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When Marnie was There


When Marnie was There

Released: July 2014

Blu ray release: March 2015

A beautiful, heartfelt story of friendship, family and overcoming depression; When Marnie was There is significant as it could be the last ever feature film by legendary Anime production company, Studio Ghibli.


Based on a book of the same name, the story begins with the introduction of the protagonist, a young girl living in the Japanese city Sapporo. 12 year old, Anna, is suffering from depression as her shy personality forces her into seclusion at school and at home with Foster parents.

To assist with her depression, Anna’s foster parents send her to a seaside town to stay with an Aunt and Uncle. It is here that Anna begins to make new friends and discover who she truly is.

This story deals with more real life issues, as opposed to other Ghibli films such as Pom Poko (1994) or Spirited Away (2001). It’s a very emotional journey and is an incredibly strong entry to the Studio Ghibli catalogue. When Marnie was There would stand as a very strong last feature for Studio Ghibli and the fact the story is very real and true to life brilliantly encapsulates the end of our adventures with Studio Ghibli.

Art Style

When Marnie was There returns to the traditional animation style of Studio Ghibli, from the art-journal style of The tale of The Princess Kaguya. The classic Studio Ghibli art style features beautiful, realistically painted backdrops full of rich, blooming colours and brilliant, vivid anime characters. The environment of When Marnie was There is similar to the port city from Ponyo (2008). The soundtrack of When Marnie was there consists of light orchestral songs that suit the elegant art and powerful story of this film.

If you aren’t familiar with Studio Ghibli, When Marnie was There doesn’t represent the vast, imaginative world of Studio Ghibli but will introduce you to the incredible elements of art that make these films what they are; brilliant. The characters of Studio Ghibli and When Marnie was There are realistic, inquisitive and utterly charming. Whilst the art style is familiar, each film from Studio Ghibli is a unique adventure with new environments, atmosphere and brilliantly charismatic characters.


When Marnie was There would be a sentimental close to an incredible and legendary production company. This emotional, yet beautiful, anime is certainly worth watching both for fans of Anime, Studio Ghibli or viewers new to the medium. I say it often but a brilliant film relies on a brilliant atmosphere – a sense of place. Studio Ghibli have been the masters of Anime atmosphere for nearly 30 years and When Marnie was There is no exception to the rule.