Studio Ghibli Films I've seen, ranked by how much sense they make, in descending order.
- •The Grave of the FirefliesNo fantasy. Very realistic. Very sad. Brutal.
- •Princess MononokeFantasy characters that don't require too much of a stretch, with clear, relatable motives. Would be a good film to teach kids how to recognize themes.
- •Kiki's Delivery ServiceExpects you to jump straight into their witch world without a ton of explanation, but fairly straightforward.
- •My Neighbor TotoroFantasy characters that require a bit of a stretch, but a clear plot.
- •Howl's Moving CastleMakes a fair amount of sense. Some weirdness, for sure, but you don't get distracted by it.
- •Nausicaä of the Valley of the WindVery similar themes to Mononoke, but with the fantasy dialed up about 6 large notches.
- •The Tale of Princess KayugaFairly straightforward but some very weird parts. Starts with a micro princess born in a bamboo shoot who shortly becomes a human baby, and ages at, like, double speed, but no one points that out because... Rude? I guess? STRIKINGLY beautiful film and story though. Gee whiz.
- •PonyoStraight up weird but so cute. She's a fish? What kind of fish is that? What is going on? Still a fairly straightforward plot, however surreal the points connecting it are. (The mom just going with it and seemingly unconcerned with Ponyo's parents is kind of weird, but if you ignore that, the plot is easy.)
- •Spirited AwayStraight up weird. Psychedelic in a clinical sense. Some easily followed plot points and a human protagonist wandering around a phantasmagorical world with some totally wild characters. A cacophony of frenetic, beautiful fantasy.