When Studio Ghibli announced the re-tooling and possible closing of their company this past summer, many of us to took a look back on some of the production studio’s finest films. Many of us grew up during Studio Ghibli’s heyday, shortly after it was created in 1985. It’s no secret that these films possess beautiful animation and the unforgettable stories, but there’s more going on behind the scenes of these animated classics than most of us realize.
Yamamoto Nizo was a star Studio Ghilbli employee for many years, and he is the one responsible for the beautiful backgrounds we see in these treasured movies. He has been at the forefront of production for over 30 years; from the forests of “Princess Mononoke” to the temples of “Fantastic Children”, he puts unmeasurable care and detail into Ghibli’s animated backdrops, which are only meant to be seen for a few short seconds.
Yamamoto originally studied architecture in school, but he later discovered a passion for art and went on to create the backgrounds for many animated movies and TV shows; his work even pre-dates Studio Ghibli films, such as “Future Boy Conan.” Later, in 1985, he was asked to join Studio Ghibli and agreed to start working on his first Ghibli film, “Castle in The Sky.” Even though it was Yamamoto’s first Ghibli film, it features professionally executed scenery. The architecture of the castle is unique, and can no doubt be attributed to Nizo’s time studying architecture.
Made in 1997, Princess Mononoke is one of Studio Ghibli’s more popular films. The beautiful forest landscapes provided the movie with the eerie yet calm atmosphere that Yamamoto excels at.