‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ ending trax by Joe Hisaishi

(sigh) no more Miyazaki movies...Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films are an international cultural staple. Everywhere I go on this forbidden planet, total chowder-heads and dilettantes alike will proclaim his genius with an exuberant zest almost equal to that of yours truly — and this is a pretty cool thing.

Ah, but what’s the secret to the consistent quality? It isn’t merely a result of the innate talent and hard-work of the director, producers and staff of Studio Ghibli. It’s also the case that Miyazaki maintains nearly total control over every aspect and stage of the project. Little of the animation and drawing is outsourced from their studio, he still hand-draws some of the project frames himself, and everybody on the Ghibli team is forced to actually care about their job. This is similar to gain-staging in recording audio — keeping a careful watch over the audio levels when recording, mixing and mastering, so as to maintain optimum balance and quality. You don’t have to keep an eye on it, but those who do come out with the most controlled and intentionally detailed work.

Studio Ghibli is the pinnacle of hand-drawn animation, and it’s amusing that I still encounter people who won’t watch it or give it a chance just because it’s anime: “kids’ movies.” But when someone tells me such a thing, I recognize it just means that person really just doesn’t know anything (plus it’s an inherently racist Euro-centric notion that because Euro/American cartoons are mainly aimed at kids, all cartoons are aimed at kids). You can be the most brilliant surgeon or aeronautical engineer or political analyst or business executive in existence — but if you don’t get Miyazaki, you’re a fucking shadow in this world. Your genes are deficient and it’s a fluke that you even have a sex drive.

Joe Hisashi does the music in nearly every Miyazaki film; one of my favorite scores is that of Kiki’s Delivery Service. This youtube video does us all a great service by binding together the two brilliant catchy ending soundtrack pieces of the film. The first song is an inspiring pop gem, and the second is a catchy throwback to ’50s doo-wop. I suggest you listen to these songs, as there are few other things in the world that mean anything at all.


~ by chaosrexmachinae on September 20, 2009.

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