So, I’m a little late to the party. I watched the excellent Ghibli classic Spirited Away in my late teens, and later got round to Howl’s Moving Castle.
Although I’d enjoyed both movies, I didn’t appreciate them on any profound level.
My partner is big into Ghibli movies, so with his influence I’ve gotten more into the legendary Japanese animation studio’s films.
Most recently we watched Princess Mononoke, which is deserving of all the accolades it has received, and continues to receive, over 20 years after its release. The story itself is well woven, but its exploration of profound themes such as the environment, feminism and morality make the film truly exceptional.
My Neighbour Totoro is absolutely wonderful too, and is another of the Ghibli films we’ve watched in the last few months. The importance and respect for nature present in so many of the studio’s movies is particularly appealing for me, though I can see that there are myriad reasons for these anime movies’ continued popularity.
Although I’ve picked up on the genius of the Ghibli films pretty late, it’s better late than never, right? Now that I feel I have a slightly deeper understanding and appreciation of the darker themes presented in many of the Ghibli films, I’m hoping to re-visit Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away soon…
2 thoughts on “Arriving Late to the Studio Ghibli Party”
I felt late to the party as well, and I started watching before Spirited Away was released haha. I’m glad you’re enjoying the movies! You’ve watched a number of Miyazaki’s classics (Princess Mononoke is my personal favorite), and he has other excellent films as well, but there are also a number of great Ghibli films directed by others. Of these, I would most recommend Grave of the Fireflies (Roger Ebert included it in his “Great Movies” series) and Whisper of the Heart, and of the remaining Miyazaki films, Castle in the Sky and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (technically pre-Ghibli) are my favorites. But you can’t really go wrong with any Ghibli film with one notable exception—Tales from Earthsea, which is black mark on an otherwise glittering record.
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Wow, thank you! Your recommendations are really helpful. After just doing some research on Grave of the Fireflies I think I will follow your recommendation and put that on my list to watch, maybe next, in fact. Thanks again
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