The Studio Ghibli Challenge

August 27, 2012 § 106 Comments

Every movie I ever watched, produced by Studio Ghibli, holds a very special place in my heart. And they all leave me with this recurring feeling which I still cannot put my finger on. Every time I watch a Studio Ghibli movie I feel this emotion which for the life of me I simply cannot explain, and it leaves me lost for words.

Only one word seems to come close to that feeling; the word home. The feeling is very similar to the one I get when I visit my parentโ€™s house; the place I grew up in. The place where I have so many memories; good or bad, the place where I used to have sleepovers with my best friend talking about our first love, the place where I cried myself to sleep after my first heartbreak, the place where I played, laughed, got angry, the place where I used to spend hours on end daydreaming. That is essentially how a Studio Ghibli movie feels to me, like my past home. Add to that the fact there is always a cat, the sea and a prominent electricity pylon and you have me explained to a tee.

But all this leaves me curious, how can a movie produced half way around the world infiltrate this very intimate, private place in my heart. So I thought to myself, what better way is there to understand, then by watching all Studio Ghibli movies?

Below is a list from Wikipedia of all Studio Ghibli movies. I have linked all of them to Wikipedia just in case you would like to read a little more about them. The ones in orange are the ones I still have to watch.

  1. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
  2. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  3. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  4. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
  5. Only Yesterday (1991)
  6. Porco Rosso (1992)
  7. Ocean Waves (1993)
  8. Pom Poko (1994)
  9. Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  10. Princess Mononoke (1997)
  11. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
  12. Spirited Away (2001)
  13. The Cat Returns (2002)
  14. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  15. Tales from Earthsea (2006)
  16. Ponyo (2008)
  17. Arrietty (2010)
  18. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

A little trivia? Ghibli is based on the Arabic name for Sirocco (qibla), the Mediterranean wind. Living in Malta, that makes me smile.ย Oh, and needless to say, one day I really want to visit the Ghibli Museum in Japan.

Iโ€™d love to hear from you if Studio Ghibli movies have the same effect on you. Drop me a line in the comments section below.


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§ 106 Responses to The Studio Ghibli Challenge

  • monkeyfacekim says:

    I love Studio Ghibli and so far, my personal favorites are Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Kiki’s Delivery Service! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mae Long says:

    Yes! I absolutely adore these movies – you’re right, they do feel like home. The storytelling and animations and everything else are all so beautiful… I think I’m going to have to do this challenge as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been on a Ghibli kick lately – last night it was Ponyo, tonight Kiki’s Delivery Service, two nights ago Spirited Away (which holds the lead as my favorite) ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers on being FP!

  • Katherine says:

    I totally understand this post! The first time I saw Spirited Away, I was like… whoa… how in the earth could this movie made halfway across the world so clearly articulate things so deep in me that I couldn’t even begin to speak about? I’m looking forward to watching more movies from this studio. ^^

  • GamerDame says:

    I’d have to say that Spirited Away is my favorite Studio Ghibli film. I think what I love best about the films (aside from the excellent quality of them all, even the English dubbing) is that the main characters are always engaging. They develop over the course of the movie. Also, for the films I really like, it always has a normal person being thrown into a fantastic situation (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, etc). I think that really strikes a cord with people. They’re not superheroes, they’re normal people like me. So they behave the way I imagine I would. Plus, having normal people do extraordinary things is just more compelling.

  • FB says:

    my favorites are Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Mononoke Hime. seem that the main guys of Ghibli are really awesome. And I love how the studio draw all by hand, every screen in Spirited Away was so beautiful.

    I used to wish the river near my home would look like Haku :))

  • Corbin Entz says:

    I feel taken away to some beautiful state of oblivion regarding the real world every time I sink into Miyazaki’s universe.

    By the way, I noticed that you haven’t mentioned “Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind” (1984) or “LUPIN III; Castle of Cagliostro” (1979) as films you wish to watch. Both are fantastic, but on the other hand, all Ghbli movies are fantastic!

    • thelyniezian says:

      Both of those films are technically before the foundation of Studio Ghibli itself, though were as I understand done by Miyazaki.

      Got halfway through watching Nausicaa the other night, for maybe the 2nd time. Did have some of the manga but through it away, as the ending felt a little uncomfortable from my ideological standpoint…

  • amaya73 says:

    I love ALL of those movies. I want so desperately for Totoro to be real so I could take a nap on his belly!

  • andreac2013 says:

    I didn’t really care for Totoro, personally i thought it was really weird. As for the other Studio Ghibli movies i have seen, i have loved them. The first time i saw Spirited Away it opened up a new world for me. That’s what really started my interest in Anime films and shows. Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castles are so moving and just two of the best anime films out there, in my opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • gaiaward says:

    I recommend Laputa Castle in the Sky. It is one of my favourites. Love this post! I have watched all these since a little girl, and now and then re-watch them because they’re so great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carmen says:

    I’m a huge Ghibli fan too and I’ve always mentally promised myself to watch (and own) all the films. But now I’ve been inspired to properly challenge myself because of you. I hope you don’t mind if I create my own “Studio Ghibli Challenge” post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • reichann says:

    I love the movies produced by Studio Ghibli.. sad to say that I have only watched a few. But all of the movies I watched have stayed in my heart.. ^_^

    My favorites are My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo.. ^_^

  • […] in association with Studio Ghibli films and I couldn’t have found a better word. Inspired by Melahart’s “The Studio Ghibli Challenge,” I’ve decided to officially – once it’s blogged, it’s official – put […]

  • poetaviator ยฉ says:

    this is where you will be able to see “only yesterday”…wonderful anime…especially the ending, tear jerker.

  • raina says:

    You are quite right, the “atmosphere” of the animations have an effect on viewers I reckon. I have seen Spirited Away and Secret Life of Arriety, and I think both stories have the effect of creating a lot of empathy and sympathy for the protagonists. Its also always a lot to do with relationships and friendships, and these stories always leave me coming away feeling how much a single person can have an impact on my life….in real life is the same I guess.

  • joehoover says:

    They are genius, to make something as touching and heart wrenching as Grave of the fireflies and then something as sweet and funny as Kiki’s Delivery Service is quite something

  • I grew up with Miyazaki movies and Studio Ghibli. I definitely agree that he gives us a feeling of home. What I love is that he always seems to put in some magical us a sense of hope is not all lost and tugs at our heartstrings all the time. Its not only an emotional engaging and visually stunning experience but at the same time, also brings us into a really fun story.

    My favorite ones are My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle. Although I’d say really close up there would be Arrietty, Ponyo and Spirited Away. The only one I’ve never been able to finish is Tales of Earthsea but thats because its not Hiyao Miyazaki who did it but his son. I’m hoping that the new one will show improvement (at least the trailers show promise).

  • iamchp says:

    Reblogged this on .

  • i โค studio ghibli movies!!! Castle In The Sky was the first one i ever saw, and has been my favourite ever since! you should definitely watch it

  • I have to agree with @traineepilot15, Laputa Castle in the sky is one of the best. Ghibli movies will always have a special place in my heart, on a more emotional level compared to Disney movies actually. They often get compared, and although I’ve been watching Disney all my life and only Ghibli maybe the last 9 years of my 25 they are more special to me.

  • […] The Studio Ghibli Challenge ( […]

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