Studio Ghibli ("jiblee") was founded in the 1980s by celebrated Japanese Anime directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata in the wake of Miyazaki's overwhelming success with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Studio Ghibli is known for its incredibly rich and detailed animation, exacting attention to detail, and imaginative plots (frequently involving flying scenes, a personal favourite of Miyazaki's).
Ghibli was recently rated as the top brand in Japan, and is a household name even among non-Otaku. New Ghibli films are consistently the top grossers for the year in Japanese theaters, and recent releases such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke have gained a mainstream following in North America (in part thanks to a distribution deal with Disney). The studio tends to focus on films rather than television series, but it is frequently the "gateway drug" for new Anime fans. Ghibli is also like Disney in that Ghibli maintains their animation staff as full-time employees instead of the typical Japanese practice of employing freelance artists paid on a piecework basis.