This page contains a listing of works commonly mistaken to be by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, or Studio Ghibli. We hope this page will clear up some of the misinformation and myths floating around the internet.
- 1 Esteban / Lost Cities of Gold / Mysterious Cities of Gold
- 2 Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (The Secret of Blue Water / Nadia of the Mysterious Seas)
- 3 Little Nemo
- 4 Pippi Longstockings
- 5 Romio no Aoi Sora (Romeo's Blue Skies)
- 6 Wakakusa Monogatari Nan to Jou-sensei (Tale of the Young Grass: Nan and Miss Jo)
- 7 The Boy Who Saw the Wind
- 8 The Last Unicorn
Esteban / Lost Cities of Gold / Mysterious Cities of Gold
"The Lost Cities of Gold" was animated by Studio Pierrot in 1982, and the character designer was Toshiyasu Okada. At that time, Miyazaki was working at Telecom, making Sherlock Hound.
During production of the series the character Esteban was altered to "look less like a Miyazaki character" according to an interview in the "Art of" book for "The Lost Cities of Gold".
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (The Secret of Blue Water / Nadia of the Mysterious Seas)
"Nadia" was originally a Miyazaki project. In the mid-1970's, Miyazaki was working on stories for Toho, an animation company, and one of the stories was to be titled "Around the World in 80 Days by Sea". The story was to follow two young orphans fleeing an evil power or government while being helped by some bumbling bad guys, and a mysterious Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. The project was eventually shelved, though Miyazaki incorporated several elements of that story into his NHK series Conan: The Boy in Future. Some of these same elements later reappeared in his 1986 film Laputa: Castle in the Sky.
In the late 1980's, NHK and Toho approached Gainax about doing a television series and suggested this idea. You can learn more about this series on Marc Hairston's Nadia site.
"Little Nemo" was an American/Japanese joint project, and Miyazaki and Takahata were involved in the pre-production stage during 1982 and 1983. However, due to creative differences with the American producers, both quit the project. It was finally made into a movie with different staff members and released in 1989 in Japan.
There is a rumor that two pilot films in the Japanese "Nemo" LD box set were done by Miyazaki and Takahata, but they were actually done by Yoshifumi Kondō and Osamu Dezaki, respectively.
Both Miyazaki and Takahata quit Toei Dōga and moved to A Pro in 1971 in order to make a "Pippi Longstockings" TV series. They put a lot of effort into the project but the author of the book on which the series was based, Astrid Lindgren, did not give permission so it was never realized. After this disappointment, they made the movie Panda! Go Panda!, and Mimiko, the little girl in the movie, looks a lot like Pippi, complete with red hair and freckles!
Romio no Aoi Sora (Romeo's Blue Skies)
Nippon Animation created "Romeo's Blue Skies" as part of their World Masterpiece Theater series, so it's somewhat related to Miyazaki and Takahata. Yoshiharu Satou, the character designer for this series, worked as the supervising animator of My Neighbor Totoro, which explains the "Ghibli look" of the characters. There's also one other less-known connection: Satou was having a hard time designing Romeo, the main character of the series. Then he saw a boy in a picture taken in Switzerland by Miyazaki and Takahata when they were researching locations for Heidi. "This is it!" he said, and he based Romeo on that boy. So, if not for Miyazaki and Takahata taking that picture, there might not be a "Romeo"!
Wakakusa Monogatari Nan to Jou-sensei (Tale of the Young Grass: Nan and Miss Jo)
"Nan & Miss Jo" is one of Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theater series, so it's somewhat Miyazaki and Takahata related. It's based on Louisa May Alcott's "Little Men", the sequel to "Little Women". The Miyazaki-look is due to the character designer Yoshiharu Satou, who was the supervising animator of My Neighbor Totoro and Only Yesterday. Satou also worked on Romeo's Blue Skies.
You can learn more about this series at *Frédéric Goetzinger's "Little Men" page
The Boy Who Saw the Wind
Although some bootleg VCDs put the Studio Ghibli logo on the package, "The Boy Who Saw the Wind" has nothing to do with Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli.
The Last Unicorn
A joint production between Rankin-Bass (in the US) and Topcraft (in Japan), the animated adaptation of the Peter S. Beagle novel was released in 1982. Kazuyuki Kobayashi, a key animator on the film, also worked on Nausicaa and Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Animators Yoshiko Sasaki, Fukuo Suzuki, and Masahiro Yoshida also went on to work on Nausicaa. More details on Marc Hairston's The Last Unicorn site.