Having announced his return to Studio Ghibli, we count down some of Hayao Miyazaki’s best films.
It goes without saying that Studio Ghibli films hold a special place in our hearts. From their heart-warming tales of family, love and growth to its intricately crafted and timeless animation, the studio have created some of the best animation the world has seen at the hands of creator and founder Hayao Miyazaki. So, you can imagine the world’s sadness when the director and producer announced his retirement in 2013 with his last production credit as The Wind Rises.
But with rumours circulating that the famed the director might be making a return, the anime stans went into frenzy with the news and now it has finally been confirmed. Announcing his return today with the highly anticipated feature length project How Do You Live?, the director will be making one last return to the animation world with his new film, basing it around the 1937 novel of the same name by Genzaburo Yoshino.
With details surrounding the film tightly under wraps with the Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki calling the project a “fantasy on a grand scale”, not much else is known on the upcoming film. But as we patiently wait on the edge of our seats for more updates, we look back on some of the directors best films that you have to watch.
Check out the list below now…
When it comes to Studio Ghibli, a lot of their films come to mind. But none stand out quite like Spirited Away. First released back in 2001, the film takes us through an Alice in Wonderland inspired tale where 10-year-old Chihiro must rescue her parents who are turned into pigs at the hands of a witch Yubaba. The warming tale went on to receive universal acclaim for its animation style, compelling plot line and ability to capture both children’s and adult’s attention.
Howls Moving Castle
Usually, war-focused films can depict scenes of terror and conflict across a backdrop of violence and anger. But for Howls Moving Castle, Miyazaki turned this normally distressing topic in one of love and compassion to fit in line with his anti-war views, and the results were staggering. Focusing on a young milliner called Sophie, we’re taken back in time to were the industrial revolution is at its peak, but with wicked witches and wizards thrown into the mix. Encountering a handsome young wizard by the name Howl, Sophie becomes cursed by a witch who mistakenly thinks she’s Howl’s new love interest. Finding herself transformed into old woman, Sophie embarks on a journey to break the spell underneath the brink of war. Filled with heartbreak, revelations and compassion, the film gained nominations at the 78th Academy Awards.
My Neighbour Totoro
If you’ve been wondering where that big flurry character called Totoro was originally from, then look no further as we have your answer. Set in 1950s Japan, the film follows two young girls who move into an old house with their father to be close to their mother who is recovering from a long-term illness. As the girls discover their new town, they befriend a series of spirts who keep them company during their difficult time. While the story takes us on a bittersweet journey, the film has been acclaimed for its heartwarming tale of family and loss. Oh and if you’re a die-hard Studio Ghibli fan like us, you’ll spot mini Totoros’ in various other animations.
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
When compiling this list, a selection of Ghibli films stood out, it would be almost criminal not to mention Ghibil’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Set in the fictional 19th century, the story follows a young boy who one day discovers a young girl falling from the sky with a powerful crystal. With a group of secret agents and a family of pirates on their tale, the duo try and keep the crystal in safe hands while searching for a legendary floating castle. Known to kickstart the diesel-punk and steampunk genres in the anime world, Castle in the Sky went onto impressively take in over $157 million in revenue and growing since its release in 1986.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
We love a good coming-of-age tale, but one sure to reduce you to tears is Ghibil’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. Telling the story of a young witch called Kiki, we follow the young teenager on her journey to a new town in aims of developing her powers and abilities. But as the teenager struggles to hone in on her abilities, we see the youngster fall into a depressive state. Detailing themes of independence and resilience, the film has gone on to become a cult classic with the adorable character Jiji become a fan favourite amongst anime stans.