Review: Five Studio Ghibli movies to take you away from reality

When they days get difficult and exhausting, disappear into the fantasy worlds created by these five beautiful animated movies


Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli films often have a bright and fun look to them that fits with adventurous stories and adorable characters.

MJ Smit, Staff Reporter

Studio Ghibli is an amazing Japanese animation film studio and is currently placed in Koganei, Tokyo. It’s well known for its animated movies including some short films, commercials, and one television film. This was founded June 15, 1985 in Tokyo, Japan. The founders are Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Toshio Susuki, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma. Quite a few of their films hold a place in my heart. Their art style is my favorite out of many animated films.

You can watch these films and all of the Studio Ghibli movies through HBO Max.

5. “Princess Mononoke”

Humans, animals, spirits, and gods have gotten along in the 14th century but it starts to break. The main character Ashitaka gets infected by an animal attack and seeks help from a deer-like god, Shishigami. While he travels around, he sees the humans destroying the earth and it angers the wolf god Moro and his human companion Princess Mononoke.  The art style in this is one of the main art styles Ghibli is known for. I absolutely love it and this movie is full of action and interesting creatures. This also has a well known theme song.


4. “My Neighbor Totoro”

This movie is about a school girl Satsuke and her younger sister Mei, settling into an old country house with their father. Their mother is recovering in a nearby hospital. They explore their new home and end up meeting some spirits in the forest and in their house and making friends with them. The little spirits led them to the big fuzzy creature called Totoro. This is probably the most popular Ghibli film of them all. This movie is absolutely adorable and Totoro is the Ghibli Studios’ icon.I really like the cat bus and love Totoro, I think he is the sweetest thing in the world.


3. “Howl’s Moving Castle”

This is a movie about a young lady who gets turned into an old lady by a witch who comes into her shop and curses her. She encounters a wizard named Howl and gets caught up in the resistance to fighting for the king. It made me cry around the end of it. However, it was really good and I’ll definitely rewatch it over and over. Also the theme song for this movie has been used a lot in TikToks.


2. “Spirited Away”

This movie is about a 10-year-old girl called Chihiro and her parents, who stumble upon a supposed abandoned amusement park. Her mother and father are turned into giant pigs, she meets someone who goes by Haku. He explains that this place is somewhere supernatural beings, like spirits, go to relax and spend their time after being in the human realm. He told her she needs to work there to free herself and her parents. I adore dragons and one of the characters takes on a form like that at moments in the movie. The characters are absolutely adorable and it shows cute moments and also action moments.


1. “Ponyo”

This is about a goldfish princess called Ponyo who meets a young boy Sosuke after going up to the surface which is forbidden. She wishes to become human and grows attached to the human boy and starts becoming more human like. Her father brings her back to the ocean kingdom and she ends up breaking out because of her strong will to be with Sosuke. This makes magical elixirs spill out and it endangers Sosuke’s village. This show is near and dear to my heart since I got this on dvd from my grandmother. Sadly she didn’t give it to me in person because she ended up dying two days before my birthday when I was young. I thought this show was absolutely adorable because the two go on adventures and have fun together.