The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures: Studio Ghibli Exhibit


Kira Camacho, Staff Writer

Many of our generation’s favorite movies were made by Studio Ghibli. We have fond memories of Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Ponyo. These amazing movies have left a mark on our childhoods. Now, you can enter the worlds of these movies with the Hayao Miyazaki exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Hayao Miyazaki is an award-winning Japanese animation director. He is also a co-founder of Studio Ghibli. The Academy Museum website says that “Miyazaki’s films teem with visual imagination and profound stories that explore themes of self-discovery, pacifism, environmentalism, and humanity’s capacity for both invention and destruction.” 

Miyazaki was born in Tokyo and joined Toei Animation in 1963. He worked as an “in-between” artist, he made frames to create the illusion of movement between two keyframes. In 1971, he moved to A-Pro and co-directed Lupin the Third Part I. Two years later in 1973, Miyazaki worked as an animator for the World Masterpiece Theater. His first feature film was in 1979 with Tokyo Movie Shinsha, The Castle of Cagliostro. In 1985, Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli. He is now an award-winning, world-renowned filmmaker.

The exhibit has been designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano and will include more than 300 objects, each exploring Miyazaki’s animated feature films. The Academy Museum said, “Visitors will travel through the filmmaker’s six-decade career through a dynamic presentation of original imageboards, character designs, storyboards, layouts, backgrounds, posters, and cels, including pieces on public view outside of Japan for the first time, as well as large-scale projections of film clips and immersive environments.”

The exhibit will be organized into seven sections. It is designed as a journey. To enter, visitors will follow Mei, from My Neighbor Totoro, into the Tree Tunnel gallery. When visitors emerge from the Tree Tunnel, they will arrive in the Creating Characters gallery. This section shows how Miyazaki’s characters are developed. On a special TV, visitors will view Miyazaki’s early works as an animator. Then, viewers will move to the Creating Worlds gallery, this will then lead to a Sky View installation. The next gallery is the Transformations gallery. Lastly, visitors will enter the final gallery, the Magical Forest, which will hold mystical trees representing a gateway to another world. 

Alongside the exhibition, the Academy Museum will screen Miyazaki’s complete body of work as a feature director. Their website states that “All films will be screened in both the original language Japanese with English subtitles and the dubbed English dialogue versions.”

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be the largest institution in the United States devoted to arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. Their website adds that the museum will “be simultaneously immersive, experimental, educational, and entertaining.” The museum is restoring the historic Saban Building, formerly known as the May Company Building. It will feature seven floors, the Ted Mann Theater, Shirley Temple Education Studio, special event spaces, conservation areas, a cafe, and a store.


Media Courtesy of FLICKR.COM