There are so many things to love about the movies of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, but the one I've always admired the most is the worlds they take place in.

Those worlds, so often based on European and Japanese landscapes, are brought to life in a way that makes them look like the most tangible fairy tales every written.


Much of the credit for that goes to Kazuo Oga, who was art director on Ghibli films like Totoro and Princess Mononoke, and who has handled background art on everything from Kiki's Delivery Service to Spirited Away to Ponyo.

Below you'll find highlights from this gallery showcasing some of the best background art from Ghibli movies, much of it (with the exception of the Nausicaa stuff) done by Oga. If you like what you see, you should check out this collection of his work; I picked it up at the Ghilbi Museum a few years ago and it might now be one of my most cherished possessions.

[thanks Jason!]