Recently, I have been on a Studio Ghibli marathon (the same Japanese animation company which features Hayao Miyazaki’s films) mostly because our library aquired the re-released bluray set of Miyazaki’s movies. I started out with My Neighbor Totoro because that was the first film I had ever seen of his when I was younger, and wouldn’t you know it, it STILL made me feel happy.
The library made sure to make lots of Miyazaki’s works available, and so I have listed the titles below. There is also a Studio Ghibli video game Ni no Kuni which we have available for checkout with the same style as Miyazaki’s movies. I will list our Studio Ghibli movies beginning with my personal top 3 favorites:
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby. This movie is said to have been about Miyazaki’s own childhood life with his brothers, during a time when his mother was bedridden for a few years in the hospital. Miyazaki’s fascination with flying and appreciation of nature is also shown in this film and others.
In the middle of her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures. When I first saw the beginning of the movie, I was immediately creeped out by all the different characters. One thing that always resonated with me about this and all of Miyazaki’s films was the powerful positive messages, and the bravery and strengths of the main characters.
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home. Based on the young adult fantasy/adventure book by Diana Jones, this film is darker than the previous two mentioned. This story had strong elements of love, ultimately feeling defeated/depressed but never giving up, and fighting for what you believe in.
Howl's Moving Castle (book)
The Littles (book)
My Neighbor Totoro (graphic novel)
Miyazaki's Spirited Away (graphic novel)
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