favorite Ghibli film

I am a huge Porco Rosso fan, but I think ultimately I'd have to choose Kiki's Delivery Service as my favorite.  Everything about this movie is pitch perfect (as long as you do not watch the Disney dub which will make you want to stab your skull with shrimp forks), and Kiki's anxiety and excitement about going off to decide what she wants to do with her life is just as engaging as the obligatory Miyazaki flying scenes.

As for the best Ghibli film, I'd have to say Grave of the Fireflies.  No piece of art in any medium has ever so deeply affected me.  I remember simply describing the film to a friend over lunch days after watching it and I nearly started to cry.  I had to pretend a French fry went down the wrong pipe to cover my voice breaking.

I might be ready to watch it again in a decade or so, but that might be too soon.  I saw it described somewhere as "the best movie you'll never want to see again".

Anyway, what do you say?

Posted 8 years ago by Biff Beefbat Subscriber! | Permalink


  • That's a really hard question! I really love Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. My kids can't get enough of Totoro and Ponyo. As heart-wrenching as Grave of the Fireflies is, I look forward to being able to share it with them when they are old enough.
    Posted 8 years ago by Lilypad Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I think my personal fave is Totoro...that scene in the rainy forest waiting for the catbus for the first time....amazing.

    But I am also actually a huge fan of Spirited Away and the Cat Returns.  Plus Kiki...Porco Rosso is pretty great too.

    I am embarassed to say I have not mustered the cajones to watch Grave of the Fireflies.  

    And Ponyo, I am also sad to say, puts me right to sleep, except for the bit where the ocean goes crazy and now that just reminds me of the tsunami, also not a great feeling while watching Miyazaki.  

    I bought a giant Totoro in Japan, and yes, it stays right my bedroom!  And I am...46.
    Posted 8 years ago by Nanookie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Visiting the Ghibli Museum is on my bucket list.

    The Catbus scene is one of the best in film history, and I do love Totoro, in part for the total abandonment of standard three act Hollywood-style filmmaking.

    Whisper of the Heart is an oddity, but totally underrated.  I watched it the first time and thought "eh", but it kept rattling around in my brain and I've now seen it at least half a dozen times.

    Most films are barely worth watching once, but these things are different every time you see them.  They're so completely unlike everything else I've seen, I'd consider them their own genre.  You certainly don't get the same experience watching a Pixar or Disney film.

    There is actually a trick to watching Fireflies that makes you feel slightly better afterwards, but to explain it here is a spoiler.  If anyone cares enough, they can IM me in the game or something.
    Posted 8 years ago by Biff Beefbat Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Totoro! Totoro! Totoro!

    My daughter visited Musee Ghibli when she lived in Tokyo. Brought me back a few Totoros. *grin*
    Posted 8 years ago by Widdershins Subscriber! | Permalink
    Posted 8 years ago by FlirtyvonSexenhaven Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Curse you BIFF!

    There's no way I can answer that. Just not gonna happen, I love them all!
    Posted 8 years ago by Some_Random_Guy Subscriber! | Permalink

    but especially totoro!
    Posted 8 years ago by A Magical Unicorn Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Totoro is easily the cutest movie for me.  It's just one of the most perfect movies to cheer you up.

    I'd have to say Spirited Away is my all-time favorite.  It's easily one of my favorite animated movies and teaches an important lesson on growing up.  Plus it has some of the most memorable characters in it.

    The two I want to see are Castle of Cagliosa and Whispers of the Heart.

    I also have to put some love in for Howl's Moving Castle.  It isn't the best, but I still loved it.
    Posted 8 years ago by Homura Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Totoro! I reeeealy want to see 'Mei & the Kittenbus!'

    Close run with Spirited Away though. Anyone seen the new film, Arrietty?
    Posted 8 years ago by Katchen Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I have not seen Arrietty, although when I saw the teaser trailer, I remembered thinking that only Ghibli could get me excited about what was essentially an establishing shot of a house and a rustle in the bushes.

    I'll happily wait and pay the money to see it at the movies.  I watched the Japanese version of Ponyo on the small screen first, and I kinda wish I hadn't.  The backgrounds in that film are amazing, and I got very little appreciation of them compressed on the television.  I'm not normally a person who cares about that kind of thing, although that probably has something to do with the fact that the art direction in most movies isn't worth noticing.

    Anyway, I hope this director has what it takes to put together a long and worthy career.  It's a tragedy that the Whisper of the Heart guy died so young and unexpectedly.  I am completely convinced he could have carried on the Ghibli legacy with honor.

    I will never forgive Walt Disney for dying of lung cancer and robbing us of the social and technological innovations he promised.  It drives me crazy that Miyazaki smokes so much, although in fairness it seems to be working for him.
    Posted 8 years ago by Biff Beefbat Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I've only seen Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, so I have to pick Spirited Away. Love it, have seen it a few times and will see it again for sure. Pure magic.

    After reading this thread it looks like I have some stuff to add to my Netflix queue! Ack! Only Ponyo is instant watch - Totoro added at #1.
    Posted 8 years ago by The Cat Face Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Studio Ghibli films? I love 'em! In particular, Howls Moving Castle and Spirited Away. Princess Mononoke is pretty cool, but some parts are kinda gross/ scary. I watched Totoro once, but it was so long ago, I kinda forgot most of it. My Japanese teachers show us Ghibli films when they finish something and its not yet time to start a new unit yet, tho it usually takes 2-3 lessons to finish a film.
    Posted 8 years ago by KitkatCat Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Howl's Moving Castle is mine, but subject to change as I watch them all over and over again.
    Posted 8 years ago by Wiggles The Fluent Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I really like Howl's, but I have an intense preference for the novel upon which the film is based. 
    Posted 8 years ago by Nanookie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I grew up with these films, so I love every one of them. Totoro is lovely, but my favourite is Kiki's Delivery Service - my family nickname is Kiki, so that really struck a chord.

    Oh, and I've noticed that Pom Poko needs a lot more love.
    Posted 8 years ago by Frederik Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Hooray for giant scrotums!
    Posted 8 years ago by Biff Beefbat Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Oh gosh. I am loving you people the more I read.

    1. The cat returns. (It's just awesome.)
    2. Kiki's delivery service
    3. Howl's moving castle
    4. Spirited away
    Posted 8 years ago by Zeezee Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Definitely Spirited Away, followed by Howl's Moving Castle. Pom Poko definitely needs more exposure.
    Posted 8 years ago by Aleph Zero Subscriber! | Permalink