Miyazaki’s first feature production with him as the director ranks among his best, if not also the best in all of anime. Adapted from Miyazaki’s own manga, it presented a post-apocalyptic world where a young princess, Nausicaä, fights to keep her nation and its rival from going to war over an ancient technology that could destroy both.
Also known as “Laputa," this is one of Miyazaki’s adventure films, jampacked with imagery and sequences that reflect his love for flying. Young villager, Pazu, meets a girl named Sheeta when she falls from the sky and lands on his lap; the two learned that her pendant could unlock untold secrets within the “castle in the sky.” The same with “Nausicaä," the young and innocent must grapple against the machinations of cynical adults, who only have eyes for the city’s war machines.
Directed by Ghibli cohort Isao Takahata, this is a dire depiction of life and death during the last days of WWII, when Allied fire bombings killed many civilian in Tokyo—a story that has not been reported as much as the Hiroshima’s and Nagasaki’s. Derived from Akiyuki Nosaka’s novel, it shows how two kids, Seita and his little sister Setsuko, struggle to survive in the ruins of the city, fighting starvation.
Easily the most beloved of any of Miyazaki’s films. Two girls have moved with their father to a house in a village, to be close to their ill mother; they discover that the house and the surrounding forest is housing gentle supernatural spirits who they played with and kept them company
Sullen young Chihiro is jolted out of her shell when her parents disappear, and was forced to redeem them by working for a sauna for gods and spirits. The film’s crammed with the kind of quirky, Byzantine delights you might find in one of Roald Dahl’s books for kids. Miyazaki’s amazing sense of visual invention and his gentle empathy for all his characters, even the “bad” ones, also shine through.
In a land reminiscent of pre-modern Japan, young Prince Ashitaka sets out on a journey to discover a cure for a festering wound he received at the hands of a strange beast—a wound which also gives him great power at a terrible cost. His journey brings him into contact with Princess Mononoke, a wild child who’s allied herself with the spirits of the forest to protect it against the claws of the villain, Lady Eboshi, and her forces.
An energetic adaptation of a beloved children’s book from Japan about a young witch-in-training who uses her broom-riding skills to work as a delivery girl. A mystical, positive take on a girl's coming of age.
It tells the story of a renowned Italian fighter pilot, a veteran of the First World War who has been mysteriously transformed into a pig. As he prepares to battle the pirate crew's American ace, Porco Rosso enlists the help of spunky girl mechanic Fio Piccolo (Akemi Okamura) and his longtime friend Madame Gina (Tokiko Kato). What follows is an epic journey of self-discovery and general badassery in the great Ghibli tradition. It's got all the hallmarks of a Miyazaki movie; strong women, flying machines, air-pirates, and an undertone of the supernatural.
Little Sosuke saves what he thinks is a goldfish, which turned out to be Ponyo, daughter of a magician from deep within the sea. Ponyo takes on human form and becomes Sosuke’s playmate; disorienting the natural order of things. The stunning, hand-drawn details that crowd almost every frame—the waves, the endless schools of fish—are a real treasure to watch in an age when most such things are spat out of computers.
This is a fictionalized story of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Mitsubishi A5M and the A6M Zero, Japan's fighter aircraft of World War II. The nearsighted boy wants to be a pilot but dreams of Italian aircraft designer Giovanni Battista Caproni, who inspires him to design them instead.
A dashing thief, his gang of desperadoes, and an intrepid policeman struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches, and learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.