MY THOUGHTS ON STUDIO GHIBLI FILMS I'VE SEEN (IN ORDER OF RELEASE)
So I'm going to see the new release of Studio Ghibli's 1991 film "Only Yesterday" tomorrow, and that got me thinking about the other Ghibli films I've seen.
- •Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)Some are reluctant to call this a Studio Ghibli film since it was made before Ghibli was formally created, but for me it counts. I haven't watched this film in forever, but I love the animation.
- •Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)Known as simply "Castle in the Sky" in North America cause "la puta" means something nasty in Spanish. (I won't go into that here). Not my favorite Ghibli film but I do like it. Also Mark Hamill voices the main bad guy in the English dub. For some reason he makes a really good bad guy (I think he played Ozai in ATLA also).
- •My Neighbor Totoro (1988)The film most people associate with Ghibli cause the big Totoro is Ghibli's mascot. I need to watch this again. It's very much about nature. And I admit I've thought of it when stuck at a bus stop in the rain.
- •Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)My favorite Ghibli film, and also the first I ever saw, way back on the original dubbed VHS release. When I finally saw the Japanese version, I liked it just as much. The story is great. I own the movie on DVD as well as the artbook "The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service."
- •Princess Mononoke (1997)Easily the most epic Ghibli film I've seen. I own the Japanese soundtrack for this film and it is amazing. It's a very legend-like story, and touches on issues of nature more so than I think any other Ghibli film. Beautiful animation-wise for sure.
- •My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999)This is a cute little film directed by Isao Takahata. It's basically a series of shorts, all done in a watercolor art style, about this family and their daily lives. Despite the watercolor look, it was actually the first Ghibli film to be fully digitally animated. The English dub of this is actually really good too. Also the film closes with a really funny Japanese rendition of "Que Sera Sera" that you should definitely listen to.
- •Spirited Away (2001)After "Totoro," this is the film that people usually associate with Ghibli, probably cause it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the first (and so far only) anime film to do so. I love this film for its worldbuilding first off, with the bathhouse and stuff. The art is of course on point too. Really good dub also (Disney has done a great job with these Ghibli dubs, seriously).
- •Howl's Moving Castle (2004)A really lovely and creative fantasy story, and definitely in my top 3 Ghibli films. My esteem of it went down a bit though when I read the original novel the movie is based on; Ghibli cut a LOT of stuff, including a lot of good worldbuilding content. Still a worthwhile film though.
- •Ponyo (2008)A cute film, basically a loose retelling of "The Little Mermaid." I liked this film a lot. This is one of the few Ghibli films I've had the pleasure of seeing in the theater. (It's worth it!)
- •The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)The most recent Ghibli film I've seen. This one I saw in the theater as well. It's adapted from "The Borrowers," which I've never read, but given what happened with "Howl's Moving Castle," maybe that's just as well. The film has a very touching story. The film's theme song "Arrietty's Song," performed by French harpist Cécile Corbel, is AMAZING. Japanese, English, and French versions of it, all by Corbel, exist and are all worth listening to.
- •Bonus: Films I Haven't Seen YetBesides "Only Yesterday," I have yet to see "Grave of the Fireflies," "Porco Rosso," "Pom Poko," "Whisper of the Heart," "The Cat Returns," "Tales from Earthsea," and all the Ghibli films made after "Arrietty."