For years, the charming world of Studio Ghibli has given us some of the most moving and poignant animated movies in the world. Founded in July 1985, the studio has grossed hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, with their biggest release, Spirited Away, earning nearly $350 million dollars to date.
Fans of the likes of My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Castle in the Sky have shown their appreciation for the studio by creating some truly remarkable works of art, so we’ve chosen 10 pieces of fan art that we love, ranging from watercolor masterpieces to hand-drawn spectacles that would make the masters of anime proud.
10. My Neighbor Totoro
Louise Terrier is a French artist who used watercolors to paint a wide selection of Studio Ghibli-inspired paintings in 2014. It’s hard to pick one that stands out above the rest, but there’s just something so sweet about this one. Satsuki and Mei are snuggling up to Totoro, and the wealth of color and detail in the picture is phenomenal.
The different shades of brown, red, and green bring the forest to life, with Terrier’s love of the film clearly represented by her attention to detail. Terrier has been painting from a young age, and it’s clear to see how much her love of the anime is represented by the care she’s put into creating such a stunning work of art.
9. Howl’s Moving Castle
Studio Ghibli is responsible for plenty of wonderful anime movies, but they also worked with Level-5, a video game developer, to create the wonderful Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Although it followed a similar direction in regards to the type of animation they’re renowned for, it showcased their ability in another entertainment medium.
Although it was wonderfully animated, Ni No Kuni wasn’t a pixelated game, but Gabe Fern has created artwork that shows Howl’s Moving Castle in a very different light. As you can see, the castle still looks stunning even in pixels, and the notion of playing a game in this style makes us wish that somebody would make it happen.
8. Kiki’s Delivery Service
Celiere’s hand-drawn art encapsulates the beauty of Kiki’s Delivery Service magnificently. It was the first Studio Ghibli film that she watched and inspired her a great deal as a child. The background took her a long time to do, but as you can see, it was well worth the wait.
The film tells the story of a young witch called Kiki who uses her ability to fly to make a living. Miyazaki has said that it’s a film about growing up, and how the change from relying on your family as a child eventually transitions into becoming independent when you’re older.
7. Castle In The Sky
Perhaps Studio Ghibli’s most revered movie, Castle in the Sky was the first made under the studio’s name and tells the story of Sheeta and Pazu as they try to keep a magical crystal out of the wrong hands, all whilst looking for a mysterious floating island named Laputa that was seen in a picture his father took.
Illustrator and art director Robert Nieto sights Castle in the Sky as being his favorite Ghibli movie, and this stunning homage to it is utterly breathtaking. He’s also created artwork and merchandise based on other Studio Ghibli films, and if you’d like to purchase them, his website offers you the opportunity.
Ponyo is the eighth film directed by Hayao Miyazaki and centers on a goldfish who dreams of becoming a human girl. It’s cute, heartwarming, and full of color. This painting by an unknown artist shows Sōsuke and Ponyo more grown-up, and the wealth of detail in the shading and lighting is impressive.
Ponyo is waving to her father as she embarks on a life above sea with Sōsuke, giving us all the feels. It’s difficult to bring the magic of the film to life in a painting, but it’s done to utter perfection here. It’d be cool to see this happen in a Ponyo sequel, but at least we’ll always have the original, and with artwork like this, there’s no need to dream.
5. Spirited Away
When it originally released on July 10, 2001, nobody knew Spirited Away would go on to be the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, overtaking the likes of Titanic at the Japanese box office. Its success didn’t stop there either, going on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and becoming the first non-English speaking film to win an Oscar.
Zaccura’s take on the film is really cute, using chibi characters to bring to life in digital form one of her favorite Ghibli films. She produced a video on YouTube that goes through the step-by-step process of how it was created, showing just how talented she is.
4. Grave Of The Fireflies
If you’ve ever watched Grave of the Fireflies, you will understand why this artwork is incredibly special. It’s a film known to be one of Studio Ghibli’s most heart-wrenching movies, and Closz’s magnificent digital art encapsulates every emotion felt whilst watching the late Isao Takahata’s moving debut for the studio.
Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of two siblings as they try to survive the Second World War. Based on real events, this animated film certainly isn’t a family film, but one that is vitally important in relating the struggles that all sides of those in WWII faced.
3. The Wind Rises
Until How Do You Live? was announced, The Wind Rises was believed to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last film for Studio Ghibli. Thankfully, we’ll see his new movie sometime in 2020, but this beautiful painting from starryjohn provides a faithful and fantastic look at 2013’s highest-grossing Japanese film.
The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biopic about the designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft, Jiro Horikoshi. Starryjohn is a talented artist who’s My Neighbor Totoro digital painting is equally as amazing, but there’s just something so special about his take on the Horikoshi’s life.
2. Porco Rosso
Whilst Studio Ghibli loves to make emotional and dramatic movies, Porco Rosso is more of an action-comedy, centering around a man called Marco Pagot, who transforms into an anthropomorphic pig. Nesskain is a French artist whose take on the film through his art is nothing short of unique.
In a rather simplistic approach, it’s the shading used through a watercolor style that gives it its magic. Since creating this Porco Rosso piece, Nesskain, who’s real name is Kim-Seang, now works full-time for Blizzard Entertainment as a Creative Developer, and has contributed to the beautiful artwork seen in Overwatch.
1. Princess Mononoke
Astri Lohne Sjursen is currently a concept artist and illustrator for a new game developer called Vela Games, who are working on their first IP. In the past, she’s done freelance work for huge companies like Blizzard and Disney, and from her life-like painting of San from Princess Mononoke, it’s clear to see why she’s in such high demand.
Princess Mononoke is about a struggle between the Gods of a forest and the human’s that steal its resources, and how the last Emishi prince, Ashitaka, becomes involved. San was raised by wolves in the forest, and this painting shows off just how much of a badass she is, with intricate detail put into every aspect of Sjursen’s work.