Ghibli films are out of this world animations.

By Gabrielle Fernandez

Staff Writer

Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon | Source images: Studio Ghibli

Trying new things, playing new games, and watching new movies are some of the ways to keep ourselves sane in these weird and troubling times. Having all this extra time inside our homes gives us opportunities that we may not have had before to discover new things that we love. A part of trying new things means going outside the box, and Studio Ghibli movies are perfect for that. 

Studio Ghibli was founded by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on June 15, 1985 as a Japanese animation studio. With a collection of 21 movies in total and one planned to be released in 2023, there are quite a few to choose from when selecting which one you want to watch first. 

Ghibli films are in the realm of fantasy, always being a bit strange and unpredictable which gives the movies an edge of excitement. The real eyecatcher of these movies though is the art itself and the scenery throughout the entire movie. A lot of time and thought goes into creating the iconic scenes that a lot of people haven’t realized that they may have seen before.  The art really makes a ghibli film a ghibli film, you’ll know it’s one when you see it because of that.

If you’re looking to start watching these types of films then the perfect one to start with is Spirited Away. Voted to be the number one Ghibli film, Spirited away should be a great starter for anyone new. Spirited Away is about a little girl named Chihiro who moves to a new home with her parents. On the way to the house, they discover an old passageway leading to an abandoned theme park. From there her parents start eating food they found at one of the stalls, turning them into something else entirely and only Chihiro can save them now.  

Above Image: Howl’s Moving Castle (Studio Ghibli)

My Neighbor Totoro is the next in line, voted as number two of the best Ghibli films of all time. It’s surprising to hear about somebody not knowing about the big cat creature Totoro because it is probably the most known Ghibli film around. The movie starts out with two little girls and their father moving into a new house because of their sick mother. As they start to settle in, the girls find new little creatures that live in their house and in the forest next to it. The sisters, Satsuki and Mei go on adventures with their new found friends, passing the time while they wait for their mother to finally get out of the hospital. My Neighbor Totoro isn’t as strange as Spirited Away, it’s more homey and cute, definitely a film to watch with your family.

The last film in the top three is called Castle in The Sky. Castle in The Sky is the first official movie done by Studio Ghibli made back in 1986 but don’t let the old age fool you. This movie is just as exciting and action packed as any new studio ghibli film. A simple description of the movie is that a boy and a girl try to escape from bad guys trying to steal their magical crystal while also trying to find a castle in the sky.

Sheeta escapes sky pirates trying to steal her crystal necklace and falls from the sky, landing in Pazu’s work place. He becomes her partner in crime and tells her about the castle in the sky, they both agree to find it. If you want to know more then you have to watch the movie!

Scraping the top three studio Ghibli films is just a sneak peak at how good these movies are, it’s hard to even pick a top three to begin with because all of them are spectacular. An anonymous interviewee agrees with just how appealing and interesting these films are. They said they started watching Ghibli films because their mother got Spirited Away as a gift and they adored it. The reason they continued to watch more Ghibli films is because of how much they enjoyed Spirited Away, making them want to watch more and more. The animation and stories are so enjoyable that they make the watcher unable to look away. They recommend other people to watch Studio Ghibli films as well. 

      Above Image: Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli)

During this pandemic, people need to try new things to keep themselves occupied inside their homes and Studio Ghibli films are perfect for that. Once you watch one, then you’ll want to watch the rest of them. If you are planning to watch a Ghibli film after this then HBO Max has a bit of them on there and if you don’t have HBO then Target or Walmart is your best bet. Once you watch one, you can’t stop!