The legendary Japanese animation studio Ghibli, co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki, will receive an honorary Palme d’Or at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in May, organizers announced on Wednesday April 17. Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro… Epic and poetic, the emblematic films of the house of Ghibli are considered masterpieces of cinema, which over forty years have contributed to giving its letters of nobility to animation.

Rather than decorating Hayao Miyazaki alone, the studio’s best-known figure, whose public appearances are extremely rare, the Festival chose for the first time to award a collective Palm of Honor to a studio, Ghibli, whose other great name, Isao Takahata, died in 2018. His third great figure, producer Toshio Suzuki, aged 75, said he was “truly honored and happy” when the distinction was announced.

“Like all cinema icons, [the characters in these films] populate our imaginations with abundant and colorful universes and sensitive and committed stories. With Ghibli, Japanese animated cinema is experienced as one of the great adventures of cinephilia, between tradition and modernity,” declared Iris Knobloch and Thierry Frémaux, heads of the Cannes Film Festival, in a press release.

Tribute to George Lucas

At 83, Hayao Miyazaki announced his artistic retirement on several occasions, before returning to the drawing board. His latest film, The Boy and the Heron, won the Oscar for best animated film, his second after Spirited Away in 2003.

At the end of last year, Ghibli became a subsidiary of the Japanese television channel Nippon TV, which is committed to respecting its autonomy.

Another honorary Palme d’Or must be awarded during the Festival (which will take place from May 14 to 25) to another figure of popular culture and legend of the 7th art, on the Hollywood side: George Lucas, the father of the saga Star Wars.