- Spirited Away -This is a beautifully animated film about a little girl, Chihiro, who gets trapped in a spirit world and attempts to rescue her parents by working in a bathhouse for spirits. In classic Miyazaki fashion, the film has plenty of fun characters that help Chihiro learn how to appreciate what she has in her life. On a side note, it was the 2002 Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature Film.
- My Neighbor Totoro -Perhaps Miyazaki's best known film, it follows two girls and their adventures in a new home and with their unique neighbors. I love this movie because it teaches us about a totally different culture and reminds us to believe in the fantastic.
- Ponyo -A newer addition to the Studio Ghibli family, this film is incredibly fun. It centers around the adventures of Ponyo, a little red head girl from the ocean, who wants to live in the human world. In some ways it was a fresh take on the Little Mermaid story, but it has so much that makes it unique. This fun and incredibly cute film reminds us that friendship leads to happiness.
We recently got news that Miyazaki will release his last film, The Wind Rises in June and were saddened by the news that he is retiring. Nowadays, it is hard to come by great story telling and messages that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Even though Boston is too little to understand now, we are able to enjoy Studio Ghibli films with our little sister, Holly who loves them a whole ton. We love the films so much that we even themed Boston's nursery after one of Miyazaki's most famous films, My Neighbor Totoro. Recently, our friend, Debbie sent us this lovely hand-stitched Totoro art to add to Boston's nursery.
Last night, we watched Howl's Moving Castle for the first time and absolutely loved it. The story was well-written ( based off a novel) and creatively depicted in the film. We had such a great time laughing at the funny characters and occurrences in the movie. I also really liked the message that life is worth living, which is conveyed by the two main characters who were struggling at the beginning but found hope from love. You've always got to have hope and faith that you'll be carried through the rough times. This easily became one of my favorite movies. So if you're looking for a feel-good movie to watch with the family, give Studio Ghibli a try.