The studio has produced nineteen feature films, several short films, television commercials and a television film. Eight of Studio Ghibli's films are among the 15 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, with Spirited Away being the highest, grossing over $274 million worldwide.
The studio was founded after the success of the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, written and directed by Miyazaki for Topcraft and distributed by Toei Company. The origins of the film lie in the first two volumes of a serialized manga written by Miyazaki for publication in Animage as a way of generating interest in an anime version. Suzuki was part of the production team on the film and founded Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki, who also invited Takahata to join the new studio.
The studio has mainly produced films by Miyazaki, with the second most prolific director being Takahata (most notably with Grave of the Fireflies). Other directors who have worked with Studio Ghibli include Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita and Gorō Miyazaki. Composer Joe Hisaishi has provided the soundtracks for most of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films. In their book Anime Classics Zettai!, Brian Camp and Julie Davis made note of Michiyo Yasuda as "a mainstay of Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary design and production team".
Many of Ghibli's works are distributed in Japan by Toho. Internationally, The Walt Disney Company has rights to all of Ghibli's output that did not have previous international distribution, including the global, non-Japan distribution rights to Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. As of September 2011, they share North American theatrical rights with GKids while domestic right remain with Disney.
Over the years, there has been a close relationship between Studio Ghibli and the magazine Animage, which regularly runs exclusive articles on the studio and its members in a section titled "Ghibli Notes." Artwork from Ghibli's films and other works are frequently featured on the cover of the magazine. Between 1999 and 2005 Studio Ghibli was a subsidiary of Tokuma Shoten, the publisher of Animage.
In October 2001, the Ghibli Museum opened in Tokyo. It contains exhibits based on Studio Ghibli films and shows animations, including a number of short Studio Ghibli films not available elsewhere.
The studio is also known for its strict "no-edits" policy in licensing their films abroad due to Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind being heavily edited for the film's release in the United States as Warriors of the Wind. The "no cuts" policy was highlighted when Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein suggested editing Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable. A Studio Ghibli producer is rumoured to have sent an authentic Japanese sword with a simple message: "No cuts".
On February 1, 2008, Toshio Suzuki stepped down from the position of Studio Ghibli president, which he had held since 2005, and Koji Hoshino (former president of Walt Disney Japan) took over. Suzuki said he wanted to improve films with his own hands as a producer, rather than demanding this from his employees. Suzuki decided to hand over the presidency to Hoshino because Hoshino has helped Studio Ghibli to sell its videos since 1996, also helping to release the Princess Mononoke film in the United States. Suzuki still serves on the company's board of directors.
Two Studio Ghibli short films created for the Ghibli Museum were shown at the Carnegie Hall Citywise Japan NYC Festival: "House Hunting" and "Mon Mon the Water Spider" were screened on March 26, 2011.
Sunday, September 1, 2013, Hayao Miyazaki held a press conference in Venice, confirming his retirement saying: “I know I’ve said I would retire many times in the past. Many of you must think, `Once again.’ But this time I am quite serious..." Now it is time for Hayao's son, Goro Miyazaki, to take the torch and follow in his father's footsteps.
The first Miyazaki feature to use computer graphics, and the first Studio Ghibli film to use digital coloring; the first animated feature in Japan's history to gross more than 10 billion yen at the box office and the first animated film ever to win a National Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year: Princess Mononoke
The first Miyazaki feature to be shot using a 100% digital process; the first film to gross $200 million worldwide before opening in North America; the film to finally overtake Titanic at the Japanese box office, becoming the top grossing film in the history of Japanese cinema; the only anime winner of an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and the only winner to be made outside the English-speaking world; the only traditionally-animated winner, so far, of an Academy award for Best Animated Feature: Spirited Away
Jiburi no Eshokunin – Oga Kazuo Ten – Totoro no Mori o Kaita Hito ("A Ghibli Artisan – Kazuo Oga Exhibition – The Man Who Painted Totoro's Forest") (2007) (A documentary to commemorate an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, featuring the work of Studio Ghibli background artist Kazuo Oga)
Ghibli no Fūkei ("Scenery of Ghibli") (2009) (A documentary hosted by Japanese actresses Tsuruta Mayu, Natsukawa Yui and actor Tetsuta Sugimoto, that follows them around Europe and Japan matching Miyazaki's storyboards to the real world scenery and attractions that served as inspiration to the settings of his animated films)
Suzuki Toshio no Ghibli Asemamire, 99 no Kotoba ("Suzuki Toshio's Ghibli Asemamire, 99 Words") (2009) (A compilation of 49 interviews conducted by Toshio Suzuki on his weekly radio program Ghibli Asemamire, broadcasting on Tokyo FM)
Joe Hisaishi in Budokan – 25 years with the Animations of Hayao Miyazaki (2009) (Concert footage of Joe Hisaishi's 3 nights at the Nippon Budokan venue in August 2008 where he played various pieces from throughout his 25-year collaboration with Studio Ghibli. Originally broadcast on NHK.)
Ghibli no Hondana [Ghibli's Bookshelf] (documentary), NHK, August 2011Cite uses deprecated parameters (help). Explores the influence of children's literature on Miyazaki and Takahata's body of work and on Studio Ghibli as a whole.
These works were not created by Studio Ghibli, but were produced by a variety of studios and people who went on to form or join Studio Ghibli. This includes members of Topcraft that went on to create Studio Ghibli in 1985; works produced by Toei Animation, TMS Entertainment, Nippon Animation or other studios and featuring involvement by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata or other Ghibli staffers. The list also includes works created in cooperation with Studio Ghibli.
The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots (1969) (Directed by Kimio Yabuki for Toei, written by Hisashi Inoue with gag supervision by Nakahara Yumihiko, key animators include Yasuo Otsuka, Yoichi Kotabe, Reiko Okuyama, Takuo Kikuchi, Akemi Ota, Hayao Miyazaki, and Akira Daikubara) (The main character of the film; Pero would become the mascot for Toei Animation)
^"会社情報." Studio Ghibli. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
^"The Animerica Interview: Takahata and Nosaka: Two Grave Voices in Animation." Animerica. Volume 2, No. 11. Page 11. Translated by Animerica from: Takahata, Isao. Eiga o Tsukurinagara, Kangaeta Koto ("Things I Thought While Making Movies") Tokuma Shoten, 1991. Originally published in Animage, June 1987. This is a translation of a 1987 conversation between Takahata and Akiyuki Nosaka. "Kichijoji is the Tokyo area where "Studio Ghibli," frequent Takahata collaborator Hayao Miyazaki's studio, is located.
^Brooks, Xan (September 14, 2005). "A god among animators". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved May 23, 2007. "There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: 'No cuts.' / The director chortles. 'Actually, my producer did that.'"
McCarthy, Helen. Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation: Films, Themes, Artistry. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 1999. ISBN 978-1-880656-41-9. OCLC42296779. 2001 reprint of the 1999 text, with revisions: OCLC51198297.