Studio Ghibli is one of the most influential and famous Japanese film companies. They’ve released dozens of modern-day classics since they were founded in 1985. Some of their movies have even become American staples, and are highly regarded on across the globe. Here are some of their best films that you’re missing out on if you haven’t seen.
Top 5 Studio Ghibli films
5. Kiki’s Delivery Service
“Kiki’s Delivery Service” follows the coming-of-age tale of a young witch with a delivery service. This movie was highly regarded on its release, and still holds up after almost three decades. Its depiction of an average teenage witch is much more heartwarming and child-friendly than many western depictions of the same concept.
4. My Neighbor Totoro
As far as child-friendly Studio Ghibli films go, none are as great as “My Neighbor Totoro.” This film is sweet and whimsical in a way that’s refreshing for both young and old viewers. The characters are colorful and memorable to the point where Studio Ghibli still uses the title character, Totoro, as their mascot.
3. The Cat Returns
This is probably this list’s least well-known movie in America, though it was the highest grossing film in Japan on the year of its release. “The Cat Returns” focuses on the story of a young girl as she’s taken to a kingdom of cats. This movie sees the return of the Baron who was in a previous Studio Ghibli film “Whisper of the Heart.” “The Cat Returns” is a heartwarming whimsical story that’s hard to resist watching just once.
2. Howl’s Moving Castle
This movie contains some deeper and darker themes than much of the studio’s typical work. Despite this, it still offers much of the lighthearted and charming animation that the studio is known for. If you’re looking for something a little more serious, than this is a great film to check out, as it explores the struggles of war and aging with a unique perspective.
1. Spirited Away
If you’ve never heard of this movie, you’re missing out. “Spirited Away” is by far Studio Ghibli’s most successful film, and it absolutely deserves this title. The movie follows the story of a young girl as she becomes trapped in a world of spirits and yokai, and tries to find a way back home. This movie takes a unique approach to the “Alice in Wonderland” concept of being taken away to a magical world. We highly recommend seeing the studio’s most critically acclaimed film, as it’s definitely worth it.
If you’re interested finding more amazing Studio Ghibli films, be sure to check out our Softonic Solutions page where our community answers this question with even more suggestions!