Back as I promise, writing here again on my blog, not after ages this time, but I couldn't seriously wait to show you what I've been studying these days.
I've always loved painting these kind of scenes, I think you can always learn so so much from each movie , from the characters, to the colours.
My favourite, personally is always been Spirited Away, the characters are incredible, the story is intense and full of mixed emotions and I've heard the most incredible meanings behind each character.
I've recently discovered different incredible facts about this movie, Miyazaki didn't have a script, he worked just producing storyboards and waiting for the story to develop visually before writing it down.
I found it being the best way to remember the stories we want to illustrate/animate, more spontaneous and quick , you don't forget something that you are visualising and then drawing straight away ! 😚
Another factor I really love about Spirited Away is that the character of Chihiro is been inspired by the daughter of one of the director’s friends , the typical teenager, bored and unhappy about everything .
The main character had to be ordinary, with no special abilities or traits.
The girls needed someone human to relate to and show them that they could be heroines too.
“Every time I wrote or drew something concerning the character of Chihiro and her actions, I asked myself the question whether my friend's daughter or her friends would be capable of doing it,” Miyazaki explained and this is so true because this is the best way to get inspiration for our stories ! ☺️
The river spirit for example was inspired by Miyazaki’s experience cleaning a river, “I cleaned a river once,” Miyazaki said. “My local river. And there really was a bicycle. It was stuck in there. Ten of us wrapped a rope around the bars and slowly pulled it out. We really cleaned up the river, and the fish are back. And that’s why I added that scene.”
To help the animators understand how the characters moved, Miyazaki would ask them to draw inspiration from animals. When explaining the scene when an injured Haku falls into the boiler room, the filmmaker uses three animals to describe the action. The dragon clings to the wall like a gecko, before falling to the ground like a snake. When Chihiro feeds Haku the medicine, Miyazaki asks the animators to use a dog’s mouth as a model. No one on the team had a dog, so they went to a veterinarian’s office with a camera.
The packed streets and elaborate bathhouse of the movie can Juifen in Taiwan for its beautiful designs and architectures. Miyazaki is said to have visited a popular teahouse while staying there that showed up in the movie as the bathhouse. If you ever find yourself in Taiwan, it is definitely worth the visit to relive all the magic of the movie.
I love finding all these little secrets about the animations movies, who or what inspired an animation movie, the unique locations that have inspired my favourite movies and I'll admit that when I've looked at Juifen in Taiwan I felt like running there to get inspired for a story 🤣
I'll definitely write more if you like all these little secrets about Studio Ghibli, I'm a big fan of the art books and "The Art of Spirited Away" is one of the best I've ever had and it was a present from a dear friend, something I'll always suggest in your library :
Soon, I'll share with you all the new Ghibli Illustrations 🥰