The animation studio behind ‘Totoro’ and ‘Spirited Away’ just released 16 free Zoom backgrounds

Studio Ghibli has just released a collection of free virtual Zoom backgrounds, so anime fans can work from home in their favourite fantasy world. Now you can cover up your clutter and level up your Zoom game with a choice of 16 stunning stills, courtesy of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki.

Some images feature beloved characters like cute forest spirit Totoro, while others are just gorgeous backdrops fans can use to hide the fact that they’re taking a meeting in bed.

Now you can enjoy your next virtual date, dinner party or dance jam surrounded by pretty cherry blossom trees from “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” the lantern-lit streets of “Spirited Away,” or the quirky hat shop in “Howl’s Moving Castle.” All the images can be downloaded for free from Studio Ghibli’s website.

princess mononoke

Studio Ghibli has recently made its catalogue of legendary movies more accessible to its global audience of fans. A full collection of 21 titles is available to stream worldwide on Netflix, and the Studio Ghibli library will come to HBO Max in America when the highly anticipated streaming service launches in May.

Hayao Miyazaki is renowned for crafting movies that feel magical. An insider recently explored the way the animator uses a filmmaking technique known as a “pinch” or a moment of calm, to allow the audience a moment to breathe before the action sweeps us away with the story.

Miyazaki refers to this technique as “ma,” the Japanese word for emptiness.

44 minutes into “Spirited Away”, we watch a six-minute sequence that follows the protagonist Chihiro as she retraces her steps from her bedroom to the bridge where she left her parents at the start of the movie.

My Neighbor Totoro

This seems like filler, but the scene gives the audience the space to appreciate the character’s journey and gain a sense of the story’s scope.

Studio Ghibli movies are famous for their moments of stillness – when characters eat in silence or take a minute to observe their surroundings. These scenes draw us into the story, making Miyazaki’s magical tales of teenage witches and forest spirits feel more real.

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