Now all meetings and social events take place via video chat, we’re all being silently judged on the small rectangle of our homes that people can see behind us. Many of my esteemed colleagues have casually/meticulously planned their backgrounds with prints, plants and books. Mine is a mess of Post-its and washing. And plenty of creatives have released artworks to improve your virtual scenery, but this is the one we’ve all been waiting for: Studio Ghibli’s video chat wallpapers.
The Japanese animation studio has released eight so far, with more to come. So far you can choose from the streets Chihiro roams in Spirited Away, the hat shop from Howl’s Moving Castle, Arriety’s bedroom, the cherry blossom trees from The Tale of Princess Kaguya, a room inside Laputa’s Castle in the Sky, or the tapestry from the opening credits of Nausicaa Valley of the Wind. Or you can choose to be joined on your conference by a sea of swimming Ponyo, or the giant Nightwalker forest spirit from Princess Mononoke. Your call.
They are all free, the only stipulation from Studio Ghibli is they cannot be used for commercial purposes or advertising, just virtual backgrounds for working and learning. Click here to find out more and download the images.
This follows Studio Ghibli’s unprecedented release of its back catalogue of films for online streaming, another (albeit preemptive) gift to our lockdown. In January this year, Netflix acquired rights to 21 of the studio’s films, and the final wave of releases came out on 1 April including Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, and Pom Poko.