WIN! The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki And Other Studio Ghibli Stuff!

WIN! The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki And Other Studio Ghibli Stuff!


Who’s up to win The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki? This new limited-edition box-set packs 11 films — from The Castle of Cagliostro to the Academy Award-nominated The Wind Rises — and offers a rare look at his earliest works, presented with English translations for the first time. The Collected Works is available now in Australia on DVD or Blu-ray. Thanks to Madman Entertainment, we’ve got one box-set up for grabs (valued at up to $314.95) plus 10x copies of Spirited Away on just-released Blu-ray! (worth $39.95 each).

Entering is easy: Tell us in the comments what your favourite Ghibli movie is — and why.

Entries close 10am AEST Thursday April 30. Full terms and conditions.



What’s in the Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki box-set:

• Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
• Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
• Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
• My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
• Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
• Porco Rosso (1992)
• Princess Mononoke (1997)
• Spirited Away (2001)
• Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
• Ponyo (2008)
• The Wind Rises (2013)

Extra features:
• Deluxe limited edition collector’s box with bonus postcards and a 32 page booklet.
• Bonus disc featuring rare early works and Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement press conference in Japanese language with English subtitles.
• All special features from all special edition versions of the featured films.


Comments

  • My Neighbour Totoro. Blissful enjoyment of youth – especially with friends both furry and otherwise – is hard to beat.

  • I unfortunately haven’t seen one yet but I’ve heard that these are definitely must sees! And I’d like to watch them all!

  • I can’t go past My Neighbour Totoro. It’s such a gorgeous simple story of innocence, makes me smile every time.

  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky because it was the first Hayao Miyazaki (and Studio Ghibli) film I ever saw. It was also one of the first anime’s I ever payed attention to. It opened up a whole new world (worlds really) of cinematic story telling and art that I will never forget.

    So glad I took the time to watch it randomly on SBS late one night.

  • my neighbor totoro because my dad was a japanese teacher growing up some people had monsters inc, some people had toy story I had Totoro! Totemo yoi!!!

  • Has to be My Neighbor Totoro. The first Miyazaki I ever saw absolutely changed animated film for me. Plus the Catbus.

  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
    This was my first Miyazaki movie and It just started my love for Ghibli/Miyazaki.
    It was amazing…
    lupin himself is an excellent character and i always… ALWAYS remember the scene of him running down the castle and smile because i get that moment of nostalgia of how amazingly fun the movie was when i was a child.

  • It’s a tie between Princess mononoke and Nausica of the valley of the wind. they are both fantastic films. Princess mononoke’s story and giant earth god things are amazing and I love the fantastic distopian world of Nausica with it’s many eyed bug monsters and giant lazer beam firing ultimate warriors. I just can’t decide which one I love more

  • Princess Mononoke. I had previously seen Miyazaki movies before watching this, but Mononoke was the movie that completely sold me on Studio Ghibli. I still remember watching it for the first time. It was with a youth group I was a member of and we were to answer these questions related to the movie – about things like nature and the themes. The movie really stuck with me after that. Love that it is also one of the darker movies which explore more mature themes – in contrast to Miyazaki’s Totoro, or Ponyo.

  • The one with the water skimmer and the spider. I don’t know what it’s called, it’s some short that they showed us at the Ghibli museum.

    It has to be my favourite because it’s the only thing I’ve seen. But I did like it a lot though 😛

  • howls moving castle as the moral to the story is lovely and judging a book buy its cover is a big mistake as its whats on the inside that counts and love can overcome any old witches curse

  • As the legend states, ‘your first is your favourite’ So Spirited Away for me. It was the first movie to hook me in and it hasn’t let go since.

  • I love the story of Spirited Away, it’s beautifully written and the iconic characters will stand the test of time.

  • Porco Rosso, loved it so much I bought it twice when I lost the first copy. The story is so whimsical, the backgrounds and animation so amazing. I think I secretly want to live in Porco’s beach cave…also – Sky pirates! What’s not to love?

  • Castle of Cagliostro
    This was the first real anime I watched by accident. I was up late one night and stumbled onto SBS and this was only just starting. I was hooked instantly and love watching the movie, let alone other animes that I got into afterwards

  • Spirited away, there are so many wonderful films in this collection, but it was the first one I watched and I was both mesmorised and brought into that world. The beautiful visuals and accompanying soundtrack make it such a joy to watch and always brings a smile to my face, I would be overjoyed to watch each and every film in the same way I first watched Spirited Away, and watching them in HD would be like a first time viewing.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind because it has a kickass protagonist, environmental themes and some of the best action out of all the movies. In a word: flawless!

    • Have you read the manga? It’s an incredible read, and beautiful artwork. The story totally diverges from the anime after a while, so it’s like experiencing the same world, but from a completely different perspective.

  • oops, I said my favourite Ghibli film.

    Edit:

    The Castle if Cagliostro, it’s just such a fun film with amazing action.

    I’ll never forget the trailer on Manga Videos in the early 90s claiming that the car chase scene was Steven Spielberg’s favourite car chase scene ever.
    That narrator was so over the top, it’s awesome.

    And yeah, that car chase scene is pretty amazing.

  • Nausicaa was a film I caught the last half of when staying up late one night watching sbs. It looked like the japanese cartoons I was familiar with, but it built a more fantastical and detailed world than I’d ever seen before.

    It took me too long to track it down so I could see it in full (the days when you had to have a tv guide on hand to know what you were watching!), and it sparked my hopelessly expensive journey into anime fandom.

    Finding that on sbs also primed me perfectly for the airing of evangelion (oh my, I was so hooked on catching that each week!).

    Honourable mentions go to lupin and porco rosso.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is probably my favourite because I got to see it at the cinema with my family and we all enjoyed it. Then around the time the DVD came out my brother and I hired it and watched it with our grandparents. At that time my parents and sister were in Melbourne and when they got back, they bought the Special Edition DVD. 😛

  • I love Princess Mononoke. My university Environmental Society and Anime Society had a joint movie night in my first week as a student. I couldn’t work out why they would get together on this event, until I watched the movie and discovered how environmentally conscious Miyazaki is. The way he drew nature with such wonder juxtaposed with the starkness of the industrial effects on the land really stuck with me. I love how he wove myth and a message in his story telling, created amazing characters and narrative and love his animation style. That was 12 years ago now, but I have been a fan ever since. It was also my entry into anime.

  • Howls moving castle, it was just so surreal when I watched it the first time that I sat and watched it twice again. Had never seen anything like it.

  • Spirited Away!
    It was the very first Ghibli movie I watched, and while I adore the others as well, Spirited Away will always hold that special spot in my heart 🙂

  • Spirited Away, It was the first Ghibli movie that introduced me to Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and opened my mind up toa different style of Japanese anime films. I’m a music producer, so besides the amazing visuals, story and characters, the scores played a role in further influencing the way I created my music.

  • Porco Rosso has always been my favourite. I love the setting, and the visuals, humour, romance. Everything.

    Also, please make sure that whomever is the winner, that he/she knows how to pronounce “Ghibli”.

    • Ooh, now are you talking about the original Arabic pronunciation, the Italian pronunciation or the way Miyazaki pronounces the word? 😉 [definitely has not researched this subject before…ahem]

  • Spirited Away for sure because it’s the best film about being forced to grow up quickly and helping show is that it’s good to face your fears!

  • Honestly my personal fav will always and forever be, My Neighbour Totoro. I remember first watching it as a child with my parents who originally got me into anime and even though I love all ghibli movies My Neighbour Totoro holds a place in my heart! 🙂 My father bought me the totoro anniversary edition for my birthday and it sits on a shelf sort of in a shrine you could say!!!

  • Princess Mononoke. It is the second Studio Ghibli I’ve watched in my lifetime with the first being Totoro and my favourite show of all time.

    Back then I watch it on DVD and I watch it every month. Even now when when I see the cover, all I want to do is shout “ASHITAKA!” just like in the show 😛

    EDIT (forgot to state why)

    I loved the whole concept of a person being forced to leave everything behind and found something even more previous that what he had, which was Ashitaka meeting San. Both fell for each other but was unable to be together due to their differences until the end.

  • For me it has to be Spirited Away. Probably because it was the first of their movies that I saw. It opened my eyes to non-western animated movies, and was one I just wouldn’t stop telling all of my friends about. It probably wasn’t the intention, but it really struck a chord with me as my parents were going through a divorce, and I felt like I too was thrown into this entire new world of unknowns. Well.. I was never in the same car with both of my parents at the same time like the end of the movie, but hey, close enough.

  • Princess Mononoke, amazing visuals, love the connection between the characters and nature, love the story, I’ve watched it over and over because i love it so much.

  • Well, anyone who has ever read any of my posts wont need to ask that question :o)
    Totoro, Totoro, TOTORO!!!!

    Something about that movie just speaks to me, and Totoro himself….
    He’s so CUDDLY!!!!!!

    No movie brings out my inner child more than Totoro and I cant wait to introduce my own children to the amazing world of Totoro and Ghibli :o)

    Getting married this Sunday, off to Japan for the Honeymoon, then who knows, maybe a new generation of Ghibli fans not long after :o)

    (I swear right here and right now, if I ever own a mini-bus, Im so painting it as Catbus :o) )

    I’ll be posting links to pics on TAY of the Ghibli Museum next month as I’ll be in Tokyo, and the Ghibli Museum, 15th May :o)

  • I don’t have a favourite, because I have never seen any of them.

    DON’T JUDGE ME, JUST GIVE ME MOVIES SO I CAN FIX THIS!

  • My favourite is probably Howl’s Moving Castle. It was the first Miyazaki film I ever saw and it set me on the way to seeing all of the rest. It’s so hard to pin down a favourite though. With all the amazing characters and beautiful stories you have to choose from!

  • howls moving castle. Do I even need a reason? It is the most beautiful storyline and it’s just one of those movies you could re watch over and over and never get sick of it. Like who is more hilarious than calcifer, if my fire place was as awesome as him the fireplace would be burning all day everyday!MAY ALL YOUR BACON BURN!!!

  • Picking just one Studio Ghibli movie to be a favourite is a tall order. I think I’ll have to go with Grave of the Fireflies.

    The film showed the rarely-seen cost of war on ordinary people caught up in the war on ‘the other side’. It did a masterful job of keeping its focus on the human story, the tragedy of two children swept up in a disaster they had no say in and no influence over, just trying to survive in a hell created by the pride and ambition of others.

    In the west we’re surrounded by our own propaganda and local hardships and triumphs, and especially during war time we’re practically indoctrinated into believing that ‘the enemy’ are all monsters that must be stopped and deserve their fates. Grave of the Fireflies showed that the people on the other side really aren’t that different to us, and that war and conflict hurt them just as much as they hurt us. It broke down the barriers of nationality and patriotism and showed that we’re all humans, and we all suffer.

    For me, the movie helped me to be more empathic, to be more thoughtful of the human cost of conflict – any conflict, even just arguments between people – and to break away from the mentality that ‘the enemy’ are some distant, faceless monster to be feared and shunned. It showed that we are all people, and that maybe if we took more care to remember that and to try to understand each other, we’d end up with a lot fewer tragedies.

    Grave of the Fireflies affected me at a personal level and I think it made me a better person. It will always have a place in my heart.

  • My favourite will always be Spirited Away. It was the first one of his films I watched as an adult, which gave me a new and different appreciation for the films, causing me to go back and try to watch other I had seen as a child, which again, gave me continued new understanding and appreciation of the themes and ideas that were being explored in all of Miyazaki’s and Studio Ghibli’s works

  • IMO, Spirited away, no contest. A tremendous allegory for self discovery and forging your own adventures.

  • Princess Mononoke. I saw it when it came out, and the animation blew me away. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. I cannot wait till my 9 month old son is old enough so I can watch it with him.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. I absolutely love the characters and the story. It’s utterly engaging and is one of the best love stories out there. It’s one of those movies you can just keep constantly watching.

  • The Wind Rises: Such an amazing story, also Aeroplanes are such beautiful engineering masterpieces

  • I have a real soft spot for Howl’s Moving Castle as this was the first Miyazaki fiom I saw.

    However, I would say my favourite would be Kiki’s Delivery Service because it was the first one I saw in Japanese without English subtitles. I really enjoyed the film, and more importantly, understood it, not only was it my language skills (which were groasly underprepared) but the artwork was so vivid I was truly emmersed in the story, I didn’t need to know every Japanese word used, just by watxhung I truly understood every emotion from this young cartoon girl. For this reason it shall forever remain my favourite.

  • It would have to be porco rosso. That plane is awesome and that pig has class. Is a fantastic movie.

  • Hard to choose an absolute favourite – actually it’s almost impossible. I would have to say that if I was forced to choose it would be Kiki’s Delivery Service. She’s resourceful, loyal, brave, and uncompromising in her belief in what’s right. She also never pays any attention to the voice of doom & doubt that is Jiji, she just loves him unconditionally, no matter what he says. The lesson that you can overcome obstacles is also quite powerful as well.

    Hmmm, actually – I think I need to change that to Howl. No, Chihiro. Arrrgh, I mean Nausicaä – possibly Totoro…..

    Are you SURE it has to be just one?

  • Spirited Away, It was the first Ghibli movie that introduced me to Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and opened my mind up to a different style of Japanese anime films. I’m a music producer, so besides the amazing visuals, story and characters, the scores played a role in further influencing the way I create my music.

    Here’s a song I actually produced sampling a tune from Spirited Away, my dedication to the movie:
    https://soundcloud.com/thechemistrymag/p-r-make-believe-remix-taken

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is my favourite. In high school I was invited on an excursion for its screening at a Japanese film festival. I had never seen a Ghibli film before, let alone a show/movie still in Japanese, but with subtitles.

    I remember being entranced by the creativity of the story, the artwork, and by just how refreshing and heartwarming the movie was in comparison to Western films.

    Seeing that movie is what triggered my interest in Japanese culture. Now, years later, Japanese is my major in my Global Business degree, I’ve been lucky enough to go on exchange to Japan, and I plan to live and work there one day 🙂 So thanks, Ghibli!!

  • Nausicaä of the valley of the wind: it was my first real introduction to an anime motion picture, and as such is still the touchstone for when I need to escape being an adult for a while. It also holds my record for most watched at a cinema. ( 6 times )

  • Princess Mononoke, without a doubt.

    I was in high school at the time and It was my first introduction to Miyazaki. While the visuals were amazing, what really got to me the most was the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack.
    At the time it sent me off on a journey to find a bricks and mortar store that could import the original Japanese OST (this was back in the 90’s when I didn’t have a credit card and couldn’t order anything online).

    To this day, hearing the crescendoing swell of strings from The Legend of Ashitaka still gives me goosebumps and brings a smile to my face.

  • My Neighbor Totoro. Dad was ill at the time so I would pretend I am the character in the show. It got me through some dark times.

  • Porco Rosso – When i first saw this film in the 90s late at hight on SBS, I knew I wanted to be an Animator. Porco Rosso started my career.

  • I have never seen a Ghibli movie and would very much like to see all the Ghibli movies and that is why I would like to win please and thank you.

  • Would have to be Spirited Away just because it was one of the first anime movies I watched and it was just amazing and I fell in love with all animes after that

  • Princess Mononokee. You have a hero who can defend himself with violence but always chooses peace first.

  • Porco Rosso is my favourite, best pig eating spaghetti scene on film.

    Also the punch up at the end … for anyone whose felt like an ugly pig when they have been attacked in a dog fight by some good looking douche this film gives us hope…

  • Princess Mononoke – Was my first one out of the lot. Loved the visuals and the story it tells.

  • Spirited Away wins it for me. It’s tough to encapsulate everything I like about this film. It’s a Shinto Alice in Wonderland full of weird and wonderful characters. It’s beautiful to look at with exceptional animation and the whole thing is just so danged lovely.

    If you’d like something more succinct, 2 words: Soot sprites.

  • While not my favourite Studio Ghibli film, My Neighbor Totoro comes in as my favourite from Miyazaki partly on the grounds that it was released as part of a double bill with Grave of the Fireflies. It has the perfect light-hearted tone and brings back that wonder you have about the world when you were a kid.

    (it kind of grinds my gears omitting that “u” in ‘neighbour’)

  • WARNING: Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen.

    We all have to admit, that the most favorable Miyazaki movie is Totoro, one of his first and in my opinion one of his best.

    I love this movie because it’s so cute and innocent that it can be watched by children of all ages (I class myself as a bit of a man-child).

    I also love this movie because I heard some twisted theories about it and what it actually symbolizes, so I looked into it a little more. These are just theories but they give so much more meaning.

    During the month of May in 1963 a 16 year old girl was kidnapped for ransom and murdered in the forest. Her older sister found her body and was apparently very traumatized by the ordeal. She was asked what she had seen and said “I met a large Tanuki (looks like a raccoon)” and “I saw a cat monster”. Later the sister committed suicide and this incident is now referred to as the Sayama incident because it all took place in Sayama.

    In the movie itself you can see the words “Sayama tea” in Japanese on the side of a box of tea. The main characters name is Mei and the murder took place in May. The older sister is called Satsuki, which is another way to say May in Japanese. It could be just a coincidence but it all seems a little too close to call it that if you ask me!

    In Japanese mythology, seeing the Susuwatari (little black lint balls) means that death is drawing near! So there you have it, when they get picked up by the cat bus, it’s supposedly when they die. The Nekobus (cat bus) is what carts them into the next world and the fact that the catbus briefly says “Grave Road” in Japanese kinda points towards this theory.

    The story itself seems to show the idea that Mei is murdered after she goes missing and Satsuki, grieved, decides to join her.

    Totoro ties into all this as he is actually a Shinigami (god of death) and is a guide into the afterlife.
    So there you go, a messed up tale to what seems like such an innocent story.

    This is why I love My Neighbor Totoro, because with this side story it seems so much deeper the further down the rabbit hole you go. Granted this is all theory and stuff I have been told but I love having stories tie in with real life events. Also, I’m sorry if this may have ruined it for some of you.

  • Totoro is mine, because the atmosphere of the rain is so peaceful, and the story got me teared up in parts. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Catbus.

  • My Neighbour Totoro. It captures so many aspects of childhood, dealing with loss, dealing with difficulty. The film creates such a strong sense of place in their new home, and Totoro, the dust bunnies, and Catbus are such epically unique characters. I never tire of watching it!

  • Howl’s Moving Castle – I love that it’s a story of transformation for the characters. Howl becomes less selfish and Sophie finds confidence. It’s just a beautiful story!

  • To be honest I have never had the pleasure of watching a Studio Ghibli movie, but Hayao Miyazaki films have always been on the list of things I have ALWAYS wanted to watch.
    To be honest, i’m not sure why I never have, despite the acclaim.
    Perhaps it’s that look my wife gives me when i try to suggest ANYTHING that’s an animated film.

    I want to enter this comp, despite not having a favorite character. Perhaps I’ll score a runners up so I can at least see one of the films…

    Also, Totoro is freakin’ adorable.

  • My Neighbour Totoro – my wife loves all the Studio Ghibli movies. Totoro is her favourite and this is the first one we watched together. I also bought her a Totoro handbag because she loves it so much. She’s even been bugging me about buying a Totoro sheet and quilt cover set! I might buy it as our first anniversary gift (don’t tell her)!

    Edit: email is vidaeus at gmail.com

  • porco rosso
    cause men with porcine like features can still be suave and debonair with quite a lot of moxy.

  • The Castle of Cagliostro. It was the first anime film that I saw and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. And I’ve felt the same way about each of his films since.

  • Spirited Away, watched this as a kid around my family my first Studio Ghibi film I watched and it always bring back the warm memories of my childhood, plus does help that the movie is awesome.

  • I’d have to say Porco Rosso due to it being my first real taste of Studio Ghibli’s world. It was airing on SBS (this was year and years ago) and I remember watching about 15 minutes of it before my father changed the channel to something else (probably the footy ha…). It was years before I found out what the name of the movie was but I was so obsessed with that little pig who could kick butt!

  • In my opinion Personally, it would be “Princess Mononoke”. The Story for this is probably one of the more Superior Tales in the world of studio Ghibli. The Music, Dubbing and Sound is Fantastic and so are the Characters, say Yuriko Ishida ( Cliched choice, but is truly a great Character ).

    The Evolution and the Progression of certain Characters is Great, as are the Feelings of them because sometimes throughout it, you Feel how they feel. But the absolute Pinnacle point of this Feature is the Animation. I viewed this when I was 4, and this blew me away just a little more than Even Toy Story. What other word can you describe it as, but Revolutionary?

    Everyone put their absolute effort into this, and it Definitely shows. There are no words to describe how amazed I was by the Film. I would dare even say, that not only am I obsessed and this is Without a Doubt my Favorite Studio Ghibli film, but I dare also say it’s my Favorite Animated Movie and my 4th Favorite movie of all time. Spirited away and Ponyo also captured these Emotions with no Doubt, doing what they do best, but I was older, and these Visuals and Emotions were already stolen away by other Films.

    “Princess Mononoke” has been an Absolute Masterpiece in my personal Opinion, and after having loved it for 13 Years, Not only will I never be too old for this Movie, But I’ll probably like this Until I go to the Grave. I’m Dead Serious. Thank you for hearing My opinion. Much Appreciated.

  • My Neighbour Totoro – First Ghibli movie I saw as a little kid. For me it perfectly captures the wonders of being a child. And Totoro is just so awesome!!!!

  • I’d Like to say “Spirited Away” is my favourite because Ghostface is the easiest COSPLAY costume Ive ever had to make. BUT then I remember how much I love “Howl’s Moving Castle”

  • My favourite Miyazaki film is Porco Rosso by far.
    It was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever watched and it was completely by chance. I was flipping through TV channels late one night when Porco Rosso came on and I was hooked.

    Miyazaki’s take on flight, the whimsical element of Porco being a pig and just the character of Porco himself captivated me and definitely opened my eyes to the brilliance of Studio Ghibli, especially Hayao Miyzaki.

  • I think Ponyo has to be my favourite. Just such a beautiful story about pure platonic love between kids. Not to mention the amazing visuals, but that is a feature of every single movie in this collection.

  • Princess Mononoke because it shows the struggle between nature and idustry. Is it worth destroying what nature gives us to build ourselves up? This question is still being asked 18 years later.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle for it brings back memories of when i was a kid moving around from place to place, seeing new things and having fun .

  • Laputa for the sheer nail biting gravity defying third act. The tension just keeps escalating with each minute and through it all we never lose focus on the characters. Solid storytelling!

  • Kikis Delivery Service is my favorite among the other great movies by studio ghibli because it taught me that everything takes time, at that moment I was dealing with family issues and it helped me alot.

  • Castle of Cagliostro. It was one of the first anime I’d ever watched and animation style was very appealing to a 6-year-old me. As I grew up I forgot the movie but remembered the happiness and sense of adventure watching it. When I saw it again in my teens, the old feelings came rushing back and I could appreciate again the joy and adventure.

  • My favourite movie would be Princess Mononoke. The level of storytelling was like no other I had seen. I loved the characters and the level of detail the movie had in respect to their universe.

  • It has to be My Neighbour Totoro, despite the strong competition. A reverence for nature, childhood and the simple pleasures of life and love make this film a perennial classic that reminds me of the wonder that is so easy to forget now that I’m “grown up.” Besides, who wouldn’t want to curl up on his belly for a nap?

    Second place is a tie between Nausicaa and Porco Rosso. Nausicaa for the design and the unflinching environmental message, and Porco because, well, that pig has an admirable attitude.

  • Porco Rosso; as much as I love all the other films, nothing beats those images of duelling skypirates over the sparkling Adriatic Sea

  • My Neighbour Totoro. As my 5yo daughter loves it, which has opened up a whole new world of watching Anime together. She’s also a massive fan of Spirited Away and Ponyo.
    There would be an epic movie marathon in a sofa cubby if we won this.

  • Spirited Away. As a kid the only anime I’d been exposed to was things like Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. That stuff was great, and I loved it, but it didn’t really have much substance. Spirited Away was what opened my eyes to just how great animation could be. True there were also a lot of great Disney movies coming out when I was a kid, but Spirited Away just felt so much more magical than they did. It was a movie that meant something, even if I wasn’t entirely sure of what that was.

  • It’s Whisper of the Heart. But It’s kinda hard to say why exactly. It’s just such a lovely story of two children & the dreams within themselves they have to discover together. But I seem to come back to Whisper a lot, I think It mostly just takes me back to a long lost childhood where life just seemed so much sweeter & mysterious. It’s a shame we all have to grow up at some point. But it’s lovely to be-able to go back to Whisper & remissness about my childhood days, even if it’s only feelings deep. But that’s the best way I can describe my feelings for this Animated Film I adore.

    Thanks for letting me share. : )

  • Porco Rosso. It has just the right amount of quirk, humour, magic, romance and passion and every time I watch it, I just can’t look away.

    My favourite line: “Don’t worry, we’re on the swim team!”

  • My favourite movie is Spirited Away. I was already an adult by the time I watched it, but I distinctly remembered getting scared when Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs. After that scene I was hooked and it just kept getting better.

  • My favourite Ghibli movie…it’s a tough choice, but I’d have to go with Howl’s Moving Castle. The visuals are just stunning and the scenery breath-taking. It’s mysterious, adventurous, romantic and comedic all rolled into one; the perfect blend of amazing story-telling and hand-drawn animation that captures the imagination of young and old.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service. It’s not just a coming of age story that is timeless and ageless, but the homilies resonate among both younger and older audiences. Porco Rosso was my introduction into Ghibli films, but this one I am able to share with my daughters and grand daughter and give them something enjoyable to watch and strive for.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service.
    The first time I watched this fantastic film was at a very young. I was up past my bad time watching SBS when this animated movie came on. I had no idea about anime was at the time. I just remember how mesmerized I was while watching it. The sad thing is, back then if you didn’t have a Tv guide there was no way I could know the name of the movie. So my parents couldn’t find it.
    When I was opened to the world of anime in my late teens I came across an ad for the live action Kiki’s delivery Service movie playing in Sydney. The trailer felt real nostalgic for me and it wasn’t till I googled the name and had my head explode with pure enjoy!
    I quickly brought the Kiki’s Delivery Service 25th collector’s Edition and watched the whole thing with pure excitement. I also brought 2 tickets for the live action movie right after.
    Now in my 20’s I am still in love with this movie that has placed number one on my top movie list. I dream sometime at the end of the year to make a trip to Tasmania’s Ross bakery ^_^

  • Princess Mononoke was my favourite because of the themes of the destruction of nature and nature fighting back, fantasy, and also that there was a strong female protagonist. She wasn’t the main character, but a very defining influence in the movie, one which just for me enhanced all the themes as she was a physical human embodiment of nature and the wildness, untameable wilderness. I really loved the movie, as well as all the other Studio Ghibli movies I have watched because they are differently themed and portrayed compared to Western movies/animations.

  • Man…this would be like choosing your favorite child…(you know if I had any that is…)

    Howl’s Moving Castle would be my pick. Still get the feels watching that one and it’s the sort of movie than can be watched over and over again. The whole thing just ties together for me with the fantastic movie score, the excellent english dub, the amazing visuals (Howl’s Castle in particular) and the fairy tale like story.

  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. This got me through my senior year English Extension 2 course – as our focus topic was Science Fiction. This is probably the most unique S.F text/film I have ever heard of. I studied it inside and out, English as well as Japanese script and the astonishing visuals, the hidden [in plain sight] warnings and messages to the audience about our future which has/had already started to take shape. The characters, human and Ohmu, are beautifully portrayed, aiding the story and emphasizing the ideas of world peace and the importance of Mother Nature. A film that is remarkably relevant to our life.

  • Spirited Away, it’s so wonderfully dream-like and ethereal. The train ride to visit Granny is absolutely amazing with its stunning visuals and beautiful soundtrack, it takes me back to when I was a child on long car rides.

  • It’s honestly so difficult for me to pick a favourite, I LOVE so many of their films its insane. Princess Mononoke, Grave of the Fireflies and Howl’s moving castle are all among the top, but Spirited Away will forever hold a place in my heart. It’s the first Studio Ghibli film I watched when I was little.
    The film is essentially a masterpiece, beautiful backgrounds, character designs, and the plot can’t be compared to any other animation. I guess it stroke a cord with my as a kid, like Chihiro, I was a bit of a introvert. Seeing how she was able to save her parents and overcome numerous trials, I really thought she was someone i could inspire to be like. Haku’s also a bit of a cutie haha.

  • Spirited Away: The unbridled fantasy, colours and creative character design. It gave me the same sense of enchantment I got from watching Alice in Wonderland as a pre-schooler

  • Ah easy!! My Neighbor Totoro! It has a catbus! A bus that’s a cat. As if Cat’s and buses weren’t already insanely popular on the internet, this guy goes and puts the two together before the internet was even a thing. Talk about a visionary!

  • My favourite Hayao film is Nausicaa of the valley of the wind because 1. Strong female lead 2. The films message is about living in harmony with nature 3. It started the career of Hideaki Anno who designed the giant monster at the end of the film, he went on to create Neon Genesis Evangelion. Nausicaa was released in 1984 so it is safe to say that this film proves that Hayao was not only ahead of his time but paved the way for the future of good anime.

  • My favourite film would have to be My Neighbour Totoro; as this is the first of Miyazaki’s films, I had the pleasure of watching with my 3 year old daughter. The fact she enjoyed it so much, reignited my own love for Studio Ghibli films – proud parenting moment right there!

  • Spirited Away for how it deconstructs the notion of an extremist capitalist society that strips people of their identity & forces them to take on debt to further the consumption of others. The film proposes that the only solution to this is to take responsibility for not only one’s own actions but for the actions of others, so that you repair any damage down & take the first steps towards proper maturity.

    (guess who wrote a Master’s thesis on the film) :p

  • Spirited Away for sure, about 12 years ago our Japanese lesson teacher imported the DVD and we watched it during class to ‘study’ Japanese. It opened my eyes to Japanese animation and I would say made me the anime fan I am today.

  • Porco Rosso was the first Miyazaki film I ever saw. My Dad introduced me to it and I have loved Miyazaki’s work ever since then.

  • Princess Mononoke is my favorite for a lot of reasons. The music is fantastic and still sends shivers down my spine. The story telling and visuals (it was the first Ghibli film to use computer animation and digital colouring) were great.

    I could go on, but there’s also the story about Disney/Miramax receiving a katana with the note “No cuts” when they demanded edits for the English release.

    Now I’m going to go and watch it again.

  • Princess Mononoke by a country mile. There is a reason it was the highest grossing film in Japan in 1997 until Titanic got released.
    It has great visuals but is dark and gritty. The characters were interesting and multi-faceted. Most importantly it highlighted how horrible humans had become when they became industrialised (an analogue of our own society ?).
    Not something you would not expect from a ‘cartoon’. One of the many reasons why I love manga and especially, Studio Ghibli.

    The person who wins this prize will be a very happy person indeed.

  • Spirited Away.

    It was my first Ghibli film and has remained my favourite ever since. Magical visuals, score and storyline, with great characters. Especially ‘No Face’. No wonder it won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

  • This is tricky. I’m torn between two, but i think I’ll have to go with “The Cat Returns” (though Howl’s Moving Castle is a close second). I love the characters in it so much. The Cat King is hilarious but Muta really takes the cake. Especially when it does the big reveal about him at the end.

  • It would have to be Princess Mononoke! I like the majority of them, but it was the first one I saw. The thing that captured me was the animation first of all. It was amazing! The story took my on an emotional ride that I’ll never forget! I definitely want to win this pack!

  • So hard to choose just one… probably My Neighbour Tortoro because of the amazing sense of atmosphere and whimsy it creates. It makes you believe magic is really possible and even if your mum is sick and your big sister won’t take you to school with her a giant furry forest god will take care of you and let you sleep on its huge belly. Oh and it has a Cat Bus which is just plain awesome.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle! It was my first introduction to Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki films and it remains my favourite film of all time to this day.

  • Princess Mononoke, for a few reasons.

    It was my first Miyazaki as well as one of the first animes I ever saw. Excluding Pokemon and Teknoman which I saw before I really understood what anime was.

    Beyond that though I still just kind of love the themes present, almost everyone in the story is just trying to do right by their home and their chosen extended family but it often ends in disaster.

    Ashitaka has his big damn hero moment minutes into the film, saves everything he loves but then is forced to leave it behind only to eventually find a new love and a new home. By the end of the film that home is also irreversibly changed from where he found his place, but this constant cycle isn’t shown as a tragedy but rather a part of life… Creation and destruction, mistakes and struggles hopefully eventually creating something better.

    Taking that further is the aspect of compromise, the stranger from no land who becomes part of both and the hopes that these two extremist sides can find some place in the middle. If only bipartisan politics worked the same way.

    There’s always been something comforting in those themes to me, whether it was deciding on a bit of a whim to move across the country… Even if 5 years later I ended up having to move back, or taking a rather unexpected job because I needed to.

    Which is why I’ll always think fondest of that film and why it will always be the first Miazaki I show to someone else.

  • My favourite is Porco Rosso.

    This is largely due to the fact it was the first Miyazaki film I ever saw and it immediately lead to me tracking down a copy of all of them and gauging over a couple of weeks. This was back in the VHS days so finding them all was quite the accomplishment.

    This isn’t the only reason I love this film though, I also love the real world setting (rare for one of these films) and the minor details that lend to historical accuracy.

    Also, the main character is a war veteran bounty hunter sky-pirate fighting pilot who just so happens to be a pig.

    Come on. Seriously. The best.

  • While it’s not one of Hayao Miyazaki’s, ‘The Cat Returns’ is my all time favourite Ghibli movie. It’s filled with so much magic, wonder and endless discovery, it’s hard not to lose yourself in the beautiful universe! It is proof that adventure is waiting just around the corner, all you need to do is look for it. That is why I adore it so ~

  • My Neighbour Totoro has to be my all time favourite! Nothing can truly beat how warm and loving the characters are and just the message of respecting the natural world and all that dwells within, whether we can see it or not. Can never get enough of it!

  • My love of Ghibli was ignited with a search for Spirited Away which began when shrouded memories whispered of a tall, dark and faceless character.

  • No chance of winning, but I really like Howl’s Moving Castle. I kind of like the idea of a bunch of people who appear trapped in a situation of their own making, and Sophie’s unwanted interference knocks the walls down. It starts so small, grows so large, and then crystallises down again.

  • I love Porco Rosso. The mixture of planes, of honor, of a guy struggling to do what he loves, a lost love, its beautiful. 🙂

  • Fav movie: Howl’s Moving Castle
    Why?
    Because of the amazing visuals, along with the several transformation that the characters go through, and just a great plot

  • My favourite Studio Ghibli film is Howl’s Moving Castle because it was my first Ghibli film, that I stayed up late to watch on SBS years ago. It’s also my favourite because I love how the story line is unique and interesting as well as the characters, I especially like Sophie’s character and Howl. I also love all the detail used in the backgrounds especially in the scene where howl is in bed talking to Sophie because you can see all the jewelry and ornaments. Also this movie got me into the other Ghibli films such as Spirited Away which I also stayed up late to watch on SBS years ago and it got me into anime generally.

  • My favourite Miyazaki film was Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
    I remember first seeing it in Japanese with my grandmother and not being able to understand much of what was being said but the artistry behind the images made me fall in love with Miyazaki’s work. I always enjoy the beautiful rolling hillside animations that featured in the films and it always took me back to when i first visited my family in Hiroshima as a child and truly experienced the beauty of Japan.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. Because its such a good story coupled with the fabulous animation of Miyazaki. So good that even my 86 year old grandmother thought it was a fantastic movie. The scene where Howl gifts the garden meadow of his childhood to Sophie is one of the most beautiful scenes of animation I have ever scene.

  • The Castle of Cagliostro was the first of Miyazaki’s films that I ever saw and I remember watching it when I was in high school and finding it absolutely hilarious. I also remember marvelling at how amazing the production values were for an animated film from 1979. Miyazaki’s works rival the best Disney has ever done, maybe even succeed them. Incredible legacy!

  • Princes Mononoke. Smart, sophisticated and very, very beautiful at times. It’s not afraid to draw out its setting in full for the sake of perfect pacing.
    That, and the Yakul is probably my favourite mountain elk, ever.

  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, big Lupin and Monkeypunch fan, was absolutely stoked to see Miyazaki’s take on the greatest thief alive. One of the main reasons it is my favourite is because I got to screen it for one of my classes (with parental consent of course), converting a bunch of kids who had never heard of Lupin, Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli before into instant fans (who then went on to devour Totoro, Ponyo and Spirited Away). 🙂

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. How can you not love a magic walking castle with doors that open to other dimensions and places. In reality everything Miyazaki is magical. The only thing missing here is the brilliant Go Panda Go.

  • Spirited Away because watching it is almost like some sort of outer body, otherworldly religious epiphany, and that’s no exaggeration.

  • For me, it has to be Totoro. It’s a movie that grew up with me, believe it or not. My introduction to it as a little kid was an English-subbed Cantonese dub, and honestly, I simply found it hilarious that the the names of the two girls were different words for toilet paper.

    Time went on. My dad fell sick and had to live in the hospital for months. I was staying at a friend’s place while my mum made another run to the hospital, and we ended up watching Totoro. Oh man, did it hit me in the gut. I finally understood that fear of losing those you love – the endless, tiring wait in the rain at the bus stop, the empty space in the house when waiting for their mother to recover and Satsuki having to fill that gap, the sheer terror when Mei disappears and Satsuki thinks she might lose someone else she loves. The movie wasn’t just about silly names to me any more (though admittedly, the second time was in Japanese, so the names were a moot point).

    And strangely, now that I’m old(er) and jaded and settled, the last time I watched Totoro it made me long for the kind of adventurous spirit you see in Mei, who wanders into the forest and keep going even when it’s scary. I watch it to rekindle that willingness to wander into the unknown just to see what’s there. It reminded me how, when I was a kid, I dreamed of being a pilot, a hotshot engineer, a famous author, and a lot of other things I now dismiss as unrealistic. It actually gave me a kick in the butt and had me thinking of how I might still find a Big Totoro if I’m willing to brave the briars and bushes and chase the little Totoros.

    Eh, perhaps I’m doing that English class thing where you read waaaaay too much into something (the curtains are blue because the the author picked a random color, not because they were depressed, dammit!). But even if it’s all in my mind, Totoro still means a lot to me.

  • I loved all Ghibli movies. Totoro, Spirited Away, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Laputa and etc. But the movie that make me fall in loved and respected Studio Ghibli is Princess Mononoke The first time I’m watching this movie, I thought it’s a cool action animation with superpower and curses. But, as the story progressing, it’s started talking about the human’s greed and its destruction to the environment which cause hatred in the formed of monster. I never really saw any other anime at that time that explore such a unique idea. The movie make me think alot about human factor in the enviroment and that’s why I love this movie alot. PLUS: This movie have one awesome soundtrack too!!

    Cheers
    Harv

  • Howl’s Moving Castle for sure! It’s not only my favourite Ghibli movie, but also in my top 5 favourite movies of all time.
    The visuals are STUNNING, especially when it comes to the castle itself and the way that it’s animated. The contrast between dull, warring London and the rich and vibrant colours used in Howl’s room and when he’s catching the falling star are incredible. It gives the film such a great atmosphere. The story and characters and their development are also spot on and it keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire way through. Along with that, it has my favourite soundtrack out of any Studio Ghibli music. It’s so beautiful and I listen to ‘It’s love, isn’t it?’ at least once a day <3

    There just isn’t enough space here for me to explain how highly I think of this film in every aspect. I’m studying to pursue my dream of becoming an animator and Miyazaki’s works, especially Howl’s Moving Castle, are what inspired me to do it. I would probably cry happy tears forever if I won this!!!!!

  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Its a hard choice, but even though it’s technically pre-Ghibli and pretty heavy handed on the themes that would come to be more subtle as he continued working I really love the characters and I REALLY love the world. Also, I want that glider. Especially since they just made a working model. I want that so bad.

  • It was the mid-90’s. I lived in Tasmania. The high point of my cinematic enjoyment watching was SBS on TV on a Friday night.
    My brother Richard arrives back home from traveling. He hands me a videocassette. Says nothing.
    I lay on the floor on a Saturday morning watching it wondering why I had never seen anything like this before.
    It was ‘The Castle of Cagliostro‘ now known as Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro.
    I gave up my childhood dream of studying nuclear physics and applied for art school instead.
    My brain has never been the same since.

  • The Castle of Cagliostro. Lupin the third is not only brilliant, but such a character. He reminds me of Nathan Fillion, with that charming, charismatic character that can do anything.

  • Porco Rosso. The characters, the story and the plane! It was my first Ghibli film. Loved it since I was a little kid! In fact I love it so much that I have an original Japanese theater release poster on my wall and a custom built Savoia s21 (the plane) on my desk!

  • Picking one Ghibli movie is just cruel, but I would pick The Cat Returns. Short, funny, lot’s of cats and great voice acting.

  • It has to be My Neighbor Totoro, my whole family loves it, a warm hearted film of childlike wonder, and then watching my seven old fill her pockets with acorns as she pretends to be Totoro means that its the one for me. 🙂

  • kikis delivery servive it is just funny how the boy gets stuck on the zepplin and kiki has to ride a old broom to save him

  • Porco Rosso. Watched that so many times years ago. But it was the English version that SBS must have showed and we taped. I just remember “The tables have turned!!!” during the dogfight at the end and everyone doing their utmost to keep the young female character happy haha.

  • Spirited Away was the first Miyazaki movie I saw, when it got a limited run in local cinemas. It was a beautiful movie, both oddly soothing and unsettling all at the same time. Few examples in media present us with a fully realised world that functions completely without the protagonist but this was one of them. Chihiro is forced to adapt to new surroundings while taking the audience along on her journey, enabling us to feel what she feels and see what she sees in a world that would otherwise be overwhlemingly huge.

    I think this is what sets it above it’s nearest contender, Princess Mononoke, because while Mononoke has the more epic journey and interesting characters, it doesn’t engage with me on such a personal level.

  • My favourite Ghibli film is probably Spirited Away, though I know I won’t be alone in saying that. It’s a cartoon that works for children on account of the wonder and magic – not just in the plot but in the feeling the film gives you – but the appeal for adults isn’t limited to sly dirty jokes like in many other ‘all-ages films’. It’s a fairy tale of sorts, bit like Wizard of Oz, but deeper. It’s such a beautiful looking film too!

  • Ponyo is my favourite because it was the first Miyazaki film I showed to my two daughters. I loved experiencing the movie through their eyes which they loved watching and now we watch it together every few months. The wonder and joy we all experience watching Ponyo & Sosuke’s adventure is delightful and always enjoyable.

  • Princess Mononoke – I just loved the story so much but the musical score was the greatest highlight for me.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. Watching that for the first time when I was 16, is when I finally discovered my dream of owning a moving house. To be able to travel around the world, meeting new people and seeing wondrous and magical things. Whether it be by RV, or trailer, or just the good old car, to have that ability of endless travel is so exhilarating.

  • Whisper of the Heart: I love what it says about working hard on your art and following your dreams.

  • Princess Mononoke, beautiful visuals. Strong female character, and I think this was the first Ghibli movie that made me fall in love with their series. Especially the stories that the characters aren’t pure good or evil. They both have motives that make them do what they do 🙂

  • Princess Mononoke, it was such a beautiful piece of cinema with an incredible score, visuals, and central theme. It’s still my favourite so many years after seeing it.

  • Definitely Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It was the first Ghibli movie I watched, and slammed open a whole new door to a culture that I have come to absolutely love. Plus who doesn’t love the idea of being able to fly?

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. I friend took me to it before I’d ever heard of Ghibli or Miyazaki, describing it as “kind of Japanese Disney” (a description I know Miyazaki doesn’t like!). I wasn’t at all prepared for the beauty of the art and animation, the darkness of the monsters, and the complexity and political force of the story. The detail in the art was astonishing – clearly the animators at Ghibli were working much harder than their self-plagiarising counterparts at Disney!

    Even after having seen most of the rest of Miyazaki’s work, I keep coming back to Howl’s. The art is just stunningly beautiful, Sophie and Calcifer are just so much fun, and the battle scenes look and sound amazing on the Blu-ray release.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle! Sophie is such a great heroine, I really look up to her and how she’s able to stay so positive and brave despite everything… we also share a similar name!

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is my favourite Ghibli movie. It’s got nothing to do with Christian Bale’s Howl voice acting, I swear! Okay, fine, it’s part of the reason…
    Seriously though, I really identify with Sophie, though I find her behaviour frustrating at times. I’ve always felt very plain and boring like Sophie does for much of the movie. I’ve often thought that I would make a better old woman than a young woman; I’ve always felt out of place and a bit unlovable, just like Sophie. Being transformed into an old woman made Sophie flourish and become comfortable with who she is, and sometimes I feel like it would be the same for me, if I could just skip ahead to when I’m old. Sophie’s struggles and thoughts and feelings just resonate with me and my life. I’ve also got to say that despite being very realistic (see: cynical) when it comes to love and relationships and stuff like that, I still secretly hope that a wonderfully mysterious man like Howl will just pop up in my life and sweep me off my feet some day, so watching Howl’s Moving Castle is like my own little dreamland.

  • Grave of the Fireflies.

    I went into it knowing absolutely nothing except for the title, and the misguided expectation that it’d be another joyous Ghibli adventure (at that point in time i’d only seen a handful of Ghibli movies).

    Without going into spoiler territory for anyone that hasn’t yet seen it, that expectation was quickly and heart-breakingly dashed as you watch Sieta and Setsuko’s journey unfold, while still in the back of your head hoping for a happy ending for the pair.

    Very hard to put into words the feelings you get while watching this, a lot of heart wrenching sadness, but then still cracking the occasional smile and warm feeling with particular conversations and gestures Sieta and Setsuko.

    After finishing it I just had to sit there and decompress for a while. Very intense experience. I’ve only seen it once and do want to go back to it again, but not sure if i’m ready.

    In terms of the animation itself, as per usual Ghibli, it’s very beautiful and the quality still holds up imo to this day.

  • Spirited Away is my all time favourite Miyazaki film. Such an amazing and meaningful storyline, accompanied by a fantastic score -my favourite piece is The Sixth Station (which gets me teary every time). I flew to Hong Kong last year and visited the temporary Ghibli Museum which was great, and I also had front row seats when the Hong Kong Youth Symphonic band played an odyssey of film music from Miyazaki’s animations. A truly wonderful experience that had me in tears for most of the performance!

  • My Neighbour Totoro! It has the typical Ghibli magic and reminds me of my summers in the country. I also watched this in a hotel while travelling around Japan. It’s definitely a film which has stuck with me.

  • I find that its to difficult to pick one favourite since all the Ghibli films are amazing. The first film I saw would have been either Kiki’s Delivery Service or The Cat Returns which made me fall in love with Mr Miyazaki’s work.

    If I had to pick though it would be The Secret World of Arrietty because when I was a little girl The Borrowers was my all time favourite movie so you could probably tell that I was pretty happy when I had first heard that Studio Ghibli was coming out with The Secret World of Arrietty.

  • Castle in the Sky was always my favourite. It was the first one I saw and the concept of being plucked from a normal life into a life of adventure with flying planes and pirates and saving the day has forever appealed to me…

  • Definitely Spirited Away. That was one of my favorite movies when i first saw it and i still love it today. it is just such a well made movie in my opinion

  • Back in high school I wasn’t much of an anime fan. We’d watched Totoro in Japanese class, but at that time I’d only really seen whatever SBS screened on Friday or Saturday nights (usually Cagliostro, funnily enough. It wasn’t until years later that I found out it was a Miyazaki film). But there was this girl…
    Talking to the (almost literal) girl next door one day, she brought up this new Miyazaki movie that everyone was losing their minds over. She invited me around to watch it with her, because she was too embarrassed to watch it with her other friends in case they thought she was a nerd (or at least that was her excuse). I’d heard Miyazaki’s name before and as a teenage boy was more than happy to feign interest in anything that got me alone with a girl, so I was in.
    To be honest I don’t remember much about the film from that first viewing. I remember it looked amazing and that it was weird in the best possible way. Mostly I remember just how much that girl liked it, and liked watching it with me. Straight away anime movie-time became a thing, and you can probably figure out the rest.
    Fast forward about ten years and I don’t even know where she is anymore, but I still remember how new and awesome the whole experience of seeing Spirited Away for the first time was.

  • My favourite movie is easily Spirited Away because I think it perfectly captures all the aspects of a child’s imagination (well, mine at least). All the intriguing characters and vivid setting make me feel like a kid again, exploring the world with no cares whatsoever.

  • Princess Mononoke was the first one I saw and the visuals were (and still are) astounding. Hadn’t seen anything like it before and I went back and watched as many of Miyazaki’s other films as I could find.

  • I’d have to say Porco Rosso is my favorite Studio Ghibli film. There are a few reasons that it stands out amongst the rest.

    Firstly, even though the locations that are depicted in the film are real places, the art style always makes the Adriatic Sea look like a fantasy landscape to me – sky and water than seem to go on forever, with the Hotel Adriano akin to an oasis in the desert.

    Porco is my favorite Ghibli character, a classic ‘hardass with a heart of gold’ who still has flaws, evidenced by his continuing guilt over his cowardice at abandoning his comrades. I also like to think that, at the end, even if everybody else had forgiven him, he couldn’t change back until he’d forgiven himself – a pretty heavy theme.

    The ending is beautiful, I love that it leaves a lot of threads open to the audience. Miyazaki’s love of flight and the planes themselves shines through every frame. I also think that it’s a very romantic film in many ways, nostalgic for a time and place that no longer exists in the form the film presents – for reasons I don’t know I’ll ever be able to put into words it resonates with me. I guess sometimes it’s nice to yearn for what feels to us like a simpler time and place, even if World War 1 was anything but.

    I could go on and on, but I guess the overall themes that sticks with me every time I watch it are hope and forgiveness – hope that we can make a difference, if not to the world then to the people we care about, and that while it’s important to seek the forgiveness of others, we also need to be able to let go of our own guilt, anger and fear otherwise we can’t ever become a better person.

    Maybe that’s just me – if you haven’t seen it though, check the film out!

  • The tale of the princess kaguya.

    I love the old school style of the animation. It brings to life a ferocity of emotion coupled with breathtaking whimsy. The epitome of Ghibli films.

  • Spirited Away for me.

    Simply because I didn’t know much about it when it popped up on SBS one night many years ago. I was fairly new to Japanese animated movies. But upon it popping up on my t.v. screen, I just didn’t want to change the channel. And i’m not sure what it was, but it was just a nice feeling once finished watching, and an appreciation for movies of it’s kind. Therefore resulting in my liking to all variety of Japanese animated movies, with still plenty I’ve yet to discover.

  • My Neighbour Totoro, or the lovely short about the sumo mice shown at the Ghibli museum. Although totally in Japanese, which I do not speak, this movie was, like all of Miyazaki’s work, funny, beautiful and poignant at the same time.

  • porco rosso was my first ghibli movie and will always be my favourite. It was so wacky and strange when I first saw it and I fell in love with it. It’s so obscure but still so amazing.

  • Well I haven’t actually seen any of them (so none are my favourite), but I’d like to win it for one of my mates. He’s totally into them and has even dressed up as Totoro at a party before. So he’d get the prize if I won.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. I read the book as a kid, and loved the translation into the movie beat my imaginations interpretation. When the dvd came out I watched it as often as I could. I still watch it regularly and still feel the sense of wonder that I did during my first viewing.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is definitely one of my all time favorites, not because it is well known but it was the first movie that got me into studio Ghibli as a little kid, the story stayed fresh and interesting all through out the movie and the steampunk fantasy style art really stood out and made every scene beautiful, i love each and everyone of the characters as they all had great personalities that really made them their own person.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind it was my favorite move growing up and led me to watch all the Hayao Miyazaki movies i could find

  • My favorite movie is Spirited Away because my wife and I traveled the universe with it on repeat in the background.

  • My Neighbour Totoro for sure!
    It’s a beautiful film about finding positivity and hope in adversity. And a giant fluffy friend! Fell in love with Totoro (: I watched it with my 4 year old daughter and she’s obsessed with Miyazaki now just as much as I am. Her favourite is Howl’s Moving Castle. She loves the magic and the romance.

  • Ponyo! Its the first animated film that my wife actually sat down and watched with me. Now she is obsessed with anime and even reads manga! Would love to watch the rest of his works with her.

  • ‘t’d have to be their adaption of Howl’s Moving Castle. Diana Wynne Jones is among my favourite authors, and HMC was her first book that I ever read (listened to rather, on cassettes). There is no way that it couldn’t be my favourite from Studio Ghibli. Also, probably because I haven’t seen any of their other works. I should get on that.

  • ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind’ is my all time favourite Ghibli film because with all the primping and preening that Disney princesses get up to, I feel that young girls can really use role model princess who’s more than just a pretty face! Nausicaa’s compassion for her fellow creatures and the environment, the skill she demonstrates on her glider, and her scientific expertise continues to provide a positive influence for your girls decades after the film’s creation. <3

  • Spirited Away – because you never forget your first Ghibli film. I watched it as a 14 year old and loved it on one level, I watch it as a 25 year old and love it on a completely different level as well.

  • Howls moving Castle, The first Ghibli movie i seen :D, Just the way it was able to create such a magical world, But still have that dark side, With the elements of War, Love, Heartbreak, And friendship! Best movie to date still A hearts a heavy burden.

  • Spirited Away (2001)
    My husband and I both love this movie and I walked down the aisle at our wedding to the Spirited Away Reprise music 🙂

  • My Neighbour Totoro is my absolute unchallenged favourite.
    I was lucky to have a friend show me this film after I mentioned my growing love of Anime films, and if was love at first watch.

    It has now grown into an obsession where I have tried to see all of the Studio’s work (budget allowing).
    An enchanting story full of love and heart. Anyone would be glad to have adventures with the giant bear-rabbit, as I dubbed him.

    It is also a cosplay I am working on and hope to take to conventions all over.
    Totoro is my friend, even if he is an animated character, his plush is the one thing that will always have pride of place on my bed, no matter my age.

  • I unfortunately haven’t seen many of them, but The Wind Rises is my favourite. I loved seeing the Japanese perspective of WW2, some of the history of aircraft design, and a great story about pursuing your dreams. Also a bit of a sad romance plot. It had everything!

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind! The movie itself in terms of the scope, ost and pacing was fantastic but the just pure badassery of Nausicaa in that movie has never been beat for me. 11/10 will watch again

  • Porco Rosso.

    The beautiful and charming movie about a bounty hunter man-turned-pig who flies a bright red sea plane never fails to lift my heart and bring a smile to my face. Though I must point out that I only enjoyed the original english dub not the disney one with Michael Keaton. Its really hard to summarise why I love this movie so much but simply – its an ever wonderful movie.

  • Spirited Away.
    It’s a beautiful story of belonging and love that everyone can relate to. From the Radish spirit to the shikigami this film has a menagerie of creatures that only could be found in a Hayao Miyazaki film.

  • Princess Mononoke. I saw it at the cinema on my birthday and it was a revelation. That particular day was a bit shitty and I remember feeling like I needed to get out of my own head so i decided seeing a movie would be some sort of relief from whatever was giving me the shits at that time. I picked it purely by chance without any knowledge of studio ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki it also happened to be the only thing playing at that particular time so I didnt really have much of a choice. It was such a great experience and what ever shitty mood I was in before hand just vanished. I’m glad I got to see it like that because it was the best surprise and the best way to be introduced to that body of work; I’m especially thankful that I got to see it at the cinema because it was more engrossing and I just felt so enveloped (for lack of better word) by the whole thing. I make a point of going to the cinema on my birthday now because of that experience, I’m yet to match it though.

  • Princess Mononoke weaves a wonderful world by fashioning early-feudal with spiritual and Renaissance themes. The movie really speaks to me and Ive lost count of how many times Ive watched it, the character designer did a fantastic job with the demons, spirits and overall design. It had a pro environmental theme to it AND is a inspiration of my favorite standalone anime movie, Origins: Spirits of the past.

  • Very close call between about 5 of them but i have to say Laputa. The whole movie is an adventure. The imagination that Miyazaki has to come up with the plot is amazing and the robot triggers my imagination as to what Laputa must have been like. Not too mention the soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi.

  • Last month, I watched Pom Poko.

    My initial expectations were that it was a cute little family film full of friendly raccoons who got in to some disagreements and eventually sorted everything out amicably in the end.

    However, this was not the case.

    Instead, I was subjected to a movie about these homicidal tanukis (raccoon dogs) with oversized testicles (seriously – it’s part of their folklore!) who were torn between a state of apathy and a penchant for scaring/murdering the humans nearby destroying their habitat.

    I was completely astounded. The raccoon dogs were characters with barely any positively portrayed traits and I was rooting for them to create more fear and destruction against the human race. These creatures had a transformation ability throughout the film, turning themselves in to whatever they wished – humans with no faces, giant ghosts and eerie spectral children.

    They made the humans’ lives miserable through guerilla warfare without guns – scaring them to the point whereby the humans would stop ruining the area and leave (if temporarily). But due to their inherently lazy nature, the tanukis would just then sit back and chill until more humans showed up.

    To be the honest, Pom Poko’s ending reminded me of the Animals of Farthing Wood. I won’t spoil the ending but rarely has a film shocked me completely by trashing my expectations but giving me pause for thought at the end on the advancement of urbanisation at the cost of animal life.

    For these reasons, I love Pom Poko. And I doubt I’ll ever see anything like it again.

  • Spirited Away. It’s greatly influenced my life; I watched it with subtitles when I was 8. It influenced me into loving anime as much as I do today, into playing piano (the Spirited Away OST Score book was the first piano score book I ever asked for!). Years later, allowed me to appreciate the deep levels of symbolism, thematic and cultural exploration that anime can employ (I even critically studied the movie for my year 12 literature assignment!).

  • Spirited away, its what got me into ghibli movies and like every other miyazaki work it has amazing character depth and just gets deeper and more meaningful each time you watch it,

  • Spitted away. my first Ghibli movie. taught us how our parents strive to make us happy. and the animation was done beautifully

  • My favourite Ghibli movie would have to be Howls Moving Castle, it was arguably the first real anime movie I ever saw and the first Ghibli film as well. It was on one night on SBS and I was meant to be in bed so i pretended to sleep on the couch so I could watch it albeit through squinted eyes, when the war breaks out I was sitting up on the edge of the couch watching intensely and have since watched it 4 more times. To me it is quintessentially the perfect anime movie it has everything!

  • Spirited Away without a doubt. It was the first ‘anime’ I ever watched (before I even knew what anime was) way back when I was nine years old. I watched it so many times I can recite the film by heart ^_^ It will always hold a special place in my heart. <3

  • Princess Mononoke.
    It’s one of the few environmental films to avoid the old manichean trope of evil humans crushing bunnies for fun. The industrialist is a decent woman trying to do whats best for her people. It takes maturity to tell a story of conflict without a villain.

    Also, the forest spirits are mad cute.

  • Every pieces in this collection is remarkable, and also so much inspiring. If I have to pick one, my favourite would be My Neighbor Totoro. Why? Because of Totoro’s cuteness 🙂

    However, I was also stunned and surrounded by the visual detail and art direction that Howl’s Moving Castle delivered. That’s the very first one I always introduce to my friends when talking about Ghibli’s films.

  • My unwavering favourite is definitely Princess Mononoke – I loved the environment-saving message that wasn’t preachy or pushed down your throat. Just presented sweetly and simply, explaining the environment is worth saving.

  • I would have to say kiki’s delivery service because i met my wife in japan and this was the first film we watched together so it has sentimental value to us

  • Spirited away – such a wonderful story of a girl finding how strong she can be when she needs to, and of friendship. First Studio Ghibli film I saw, and it started a love for all of them. From Totoro to Howl, I can’t get enough.

  • From Up On Poppy Hill – One of the more realistic, but truly heartwarming experiences ever. Whimsical, cute, and at times, wonderfully human. It puts a smile on my face very time I think about it!

  • Hows moving Castle it showed me that heros arn’t always gallant and strong but often are hurt feel pain and have lazy days.

  • Spirited Away
    It was introduced to me by my grandma and it was also the first Ghibli movie i watched,
    i absolutely adored Zeniba and her nice personality.

  • Princess Mononoke!!!
    I grew up watching Ghibli and have seen all the films, but somehow never Princess Mononoke (somehow!)… until my girlfriend suddenly prompted me to do so just a month ago! I thought nothing could beat Whisper of the Heart for me (as a would-be writer), but man… Mononoke Hime is just extraordinary. Truly an epic, and that’s saying something for an animated movie made in 1997.

    I love how environmental issues literally fight back in this, in the form of spirits/ancient gods. And it’s all done in a way much like Lord of the Rings, with mythology and the lore of the represented cultures well studied and mixed-in, to the point where the whole story plays out like it could have actually happened long ago! The totally grey characters, and that incredible Ghibli-esque unrelenting hope and self-sacrifice for others, even if they don’t seem to deserve it at all.. i can’t help but get all hopeful myself after watching this too, maybe more then any other Ghibli film.

    My true favorite Ghibli work would be the Naussica manga (talk about epic!), however you asked for movie, so here ya go!

  • Howl’s Moving Castle.
    It was the first movie that my girlfriend and I watched together almost a year ago. She introduced me to Studio Ghibli and I enjoyed it so much that we now watch the Ghibli films whenever we hang out. Still going strong 🙂

  • I would like to inform the people running this competition that your terms and agreements which you have stated in this post at url http://edge.alluremedia.com.au/m/k/2015/04/Kotaku_Miyazaki_TCs.pdf
    that all entries on this post
    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/04/win-the-collected-works-of-hayao-miyazaki-and-other-studio-ghibli-stuff
    do not count due to the conditions stated on point 1.

    “If there is any conflict between these Conditions of Entry and any other published material, these Conditions pf Entry will prevail”

    and that all urls’ in the terms and conditions point to “Sorry! We couldn’t find the page you’ve requested pages. “.

    Which in point 2 and point 10 are ;
    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/04/win-the-collected-works-of-hayao-miyazakiand-other-studio-ghibli-stuff
    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/04/win-the-collected-works-of-hayao-miyazaki-and-other-studioghibli-stuff
    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/04/win-the-collected-works-of-hayao-miyazaki-and-other-studioghibli-stuff

    I do like to add

    you dun goofed

    also;

    My favourite Ghibli movie is Spirited Away because it was the first movie i saw on TV around 13 years ago while i was still at high school. It just spoke to me on how people should really be instead of being greedy and basing their opinions on how someone looks instead of what is on the inside, for example the bath scene where Chihiro was given the job of looking after a spirit which all the other workers did not want to touch and was not given any help in doing it and in the end she got rewarded for the job which all the other workers all fell over themselves to try and claim.

    • The links do work if you don’t copy them.. When you copy the links it misses a – out between studio and ghibli but if you look at the link in the PDF it is actually there. 🙂

  • The Cat Returns – because that awesome mix of fantasy vs reality made me feel like one day, I too could expect a handsome cat prince to take me away! Still waiting though…Ghibli has given me impossibly high expectations 🙂

  • Spirited Away, because it’s about a little girl trying to cope with being thrown into an adult world, and finding innocent love along the way. Something I think this world needs more of. Not to mention the animations and soundtracks are stunning and I’m a sobbing mess by the end!

  • Spirited Away – you get completely lost in the amazing story line. Perfect for adults and children, the ultimate triumph against adversity. Amazing animation and brilliant character design. No matter how many times you watch it you never get sick of it. My kids favourite movie.

  • My neighbour totoro. It was the first Ghibli film i saw and it changed the way i viewed animated films. it has a unique pace and storytelling. it isn’t afraid to take it’s time and show you things rather then tell, such as the beautiful scene where they are waiting for their father in the rain. It communicates a sense of feeling alone and uncertain as a child so well, which is a recurrent theme throughout the whole movie. there isn’t a villain nor hero, but there isn’t the need for one. since their mother is sick and these children’s lives are changing forever.

  • Spirited Away! I saw this in Japanese class in 2003 and was totally blown away! The animation style and characters were simply amazing, the score and storyline were perfect, it compares to no other Studio Ghibli film to date

  • Porco Rosso. The flight scenes are just gorgeous and the amount of detail in every image is just mind blowing. Gotta love a movie about a flying pig.

  • My favourite Ghibli film is “Howl’s Moving Castle”. I love this film because it has a fully fleshed out world that plays out in the background. You see the politics and warfare play out in the background, and get a sense of the devastation and destruction of war without seeing warfare itself.

  • My favourite Ghibli Studio movie is princess mononoke. Not only is the animation that is used amazing and just overall outstanding but the story line is one of the main reasons I continued to watch it. I first watched this lovely movie after coming across it while watching some of Ghibli Studios bigger movies like Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited away and Ponyo. My eye was attracted to this certain movie due to the animation, it was beautiful and just a wonderful sight to see. But once I began to watch it I realised that this movie was more than just a bunch of pretty picture. It shows the destruction man made objects have and the view of the animals and people who are effected by it. This story line is something that would definitely bring a tear to your eye. Something this deep and moving deserves to be my favourite and it is! There is nothing more I would ask from a Ghibli Studio movie. What’s better than a good story line and a unique style of animation that would bring wonders to your eyes. Thank You.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle – amazing fluid art that does so much to portray the magic in the world put on screen. The story of love conquering and breaking down barriers contrasted against the use of magic for war and the use of magic for the simple things in life. It does a lot to provoke feelings and thought.

  • The Wind Rises – probably Miyazaki’s most personal movie, whose themes of moral ambiguity regarding the transition of simple dreams to harsh reality are heartbreakingly and beautifully explored.

  • My favourite would be Sprited Away. It was the first Miyazaki film I had seen and showed me that anime could be so much more than Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z.

    I remember watching it at a friends place where both of our pairs of parents were outside chatting away and my mates mum hired this new animated movie (Spirited Away) from the video store to keep us entertained. We were only young but we were captivated. Usually we were the type of kids to kick a soccer ball around the house for fun but we just sat in silence awestruck by this movie.

    A fond memory from my childhood. 🙂

  • I initially was a bookworm, and got into Ghibli movies by watching howls moving castle after reading the book, and it got me interested in the other Ghibli films, which led me to spirited away, which hit me like a wall when i saw it, and pretty much was my gateway to anime and and the late night bingewatching sessions, instead of bingereading of days long past, of me watching shows and movies late into the night, sneaking in dvds and a laptop under my bed to watch and re-watch shows (especially this one and howls moving castle) into early morning until i eventually i was caught out, but it was worth it. Was sad not being able to watch anything for over 3 months, but all it did was make my hunger for shows even stronger. It definitely trigged a major shift in interests and character for me, and thats why its my fav.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle, since it was one of the first Studio Ghibli films I saw when I was a child. It is also a movie that has taught me so much about growth and being able to stand up for yourself and fighting your own demons. I also adore the animation style and it was such a great adaptation of Diana Wynne-Jones’ novel.

  • My favourite is My Neighbour Totoro because it reminds me of the imagination I had when I was a kid 🙂

  • Ghibli films always make me reminiscence about the house I grew up in. We still own it to this day so I can go back there whenever I want to, but most of my memories of ghibli lie there. When I was a kid, The Castle of Cagliostro was airing on SBS. At the time I didn’t know such a film existed, hell didn’t even find out the name till I saw it at blockbusters one evening with my dad. I only saw the last 20 minutes of it, but I didn’t mind. I saw something interesting and I can still remember what happens in those last 20(?) minutes. Porco Rosso also aired one night and was probably the first Ghibli film I saw without knowing it was Ghibli. Many years later, my grandparents came over from melbourne and stayed in our old house, and nearly ever weekend we’d have family gatherings there. I’d always play with my little cousins cause adults were too boring for me and we’d come up with stupid way to entertain ourselves, like letting a mattress fall down on us in a dark room. One night though, I brought Howls moving castle with me and we all watched up to about 2/3 of the movie (it was getting late and we all had to go home). I promised them we’d finish it. Then it turns out one of my cousins got nightmares that night after seeing the seen with the giant crows. She flat out refused to watch it after that. I still tell friends about this whenever Ghibli comes up. It may not seem much, but Howls moving castle is a favourite of mine cause it reminds me of the fun times I had playing with my little cousins before they all got iPhones/iPads/Mac books and pretty much reduced our time together to “Everybody look at their electronic devices and entertain youselves”. Content wise, Porco rosso is my favourite cause I just generally enjoyed the story move than others. But Howls Moving Castle is a different kind of favourite cause one day, I will get my cousin to watch all of it. Crow scenes and all. And maybe for once the times we hang out don’t get reduced to just us looking at a tiny screen until it’s time to go home.

  • For me, Princess Mononoke will always be a stand-out amongst some of the greatest animated works to emerge from Studio Ghibli.
    Mononoke was the first Ghibli film I watched, after hearing that it was worth a look.
    It was an evocative and emotive piece, and it transformed how I viewed anime as a medium. Up until then, I had only really watched the sorts of anime that were on children’s channels, such as Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and the like, and maybe a few other semi-decent shows. Mononoke was unlike anything I’d seen before. This wasn’t a ‘fun’ anime, but rather a deep and mature tale.
    The hauntingly beautiful and enchantingly alien images were compelling, the story was powerful and mystical, and the characters felt almost alive. This was a world that felt old and steeped in power, that could actively resist the encroach of destructive humanity, and yet it was also fragile. There were people who struggled day to day, others with a near-insatiable lust for power, some fearful, some bold, and almost all heedless of the havoc they wrought upon nature. All were so well realised that I found myself swept away by Ashitaka’s quest for salvation, and by San’s ferocious need to protect her home and those she loved.
    I have yet to find an animated movie or series that was able to captivate me as Mononoke had – probably the closest to this would be Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (another beautifully constructed film by Miyazaki) or Cowboy Bebop (which plays to my long love for compelling science fiction and tales of personal tragedy).

  • The haunting music of laputa.

    To this day whenever i eat broccoli i must pick it up and hover it over my plate drifting to the right all the while humming the theme song. Yep, drives my partner nuts. 😛

  • Porco Rosso not only because its an amazing story but it was also my first experience with Anime as well as Studio Ghibli

  • Spirited Away was my favourite and first Miyazaki. There was something really unique and moving about the style of the artwork, the characters and the animation that was truly beautiful. There are so many metaphors and layers that bring a level of depth to the story that is most unusual for this type of adventure. Spirited Away is a movie for people of all ages and a great gateway into the Hayao Miyazaki world.

  • Porco Rosso.
    A beautifully meditative film about what it means to be a hero. About love and fate, and how they intertwine. About passions and art, and finding meaning in life. About respect and admiration, and standing your ground for what you believe in.
    And, of course, about silly pirates.

    It’s a joyous film and one that surprises and delights at every turn.

  • I seriously love all of the Ghibli movies but the one I love most of all is Whisper of the Heart for 4 main reasons !
    1. It has the most classic shojo anime plot (which is adorable)!
    2. It shows Baron’s (The Cat Returns) background story of waiting for his lover who is somewhere in the world. So it’s like a prequel to The Cat Returns.
    3. They created an interesting Japanese version of “Take me home, Country Roads” by John Denver!
    4. Finally, because the director for this film Yoshifumi Kondo passed away after this film making Both the first and last film he made ever.

  • Princess Mononoke. I love the blend of Japanese culture with traditional fantasy – it creates something amazing that is still so unique, even today.

  • It may be a common opinion but I have to say Spirited Away. I love it so much, for the colourful characters and relationships certainly, but the best part for me is the incredible mysterious nature of the film. The way that it takes you to another world hidden within our own is the most brilliant escapism and it gives me such a unique and wonderful feeling.

  • A sentimental part of me wants to say Spirited Away. It was such a revelation to me at the time. I’m going to go with Howl’s Moving Castle though. It was such a glorious take on classic fairy tales. I remember raving about it a lot once I saw it, and this was long after I stopped caring about a lot of anime.

  • Laputa, definitely.

    Just the thought of that ancient city, floating solemn and empty through the skies. It’s the most beautiful fantasy concept, tickling all my fancies at once. Unforgettable!

  • Hard choice but my favourite would have to be Princess Mononoke as it was the first Ghibli film I saw and it moved me a great deal.

  • Definitely has to be Spirited Away for me it was the first Ghibli film I’ve seen and it got me into Anime and other amazing Ghibli films

  • I’m going to be honest and say that I actually haven’t seen to many of Hayao Miyazaki’s works, but I have been trying to buy all of these movies for a while and can’t quite find the money. But out of the ones that I have seen I would have to say that Howls Moving Castle would be my favourite, I love the depth in the story and I also love the detail in artwork and the scenery just looks amazing.

  • My Neighbor Totoro. It was my very first Miyazaki film, and I still remember it vividly to this day. I also had a sick Mom when I was growing up, so I could totally relate to the sisters’ experience. I’ve always wished I had a Totoro which I could hug. 🙂

  • Spirited Away. The title kind of describes how the viewer feels watching the film.
    Some characters are lovable, others repulsive. The first of only a handful that I’ve seen with that iconic animation style.

  • Spirited Away – I consider it to be the peak of Miyazaki’s trademark visual and world-building whimsy. It is a seminal “magical journey” story that very well rivals the previously uncontested Alice in Wonderland.

  • Ashamed to say the only one I’ve seen is Spirited away which I love for its spectacular animation, charming characters and ability to create a world that combines a vast multitude of style and story elements and balance them perfectly; darker themes never weigh down the film and lighter scenes never detract from the gravity of Chihiro’s plight.

  • While I love the entire catalog, I have to nominate Kiki’s Delivery Service. I know that Princess Mononoke has an awesome environmental message and that My Neighbor Totoro coupled the tragedy of familial loss with superheroic cuteness……

    …..but Kiki’s Delivery Service has Jiji.

  • Would have to be Kiki’s Delivery Service, never has the attitude of a cat been so expertly animated

  • Definitely Princess Mononoke for me. While it may be a cliche choice, I just love the story, themes, animation and score of the movie. One of Miyazaki’s best works in my opinion 😛

  • It’s so hard to choose one to be more favourite… but if I had to choose, I choose Arriety because there is so much creativity in this. I love the design of their tiny house and also the doll house where electricity somehow works. It is also so creative to see them using sticky tape to climb table legs. The ending is bittersweet but the whole journey was necessary. It teaches a good life lesson- that there will always be obstacles and hardships, but you need to overcome them, to think outside the box and to be kind-hearted and willing to help others.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle: This was one of my favourite books which was then turned into a master art work. The animation for this movie is phenomenal. The colours just bring such an emotional charged aesthetic vibe. Not only was the animation beautiful, but the soundtrack for this movie is one of those soundtracks which I can just listen to on repeat. It has such a gorgeous ambiance to every note.
    My favourite character is Howl. I love the way in which Ghibli managed to show his torment along with his magical flair, mixed with the subtle arrogance and flamboyant characteristics.
    Even though there are quite a few changes from book to film which some may have argued ruined the story a bit, I disagree and think that it turned into a wonderful move.
    This is by far my favourite Studio Ghibli movie.

  • Ponyo!

    it was a very sad week with a death in the family and a friend lent me a dvd copy of ponyo. It just put a smile on my face and made everything better. Miyazaki is just a genius! His movies are pure magical bliss 🙂 my next dog i bought to help with the grief is named ponyo now and that’s why it’s my favourite

  • My favorite studio Ghibli film is Spirited away, the reason for this can be summed up in a single word “adventure”. Spirited away has a very rare beauty in both it’s story which is engaging and mysterious, but also in it’s lush and decedent visuals.

    It was a world that took you in and slowly revealed its magic to you, but more importantly showed you the true beauty of friendships.

    This movie along with all of the extraordinary works from the prolific studio have had an immense impact on my life and will always be cherished.

  • Whilst Castle of Cagliostro was one of my formative anime experiences, Laputa: Castle in the Sky has become one of my ultimate favourite animated movies – not just my favourite Ghibli.

    To me it represents the epitome of what makes Miyazaki’s work so special; the strong-willed girl thrust to the forefront of the narrative, and her platonic relationship with the boy who must grow to be a man; the protections afforded each other and by their kin without a patronising knight in shining armour; the pastoral origins of the protagonists, in conflict with the post-industrial forces seeking to shape the world as their own; the misguided leverage borne of the treasures of dead civilizations, ultimately bringing about downfall to those who would fail to comprehend their historical significance… also relentless but endearing sky pirates who hold their own distinct neuroses and quirks of character, but will ultimately side with those who do good; understanding the values of inner strength and family, and the needs of the many in times of trouble.

    The messages of ecology, family, and the disasters wrought of egotism in power are expressed in parallel to the events of the narrative; informing them without becoming overbearing (unlike the environmentalism of Nausicaa or Mononoke). The story is adapted from elsewhere, but spun into a unique form (whereas Spirited Away and Ponyo seemed a bit too Alice in Wonderland and Little Mermaid respectively). The art and design is also that special flavour of more European-styled steampunk affecting many Miyazaki classics, with an outstanding and catchy soundtrack to lend frame and pacing. The opening credits tell the history of the world so well without exposition, given its own style by which to build the world about to be revealed (the cinematographic ideals of which can be seen in the latter likes of Game of Thrones).

    My only real issue is that, despite all of this, it somehow ended up with one of the worst-case-scenario dubbing efforts I have ever encountered!
    I sincerely recommend watching in the original Japanese with subtitles, and subsequently booing the English voice cast when they scroll over the ending.

    • I really like the original English dub. Disney version is indeed trash, especially with the reworked soundtrack.

  • Laputa Castle in the Sky. It was the first Miyazaki film I watched. I even watched it in my high school Japanese class without any english subtitles and I enjoyed it! It was just a well animated movie, with amazing music that really took you on a journey to a fantasy world!

  • Grave of the Fireflies <3 I know it’s not apart of the Hayao Miyazaki collection, but the movie is by far my favourite ghibli film. The art is beautiful, the character have great development and it shares a brief but important part of history within its story line that everyone should be aware of. You feel for the characters and by the end of the movie, how can you not be in tears?

  • A very close competition between My Neigbour Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies.
    Totoro, I watched it when I was still young and who wouldn’t want a friend that fly and take you along or have a cat bus!
    Fireflies……I am always lost for words to describe this. I think it’s definitely one of their best movie and a very powerful at that. But it’s also a very very sad movie. It is one of my all time favourite movies, but one that I deliberately not re-watch it often due to the sadness.

  • Spirited Away! It was the first Ghibli movies I watched with my children when they were old enough to understand and it created a spark of interest in both of them which is still burning now and I hope never gets extinguished!

  • Pom poko, when i was 7 years old i watched the movie with my parents and older brother (in japanese with english sub ofc) and the only thing i took away from that movie was that raccoons had enormous testicles. A year or so later i went to the zoo for a school excursion and heard some kids arguing with the teacher that the animal they were looking at were raccoons (which they were not) so i walked over and explained to them that they couldn’t be raccoons because “You cant see their balls!” and gave a quick satisfied look to the teacher and walked away, only to receive 2 days of detention.

    Best studio ghibli movie ever 10/10 would look at testicles again.

  • The first movie i saw is also my favourite. I watched Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind on SBS many many years ago and i thought it was amazing. It also had an interesting anti-war message and position on envormentalism. a true classic.

  • Nausicaa will always have a place in my heart as the most vivid of the Ghibli films, the whole movie is a dense world that feels like it’s being delivered straight from Miyazaki’s sub-conscious.

  • For massive nostalgic reasons, and the beauty of the movie, I’d have to say Spirited Away!
    When I was young, we recorded Spirited Away on a tape. I watched it so often I knew when the ads were, what the ads were, and had when to stop fastforwarding down to perfection. Even today, it is the only Ghibli movie I find difficult to watch in Japanese … I can hear the English version in my head at the same time!

  • Princess Mononoke – The first anime I ever watched, saw 15 minutes and was hooked. Couldn’t find it till years later after various others. The beauty and brutality of man and nature, life and death – always leaves me feeling oddly sad but hopeful.

  • The Wind Rises takes it for me, I feel it still doesn’t get the credit it deserves, It truly is a work of art.

  • Gotta say kiki’s delivery service. Something about this coming of age story really hits me straight in the heart. There’s a magical sense of mystery and whimsy about the whole affair, the town, the countryside and the atmosphere is very romantic.

  • Spirited away, because my grandfather died around the time I watched the movie and it was the only thing that made me happy, knowing that he was dead, because that movie was super sad…

  • Ponyo 😀
    Ponyo was the first Ghibli movie I watched and it was by pure chance. Watching it makes me feel so happy 😀

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service. It is one of the few movies that has no antagonist save for the main character’s inner most self. It is a wonderful story whith many different levels that appeals to such a wide range of people and ages. It is a movie that can truely be enjoyed by the whole family

  • Spirited Away all the way. It’s just a beautiful movie, both visually and story wise. I loved the drama and the action in the movie. It’s an all-time classic and it will remain that way for me.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service is my family’s favorite Ghibli movie. It is an amusingly magical, creative and sweet story about a little witch learning to find her place in a big city. It’s also the best movie to watch on a rainy day.

  • Spirited away for sure.
    Spirited away was the movie that started it all for me, my Mum introduced it to me and many others when I turned 10.

  • Princess Mononoke – it was the first Ghibli movie I had ever seen. It stayed with me long after watching it, showing me what the medium was possible of. It simultaneously elevated and destroyed every other Japanese animation I had seen through its exquisite detail, fine art, and emotional storytelling. It made me respect Japanese animation more, and cause me to be let down when other movies did not follow the promises that PM made.

  • Laputa castle in the sky would be my favorite, i watched this when i was younger and it was fun to watch the music everything. Now that im older its nostalgic feel gives me tingles i love the story of it all and how the castke was back im its days with all its old broken stuff its mysteriously beautifu, makes me happy inside ~~ <3 swiggly love heart!

  • Spirited Away, simply because it introduced me to this whole new world of amazing animation. Haven’t turned back since. I watch something everyday to wind down and relax, it is part of my life now.

  • My favorite movie is Howls Moving Castle, it taught me from a young age, that imagination was limitless. It was so amazing the first time I watched it, I had never seen anything like it. Hayao Miyazaki truly has a beautiful mind. All of Studio Ghibli’s movies are awe-inspiring and wholly unique.

  • Spirited Away – It was the first one my friends introduced me to and I had never seen anything so unique and magical before.

  • My favourite’s gotta be Porco Rosso. I have fond memories of watching that movie on SBS as a kid, many moons ago. It would be years before I came to know of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s other works, but when I next saw Spirited Away sometime in the early 2000’s that same fluid movement and endearing charm were unmistakeable.

  • Spirited away!! Love everything about this film! Beautiful animation, soundtrack and storyline! The first Ghibi movie I ever saw and one of my favourite films of all time! <3

  • Porco Rosso! While a lot of Ghibli movies deal with very human things in a supernatural universe, this movie really captured the torment of one man trying to do the right thing in his own way.

    A very accessible way to teach people of all ages about guilt and so many other lessons.

  • My favourite would have to be Howls moving castle.
    I remember at my Grandmothers house they had this lovely old sitting room with old furniture and a small tv and we would watch movies there and one time we were searching through this cupboard underneath and there was sitting Howls moving castle so we played it and i fell inlove.
    It doesnt sound like it but it was a memorable moment for me.
    Now that my grandmother has passed away i feel like everytime i watch it im connected with her again

  • Princess Mononoke
    with its awesome soundtrack and fantasy setting, it was great in exploring the majesty of nature and how humans could co-exist with it in such a beautiful way. At least for me,even now it brings a strong desire for the world to go back a few centuries where every piece of land in the world hasn’t being industrialized or settled.

  • For me it would have to be Mononoke.

    It’s an incredible and complex story with great nuance in the animation, voice acting, musical score and beautiful imagery. Each protagonist is also an antagonist, with their motivations being completely understandable. Nobody is perfect, everybody is flawed and fighting to survive in the world that is changing whether they want it or not.

    In the end, nobody truly wins or loses. It really is the highpoint of Miyazaki’s work for me. I notice something new every time I watch one of his films again, but this one stands above a quality pack to be my favourite.

  • Howls Moving Castle
    It was one of my first Studio Ghibli films. I LOVE this movie, I would appreciate this prize because all of Miyazaki’s films hold a special part in my heart. But I especially love howls moving castle because of how amazing and well-developed the story line is. This movie takes you through an adventure that you wish you could experience. Other than those major details there is just too much to say about the excellence of this movie and all Ghibli films. To completely understand Howls Moving Castle’s excellence, I recommend that you watch it.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. I’ve watched this many times, it was the first Ghibli I’d watched, and opened my eyes to a whole new world of Japanese animation which quickly became my favourite type of animation. Forever a fan now!

  • My favourite Miyazaki movie is My Neighbor Totoro!

    I absolutely love the setting an actual real world location and reading up on some events that happened in the 60’s its easy to see Miyazaki has drawn inspiration from these events, however it is wonderful to see the tone of the movie in a whimsical fashion with some pretty heavy undertones dealing with death. Its really a film for a generation and more generations to come. It is sad however to think Miyazaki is stepping away from movies but he needs a well deserved rest. His son Goro is carrying on the tradition with heart felt movies love love love from up on poppy hill. Keep up the good work Miyazaki family!!!

  • Laputa – Castle in the Sky. Fantastic and fascinating example of beautiful, emotional art. Every frame is so imaginative, only from the mind of Miyazaki.

  • My favourite Ghibli movie is probably the first one I ever saw – Princess Mononoke.
    I went with a friend to see it at the Astor Theatre in St. Kilda, and my mind was blown apart with its epic-ness, its foreign-ness, and it’s complete un-Disney-ness. I adore that movie.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle, coz Howl’s hawt.
    Jokes, Spirited Away because so many elements were embedded in the movie that was suitable and enjoyable for both adults and children. I first watched Spirited Away when it was broadcasted on television in the early 2000s. (2001-2003) Back then I wasn’t aware of what anime was, let alone Studio Ghibli. I only remember still to this day, how horrified i was as i watched Sen search through the barn of pigs for her parents. The pigs were so well drawn in the sense that all that slobbering and wild behaviour really scared a 6 year old me! Back then it was just an interesting cartoon for me but with every watch after, I always pick up on new and exciting themes such as Miyazaki’s message about environmental care symbolised by the River God (Kawa no Kami) or the notion of acceptance and greed when Kaonashi produces the fake gold to please the workers in the bath house. The amount of detail and quirk poured into every character, from the many limbed Kamaji to the faceless Kaonashi, and even the little soots with eyes, truly made me really really fall in love with the movie!! It’s a wonderful film that emphasises the problems in our world by conveying them to the audience through a world of magic. Ultimately, Spirited Away brought a little girl like me into the world of anime, and i am thankful for that.

  • Who could not love the story of the bad-ass yet warm-hearted Proco Russo! This is one of Miyazaki’s less-heralded hidden gems.

  • Princess Mononoke: it has a very powerful meaning of destruction of the forest if we keep dominating land and not living side by side with nature is strong messages just moves me to be less destructive on the environment

  • My favorite would have to be Spirited Away. I watched it a very long time ago with my cousin and could never remember the name of the movie! Luckily, I met my (ex) girlfriend and she happened to have a copy. She really sparked my interest for anime after that.

  • Laputa. Because, honestly, nostalgia. Well mostly nostalgia.

    We had it on VHS when I was a kid, a VHS that was recorded off the telly, it even had the ad breaks included. But it was something my sisters and I would watch with my dad pretty often. It wasn’t anime back then, it was just a cartoon movie but it was different to other cartoons. Eventually though the tape wore out and later we ditched the VCR entirely. Many years went by without Laputa before Disney re-released it. But they changed the voices… it was horrible. I watched that version once and that was it. Until just a few years ago. I finally found (don’t tell anyone) a torrent of the original English dub with the original soundtrack. I actually cried a bit rewatching it. Lots of memories of childhood. I’ve rewatched it many times since refinding it. I had it on my little laptop whilst I was backpacking around Europe and would watch it on any quiet night.

    Ok, enough writing, I need to watch it again now.

  • Howls Moving Castle
    My girlfriend’s a big fan of it so we rewatch it a lot, I like it because I always forget how the ending works so I get to re enjoy it every time 🙂

  • For a first watch (and then never again) I’d say Grave of the Fireflies.

    Because sometimes you need to be reminded that everything you love will most likely die in a painful, brutal fashion through virtually no fault of their own.

    Really would make a good Disney movie, they should get on it.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service, every time i watch it, feels like its the first time.
    But it seems to change every few years.
    And the more i think about it, maybe Ponyo is my favorite @[email protected]

  • I haven’t actually seen any movies YET except for parts of Spirited Away a long time ago, but Princess Mononoke looks the most promising to me. The art is amazing, I just love the old style.

  • My favourite movie is Spirited Away. The beautiful music and scenery, interesting and diverse characters, and incredible story is why I love it so much.

  • While it’s not technically a Ghibli movie my favourite movie has to be nausicaa of the valley of the winds, i happened to see it late one night on sbs and it opened up a world i’d never realised was there before for me, since then i’ve seen every miyazaki movie and almost all of studio ghibli’s works as well, but nausicaa remains my favourite for being the first 🙂

  • Spirited Away.

    I first saw this movie when my 6th grade teacher showed our class and I never forgot it. When I grew older and rewatched the film I was so captivated again by everything about it that I was determined to find out more about the creator of Spirited Away…which led me to Studio Ghibili. I have since then watched many of the studio’s movies and there’s nothing else like them in the world, but Spirited Away will forever hold a special place with me.

  • Princess Mononoke. It’s hard to choose a favourite Miyazaki film, but Mononoke features such a brilliant conflict between two powerhouse forces (two amazingly complex, nuanced female characters) in which neither is the black-hatted antagonist but a leader who genuinely wants the best for the people under their protection and the world they inhabit. It’s beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking, unique and completely unforgettable.

    Also, how cute are the forest spirits? So cute.

  • While I’ve seen and enjoyed all the wonderful works of Studio Ghibli, no film has quite matched the exquisite metaphorical beauty of Spirited Away. Growing up can be hard. Life’s going to throw some trippy stuff at you, and all the grown-ups are just going to expect you to deal with it. Chihiro showed everybody how it’s done; with courage, exuberance, and flair.

  • Princess Mononoke because I had watched and enjoyed several other of his titles but Mononoke had a strange new vibe that I’d never experienced before, an astounding masterpiece of animation and storytelling.

  • Ponyo. The sea imagery just spoke to me in a profound way and I think that the love between Ponyo and Sauske is the most pure I’ve ever seen. I almost cried when I saw that box set. Holy crap I love these films.

  • Easily Spirited Away, my first ever Hayao Miyazaki film, and the movie opened up my imagination as a child to a whole new magical world

  • Ever since i saw Spirited Away as a child, i have always has a respect and fascination for the art that is Hayao Miyazaki’s work, making Spirited Away my first and favourite Hayao Miyazaki film.

  • I love Kiki’s Delivery Service. I don’t even remember when I got it, because I was so young… and it was made before I was born, I watched it so many times; the VHS tape wore out. Luckily by then I had a DVD player so I got a new copy. After that I started to discover other Miyazaki movies. I love them all.

  • Howls moving castle was my favourite because I enjoyed all the characters and they always stayed true to who they were, even in the end. I thank my friend for introducing me to studio ghibli

  • Spirited Away. Perhaps because it was my first Ghibli film, but I suspect it’s more to do with the fact that it’s the most sublime, imaginative and beautiful animated film I’ve ever seen. At first it felt like an animated version of The Wizard of Oz on LSD, but when you peel back the oddness you find that there’s a heartfelt story and characterisation amongst all the craziness. It was such a breath of fresh air compared with other animated material at the time, and one that set me on my journey to watch and appreciate all other Ghibli films (Laputa is another favourite). And the filth demon (or whatever it’s called) is the best character in an animated film ever, simultaneously terrifying and pitiful.

  • Ponyo.
    I love all the other films too but I was able to buy a small wind up music box when I was in Japan that plays the main theme from Ponyo and whenever I come across it in my sock drawer and play it I find myself humming the song for the rest of the day.

  • My Neighbor Totoro is my favorite film because it tells such a sweet story with children who are like real children and it captures that reverence for nature that many children feel, their fears and joys. It’s a magical movie and Totoro is my favorite character of all time!

  • My Neighbour Totoro, all the way. A beautiful movie, stuck with me for a long time. A movie I am always up for watching, for me that is hard for a movie to do.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle: The castle itself is a magical character and a great example of the creativity that is Hayao Miyazaki.

  • Spirited Away.

    I’ll never forget seeing this at the Japanime film festival at Dendy Circular Quay in 2002. I knew nothing about it (nor Ghibli at that point), was there mainly for Akira on the big screen.

    Never before has anime affected me so profoundly, I felt my eyes welling up numerous times, not from sadness but the sheer beauty of the experience, and the amazing power Miyazaki and Ghibli have to craft whimsical tales that perfectly capture the joy and wonder of childhood, a joy felt most keenly once it’s long gone.

    It’s one of those moments in time I’ll remember forever, and the fact the same festival featured both ‘Millennium Actress’ and ‘Perfect Blue’ made it a thoroughly life-altering experience, and well and truly showed the power of the medium.

  • Porco Rosso: My first time in Japan we came across it on late night TV and we just couldn’t stop watching. It actually re-inspired my enjoyment of anime to see that weird pig man flying through the skies

  • Spirited Away – it was the first film of the genre I shared with my daughter and now we share something all the pink dresses and make-up time with mum will never take away. Even as she grows older we still get to cuddle up and watch these movies.

  • Although I love them all, I always fall back to My Neighbor Totoro for its great story and characters – I love how heart warming it is, but funny at the same time. I also want to live there!

  • Ponyo- I remember my little niece being obsessed with it a few years ago, and she made me sit and snuggle with her while we watched it over and over. Back then my niece even looked like Ponyo- same orange hair, same haircut. Now whenever I watch it, it reminds me of precious time spent with her- she lives on the other side of the world from me!

  • All the Miyazaki films I’ve seen are beautiful. My favourite? Howl’s Moving Castle.

    It is the only Ghibli film I’ve had the pleasure of viewing in cinemas and features the best of the Ghibli English dubs (Billy Crystal!) The film presents a unique take on the usual love story and teaches us that true beauty always comes from within.

  • Ponyo: This film drew me, my wife and our little girls into a fantastic world of movies so refreshingly different and deep compared to what we had grown used to.

  • Howl’s moving Castle!
    It’s the movie that my wife introduced me to Ghibli with. It will always hold a special place because of that

  • My Neighbour Totoro.

    My family used to visit a house very much like that featured in the file when I was a kid and whenever I watch the film, I think back to my innocent childhood times of simply joys and pleasures.

  • Princess Mononoke. Of the finest examples of his classic trademark of pacifist, environmental themes with no true antagonists and each character is portrayed with their faults and victories unscathed. It truly looks at these characters with ‘eyes unclouded’.

  • Howls Moving Castle – It was one of those movie viewings where there was no expectation or previous knowledge of what was about to be watched. Needless to say, this is hands down one of most beautifully animated, sound edited and written Ghibli films!

    Plus I spent countless nights watching it on my first gen iPod Video in bed when I shouldn’t have been when I was younger – boy that video quality was…interesting haha

  • Spirited Away – Chihiro as Sen is a sweet but strong character who quickly learns the value of words, a lesson which helps her survive and gain her freedom. This story entertains as it unfolds the underlying theme of growing up and that not everything is black or white. It also has adorable Susuwatari (soot sprites) and I adore the innocent Haku/Sen romance. I never grow tired of rewatching this beautiful story and find myself discovering new hidden messages and themes nearly every time.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – It was the first one that i watched with all three of my kids and the one that got them all hooked on this genre. Now we regularly watch them. We all have our own favourites but we watch them all as a family

  • Kikis delivery service, as I’ve always wanted to travel to new places and enjoy my freedom, plus who doesn’t want to be able to fly

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

    Nausicaä, to me is the most beautiful and spiritual work from Studio Ghibli.

    The ambiguity of deities, of good and evil makes it one of the most profound animated films I have ever seen. The way it touches you through animation and feeling is beautiful.

    It’s hard to explain but somewhere inside you, you know something has changed.

    I’m so glad films like this exist, what a beautiful gift to give to the world.

    – choosy

  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky by far…

    Whilst I’m a huge fan of all things Ghibli, its the memories of my mum and I watching it together that I hold dear. She wasnt a fan of animated film, but she loved Laputa. She passed about 1.5 years ago.

  • Spirited Away, it was the first one I watched and I was immediately enamoured by the unique qualities and amazing story!

  • Grave of the Fireflies.
    The most beautiful yet depressing film I have EVER seen. The most I’ve ever cried during a movie.
    My absolute favourite but one that I don’t think my heart could take watching again.

  • It has to be Spirited Away – so much of my childhood is connected to that movie. When I watch it, I see my sisters and I in my lounge with the afternoon sun streaming in, laughing and trying to draw the spirit characters with our blunt pencils. It makes me so happy to remember these memories, and the movie is just beautiful.

  • How can you expect people to pick just 1?! That’s insane! They’re all great films! But.. If I had to pick one, it would have to be howls moving castle, I guess I’m just drawn to guys who don’t really care about you at the start & only think about themselves, but then in the end turn out to be lovely & can’t live without you. That & calcifer is absolutely hilarious!! Spirited away is beautiful too

  • I don’t have a singular favorite movie from any of Studio Ghiblis works but if I had to pick one I would have to say castle in the sky, reason it shows the value friendship, trust, and all together the true meaning of dedication to ones family legacy and how friendships can come out of unexpected encounters with people that you would never expect to befriend. or maybe I could say Nasca of the valley of the wind because it shows the human destructive power maybe one day overcome the errors enforce it to revert to a predatorial state to protect itself well it beats generates and filters out all poisons that the human race is put into it while a small number of humans can work together to stay alive and succeed and producing small nit communities that know the meaning of hard work and self sacrifice. And because i love the fox squirrel in both movies.

  • Wow!!!! This is a must have! Favourite movie is definitely Laputa: Castle in the Sky, it was the first animated film I saw and really opened up the creative world of animation for me. It set me on my path into animation and my first degree in Animation itself. The artwork and music score is what set it off for me, the bugle sequence when Pazu wakes up is mind blowing and hits me with ‘the feels’ everytime I watch it. Ghibli/Miyazaki artwork is a thing to be hold, everything from the opening credits to the closing credits, in fact I have Laputa’s theme as my ring tone and use Pazu as my ingame handle! God I would love this!

  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind would have to be my favourite. I was lucky enough to see it shown in cinema and it was mind blowing on the big screen!

  • My Neighbour Totoro! Because it was the first Ghibli movie that I saw, and there are so many amazing scenes and feels. CREEPY!!!

  • Spirited Away!
    I think it was the first one I watched, and also its very touching but totally weird and strange and enticing all at once!

  • My favourite Ghibli movie is most definitely “Grave of the Fireflies.” It was the first anime movie I watched that convinced me beyond a doubt, that anime is an art-worthy medium. The story is such a personal, gripping, brutal and tragic account of the horrors of war. I, personally, found it’s presentation to be more effective and heart-rending than even the largest Hollywood epics.

    It shows you that an effective anti-war movie need not show massive battles, but rather show you where the real damage hits. At home. In the family. Between a boy and his dear sister, from which a shattered bond can be more powerful thematically than the deaths of a thousand men.

  • This is going to sound cheesy as hell but anyway, here goes;

    My favourite would definitely have to be the newest movie, When Marnie Was There. I have never felt more emotionally attached to a move in my life than this movie, simply because I relate to the character Anna on so many levels. I absolutely bawled when I first watched this movie, it made me come to terms with a lot of emotions I had been kept bottled up for a little while. Aside from the beautiful main story, I felt strongly connected to Anna because she reminded me greatly of myself when I was younger. A young girl, passionate about art, who was outcasted by everyone around her, depressed, and lost. The feelings she had about herself were feelings I have experienced, also. I think it is wonderful that Studio Ghibli has created a new movie that is a little more mature than some of it’s other films, exploring some deep and serious issues that unfortunately affect or have affected many people such as myself. Anna’s bravery in overcoming her issues has been deeply inspiring for me, and helped push me to pull myself out of a dark hole I had been stuck in for a while, and along with the sheer artistic beauty of the film, in-turn inspired me to create some new artistic pieces as well. When Marnie Was There was an absolutely incredible film, and definitely one of the best I have ever seen.

  • Princess Mononoke – just a masterpiece of story telling, I saw it when I was very young and it completely changed the way I think about telling stories. So much so that it inspired me to work in the theatre, which I now do

  • Princess Mononoke was my first and will hold a special place with me, but i have to say Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is my favorite with it beautiful world and a strong female that leads with her heart and kindness. She had a community believing in her without a strong army or show of force. Shows us that we don’t need power to make a difference.

  • The Castle of Cagliostro because it brought Lupin III to life for me and the car chase scene is still the best animated one I have seen 🙂

  • ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’
    I first saw it in a grand old theatre, which has since been demolished. It was an original subtitled print reel, it was the first time I had watched a full Studio Ghibli presentation, and the themes, characters, settings and sounds have all lived on happily in my memories.
    It’s also as old as I am, and has aged just as beautifully.

  • Porco Rosso is just so much fun. I love the absurdity of the entire premise and the fact that every character but Porco finds it weird he is a pig. Porco himself is just out to survive and look after the ones he cares about. The end sequence moving from a dogfight, to a fist fight and the inclusion of the sky pirates; it is just a manic fantastic movie that is unlike anything else I have seen.

    I have seen most of Miyazaki’s films and they’re all classics, but Porco Rosso just tickles me in the right way. 😀

  • My favourite Ghibli film is My Neighbour Totoro. The first time I watched it was on a three hour bus trip with twenty Japanese exchange students. This became a treasured memory for me because as soon as the opening song started all of the exchange students started to sing along and I felt that I was a part of a real tradition in Japanese culture. The exchange students had shown me one of their favourite childhood films and it was impossible for me not to love the honest simplicity and beauty of My Neighbour Totoro as well.

  • My Neighbour Tororo, it was the first time I was properly introduced to Japanese films and culture back in 2000 and ever since I have not only fallen in love with Studio Ghibli films but also with Japanese culture itself.

  • Ponyo – It’s a vivid and enthralling story where one can immerse themselves with and get lost amongst the great charaters. My nephews and I have watched this movie multiple times, just knowing that if they can remember the song, means that it was quite memorable.

  • I’m going to buck the trend; my first Ghibli movie was Howl’s Moving Castle, but it was Spirited Away that made me a fan.
    It has that accessible, kid-friendly-but-not-restricted-to-kids style and draws you along on the transition from the mundane to the fantastic, but on the way exposes you to a different, but relatable, culture. It’s not always about good vs bad or even the hero against the forces of nature… things are what they are and you have to work with them, not against them.
    The idea that you make things better by acknowledging their reality, rather than trying to change it, is a theme in Ghibli films but it comes through the best in Spirited Away.

  • My favourite is Howls Moving Castle, war, deception, underdogs, whats not to like? the castle itself is the best “character”

  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro

    I remember watching this as a child and just being blown away by the action and comedy. The characters were amazing, especially Lupin. I loved the easy laid back arrogance of him.

    Hollywood could learn a lot about how to do a great action/comedy from watching this movie

  • its a difficult call, after watching all of them many many times, i would say my favorite is Porco Rosso, closely followed by ALL THE REST! i share some characteristics with Porco, however unlike Porco, i used to be a pig and now im a human. theres a lot of charm in this movie, it all comes together beautifully, the music, the characters and the story portray an amazingly rich world. i feel that Miyazakis grasp on comedy and warmth are at their peak and i love the dimensionality of the characters, there are no ‘bad guys’ in Porco Rosso, everyone is deeply human (especially Porco), pursuing their own goals and happiness. it may not be his most ambitious film, but i think its his most entertaining and charming- “hey, a pigs gotta fly!”

  • My favorite is Ponyo – beautiful story for all ages and it is simply magical. Relationship between a human child and goldfish child (innocence can bring peace between humans and nature) and how despite the obstacles they find a way. Love it!!

  • People might think my neighbour totoro is my favorite Ghibli movie because I have Totoro tattooed on my leg but The Castle if Cagliostro is the best for various reasons.
    Lupin himself is one of the most humorous characters in anime history and brings his own charisma and charm to this movie.
    The movie also contains the best car chase scene in any movie in history!
    The storyline and characters are so indepth yet still humorous.

  • My Neighbour Totoro – Because Totoro. Also because it’s a lovely story with great illustrations (as is typical) and lovable characters. Each movie has something amazing to it though.

  • Spirite Away. It’s a breathtaking movie which leaves a deep impression upon completion; a sense of bitter-sweet love and longing between the protag and those she meets when she was ‘spirited’ away.

  • For me it would have to be Arrietty – It wasn’t the first Ghibli film I watched, but everything about that world just left a lasting impression. The idea of little people living within the houses of humans and “borrowing” items that they wouldn’t miss without being detected, was such a great and original concept. The way they used the everyday items they “borrowed” to traverse the houses blew my mind. The attention to detail of the world made it really feel like it was lived in. I must have watched it at least 7 times now with different members of my family, and they too absolutely fell in love with the world. Such a great movie!!

  • Spirited Away was my childhood, as well as Totoro, Nausicca and Laputa. I want my future children to share my childhood as well.

  • Like most of us, I’ve loved them all – they opened new horizons in storytelling animation for me.

    I want to say The Wind Rises is my favorite, because I was so caught up in its tale, and the characters. But I can’t look past Princess Mononoke. It was a film which said so much to me about how we do and do not treasure the world around us, and its inherent spirit. And it had so very many incredible images and moments. It shines in my memory as a beacon to this day.

    So: Princess Mononoke

  • Spirited Away – It was the first one I saw, and I really connected with Chihiro with how lost she felt in the world, and she has inspired me to do better in my life.

  • My favorite gibli movie is, whisper of the heart because the movie really helped me through a tough time where I was very depressed, I ended up watching the Miyazaki movies shortly after when my brother showed me howls moving castle and ever since I’ve loved all the movies 🙂 my favorite is still whisper of the heart tho lol.

  • Ponyo is personally my favorite because of the childlike innocence that the film captures that I haven’t really seen in many other movies. Watching it just makes me a happy person. There’s no big deep reason, it’s just simple as “it makes me happy’.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle: Such an amazing story, with beautiful animation. It was the first Ghibli movie I watched, which was the reason for exploring the studios work.

  • Totoro easily became a part of my childhood lives. I watched it over and over again though I don’t understand Japanese nor I could read subtitles at that time.

    No matter how much love Totoro though, Spirited Away is the movie that blown my mind. The world, the character, every single thing in the movie is captivating. It’s simply Miyazaki’s best. The scene of Chihiro at the train station with the touch of Hisaishi music, still haunts me for many years to come.

    Oh god, I wished Miyazaki never retired.

  • Miyazaki’s films are often over-simplified because of their unparalleled artistic beauty.
    His films are carful critiques of politics, religion, history and social constructs, that are often trivialised as children’s films. Miyazaki’s animation is the tool through which he masks these often mature messages; all the while, creating an emotional relationship with the viewer and the message that they only realise upon a reflection of the present world.

    Spirited Away is my favourite of Miyazaki’s masterpieces of animation. Predominantly because it deals with one of the most taboo elements of any society.

    Spirited Away is a film that transcends the spiritual world to bring us a message about the physical world. There have been rumours that Miyazaki used this movie as a catalyst to subtly explore the taboo, ‘fantasy’ world of the Japanese sex industry; pressures of sexualisation upon modern youths and the corruption of innocence. Miyazaki himself suggested that the most appropriate way to symbolise the modern world is the sex industry. This movie resonates deeply with me because without the deep knowledge of Japanese language, The nation’s history and it’s contemporary social issues, that I have built up over many years of study, Miyazaki’s true message is lost.

    Unlike his other movies that feature universal messages (Howl’s moving castle – war/politics/corruption; Princess Mononoke – conservationism/fallibility of man; etc.) Spirited Away’s message was intrinsically directed towards Japanese audiences. This is why I love the movie, it is clearly Miyazaki’s message to his own society. It was extremely dear to his heart and consequently, allows me a greater appreciation of the film.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle Would honestly have to be my favourite, the simplistic yet complex art style and frivolous story reminds me of why I decided to become an artist. it plays on the emotions yet gives great morals to uphold ; that being to not judge a book by its cover.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle!
    My Neighbour Totoro runs a close second, but I can’t go past Howl’s for the fact that it’s such a well-rounded movie. It has the standard fairytale themes, but instead of it being a simplistic good vs evil, the characters are more complex and more mature ideas like politics and war are explored. One of my all time favourite movies 🙂

  • Spirited Away is easily my favourite Studio Ghibli film, it has a very captivating plot and unforgettable characters such as No-Face (the black spirit), Haku (the 12 year old river spirit), Kamaji (the six armed boiler man), Yubaba (the witch) and Boh (the giant baby). There is of course also Chihiro (the little girl), who you see develop from a child to a young woman, throughout the course of the movie. Spirited Away is still one of my favourite animations of all time!

  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky
    Growing up as a teenager in a small isolated country town, there was little to no exposure to any animation unless you went searching for it – so the discovery of this wonderful series came by chance. One quiet Saturday evening, whilst sprawled over the living room couch flicking between the selection of tripe on TV, I thought it be appropriate to culturally expand the limited supply of watchable TV – across to SBS.
    By chance, the title of Laputa: Castle in the Sky came onto the screen and I was instantly captivated. No movie had taken me as strongly as this: the detail placed into every frame, the harmonious orchestral opening sequence fueling the grace and beauty that was to come. Where has this been hiding all my life?!
    This soon fueled the exploration into not only the Ghibli studio works but all animation in general. A whole new realm of entertainment had been opened up to me through the very best means possible.
    I often go back to Laputa to reminisce, and remain enthralled by the Studio’s means of engagement and creativity.

  • Without a doubt, my favourite Ghibli release and Hayao Miyazaki movie is “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”, as it hints at a much larger world and a rich history beyond the scope of its own well told story. Like so many great works of fantasy fiction, such as “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings”, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” focuses in on just a handful of key characters as a means of showing the audience a much bigger picture. It is both personal and intimate, while at the same time being soaked in grand themes of mankind’s control over nature and the nature of mankind.

    Gloriously original visuals and presentation, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” inspired so many other artists and creators, and is not only my number one Ghibli release, but easily one of my favourite movies in general.

  • I love every single one of them but the one I watch the most is Spirited Away. The reason for this would be because when I have a hard day at work this movie relaxes me because it’s so enjoyable to watch and it makes you wish that you found such a mystical place such as the theme park the little brat got trapped in. It’s also heart warming never gets old to watch and great for all ages. It also reminds me of the movie labyrinth but without David Bowie’s weird clothes and David Bowie. I will watch this till I’m too old to know what I’m watching anymore lol hopefully that doesn’t happen.

  • My favourite is definitely Spirited Away. Watching it each time still brings tears to my eyes – I love how Chihiro managed to touch Haku, Kamaji and No-face. The hand drawn animation is amazing and soundtrack takes me to another world.

  • Hands down, Princess Mononoke. It moved me so much. It is a beautifully presented, epic story with a breath-taking heroine. The most captivating animation I have ever watched.

  • Probably Spirited Away. It was the first real interaction I had with anime/Ghibli films. My mum bought it shortly after it came out and the world that was presented certainly broadend my horizons.

  • Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)

    A tale of bravery, progress, the human condition, our relationship with each other and nature, greed, the fact that there is not true evil but shades of grey, hope, despair and sadness. All tossed in together with brilliant animation, believable and more importantly, relatable characters who have to face the consequences of their actions. Good people and “bad” both pay for their choices. And good deeds don’t always mean you have a happy ending.

  • Spirited Away has all of the elements: Its accessible to audiences of all ages, including anyone with no familiarity with anime. On top of that it has a compelling story as well as beautifully nuanced characters and the animation is superb. All of Miyazaki’s works are outstanding, but Spirited Away is the not only his best film, it is the best gateway to anyone wanting to understand what the whole anime ‘thing’ is all about.

  • It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but the one I always come back to and can watch every single day is definitely Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s just so different from all his other works. It’s enchanting, whimsical, magically delightful, and plus Heen is pretty much the most underrated character ever (love that old dog).

  • My Neighbour Totoro, as I love singing the theme song with my kids and who wouldn’t want to ride on a cat bus!

  • Princess Mononoke . The first anime I watched and had a deep impact on my watching habits as well as introducing me to all the others.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service:
    No other film has made me feel like a kid again, I loved the pure sense of thrill and joy felt by Tombo seeing planes fly. It made me feel better when my interests classical music composition and video games were so out of the norm of the other boys at school.

    also apparently the city is based on Stockholm, making me want to go there!

    • For some reason my account hasn’t come up but the comment above is me!

      Kiki’s Delivery Service:
      No other film has made me feel like a kid again, I loved the pure sense of thrill and joy felt by Tombo seeing planes fly. It made me feel better when my interests classical music composition and video games were so out of the norm of the other boys at school.

      also apparently the city is based on Stockholm, making me want to go there!

  • Ponyo Ponyo Ponyo Fishy in the Sea
    Ponyo, the power of love conquers all, the absolute joy and wonder to be found throughout the movie, just stunning and I love it.

  • Spirited away (although Howl’s Moving Castle is very close second) because its the first Ghibli movie i ever saw and i was the defining experience that made me fall in love with all thing Ghibli and anime.

  • Porco Rosso. You have the music which is stunning a
    and breathtaking, with the fluent Italian to the exhilarating music during sea plane fights. The story itself keeps you engaged and focused, and even though the ending is ambiguous, you still feel satisfied and ponder ‘what happened next?’ A truly beautiful and epic unknown gem

  • Princess Mononoke – One bad ass wolf lady repping for the environment, what’s not to love! Some of the most original character designs as a bonus.

  • Spirited Away – The strength of unconditional love is shown strongly throughout the movie as she strives to improve the life of her parents. It is very creative and deep. Also this is the first Ghibli movies I have seen.

  • Spirited Away!
    As a kid I generally associated japanese animation with shows like Dragonball Z, not that that’s a bad thing, just that I didn’t see japanese animation as having the same depth and emotion of its western counterparts. Spirited away changed that completely for me. I love everything I’ve seen from studio ghibli since then, whether its my neighbour totoro or even the work the did for the PS3 game Ni No Kuni: Wrath of white witch, which has become one of my favorite JRPG’s in recent years.

  • Porco Rosso because it was the first ever Studio Ghibli movie I watched with my now girlfriend of one year. It was also the first one I had watched period. It’s the reason why I know all about Studio Ghibli and inspired me to venture more into Anime.
    But out of all the movies I have seen, Porco Rosso stands out the most because not only was it a perfectly written and animated movie, it was the first movie I ever enjoyed with my girlfriend.

  • Definitely howls moving castle it’s interesting, its colourful, it’s fun and it’s just such a beautiful storyline full of character.

  • My favourite is Spirited Away, for a number of reasons… In general, I rarely watch films. When I do, the majority of them are Ghibli films. They’re my go-to. Then there’s a second level. When there are some Ghibli films I don’t feel like watching, Spirited Away is the go-to. For me, the atmosphere is incomparable. Every moment is important, and the emotion that pours out of each one is so strong it becomes part of oneself. I think about it when I write, be it music or literature, and it’s a constant source of inspiration. Joe Hisaishi’s music remains my favourite music of all that I’ve heard, and his Spirited Away soundtrack is so apt and evocative for the film, I can’t help but play it over and over. The scene on the train to Swamp Bottom is the epitome of this suitability. The film just can’t be beaten.

  • it is hard to pick a favourite because Miyazaki takes me on beautiful journeys in all of his films and now my children join me on these journeys. But I will pick princess mononoke it’s powerful beautiful and has a special place in my heart because I saw it with a dear frown of mine who is no longer with us.

  • Howls moving Castle. I saw it at rialto cinemas When I was younger and was in love with Howl. The struggles Sophie faces always tugs the heart strings.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle, definitely. My art teacher first told me about it in year 9 and when I finally got to watch it for the first time, she had retired, so I never got to thank her for her amazing taste in Studio Ghibli films :c
    Any who, this movie is my favourite, because every time I watch it, I get an amazing sense of goosebumps, I can’t seem to look away and there’s not a single thing about this movie that I don’t find absolutely perfect. Plus, Howl is gorgeous, soooo :3

  • I would say howls moving castle, it was my first introduction into studio ghibli, but spirited away holds a special place for me, just an amazing story and far more emotional than I thought an animated film could be

  • Howls Moving Castle.
    The scene where Sophie watches a young Howl swallow the star. It brings me to tears every time.

  • Spirited away. I watch it every time I have a bad day. At the end, I feel like a new person. That’s the real magic of Miyazaki’s work.

  • Mine is Howl’s Moving Castle which I’ve repeatedly watched over and again. The music, like all other Joe Hisaishi compositions, is beautifully touched with a hint of melancholy which matches perfectly with the introduction and growth of Sophie’s character. This film adaptation of the book can be compared to the theatre adaptation of the original Phantom of the Opera novel. I’d love to watch each of Miyazaki’s masterpieces again (and again!) on Blu-Ray.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is my favourite Ghibili film. Many years ago a teacher of mine had brought it for our class to watch one afternoon. It was in Japanese with no subtitles and I didn’t understand a thing! Even so, I thought it was amazing and that day after school I went straight to the video store to rent it out. It was my introduction to Ghibli and I’ve never looked back.

  • mine would probably be the grave of the fireflies
    It was a unique world war movie from a perspective I’d never experienced in western cinema. It was just absolutely amazing

  • Though it is a tough decision to place one of Miyazaki’s films above other Studio Ghibli creations (they are all so wonderful in their own way), I have to go with Princess Mononoke /もののけ姫.
    Aside from Miyazaki’s typically beautiful animation and Hisaishi’s typically beautiful score, the themes and the complexity of the plot are what bore a deep hole into some kernel of my heart each time. In brief, environmentalism, feminism, (eco-)spirituality, fairytale wonder and morals, and a love story. It really does tick all the boxes. Oh, I forgot the Kodama. They are ridiculously wonderful. This film holds up to repeat viewing.

    First off there is Ashitaka. Never before had I come across a principle character, apart from in old traditional fairytales, who is so pure of heart, and whose behaviours and aspirations so full of moral courage and gentle strength. Ashitaka is physically strong, but it is his purity and gentleness that are highlighted, and his overriding desire to be a good person.
    The story is his confrontation with the suffering of the world, and its confronting complexities of death, sex, greed, violence, destruction and conflict. His staunch dedication to his ethics throughout his adventures, symbolised by his battle against the demon of anger that is fighting his arm and body for control is powerful.

    But what is just mindblowing about this film, is that it juxtaposes Ashitaka’s metaphysical struggle between being a good person, and succumbing to destructive behaviours, with these amazing heroines, Mononoke and Lady Eboshi. It is like a fairytale character catapulted into the gritty and complex conflicts of real life. Mononoke and Ashitaka in some ways represent the old world of folktales and spirituality, versus the modernity of Eboshi that comes at the cost of the sacred, and of nature, often destructive and profane.

    This makes it the ideal film for a young person coming to grips with some of these themes. For me, Ashitaka and Mononoke were really inspiring characters, they made me feel like it was possible to be a good person, and pursue a good heart as well as fight passionately for the earth and those in the minority, even against overwhelming destruction, violence and suffering. But, as in other Miyazaki films, I was also reminded that no one is ever really ‘evil’ or ‘bad’, they are a mixture of qualities and their negative and destructive traits are a result of life experiences that have resulted in the overwhelming of their character by greed, fear or selfishness.

    Eboshi and Mononoke bust the good/evil dichotomy into pieces. Having grown to live in a harsher reality more sooner than Ashitaka, they have developed their own ways of pursuing their aspirations. In Eboshi’s case this is a mixture of selfish, environmentally destructive, and greedy ambition to expand her mining empire paired with her noble and kickass efforts to empower former sexworkers and disenfranchised lepers by employing them in her forgeries and bellows and other industries of her mining outpost.

    In Mononoke’s case, her singleminded loyalty to her family and her desire to protect the forest and the forest spirit are situated against her bloodlust, desire for vengeance and her ruthless violence.

    This film does not shy away from violence, but it explains the reasons people choose violence and the circumstances it arises with pathos and heart. In the end, the film is hopeful, it shows us that in the end, all things must change and be reborn, nature is comprised of destruction and creation, and that the earth will always prevail against all odds.

    Fern Gully, Avatar and many, many other films that are a barely a shadow of Mononoke Hime, owe much to it, and to Miyazaki.

  • My favourite has to be Spirited away. The movie was the first studio Ghibli film i saw when in was only 6 at my cousins house. Now im 16 and Hayao was my inspiration to start drawing and being an artist. The movie blew me away when i was young that i would not be as creative as i am today without Hayao Miyazaki’s fantastic works.

  • They are all instant classics, but Pompoko stands out. It has so many elements that was classic to Studio Ghibli films: humour (sometimes bawdy), the amazing imaginative animation, particularly with the many many monsters (yokai) of traditional Japanese mythology, and Ghibli’s uncanny ability to convey unexpected depth of sadness and poignancy through this medium. Ghibli is not afraid to bring in complexity of themes and emotions in what many would think of as a kid’s genre – such a distinction simply doesn’t exist, because a good story is a good story, which can be enjoyed by all. They never condescend to their audience, no matter their age.

  • kiki’s delivery service – I feel that Kiki is an extremely relatable character as she’s almost a normal person (besides being a witch of course!). I also think Kiki is a strong female protagonist and proved that if you put in hard work you can achieve your goals, this is evident through her delivery service.

  • Spirited Away is my favourite… probably because that’s the only one I’ve watched to completion haha, that and also because it was pretty damn impressive overall!

  • Spirited Away: Everytime I watch it, it reminds me of my year living abroad in Japan. I lived in a city near Dogo Onsen, which is the hot spring that inspired the creation of Spirited Away.

  • My family’s favorite is my neighbor totoro. My sons, 2 and 4, think this is the greatest movie. They sing along to the theme, pretend they own cat buses, and chasr soot sprites. The enjoyment is immeasurable.
    Personally I have a soft spot for porco Rossi because of the setting and they main characters redemption.

  • My favourite has to be Princess Kiki’s Neighbour in the Valley of the Castle.

    That is, if I had to choose just one.

    Why? Because they’re, sorry, because it’s just so awesome!

  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya is my absolute favorite animated film, not just from Studio Ghibli, but anywhere. The the plot was based on Japanese lore which made it a more authentic experience than any other Ghibli film I had ever seen. The animation was beautiful and unique with the colors giving you a bright and cheerful feeling inside. Every frame was a painting in its own right. The plot reminded me that Ghibli animation can be enjoyed by a person of any age and not just children. The ending managed to make me more emotional than most films I’ve seen have. And being Isao Takahata’s farewell masterpiece made it all the more emotional and gave it a special place in my heart.

  • Spirited Away tells a beautiful, incredibly complex story with childlike clarity. It doesn’t condescend or over-explain. Brilliant.

  • My favourite Ghibli film is Howl’s Moving Castle, if for no other reason than the beautiful scene in Howl’s room. It confirmed in my mind that a life spent flitting around and hoarding anything shiny like a manic bird can eventually result in a pretty cool place to sleep.

  • My favorite is Spirited Away because it makes my heart soft. It encapsulates both the fear and wonder of being a child, and does so within a world of unspeakable majesty. It’s a masterpiece and I love every second of it!

  • I won’t debate with anyone on their favorite Ghibli movie. All I will say is that it warms my heart to know that the are Studio Ghibli fans the world over!

    And on a personal note, Nausicaa is my favorite.

  • Though it wasn’t my first Ghibli film, every time I re-watch Nausicaa it still manages to evoke the exact emotions I felt the first time watching it. The musical score tugs at my heartstrings every single time it sets in. The film itself has a very powerful message about renewing humanity and its environment – to which I can draw parallels to our current world. Overall, it is a moving and beautifully written film – as are all Ghibli films.

  • I’ve seen a handful of the more popular ones, and until I just saw My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service was probably my favorite. But now (way beyond my childhood) that gentle giant has me saying To-to-ro over and over. All Ghibli films I’ve seen so far remind me of when I was younger and bring a sense of beauty and simplicity to the world that we don’t see as often today. I’d love to be able to watch all of them and as much as I want!

  • Laputa – Castle in the Sky because I’ve never felt more connected to any form of media before. It was my introduction into the Ghibli world and still remains one of my all time favourite animation movies ever. The characters are amazing and dimensional; especially with Dola and her hilarious men. Plus it has the adorable robots who melt my heart everytime they are on screen. It possess this wonder of always believing no matter what and I not so secretly believe that Laputa is out there and everytime I see an amazingly large cloud it always makes me smile thinking that Laputa could be flying above me.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service: The beautiful story that resonates deeply with many artists..Whatever it is you love, when it becomes your job and not your hobby, the transition can be difficult. Mixed with romance, friendship and the supernatural, that movie is not only a gorgeous piece of cinematography but a story with deeper morals, a quiet salute to those struggling to make art or music or fulfill whatever passion on a day to day basis.

  • Definitely Spirited Away – such a magical depiction of growing up and the loss of innocence that melds beautiful animation with startlingly mature themes and ideas that set the bar for animation unbelievably high in the 21st century.

  • My favourtie Studio Ghibli movie of all times would have to be Howl’s Moving Castle.
    The storyline is very romantic and the art is brilliant. I love the effort put into the details of this film. Hello – Howl’s Room! It’s so amazingly intricate that you could stare at it for hours like a where’s wally picture and STILL not see everything there is to see in it. I really love the way that Hayao Miyazaki brings the characters to life, particularly in this film where the main message is to live life while you still have it!
    To me, this film is inspirational and challenging. I feel that it’s message can be appreciated by both young and old and Hayao Miyazaki made it in a medium that all can enjoy!

  • My neighbour Totoro will always have a special place in my heart as the movie I loved as a kid, and the movie my girlfiend and I enjoy so much! I’ve based my art direction off of the characters in it and it never ceases to bring a smile to my face when that Go! GO! Totoro! music plays. Thanks for the competition

    ~James

  • My favourite Ghibli is The Tale of Princess Kaguya. The story is so compelling that I completely forgot that I was watching an animation and I was transported into the world of the Princess.

  • Spirited Away is and always will be favorite Studio Ghibli film. This movie always makes my problems or situations smaller because spirited away makes me feel unstoppable when it comes to going through depression I always watch spirited away. And after I’ve watched spirited away I watched all of studio ghibli’s films. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for making a film so transcending that’d every generation will never forget.

  • Porco Rosso, because when we (my brother and I) were younger our father knew we liked “anime” and saw some strange animated movie about a pig in a plane on SBS late at night and decided to watch it to get closer to his sons that he only got to see on weekends – he apparently struggled at first but then really got into it and fell in love with the movie
    little did he know that by “anime” we generally meant the more typical – big robots, ninjas/samurai and stuff like that, not pigs in planes (but had watched the likes of Cagliostro and enjoyed it)
    he sat us down the next weekend and popped on an anime he’d “recorded off SBS” (we knew it SHOULD be something good given that SBS was a treasure trove for anime at the time) and watched this movie about a pig in a plane with our father
    it clearly opened his mind because from then on he would often sit us down on a Saturday or Sunday and pop on something he had recorded off of SBS that week or would take us to the video store and encourage us to hire out an anime movie or a series that he thought “we” might be interested in (he always tried to act like he wasn’t interested and it was just for us, but we knew otherwise and years later he admitted it to us)
    basically, the great little movie made our father a closet fan of a genre he had written off as kids stuff and MOST IMPORTANTLY our anime enabler (or were we his enablers?)…
    oh, and it gave us more memories of time enjoyed with our dad too… I GUESS that’s sorta important 😛

  • My Neighbour Totoro is my absolute favorite because its style of “enchanting” is an everyday, seeing what’s around you in a new way kind of style and it’s both deep and simple, with adorable characters and no need for anyone “bad”.

  • Spirited away! I first introduced it to my niece when she was three years old. She’s now 16 years old and it’s still her favorite movie. She calls it sin to this day. Because of the name of the main character in the movie.

  • Spirited away, because it was my first Hayao Miyazaki film which i watched with my best friend i enjoyed all the characters and how they pulled at your heart strings.

  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky is my favourite movie because it is the movie that has made me into who I am today. It was the first anime movie I ever saw in my life and I never forgot it because it started my obsession and adoration with Miyazaki’s works and anime in general. Although I love the other movies Laputa will always be that special movie to me and even 15 years later it has never left my top 3 movies of all time.

  • I’d have to say Princess Mononoke is still my favourite Ghibli movie. Stunning animation, delicate storytelling and a wonderful message. The ethereal forest scenes pull me in every time I watch it. There’s nothing more I could want from a movie

  • Spirited away though creepy to my 10 year old self, was a mind blowing experience none the less. I grew to love it more watching it 5 years later and then again in high school. The imaginative plot never ceases to amaze to and the deep symbolism present is constantly making new marks in my mind as I mature.

  • My favourite Ghibli movie is The Cat Returns. I found the characters fun and really enjoyed the story. The Baron is one of my favourite Ghibli Characters ever.

  • Only Yesterday. One of the few films I re-watch every few years to remind myself that regardless of how much we change, there’s always some set of values that stays with us and makes us who we are. Isao Takahata is a story teller who I identified with immediately, and for me this is one of his best. I think the fact that Ghibli has managed to nurture story tellers as diverse as Takahata and Miyazaki is a testament to the unique creative culture they’ve established.

  • My favourite has to be Spirited away. The movie was the first studio Ghibli film i saw when in was only 6 at my cousins house. Now im 16 and Hayao was my inspiration to start drawing and being an artist. The movie blew me away when i was young that i would not be as creative as i am today without Hayao Miyazaki’s fantastic works

  • My fave would have to be My Neighbor Totoro, because it was not only made in the year I was born, but it was my first one out of all of these that I have seen. Also because it was just simply really nice and lovely.

  • My favourite is Howl’s moving castle because it is such passionate and unique love story that I can relate so much to. And the soundtrack is just beautiful and sensational. Overall, this movie is a wonderful and magnificent movie. Also so is all of the Ghibli studio movies which I have not seen all, but would love to.

  • My favourite Ghibli movie is Spirited Away. I get lost in a mystical place with characters I can relate to. The storyline provide a new perspective and the soundtrack gives me inspiration. An all round great experience!

  • Princess Mononoke.

    A film that has several strong female roles and leads without feeling the need to sexualise them in any way whatsoever? That’s the sign of a man who understands what is needed to make good characters. In a medium so full of endless violence its heart-warming to see a film that takes the action that occurs on screen and gives it human (and animal especially) context that is something to mull over after you finish watching it. So much love for the Miyazaki’s (His son Goro – Tales from EarthSea – is amazing as well!) <3

  • If one were to imagine a world depicting magic, spirits and the bonds of friendship, it might just be Spirited Away to that place, where a white dragon awaits along the river near the bathhouse, to begin a heart-warming yet dangerous journey to find that fragment of recollection floating in the depths of an ocean of memories…

    If you have the determination to go on this trip, you might just find me there, and when that moment arrives, don’t hesitate and take my hand.

  • Castle In The Sky, it’s just like combining three of my favourite things – Star Wars, Terry Gilliam and Jules Verne into the perfect animated movie

  • Could there be anything harder than choosing one Studio Ghibli movie as your favorite!?
    Ok well I will try.

    Spirited Away was my first experience with Miyazaki’s talented Studio. I happened to see it in a cinema with some friends and while I had certainly seen anime before It was the first time I saw something this wonderful and beautifully crafted. It conveyed such an amazing asthetic and oozed quality that I had to find out more about the people who made it.

    Now of course I love all of Hayao Miyazaki’s works but Spirited Away was my first and introduced me to Studio Ghibli, so I will always consider that somewhat special and therefore my favorite.

    Ok now I have to go watch Princess Mononoke so it doesn’t feel left out, oh and Howl’s and Nausicaä and.. and… now look what you’ve gone and done 🙂

  • Totoro is my favorite Studio Ghibli film because it warms hearts and is filled with adorable (sometimes a bit creepy) characters in a “Alice in wonderland” sort of way. I am already introducing my daughter to this film as well as all the other amazing Studio Ghibli films!

  • I loved the studio ghibli works, I have seen almost all of them. My favourite one of them is Kiki’s Delivery Service. I love this movie so much as I was enthralled by the animation work, Kiki and Jiji where such lovable characters that blended into the story so well. I don’t think any other of the studio’s works could beat it.

  • Ponyo. Every moment of that film was fantastic, every second added to it’s perfection(unlike some trilogies*cough*thehobbit*cough*). It was also the reason I tried ramen, and now I make it all the time. So much ramen.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” because it’s such a hopeful film. Despite the ravages to the environment, nature finds a way to heal and restore itself, in the same way the ohmu restores Nausicaä to life. Similarly, conflicts can be resolved by people of goodwill. A parable for our time.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite Ghibli studios movie. This movie is just beautiful! I can watch this movie over and over again. i like that is not a typical story and it also has some funny parts. My husband watched this movie with me and he loved it!

  • Having grown up with Ghibli movies, they all had a deep resonance for me over any other animated films I watched, but my all time favourite would have to be “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”. Firstly, it was released the same year I was born, it was just fated to be, and secondly the deep underlying topics incorporated into the storyline was riveting. Issues like war, family bonds, species and environmental changes, woven together on the premise of a legend unfolding, although some may feel too heavy for a young child, is intriguing enough to capture us into its magic. Of course needless to say, Joe Hisaishi outdoes himself on the soundtrack with beautiful wistful melodies throughout the movie. Love this movie. A must watch.

  • My Neighbor Totoro is my all time favorite, it really helped me get through a tough childhood, along with all the other movies, Howl’s moving castle would be a strong second, with Spirited Away coming up in third. When I was sad or angry I would pop one of the VCR tapes in (so long ago haha) and it would take me away to another world, and make me happy. And that’s my favorite movie and why.

  • It’s a close call between Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle for me, but I think I’d have to lean to Howl’s. Billy Crystal voicing Calcifer was just perfect!!

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. Growing up I felt that I could always relate all to closely with Sophie, because she never expected much for herself. So when I watched this for the first time I cried. Because it gave me hope. Because it spoke to me on a level that no many people could comprehend, and then further still on a level that I myself could hardly comprehend. From there on out, almost every Miyazaki movie I watched had this spark to it, this magic that you just don’t see too often these days. I will always be a fan.

  • Spirited Away was my first real introduction to anime after obsessively watching Dragon Ball Z and Digimon as a kid.

    Spirited Away made me realise, even as a 13 year old, that anime was an art form in an of itself. More than that, it showed those around me that anime wasn’t just two men grunting at one another – it’s the first Japanese-animated film either of my parents or siblings watched. It’s complex timeline, it’s space for silence and reflection while not holding back on pain or fear sets it apart from its naff Disney counterparts. Spirited Away is a movie you can keep going back to, as I have over more than a decade to experience something fresh each time. It’s truly a masterpiece.

    Studio Ghibli are the masters of this art and I very much hope their collection is not yet complete.

  • Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle gave me hope, growing up as a child I grew up timid and scared of the world like Chihiro. I felt unworthy and not beautiful like Sophie did. Both films taught me how to be brave and fight for what I beleive in. That I am beautiful in my own way, to face new challenges with a courageous heart like all the character’s in studio ghibli films. You can relate to these characters and never forget their stories. I’ll forever be a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

  • I really liked Spirited Away because it was my first Studio Ghibli movie and I was truly in love with it! I liked how when the girl — the main character (I forgot her name) had ran into the wall while running down those flights of stairs, If I recall correctly she tripped on one step then went flying down! LOL, I also thought that when the guy turned into a dragon and was running away from those paper birds it was pretty dramatic when his blood splattered all over the place. It was funny, dramatic and joyful! ^_^

  • Howl’s Moving Castle! Love it’s pace and magic. Fantastic characters and quirky story too!! Could watch it again and again!

  • Mr. Hayao Mayazaki and Mr. Isao takahata are probably the most amazing people out there. The main reason why I would say that I love all their movies they have made so far is, the feeling of how I can relate, my thought process, my imagination , my perspective and my values in life with them.

    I would say My Neighbor Totoro was one of the best one’s , because I truly love how it focuses on family relationships. Whether it is between parents and kids or just between siblings and just how important they are.

    Since I was around 17 or 18, I started to realize my love for living in countryside. This movie complete and accurately described how I view or would want my life to be if I were to live in much a place. Same type of house with a huge backyards and front yards, the style of cooking, or washing clothes with your feets would all be the same. Smell of fresh air and the starry sky at night, now that is what I call life.

    Whenever I am depressed I love to watch one of Mr. Mayazaki’s movies and they always cheer me up.

  • Howl’s moving castle!
    This was one of the first movies i watched when i was little and i fell in love with it immediately! From the unusual characters (turnip head) to the well written storyline and beautiful artwork used. It’s still one of my favourite movies to watch now and probably will be forever, i can’t ever see myself getting sick of it!

  • Spirited Away. No film to date has transported me to such perplexing, awe-inducing and magical world. For me it was both profound and poetic, intimate and colossal.

  • Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro

    Think I watched the trailer for it far more times than the movie itself once I got my hands on it several years later. Had a 5min trailer on my Ghost in the Shell movie VHS containing the “driving up the mountain” and the “leaping across the rooftops/buildings” scenes backed by an awesome narrator 😀 Very similar to those PSOne demo discs when you couldn’t afford/find the game anywhere locally

  • Howl – Because (better characterised in the book) the apparent hero that we all aspire to be can sometimes harbour more insecurity than ourselves. Despite Sophie’s appearance, she shows the most courage in times of distress whilst Howl battles his inner demons. Very good film. Recommend the book as well.

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service will forever be my favourite. It was the first film to introduce me to the world of Hayao Mizayaki and it opened my eyes to its beautiful world. The moral of Kikis of being true to yourself is something we all must remember, and having a young female protagonist teach us that is important as it shows young girls to always believe in themselves even when they may think different.

  • My neighbour Totoro. It brings out a child-like fascination in my mind. This was the second Studio Ghibli creation I saw and have since been seeking Totoro collectables ever since. Love love love these creations!

  • I love all of these movies but Whisper of the Heart is one of my favorites because I love to write and want to become an author. When I watch this movie it always inspires me to work hard and makes me want to polish my raw drafts into something beautiful.

  • From up on poppy hill.
    This ghibli movie captured my heart. The story is heartfelt and not as simple as it first appears. It explores many of the human emotions; humour, love, loss and determination. The interactions Umi has with her school mates and her community remind me so much of Japan. It makes me want to return.

  • Porco Rosso 🙂 Absolutely love that movie, just get such a happy and positive feeling when i watch it! Love the feel and look of the film and how different it is to Studio Ghiblis other films, plus the soundtrack! Wish i could name other films but i can’t :T

  • Princess Mononoke.
    It really just took me to another place, I just fell in love with the world, the message and the characters. San particularly is such a strong and dynamic character that has stuck with me, for me she really is a figure that stands above the rest.

  • Spirited Away. I had to watch it and work with it in school for English and I never got tired of it. My then girlfriend introduced it to me before we started it in school. I can remember so many moments with her, and at school that I cherish while watching this movie. The movie itself is fantastic, but every time I see it, all of these beautiful and heartwarming memories come flooding back to me all the way from back then.

  • Spirited Away for me as well 🙂
    For me it is the epitome of all that is great about Studio Ghibli. Stunning animation with characters that feel as real as any live action character, beautiful music by the incomparable Joe Hisaishi and boundless imagination in its characters and ideas.
    Anime like this doesn’t talk down to kids like a lot of western animation does, but transcends the art form into a true work of art.

  • • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

    It takes me away to a place I cannot describe, without fail, every time I watch it. Simply beautiful.

  • Tough choice, but i think Spirited Away.

    It was one of the first Ghibli movies i watched when they played them all on SBS while i was in school. I recorded it on a VHS and watched it a lot of times. Then i got it on DVD at a fairly pivotal point in my life, so it holds a lot of memories for me.

  • Spirited Away – Blew my heavily modded chimp brain away! Visual style and animation was amazing, Alice in wonderland for the modern era.

  • Princess Mononoke. Its the pinnacle of art in animation. The detail in each and every scene. The incredible English voice acting. The human characters. The majesty of the forest creatures. The struggle between man and nature. Literally my all time favorite movie for all these reasons and more. Plus this was the second Ghibli film I watched. Was rocked by Spirited Away, started looking at Hayao’s other movies and this one sold it to me on plot summary alone.

  • Ponyo by far not that the others aren’t awesome but for one I Cannot go past that awesome English cast plus it’s the first movie me and my now pregnant wife watched together

  • While I would say Porco Rosso just for the Japanese Ghibli-esque version of Italy…. Or Castle of Cagliostro for Lupin being so cool…

    I could also go for Howl’s Moving Castle as I was able to sit and watch it enthrall my 80 year old Grandmother….

    But I will go with Kiki’s Delivery Service as it was one of the first movies I suggested to my now soon to be wife and seeing her eyes light up when the Jiji statue arrived that I bought for her. She shared the movie with her class for disabled children and Jiji sits on her desk to the amusement of her students and is loyally brought home so he doesn’t get stolen. They apparently spoke of Kiki and Jiji for weeks.

  • Porco Rosso.

    When I first watched it as a boy I simply loved the idea of flying ace but didn’t quite understand why he was a pig. It only became apparent to me (some years later when I was much older) some of the things the film was conveying. Most of the works are masterpieces but this one just strike a chord.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The feels it has is amazing. Every time I watch it, I get all wired inside. Now, many things I have watched give me feels, but Nausicaä gets me every god dam time… Hell, ALL of the Miyazaki movies do it, but Nausicaä is the one that makes my feels box go off the most. And that’s coming from a 25 year old guy. Fuck, am getting feels right now thinking about that ending…

  • My introduction to anime was Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Neon Genesis (when I was way too young). They gave me a sense of the vast and mature themes that many other cartoons and films shied away from, or were incapable of expressing, and shaped my young views of the world and my place in it. Then came Porco Rosso, and suddenly in the world there was magic, and beauty and tragedy, and forlorn love, and young hope. It opened my eyes to a life with more light and hope than any other screen storytelling– and I’ve never looked back.

  • My favourite Ghibli movie would have to be Princess Mononoke.
    When I first saw it, I was amazed at the animation and the story. The ‘fantasy’ setting was different from anything else I’d seen. The poor Ashitaka forced to leave his village and never return because of the consequences of saving his sister was sad, but he did his duty with pride. I remember wanting a video game like it, and now I hope the next Zelda title brings it.
    Seeing the movie again and again, I could start to understand and discovered the other complexities that I didn’t understand or notice when I was younger.
    The environmental message, not forced onto the viewer, but there in the context.
    The slight historical basis of the Muromachi era of Japan, and Ashitaka’s village being one of the few ‘Emishi’ left in Japan.
    And the Japanese mythology and culture woven into the story.
    Each time I watched it, I’ve found something new to appreciate, and I’m sure I will continue to find something when I watch it again.

  • Grave of the Fireflies
    This has to be the most powerful and emotional film I’ve ever seen. It conveys the tragedy of war, and the danger of pride and denial, in a way that is intimate and gut wrenching. This amazing masterpiece is the kind of film that stays with you; you can’t help but keep thinking of it long after you’ve seen it.

  • Spirited Away. It’s a masterpiece of art and animation.
    This was the first time I had really watched anime, thinking it always to be silly, loud and slow like Dragonball on morning TV. The story, characters and art just sucked me in and left me wanting more, it got me watching everything I could and I even started to study animation. The imagination, story, humor and depth blew all other animation out of the water for me. I haven’t found much that is close to or transcends those boundaries except in Ghibli films except maybe Hosuda is getting close 🙂

  • From the few that I have seen I would have to go with Porko Roso.

    That movie changed the way I look at characters and animated films. It really meant something. We don’t have enough of those kinds of movies.

  • My favourite would have to be Ponyo.

    It was the first anime movie I watched with my daughter, her love of the movie and wonderment at the scenario was infectious. she’s moved away now, but watching it helps me reminisce on a simpler time .

  • Castle of cagliostro, it made arsene lupin and anime in general go from something i’ve never heard of or been into to one of my favorite things!

  • I reckon my top 5 films of all time would be mostly Miyazaki films. And I guess my most favouritest would be Porco Rosso. The between the wars, mediterranean setting and the homage to the golden age of aviation is just brilliant.

  • It’s so hard to choose but Spirited Away has been in my life the longest, and I loved it so much that every day for a long time I used to set up a pretend cinema in my room and draw tickets for my brother and sister to enter and have a private screening.

    It never got old, and it still never gets old.

    We always yelled out, “The Kohaku River!” randomly around the house and would always hold our hands out in front of us and made the ‘No-Face’ sounds (eh, eh, eh!).
    Thank you to Studio Ghibli for being such a big part of my life, and any time that i’m sad I will gladly put a movie on and all will be right in the world, even if for that moment, it’s not my own.

    Spirited Away sparked my love for anime, manga and all things weird and wacky, and I love it more than anything. The soundtrack and the characters made my heart beat faster, and It opened the door for me to see so many different worlds, and what could make you more alive than the creation of the weird and wonderful parts of life itself.

  • Princess Mononoke
    Nausicaa would be first but after reading the Manga i found that to be so much better I absolutely love the art and the world building for Mononoke, It’s one of my favorite movies of all time for it’s well told story and characters

  • My Neighbour Totoro is my favourite because it shines my soul spotlessly clean. Plus it has a cat-bus.

  • Spirited away, favourite movie because it was the first Ghibli movie I watched. Seen in on release in cinema as well. This movie reminds me of family, and the times we spent together watching all the Ghibli movies.

    Knowing that I wont have this moments again with my parents and sister, so i cherish Ghibli close as it reminds me of the great we had watching. Also got matching tattoos with my sister that she designed to remind us. 🙂

  • Spirited Away.

    The sense of wonder and otherworldly-ness always takes my breath away. And even towards the end of the movie, you knew Sen couldn’t fail.

    Combining the hinted at mythology, visuals and superb musical score created a movie worthy of everyone’s entertainment library.

    BTW I was 32 when I first saw it with my kids. And it was something we talked about animatedly, for ages afterwards.

  • Ponyo would have to be my favourite, I love the child like innocence and the back and forward between Koichi and his mother or Koichi and Ponyo.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle. I first watched this with a friend of mine, and fell in love immediately. I watch it whenever I’m sad or stressed and I instantly feel better. Plus, I’m naming my pet Calcifer. Of course.

  • Princess Mononoke would definitely be my favourite, was one of the first anime movies I ever watched and really opened um anime for me. Awesome story and mythology, AMAZING!

  • Howls Moving Castle – It’s a movie with such a massive feel, but with incredibly detailed characters. Also easily the best English dub of any of the Ghibli movies.

  • I literally just watched My Neighbour Totoro for the first time last night with my 3 year old son. My wife had seen it and thought he would like it, he was enthralled for every minute of it! He started to roar like Totoro did, and then when the goat appeared he started to bleat right in front of my face. We then spent the next five minutes bleating at each other and then collapsing on the couch in laughter. Such a fun and lovely movie, I just picked him up from daycare and one of the first things he said to me was “Can we watch the rabbit movie again?” (He thinks Totoro is a giant rabbit) So even though I have only seen that one movie, I think it will remain a firm favourite, but would love to experience more of these films and share them for the first time with my son 🙂

  • Spirited Away was the first Ghibli movie I ever watched, and it reminds so much of my anime-obsessed teenage years.

  • Princess Mononoke is the first Miyazaki film I ever saw and I saw it at the cinema so it was particularly impressive. It is my favourite because of its beautiful animation, vast landscapes and incredibly original and moving story geared at a slightly more mature viewer. Like many of Miyazaki’s films, it is essentially about the beauty and sacredness of nature and how it is threatened by human greed. This is also my favourite of his films because of the image of The Forest Spirit which is highly sophisticated and conjures exactly what it is meant to. With its deer-like body and oddly humanoid face, this creature is an eerie blend of majesty, otherworldliness, gentleness and yet is simultaneously terrifying. I can’t wait to share the Miyazaki films with my daughter when she is older!

  • Spirited Away – It was the first Studio Ghibli film I saw and I have loved the Gibli films, particularly Miyazaki’s, ever since.

  • Princess Mononoke. The combination of the gorgeous visuals, the highly relevant story regarding pollution, and the way San is portrayed so powerfully by Yuriko Ishida just sold me on this film. I’ve rematches this far more times than any other Ghibli film.

  • Princess Mononoke. The colors used and artwork was sublime and the animation was full of energy and paired with Miyazaki’s excellent storytelling. One of Miyazaki’s best works in my opinion 🙂

  • My favourite Ghibli film is most likely Spirited Away, having been the first of the fantastical series I had the grace to experience.

    The movie left an incredible presence in my memory from the first time I watched it, from its almost magical-like story-telling, vibrant and dynamic world to the wonderful and bizarre characters. The characters in particular struck me as being lively and energetic. I can still remember the feeling of watching the film and identifying each as being unique and intriguing, living in their own world with their own struggles and joy.

    No face was the character which wanted to be loved and accepted.
    Chihiro was the character who embraced misfortune and anguish to see the brighter side of every story.

    I could continue listing each character individually, but that would require me to open up thesaurus.com and revisit high school english (which I wasn’t particularly great at). The movie may not have been the best in terms of story telling and atmosphere, but it left the strongest impression on me and opened the way to even more fantastic movies like it.

  • “Porco Rosso”. It’s a sophisticated meditation on love and identity with an ambiguous ending, the most adult of the Ghibli movies.

  • My Neighbour Totoro. Watched it when I was a boy, on a Laser Disc (anyone remembered that pizza sized CDs?). There was no subtitled (and even if there is one, wouldn’t mattered, I was too young to understand English and was just starting to learn how to read).

    I did remembered the song till now, never forgotten it. And the cat bus… and the rain scene 😛

    Now, I showed it to my daughter who loved it. She also love the theme song. Here’s hoping timeless classics like those survive the different generations in the future!!!!

  • It’s go to be Howl’s Moving Castle.

    Not only is it a beautiful movie (as are all Ghili movies), but my fience and I always lose it when Howl says, “I see no point in living if I can’t be beautiful.”

  • Spirited Away, it was the first Studio Ghibli movie i bought when i was 11, it was the first animated movie that felt serious and beautiful to me, the storyline, the characters and even some of the bad guys i loved. it taught me that even bad guys aren’t always bad. Also independence after Chihiro looses her parents at the start, thinks they have been turned into animals for eating, goes thru many hardships and ends with a happy ending unlike disney who movies make children cry by attaching kids to characters before killing them off.

  • Tough call to say which one is my favourite. Overall, I would have to say Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and its style depicting the post-apocalyptic future plus it was what hooked me into the whole anime scene 🙂

  • Howl’s Moving Castle – it was the first Studio Ghibli film I saw and it was amazing – the story, characters, art and animation. It got me into other Studio Ghibli films!

  • I lost my virginity at a Falls festival whilst Spirited Away was playing on the big screen of my first music festival.
    I couldn’t see it from the inside of my tent.
    But I will never forget it.

  • Grave of the Fireflies because I never thought an animation could make me feel such despair and the tragic events seem extremely believable. If someone had told me it was based on a true story, I wouldn’t even blink or doubt it. It still stands, to this day, as the most powerful animation I’ve watched and amongst one of the most devastating movies of all time for me to the point where I don’t think I can stand watching it a second time yet I remember almost every scene from it. Maybe I’ll rewatch it again if I win the collection? 🙂

  • Howl’s moving castle because it embodies the true wonder of exploration beautifully captured in every Miyazaki film.

  • Porco Rosso

    Those unbelievable backgrounds from Kazuo Oga, the incredible sense of movement in the air and of course MICHAEL MOTHER FLIPPIN’ KEATON!

    What’s not to like?

  • I’ve seen many of the movies and its a close contest between Howls Moving Castle and Spirited Away. But I think Spirited Away has to take it. This was the first Ghibli movie I’d seen and I still think its the best. The emotion transferred during this movie really affected me, I can watch it over and over again.

  • Princess Mononoke.

    It’s story is such a strong message about the incursion of man on nature, it rivals Lord of the Rings in this way. Also, giant wolves. Giant. Wolves.

  • Spirited Away.
    It jogs memories of sitting in the stands at a moonlight cinema in Sydney harbor; it’s raining and i’m not noticing the rain at all due to how entranced I was watching this masterpiece. It’s a perfect film, heartwarming and fun.

  • I remember my first experience like it was yesterday my friend brought over My Neighbour Totoro and Princess Mononoke we twisted up a fat blueberry blunt wrap and the journey I was taken on was amazing the animation, the story. everything was next level that I hadn’t experienced before it also saddened me that it had taken me so long to experience the marvel that is Miyazaki in conclusion I cant split those 2 movies as my favourites as they were my baptism in the house of Ghibli

  • My Neighbor Totoro!
    The movie is whimsical and so imaginative. I love taking the journey on the cat bus into the magical world Miyazaki has created. It takes me back to my childhood and Totoro is the best!!!

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service, a delightful sweet-tempered film ideal for calming children on a sugar high yet with the perfect sinister undertones to entertain me

  • I would have to say Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: It was the first anime shown to me by a friend in primary school back in the early nineties, and it was the first I have shown to my daughters – who adore it also. It is a timeless, cathartic classic.

  • Princess Mononoke– my first Studio Ghibli movie.

    The beauty and ugliness seen through eyes guided by nature and firmly grasped by man.

    The artistry, the tones and colours, the melliflous music played during peaceful and ephemeral moments. The reality of darkness and destruction rising as the sonorous creeps.

    All this beauty and hideousness combine to reach an epiphany that Hayao Miyazaki wished to portray to the viewer a realm of possibility.

    Princess Mononoke has taken me to that realm of possibility.

  • Grave of fireflies. I just started going out with this girl and she said I should watch it. Having refused to cry through most of the movie I couldn’t hold it back by the end. I said to her I gotta go, I went to the toilet and uncontrollably cried my heart out for about 10 minutes. Once I had composed myself enough I went back to the lounge and it started all over again. This girl could do to a really good Setsuko and it would instantly bring forth the water works. We’re married now with two kids.

  • I just watched my favourite Ghibli movie this weekend, Spirited Away.
    I saw it by accident somewhere, not sure how or when, but I loved it from the moment it started.
    I’m not really into Anime that much, I enjoy it, but I’ll go out of my way just to watch a Ghibli. Spirited Away was my first and is my favorite for all too many reasons, the way the river spirit leaps out of the bath and the whole house cheers? Or when they arrive at Zaniba’s (unsure of spelling) and she turns out to be super friendly and awesome? Radish spirit? Soot balls? I’ll never stick with just one scene, you gotta love the whole movie. I love the way the soundtrack compliments each scene, and I love how you can listen to it outside of the movie and enjoy it all the same. I’ve seen a few Ghibli movies and they’re all the same wonderful quality, they’re all totally unique about it though. I’d love to watch them all with someone or alone, because they’re the kind of movie you want to share, and can share without worrying about it offending anyone. Spirited Away, and all of their other masterpieces, are the best at hitting the feels, good and bad…and I really like the way they do it.

  • This is the toughest question I have ever been asked! So many good movies, but the current favorite in our house is ‘The Wind Rises’. I have two young sons who are obsessed with building. Lego, Meccano, Minecraft – you name it. The idea of becoming an plane designer has them totally enamoured. But then there’s Ponyo! And Porco Rosso! Totoro! Aw man, it’s just to freakin’ hard. 🙂

  • My Neighbour Totoro is my favourite because it beautifully depicts the intertwined magic of home, family and nature in a gently spiritual, joyful and loving way. It is a deeply humane film: a much needed change from the cynicism, despair and violence in so much of today’s culture. My Neighbour Totoro is a wonderful and wonder-filled piece of art: a true masterpiece and a gift to the world.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle is my favourite and also my first Ghibli film.
    I feel Howl’s Moving Castle shares the same story telling quality of Dark Souls where you realise there is a story going on but you don’t quite realise the full scope of the plot until you really sit down and think about it. These kinds of stories drawn me in like no other.
    The visuals also drew me. For example the first image of the actual moving castle had me thinking, this is a well implemented cgi, only to realise three seconds later, wait no this is actually stunning traditional animation.
    And of course I ended up having a large amount of emotional attachment to this film as my girlfriend suggested it to me and I after viewing it I told her “I love her” for the first time.
    So yes. Howl’s moving castle is an important movie to me and should be to you to.

  • Princess Monoke for the character design and animation.
    Having said that, I’m secretly waiting for my son to be old enough to watch My Neighbour Totoro so I can watch his face during the bus stop scene and relive the moment I fell in love with Miyazaki.

  • Porco Rosso is my favourite. the depiction of Italy between the 2 wars, the fantasy adriatic sea with the pirates and the cruise ships, it’s adventurous, romantic, bold, beautiful.

  • Porco Rosso!
    To me, it’s so… melancholic. Even though the first time I watched it I was a kid and didn’t really understand what was going on, but thinking back on it now it still makes me a little nostalgic and inspired at the same time.
    Also, the music was amazing, so different to all the other films.

  • Spirited Away for me. It was the first Miyazaki Hayao film I watched and with it’s stunning visuals that transported me along with the characters to another world was just amazing and stole my heart from then on.

  • Princess Mononoke: I watched it at the Astor Theater (an old art deco cinema) when I was a 14-15. It was the first time I saw a Ghibli film, and I was blown away by the animation quality, characters, and powerful story. I’ve watched many Ghibli movies since then, but Princess Mononoke still resonates with me the most.

  • Despite (or because of) its trippy plot, “Ponyo” is my favourite. It manages to evoke the wonder and innocence of childhood amidst the fury of the waves and storm.

  • How could anyone turn down My Neighbor Totoro? My anti anime friends even got a kick out of it!

    Studio Ghibli has made incredible (and i truly mean incredible!) movies. in fact, it took me about 5 minutes just to choose which one i like the most (it was out of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited away, Ponyo and Grave of the Fireflies), and I have finally come to a conclusion, its gotta be My Neighbor Totoro.

    I remember walking down the video shop isle, not knowing much about anime (except the mainstream stuff like Naruto), but for some reason My Neighbor Totoro had my attention (i think it might be on how cute he looked on the front cover), I kept on walking up and down the isle contemplating on if I should get it or not. I just thought to my self “You might as well borrow it out” and oh my gosh, from that moment, it opened up a whole new obsession inside me, they should make anime rehab because once you watch Anime, you never go back (It’s been three years and I regret nothing!).

    I just can’t tell why I enjoy My Neighbor Totoro so much, it’s clearly Hayoa Miyazaki at his best. The visuals and animation is so beautifully done, with bright, bubbly colors everywhere, it’s such a delight to the eyes (you honestly wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s nearly 30 years old!). The sound track is so fun and has such a happy vibe to it, and has one of the most entertaining opening credits I’ve ever seen (and usually opening credits are boring, but not in this case) you might even find yourself humming along with it. The characters and their personalities are so lovable and a joy to watch, especially my favourite character Mei (i will never forget that scene where she meets Totoro for the first time, she was laughing at how funny Totoro sleeps). The story its self is perfectly put together, it’s simple, yet joyful and entertaining, it’s one of those movies that you watch with the family (or by yourself) to have a good positive time, and that you could watch over and over and never get bored.

    My Neighbor Totoro instantly puts you in a good mood (even if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed) with the innocence and joyfulness it brings. It’s basically “perfection” in one little bundle, this is probably why Totoro is the face of Studio Ghibli.
    From the cuteness of Totoro, to the fun story, My Neighbor Totoro is a must watch for all anime lovers (and non-anime lovers), just imagine how awesome it would be to have a neighbour just like Totoro!

  • It must be so intimidating thinking that the judges would have to sift through hundreds of comments to choose 11 worthy entrants, and I can’t help but conjure up the ending scene where Howl’s Castle is reduced to nothing but a few wooden planks, and its core characters sitting upon it, when looking back at this competition.

    When I watched that scene for the first time, it struck me as to why Hayao’s movies work. Sure, each of his movies are set in beautiful and often magical places, but like the scene, when all you are left with is the characters, then you have the core essence as to why millions love his films. Never before has a medium suitable to children contain such detailed and enthralling characters. For that scene, and the European look the animators perfected in Howl’s Moving Castle, plus Sophie being quite the enduring female protagonist, I say Howl’s Moving Castle is right up there for me.

  • Princess Mononoke was one of the first Ghibli movie I watched and remained one of my favourites. The story, narration and animation was nothing like any other anime at that time. It also brings anime and studio Ghibli into the world map and the Oscars.

  • I teach Japanese to yr 7 and 8. I have seen Spirited Away” and “Totaro” over 20 times each with my classes over the last ten years. Nothing brings a smile to my face more than students who come up many years later and reminisce about those films and how beautiful they are. Of course they can remember nothing else of the two years of language but that doesn’t matter because if Miyazaki is the only thing that connects kids with Japanese culture I am more than happy.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – it is because of the story of nature and human, the art, the music, and the characters that I love this movie so much. This was the first movie I’ve seen by Ghibli back then, and I have never gone back.

  • of the ones I’ve seen?

    The Wind Rises. Who else but Miazaki could take what is potentially the driest subject imaginable; an engineer working on a plane design – and turn it into a beautiful, affecting, joyous and emotional journey. The passion felt by Jiro toward achieving his goal of designing the ideal aircraft is utterly infectious.

    Beautiful film.

  • Howls Moving Castle. For me it carries a powerful anti-war message following the events of September 11. The two intertwined stories of Howl and Sophie, and a country at war compliment and complicate each other creating a depth that I appreciate. Markl and Calcifer representing Howls inner child and heart respectively create an interesting narrative that I can happily rewatch, not to mention the stunning design and artistry that was used in production.

  • “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” is my favourite- but it depends on the phase of the moon and my mood as to which is current top of the pops. All of the Studio Ghibli movies have their particular charms (even “Tales of Earthsea” which was a poor adaptation of the LeGuin novels), but Laputa has sky pirates!

  • Princess Mononoke! It was the first Ghibli movie I was shown and I loved every moment of it. From it’s theme’s conveyed to it’s amazing animation and story there was nothing I didn’t love about this movie. It’s a beautiful film with The Wind Rises coming in a close second (That movie made me really teary from that ending). Hayao Miyazaki is a master and it’s sad that he is now retired. Studio Ghibli, PLEASE don’t let down your fans! I have high hopes for your future movies!

  • The first Ghibli film I saw was Spirited Away and I remember seeing it at a family friend’s house when I was a child. Although it’s been a while since I last watched it, there is one scene that I will never forget. During my first viewing, the people I was watching it with (who had all seen the movie before) suddenly became silent and started to giggle while staring at me. What did I do? Is there something on my face? I ignored them and continued enjoying the movie. What’s so funny about the little girl going down the stairs…KRRREEECHHAHSAAIAHSHHH!!!!

    Poor lil ole me got the fright of a lifetime and let out a little girly squeal in front of a group of little girls who were now all laughing at me.

    That’s how I remember Spirited Away.

    It wasn’t until a few years later when we borrowed Howl’s Moving Castle from a DVD rental store (remember how those used to be a thing?). I didn’t know studio Ghibli had produced so many films, let alone a brand new one (at the time). I also thoroughly enjoyed this one and not because I wasn’t tricked into falling for a jump scare. I haven’t seen the movie again since I first saw it back then but I do recall liking Mr. Turniphead a lot for some strange reason. You know they’re doing something right if they can get someone to be interested in a scarecrow with a turnip for its head.

    I was starting to get older and became more interested in anime. I decided at this time I’d try to watch all of Studio Ghibli’s films. Unfortunately, even as “tech savvy” as I was, this just didn’t happen. I’m still far from achieving that goal, but in that time I did manage to watch Nausicaa, Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Tales from Earthsea and Ponyo.

    Nausicaa surprised me with how well animated it was despite its age. As a child of the 90s I just didn’t even think anything of that quality was possible back then (in the usual blissful childish ignorance way).

    With all the praise Spirited Away got I was very interested to see a couple of the “classics” that started the whole thing (or at least it started it in my eyes). Although the studio bears Totoro as its mascot, I just didn’t get what all the fuss was about Totoro. Maybe I’d spoiled myself by watching later films (Spirited and Howl’s)? I saw these films when I was in my cinephile phase where I was watching a movie every day and slowly working through anything that’s on the prestigious IMDB Top 250 list. Grave of the Fireflies was highly praised and I definitely saw why. It was a nice change from what I’ve seen from Ghibli and was grounded in reality. A sad reality. It was one of those films that nearly made me cry and I’m sure it would’ve if I wasn’t a teen trying to be all manly and stuff.

    Tales from Earthsea… no comment.

    I’m so glad Ponyo came when it did because I definitely needed some cheering up after watching Grave of the Fireflies. The whole premise of Ponyo just brings a smile to my face because it’s just so absurd. I was genuinely surprised to find out that most people didn’t enjoy this one.

    It would be many years before I would watch another Ghibli film. I thought I’d attempt a round 2 of sorts of watching all of their movies and went back to see more of their “classics” which I missed the first time around. Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and Porco Rosso. Thankfully there weren’t any bummers out of those three. I think I reached a point where I thought some of the Ghibli films were getting a bit “samey”. The order I watched the films were different from their release but each new film I watched bought back nostalgic memories and feelings of the previous movies I had seen. Castle in the Sky reminded me of Nausicaa, Mononoke reminded me of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, and Porco Rosso was a “Ponyo” in my eyes. I was much older when I saw these but it was still the “Ponyo” elements of Porco Rosso that just put a giant smile on my face.

    Again, the premise of it was just so silly that you just can’t help but to smile. An Italian pig who flies a plane and battles sky pirates, and no one thinks anything of it. With in a bit of a (strange) love story thrown in too.

    Its praise might not be as high as other Studio Ghibli films (at least in the almighty eyes of the IMDB Top 250 list) but I think Porco Rosso is my favourite Ghibli film. Even though I like and remember different aspects of every Ghibli movie I’ve seen (except for Earthsea…), it’s the funny, whimsical, light-hearted nature of Porco Rosso tjat I enjoyed the most. It is exactly the type of thing I need and I feel like the next time I watch it (whenever that may be) there’ll be an even bigger stupid smile on my face as I cheer for this Italian fighter pilot pig to win.

  • My favourite is Princess Mononoke.

    What could have been a heavy handed environmental moral is treated with much more care. Damage to the forest is offset by the need for humans to prosper. Characters on both sides are, by turns, insightful, clever, honest, foolish, stubborn and sympathetic. There is no clear right or wrong and every power has its price. On top of that the art is amazing. The forest feels deep, luscious and mysterious. The ironworks hot, dusty and strenuous. The feudal Japanese setting also adds value for a foreign audience who can both see the similarities and differences with the standard medieval fare we get.

    Ghibli make fantastic films, I don’t know if I could unreservedly call Princess Mononoke the best, but it is definitely my favourite.

  • Porco Rosso – The combination of dogfighting planes, powerful male and female characters, goofy humour and a dose of film noire in full colour made for a magic (and game changing) combination. The fact that it was all held together by a fat, egotistical chauvinistic pig of a pilot was all for the better!

  • For me it has to be Princess Mononoke

    I remember the first time I saw it was at a friends place when i was 10 or so. I can’t remember if it was something that was on Tv(maybe SBS or foxtel) or if he actually had an early VHS copy, but I do recall the group of us there all clustered around the (by todays standards tiny) tv.

    For the longest time as a kid I mistakenly thought it was some obscure Disney movie and I spent years trying to figure out just which one it was (Back in primary school I assumed everything that wasn’t the Looney Tunes was Disney). Even though i wasn’t old enough to truly appreciate the themes of the movie at the time I sill thought it was awesome.

    Of course the fact that it was one of the primary reasons I started reading fantasy novels may have made me slightly biased.

  • It has to be Spirited Away, and while that may be a cliche choice, it was my first real brush with serious animation as art, it was 2003. For years after that, I studied, and read, wrote and drew,it was an obsession, but eventually — because of Ghibli — I became an animator and lecturer. If I were to win, I’d see them put to use in the classes I teach, to see another generation of artists influenced by Miyazaki’s work.

  • Porco Rosso, because who doesn’t love a story about a flying pig. But the real reason is Brad Garrett being part of the English dub.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle
    One of the most compelling plots and greatest soundtracks ever created with just a myriad of mellifluous tunes; Joe Hisaishi at his absolute finest!

  • My favorite, of the ones I have seen, would be Kiki’s Delivery Service.

    The biggest thing about the movie to me is that it shows, with the interest of at least one person can impact one’s life, you can achieve anything. From a klutzy girl, to the Savior of a town.

    This is a reflection of Society, who seem to care very little about those that really needs that attention by a person to turn their life around.

    All those who have exceeded in life, have done so, because at least one person believed in them, enough to ignite and keep their dreams and aspires burning, whether it be friends, family or teachers. This could be said about anything, about life or about the level of education of many. If a teacher believes in a student, their grades improve, if a backer believes in a product, it can be created.

    The baker believed in Kiki, and she later won the hearts of the town, a town that at one point rejected her, like how society rejects so many.

  • Spirited Away!

    If only a single movie could be preserved to represent a long extinct humanity (a dark start I know :)), Spirited Away would be a fitting choice. It embodies the best of our species, combining the boundless imagination of a genius child with the artistic brilliance of a virtuoso. More than any other work of art before it, it brings to life all the impossible possibilities our imaginations have to offer, with so much imagination and artistry squeezed into every corner of every frame, you’d need to watch it frame at a time to enjoy all the creativity on show. I honestly couldn’t think of another movie that the same could be said for. And all in a classic story that anyone can relate to. It is simply a one of a kind.

  • First off, let me say something about this comp. Namely that the day it went live was the day I lost my net for a week thanks to a mistake from Telstra. This isn’t something that impacts things too greatly, just means that I have been forced to submit a few hours before the comp closes since I’ve only gotten my net back a few hours ago. Still, I did see this comp before I lost my net, and I did have a week to think this question over.

    Still, even with that week to think it over, this hasn’t been an easy question to really find a good answer to. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t because I can’t define which movie is “best”, but it is because I tend to collectively say that all of the movies are their best work (not coming Earthsea, etc because that would be silly…). Not even joking there, since I often find myself flicking between the different films at different times, or even different moods. Some examples;
    Laputa: A great movie to play for that steampunk(ish) type setting, and when you want a clear story with a good v evil battle with clear villains.
    Kiki’s Delivery Service: A movie I know is just perfect to show to my nieces, as it has a great female lead who can give them a good message to learn from.
    Ponyo: Something I tend to like putting on for my nephews & nieces, since they love the sea and everything in it (best to combo with Finding Nemo)

    The list, as they say, would go on.

    In the end, it all comes down to three key films to me at this point in time. Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso and Castle of Cagliostro. Princess Mononoke, because it is a film with isn’t shy to make it clear the type of message that it wants to make, or even hold your hand while doing so. The fact it has such a great sound track working with an animated film that looks like moving art just leaves us with a well blended mix of a movie that really does stand out as his likely magnum opus.

    Or the case of Poroco Rosso, one of the animes that showed me that there was stuff out there which wasn’t coming from the US while also standing as a truly great film on it’s own accord. A film that captures that now long lost era in the early years after WW1 when the world was trying to forget what had come before, before the coming madness crashed against the world, and a time when the air remained the last great holdout for the crazy people who wanted to live a free life.

    As it turned out, neither of them really made it, but they came pretty close, and helped lead me to picking the Castle of Cagliostro as the winner.

    Yes, Castle of Cagliostro, the first movie Miyazaki made is the one I picked. Why? Simple, because it, plus Poroco Rosso, is the movie that allowed me to discover anime for the first real time. It is a film which shows off the talents of Miyazaki in their most raw (if somewhat tested) hands as he shapes the story of Lupin III on a heist carried out by a master thief seeking a higher prize than just the thrill of stealing something out from under the careless hands of the former owner. It is the story of a man wanting to deal with past demons, right old wrongs and otherwise be the tale of a much older and wiser person reliving their own past. That alone would make a good movie, but add the mix of great characters who can both play off each other AND be strong enough to stand on their own goes a long way to making the movie something to remember for a while. In fact this movie works so well, that I am almost tempted to say that each part is just about perfect in the way they build off what has come before, but feel like they are driven by the actions of the characters and whatever grand plans they happen to stumble into the middle of.

    So yeah, thanks for this comp, and giving me a chance to think over just how great the collective works from this studio are. Thank you.