There are a lot of reasons why Hayao Miyazaki is hailed as one of the greatest directors/ writers in all of animation. He is the biggest name at Studio Ghibli (which he co-started) and people all over the world have fallen in love with his films. Some tell tales of young love and others tell legends of fierce battles between ancient gods.
Although I love all of his movies, here are what I believe are the five best movies that he both wrote and directed. Without further ado I present:
“The top 5 Hayao Miyazaki films”
“When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.”
Totoro doesn’t really have a story arc, theres no action or climax really, but it is one of the most wonderful children’s movies ever made. It is pure magic, the fun-loving carefree nature of a child is perfectly reflected in this movie. Just sit back and watch and enjoy the simple joy of Totoro.
“An animated adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become a human.”
Ponyo is an imaginative retelling of “The Little Mermaid”. This movie is so much fun and the heroes of it are only about five years old. Ponyo longs to be human like Sosuke, but if the power that turns her human throws the world’s oceans into chaos flooding most of Japan. If you want to really enjoy the height of Miyazaki’s Children films then you need to watch Ponyo.
“On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Irontown, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.”
Princess Mononoke is the Height of animated fantasy epics. the VHS cover claims it to be the “Star Wars of animated films”. It has nothing to do with space, but it does have giant ancient gods and some sweet archery. This is the most action packed and epic of Miyazaki’s films.
“When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.”
Howl’s Moving Castle is all about a girl, and the wizard she fell in love with. Howl is arguably the greatest Wizard in the world, but he is feared as being a monster that eats the heart of beautiful women. When Sophie is turned into an old woman by The Witch of The Wastes, she leaves her home and stumbles upon Howl’s moving Castle. She then helps save Howl from a great war and himself. This is my personal favourite Hayao Miyazaki movie. It is very deep and beautiful story of love and the power of the human spirit to overcome opposition.
“Castle in The Sky”
“Nausicaa of The Valley of The Wind”
“In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and gets trapped bathhouse for these creatures to save her parents.”
Considered by many to be Miyazaki’s greatest film, this is the Movie that won Hayao Miyazaki his Oscar. A great tale of a young spoiled girl having to grow up quickly and save her parents when their gluttony puts a curse on them. With more character development in a single character then I think I have ever seen, this is a wonderfully motivating and magical movie that is great for all ages.