50 shades of Ghibli. Image Source.
Cancel everything! A massive Studio Ghibli festival is coming Down Under. For one magical month, cinemas all around Australia will be screening Miyazaki masterpieces. The Celebrate! Studio Ghibli program features all 22 films from the animation legends including cult classics like Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky and My Neighbour Totoro, and the studio’s most recent release When Marnie Was There.
The festival runs form August 24th to September 20th, and ideally we’d take the whole month off work so that we could attend every single screening. Unfortunately, the Sydney rental affordability crisis is very real so we’ve put together a list of six Studio Ghibli masterpieces, both well-known and criminally underrated, that you simply must see.
1) The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
This documentary takes you deep inside the world of Studio Ghibli, following filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki and Isao Takahata over the course of a year. It provides an insight into the painstaking detail and tortured genius that’s gone into some of the most fantastical films ever made.
2) Princess Mononoke
This cautionary tale tells the story of a princess defending her forest against human intervention. Twenty years after its release, its badass female lead and on point environmental message are more relevant than ever.
3) Grave of the Fireflies
This Studio Ghibli gem is often overlooked because it’s so damn heartbreaking most people couldn’t watch it more than once. Set at the tail end of WWII, it’s not only one of the most powerful animation films ever made but also one of the most powerful anti-war films.
4) Kiki’s Delivery Service
This feel good flick is about an independent young witch making her way downtown with nothing but a her cat, her broomstick and a her positive attitude. What more could you want from a film premise?
5) Porco Rosso
Porco Rosso is the second best movie about a pig, after Babe of course. It follows a former World War I pilot who has been cursed to live out his days as a pig. Over the course of the film we learn that beneath Porco’s harsh piggy exterior, there’s a sensitive, complicated, cool guy.
6) Howl’s Moving Castle
The visuals in this film are nothing short of phenomenal. The story features your usual Studio Ghibli combo of sorcery, conflict and sassy animals. Also, Howl is a hottie.
For details of participating cinemas and to suss out the full program, head here.
We care about other animated movies too: