Even though anime legend Hayao Miyazaki has been a household name in Japan for decades, his films are still a recent discovery for many foreign viewers. A common question from an enthusiastic newly formed Ghibli fan is to ask, “Which Miyazaki film should I show my friends and family to make them understand how amazing they are?”
It’s a tricky question to answer. For example, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke are both incredible films that can evoke emotional responses far beyond what many adults expect from animation. The feelings the films stir, and the ways in which they do so, are extremely different though. It’s hard enough to pick one from just those two, let alone the 11 feature films for which Miyazaki served as director.
So perhaps the best plan isn’t to show the person you’re trying to convert one Miyazaki movie, but all of them, and thanks to one fan’s compilation video, it’ll only take nine minutes.
Alexandre Gasulla is a self-professed movie addict who seems to have an especially soft spot in his heart for Miyazaki anime. In a recent video uploaded to video-sharing website Vimeo and featuring music from Totoro and Castle in the Sky Laputa, Gasulla weaves together scenes from all of the director’s theatrical releases, from 1979’s Castle of Cagliostro to 2013’s The Wind Rises.
It’s no secret that Miyazaki is a huge aviation buff, and you’d be right in assuming that Gasula’s videos is filled with fantastic flying machines.
▼ Fantastic flying in general, really.
The series of clips shows these aren’t the only visual themes Miyazaki likes to revisit. We also see members of the Ghibli cast shedding tears and embracing.
Or how about his specific yet undeniable penchant for having otherworldly giants hand simple gifts over to small children?
Add in some beautiful background art, plus a few sequences that show when Miyazaki wants to animate something blowing up he knows exactly what he’s doing, and the video hammers home not only the diversity of the director’s immense talents, but also his consistency in being able to do so through nearly a dozen movies. If your friends have never seen a Miyazaki film before, we’re sure Gasulla’s compilation will have them eager to change that. And if they have, we suspect this short tribute will have them ready to watch the filmmaker’s whole catalog once again.