The Beautiful, Innovative & Sometimes Dark World of Animated Soviet Propaganda (1925-1984)

Growing up, we assembled our worldview from several different sources: parents, siblings, classmates. But for most of us, wherever and whenever we passed our formative years, nothing shaped our early perceptions of life as vividly, and as thoroughly, as cartoons — and this is just as Lenin knew it would be. “With the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922,” writes New York Times film critic Dave Kehr, “Lenin proclaimed the cinema the most important of all the arts, presumably for its ability to communicate directly with the oppressed and widely illiterate masses.”

Lenin certainly didn’t exclude animation, which assumed its role in the Soviet propaganda machine right away: Soviet Toys, the first U.S.S.R.-made cartoon, premiered just two years later. It was directed by Dziga Vertov, the innovative filmmaker best known for 1929’s A Man with a Movie Camera, a thrilling articulation of the artistic possibilities of documentary. Vertov stands as perhaps the most representative figure of Soviet cinema’s early years, in which tight political confines nevertheless permitted a freedom of  artistic experimentation limited only by the filmmaker’s skill and imagination.

This changed with the times: the 1940s saw the elevation of skilled but West-imitative animators like Ivan Ivanov-Vano, whom Kehr calls the “Soviet Disney.” That label is suitable enough, since an Ivanov-Vano short like Someone Else’s Voice from 1949 “could easily pass for a Disney ‘Silly Symphony,'” if not for its un-Disneylike “threatening undertone.” (Not that Disney couldn’t get darkly propagandistic themselves.)




With its magpie who “returns from a flight abroad and dares to warble some of the jazz music she has heard on her travels” only to have “the hearty peasant birds of the forest swoop down and rip her feathers out,” Someone Else’s Voice tells a more allegorical story than those in most of the shorts gathered in this Soviet propaganda animation playlist.

The playlist’s selections come from the collection Animated Soviet Propaganda: From the October Revolution to Perestroika; “workers are strong-chinned, noble, and generic,” writes the A.V. Club’s Tasha Robinson. “Capitalists are fat, piggish cigar-chompers, and foreigners are ugly caricatures similar to those seen in American World War II propaganda.” With their strong “anti-American, anti-German, anti-British, anti-Japanese, anti-Capitalist, anti-Imperialist, and pro-Communist slant,” as Kehr puts it, they would require an impressionable audience indeed to do any convincing outside Soviet territory. But they send an unmistakable message to viewers back in the U.S.S.R.: you don’t know how lucky you are.

Related Content:

Watch Dziga Vertov’s Unsettling Soviet Toys: The First Soviet Animated Movie Ever (1924)

Watch Interplanetary Revolution (1924): The Most Bizarre Soviet Animated Propaganda Film You’ll Ever See

Watch the Surrealist Glass Harmonica, the Only Animated Film Ever Banned by Soviet Censors (1968)

When Soviet Artists Turned Textiles (Scarves, Tablecloths & Curtains) into Beautiful Propaganda in the 1920s & 1930s

Animated Films Made During the Cold War Explain Why America is Exceptionally Exceptional

The Red Menace: A Striking Gallery of Anti-Communist Posters, Ads, Comic Books, Magazines & Films

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.

How Pixar’s Movement Animation Became So Realistic: The Technological Breakthroughs Behind the Animation

More than a quarter-century ago, Toy Story made Pixar Animation Studios into a household name. Nobody had ever seen a computer-animated feature of such high quality before — indeed, nobody had ever seen a computer-animated feature at all. Though the movie succeeded on many more levels than as a proof of technological concept, it also showed great ingenuity in finding narrative materials suited to the capabilities of CGI at the time, which could render figures of plastic and cloth (or, as other studios had demonstrated slightly earlier, dinosaurs and liquid-metal cyborgs) much more realistically than human beings. Ever since, Pixar has been a byword for the state of the art in computer-animated cinema.

An enormous and ever-growing fan base around the world shows up for each of Pixar’s movies, one of two of which now appear per year, with great expectations. They want to see not just a story solidly told, but the limits of the underlying technology pushed as well.




“How Pixar’s Movement Animation Became So Realistic,” the Movies Insider video above, works its way through the studio’s films, comparing the then-groundbreaking visual intricacy of its earlier releases like Toy Story and Finding Nemo to much more complex pictures like Coco and Soul. Not only do these recent projects feature human characters — not action figures or monsters or fish or cars, but human beings — they feature human characters engaging in such quintessentially human actions as playing music.

What’s more, they portray it with a level of realism that will shock anyone who hasn’t made it out to a Pixar film since the 1990s. Achieving this has necessitated such efforts as equipping Soul‘s piano-playing main character with 584 separate control parameters in his hands alone, about as many as Toy Story‘s cowboy-doll star had in his entire body. But though ever-more-realistic visuals will presumably always remain a goal at Pixar, the magic lies in the accompanying dose of unrealism: mythological visions, trips to the spirit world, and superhuman acts (or attempts at them) also count among Pixar fans’ demands. Ambitious animators push their tools to the limit in pursuit of reality, but truly ambitious animators push them past the limit in pursuit of imagination.

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Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

A Rare Look Inside Pixar Studios

The Beauty of Pixar

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.

Indie Animation in a Corporate World: A Conversation with Animator Benjamin Goldman on Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #88

In the perennial conflict between art and our corporate entertainment machine, animation seems designed to be mechanized, given how labor-intensive it is, and yes, most of our animation comes aimed at children (or naughty adults) from a few behemoths (like, say, Disney).

Your hosts Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt are joined by Benjamin Goldman to discuss doing animation on your own, with only faint hope of “the cavalry” (e.g. Netfilx money or the Pixar fleet of animators) coming to help you realize (and distribute and generate revenue from) your vision. As an adult viewer, what are we looking for from this medium?

We talk about what exactly constitutes “indie,” shorts vs. features, how the image relates to the narration, realism or its avoidance, and more. Watch Benjamin’s film with Daniel Gamburg, “Eight Nights.”

Some of our other examples include Jérémy Clapin’s I Lost My Body and Skhizein, World of Tomorrow, If Anything Happens I Love You, The Opposites Game, Windup, Fritz the Cat, Spike & Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, and Image Union.

Hear a few lists and comments about this independent animation:

Follow Benjamin on Instagram @bgpictures. Here’s something he did for a major film studio that you might recognize, from the film version of A Series of Unfortunate Events:

Hear more of this podcast at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus discussion that you can access by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.

The Aesthetic of Anime: A New Video Essay Explores a Rich Tradition of Japanese Animation

Giant robots, superpowered schoolgirls, berzerker martial artists: we all know the sort of figures that represent anime. Though clichéd, the widespread nature of these perceptions actually shows how far Japanese animation has come over the past few decades. Not so long ago, the average Westerner didn’t know the meaning of the world anime, let alone its origin. Today, thanks not least to the films of Hayao Miyazaki‘s Studio Ghibli, the average Westerner has likely already been exposed to one or two masterworks of the form. This viewing experience provides a sense of why Japanese animation, far from simply animation that happens to be Japanese, merits a term of its own: any of us, no matter how inexperienced, can sense “The Aesthetic of Anime.”

Taking that concept as the title of their latest video essay, Lewis and Luiza Liz Bond of The Cinema Cartography show us a range of cinematic possibilities that anime has opened up since the 1980s. I recall, long ago, staying up late to tune in to the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Saturday Night Anime” block to catch such classics from that decade as Venus Wars and Project A-Ko.




While Japanese animation in all its forms has gone much more mainstream around the world since then, it hasn’t resulted in a loss of artistic, narrative, and thematic inventiveness. On the contrary, Bond argues: over the past quarter-century, series like Neon Genesis EvangelionSerial Experiments Lain, and Death Note have not only pushed the boundaries of anime, but demonstrated a power to “re-signify storytelling conventions that go beyond the anime form itself.”

In the effort to reveal the true nature of “the misunderstood and often disregarded world of anime,” this video essay references and visually quotes dozens of different shows. (It stops short of the also-vast realm of feature films, such as Ghost in the Shell or the work of Satoshi Kon.) Its range includes the “existential meditation on loneliness” that is Cowboy Bebop, subject of another Bond exegesis previously featured here on Open Culture, and “city pop-fueled Superdimensional Fortress Macross,” which did so much back in the 80s to define not just giant-robot anime but anime itself. Trope-heavy, over-the-top, and “unapologetically weird” though it may seem (but usually not, as Bond implies, without self-awareness), anime continues to realize visions not available — nor even conceivable — to any other art form.

Related Content:

The Existential Philosophy of Cowboy Bebop, the Cult Japanese Anime Series, Explored in a Thoughtful Video Essay

The Animations That Changed Cinema: The Groundbreaking Legacies of Prince Achmed, Akira, The Iron Giant & More

The Philosophy, Storytelling & Visual Creativity of Ghost in the Shell, the Acclaimed Anime Film, Explained in Video Essays

How Master Japanese Animator Satoshi Kon Pushed the Boundaries of Making Anime: A Video Essay

The Philosophy of Hayao Miyazaki: A Video Essay on How the Traditional Japanese Religion Shinto Suffuses Miyazaki’s Films

The Origins of Anime: Watch Free Online 64 Animations That Launched the Japanese Anime Tradition

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.

Three Leonard Cohen Animations

Leonard Cohen, High Priest Of Pathos…

     Lord Byron of Rock and Roll…

          Gentleman Zen

                Master Of Misery…Morbidity… Erotic Despair…

                    Prince of Pessimism…Pain…

                         Troubadour For Troubled Souls…

The gravel-voiced singer-songwriter accumulated hundreds of nicknames over a career spanning more than half a century. He wasn’t thrilled by some of them, remarking to the BBC, “You get tired, over the years, hearing that you’re the champion of gloom.”

Taken all together, however, they make for a decent composite portrait of a prolific artist whose sensuality, mordant wit, and obsession with love, loss, and redemption never wavered.




He took some hiatuses, including a 5-year stint as a monk in California’s Mount Baldy monastery, but never retired.

His final studio album, You Want It Darker, was released mere weeks before his death.

Journalist Rob Sheffield articulated the Cohen mystique in a Rolling Stone eulogy:

This man was both the crack in everything and the light that gets in. Nobody wrote such magnificently bleak ballads for brooding alone in the dark, staring at a window or wall – “Joan of Arc,” “Chelsea Hotel,” “Tower of Song,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” “Closing Time.” He was music’s top Jewish Canadian ladies’ man before Drake was born, running for the money and the flesh. Like Bowie and Prince, he tapped into his own realm of spiritual and sexual gnosis, and like them, he went out at the peak of his musical powers. No songwriter ever adapted to old age with more cunning or gusto. 

Cohen also excelled at interviews, leaving behind a wealth of generous, freewheeling recordings, at least three of which have become fodder for animators.

The animation at the top of the page is drawn from Cohen’s 1966 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Adrienne Clarkson, shortly after the release of his experimental novel, Beautiful Losers. (His debut album was still a year and a half away.)

Earlier in the interview, Cohen mentions the “happy revolution” he encountered in Toronto after an extended period on the Greek island of Hydra:

I was walking on Yorkville Street and it was jammed with beautiful, beautiful people last night. I thought maybe it could spread to the [other] streets and maybe even … where’s the money district? Bay Street?… I thought maybe they could take that over soon, too.

How to tap into the source of all this happiness?

The future Zen monk Cohen was pretty convinced it could be located by sitting quietly, though he doesn’t condemn those using drugs or alcohol as an assist, explaining that his fellow Canadian, abstract expressionist Harold Town, “gets beautiful under alcohol. I get stupid and generally throw up.”

8 years later, WBAI’s Kathleen Kendel came armed with a poem for Cohen to read on air, and also plumbed him as to the origins of “Sisters of Mercy,” one of his best known songs, and the only one that didn’t require him to “sweat over every word.” (Possibly the consolation prize for his dashed hopes of erotic adventure with the song’s protagonists.)

(The animation here is by Patrick Smith for PBS’ Blank on Blank series.)

Animator Joe Donaldson riffs on an excerpt from Cohen’s final major interview, with The New Yorker’s editor-in-chief, David Remnick, above.

Remnick recalled that his subject, who died a few days later, was “in an ebullient mood for a man… who knew exactly where he was going, and he was headed there in a hurry. And at the same time, he was incredibly gracious.”

The 82-year-old Cohen spoke enthusiastically if somewhat pessimistically about having a lot of new material to get through, “to put (his) house in order,” but also admitted, “sometimes I just need to lie down.”

Related Content:

Hear Leonard Cohen’s Final Interview: Recorded by David Remnick of The New Yorker

Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen: The Poet-Musician Featured in a 1965 Documentary

Leonard Cohen Plays a Spellbinding Set at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival

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

Watch the Trippy 1970s Animated Film Quasi at the Quackadero: Voted One of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of All Time

There certainly are a lot of weirdos out today. —Quasi at the Quackadero

Animation is a profession wherein childhood influences hold visible sway.

Today’s young animators are likely to cite the formative powers of Spongebob SquarepantsAvatar: The Last AirbenderThe Ren & Stimpy Show, and the films of Japanese master, Hayao Miyazaki.

As a child of the 50s, Sally Cruikshank, creator of cult favorite Quasi at the Quackadero, above, marinated in Carl Barks’ Donald Duck comics. In The Animators, an early-80’s PBS documentary centered on the San Francisco Bay Area scene, she mused that “the images of the money bin and Donald Duck and the nephews and Uncle Scrooge all sunk into my subconscious and came out later, not really looking like ducks to anyone but me, but in my mind they are ducks—Quasi, Snozzy, and Anita.”




Quasi at the Quackadero places two of those odd ducks, contented loafer Quasi and his controlling, lisping ladyfriend, Anita, in a bizarre amusement park where the attractions include opportunities to “Relive One of the Shining Moments of Your Life” and “See Last Night’s Dreams Today.”

The fun house mirrors in the 3:10 mark’s Hall of Time are a particular treat, contributing to a carnival of sensory overload that’s as old timey as it is trippy.

“You don’t need to take acid to have weird thoughts and imagine weird things,” Cruikshank, whose other favorites, tellingly, include Winsor McCayMax Fleischer, and Yellow Submarine, replied to an admirer on YouTube.

In 2009, Cruikshank’s demented vision found its way into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registryan honor she celebrated with a blog post toasting her late boss, E.E. Gregg Snazelle of Snazelle Films:

The job was to experiment with animation, and do commercials for him when the jobs came in. He also hoped I’d figure out how to solve 3-d without glasses.

Needless to say I didn’t solve 3-d. I didn’t even do very many commercials over ten years, but I showed up at 8:30, took an hour off for lunch and worked till 5:30. I was paid $350 a month, and I could live on that then.

He encouraged me generously without ever paying much attention to me. These days if an opportunity like that even existed, you’d be forced to sign all kinds of rights statements for characters and content created, but this was before “Star Wars” and he just seemed to be happy to have me around. We were never particularly close. It spoiled me for any job after that.

I made all my “Quasi” films while I was working at Snazelle. Unfortunately he’s no longer alive, but here’s to you, Gregg, with a big heart and much thanks.

Cruikshank was indeed lucky to have secured a day job in her chosen field, providing her with access to prohibitively expensive equipment.

Remember that her 1975 short predates personal computers, affordable animation software, and a plethora of free sharing platforms. Cruikshank says that Quasi at the Quackadero required two years of near daily work, likening its animation process to “something from the Middle Ages.”

Of course, 1975 was also a peak year for underground comix, another tradition from which Quasi sprung, right into the arms of a receptive audience. Anita and Quasi also appear in Cruikshank’s one and only comic, Magic Clams. In addition to her work at Snazelle Studios, Cruikshank cocktail waitressed in a hangout for San Francisco’s underground cartoonists, including then-boyfriend Kim Deitch, Quasi’s “Special Art Assistant.” Bob Armstrong and Al Dodge of R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders contributed the short’s score. Other friends from the indie comix scene were enlisted to paint cells at 50 cents per.

Quasi’s inclusion in the National Film Registry not only carries the imprimatur of cultural, historic, and aesthetic significance, it suggests the psychedelic short is a seminal influence in its own right.

We agree with KQED’s Sarah Hotchkiss that “the saturated colors, hard edges, and constant movement of Cruikshank’s animation could be source material for the future realization of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

Both deliver us from reality into the limitless possibilities of an anthropomorphic universe.

Explore more of Sally Cruickshank’s animations on her You Tube channel, including her  cartoons for Sesame Street. Some of her animation cels, including ones from Quasi at the Quackadero are for sale in her Etsy shop.

Quasi at the Quackadero–voted one of the 50 Greatest Cartoons, in a poll of 1,000 Animation Professionals–will be added to our list of animations, a subset of our collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

Related Content:

The Animations That Changed Cinema: The Groundbreaking Legacies of Prince Achmed, Akira, The Iron Giant & More

The Origins of Anime: Watch Free Online 64 Animations That Launched the Japanese Anime Tradition

Bambi Meets Godzilla: #38 on the List of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of All Time

Free Animated Films: From Classic to Modern 

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. She most recently appeared as a French Canadian bear who travels to New York City in search of food and meaning in Greg Kotis’ short film, L’Ourse.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

How Looney Tunes & Other Classic Cartoons Helped Americans Become Musically Literate

Distance learning experiments on television long predate the medium’s use as a conduit for advertising and mass entertainment. “Before it became known as the ‘idiot box,’” writes Matt Novak at Smithsonian, “television was seen as the best hope for bringing enlightenment to the American people.” The federal government made way for educational programming during TV’s earliest years when the FCC reserved 242 noncommercial channels “to encourage educational programming.”

Funding did not materialize, but the nation’s spirit was willing, Life magazine maintained: “the hunger of our citizenry for culture and self-improvement has always been grossly underestimated.” Was this so? Perhaps. At the medium’s very beginnings as standard appliance in many American homes, there was Leonard Bernstein. His Omnibus series debuted in 1952, “the first commercial television outlet for experimentation in the arts,” notes Schuyler G. Chapin. Six years later, he debuted his Young People’s Concerts, spreading musical literacy on TV through the format for the next 14 years.




“It was to [Bernstein’s] — and our — good fortune that he and the American television grew to maturity together,” wrote critic Robert S. Clark in well-deserved tribute. Much the same could be said of some unlikely candidates for TV musical educators: Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, and other classic animators, who did as much, and maybe more, to familiarize American viewers with classical music as perhaps all of Bernstein’s formidable efforts combined.

But Jones and his fellow animators have not been given their proper due, cartoonist and animator Vincent Alexander suggested in a recent Twitter thread. Aiming to rectify the situation, Alexander posted a wealth of examples from Bugs Bunny & company’s contributions to Americans’ musical literacy. Granted, many of these cartoons started as short films in theaters, but they spent many more decades on TV, entertaining millions of all ages while exposing them to a wide variety of classical compositions.

Alexander points out how cartoons like the first Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog (1953) set a precedent for using Mendelssohn’s “Frühlingslied (Spring Song)” in later animated favorites like Ren & Stimpy and Spongebob Squarepants. He gives obligatory nods to Disney and cites several other non-Looney Tunes examples like Popeye’s “Spinach Overture,” based on Franz von Suppé’s “The Poet and Peasant Overture.” But on the whole, the thread focuses on Warner Bros. classics, especially those in which Bugs Bunny demonstrates his talents as a conductor, pianist, and barber to the bald Elmer Fudd.

“I don’t know who can listen to the famous opera The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini without thinking of Bugs Bunny,” writes Alexander. “The way director Chuck Jones synchronizes the slapstick action to the soundtrack is flat-out masterful.” There are fair questions to be asked here — and Bernstein would surely ask them: How many of those people can appreciate Rossini without the slapstick? How many have heard, and seen, a full performance of his work sans Fudd?

Who can hear Wagner without wanting to sing at the top of their lungs, “Kill da wabbit, Kill da wabbit, Kill da wabbit!” Goodness knows, I can’t. Nonetheless, Chuck Jones’ What’s Opera, Doc? has been recognized for its major contributions to “American enlightenment” — deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and preserved in the National Film Registry. This, Alexander suggests, is as it should be. (Just consider the opera singers Bugs inspired). We should honor animation’s major contributions to our culture literacy: a mass musical education by cartoon. See many more classic clips in Alexander’s Twitter thread here.

via Laughing Squid

Related Content: 

The Evolution of Chuck Jones, the Artist Behind Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Other Looney Tunes Legends: A Video Essay

Kill the Wabbit!: How the 1957 Bugs Bunny Cartoon, “What’s Opera, Doc?,” Inspired Today’s Opera Singers to First Get Into Opera

Books Come to Life in Classic Cartoons from 1930s and 1940s

“The Ducktators”: Loony Tunes Turns Animation into Wartime Propaganda (1942)

 

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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