By Mackenzie Pittman
Hayao Miyazaki, a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, is a Japanese screenwriter, producer, director, author, and animator. Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio that has produced a multitude of movies. Miyazaki is well-known for his creative story lines and beautiful animation. His movie “Spirited Away”became the highest grossing film in Japanese history and he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
I know I am not alone in saying that I immensely enjoy watching Miyazaki’s films, and I hope this article will inspire others to also watch them. Here are my top five Studio Ghibli movie recommendations.
1. Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle follows the adventure of Sophie, who until recently had been a plain young girl working in a hat shop. That changes when she becomes friends with Howl, a wizard living in a flying castle. Due to her jealousy, the Witch of the Wastes puts a spell on Sophie, taking away her youth. Howl and Sophie must work together to defeat the witch and reverse the curse.
2. Spirited Away
On the way to their new home, Chihiro and her family stop at what they assume is an abandoned theme park. Put under a spell, Chihiro’s parents are turned into pigs, while Chihiro is thrown into a world of spirits. Here she meets Haku, who aids her in saving her parents and escaping the clutches of Yubaba, the evil witch who runs the spirit resort.
3. Kiki’s Delivery Service
13 year-old witch Kiki is sent off to find a town to train in. After coming across a beautiful seaside town, she settles with her talking cat Jiji. Once she learns to fly her broomstick, Kiki sets up a delivery service that becomes loved and well-known across the town. However, her booming business suddenly stops when Kiki starts losing confidence and her powers disappear. Kiki has to regain her confidence and overcome her insecurities to regain her powers.
4. The Wind Rises
Jiro Horikoshi has always loved the idea of aviation. Jiro follows his dream and becomes a Japanese aviation engineer and is considered to be a genius in his field. Finally, during WWII Jiro is given the chance to prove his knowledge and help create the next airplane that might win them the war.
5. My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro follows the life of Satsuke and her little sister Mei as they move with their father closer to the hospital where their mother is staying. They move into an old country house that holds many secrets, and they soon find themselves meeting and befriending many spirits who will help them on their journey back to normalcy.
If you’re looking for a great, feel good and visually pleasing film, any of these five movies along with Miyazaki’s other works will not let you down!