Is Ghibli Magic Replicable? – Mary and the Witch’s Flower Review

Attention: This review contains analysis and therefore spoilers. 

Is Ghibli magic? Those two word arrive together more often than not and the pairing is rarely disputed. Is magic replicable? Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the new release from Studio Ponoc seeks to expand the magic beyond the walls of the venerable studio. Unfortunately, while the beauty of the imagery, and its close approximation to Ghibli’s style, cannot be denied, it takes more than beauty to make magic.  Continue reading

Whisper of the Heart – An Artist’s Tale – Review

Whisper of the Heart is not typical of Studio Ghibli. It starts with a John Denver song, “Country Roads.” John Denver’s sincere folk provides an anthem for the film. In a way, it’s the perfect soundtrack. Whisper of the Heart is the John Denver song of Ghibli movies, personal, open-hearted, obvious, and engaging. The characters resurrect the song throughout the film. Revising it, replaying it and reinterpreting it. Though the original lyrics ultimately mean nothing to the characters or the audience, the mood and tone of heart-on-your-sleeve longing provide the essential ingredient. Continue reading