Studio Ghibli is known for its beautiful animation and enchanting stories. Most of their films are based in fantasy, but their latest outing, The Wind Rises, is inspired by history, weaving two tales together: that of poet Tatsuo Hori and Jiro Horikoshi, renowned airplane designer.
Currently riding high at the Japanese box office, The Wind Rises will be having its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Whether it will then make its way to theatres around the world remains to be seen, but in the meantime, here’s a selection of the best Studio Ghibli movies for you to feast your eyes on.
5. Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle is based on Diana Wynne Jones’ novel of the same name. Studio Ghibli stalwart, Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement to direct the film, which he also scripted.
The film tells the story of Sophie, a young woman who makes hats for a living, who meets a strange wizard named Howl while going to visit her younger sister. The Witch of the Waste, who has been chasing Howl, comes to her hat shop and curses Sophie, turning her into an old woman. In an attempt to lift the curse, Sophie travels into the Wastes and meets a living scarecrow who escorts her to Howl’s castle. Sophie befriends Calcifer, a fire demon who is powering the castle.
Calcifer offers to break the curse in exchange for her assistance in winning his own freedom. Although Sophie initially is dismayed by her sudden transition to old age, she gradually comes to see it as a way to enjoy life free from self-consciousness and anxiety and an opportunity for adventure.
The film is one of the most financially successful Japanese films ever and was released internationally after it was dubbed into English. It was highly critically acclaimed and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.