I’ve been doing something that I should have done a long time ago: watch through Hiyao Miyazaki’s/Studio Ghibli’s back catalog.
Believe it or not, until recently, I had only ever seen two of these films: Mononoke Hime and Nausicaa. I love them both and I own Nausicaa — a fancy collector’s edition, actually, that was a birthday gift — but I hadn’t seen anything else.
Now I’ve got two more under my belt — Castle in the Sky and Howl’s Moving Castle, which I know isn’t technically a Miyazaki story since he adapted it from the late Diana Wynne Jones’ novel which I have never read.
And I always have the same reaction and now I’ve come to expect it as I start to watch: “Oh, this again. I know how this goes. Yes, yes, I know what all this looks like. Yup, there’s little furry things. Oh, well, I guess this is the one where…” And then the dots lead into the bit where my brain simply goes wstfgl because something so lovely and unexpected has happened that I can’t think what to think about it for a minute.
I don’t know how else to explain it, really, other than by saying that every time I think, “Oh, this is just another Miyazaki movie; fine,” there is always something surprising and something that transcends the film. Maybe it isn’t a grand philosophical statement — although sometimes it is — but most often it’s something that’s simply beautiful.