Studio Ghibli movie
I recommend you Miyazaki movie
1) My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
There’s a reason the grand, furry, forest-dwelling Totoro ultimately became Ghibli’s mascot – Miyazaki’s ode to childhood is a thing of wonder. My Neighbour Totoro is a film without a villain, a warm and cosy remembrance of youth, a love letter to rural Japan, and a paean to the magical things that exist just out of sight. Bursting with iconic creations, from its array of fuzzy Totoros, to the googly-eyed Soot Sprites and the fantastical Catbus, the film has a pure spirit that cannot be denied. If there are hints of darkness – the illness of Satsuki and Mei’s mother, hospital-bound for the duration of the film – it remains on the fringes. Ludicrously loveable.
2) Spirited Away (2001)
The film that brought Ghibli to mainstream audiences. For a Western world raised on Disney traditions, Spirited Away offered something completely different – bearing an unapologetically-anime visual style and steeped in distinctly Japanese traditions. Just look at its grandiose bathhouse setting, its vibrant array of spirits, Haku’s flying dragon form, and the complex, nuanced approach to morality that’s far more complicated than the traditional good-vs-evil binary. Spirited Away feels truly mysterious and otherworldly with all kinds of unsettling imagery (Chihiro’s transformed piggy parents, and the spectral No-Face spirit in particular), anchored by an accessible coming-of-age core.
3) Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)
Technically it isn’t a Ghibli movie, released before the studio was founded – but having been directed by Miyazaki and produced by Takahata, it’s Ghibli in everything but name and has since been ushered into the canon. Nausicaä is pure, uncut Miyazaki fantasy, set in a post-post-apocalyptic world 1000 years after a cataclysmic event destroyed human civilisation – an anti-war movie and an eco-parable operating on a huge scale, all the more impressive for only being Miyazaki’s second movie. There’s a lot going on, but its headstrong namesake hero (and her fox-squirrel sidekick Teto) grounds it.
4) Princess Mononoke (1997)
This is Studio Ghibli at its most epic – a thunderous medieval fantasy akin to Lord Of The Rings in its mythological scope. It’s darker and more violent than much of the studio’s fare (prepare for exploding hogs and lopped limbs a-plenty) but the harshness is balanced out by spine-tingling imagery – try not to be transfixed by the eerie beauty of the forest spirit. Taking in warring human factions, ancient oozing curses, giant wolf tribes, and marauding demons, it’s a monumental piece of folklore, thrillingly realised by Miyazaki. Bonus: its English-language dub is brilliantly handled by none other than Neil Gaiman.
5) Ponyo (2008)
This quasi-adaptation of The Little Mermaid is sometimes (wrongfully) considered minor Miyazaki – it’s ridiculously charming, with animation that dazzles even by Ghibli standards. It’s a sweet, all-ages-appropriate story of a fish-girl who befriends a land-boy, and the underwater world proves a perfect canvas for Miyazaki’s vibrant imagination. Its opening ascent from the seabed to the surface is one of the all-time-great Ghibli sequences, and for all its cuteness (don’t even try resisting the film’s jaunty theme) it finds the filmmaker understandably furious about humanity’s pollution of the oceans.