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- Education About Asia: Online Archives
- Movie Group: Studio Ghibli (+ Related Films)
- Every Studio Ghibli movie, ranked
- The GKIDS Collection
- Ranking Studio Ghibli’s most delightful short films
- 15 Best Studio Ghibli Movies to Watch
- All 21 Studio Ghibli Movies Ranked From Worst To Best
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Animated movies have been around for what seems like forever. When we think of animation, names like Disney and Pixar pop into our heads, but we sometimes neglect to include one of the biggest and best animation studios there is - Studio Ghibli.
Miyazaki directed and drew some of the best Studio Ghibli movies and characters, from Spirited Away to Totoro. Beside Miyazaki was his Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, a fellow animator who preferred directing and screenwriting and who brought films like Grave of the Fireflies and The Tale of Princess Kaguya to life before passing away in While it may seem like Studio Ghibli's glory days are in the past after Miyazaki retired in and Takahata made his last film around the same time, there's hope beyond rewatching the classic and critically-acclaimed films that make up this list.
Miyazaki announced he is directing a new film set to be released in ! So, whether you're a die-hard Studio Ghibli fan, you're looking to explore their works beyond Spirited Away , or are a total newbie, you're in luck.
We've done the research and compiled here for you the best Studio Ghibli movies, all guaranteed to transport you to another time and place. Spirited Away is often cited as the best Studio Ghibli movie and is considered in most circles to be the best animated film ever made. Spirited Away follows year-old Chihiro, who stumbles upon an abandoned amusement park with her parents as they prepare to move to a new neighborhood. After her mother and father are magically transformed into pigs, Chihiro meets Haku, a mysterious young man who explains that she has entered the spirit realm.
In order to re-enter the human world and save her parents, she will have to work at a bathhouse for supernatural beings and outsmart a wicked sorceress. Chihiro, later given the name Sen by the sorceress, struggles with creatures that frighten and intimidate her, but ultimately perseveres and makes some friends along the way. Spirited Away features a fascinating plot, a beautiful and memorable score, and a thought-provoking message that stays with you long after the film has ended.
Though it runs a little long for an animated film at 2 hours and 4 minutes, this is an epic fairytale that follows the stories of several characters and wraps everything up perfectly and in the most satisfying way. Princess Mononoke is a powerful epic story that deserves a top spot on the list of best Studio Ghibli films. Princess Mononoke follows Ashitaka, a prince who is cursed while killing a demon boar god infected by an iron bullet.
While the curse gives him superhuman strength, it will eventually kill him. Desiring answers and a potential cure, he sets off on a journey to the western lands. Along the way, Ashitaka meets a man who tells him he will find help from the Great Forest Spirit.
He also encounters San, a human girl who was raised by wolves and who follows the wolf goddess Moro. Together, San and Ashitaka must consider the damage being done to the environment and the animals and spirits that surround them as an industrial revolution looms. This film features a strong message and intense philosophical undertones that deserve to be discussed at length even after it has ended.
With an elegant score and beautiful animation, this film is the perfect package. All in all, it is simply one of the best Studio Ghibli movies of all time. Grave of the Fireflies , though somber and difficult to take at times, is an extremely powerful Studio Ghibli movie that is worth watching. Directed by Isao Takahata and starring Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, and Akemi Yamaguchi, this unrated film received critical acclaim for being one of the best war films and one of the greatest works of Japanese animation of all time.
Grave of the Fireflies follows siblings Seita and Setsuko. We learn that their home was destroyed and their mother killed in a firebombing during World War II. Yet, she quickly becomes resentful and kicks them out. The pair struggle to survive and feed themselves while their future looks increasingly bleak.
In the end, the pair find peace in the afterlife and forget the troubles of their wartime existence. Grave of the Fireflies is largely considered to be the saddest Studio Ghibli film, if not one of the saddest animated films of all time. At the end of the day, this is definitely one of the best Studio Ghibli films ever made.
My Neighbor Totoro is a simple and whimsical animated film that tops the list of best Studio Ghibli movies of all time. My Neighbor Totoro follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who move into an old house with their father that is closer to the hospital where their mother is recovering from a devastating sickness. The girls quickly discover spirits living in and around their home, including susuwatari house spirits and forest spirits.
Mei is led by spirits to a hollow in a large tree where she meets Totoro, a giant fluffy spirit that is friendly despite his roars and growls.
Children will be enamored and pleased by the simple story and adorable characters, while adults will enjoy the sense of childlike wonder the film provokes. Though it did receive some criticism for its lack of a complex plot, in the end, its simplicity is part of what makes it so special. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Studio Ghibli movies ever made.
As she returns home, she is turned into a year-old woman by a woman known as the Witch of the Waste. Sophie begins a journey to try to break the curse and she meets a living scarecrow along the way who reunites her with Howl and his moving castle.
At the same time, a war breaks out between neighboring kingdoms, which causes conflict for both Howl and Sophie. In the end, the two find ways to save each other and their world.
While it received some criticism for the clashing cultures of East and West featured in the film, others found this aspect to be a unique theme that would go on to become a cornerstone of Studio Ghibli films. Ponyo is a fun and fantastical animated film that is definitely one of the best Studio Ghibli movies of all time.
During an outing one day, Brunhilde sneaks off and becomes trapped in a glass jar before washing up on the shore of a beach.
There she meets a five-year-old boy named Sosuke who rescues her and names her Ponyo. Fujimoto, discovering that his daughter is missing, gets her back with the help of the ocean spirits, though this upsets Ponyo and Sosuke. Ponyo decides she wants to be human and to reunite with Sosuke, causing conflict with her father that has catastrophic implications.
Ponyo is certainly a delight. Its simple and charming plot is perfect for all ages but especially children and it evokes strong similarities to My Neighbor Totoro. The unique story is poetic at times, causing the adults watching to realize that there is a bit more depth than meets the eye. Castle in the Sky is a beautifully-animated and compelling film that certainly belongs on the list of best Studio Ghibli movies.
Castle in the Sky follows Sheeta, an orphan who has been kidnapped by a government official known as Muska. The plane that carries Sheeta and Muska is attacked one day by a gang of air pirates who wish to steal the blue crystal pendant that Sheeta wears. The crystal allows Sheeta to escape the mid-air collision of the two planes and she lands safely in a mining town where she meets fellow orphan Pazu.
Pazu introduces Sheeta to a mystical floating island called Laputa, and Sheeta agrees to accompany him in search of the land. Castle in the Sky not only features beautiful storytelling, stunning animation, and a fantastic score, but it also served as a huge inspiration to later Studio Ghibli works.
The Wind Rises is a unique and fascinating animated film that definitely belongs on the list of best Studio Ghibli movies of all time. The Wind Rises follows Jiro Horikoshi, who hopes to become a pilot, yet cannot due to vision problems. His dream adapts when he learns about aircraft design and begins a course of study in aeronautical engineering at Tokyo Imperial University.
Upon graduating Jiro is employed by Mitsubishi and is tasked with designing a fighter plane for the Imperial Army. Though he initially fails, he is sent to Germany where he learns more about design, and is eventually successful.
Yet, he soon learns the ugly cost of his beautiful dream of flight. Although we now know that Miyazaki is coming out of retirement to make more films, for many of his fans this was seen as his swan song.
With its unique premise, thought-provoking story, and beautiful animation, it won over both critics and audiences. The best Studio Ghibli movies are those that haunt your thoughts for weeks after watching and welcome you back like an old friend each time you return.
Every morning Umi raises signal flags on the hill over the bay in memory of her father and to offer protective prayers for safe voyages. When Shun Kazama, the teen publisher of the high school newspaper, writes and publishes a poem about the signal flags he sees each morning on the tugboat carrying him to school, Umi begins to develop feelings for him.
This is one of the best Studio Ghibli movies for sweetness and sentimentality, with an enchanting storyline, memorable characters, and lavishly detailed animation. With a fresh take on the old favorite theme of tiny people living hidden among those in the full-sized world, The Secret World of Arrietty quickly became a fan favorite and enjoyed a favorable critical reception and big box office returns.
In the suspenseful and breathtakingly beautiful animated film, The Secret World of Arrietty , year old Sho comes to live with his aunt Sadako and her maid, Hara, while he waits for risky heart surgery. When Sho saves Arrietty from an attacking crow, they strike up an unexpected and forbidden friendship. Will Sho and Arrietty save her family from Hara and the pest control company or are they responsible for ending the way of life the borrowers have enjoyed for generations?
The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a fantastical and magical film that is clearly one of the best Studio Ghibli movies ever made. The Tale of Princess Kaguya follows Okina, an elderly farmer who stumbles upon a tiny princess living inside a piece of bamboo.
The Princess, named Kaguya, quickly grows from a baby into a beautiful young lady, desired by many suitors. Yet, as the men pursue her, Princess Kaguya invents near-impossible tasks meant to impress her and win her love. When each man fails despite tricks and attempts to deceive her, the Emperor tries his hand.
In the end, Kaguya and her adopted family must ultimately discover and decide what her future holds. The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a beautiful film with a unique animation style that deviates from traditional Studio Ghibli films. Though this caused some to criticize or not enjoy the film, for others it was a breath of fresh air, as the film felt like reading a beautiful watercolor storybook.
In addition to the animation, the strong narrative and beautiful score won the hearts of critics and audiences alike. All in all, this is simply one of the best Studio Ghibli movies of all time. Kiki meets Tombo, a boy who admires her flying ability, Osono, a kind bakery owner who agrees to accommodate her, and Ursula, a young painter who helps and mentors her.
Though she struggles at times, she eventually finds her purpose and comes to understand that life will always have its ups and downs. Though the pacing can be slow at times, the little details and moments of stillness add to the plot and only endear audiences further to the characters. There are so many facets of anime movies, and especially Studio Ghibli movies, that are easily recognizable and iconic, first and foremost, the characters and the animation style.
Yet, the themes that occur within the plots of Studio Ghibli movies are also prominent. Studio Ghibli's animation was pioneered by its co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, naturally. Yet, not many people know that there were several other animators and character designers who also helped to bring some of the most iconic characters to life.
One of the most easily-recognizable animation elements of Studio Ghibli films is that they are mostly hand-drawn and only rarely use computer generation. This gives the films a timeless and classic feel, like reading a beautifully-illustrated fairytale book. Another common animation feature of Studio Ghibli movies is the characters themselves.
Most of the characters have large distinct eyes and round faces. Similarly, most of the monsters and other creatures in these films are quite human-like, from No Face to Totoro.
Though Studio Ghibli films are very surreal in many respects, Hayao Miyazaki and the rest of the animation team strive for realism in the way they animate.
Education About Asia: Online Archives
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Movie Group: Studio Ghibli (+ Related Films)
Kidnapped orphan Sheeta teams up with a young boy called Pazu and together they discover a mystical floating city, as a band of pirates give chase close behind. When Mei and Satsuki move to a new home in order to be nearer to their sick mother, they discover a friendly spirit who takes the form of a giant rabbit-like creature. Young witch-in-training Kiki moves to a seaside town with her talking cat and becomes well-liked in the community for her courier service, until self-doubt strikes and she loses her magical powers. Watch the trailer for Kiki's Delivery Service here. Career woman Taeko Okajima reflects on her childhood and ponders whether she is on the right path in her adult life. Watch the trailer for Only Yesterday here. Follows ace pilot Porco Rosso, who was transformed into a pig during World War I, as he takes on pirates in the skies of s Italy.
Every Studio Ghibli movie, ranked
He left an imprint on the studio that would be criminal to overlook. The same can be said for the myriad other directors that put their hands to Ghibli works. The film canters along a path of tired fantasy tropes and fails to build a world or characters worth investing in. Best moment: Prior to the third act, Therru and Arren stand over a swaying plain as Therru sings her titular song. The sweetness and simplicity of this moment is possibly the only meaningful character interaction between these two protagonists.
The GKIDS Collection
USA UK. Advanced search. North America. Click here to copy URL. Spirited Away
Ranking Studio Ghibli’s most delightful short films
For all you My Neighbour Totoro fans, Mei and the Kittenbus is an adorable mini sequel to the beloved Ghibli film, and our favourite short of the bunch. Picking up two months after the events of Totoro , it follows Mei on a windy day where she comes across a wee whirlwind, which turns out to be a kittenbus — as in, a smol catbus. A special shoutout goes to the grandma catbus, voiced by Miyazaki himself. Imagine a Ghiblified version of Hansel and Gretel , only Hansel is an anthropomorphic dough man and Gretel is an egg. Together, they hatch an escape from the evil clutches of the hateful witch Baba Yaga, who basically looks like Yubaba from Spirited Away , only with notably larger breasts. Tuck in. In this metaphysical reimagining of Jack and the Beanstalk , a boy named Nono runs away from his home city to escape the watchful eye of the Time Bureau, an organisation that punishes those who misuse their time. Arriving in the countryside, he meets a stranger who offers him a seed, which sprouts into a tiny planet that grows and grows, until Nono makes the decision to release it into the galaxy so that it can become a real planet.
15 Best Studio Ghibli Movies to Watch
Animated movies have been around for what seems like forever. When we think of animation, names like Disney and Pixar pop into our heads, but we sometimes neglect to include one of the biggest and best animation studios there is - Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki directed and drew some of the best Studio Ghibli movies and characters, from Spirited Away to Totoro.
All 21 Studio Ghibli Movies Ranked From Worst To Best
More visual assets can be found here. For the first time ever, this expansive catalogue of Studio Ghibli films will be subtitled in 28 languages, and dubbed in up to 20 languages. Studio Ghibli's animated films are legendary and have enthralled fans around the world for over 35 years. We're excited to make them available in more languages across Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia - so that more people can enjoy this whimsical and wonderful world of animation. Founded in by Japanese animated film directors Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has produced twenty-two feature-length films garnering worldwide acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Cultivating a creative force of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Takahata and Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli films have been praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling becoming a beloved part of Japanese popular culture. Based in Paris, Wild Bunch International is a world-renowned independent film sales company, its position strengthened by both a wealth of experience recognized by foreign distributors world-wide and abroad, artistically diverse selection of the best of director-led international cinema, currently handling an international sales catalogue of around titles.
Enter something special:. Studio Ghibli has been regarded as an animation powerhouse known the world-over for its unique stories, multi-faceted characters, and of course, stunning visuals. This list was organized based on how effective I perceived the plot, entertainment value, and overall quality of each movie to be.