Mount Rushmore debates are always fun, and when it comes to debates on who should be on the Mount Rushmore of animators, there is one person who instantly comes to mind in Walt Disney.
Disney created an animation and entertainment empire that has grown more powerful than he ever could've imagined.
As for animators who should be placed next to Walt, one of the most qualified is Hayao Miyazaki, the mastermind behind Studio Ghibli.
Miyazaki is often compared to Disney and deservedly so, both have created an animation empire in their home countries with characters and settings which inspires the people's imagination. Children will be enthralled by Studio Ghibli's unique vision, adults will be taken back to their innocence by their movies as well.
That's why no matter how old you are, you should check out Miyazaki's incredible Studio Ghibli catalog. They may look like children's movies, still, have nuances underneath the surface that adults can relate to as well.
Here are 7 ageless Studio Ghibli movies you should check out that will make you fall in love with the world of Miyazaki.
1. "My Neighbor Totoro"
If Studio Ghibli has a Mickey Mouse, it's our big furry friend Totoro.
From the opening song "Hey Let's Go" to the closing credits song "Totoro" this movie is one of the great joys you'll ever see.
There isn't much plot or story in this but there doesn't have to be. The story of two sisters discovering the mythical title character will take you back to the simple joys of your childhood.
Fun fact: The English dubbed version of this movie has the Fanning sisters, Dakota and Elle, voicing the two sisters in the movie.
2. "Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind"
Miyazaki's career started off with a bang with his first movie from 1984.
Studio Ghibli was also ahead of their time with strong female protagonists with the title character Princess Nausicaa being the perfect prototype as a courageous action hero.
The sci-fi apocalypse world of "Nausicaa" is beautifully animated and wonderfully told too, and was only a sign of things to come.
3. "Princess Mononoke"
It can be argued that "Princess Mononoke" is not a kids movie, and most will agree.
Characters lose limbs, blood is clearly visible, and several people get killed.
"Princess Mononoke" is also about as hardcore of a protagonist as you could get, male or female. The story is a great evolution of Ghibli from the innocence of Totoro to the complex adult themes of war, nature, and spiritualism.
4. "Howl's Moving Castle"
Adapted from a series of fun fantasy novels, "Howl's Moving Castle" is a wild and fun ride from the very first frame. The first act is the main character, Sophie, being cursed from a young adult to an old lady provides plenty of fun.
To making it to the titular castle with a fire voiced by Billy Crystal (yes you read that right) and other entertaining characters before we meet the magical and clever Howl.
The action and excitement of this movie can't be missed when opening up the Ghibli catalog.
5. "Kiki's Delivery Service"
A young adult with dreams and talent struggling to make it on her own in the real world?
Can you relate?
Also, this movie was released THIRTY YEARS AGO.
Oh and Kiki is also a witch and her cat can talk.
6. "Castle in the Sky"
Before "Howl's Moving Castle", the great castle movie of Ghibli was "Castle in the Sky".
This is one of Miyazaki's great adventure movies and is an absolute thrill from beginning to end.
7. "Spirited Away"
Forget anime, forget animation, forget genre, "Spirited Away" is not only my favorite Ghibli movie of all-time, and my favorite animated movie of all-time, but my favorite MOVIE/FILM/PIECE OF CINEMA of all-time.
Have you seen it?
Why are you reading this?!
GO SEE IT.