Studio Ghibli is the one and only name you need to know when it comes to animated films with whimsical characters and celestial worlds. As one of Japan’s most successful exports in culture and media, Studio Ghibli, as humble as it is in name and team, has become an international sensation loved by so many of all ages. Over 30 years of business, Ghibli has amassed the highest-grossing animated film ever in the Japanese film industry with its 2001 classic, Spirited Away profiting up to over $300 million dollars worldwide and winning a handful of awards over the span of four years from 2001 to 2004 from animation to soundtrack.
From the studio’s list of fearless and strong-willed heroes to the unique and ethereal world of guardian spirits and catbuses, Studio Ghibli is responsible for eight of the highest-grossing films ever to be exported from Japan with a continuously growing fanbase that reaps the benefits of audiences of all ages, locations and interests. Hiroki Azuma, a Japanese cultural critic, has observed that the anime film industry in Japan and overseas has gradually been greeted with widespread acclaim from critics and owes the continuous success and universal growth of the industry to Studio Ghibli.
With its dazzling storylines of magic, mischief, and fantasy to themes of maturity, self-discovery and even feminism in the form of female protagonists, every single Ghibli film comes complete with not only visually stunning animations and a goosebump-inducing soundtrack, but also provides a message that touches the hearts of audiences of all ages to believe and think outside the box.
Here are the Top 5 Ghibli films you need to watch that will leave you feeling like you’ve been swept off your feet.
1. Howl’s Moving Castle
2. Spirited Away
3. Kiki’s Delivery Service
4. Princess Mononoke
5. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind