The Years Were Kind and Full of Adventure: Favorite Feature Films from Studio Ghibli

Hello all you wonderful people! I’m back with another post!

I like doing these shorter posts on certain days, as it gives me some sense of accomplishment, and that’s all I really care about in my life (SOME sense of accomplishment, no matter how small). So, without any more babbling, I’d like to list some favorite feature films from Studio Ghibli that I’ve seen throughout the years!

Note: These will probably be some of the biggest Ghibli films, and since I’ve seen them more often, I remember them better and cherish them. I’ve seen almost all the Ghibli films and enjoyed them all in their own way.


castle in the sky

Castle in the Sky– This was my first Ghibli film, and I saw it every Sunday for at least six weeks. I first saw this film when I was doing a church group thing every week at a younger age (I think I did if through my middle school and half of my high school years for the most part). I instantly fell in love with this film, and nothing can change that. Honestly, I always remembered watching it, but never got around to buying it. In a weird moment in the past, though (I think between 2012 and 2016), I was constantly having a dream about a long armed robot who had a rounded head and mismatched eyes. Yep, I was dreaming about the robot in Castle in the Sky, and IT DROVE ME CRAZY! I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it before, and my brother couldn’t remember either, and it was a nightmare. But, I’ve since remembered, and I’m happy I had that recurring dream.


princess mononoke
So amazing. I want to ride a wolf like that!

Princess Mononoke– I absolutely love this film. The way it’s directed, the way it’s animated, the voice acting (I actually watch all Ghibli films in their English dubs), and the sense of what is happening and what our characters are trying to accomplish is amazing. Also, it’s one of my late-friend’s favorite films, and one of the last times I saw him we were trying to play Dungeons and Dragons, but had Princess Mononoke on for background noise and he wasn’t paying attention to anything except San and Ashitaka. Also, and I think this has something to do with myself, but the fact that there are wolves in this film makes me enjoy it more. I love wolves, they’re one of my favorite animals, and there’s something about how ferocious, yet simple and caring and docile they can all be throughout the film that it resonates with me.


howl's moving castle
You call this a castle?!? YUP! I love it!!

Howl’s Moving Castle– This is my favorite Ghibli film and my second favorite movie of all time (behind The Last Samurai–don’t hate me for that!)… It’s simple in its delivery, and the fact that its a love story makes me enjoy it. While I haven’t read the novel by Diana Wynne Jones (I know, I know, I REALLY should), I loved the Studio Ghibli take on the story. I know they made it more family-friendly and whatnot, but I absolutely adore the love story between Howl and Sophie in this film. Also, the English voice cast is amazing. There’s just something about this entire film that I absolutely love and it’s difficult for me to put it into words. It’s more of a feeling than anything, and that’s why it’s my number two favorite movie, and my favorite Ghibli film of all time.


grave of the fireflies
*Tries not to cry*……*fails*

Grave of the Fireflies– I saw this recently and I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to this film. I loved Grave of the Fireflies. It was pure, it was heart-wrenching, it was honest, and everything about what it was trying to tell the audience was beautiful. The animation was great, the story was well done, and I truly felt like there was some part of me that lost my ignorance at the history of what the United States did to Japan during World War II. There’s so much heart and feeling and struggle in this film that it’s hard to look away and hard to imagine how absolutely horrific the circumstances of life must have been like in Imperial Japan at the time. I honestly love this movie for being able to show what life could have been like, what it was like for some, and what struggles the Japanese people went through during this time. It was eye-opening and real. Grave of the Fireflies is fantastic and I’m happy to say I finally saw the film.


I could continue this list and tell you why I love every single Studio Ghibli film that I’ve seen, but I think I’ll stop at four films. These four were some of the films that stuck with me and have impacted me in my life–giving me a love for feature films, a love for anime, and a love for how real world events can be told through a story and impact and audience in a way other forms of media wouldn’t be able to accomplish. So, that’s all from me for today!

What are some of your favorite Ghibli films? Why are they your favorites? I’d love to know how well my list matches up to other people since these films and this studio is such a large part of the world now.


Thanks for reading!


Alexie 🙂




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