Studio Ghibli Lets You Download Free Images from Hayao Miyazaki’s “Final” Film, The Boy and the Heron

Stu­dio Ghi­b­li fans are still pon­der­ing the mean­ing of Hayao Miyaza­k­i’s The Boy and the Heron, which came out last year. Though by some mea­sure the stu­dio’s most lav­ish fea­ture yet — not least by the mea­sure of it being the most expen­sive film yet pro­duced in Japan — it’s also the one least amenable to sim­ple inter­pre­ta­tion. Even more so than in his pre­vi­ous work, Miyaza­ki seems to have intend­ed to make a movie less to be explained than to be expe­ri­enced. Just as the tit­u­lar young pro­tag­o­nist descends into a bizarre but cap­ti­vat­ing under­world and returns, changed, to real­i­ty, so does the view­er.

If you’ve seen The Boy and the Heron, hear­ing its very title (which in Japan is 君たちはどう生きるか, or How Do You Live?) will bring back to mind a host of vivid images: the rov­ing back of bul­bous-fea­tured grannies obsessed with non-per­ish­able food­stuffs; the pos­tur­ing of the mid­dle-age Bird­man, stuffed into his avian flight suit; the pyrotech­nic feats of the young Lady Himi; and above all, per­haps, the float­ing cas­cades of Warawara, those adorably round spir­its who — in painstak­ing Ghi­b­li fash­ion — appear to have been ani­mat­ed indi­vid­u­al­ly, each with its own per­son­al­i­ty. Now, you can down­load stills from these and oth­er scenes at Stu­dio Ghi­b­li’s offi­cial web site.

These come as an expan­sion to Ghi­b­li’s exist­ing col­lec­tion, pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture, of free-to-down­load images from their library of titles. They’re offered, the site explains, “sole­ly for per­son­al use by indi­vid­ual fans to fur­ther enjoy Stu­dio Ghi­b­li films.” And indeed, they may have no effect stronger than mak­ing you want to watch The Boy and the Heron again, the more deeply to feel what Miyaza­ki intend­ed with his “final” pic­ture. Not that the lat­est of his retire­ments has stuck: last fall, Ghi­b­li pres­i­dent Toshio Suzu­ki report­ed that the octo­ge­nar­i­an Miyaza­ki was back in the office, plan­ning his next film. If he has more realms yet to explore, ani­ma­tion-lovers around the world will sure­ly fol­low him. Find the images from The Boy and the Heron here.

via My Mod­ern Met

Relat­ed con­tent:

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

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

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

Hayao Miyaza­ki, The Mind of a Mas­ter: A Thought­ful Video Essay Reveals the Dri­ving Forces Behind the Animator’s Incred­i­ble Body of Work

Stream Hun­dreds of Hours of Stu­dio Ghi­b­li Movie Music That Will Help You Study, Work, or Sim­ply Relax: My Neigh­bor Totoro, Spir­it­ed Away & More

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 or on Face­book.

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