15 Best Studio Ghibli Movies Of All Time

15 Best Studio Ghibli Movies Of All Time

Everyone loves best Studio Ghibli movies, It just transports you to another world. Studio Ghibli’s films are among the most well-known and highly regarded anime.

Hayao Miyazaki, a renowned anime filmmaker, is the head of Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation film studio established in 1985. So, here are the 15 Best Studio Ghibli Movies of All Time.

For someone who got into anime because of Studio Ghibli, it has a special person in my heart. I’m pretty sure I am not the only one. They touch your hearts with those amazing characters and wonderful plots.

The groundbreaking style of the Japanese animation film studio, Studio Ghibli, is perhaps at the top of the list when you consider legends in the field of animated films.

With its distinctive hand-drawn, meticulously rendered artwork and stories centred on contemporary social and/or environmental themes, it has continuously redefined what it means to make an animated world that is exquisitely immersive.

Also Read: 25 Best Madhouse Anime Series Of All Time

15. Pom Poko

Best Studio Ghibli Movies Pom Poko
Credits – Mubi

Isao Takahata created Pom Poko, a famous Studio Ghibli film, from the ground up, and it was released in 1994. It is the only entirely original movie in Studio Ghibli save the films directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Tanuki, which is sometimes portrayed as an imaginary raccoon dog in Japanese folklore, is the main subject of Pom Poko. In the 1960s, as the city was developing, Tokyo’s outskirts were the scene.

Tanuki decides to take a stance against humans after the forest, which is also their habitat, is destroyed by deforestation. The plot is very unique and the characters portrayed are marvellous.

14. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Best Studio Ghibli Movies The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Credits – TheWashingtonPost

Isao Takahata’s latest film, The Story of the Princess Kaguya, was released in 2013. He passed away in 2018 at the age of 82.

The Japanese folktale The Story of the Bamboo Cutter, which was composed in the ninth or tenth century, serves as the inspiration for the drama film.

Princess Kaguya, the subject of the narrative, is found in a stalk of bamboo by a veteran bamboo cutter.

The movie depicts the young girl’s upbringing in traditional Japanese society as well as the distinctive traditions and cultures of Japan. The animation is unique as well.

13. Grave of the Fireflies

Best Studio Ghibli Movies Grave of the fireflies
Credits – BBC

Cemetery of the Fireflies was released in 1988 at the same time as My Neighbor Totoro. Studio Ghibli adapted the historical movie from the original book. Akiyuki Nosaka wrote the book in 1967 with the theme of his personal experiences during World War II.

One of the greatest works of legendary Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata was its anime film adaptation.

The story takes place in September 1945 in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, just after World War II. The main characters of Grave of the Fireflies are Seita, 14, and Setsuko, 4, who lose their family and experience starvation and malnutrition.

Isao Takahata’s concentration is on realism, in contrast to the fantasy genre that many Ghibli films fall under.

12, The Wind Rises

Best Studio Ghibli Movies The Wind Rises
Credits – Medium

The drama film The Wind Rises, produced by Studio Ghibli in 2013, was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

It was influenced by the 1936–1938 novel The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori and the biography of aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who lived until 1982.

Around the time of the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, the story opens in Tokyo. Jiro, the main character in The Wind Rises, is a fighter aircraft designer, and Naoko is the protagonist.

One of Hayao Miyazaki’s favourite themes is an aircraft, and the anime film’s flying moments are exquisitely portrayed.

11.  The Secret World of Arrietty

Best Studio Ghibli Movies The Secret World of Arriety
Credits – FadetoLack

The Next Best Studio Ghibli Movie was released in 2010, The Hidden World of Arrietty, commonly known as just Arrietty, is a children’s movie inspired by the 1952 novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, it marks his debut as an anime movie director.

It shows both the human world and the world of the small creatures that inhabit the walls and floors of human homes. Arrietty, a 14-year-old girl, and her parents reside covertly.

But one day, a 12-year-old human boy named Sho discovers her. and things get interesting after that.

10. Princess Mononoke

Best Studio Ghibli Movies Princess Monoke
Credits – MercatorNet

One of the most well-known Ghibli films of all time is Princess Mononoke. The late Muromachi period (1336–1573) in Japan serves as the backdrop for the historical fantasy-themed animation.

Personally, I think the movie’s two key themes are life and the peaceful coexistence of humans and the environment.

Ashitaka, the main character and sole surviving prince of the Emishi group, encounters San, the princess Mononoke who dwells in the wilderness with wolves. San disapproves of people who harm the environment in order to get money.

Ashitaka, though, is adamant that they may coexist in peace inside their respective universes. The island of Yakushima in Kagoshima Prefecture served as the model for Princess Mononoke’s world.

9. Whisper of the Heart

Whisper of the Heart
Credits – IMDb

One of the most well-known Ghibli films, especially in Japan, is Whisper of the Heart, which was released in 1995 and was adapted from the manga authored by Aoi Hiiragi.

Yoshifumi Kondo, who had a significant part as the animation director of the other Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies, instead of Hayao Miyazaki, was the film’s director.

The romance anime centres on Shizuku Tsukishima and Seiji Amasawa as its two major characters and describes the unadulterated love of youth.

Shizuku accidentally stumbles onto Shiro Nishi’s enigmatic antique store, Chikyuya, and later gets to know Jiro’s grandson Seiji Amasawa better.

She makes every effort to finish the novel she started, while Seiji strives to become a violin maker.

8. From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill
Credits – NPR

The most recent Ghibli film included in this article is From Up on Poppy Hill (), which debuted in 2011. Given that Goro Miyazaki, the son of Hayao Miyazaki, is in charge of directing it, it differs a little from the other four films.

Though few people consider From Up on Poppy Hill to be the best Ghibli film, in my opinion, Goro doesn’t exhibit a worse outcome than his father.

This film does a wonderful job of capturing the nostalgic spirit in Japan in 1963, the year before the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964.

Umi and Shun, two high school students, are the primary characters, and it is so “Ghiblish” to depict pure boy and girl love. Umi and Shun’s connection is a little tricky in this instance.

7. Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service
Credits – BBC

It was introduced in Japan in 1989, the same year as My Neighbor Totoro debuted on screens. Kiki’s Delivery Service has been adored by both home and foreign audiences. 13-year-old witch Kiki, the protagonist of the story, sets off on her own in search of freedom with her pet black cat Jiji.

Ghibli fans have been fascinated by the tale of Kiki, a dreamy witch who confronts many challenges but manages to overcome them.

Some people may relate to her, while others are inspired by the young woman who is having difficulty. In this film, the water capital’s surroundings are also exquisitely depicted. It appears to be based on northern European nations.

6. When Marnie was there

When Marnie was there
Credits – IMDb

The next, Best Studio Ghibli Movies is When Marnie was there. When Marnie Was There revolves around Anna, a shy and insecure individual brought to her aunt’s house to aid in recovering from asthma episodes. There, she encounters a mystifying woman named Marnie.

Anna quite literally pulls from her past experiences as she tries to embrace herself in a vast universe.

Yonebayashi’s sympathetic narrative adds depth to this somewhat unlikeable character, portraying Anna through a lens different from the typical misunderstood character cliche.

5. Castle in the Sky

Best Studio Ghibli Movies Castle in the sky
Credits – Dazed

Hayao Miyazaki directed his first Ghibli animated film as a member of Studio Ghibli in 1986. Castle in the Sky, The fantasy adventure film was entirely unique work from Studio Ghibli because it was based on nothing else. It is regarded as the best Studio Ghibli film of all time by many fans.

Pazu, a little boy, and Sheeta, a young girl, are the two primary protagonists at the centre of Castle in the Sky.

Air pirates and a government agency are after her because they want her crystal pendant. Her journey with Pazu starts to elude them.

4. Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle
Credits – Fandom

It is an admirable achievement in and of itself that this movie’s use of imaginative amazement allowed for the precise design of a walking castle.

A coming-of-age character, older women, witches, and a ton of other fantastical aspects are all present in it.

However, it is based on extremely genuine human feelings. Not to mention those photos of the bacon and eggs, which are very delicious. Howl won all the hearts and the soundtrack is just amazing.

3. My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro
Credits – PictureHouse

One of the most well-liked Ghibli films in Japan and abroad, My Neighbor Totoro, which debuted in theatres in 1988, is adored by people of all ages.

Sister Satsuki and Mei, the primary characters, relocate to the countryside where they encounter the enigmatic Totoro in the forest. These are what kids can only see.

Satsuki and Mai may seem like your typical bumbling pair of sisters, but Miyazaki’s writing offers them a sense of wonder while validating their concerns and issues.

Totoro is not your typical pocket-friendly, chirpy darling; he is big and occasionally makes odd noises, but he also delivers the finest hugs to people who need them.

2. Ponyo

Credits -The

2008 saw the release of Ponyo, also known as Ponyo on the Rock by the Sea. The fantasy film, which Hayao Miyazaki wrote and directed, is one of the most well-liked Studio Ghibli films among families. Watching Ponyo will always give you a fun time.

Ponyo, a goldfish who desires to become a human and leaves the ocean, is the story’s main character. Ponyo is met and saved by Sosuke, a different main character who is a 5-year-old child.

Ponyo’s father tries to get her to return to the ocean from the ground so that she can stop using magic to change the world of humans, but she flees with Sosuke.

1. Spirited Away

Spirited Away
Credits – TheDiscoveryDiary

The top 30 Greatest Anime Movies of All Time list includes Spirited Away as the best film in the whole Ghibli canon. Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl, travelled to a fantasy realm where her name was changed to “Sen” and she lost it.

She makes an effort to maintain her identity despite the odd surroundings. Spirited Away touches our hearts because Chihiro, who is only 10 years old, works tirelessly at the baths.

The most alluring aspect of Spirited Away is its cast of unusual characters, which includes the sweet youngster Haku (who is actually a river god), the witch and bathhouse proprietor Yubaba, and her identical sister Zeniba. Follow Chihiro on her adventure to save her parents with Haku.

There are 22 feature-length films in the vast Ghibli studio universe (others exist beyond the bounds of standard feature lengths), and most of them are distinguished by their enthralling narratives, amazing characters, and ecstatic animations.

Much of this studio’s creative efforts were led by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, whose flawless storytelling has withstood the test of time. Many of us associate our formative years with the Ghibli studio films. Yup, it has those nostalgic emotions which stick to you for the longest time.

Ranking Studio Ghibli Movies is a challenge. All the movies have that special touch. Which is your favourite Studio Ghibli Movie? Let us know in the comment section below. Click here for more anime updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I watch Anime for free?

You can watch anime for free on Crunchyroll.

What is the darkest Ghibli movie?

The Grave of Fireflies.

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