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.
*BONUS STUDIO GHIBLI FILM*
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.