7 Top-Notch Studio Ghibli Movies To Watch

Studio Ghibli movies are the best getaway as well as an educational and entertaining feat of art.

characters walking down a street with their bags

Surrealism, fantastical expressions of emotions, and the extremely scenic sublimity of mirroring the self with nature are some of the dominant themes that are mastered in the form of Studio Ghibli movies. Hayao Miyazaki’s mastery and art style has inspired many in terms of the themes that have been made for children but is a fun adventure for viewers of all age group.

The brilliance in the uniformity of the aesthetic is portrayed beautifully with an embedded story containing beautiful symbols and morals. Studio Ghibli movies are the best getaway as well as an educational and entertaining feat of art.

The essence of Japanese culture through the aesthetic lens that paves the way for an emotional yet heartwarming ride is an omnipotent presence in every studio of ghibli movies. Hayao Miyazaki excels in his art of cinema and creation to produce such beautifully life-altering films expressing the little yet essentially influential morals of life.

Here are some of the top-ranked studio ghibli movies as the most watched and rendered best by the viewers:

1. My Neighbour Totoro

character walking in a train

The most alluring aspect of the movie is in its simplicity in the portrayal of the most heartfelt notion that humans co-exist with nature and the benevolent spirits are the entities that help humans in their times of need and watch over us for guidance and protection.

The most unique element in the portrayal of such sensitive and benevolent handling of such emotional themes like dependency and beauty in the monotony of life is portrayed through the aesthetic scenic beauty accompanied by the element of fantasy.

Totoro is the name of forest spirits that come in three different shapes, small, medium, and large, with a big heartwarming smile. The maestro of this creation is the spellbound viewers who did not expect the genre of the cartoon to take such a drastic turn in portraying such delicate feelings without the normative conflicts of mainstream cartoons.

2. Grave of the Fireflies

a young character eating a watermelon

Adapted from the 1967 novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, Grave of the Fireflies entails the realistically emotional turmoil with the backdrop of World War II. Isao Takahata, a creator of Studio Ghibli, mentor of Hayao Miyazaki, and his colleague produced this masterpiece that was the polar opposite of the fantasy genre in Totoro.

The range and dynamic attributes of Studio Ghibli movies owe it to the creators for having such vast understanding and creative implementation of them in the films.

The film observes the effect of the world war on their country, focusing on a fourteen-year-old, Seita, and his four-year-old sister, Setsuke, who became orphans during the U.S. firebombing of Kobe.

The tragic and heartwrenching ending accompanied by moments of joy followed by sorrow, and the diligence of the brother to distract his sister from the tragedy that followed them everywhere, this is one emotionally draining, a tragic masterpiece of Studio Ghibli.

3. Spirited Away

major character with a ghost in a ship

No wonder the film is an Oscar Winning marvel of Miyazaki’s first creation of a Studio Ghibli film. In a parallel to Alice in Wonderland, a ten-year-old girl named Chiro crosses a river and ends up in an enchanted bathhouse from which it is tedious and challenging to return.

This film is a culmination of Miyazaki’s rein-free imagination running wildly adventurous and mysterious through the situations presented to Chiro. The plot is the polar opposite of the conventional and traditional stream that most cartoons follow, which makes Studio Ghibli stand out the most.

4. Kiki’s Delivery Service

character enjoying a view with  a cat

As enchanting in its appeal as ever, Kiki’s ambitious and loving self sets out to find work using her ability of flying, accompanied by her cat Jiji is the initiation of a beautiful and simple tale about growth and the repercussions that come with adulting.

5. Pom Poko

characters walking in a forest

The main essence of this masterpiece is the message of eco-consciousness that is depicted through the extinction of raccoons in a forest situated at the edge of an urban settlement.

The group of wild raccoon dogs, tanuki, teams up against humans for developing and exploiting their homes, which depicts the co-existence and relationship between humans and nature, their inter-dependency and co-dependency.

6. Only Yesterday

characters walking down a street with their bags

Revisiting childhood and understanding the significant differences and the loss of innocence is a hard pill that we eventually come to terms with. The process is tedious, and tragic when the realizations we derive from experiences shape us as real human beings, totally opposite to that of the innocence that we retain in our childhood.

27-year-old Taeko visits her sister in her town, Toshio, with whom she takes a trip around the town, as well as down memory lane, revisiting her childhood and coming to terms with the frustration of the adult life that Taeko lives.

This is the most adult and tragic film through the lens of nostalgia that feeds the readers with a realistic understanding, significantly different from the fantasy-marred Studio Ghibli films.

7. Ponyo


Another premise of following a sea creature’s experience on land, Ponyo can be connected to The Little Mermaid given the common ground of having a sea creature crave the experiences of the land. She meets a five-year-old human and their journey starts through the experience of friendship, longing, and reality.