Editors' Notes Studio Ghibli made high quality a priority after its founding in 1985, bucking a trend in Japan’s animation industry toward mass production. This ethos carried over to the soundtracks helping to shape the imaginative and youthful films directed by the likes of Hiyao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Ghibli enlisted artists such as Joe Hisaishi and Yuuji Nomi, who boasted a background in the country’s forward-thinking music communities, to create instrumental numbers both playful and melancholy. These tracks elevate the fantasy and feelings central to Ghibli’s work, using piano, violins, traditional Japanese instruments, and much more to build the lush world of “My Neighbor Totoro” and the folky fantasia of “Spirited Away,” places viewers want to visit again and again. The soundtracks to Ghibli’s creations have become classics in Japan, winning prestigious awards while also being re-imagined by orchestras and producers over the decades.

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