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Magical Miyazaki films animate the Aero

Magical Miyazaki films animate the Aero
A scene from the 1988 animated film "My Neighbor Totoro." (GKids)

If further proof were needed that we are living in a golden age of animation, the arrival of this weekend's tribute to Japan's Hayao Miyazaki at the same time that Nick Park's "Early Man" hits theaters should do the trick.

Three of director Miyazaki's brilliant features get the big screen treatment at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica over the next few days, including a 7:30 p.m. screening Feb. 16 of “Howl’s Moving Castle,” a visual knockout set in an alternate universe that is half-familiar, half-strange.

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Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. marks a chance to see “My Neighbor Totoro,” one of the most magical children’s films ever made. And on Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. you can see “Spirited Away,” winner of the first best animated feature Oscar in 2002 and still the highest-grossing film ever in its home country.

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“Studio Ghibli in 35 mm.” American Cinematheque, Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. www.americancinemathequecalendar.com

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