Hey! Thank you so much for clicking on this video, if you’re new here, my name’s Cat Rox and be very welcome to my channel. So today I wanted to make a different kind of video, as you can see from the video’s title, today I’m gonna talk about my favorite films from Studio Ghibli, more specifically my top 5. I’ve actually never mentioned this a lot on my channel but I LOVE anime, a lot. I’ve covered a song or two from anime, a few… But, I mean… It’s actually a theme I’d like to incorporate more on my channel. Anime, songs from anime… And today I wanted to start with a few movies from a studio that’s very dear to me since I was a kid and that’s Studio Ghibli. If you liked this idea and would like to watch more videos like this, don’t forget to leave a thumbs up on the button below, subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already and let’s begin this video about my top 5 Studio Ghibli films! We’re starting at number 5 with “My Neighbor Totoro”, or “O Meu Vizinho Totoro” (in portuguese) with the original japanese title: “Tonari no Totoro”, directed by the brilliant Hayao Miyazaki, this movie premiered in 1988. And it tells a story about two sisters, Satsuki, the oldest and Mei, the youngest, who move into a house in the countryside with their father because their mother is hospitalized with an illness, that isn’t disclosed in the movie, in a Hospital in that area. So they move into that house so they can be closer to their mother while she recovers. As the girls were exploring the new house they discovered some weird creatures inside, so we’re immediately introduced to the sort of supernatural element of this movie, this is something very common in Hayao Miyazaki’s films and Studio Ghibli’s films in general. And because their father, being a teacher, is away at work a lot, they play together a lot, they explore the forest that surrounds the house, so they discover a lot of weird stuff. Especially Mei, the youngest of the sisters, she’s the one who explores the forest the most and she’s the first one to meet the iconic Totoro, who, according to the movie, is some sort of spirit, or guardian of the forest. And this is kind of the premise of the entire movie, it’s a very simple and essentially sweet movie. The sisters spend their time playing and exploring, they get to know these spirits a bit better, these guardians of the forest and of Nature, so to say. And they also try to deal with… how they feel about their mother’s condition. We’re talking about two children, especially the youngest one, she’s the one who struggles a bit more to understand the reality of the situation. The oldest one tries to protect her a bit from that, she plays with her to try to keep her head away from it and in the midst of all this, the spirits intervene, they also play with the sisters and help them when they need it and it kind of makes us think: Do these supernatural creatures really exist? Is this just a way the girls found to distract themselves and not think about the reality that worries them? We’ll never know and honestly, it’s really not important, it’s simply a very cute film about little events in the lives of two sisters who befriend a giant fat bunny. But I love it! Number 4, we have “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”, or “O Conto da Princesa Kaguya” in portuguese, with the original japanese title: “Kaguya Hime no Monogatari” it was directed by Isao Takahata and released in 2013. This is a movie inspired by a traditional japanese tale and it tells a story about an old man who was a bamboo cutter and who, one day, as he was making his way to work, found a tiny little girl inside a bamboo shoot. And because he was so impressed by this and because he thought it was a gift from the gods, he decided to take her back to his home and he and his wife decided to raise her as their own daughter. Everything seemed spectacular, they were all really happy. One very interesting feature of the girl was that she grew up really fast, she would grow like 2 years in a few days, one moment she’s a baby, another moment she’s already walking… And talking! And everything seemed to go well for the family, the little girl was growing up happy, she played a lot with the kids from the village, she had a deep appreciation for Nature and all the animals, everything was awesome. Until one day, during another day of work, the old bamboo cutter found gold and lots of rare fabrics inside a bamboo stalk, which he once again thought it was a gift from the gods and a sign that the little girl he found was in fact supposed to be a princess or a divine entity. So he decided that a life on the countryside was no longer enough for his precious girl, she would have to go to the capital city so she could be taught to be like and be treated like a real princess. After a while the family then moved to the city, to a big mansion full of servants and a special tuttor to teach the girl the ways of royalty. She charmed the people around her so much, with her beauty and the way she carried herself, that she earned the name of Princess Kaguya. That… If I remember correctly, but I’m probably wrong, it has something to do with “the one who brings light”, or “the one that shines”, or “the one that radiates light”. Well, something along those lines is what Kaguya means. And after that moment and after the moment she became more famous for being so beautiful and intriguing, some suitors started showing up and… That’s when things started going south. And that’s where my synopsis stops, because then we’ll be entering real spoiler territory, so just go watch the movie. The first thing I love about this movie is its art style, the art looks very much like… a colored pencil drawing, like a sketch, very beautiful. And it’s very interesting how depending on how she feels, her emotional state, the lines can be very smooth and polished and the colors look… very bright. But if she’s frustrated, or angry or in a state of panic, the drawing looks very… very caotic, the lines look very rough and I think that’s really interesting, the design changes according to the character’s emotions and that’s really cool, it’s a nice touch. The music is also beautiful! And it’s a movie that essentially teaches us that riches and status aren’t everyting, or in reality, they mean nothing because our happiness is really in the simpler things, in appreciating what Nature gives us. And this is a very simplistic explanation. It’s a beautiful film that I think everyone should watch. Moving on to number 3, we have “Howl’s Moving Castle”, or “O Castelo Andante” (“The Walking Castle”, in portuguese), with the original japanese title: “Hauru no Ugoku Shiro”, another film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, released in 2004. Our protagonist’s name is Sophie and she’s a young woman who works in a hat shop, so that makes her a very cute and sweet hatter, who accidentally crosses paths with a wizard called Howl, who was being pursued by some weird soldiers. From that moment on, Sophie’s life changed drastically, that same night, a witch who was also going after Howl… Damn, this guy’s really wanted! And because this witch was vain,
jealous and vengeful, she decided to curse our Sophie, turning her into a 90 year old woman. Just a little sidenote… Imagine you are… at the peak of your life, with like… What? How old was she? 16, 17, 18? I don’t know. You’re living your life, getting out of work and then comes an old woman who turns you… Who turns you into an old person, And now you’re old! And she… And Sophie was super chill about it and I was always like “Hum… Okay, I guess.” However, this is something that reveals quite a lot about our main character’s personality. She’s a girl who doesn’t value herself that much, so… She doesn’t think she’s pretty, she’s not very confident in herself, she has very low self-esteem, so in a certain way I can kind of see how she would accept so easily this thing that happened to her. However, she wanted to find a cure! So she had to leave the city and embark on an adventure in order to find out what could be done to revert her current state. On her journey she found Howl’s walking castle, where she got to know Howl a bit better, she got to meet others characters, like the iconic Calcifer, the fire demon and so, Sophie and Howl developed a closer friendship, which changed Howl quite a lot. Through the course of the movie we can see that he’s a bit childish, he gives a lot of importance to his looks, and he throws a tantrum, sort of. So his relashionship with Sophie helps him to get down to earth and also to grow. But Sophie also grows with this experience, a very interesting thing that… I think it’s not very obvious in the movie, or at least the way they made it never spells it out for us, but there are a lot of moments where she has to defend herself and her friends, where she stands her ground to defend what she believes in, where she’s more confident in herself and in those moments the curse kind of reverts itself a bit, but as soon as she goes back to her old ways the spell comes back strong, turning her back to an old woman. And that’s something she never realises! That the key to break the curse is her self-confidence! But it’s not that important, because through the course of her story and her adventure, she consequently gains some self-esteem, becomes stronger and more confident and it’s really cool. I’m not gonna tell you more, because, honestly, I don’t really know… How to describe this movie? This movie was always very confusing for me… Very. It’s been a while since I last watched it… And honestly… To this day I find it hard to understand this movie’s narrative. I mean, I know what it’s about, I know what it means, but to explain it… I can’t. I think the best way I can describe this story is like… And I don’t know if this will bother some people, but it’s really the best way I can describe this. And it’s… This movie seems like the japanese version of Alice in Wonderland. It’s, it’s, it’s… It’s bizarre, man it’s bizarre, but I love it I love it with a passion. There’s always something weird and bizarre and ridiculous happening, but it’s so good, so good! And Howl was, without a doubt, when I watched this as a kid, an instant crush! And in second place we have “Princess Mononoke”, or “Princesa Mononoke” (in portuguese), with the original title in japanese: “Mononoke Hime”, it’s another film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, released in 1997. And this film tells the story of a warrior Prince called Ashitaka, who one day, trying to defend his village agaisnt an attack from a boar god… (side note) ‘Cause there’s a thing about this movie, there’s a lot of animals that are either spirits, or gods, or guardians of the Forest and of Nature in general and in this case, his (Ashitaka’s) village was being attacked by a boar spirit, or “god”. And the boar was in a very enraged state, or cursed, so Ashitaka, trying to protect the village and defeat the boar god, ended up being infected by the animal’s curse. And this was a mortal curse, his arm got infected first and the curse would eventually spread through his entire body, killing him in the end. So to keep that from happening, he leaves the village, also to not infect the others and goes in search of a cure. He then arrives to a great forest, in this case, THE Great Forest, a sacred place where all the gods and spirits of Nature live and that’s where he meets San, our Princess Mononoke, a girl who was raised by wolves in the sacred Forest. In the midst of all this, Ashitaka discovers that the gods of Nature are angry with humanity, especially with a village nearby, a mining community, where people would destroy the Forest in search of ore to build weapons and
ammunition. So Ashitaka ends up getting involved in this conflict between that village and the Forest and obviously, San is also involved in that fight against humans and she actively attacks them, while Ashitaka tries to be more diplomatic, he tries to bring people to reason in order to protect the Forest and its spirits. This is basically an epic tale about Nature versus Humanity and the sh*t we do to our planet. This is a very graphic movie, i must say. So, this was released in 1997, I was 6 years old then, I think it came out on VHS a while after and I know some people probably won’t know what a VHS is, but for the love of God I’m not gonna explain what a VHS is, go do your research. So , I remember being, back then, in a friend’s house and she played the VHS and as soon as that boar god scene came up… Nope! Nope, no, I’m out, bye! Bye, let’s play another day! I could only watch and appreciate this movie some years later and it’s amazing. Not counting the obvious, which is this movie’s message, the heart of this movie is really its message, I mean… You have the music, oh my gosh, the music is like… And once again, in Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s fashion, it’s highly bizarre and I love it! Beautiful and at same time weird and at the same time graphic and… And I’m like, wow… But… Where did this come from? How did they…? Ah… I would like to get in just a bit, to peek just a bit at Miyazaki’s mind, because, my God! Where did that come from, man? What?! I mean… And now, before we move on to the number 1 on this list, I just want to mention a few other films that I also really like, but didn’t make it to this list. And they are: “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, or “Kiki, a Aprendiz de Feiticeira” (“Kiki, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, in portuguese), released in 1989. “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”, or “O Castelo no Céu” (“The Castle in the Sky”, in portuguese), released in 1986. “Grave of the Fireflies”, or “O Túmulo dos Pirilampos” (in portuguese), released in 1988. And just a sidenote regarding this film, if you decide to watch it, keep in mind that you will suffer psychologically and emotionally with it. It’s also an excellent film, It tells a story that is… very real, it was something very real, so prepare to feel… Seriously bothered by this film. I really liked it, but it’s one of those movies I watched once and that was it, don’t wanna watch it again. And “Arrietty”, or “O Mundo Secreto de Arrietty” (“The Secret World of Arrietty”, in portuguese), released in 2010. And finally, in first place we have “Spirited Away”, or “A Viagem de Chihiro” (“Chihiro’s Journey”, in portuguese), with the original title in japanese: “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi” (“Sen and Chihiro’s Spiriting Away”), it’s yet another movie directed by the god Hayao Miyazaki and it was released in 2001. This film tells a story about a girl called Chihiro, who, during a home moving trip with her parents, finds a strange place, which they initially thought to be an abandoned village, but soon realised that the village was packed with spirits and other weird creatures, gods and… all that stuff Hayao Miyazaki loves to include in his films. Bizarreness galore! And suddenly Chihiro’s parents are cursed and turned into pigs, the poor girl has to get the hell out of there and find a place to hide, but then appears a boy called Haku, who tries to help her and tells her than in order for her to survive in that world and one day be able to save her parents from that curse and get them all out of there, she needs to work for the witch Yubaba. And this is where Chihiro’s adventure begins. From convincing the witch to let her work for her in the village’s bath house for spirits, gods, and others… To facing many dangerous situations, Chihiro has no other choice but to be very brave and strong through the course of this bizarre adventure. This film is yet another masterpiece by Studio Ghibli, the animation is truly beautiful, the music is also fantastic and it’s once again a story filled with good morals. Friendship, courage, bravery, a message to remind us that even if we think that we don’t have the strength, or the courage to face certain scary situations, we do have that strenght in us. And this is it, folks! I hope you enjoyed my list of favorite films from Studio Ghibli, I obviously didn’t mention them all, I’m sure I didn’t talk about some films you also love maybe even more than the films I mentioned here, but it’s my personal list. And obviously, if you want to, you can share with me, on the comment section below, what are your favorite Studio Ghibli films, or if you even knew these films in the first place. Thank you so much for watching this video, I really hope you enjoyed it and if you did, once again don’t forget to leave a thumbs up on the button below, share this with your friends and subscribe to my channel, to watch new videos on Fridays. That being said, I hope I see you next week and until then, a big kiss. Bye!