Studio Ghibli films are known as one of the most visually creative and artistic types of animated films that you can watch. Most of the films have a visual style that is out of this world and uniquely Studio Ghibli.
Upon watching a scene, you can immediately understand that this is a Studio Ghibli movie. Apart from its visual style, Studio Ghibli films are also known for their heart-tugging storylines and impressive characterization.
Some of the best movies in the animated film industry come from Studio Ghibli. Most of us have likely seen at least one without realizing who produced it. In this article, we have the best and the most beloved Studio Ghibli movies ranked.
Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 animated film that is based on the 1967 short story by Akiyuki Nosaka. The story follows two siblings Seita and Setsuko as they try to survive the last few months of the ongoing World War II.
As orphans, the children struggle to find the means to eat and survive as the war rages on in the background. The children are tested to their ends until the two of them succumb to both the horrors of war and hunger.
Grave of the Fireflies is a masterpiece in the art of storytelling and tells the horrifying effects of war on innocent children. Gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, this movie offers a sense of somber relief at the end.
The movie has garnered universal critical acclaim with its depiction of human struggles during a time of war. The realistic approach of the animated film was a key focus in production as it details the children’s struggle to survive.
My Neighbor Totoro
At the heart of My Neighbor Totoro is a children’s story of coping and hope. The film tells the story of two siblings – a common theme in Ghibli movies – as they relocate to an old house to be closer to their ailing mother who is in a nearby hospital.
The two siblings encounter and befriend a creature who interacts and plays with them as they try to cope with the emotional stress of having an ill parent. The movie brings about a sense of hope through the use of imagination.
A lot of movies try to use imagination as a form of escape from their characters but My Neighbor Totoro uses it to great advantage. It infuses the story and makes it a whimsical tale that you will surely fall in love with.
My Neighbor Totoro has gained a lot of accolades and is a staple in most list of the best-animated movies of all time. The creature named Totoro has become one of the most iconic animated characters ever appearing in media across Japan.
Princess Mononoke is a 1997 animated fantasy film that follows a young prince in his journey to rid himself of a curse amid a struggle between the gods of the forest and the humans that take advantage of the resources given to them.
The movie became a hit within and outside of Japan which further expanded Studio Ghibli’s influence abroad. The movie’s central theme about taking care of the environment and disability will always be a relative issue.
Princess Mononoke embodies a cautionary tale of protecting the environment before it seeks revenge for the abuse that it has experienced.
Much of the movie’s plot revolves around saving nature and finding a solution to a long-existing problem.
Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese supernatural animated film that revolves around Chihiro and her attempts of saving her parents who have been transformed into pigs by a witch.
Along the way, she befriends entities and creatures while working for the bathhouse owned by the witch. This modern classic has similarities to Alice in Wonderland but also presents a very Eastern style thematic to it.
The film also follows a vulnerable yet proactive female lead that many young children can admire. Apart from its empowering story, the movie also delivers a lot of heartfelt emotions and horrifying scenes thanks to No-Face.
The movie won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and is the only hand-drawn animated film to have ever won in the category. Spirited Away remains one of the highest-rated animated films of all time and is considered Studio Ghibli’s best film to date.
From supernatural fantasy themes to realistic depictions of the struggles of war and hunger, Studio Ghibli offers us a peek at the dichotomy of life.
These movies present a whimsical and fantastical world but are also grounded by its relatable storylines and characters. This is just one of the many reasons why Studio Ghibli continues to produce some of the best movies in the industry.