- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, 1984 film
- Castle in the Sky, 1986 film
- My Neighbor Totoro, 1988 film
- Kiki's Delivery Service, 1989 film
- Porco Rosso, 1992 film
- Princess Mononoke, 1997 film
- Spirited Away, 2001 film (winner, Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, 2002)
- Howl's Moving Castle, 2004 film (nominee, Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, 2005)
- Ponyo, 2008 film
My Neighbor Totoro is about 2 girls who just moved into the country with their professor father and their mother is sick in the hospital. While the girls try to adjust to their new surroundings they befriend a wood Spirit called Totoro. We love how spirited the girls are and how it incorporates nature into the story. The two little girls in the story resemble my own daughters not only in age, but also in personality.
Kiki's Delivery Service is about a 13 year old witch that as tradition dictates she had to go live on his own and try to find her best skill and settle into a new town. She struggles to find herself when she sees that she can help the town by doing deliveries to towns people in her flying broom. Kiki is a very lovable girl, and she has this adorable cat that goes with her everywhere.
Spirited Away is about a little girl that is on her way to move to a new house with her parents when they get detained and end up going into this world of spirits and monsters. Chihiro's parents turn into pigs and it's her job to restore them to their natural forms and save them but first she will have to live and work in this mysterious world before she can return back home.
Ponyo is the latest movie to be released in the USA and I'm sure many of you have seen it or at least heard from it. It is about a little magical goldfish who falls in love with a little boy and she wants to become a human girl to be with him. It is another take on the story of the little mermaid, except these are small 5 y/o children and the movie deals with the environment and the pollution in the ocean and the effects of humans and how their actions sometimes takes away the balance of nature.
Also from Studio Ghibli, yet created by Hiroyuki Morita is the movie The Cat Returns, about a girl who saves a cat and ends up going into the cat world where they try to force her into marrying the Cat Prince.
What I love about all these movies is that they incorporate topics like coming of age, being accepted, the earth, nature, adjusting to difficult situations, being strong, brave, doing good things for others, etc. They all have a "moraleja" or a lesson to learn.
Have you seen any of these movies? Are there any others that you like? Please share with us. And don't forget to donate to Japan. Today's link goes to The Japan Society in NYC, you can donate through them by buying tickets to their concert for Japan on April 9,2011 in NYC