Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation movie studio, is probably the first name that comes to mind when you think of legendary animation studios.
Its animation are hand-drawn and their attention-to-detail is just brilliant. What’s more amazing is that their stories always real world problems.
Studio Ghibli has made some of the best anime of all time.
No matter what kind of theme or plot you’re looking for, Studio Ghibli has you covered. From magical and whimsical movies to bizarre and spooky ones, they have a masterpiece in genre.
Trust me, you’ll keep coming back to watch Studio Ghibli movies over and over again. They’re just THAT good.
Here is a list of the top 10 best Studio Ghibli full-length movies, ranked from number ten to number one.
#10. “Whisper of the Heart” (1995)
In modern Japan, this movie is about Shizuku and her growing relationship with Seiji, who makes violins.
This Studio Ghibli movie focuses on the ups and downs of teenage love between these two characters.
What makes this one special is that Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata didn’t direct it. However, it became a huge hit similar to Hayao and Isao’s works.
It’s a beautiful film that showed how talented director Yoshifumi Kondo was. Sadly, he died not long after the movie came out.
But wait, that is not all. The dream scenes in the movie also led to a spin-off movie, The Cat Returns.
This spin-off movie came out in 2002 and was about a minor fantasy character, “The Baron.”
#9: “The Princess Kaguya’s Story” (2013)
The story of Princess Kaguya is a really popular one in the Japanese folklore stories.
This Studio Ghibli movie recreates the story and gives it life with beautiful animation.
One day, a bamboo cutter and his wife, find a tiny girl withing a bamboo tree. They decide to take care of her which changes their lives forever.
What makes this movie special is its interestingly beautiful artstyle. As a matter of fact, we can even say that this film is Studio Ghibli’s masterpiece in terms of animation.
This is all thanks to longtime director Isao Takahata’s use of the ink-washing style in the art direction.
It’s easy to see why this movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, along with other Studio Ghibli masterpieces.
#8: “Laputa: The Sky Castle” (1986)
Studio Ghibli’s first official film features Pazu and Princess Sheeta in search of Laputa.
In this movie, Hayao Miyazaki lays the foundation for Studio Ghibli’s work over the next thirty years.
The movie is full of imaginative elements, like likable characters, excitement, and danger at every turn.
It is still relevant today, even when compared to the latest anime. Many people claim it is the perfect action movie, and who are we to disagree?
#7: “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988)
Grave of the Fireflies takes place in Japan at the end of World War II. It is about two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, who are trying to make it through the war.
Many people think that this anime is one of the most heartbreaking movies ever made.
The movie shows how hard it is for young people to get by in the worst times. So get ready to shed some tears because it will get emotional.
However, the movie stays true to its tone, even though it is animated, has won it a lot of praise.
This movie is a testemant that Studio Ghibli is cabable of producing heartbreaking tragedy films, and not just fantasy ones.
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#6: “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988)
My Neighbor Totoro is one of the most famous Studio Ghibli movies of all time. The story revolves areound two sisters who are moving out of town.
And, the last thing they expect to see is a giant, furry beast with a wide-eyed smile.
Since the movie came out in 1988, that same cute monster, Totoro, has been Studio Ghibli’s mascot. Even though there isn’t much conflict in the movie, that’s not really what makes a great story.
A lot of that has to do with how well the two sisters get along and with the unexpected adventures they have with Totoro and his friends.
So, My Neighbor Totoro is a good anime for people of all ages. Plus, it has Catbus. Who doesn’t love Catbus? Everyone in the world needs Catbus, all right?
#5: “Nausicaa of the Wind Valley” (1984)
So, this one is kind of a cheat. The movie Nausicaa came out just before Studio Ghibli’s formation.
It still shows how good the animation is and how much the studio cares about making the characters feel real. Nausicaa is a favorite among animation fans all over the world.
It has themes of protecting the environment and giving young girls the power to save the day.
Even though Nausicaa came out before Ghibli’s formation, it is pretty much one of their movies.
As a result, we got several reissues of this film on DVD and Blu-ray under the Studio Ghibli brand.
#4: “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989)
Here’s yet another classic fantasy movie from Studio Ghibli. The story of this anime revolves around Kiki, a young and aspiring witch.
She begins her journey in the big city to develop her abilities and establish a delivery service in her hometown.
This movie is a perfect mix of comedy and thrilling adventure, making it a perfect watch for all audience.
Not to mention, seeing Kiki solve her personal and external issues is a treat to watch!
#3: “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)
This fantasy movie is based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones. This anime is about Sophie who turns into an old lady thanks to the curse of an evil witch.
In an attempt to find a cure for her curse, she stumbles across the wandering castle of Howl. Soon after, she then joins a group of strange people.
As one of Studio Ghibli’s follow-ups to Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle boasts some of the best quality animation the studio has to offer.
There is still plenty of potential for a decent novel with themes of self-assurance and, of course, pure love. After its premiere, Howl was so brilliant that it was nominated for Best Animated Feature.
#2: “The Princess Mononoke” (1997)
Ashitaka joins forces with a wolf princess in a world where humans are always at war with forest spirits.
He wants to bring balance to the world and save himself from a terrible curse.
Princess Mononoke is a wonderful masterpiece that is excellent in every way possible. From gorgeous animation to exciting storyline, this movie has got it all.
It is too amazing to the point that it is arguably one of the best anime movies from Studio Ghibli.
Overall, the animation is so good, the story is so big, and the characters are so well-developed.
However, there is also a lot of blood in this movie, making it one of the most violent from the studio.
#1. “Spirited Away” (2001)
Miyazaki’s masterpiece, Spirited Away, is world-renowned in the animation universe.
Featuring Chihiro’s captivating journey through a bathhouse full of spirits, every frame is filled with unique and vibrant life.
This film made waves even among viewers not particularly familiar with Japanese anime, due to its well-crafted narrative.
It ultimately earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a feat unaccomplished by even the iconic Akira.
Without question, Spirited Away is an imaginative achievement that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Studio Ghibli is a renowned animation studio that has earned its place in cinema history through its captivating storytelling, stunning animation, and iconic characters.
Those looking to experience the magic of Ghibli can visit ghiblistudio.store, where they can find official merchandise like hoodies andshirts, as well as news, events, and behind-the-scenes content.
We have compiled our list of the top 10 best Studio Ghibli movies to offer both longtime fans and newcomers an informative overview.
Our ranking is based on our own assessment, and while it may not match the opinions of all viewers, we hope that it will inspire you to explore these beautiful films either for the first time or to revisit timeless favorites.