Monthly Movie Marathon: Hayao Miyazaki

This is a new blog feature I'm going to be doing. Every month I'll compile a list of a few movies of a theme that I think you should watch.
This month is Hayao Miyazaki movies.

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese writer & director of animated movies. He's known as "The Japanese Walt Disney." Although he does make a lot of animated movies like Disney, I think Miyazaki's movies are much different. Disney movies are more for entertainment. Miyazaki movies always have a really deep moral to the story. His movies are so much more than entertainment. They are very complex and have political or ecological themes. His style might seem a little weird at first, it was to me, but then I fell in love with the magical, fantastical stories and the young characters.

I was going to write my own little opinion blurb about each movie, but I love them all, so I don't know what to say different about each of them. The trailers give you a pretty good feel for the movies. They're all similar style, visually and story-wise, so if you like any of them, you'll probably like all of them.

(Don't be put off by the poor quality of some of the trailers. The movies are all very good quality and available with English dubbing.)

Castle in the Sky (1986)
Summary (from A young boy stumbles into a mysterious girl who floats down from the sky. The girl, Sheet, was chased by pirates, army and government secret agents. In saving her life, they begin a high flying adventure that goes through all sorts of flying machine, eventually searching for Sheet's identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Summary (from Two young girls, Satsuke and her younger sister Mei, move into a house in the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. Satsuke and Mei discover that the nearby forest is inhabited by magical creatures called Totoros (pronounced toe-toe-ro). They soon befriend these Totoros, and have several magical adventures.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Summary (from Kiki, a young witch-in-training, has reached the age of 13. According to tradition, all witches of that age must leave home for one year, so that they can learn how to live on their own. Kiki, along with her talking cat Gigi, fly away to live in the seaside town of Korico. After starting her own delivery service (using her broom as the delivery vehicle), Kiki must learn how to deal with her new life, especially after she loses the power to fly.

Princess Mononoke (1997)
Summary (from While protecting his village from rampaging bore-god/demon, a confident young warrior, Ashitaka, is stricken by a deadly curse. To save his life, he must journey to the forests of the west. Once there, he's embroiled in a fierce campaign that humans were waging on the forest. The ambitious Lady Eboshi and her loyal clan use their guns against the gods of the forest and a brave young woman, Princess Mononoke, who was raised by a wolf-god. Ashitaka sees the good in both sides and tries to stem the flood of blood. This is met be animosity by both sides as they each see him as supporting the enemy.

Spirited Away (2001)
Summary (from The story begins as Chihiro and her parents take a wrong turn down a dirt path while traveling to their new home in the country side. They discover a tunnel at the bottom of the path which leads them into an old abandoned theme park. While Chihiro and and her parents explore the place they come across a place full of restraunts filled with all different kinds of delicious foods. Chihiro's parents then start helping themselves to some food. As Chihiro leaves her parents and starts exploring the place herself she comes upon a bridge only to be found by a boy named Haku. The boy then tells Chihiro that she must leave before nightfall. She then runs off to find her parents only to find them as pigs. Chihiro gets scared and runs off to the river only to find it full of water. She then runs off and hides, Haku then comes looking for Chihiro promising her that he will help her save her parents but the only way was for Chihiro to get a job in the bathhouse for the Gods and spirits of Japan.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Summary (from A young woman named Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste, turns into an old woman, and is unable to tell anyone of her plight. Unable to continue her job at her mother's hat shop, she goes to the ambulatory castle of the notorious wizard Howl and insinuates herself into his household. Sophie befriends Calcifer, the fire demon who powers the castle and who is bound to Howl by a contract, the terms of which Calcifer cannot reveal. They promise to help each other with their problems. Like Calcifer, Howl can also see through the Witch's spell, and he and Sophie fall in love. Sophie helps Howl confront his former teacher, and the Witch of the Waste.

Ponyo (2008)
Summary (from The son of a sailor, 5-year old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an oceanside cliff with his mother Lisa. One fateful day, he finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach and upon rescuing her, names her Ponyo. But she is no ordinary goldfish. The daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, Ponyo uses her father's magic to transform herself into a young girl and quickly falls in love with Sosuke, but the use of such powerful sorcery causes a dangerous imbalance in the world. As the moon steadily draws nearer to the earth and Ponyo's father sends the ocean's mighty waves to find his daughter, the two children embark on an adventure of a lifetime to save the world and fulfill Ponyo's dreams of becoming human.

I hope you all have the opportunity to see all of these amazing movies this month. When you watch them, let me know what you think!

P.S. I finally finished adding all of my movies and tv shows to My Movies list on You can now check out all of my movies I own if you're interested. I also thought it would be helpful having my movie list on the internet so my friends can browse my movies and decide what they want to watch before we hang out to watch movies.

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