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#101 Posted by WickedFather (1733 posts) -

@Prismatic said:

There's not enough love for Kiki's in this thread! :(

Everytime I watch it I have the biggest smile on my face, such a charming film.

Absolutely. Kiki and Nausicaa have overwhelming emotional moments in them that can make you cry, and so can the impromptu band session in Whisper of the Heart.. Laputa (Castle in the Sky) is just an amazing adventure story. If you can find the original English dub of it then do it, but it's been buried by the Disney one, it's also great with subtitles. All the films from Mononoke on are great but they've lost loads of heart and charm. It's not quite the same as the prince from The Sands of Time turning from a shy delight into an emo-bellend in the follow up but it's got its similarities. They're the teenage heavy-metal years in comparison.

Cagliostro is great.

#102 Posted by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

I've only seen a few, but out of them probably Howl's Moving Castle.

#103 Posted by Mezmero (1871 posts) -

I've seen most of them so I'm going with Princess Mononoke.

#104 Posted by Sean2206 (264 posts) -

Only seen Howl's moving castle and spirited away and I loved both with Howl being my favorite of the two. Porca Rossa, Princess Mononoke and Totoro always looked really good too.

#105 Posted by wewantsthering (1564 posts) -

They're all great, but Spirited Away is amazing.

#106 Posted by Sterling (2164 posts) -

I've never actually seen one. I need to see if I can find them on Netflix.

#107 Posted by SagaciousJones (143 posts) -

On Your Mark blows every other animated music video out of the water. Step it up, John K.

I still need to see all of the other short films from the Ghibli Museum collection.

#108 Posted by Marz (5648 posts) -

only one i watched was Princess Mononoke, so that one i guess.

#109 Posted by Sergio (2080 posts) -

@gaminghooligan said:

Princess Mononoke.

#110 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7077 posts) -

Pretty much all of them. I really love Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away, though.

#111 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1633 posts) -

Can I just say all of them and move on? I'm going to. All of them. I'm moving on.

#112 Posted by Jeust (10552 posts) -

Howl's Moving Castle

#113 Posted by RE_Player1 (7558 posts) -

I thought Ponyo was delightful.

#114 Posted by buwchbach (311 posts) -

I really love Kiki's Delivery Service above all of the others for whatever reason, but they're all still great.

#115 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

Howl's Moving Castle bitches, Calcifer for life.

#116 Edited by PenguinDust (12493 posts) -

I've seen around 10 them and my favorite is Kiki's Delivery Service. I just love the simple story it tells. I've probably seen it over a dozen times. Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro are probably more important movies, but I like Kiki because it makes me happy.

My Neighbors The Yamadas was the last one I saw. It's a collection of stories based off a popular Japanese comic strip. I liked it, but I like those types of things. I reminded me of the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show that aired on American Saturday mornings back in the 80's.

#117 Posted by MattyFTM (14368 posts) -

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the greatest movies ever made. Everyone should watch that movie. And if you can make it to the end without crying, you're a robot. A GODDAMN ROBOT!!!!

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#118 Posted by mwng (931 posts) -

It's a toss up between Spirited Away and Kiki's. Spirited away probably just clinches it.

#119 Posted by Thoughtbird (14 posts) -

@StarvingGamer said:

I bet I'm the only person here who says Whisper of the Heart

That movie is guaranteed to get you laid. Trufax

#120 Posted by chocolaterhinovampire (1289 posts) -

Spirited Away because it is the only one I have seen

#121 Posted by clumsyninja1 (817 posts) -

Mononoke Hime!!!!

#122 Posted by konig_kei (606 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

Motherfucking Totoro, y'all!

Man, what the hell did they do to My Neighbor Totoro when they brought it out of Japan?

They changed it to appeal to western audiences so, totoro is now a down on his luck everyday guy who turns to dealing on the streets to feed his family then these girls take a bunch of his drugs and wacky adventures follow.
#123 Posted by OmegaChosen (644 posts) -

Kiki's Delivery Service because it's the only one I've seen through to completion and I still love it after all these years. Even if I were to watch the other films I'm sure that Kiki's would still hold a special place in my heart.

#124 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2690 posts) -

In 1987 my friend obtained a bootleg of Laputa: Castle in the Sky from laser disc transferred onto VHS.   It was all in Japanese without subtitles of course, but I loved it.  I would just watch that over and over again, and I still love it best for being a pure adventure film.  I have enjoyed the studios other works, but I don't think anything is as amazing as Laputa.  

#125 Posted by GunnBjorn (2911 posts) -

Grave of the Fireflies, Hotaru no Haka, 火垂るの墓.

This movie... really, forget about Watership Down or Plague Dogs! This is a thoroughbred tearjerker! And most definitely nót for kids! Sure, there are some adorable moments in GotF, but mostly the movie depicts the atrocities of war as good as any war movie with real actors. Fear of air raids, loss of family members, horribly disfigured bodies, starvation and ultimately death. It's all in there.

#126 Posted by thevigilanteoflove (504 posts) -

Probably Castle in the Sky, which goes by other names in different territories I think. Most of them seem to be pretty damn good.

#127 Posted by ThePiePieper (39 posts) -

@Raven10 said:

If it says Directed by Hayao Miyazaki then it is worth watching. Every single movie the guy has made is brilliant. My favorite Miyazaki movie is Nausicaa of the Vally of the Wind. It was made before the founding of Ghibli but it was done by all the people who founded it and Ghibli distributes it today. As for actual Ghibli movies, I don't think I could pick a favorite. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, and Howl's Moving Castle are all great adventure movies. Ponyo and My Neighbor Totoro are brilliant kids movies that I highly enjoy as an adult. Kiki's Delivery Service is a sweet romance and Porco Rosso is probably the most different of the bunch, being about a man who turns into a pig and flies a WW2 plane. Weird movie. Still great but not as good as some of the others I would say. That's Miyazaki. He also wrote Whisper of the Heart which is a really sweet and well written romance, and Arrietty which you said you saw.

Then you have the films by Isao Takahata. His movies tend to focus on either Japanese folklore or Japanese culture. As such his movies don't always translate as well as Miyazaki movies. His best film is also maybe the greatest anime ever made, Grave of the Fireflies. It is absolutely devastating. One of the most powerful movies ever made. He also worked on Pom Poko which is about Tanooki legends and My Neighbors the Yamadas which is about Japanese house life. Both those films are, shall we say, a bit hard to grasp for someone who isn't Japanese. His final film is Only Yesterday which has never been released in the US, although you can find it in many European countries.

Next you have a couple films by Hayao's son Goro Miyazaki. His first film is Tales of Earthsea. It is really bad and nothing like the books. Only Ghibli movie I wouldn't recommend. Then there is Up on Poppy Hill which is still getting released throughout the west. It hit theaters in the US just a month ago or so and in a very limited form so I haven't seen it yet. Goro directed while his father wrote it.

And the final Ghibli film is The Cat Returns which is a fairy tale about a talking cat. I actually really enjoyed it even though quite a few people say it isn't as good as most other Ghibli movies.

Basically the essentials are Miyazaki's films and Grave of the Fireflies. Watch Pom Poko, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and Only Yesterday only if you are really into Japanese culture. Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns are both good and worth watching if you have time. Skip Tales of Earthsea. Hope that helps!

WoW! Thanks for the breakdown. Wasn't aware of the wide pedigree this studio had.

#128 Posted by ThePiePieper (39 posts) -

Thanks all! After watching Arrietty, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke, I noticed a them between them all. each one ends with a heavy hearted goodbye. Do those 3 share a common theme or do all Ghibli movies end that way?

#129 Posted by Raven10 (1766 posts) -

@ThePiePieper: There are many themes shared among Miyazaki's movies. Almost all his films have some sort of environmental aspect of them. He grew up in post WW2 Japan so he is very conscious of the effects that man can have on our environment. His movies virtually all feature a female lead who will fall in love with a male supporting character. They very often part ways at the end, although there are a couple where they stick together. Miyazaki is famous for his strong female characters. Miyazaki's movies also all feature flying in some way. Miyazaki is a huge fan of planes and flight and he includes flying wherever he can. His next film is actually a bio-pic about one of the designers of Japanese WW2 planes. Also there is often a mother figure involved in some way and that figure may double as a villain of sorts who eventually turns good or finds good in herself.

Takahata's movies all feature commentary on Japanese culture and again often have strong environmental themes. He often uses Japanese folklore as a basis for his films. He has been directing movies since long before Ghibli began. His Chie the Brat film and series was a great film about Japanese home life, and My Neighbors the Yamadas and Only Yesterday follow that theme. He also does stuff with folklore like with Pom Poko and Guiche The Cellist, another pre-Ghibli movie. His next movie is based on the Japanese folk legend called The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

#130 Posted by Aetheldod (3554 posts) -

Mononoke no hime and Nausicca

#131 Posted by spykereightsix (78 posts) -

Probably Princess Mononoke, but Spirited Away was amazing too.

#132 Posted by hidys (1029 posts) -

Grave of the Fireflies

#133 Posted by Emoney244 (161 posts) -

From the ones I've seen, Pom Poko is my favorite.

#134 Posted by Psykhophear (939 posts) -

The Cat Returns because I love cats! And plus the story and characters are phenomenal.

#135 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

There's just something about the simplicity of Kiki's Delivery service that elevates it to a higher level for me. Though anything Ghibli is pretty much a-okay in my book.

Except anything Miyazaki's son touches because he has certainly proved that he can't write for shit or direct, really.

#136 Posted by hinderk (685 posts) -

My top three favorite Ghibli movies are Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbour Totoro.

#137 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: From Up on Poppy Hill actually looks like it's going to be good and I didn't hear anything negative when it came out in Japan. Hayao wrote it but Goro directed. I was going to watch it but then I heard that the dub release is in March so I'm just going to wait for that.

#138 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie: From Up on Poppy Hill is okay, but nothing more than that. Maybe you'll totally love it.

#139 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@ThePiePieper said:

Thanks all! After watching Arrietty, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke, I noticed a them between them all. each one ends with a heavy hearted goodbye. Do those 3 share a common theme or do all Ghibli movies end that way?

You'll notice that the themes between Nausicaa and Mononoke are a lot stronger than the rest. I ended up preferring Nausicaa over Mononoke.

and no they don't all end that way.

#140 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: I've always like the more grounded Ghibli films. I'm a big fan of the fantastical stuff but people don't give enough credit to the others like Whisper.

#141 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie: I like both styles equally more or less. Nothing about Poppy really stood out to me, sadly.

It's a good movie, don't get me wrong but it's far from Ghibli top-tier standard for me.

#142 Posted by mowcrosoft (56 posts) -

@EVO: But if he only watches one it would be more like the closed gate to studio Ghibli, teehehe..

#143 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: Gotcha, maybe this summer will be good. Miyazaki is putting out a non-fantastical one and Takahata is putting out an opposite one. I didn't see Only Yesterday yet but Grave of the Fireflies seriously moved me so I'm looking forward to that upcoming one too.

#144 Posted by Chemin (632 posts) -

Nausicaa and Spirited Away, probably. Princess Mononoke is up there too.

#145 Posted by Disconnect (68 posts) -

A pig's gotta fly, man.

#146 Posted by Raven10 (1766 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie: Grave of the Fireflies is very different in a lot of ways from Takahata's other movies. Generally his films tell the story of a family or group of characters over the course of a couple months or years broken up into little skits. Each scene follows the same characters but tells an unrelated part of their life. In some of his movies there is an overarching story that reaches a conclusion at the end (Only Yesterday or Pom Poko). Other times (such as in My Neighbors the Yamadas and Chie the Brat) the movie simply ends after a period of time with no sort of definite conclusion. Grave is really the only movie of his which tells a single story from beginning to end. All the rest of his films are essentially a bunch of Saturday Morning Cartoons strung together. If you really like movies about family life or Japanese culture his stuff is great. But don't take Grave of the Fireflies as an indicator for how his movies typically work.

#147 Posted by Lokiale (14 posts) -

Whisper of the Heart is my favorite. It made me very fond of the song Country Roads.

#148 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@Raven10: Good to know.

#149 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

I still haven't seen Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbors the Yamadas, or Whisper of the Heart, and I think that's probably criminal. I feel really bad about it.

I suggest watching Grave first and then Whisper because the first will make you consider wanting to end your life (I don't mean it's shit) and the other will stop you from reaching the medicine cabinet.

#150 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3204 posts) -

I enjoy all of the Ghibi stuff probably pre- Tales from Earthsea. My first Studio Ghibi film was back in 1992 when My Neighbor Totoro dub was out. I remember my substitute teacher being a huge anime fan showed that to us in 1st grade and after that I was hooked. What's pretty awesome today is my nephew's favorite film that he's watched the most is probably My neighbor Totoro. Other then that a close second is probably Princess Mononoke probably for the simple fact of that elongated deer neck scene, that was both visually haunting and awe inspiring.