These are my top 5 favorite Studio Ghibli movies. As a kid I loved to watch all of these movies, and I would watch them on repeat. The things I love so much about Studio Ghibli movies – especially when they are made by Hayao Miyazaki, is that all of them has a great meaning behind them, and I find that really beautiful.

Which Studio Ghibli movies are your favorites?


5: Ponyo on the cliff by the sea.

Why I love it: I remember watching this movie after school when I was only 8 years old. The art in it was always mesmerizing to watch. I remember this specific scene where a road was flooded with water but the cars were still driving through, and it was just so beautifully made. I don’t really know why it fascinated me so much, but I guess that’s just what Studio Ghibli does.

The movie was also so sweet and heartwarming to watch, you couldn’t help but be in a good mood after watching it.

Info: Released 2008 (Japan) and 2009 in the US and other countries.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki.

Inspired by: Hans Christian Anderson’s tale “The little mermaid”


We follow the goldfish named Brunhilde – later renamed Ponyo, who befriends a 5-year-old boy named Susuke and has a heartfelt desire to become human.


4: Princess Mononoke

Why I love it: This story is a mix between a very real story of humans vs. nature, but with a twist of Miyazaki’s own magical world. I think that’s why so many people including myself loves this story so much. In some way we can see our own world in this movie, with people abusing the nature. This is such a beautiful story.

Info: Released: 1997.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Awards: It was the first animated movie to win the “best picture” award at the Japanese Oscars.


When Ashitaka has been cursed after a deadly encounter with a boar-demon, he finds himself on a dangerous adventure of finding a cure. Here he meets San – Princess Mononoke, who will help him through this adventure.


3: My neighbor Totoro

Why I love it: This movie has always been one of my favorites. I is so heartwarming and I’ve also always loved those new creatures that Hayao Miyazaki has an incredible ability to come up with. In this movie those creatures are mainly Totoro and his smaller versions and then Bus-kitten. This movie is also a movie you can enjoy both as a child and as an adult, as it has so many layers.

Info: Released in 1988 (Japan).

Director: Hayao Miyazaki.

Awards: My neighbor Totoro won 6 awards in 1989.


Satsuki, her little sister Mey and her Father moves to a house closer to their mother, who is currently at the hospital because of a sickness, which many fans believe to be Tuberculosis.

They move into a beautiful old house, close to the forest.

One day, when Mey is playing in their garden, she explores a tunnel through a bush, that leads her into the forest. Here she finds herself in front of the oldest, biggest tree. As she continues to explore, she falls down a hole in the tree, and accidentally finds herself in the presence Totoro, the king of the forest’s cave. Although he’s huge and has a mouth three times the size of Mey’s body, Mey’s not scared of him, but find him cute.

In this movie we follow Satsuki and Mey, two sisters, who befriends the king of the forest, Totoro.


2: Spirited away 

Why I love it: As everyone knows, this movie is a classic. Everything about this movie is beautiful. It’s a unique story that is beautifully brought to life by the most stunning artworks. I just love it so much.

Info: Released 2001.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki.

Awards: The movie won many awards, but the biggest was the “Best animated feature” Oscar-award.


Chihiro and her parents are moving to another city. Chihiro is sad about the fact that she has to live far away from her past life – her friends and her school.

When they’re almost at their new house, Chihiro’s father drives down the wrong road, but believes that he doesn’t have to turn around, as they can see the house from that road, and think that this way might be a shortcut.

They continue into a forest, but is abruptly brought to a stop, when they find themselves in a dead end.

They decide to explore the place they’ve stopped at, which Chihiro’s father believes to be an old theme park.

In there, Chihiro’s parents begins to eat some food from a restaurant, even though Chihiro begs them to stop. While they eat the delicious food, Chihiro looks around the empty theme-park-looking-place.

When she returns to her parents, they have transformed into pigs. Chihiro freaks out, but a boy named Haku helps her, and tells her what she has to do: To get her parents back, Chihiro has to work at the place, she learns is a bath house for spirits, and has to make a deal with the scary, evil witch named Yubaba who runs the place.

What Chihiro doesn’t know is, that Yubaba will do anything she can to own Chihiro and keep her there for the rest of her life.


1: Howl’s moving castle

Why I love it: This was the first of the Studio Ghibli movies I ever watched, and I guess that’s why this is my favorite. But also, everything about this movie is just so beautiful: The art, the soundtrack, the characters, the storyline, the architecture, just everything. It’s funny, it’s mysterious, there’s a love story, but the movie also shows how love can be different. The hero’s and villains aren’t black and white, the bad can be good, and the good can be bad – kind of. I just love this movie so much.  

Info: Released: 2004.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki



Sophie is an 18-year-old girl who works at her deceased fathers’ hat-shop, and lives in a country which is in the middle of a war. One day, after an encounter with the wizard Howl, Sophie is turned into an old lady by the infamous witch “Witch of the waste”. To lift the curse Sophie has to seek help by other witches and wizards, and soon finds herself at Howls moving castle, where she makes a deal with the demon, Calcifer, who will lift her curse if she lifts his.


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