Anime lovers are no strangers to the fantastic Japanese animation film studio named, ‘Studio Ghibli‘. They have shared with the world some of the most brilliant and exciting stories, through anime feature films! Studio Ghibli was founded in Tokyo, Japan, on June 15, 1985 – and since its birth, it has captured the hearts of millions across the world, with their unique stories told through the beautiful animation.
As an anime lover myself, I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli and its wonderful works! I can watch the movies again, and again, and again! So, it was quite difficult to pick my top 5 out of the collection – however, there certain ones that have a very special place in my heart.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (July 29, 1989)
‘Kiki’s Delivery Service‘, captured the hearts of people of all ages, all over the globe – in particularly the female audience as the story revolves around a young girl named Kiki, who is a witch in-training. Using her broomstick, Kiki quite literally starts her own delivery service! She helps people by delivering whatever it is they need – be it a toy, or a birthday cake. The movie’s tone is sweet and innocent, and pretty much a coming-of-age adventure – perfect for the family.
Only Yesterday (July 20, 1991)
‘Only Yesterday‘ is another story that will appeal to the female audience as it about a 27 years old woman named Taeko, who one day decides to take a trip to the rural countryside in Japan. Throughout the story, she looks back at her childhood, and remembers the time when she was just a schoolgirl. She reminisces about all sorts – her first crush, her school, and her friendships. As well as nostalgic, the story is realistic too because it explores both the happy things in life, along with disappointments in life – a sort of slice of life feeling.
Whisper of the Heart (July 15, 1995)
Based on the Manga of the same name, ‘Whisper of the Heart‘, is a romantic drama about a 14 years old high school girl named, Shizuku Tsukishima. She’s a bookworm and dreams of becoming a writer. She comes across an antique store, where she sees a cat statuette, ‘The Baron‘ – and thus her inspiration for a fantasy story arises. The animation is a mixture of drama and romance, but also self-discovery, as you follow Shizuku on her writing journey.
Spirited Away (July 20, 2001)
This critically acclaimed masterpiece follows Chihiro Ogino on a fantasy journey in an unknown magical world! She stumbles upon an beautiful bathhouse, but is met by a young boy, Haku. He warns her to cross the river before sunset – although, before she knows it, she is too late and then discovers that she is now trapped in the spirit world. ‘Spirited Away‘, is a beautiful and colourful animation, letting you join Chihiro on her journey to find and free her parents and go back home. The fantasy genre and mystical characters pull you in immediately!
Howl’s Moving Castle (November 20, 2004)
‘Howl’s Moving Castle‘ is another fantasy anime movie, but with romance too. This time you’re in a world of magic! The movie is based on a British novel of the same title, written by British author, Diana Wynne Jones. The story follows a young milliner (hat-maker) named, Sophie, who meets the charismatic wizard, Howl. When Sophie returns home, the Witch of the Waste pays her a visit and curses her. This results in Sophie turning into a 90 years old woman! Sophie decides to seek out Howl to help break her curse and return her to her true form. Throughout the story, you see many vibrant locations, wonderful magic, and an array of intriguing characters!
Studio Ghibli films are not just for children, but for everyone. People of all ages can relate to the movies, and the characters – and that is why I personally love Studio Ghibli and the films – because they are for everyone.
“Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same.”
― Hayao Miyazaki
Are you a fan of Studio Ghibli too? If so, which movies are your favourites? If you haven’t heard of Studio Ghibli or watched the films, I strongly recommend checking out their wonderful collection! Let us know what you think of them in the comments!