Is the cabin fever becoming too real? Take a break from reality and embark on whimsical journeys with these Studio Ghibli movies. Fortunately, they are now available for streaming on Netflix, which is perfect for when you need a quick pick-me-up. Check out these feel-good Studio Ghibli movies you wouldn’t want to miss:
Ponyo is a light-hearted story of a five-year-old kid, Sosuke, who adopts a fish he names “Ponyo”. They grow attached to each other, but there’s one huge problem: Ponyo is, in fact, an underwater princess, and she can’t stay long on land. The movie highlights the innocent story between the kids and the importance of friendships. You’ll fall in love with this movie; its visuals will make you want to explore the ocean!
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming-of-age story of a young witch. Per her village’s traditions, 13-year old Kiki has to move to a coastal town for a year as she trains to become a full-fledged witch. Once she learns how to use her broomstick, she starts a delivery service for the town and embarks on magical adventures with her friends.
Castle in the Sky (1989)
Castle in the Sky features the story of two orphans, Pazu and Sheeta, who are in search of a lost city called Laputa. It’s an old floating city that used to be only told in tales. It turns out that Sheeta is the city’s last princess! While on the search for the floating city, they end up uniting with the air pirates that used to go after them.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle will make you fall in love with magic. Howl is a wizard who goes by different names and lives in a moving steampunk castle. He meets Sophie, and the two go on adventures in different cities and fall for each other in the process. Fun fact, director Hayao Miyazaki made this masterpiece to show his dissent towards the war in Iraq. In the movie, he shows the casualties of war and how it affects the lives of those affected by it.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Totoro is one fluffy friend you’d want to hug. The iconic character is a spirit in My Neighbor Totoro. In the movie, he helps two young sisters coping with moving to a new place as they wait for their ill mother to get well in the hospital. They befriend different spirits in the forest and one of them is Totoro. This movie will make you want to be a kid again, and wish that life was just as easy.
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
If you like romantic movies, then this one will hit the spot. Whisper of the Heart is a coming-of-age movie starring 14-year-old Shizuku who wishes to be a writer when she grows up. She’s a huge bookworm and one day noticed that all the books she borrowed from the library were all previously borrowed by a mysterious boy. Realizing he might be her soulmate, Shizuku tries to find him as she writes her first novel.
The Wind Rises (2013)
The Wind Rises is one of Studio Ghibli’s most inspiring movies. It follows the life of Jiro, whose biggest dream is to become one of the world’s most successful and innovative airplane designers. He initially wanted to be a pilot but due to his eyesight, he leaned towards an engineering track instead. This was Hayao Miyazaki’s last work before his retirement and its story reflects Miyazaki’s ode to his career.
Spirited Away (2001)
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without including the movie that made Studio Ghibli a household name. Spirited Away is Japan’s highest-grossing film, even after nearly twenty years since its release. It follows the story of 10-year old Chihiro who discovers an abandoned amusement park. After her parents get turned into pigs after eating in one of the park’s stalls, she meets a young boy, Haku, who explains that the abandoned amusement park is a place where spirits visit for relaxation. If you’re new into Studio Ghibli movies, this movie is a must-watch.
Which movie will you watch first? Tell us below!