Japanese animated films are for the young and the young at heart. One of the most famous animation studios in Japan is Studio Ghibli. Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata founded the studio in 1985 with funding by Tokuma Shoten. Even though it is quite young, seven of its films are among the fifteen highest-grossing anime films made in Japan.

If you already planned the weekend watching anime, you should not miss the following Studio Ghibli classics:

Spirited Away

Spirited Away is by far the most notable work of Studio Ghibli. This is because it is on the second spot of the highest grossing anime films made in Japan. It grossed over $290 million worldwide. Spirited Away superseded Titanic, which was the top-grossing film at that time. In fact, it is the first hand-drawn and non-English animated film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

The story follows the adventure of a girl in the spirit world. Her family took the wrong turn and they unknowingly entered a magical world. There she met the witch, flying dragon, No-Face and many more. It is a tale of bravery, self-reliance, and self-discovery.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is a historical fantasy animated film written and directed by Miyazaki. Perhaps this is the first movie of Studio Ghibli that captured the attention of America. It follows the story of a prince and his association in the struggle between the humans and the gods of the forest.

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro is perhaps one of the most heartwarming and moving animated films of Miyazaki. It follows the story of two daughters, a spirit of the forest called Totoro set in rural Japan after the war. Many people were captivated because it is simple yet it opens the gateway to the joys and terrors of childhood. The Totoro character became famous that he was considered the logo of the studio.

Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky is actually the first official film of the studio. Although the production isn’t as polished as the other films, it still boasts of near-perfect action and adventure. It is about a girl who is chased by air pirates and military agents as she tries to find and save a legendary floating castle.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

The tale is about a princess who buds from an enchanted bamboo. The bamboo cutter and his wife chose to raise the girl and turn her into a noblewoman. This is the work of Takahata having a good reputation because of its watercolor palette and calligraphic style.


Another Miyazaki classic, it is a take on The Little Mermaid. It follows a proud and courageous fish that befriends a boy and tries to live on land.

If you want a better viewing experience, these films should be watched on a television, not on an iPad or laptop. Do not forget to turn the lights down. Finally, get your food and drink before you start. Watching anime will be fun with kids so always process the film and ensure that the kids got the moral lessons of the stories.