De-Stress with 30 Minutes of Relaxing Visuals from Director Hayao Miyazaki

What does it mean to describe some­thing as relax­ing?

Most of us would agree that a relax­ing thing is one that qui­ets both mind and body.

There’s sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence to sup­port the stress-reliev­ing, restora­tive effects of spend­ing time in nature.

Even go-go-go city slick­ers with a han­ker­ing for excite­ment and adven­ture tend to under­stand the con­cept of “relax­ing” as some­thing slow-paced and sur­prise-free.

HBO Max is tout­ing its col­lec­tion of ani­ma­tion mas­ter Hayao Miyaza­ki’s films with 30 Min­utes of Relax­ing Visu­als from Stu­dio Ghi­b­li, above.

Will all of us expe­ri­ence those 30 min­utes as “relax­ing”?

Maybe not.

Stu­dio Ghi­b­li fans may find them­selves gripped by a sort of triv­ia con­test com­pet­i­tive­ness, shout­ing the names of the films that sup­ply these pas­toral visions—PonyoGrave of the Fire­flies!! Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle!!! 

Fledg­ling ani­ma­tors may feel as if they’ve swal­lowed a stone—no mat­ter how hard I try, noth­ing I make will approach the beau­ty on dis­play here.

Sticklers—and there are plen­ty leav­ing com­ments on YouTube—may be irri­tat­ed to real­ize that it’s actu­al­ly not 30 but 6 min­utes of visu­als, looped 5 times.

Insom­ni­acs (such as this reporter) may wish there was more loop­ing and less con­tent. The select­ed scenery is tran­quil enough, but the clips them­selves are brief, lead­ing to some jar­ring tran­si­tions.

(One pos­si­ble workaround for those hop­ing to lull them­selves to sleep: fid­dle with the speed set­tings. Played at .25 and mut­ed, this com­pi­la­tion becomes very relax­ing, much like artist Dou­glas Gordon’s video instal­la­tion, 24 Hour Psy­cho. Leave the sound up and the lap­ping waves, gen­tle winds, and chuff­ing trains turn into some­thing wor­thy of a slash­er flick.

Final­ly, with so much atten­tion focussed on Mars these days, we can’t help imag­in­ing what alien life forms might make of these earth­ly visions—ahh, this green, sheep-dot­ted pas­ture does low­er my stress lev­el… waitWTF was THAT!? Noth­ing on my home plan­et pre­pared me for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a mon­strous winged house com­prised of over­grown bag­pipes and chick­en legs lum­ber­ing through the coun­try­side!

We con­cede that 30 Min­utes of Relax­ing Visu­als from Stu­dio Ghi­b­li is a pleas­ant thing to have play­ing in the back­ground as we wait for COVID restric­tions to be lift­ed… but ulti­mate­ly, you may find these 36 min­utes of music from Stu­dio Ghi­b­li films more gen­uine­ly relax­ing.

via Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

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

A Mag­i­cal Look Inside the Paint­ing Process of Stu­dio Ghi­b­li Artist Kazuo Oga

Stu­dio Ghi­b­li Puts Online 400 Images from Eight Clas­sic Films, and Lets You Down­load Them for Free

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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