably since we first fea­tured it this past fall here at Open Cul­ture.

In that post, Ted Mills quotes Ghi­b­li pro­duc­er Toshio Suzu­ki as instruct­ing vis­i­tors to use the images “freely with­in the scope of com­mon sense.” It was Suzu­ki, you may recall, who once taught us to draw the epony­mous feline-ursine star of My Neigh­bor Totoro, the most beloved of the stu­dio’s works — down­load­able frames from which Ghi­b­li put up only in Novem­ber.

Along with Totoro came images from the acclaimed (and high­ly suc­cess­ful) likes of Spir­it­ed Away and Por­co Rosso, as well as its less­er known roman­tic dra­ma Ocean Waves, made for tele­vi­sion by the stu­dio’s younger ani­ma­tors in the ear­ly 1990s. The most recent update, made ear­li­er this month, includes images from 1984’s Nau­si­caä of the Val­ley of the Wind, which is now con­sid­ered Ghi­b­li’s hon­orary first pic­ture, hav­ing been direct­ed by co-founder Hayao Miyaza­ki before the stu­dio’s foun­da­tion. There are also stills from 2016’s The Red Tur­tle, the stark, word­less fea­ture pro­duced by Suzu­ki but direct­ed by Dutch ani­ma­tor Michaël Dudok de Wit.

Though the site is only in Japan­ese, any­one who’s seen at least a few Ghi­b­li movies should have no prob­lem find­ing their favorites, from the afore­men­tioned res­i­dents of great­est-ani­mat­ed-films-of-all-time lists to high­ly respect­ed but low­er-pro­file works like Only Yes­ter­day by Miyaza­k­i’s Ghi­b­li-found­ing parter, the late Isao Taka­ha­ta. There’s also plen­ty to delight Ghi­b­li fans of a more die-hard per­sua­sion: take, for exam­ple, the visu­al mate­ri­als from “On Your Mark,” the futur­is­tic, non­lin­ear ani­mat­ed music video made for rock duo Chage & Aska. What­ev­er your own lev­el of invest­ment in the work of Stu­dio Ghi­b­li, you’d do well to assume that they’ve only just got start­ed putting up their archives.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hayao Miyazaki’s Stu­dio Ghi­b­li Releas­es Free Back­grounds for Vir­tu­al Meet­ings: Princess Mononoke, Spir­it­ed Away & More

Stu­dio Ghi­b­li Pro­duc­er Toshio Suzu­ki Teach­es You How to Draw Totoro in Two Min­utes

Hayao Miyazaki’s Sketch­es Show­ing How to Draw Char­ac­ters Run­ning: From 1980 Edi­tion of Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine

Hayao Miyazaki’s Beloved Char­ac­ters Reimag­ined in the Style of 19th-Cen­tu­ry Wood­block Prints

Build Your Own Minia­ture Sets from Hayao Miyazaki’s Beloved Films: My Neigh­bor Totoro, Kiki’s Deliv­ery Ser­vice & More

Soft­ware Used by Hayao Miyazaki’s Ani­ma­tion Stu­dio Becomes Open Source & Free to Down­load

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.


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