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Watching a Studio Ghibli movie always leaves you with a lasting impression. Their skills in storytelling and art create masterpieces for the eyes and the heart. If you were to describe the Ghibli style in a few words, magical, whimsical and playful would probably come to mind. Which is why it’s incredible to see the tone shift in these fantastic pieces of art from AJ Frena.

Originally from Texas, AJ Frena studied art in New York and developed a gritty style that is a true joy to look at. Commissioned to create works based on two Studio Ghibli movies, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke, both of AJ’s pieces are huge departures from the signature Ghibli style and yet somehow the Totoros still retain their playful appearance while the struggle between nature and mankind seen in the latter movie is also clearly evident.

Not only has AJ drawn animated classics, he also has a piece based upon Akira Kurosawa’s classic film Seven Samurai. The characters look ready to leap off the page and fend off the bandits who have come to take your precious crops.

The classics keep rolling as AJ also has a piece based on Lawrence of Arabia:

Each of his works could be displayed as new movie posters for an upcoming remake. In fact, AJ hasn’t only drawn art based on old properties, he has also worked with Marvel to create an official print for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If you are loving this artwork as much as we are, be sure to check out his website and Facebook page for more. We hope to see more interpretations of our favorite movies soon, even if it means we have to personally commission the piece.

Source: Artist Database
Images: Facebook/AJ Frena Illustrations, top image edited by RocketNews24