Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Inspiring Reads: The Art of Spirited Away

I've been working my way through a lot of books over the past couple of months but with lots of things going on I haven't had a chance to write a piece for the blog.
The Art of Miyazaki's Spirited Away is an official publication from the Studio Ghibli Library. At first, I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed that the book didn't include the other films but even after flicking through briefly I understood why there is a separate publication for every Studio Ghibli film. There's justsimply not enough space in one book to include every film and keep the quality of the publication as high as it is. 
For fans of the film the book outlines the ideas and symbolism behind the film (as told by Hayao Miyazaki in the introductory chapter). There are other books out there that give you an overview of Studio Ghibli film content but most of these are not official publications so its great to hear from the creator.
We are then introduced to each character in the film along with glossy colour images of sketches and watercolours related to that character. There are quotes from the animators to give an insight into what they were trying to achieve with each animation in relation to the personality of each character. As well as character introductions there is also a focus on the locations throughout the film such as the Woods (at the very beginning of the film) and the various areas of the Bathhouse. A nice touch is also the inclusion of the film script at the end of the book, for those who maybe want to do a bit more research or as a reminder of key moments throughout the film.
For me the most interesting section of the book is the introduction by Miyazaki. He shed light on sections of the film that I may have overlooked and the intentions of the film are very different from American animations that we are all very familiar with.

(Above) Images from The Art of Miyazaki's Spirited Away

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the film and for the artwork. I took a trip to Tokyo for my honeymoon two years ago and I always regret not making it to the Studio Ghibli museum. Unfortunately tickets are limited and we didn't buy beforehand so we missed out! Oh well, it just means we have to go back...

The book can be purchased online at Amazon and Forbidden Planet for around £16.

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