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An impressive new supercut offers a solution to this quandary by showing us just how often Studio Ghibli’s films reference and include visual homages to each other.
The tradition of animators inserting subtle references and jokes into films is immemorial, from Pixar movies constantly referencing other Pixar movies, to animation school Cal Arts churning out a generation of artists who insert a sneaky reference to their alma mater. Like cartoonist Al Hirschfeld’s famous “Nina,” such visual Easter eggs are a form of self-identification, and a treat for the audience member savvy enough to catch the visual.
But we had no idea Ghibli had apparently gotten in on the act. We aren’t surprised, though: The self-reference is just one more stroke of whimsical genius from one of the greatest animation studios in the world.
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.