(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

For the first time in its 36-year history of making some of the most breathtaking animated masterpieces of all time, all of Studio Ghibli‘s movies are available to stream right now. The Japanese animation studio best known for its adorable raccoon-like mascot and the acclaimed works of animation titan Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli is often written off as the maker of peculiar arthouse animes — too philosophical for western kids used to fast-paced Disney movies, and too anime for cinephiles. Well, I’m here to prove those hypothetical haters wrong. Or, at least, to lend a helping hand to those who are interested in diving into the works of Studio Ghibli, but are unsure about where to start or if the studio’s films will even appeal to them. I can assure you, of the 21 feature films (and one TV movie) released by Studio Ghibli since its inception in 1984, there will be something for you.

So in this week’s Pop Culture Imports, I’m shaking things up a bit and spiriting you away across the Pacific to give you a beginner’s guide to Studio Ghibli movies.

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studio ghibli theme park

There’s no experience more magical than that of watching a Studio Ghibli film. But what about actually experiencing one? Studio Ghibli is bringing to life the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and its other renowned anime directors in the form of its long-awaited theme park, which is now officially in development thanks to the help of local partners in Japan. The unnamed Studio Ghibli theme park is scheduled to open in 2022.

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The 10 Best Animated Flying Sequences

best animated flying sequences

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best animated flying sequences.)

The best kinds of animated films sweep you away — whether in their dazzling technical craft, their boundless imagination, or their awe-inspiring execution. And the best kinds of animated flying sequences achieve all three.

In honor of the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third and final film in a franchise that has given us some of the most breakthtaking flying sequences rendered to celluloid, I have compiled the best flying sequences from animated films. Because of my arbitrary decision to limit the definition of “flying” to characters achieving lift for a significant amount of time, it pains me to say that I won’t be including last year’s brilliant Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but honorable mention goes to that leap of faith. Now that that’s all said and done, here are the 10 best animated flying sequences.

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hayao miyazaki prints

There’s nothing as magical as watching a Hayao Miyazaki film, and letting it transport you to a fantastical world where dragons soar and castles walk. But a Hayao Miyazaki print done in the style of Japanese woodblock prints may just come close.

For a limited time, Japanese woodblock-style prints of Studio Ghibli movies directed by the legendary anime filmmaker are available to purchase. But better snatch them up quick, because like a certain antique grandfather clock in Whisper of the Heart, at the stroke of midnight, they may disappear.

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studio ghibli theme park concept art

Come 2022, you can be spirited away to the world of Studio Ghibli. An upcoming theme park will bring to life the vibrant and surreal worlds that were first introduced to us in the animated movies by Hayao MiyazakiIsao Takahata, and other illustrious anime directors.

The theme park’s opening is still several years in the future (they’re probably trying to figure out how to make a real-life Catbus as we speak), but for now, we can get a first look at some absolutely magical Studio Ghibli theme park concept art.

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/Answers: The Movies That Define Our Childhood

ready player one box office

Every week in /Answers, we answer a new pop culture-related question. In this edition, tying in with the release of Ready Player One, we ask “What movie defines your childhood? What nostalgic favorite floats to the top of your brain whenever your think back on your early film fandom?”

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/Answers: Favorite Movie Mentor

best movie mentors

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition asks “Who is your favorite movie mentor?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team. This week, we are also joined by Cars 3 director Brian Fee.

If you’d like to share your pick for your favorite movie mentor, please send your thoughts to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our choices below!

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The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Set will be released by Disney in North America and is now available for pre-order for $224.99. The U.S. release of this set appears to be an Amazon exclusive. Shipping is free with or without Amazon Prime. The set includes the following films: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. An international trailer and details about bonus features included in the set, can be found after the jump.

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See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real

Studio Ghibli Theme Park

How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if Disney were to buy Ghibli and create such a theme park in Japan. After the jump you can see the fantastic designs created by Takumi which bring together many of the worlds seen in the Studio Ghibli movies.

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Films of Hayao Miyazaki

Rumors of the closure of Studio Ghibli are not true, but it seems that Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki may be done with feature filmmaking for good. In a career that spanned over thirty years directing features, Miyazaki refined his own storytelling and helped change the world’s idea of what stories animated films can bring to audiences of all ages. And yet even with the muscle of Disney behind them, the films of Hayao Miyazaki have been somewhat slow to hit DVD and then Blu-ray in the US. (For Blu-ray that is in part thanks to a measured release plan in Japan.)

With the recent US Blu upgrades for Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, and the debut release of The Wind Rises on Disney home video, all but three of Miyazaki’s films are now on blu-ray in the States. (Disney will probably have Spirited Away out by Christmas 2015.) That’s as good a reason as any to look back at the filmmaker’s illustrious career. There aren’t any films on his CV you should not see — he has not made a bad movie — but below we’ll look at the films of Hayao Miyazaki in ranked order, to help you figure out what to prioritize, in the event you’re relatively new to his work.

Update: Disney has now also released Porco Rosso on blu-ray, along with excellent discs of Pom Poko and Tales From Earthsea. Disney’s blu releases of Miyazaki (and Ghibli films in general) have been excellent, and stand as essential upgrades from previous releases.

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