One of the films as part of the Studio Ghibli season on Film 4 is one of the earliest titles created by the studio, and that is Little Norse Prince. Released in 1968, it is a prime example of how Studio Ghibli have become one of the most loved anime studios in the business.
'Little Norse Prince' starts with our hero Horusu trying to escape a pack of wolves, with nothing more than his hatchet that his father passed on to him, and the rope it is attached to. This is brought to an abrupt end by an appearance of a Stone God who quickly overshadows all the wolves, who know better than to attempt to take him on just to get the boy. Horusu then helps the Stone God with a 'thorn' in his shoulder that is actually The Sword of the Sun, which when forged properly will become a tremendously powerful weapon. And so the quest begins...
Horusu travels to another village in search of someone to help him forge the sword, and in the process meets Hiruda, a girl with a beautiful singing voice but hides a sinister side, and an evil sibling who forces her to do his dirty work.
Although the character design does look dated, and the animation does look a little worse-for-wear when the action really kicks off, it is still a really good example of what Studio Ghibli do best. There are scenes that tug at your heart-strings, scenes that shock you (the first time you realise everything is not as it seems with Hiruda is prime example of this) and scenes that make you think 'so this is where *insert anime title* got an idea from then!'. Definitely not one to be missed.