Studio Ghibli is helping to ease the pain of 2020 by making 400 high resolution images from eight of its movies available to download for free. The films include “When Marnie Was There,” “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” “The Wind Rises,” “From Up on Poppy Hill,” “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “Ponyo,” “Tales from Earthsea,” and Best Animated Feature Oscar winner “Spirited Away.” A handwritten note from Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki notes the one catch: “Please use them freely within the scope of common sense.”
The 400 free images mean each film mentioned above has 50 new high-resolution stills to explore. The note to use the images with “common sense” means fans have the green light from Suzuki to share the stills on social media and make artwork out of them, but don’t think about selling them for profit. Suzuki teased that more free images from additional Studio Ghibli movies will become available in the future.
The release of 400 free Ghibli movie stills comes at a time when the studio is building buzz for its brand like never before. Over the summer, Studio Ghibli’s entire filmography became available to stream for the first time in the United States thanks to a deal between the Japanese animation studio and HBO Max. Ghibli films stream internationally thanks to a distribution deal with Netflix, meaning Ghibli films have finally gone global in the streaming era.
Ghibli is also in production on its first major works since halting productions in 2014 after the release of co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Also Rises,” followed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s “When Marnie Was There.” Miyazaki’s son, Goro, is behind the studio’s first CGI animated feature since, “Earwig and the Witch,” based on the book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones. “Earwig” was named an official selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival and will be released in Japan this December, followed by a U.S. release sometime in 2021 via GKids.
Hayao Miyazaki is also at work on his first film since “The Wind Rises,” the hand-drawn coming of age story “How Do You Live?” Suzuki said earlier this year fans will have to wait a bit longer for Miyazaki’s latest as the master animator is still three years away from completing work on the project.
“We are still hand-drawing everything, but it takes us more time to complete a film because we’re drawing more frames,” Suzuki said. “So, there are more drawings to draw than before…[For] the current film that Miyazaki is working on, we have 60 animators, but we are only able to come up with one minute of animation in a month. That means 12 months a year, you get 12 minutes worth of movie. Actually, we’ve been working on this film for three years, so that means we have 36 minutes completed so far. We’re hoping it will finish in the next three years.”
Check out a selection of new free Ghibli images below. Click here to view the full collection.