Edited by RVonE
- 10 months, 22 days ago
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is definitely my favorite of them all and there's something special about the nostalgic atmosphere of Porco Rosso that I really really like. I'd also suggest Kiki's Delivery Service for its childlike sense of wonder. That said, those movies are probably a little harder to recommend to someone with just a passing interest, so Spirited Away would be an obvious recommendation.
Posted by kagato
- 10 months, 22 days ago
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!
Dude knows his stuff, pretty much sums up what i think in a far neater way than i would.