By now, there’s hardly a person in the world unfamiliar with the works of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.
His animations are filled with enchanting tales and incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unpredictable plot twists.
We honor the great animator by presenting a list of his most astonishing and captivating movies.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Hauru no ugoku shiro
Sophie, the cartoon’s main protagonist, leads an ordinary life in a big city. Everything changes drastically one day after an encounter with a witch. The witch casts an evil spell, which causes the girl to age rapidly, leaving her trapped in the body of an old woman. To regain her former appearance, Sophie has to find Howl’s Moving Castle. On her quest, the girl encounters a living scarecrow, a demon called Calcifer, and Howl, the eponymous magician himself.
Defending his people from a demonic invasion, young Prince Ashitaka falls victim to a deadly curse. To find an antidote, he has to travel to a mysterious land, where a war between humans and animals rages on. There Ashitaka meets Princess Mononoke, who’s trying to protect her forest-dwelling subjects from the evil ruler, Lady Eboshi.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
(also known as ’’Witch’s Delivery Service’’)
Majo no takkyûbin
On reaching the age of 13, little witch Kiki is faced with a challenge — she has to spend some time among non-magical people. This is all part of becoming a full-fledged witch. She moves to an unfamiliar town and befriends a kindly baker, who helps her set up her own business — an Express Delivery Service. Each new day brings Kiki and her pet cat Jiji new adventures and new exciting acquaintances.
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
An enigmatic and mystical tale of a little girl, Chihiro, who finds herself in a strange world filled with ghosts. Her parents end up transformed into pigs and become prisoners of the evil witch Yubaba. Now it’s up to Chihiro to save her mom and dad from the clutches of the devious old hag. But in order to find a way to do this, the girl has to muster her courage and come to Yubaba, asking for a job.
(aka ’’Ponyo on the Cliff’’)
Gake no ue no Ponyo
This is a tale of friendship between two very different youngsters — a boy named Sōsuke and a magical fish called Ponyo, the daughter of a wizard and a sea goddess. Ponyo sneaks away from home to get a better look at the humans and their way of life. She ends up thrown ashore and is picked up by five year old Sōsuke. The youngsters grow attached to each other. Now, Ponyo wishes for one thing only — to become human.
My Neighbor Totoro
Tonari no Totoro
Two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, lead monotonous lives until they discover an extraordinary world populated by furry creatures only children can see. The girls befriend a forest spirit called Totoro, who proceeds to take them on an airborne tour of his realm. He also helps the girls visit their mother, who’s in hospital.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds
Kaze no tani no Naushika
In the distant future, Earth is facing an ecological disaster; a poisonous forest has spread over most of the planet’s surface. Many people have taken refuge in the Valley of the Winds — the only place where nature remains unique and unspoiled. The peaceful kingdom is ruled by an emperor and his daughter, who possesses unusual abilities. One day, an airship carrying important cargo crashes in the Valley and the peaceful days come to an end.
Castle in the Sky
(also known as ”Laputa: Castle in the Sky”)
Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta
In an alternative reality where castles float in the air, a girl named Sheeta is the possessor of the immensely valuable Flying Stone. Both government agents and pirates are after the Stone. Fleeing from pursuers, Sheeta meets a young lad, Pazu. Together, they discover, that the Stone is the key to finding the flying island of Laputa.
Kurenai no buta
This is a tale of a pilot, Marco Pagot. After the end of WWI, Pagot grows so disillusioned with people that he brings upon himself a curse: he’s partially transformed into a pig. Our hero decides to assume a new name, Porco Rosso, and goes on to work for the government, hunting down air pirates. Thus, his adventures begin.
The Wind Rises
A boy named Jiro dreams of flying beautiful airplanes, but his poor eyesight leaves him no chance of becoming a pilot. However, Jiro refuses to abandon his dream and comes up with his own idea of a perfect aircraft. Eventually, he becomes one of the best aircraft designers. On his way to success he survives the Great Tokyo Earthquake, meets many fascinating people and falls in love with the beautiful Naoko.
Photo © (с)Studio Ghibli / Source