All the movies I know so far from Miyazaki all have interaction between people and the natural environment as one of their themes. Did he make any movies without this subject?

4 Answers 4


I don't recall Kiki's Delivery Service having much of an environmental theme.

From Wikipedia:

According to Miyazaki the movie touches on the gulf that exists between independence and reliance in Japanese teenage girls. Going far beyond coming of age themes, the work deals with the nature of creativity and talent, and the central difficulty every person faces in becoming themselves, whether through luck, hard work or confidence: the inner film explores the same questions as the later Whisper of the Heart.

  • Thanks. I saw Kiki, but didn't remember in the process of thinking, that Miyazaki-movies all the time has environmental themes. Thanks for pointing that out. Another point, the cited part from Wikipedia does refer to Whisper of the Heart. Great movie, I think I should view it again. :-)
    – Mnementh
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 20:20
  • 2
    @Mnementh As great as Whisper of the Heart was, remember its was only written by Miyazaki, the director is Yoshifumi Kondo. Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 20:03
  • Yeah I know, one of the few well-known Ghibli-movies not from Miyazaki. That I should view this movie again was not connected to my question. :-)
    – Mnementh
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 10:58

I believe Porco Rosso had no environmental agenda, although, how he paints the Mediterranean makes me want to go back there.

  • I think I never saw Porco Rosso. Maybe I should fill this hole.
    – Mnementh
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 11:00
  • @Mnementh Absolutely. In my opinion, one of his best. A beautiful mix of serious and comedic.
    – Beska
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 20:27

Other movies that I would argue do not have an environmental theme as the main subject:

  • Personally, all of the above are top quality, except The Cat Returns. The animation isn't the same quality as the first movie and the story seems rushed and cramped. The ending is just blah.
    – going
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 1:48
  • May be Howl's Moving Castle, But other two movies have indirectly related to environmental themes like staying village side et
    – pramodc84
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 5:48
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    @pramodc84 - Staying village side? Not sure that counts as having the environment as the main theme? Even Kiki was set in a nice seaside village.
    – going
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 10:32
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    Spirited Away has an environmental theme (although not that much in the foreground). Haku is a river-god. The greatest strength developing the characters, if they work together, Haku representing nature and Sen representing the Humans. Also I seem to remember, that the inhabitants of the magical world talk bad about the humans, because they don't respect nature. Totoro shows humans and nature living in harmony. Howl's Moving Castle is harder. I personally see there an environmental theme, as the other world destroyed by war is similar to the destroyed world in Nausicaä. But that's debatable.
    – Mnementh
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 10:52
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    @Mnementh - Then your question is written incorrectly. The environment is not the "theme" of those movies, neither is it the "main subject". Totoro shows people on a nice looking farm outside of the city. Howl's moving castle clambers through the countryside and spirited away has one reference to Haku's river but it's more subtle than being one of the main themes.
    – going
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 11:21

I'm going to play devil's advocate here for minute. We often assume that when someone refers to an environment, that we only talking about nature and an ecosystem, but actually the definition for an environment is much more far-reaching than that...

Definition of environment

1 :the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded 2 a :the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (such as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival b :the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community 3 :the position or characteristic position of a linguistic element in a sequence 4 :a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed a programming environment


With that being said, I would argue that many, if not all of Studio Ghibli's works are in fact about the environment, because where the characters exist often act as it's own character, or that the plots of many films are about stopping a change to the places the characters come live in/save someone from bad/secret situation, animals and/or supernatural "animal-like" beings are friends/companions, background characters, and antagonists to main protagonist, and/or blend nature with man-made machines by either the machines being a reflection of some living thing (flying machines that look like birds or insects) or there are machines existing within a more natural landscape (robots on Laputa floating Island, war planes in clear skies, upon crisp waters, ect).

So in the case of something like Kiki's Delivery Service, it's true we don't have an ecology-conscious story in the traditional sense the same way as say, Princess Mononake does, but Kiki is character that is at first excited by the nature of the town/city she comes to inhabit herself--She sees it's current existence as a positive thing. But between getting her heart broken, temporarily loosing her powers, and the threat of the Dirigible, a machine that might convey the sense of war-technology and could be seen as a "warfare", there may be a familiar subtext here about the art of creating [machines] and the 'environmental' threats they pose, which also exist in works like The Wind Rises, Howl's Moving Castle, (pre-Ghibli) Naussica, or music video, On Your Mark.

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