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Five Studio Ghibli Masterpieces To Watch For The Holidays (and any other time)

Five Studio Ghibli Masterpieces To Watch For The Holidays (and any other time)


Still on the hunt for the perfect present?  With stories set in whimsical worlds, made for all ages with rich colorful palettes and intricate storytelling, give the gift of Studio Ghibli this holiday season. Here’s a short list of just a few of Miyazaki’s masterpieces: 


Whisper of the Heart 

Enter Shizuku Tsukishima, a 14-year-old high school, bookworm and writer who discovers all of her library books have been previously checked out by Seiji – a classmate whom she finds particularly annoying. After a chance encounter at an antique shop owned by Seiji’s grandfather, the two decide to forge a friendship with Seiji revealing he’s always admired her writings. With the encouragement of Seiji and her best friend, Shizuku decides to write a fantasy adventure about The Baron, a figure on display at the shop. A story of lost and renewed love, Whisper of the Heart is the perfect film to give you the warm fuzzies. 

Purchase from Amazon here.


The Cat Returns 

After saving a cat who turns out to be none other than Prince Lune, royal heir to the Cat Kingdom throne, a young Haru is offered a chance to become his wife. Haru will go on a harrowing adventure to find confidence and discover her true self. You’ll recognize The Baron and Muta from Whisper of the Heart. With kindness and compassion as main themes, The Cat Returns is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a reminder of just how great they are!

Tip: Purchase Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns together. They’re companion pieces.


The Secret World of Arrietty

Narrated in first-person, a young boy named Sho recounts the summer he spent at his aunt’s home where he discovered Arrietty. Arrietty belongs to a family of Borrowers, tiny people who live underneath the floorboards, and borrow things from the household as needed. The two decide to form a friendship much to the frustration of both their relatives. The Secret World of Arrietty is about hope and the courage to continue on against all odds. Select this film for a friend who needs a reminder to keep going. 

Purchase from Amazon here.


See Also

When Marnie Was There

Sent to a seaside village by her foster parents to recover from health issues. Anna spends the summer making new friends, and exploring a mysterious mansion with an even more mysterious girl named Marnie. Anna’s and Marnie’s adventures always end strangely with Anna waking up someplace far from the mansion. The two girls not only share adventures along the coastline, but the longing for love from their families. When Marnie Was There explores the familial ties and love that bind us over the span of many generations, a great choice for a family watch night.

Purchase from Amazon here.

My Neighbor Totoro

This fan favorite follows two sisters, Mei and Satsuki, who have recently moved to the countryside to be closer to their mother while she recovers in a nearby hospital. While playing in the forest by their home, little Mei discovers a particularly large spirit, whom she names Totoro. Mei resolves to reveal his existence to the older Satsuki, but he never appears. Until one rainy evening while waiting for the bus, Totoro makes his grand appearance in what has become an iconic image for this film, setting the tone for a wild adventure on a bus-shaped cat. Choose My Neighbor Totoro not only for nostalgia purposes but because its fun to relive those days of experiencing a carefree summer through the eyes of a child.

Purchase from Amazon here.

Like all the films? Turn it into an at-home Ghibli Film Festival! Wishing you peace and anime in the new year – Stefanie Norman, Director of Communications for Urban Anime Lounge

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