History was made 30 years ago today, and the animation community isn’t keen on letting anyone forget as much. April 16, 1988 marked a normal day for many around the world, but Japan was preparing to witness the birth of a new era of anime.
After founding Studio Ghibli, directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata were preparing to unveils the company’s first films back-to-back as a double bill. As fans know today, My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies went on to change how animation was perceived on a global scale. Now, a scant 30 years later, these classics are considered to be immovable pieces of history which cannot be overlooked.
If you head to social media, you will see chatter about these two features dominating the web. Sites like Twitter and Tumblr have ben inundated with tributes to the wildly different films, and you can read a small sample of them in the slides below.
My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies helped kick off the fantastical reputation of Studio Ghibli, so it is easy to get why they are subjected to such celebrations. Without these films, there is no way of knowing how the medium would have evolved, but Miyazaki and Takahata were around to show the world what anime could do. Though different in tone and theme, these films were a back-to-back dose of animation goodness. They may not encapsulate all that Studio Ghibli stands for these days, but they hold the nuggets of inspiration which prompted the company to move forward with its now-legendary storytelling.
These days, Studio Ghibli is known around the world as one of Japan’s premiere brands. Miyazaki stands as an Academy Award winner while Takahata vision for Grave of the Fireflies led Roger Ebert to consider it one of the best war films of all-time. Clout is easy to come by when you look over Studio Ghibli’s catalog, but these two features are the ones responsible for setting up such a trajectory. And, if you were lucky enough to witness this one-two punch of animation in theaters, then the anime fates surely blessed you all those years ago.
Can you believe this debut films from Studio Ghibil are now 30 years old? Which films from the heralded anime studio are your favorites? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!
My mind still boggles at how My Neighbour Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies were released together as a double feature.— Myrna ♄❄️ (@SailorSoapbox) April 16, 2018
Me watching a double bill of My Neighbour Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies. pic.twitter.com/vjKxcpK7Qe— heartbeeps (@hrtbps) April 16, 2018
Apparently both 'Grave of the Fireflies’ and 'My Neighbor Totoro’ opened on the same day, 30 years ago today. Not bad considering they’re the two best animated films of all time.— Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) April 16, 2018
A double feature of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO and GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (both of which turn 30 today and coincidently were double billed when they premiered) is a perfect blend of optimism and melancholy. I highly suggest you view one (or both) today. pic.twitter.com/0ldZMorouQ— Nate (@NateTheCyborg) April 16, 2018
30 years ago, Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies were released on this day. In 1988, Hayao Miyazaki was 47, Isao Takahata was 52, and I was 10. Today we pay tribute to celebrate timeless storytelling and persistent film making. I feel very lucky to be alive during their lifetime. pic.twitter.com/GosyYHY7dj— Martin Hsu (@MartinHsu) April 16, 2018
Happy 30th anniversary to MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO and GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES. The saddest double bill in cinema in history, maybe?— Michelle Buchman (@michelledeidre) April 16, 2018
Miyazaki-san, to the world: pic.twitter.com/myakyhkArX
I had absolutely no idea that My Neighbour Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies were released on the same day (exactly thirty years ago) as part of a double bill.
I find both of their original posters absolutely beautiful. pic.twitter.com/FWKiPmkrz8— Jack Tindale (@JackTindale) April 16, 2018
Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro was released 30 years ago today.April 16, 2018
Grave of the Fireflies was released 30 years ago on April 16 1988. To honor its visionary director Isao Takahata, who passed away a few days ago, we went through his whole career to detail how he changed anime forever, while also changing himself. https://t.co/f6RnAhJYa5 pic.twitter.com/CqgIGgQcNa— kViN (@Yuyucow) April 16, 2018