I was going to review, my favourite anime film this week, but I didn’t know where to start. It was just so difficult, to choose only one. So, I decided to write a list of my favourite anime films and try to, choose a favourite from it. I had a pretty nice list, until I realised, most of these movies on my list, were Studio Ghibli films.
Out of a list of 20, 11 were Studio Ghibli, so I thought to myself “Screw it, this is an impossible task. There is no way I could choose just one and be completely satisfied, with my choice. Most of these are Studio Ghibli, so we can actually make something, rather nice from this list”.
I think at this point, most of us have seen a Studio Ghibli film (or two… or three… or more) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m pretty sure, you’ll also have your own favourite, that you absolutely love. So, I bring to you: My Top 10 Favourite Studio Ghibli Films.
10. Castle in the Sky– Pretty self-explanatory. It’s about a castle in the sky and the adventure of two children’s, searching for this castle and its secrets. I know, this is sort of an old one and is actually older than myself. I still really like this film and its age, hasn’t affected my enjoyment. What made me fall in love with it, was the idea of a mysterious magical castle hidden among the clouds. It amazed me. It has a really magical and very sweet story, that touches your heart and give you that warm feeling inside.
9. The secret world of Arrietty- This is like an anime take on the borrowers story. However, instead of being set in the city, it’s set in the countryside and Peagreen is missing from the story. I like this version better, then the 1997 borrowers films. It has a much better storyline and is a lot easier to watch. It’s an exciting, but heart-warming film, that gives you a much better view and understanding of life as a borrower, then the 1997 film did. There’s some really beautiful art work in the film.
8. Kiki’s Delivery Service– As part of her training as a witch, 13-year-old Kiki is made spend a year alone, fending for herself, in a seaside town. It is there, she setup a delivery service. Kiki being a complete disaster, reminded me of myself and I think that’s why, I enjoy this film so much. I can really relate to Kiki and her plight. A lot of people, didn’t seem it like this film and it got quite a lot of negative reviews. I really didn’t think it was that bad. It doesn’t have the same feel, as other Studio Ghibli film, but I still thought it was good and was quite a nice little story.
7. Pom Poko– A group of shape-shifting raccoons, fight to save their home from the developers. This film is hilarious. Those raccoons, really got up to some amount of mischief, stopping the developers. I haven’t watched this film in years, but if memory serves me right, it has a really sad ending and some of the raccoons, end up dead. However, its sure comical value, has elevated it to spot 7 on my list.
6. The Cat Returns- Haru saves the life of a cat and as a reward, is taken to the Cat Kingdom, where nothing is as it seems. She quickly runs into trouble and begins turning into a cat, herself. This film gets very weird at times. I think the weirdest point has to be, when the overweight cat gets murdered, in a giant vase of jelly. Even his death pose was bizarre. In saying that, it’s quirkiness, is why I enjoyed it so much. I also loved the secret evil plots and the nothing is, as it first seems, aspect of this film. It’s very exciting and leave you in suspense.
5. Tales From Earthsea– There’s a lot going on, with this movies storyline. It’s very hard to explain in just a sentence or two, so I’ll describe it as, a magical mysterious tales about restoring the balance between good and evil. I find this movie so beautiful. It does have that disturbing, no eyes scene near the end, that creeps the hell out of me, but is still a very beautiful story. It has that mysterious factor, that leaves you in wonder and draws you in. It really keeps you questioning, what’s going on and this makes it, a rather interesting watch. It does feel a bit prolonged at times, but stick with it and its worth it. The ending is quite amazing.
4. Ponyo- A little magic fish girl (Ponyo), escapes her home in the ocean, and befriends a little human boy. This leads to a huge storm, that floods the boy’s hometown and separates him from his mother. The boy, with the help of Ponyo, goes in search of his mother. This is a very cute film, but has a bit of a dark side, that goes over the head of younger viewers. I love that little fish girl. She reminds of my niece, because she looks and acts like her. The cuteness and hidden meaning, behind some of the films themes and art work, is why I love this film so much.
3. Howl’s Moving Castle– A young girl (Sophie), is turned into an old lady, by an envious witch. Sophie then goes on a journey, to regain her youth and finds herself, taking shelter inside Howl’s moving castle. She ends up becoming Howl’s house keeper, which leads to her magical adventure with the mysterious Howl, in his magic castle. Writing that, makes me want to go, watch it again. This is one of those love story’s, that really touches your heart. It teaches, there’s more to love than, just a person’s outwards appearance. I fell in love with this film and its scarecrow, after the first 30-45 minutes. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend watching it. It’s one of my favourites.
2. Spirited Away– I think at this point, we have all seen this movie, so I’ll save you the torture of reading my description. This was the first anime I watch, that I actually knew was an anime. I had seen Princess Mononoke before Spirited away, but I didn’t have a clue, it was anime. I was 9 or 10 years old and really naïve, so I think I could be forgiven for that. I was never told about anime, before this point, so I had no way of knowing, otherwise. You can’t know, what you’ve never learnt. This is where my anime journey became. It’s pretty easy to see why, this film is rated so high in my list. What I loved about this film, was that there was no other movie like it, when I first seen it. It left me in wonder and awe. It was truly a magical experience.
1. Princess Mononoke– The first anime film I ever seen. I really had no clue, this was anime. I just thought, it was an amazingly draw cartoon film, with a really unusual story. Despite this, I instantly fell in love with it. The art work in this film, left me breathless. I literally, sat as close to the tv as I could get, trying to take it all in, before someone would get irate with me, for blocking their view and beat me away from the tv (my older siblings were lovely to me). I was completely dazzled by this film. I remember thinking “this is the weirdest thing I’ve even seen, but it’s so awesome”. As a child, I didn’t really understand, half of things in this film or what they represented (amusingly, I thought the little forest spirits, were wobbly head babies). Now, as an adult I have a complete different perspective and understand of this film, which has added to my love of this film.
If anyone wondering, which Studio Ghibli film didn’t make it into my list. It was, From up on Poppy Hill.