My Top Five Favorite Studio Ghibli Movies

My Top Five Favorite Studio Ghibli Movies

We need to find our own inspiration. Sometimes it's not easy.

As someone who had never watched any Studio Ghibli films until recently, I wanted to come up with a list of my favorite Studio Ghibli films because I am in love with them. These are not ranked because I find that some have more of a plot than others and because I still have other Studio Ghibli films to watch, so my list might change over time.

1. "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988)

This film makes me happy! Totoro is adorable, Mei and Satsuki are too, and the whole movie is too cute for me to not enjoy! While there is not the biggest plot in "Totoro", it is one of my favorite movies to watch when I am feeling sad.

2. "Ponyo" (2008)

When I first watched this film, Ponyo reminded me of myself from the very beginning. Like "Totoro", the entire film is cute. This film has a little more of a plot than Totoro, but still has that "happy-go-lucky" feel. Oh, and the theme song is extremely catchy too.

3. "Kiki's Delivery Service" (1989)

First of all, my favorite character in the film is Jiji because of how sassy and sarcastic he is. I love watching the contrast between Kiki and Jiji - Kiki is excitable whereas Jiji is cautious. It is also incredible to see Kiki as a 13 yr old who is determined to keep her delivery service at such a young age.

4. "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004)

On top of being a fan of the storyline, I love the characters in this film. Calcifer is my favorite because he starts off not liking Sophie and grows to like her. I also love the romance between Howl and Sophie. Whenever someone says anything "mean" to me, I can say to them, "May all your bacon burn." With voice actors such as Josh Hutcherson as Markl and Christian Bale as Howl, how could I not like this film?

5. "Laputa: Castle In The Sky" (1986)

I liked the plot because it was darker than the other movies. As a hopeless romantic, I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between Sheeta and Pazu. Yes, they are 12 and 14, but I remember when I was at that age developing feelings for boys - not as in depth as Sheeta and Pazu but I did have what most people call "crushes". Also, as a Star Wars fan, I loved how Mark Hamill voiced Muska in the 2003 Disney English dub, as well as Anna Paquin who played Sookie from True Blood.


6. "Spirited Away" (2001)

How could I not mention "Spirited Away"?!? No Face is my favorite character because of how kind he is, whenever he is not eating people. On a serious level, it is interesting to watch Chihiro's character grow from being whiny, pessimistic, and easily scared to strong, courageous, and reliable. I also like the open-ended ending of the film because it allows audience members to interpret the story many different ways.

Cover Image Credit: Thoughtcatalog

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Help, I Haven't Left The Couch Since The Olympics Started

Like any addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

There were many strange things about my upbringing, but one of the strangest is that I did not grow up watching commercial television. I’ve never seen an episode of "Spongebob." I never watched the Disney Channel or Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. My TV experience came in the form of episodes of PBS Kids shows, lovingly taped by my grandfather. My first encounter with reality TV came in the form of "The Biggest Loser" when I was 14. My family’s cable TV blackout was total — in all respects except one. Every two years, for two weeks, I glue my ass to the couch and my eyes to the screen to watch impossibly athletic humans perform feats of speed and skill in order to earn disks on ribbons made of precious metals. Yes, I’m talking about the Olympics. The Olympics have ruined me.

The Summer Olympics are fine, for the most part, since they’re in the summer and I’m usually free of responsibility at that time of year. During those two weeks, I cease to leave the house, leaving the couch only to go to the bathroom and to obtain more food. If my Summer Olympics watching habits were a sport, it would be Extreme Couch-Potatoing, with points awarded for the longest time elapsed between shifts in position and the largest drops in resting heart rate. I have a system for the Summer Olympics. The system works. The Winter Olympics, however…

With the 2014 Games, I got lucky, as my typically temperate hometown was snowed in for a decent portion of them. Not compelled to leave the house for school, I entombed myself on the couch and watched them almost straight through. This year I’m not so lucky. I’m hovering on the edge of real adulthood. I have school, and worse than school, I have work. There are myriad responsibilities preventing me from achieving my ultimate goal: to become one with the furniture as I cheer on whichever country seems likely to win a particular event. There’s no such thing as country loyalty for me when it comes to watching the Olympics. Patriotism is nonexistent in my attempt to consume as many sports as possible over two weeks to make up for the rest of the time when I consume no sports at all.

We’re not even a week into the Winter Olympics, and the cracks in my respectable public façade are already beginning to show. My eyes twitch unnervingly. I steer clear of social media, living in fear of spoilers for events that haven’t even happened yet. Instead of asking my coworkers and classmates if they had a good weekend or how their classes are going, I demand “Did you see _____ event at the Olympics last night?” and shake my head and cluck my tongue when they say no. I am a purist. I am obsessed. I make other people nervous.

Like all true and good things, however, the Winter Olympics will come to an end at some point — most likely in two weeks, at which time I will lurk around my apartment in varying stages of withdrawal. In time, the symptoms will fade. But the disease will lurk somewhere in the back of my mind, ready to spring out in summer 2020.

I am a marathon Olympics watcher. I am unstoppable.

Cover Image Credit: BLazarus / Pixabay

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Millennials Need An 80s Movies Education

You've heard the lines, but have you seen the movie?

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Scrunchies are back. Oversized sweatshirts and leggings are the norm. Denim and bomber jackets are seen everywhere on Instagram. It’s safe to say that the ‘80s are making a strong comeback in 2018.

The best thing to come out the ‘80s, however, isn’t the fashion, but the movies. I love ‘80s movies, and I was shocked to hear that so many of my friends had never seen any of these iconic gems that were made in the 1980’s.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of the best ‘80s movies that you have to see at least once. Take a break from binge-watching Riverdale, and This Is Us, and try these out.

1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Yes, I do have a “Save Ferris” sticker on my laptop. I could watch this movie over and over again.

This is the perfect movie for those days you just want to lay in bed and skip class. Watch how Ferris pulls off the greatest skip day for his girlfriend and best friend without ever getting caught by his parents or the crazy Principal, Rooney.

There are so many iconic lines and scenes, but the most famous, and my favorite is, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

2. Can’t Buy Me Love

McDreamy, is that you?? A young Patrick Dempsey stars in this teen romance alongside Amanda Peterson.

We’ve all heard this story: Despite all odds, the nerd and the popular girl realize they were meant to be together. It’s not the plot that you should watch this movie for, but the cheesy, but sweet moments between Peterson and Dempsey.

If you’ve ever had any desire to ride off into the sunset on a lawnmower, this movie is for you.

3. The Breakfast Club

You can’t pay tribute to the ‘80s without talking about The Breakfast Club. This classic takes place on a Saturday morning where five teens bond over the shared pain of enduring detention.None of them seem to have much in common, and after today, they might ever not talk again, but just for this one day, they realize that they’re not so different after all. Again, cheesy, but worth the watch, if only for the incredible soundtrack.

4. Risky Business

This is the theme for 90% of frat parties, but how many of you can actually say you’ve seen the movie? I promise you, you won’t be disappointed if you give this one a try. While his parents are out of town for the weekend, Tom Cruise runs a brothel, ruins his Dad’s car, and still manages to fit in his Princeton interview. This wild movie will keep you on edge until the end, and you’ll have plenty of laughs along the way.

5. When Harry Met Sally

This is by far one of my favorite movies of all time. It follows the story of two unlikely best friends over the course of ten years, and asks the age-old question, “Can men and women every really just be friends?”With Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, it’s impossible to not love this romantic comedy. Favorite scenes include the infamous diner scene, and the ending New Year’s Eve scene, of course.

6. Stand By Me

This movie makes the original “squad goals.”Everyone needs a friend like Chris in their life. These four boys go an epic journey in search of the missing body of a young boy. Friendly warning that this is a darker and heavier movie than some of the other ones on the list, but it is a thought-provoking film that is based on a Stephen King novella.

7. Back to the Future

If you’re looking for a sci-fi classic, this one is for you.

Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, stars in this iconic trilogy about a teenage boy that goes back in time with the help of a quacky scientist, Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. The original shows off not only the best of the ‘80s but also the music and culture of the 1950’s. Strap into the DeLorean time machine, and make sure the flux capacitor has enough plutonium to make it back home.

8. Footloose

You may have seen the recent remake, but I bet a lot of you haven't seen the original. I love both versions, but honestly, no one can top Kevin Bacon. Even if you’re not big on musicals, you can still appreciate the plot and laugh at Willard, played by Chris Penn, learning how to dance.

9. Dirty Dancing

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” There are millions of spin-offs and spoofs of this classic romantic comedy, including Crazy Stupid Love, Saturday Night Live, and most recently, an NFL Super Bowl commercial. Why not see what all the hype is about? Everyone should experience Patrick Swayze lifting Jennifer Grey sky high over his head.

10. Top Gun

Another Tom Cruise classic. Forever waiting for Tom Cruise and his pilot buddies to serenade me in a bar.

This movie has enough action to keep the guys satisfied, and enough shirtless beach volleyball scenes to keep the ladies interested. Begging people to watch this so they decide if they are “Goose,” or “Maverick.”

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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