Sunday Lists: Hayao Miyazaki, Directed Films Ranked

Hayao Miyazaki List

January 5th marked the 78th birthday of one of the best Japanese animator and filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki. I don’t watch a lot of Japanese stuff in general but I grew up with Studio Ghibli films so some of these hold very close to my heart. There is this fantastic magical and fantasy world that he manages to create.

With that said, there is no better way than to kick off this year’s first Sunday Lists with a list of Hayao Miyazaki’s Directed Films ranked from what I think is the best to the the not so great ones, because lets be honest, there is no worst. Even the last choice here wasn’t a bad film just didn’t execute as well as the others or connect as well with me.

There are a few films not seen yet. The list will be updated over time.

*Only full feature animated films DIRECTED by Hayao Miyazaki has been included here*

1. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

my neighbor totoro

My first Miyazaki film in my memory is My Neighbor Totoro and it has never stopped being my favorite. I know the movie almost by heart, the Cantonese dubbed version dialogue almost all memorized. Its about family and its charming. The little girls are adorable and the Totoro super cute. There are some heartwarming moments and some hilarious ones as well. It balances light-hearted and heartbreaking moments. Its cute and serious in equal measures. Plus, how do you beat a CatBus? You just can’t!

2. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

kiki's delivery service

I love cats and witches. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a well-rounded film as well. I remember there was a phase in the early stages when I had some crappy blogging server somewhere that I had used Kiki has my name. Watching this one when I was a kid was a ride for sure. Witches weren’t evil, they were nice and helpful. This one is  fun little trip full of charm whether its the people that Kiki meets on her deliveries or her learning how to be independent.

3. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

howl's moving castle

Howl’s Moving Castle is based on a children’s novel which actually diverts quite far from its source material a fair bit especially when interpreting Howl’s character. However, maybe it has to do with this being the first Miyazaki film that I saw in theatres and the enchantment that comes from the big screen but this is one film that I love watching over and over again. Because of that, this film is filled with charm. It does get a tad dark and scary here and there but its so magical as well.

4. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

nausicaa

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind that makes me think about how Miyazaki is quite before his time in story telling as you can see how this film set the bar for his career, whether its the female characters he uses or the world that he creates. At the heart of it all, Nausicaa is about a world that has fallen apart environmentally and Nausicaa is trying to find a way to revive it while at the same time, nature has revolted in an unexpected way and she needs to find a way to solve the mystery of what happened. Its such a beautiful film. The only reason its placed lower is because its one that took me a second or third viewing when I was older to fully appreciate its message and its story.

5. Spirited Away (2001)

spirited away

Spirited Away is what put Miyazaki on the map along with Studio Ghibli. Its quite a feat when we think about it. In fact, there is so much to love here. I like this one a lot also. It has dragons and fantastical creatures and some pretty hilarious moments intertwined with a story about reuniting family, gluttony and life in general. Its colorful and beautiful and there are such charming array of characters wrapped up in this one story.

6. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

laputa castle in the sky

I know a lot of people who would put Laputa really high up or even consider this one their favorite Miyazaki film. I don’t disagree with that at all. Laputa: Castle in the Sky is beautiful, especially once we arrive at the castle in the sky and all the events that happen from there on out.  It has a cast of silly bandits and a gentle robot and the castle design itself is so detailed and intricate. The only deal is that I’ve never been prone to watch this one a lot but I always enjoyed it whenever someone puts it on.

7. The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

castle of cagliostro

I saw The Castle of Cagliostro because of a blogathon a few years back when it was looking at a debut of a director. I always thought Miyazaki started out his career with Nausicaa but before the existence of Studio Ghibli, he had created The Castle of Cagliostro adapted/based on the Japanese manga Lupin III. Its crime and comedy mixed together for this film and boy is it an adventure. The debut of Miyazaki is a fine start. There are its flaws with this one in terms of storytelling and pacing but there is still a ton of heart and charm.

8. Ponyo (2008)

ponyo

Ponyo is something like Miyazaki’s version of The Little Mermaid fairy tale story which takes a little fish girl who becomes human and meets a little boy. Its so adorable and imaginative. It takes this angle of making the creative angle of the tsunami and then links the whole story together. It is actually quite clever.

9. The Wind Rises (2013)

the wind rises

I saw the premiere of The Wind Rises at TIFF a few years back, the same year that Miyazaki announced his retirement in 2013 (of course, now we know that he has decided to not retire and is working on his next film). Putting aside the ridiculous couple next to me who sobbed the entire movie from start to finish who was incredibly annoying, The Wind Rises is a passion project of  Miyazaki’s and you can see it by the subject he chooses to take as he tells the story of World War II engineer who designs the fighter aircraft. His love for aircrafts and his country and his admiration for Jiro Horikoshi is all highly visible in his work. My issue here is that I don’t share the same admiration and for that, the story falls a little short of what I liked. Its not a bad film in any means because the animation, the visuals, the character designs and the music all work well. I just failed to connect with it but that is the risk of making a passion project film.

Not Seen or Can’t Remember

Conan The Future Boy: The Big Giant Robot’s Ressurrection (1984)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Princess Mononoke (1997)

How would you rank Hayao Miyazaki’s film?
Which one of his directed feature films is your fave?

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The Random Chat Show: We Laugh, We Cry, and We Get Angry about Manipulative Movies

Check out this week’s podcast for The Random Chat Show. David, Melissa and I talk about a ton of random things and eventually go into a discussion about manipulation in movies.
Hope you enjoy! Happy Saturday!! 🙂

That Moment In.com

Podcast runtime: 30 minutes. This week on the Random Chat Show, Melissa wonders why she can’t play video game characters in different games, David talks about bad sex, and Kim gets us going on movies that are super manipulative, which leads to a heated debate about how Rose denied Jack a chance to live after the Titanic sank. Plus, top three sidekicks! It’s all Random.

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TMI Podcast: The Random Chat Show: The All-Time Greatest Animated Films Ever. Period.

That title! We’re asking for some talk about this one 😉

We’re back with this week’s That Moment In Podcast presenting our segment: The Random Chat Show.  This week we’re talking about animated films. What inspired this? Finding Dory trailer, the upcoming theatrical release of The Good Dinosaur and the already released The Peanuts Movie. We’re going to talk about our impressions of the trailers.  Then, we step back into nostalgia and talk about our Top 3 greatest animated films growing up.  We have a new random segment thrown in the mix and Melissa has a DIY for you.

Enjoy! I promise its tons of fun! 🙂

What are your favorite animated films when you were growing up? Did we talk about a few that you enjoyed? 

Opinion Battles Round 10 Best Anime

Check out Round 10 of Opinion Battles! This time we’re sharing our choice of Best Anime. It seems like Studio Ghibli’s movies are taking a lot of the spots here. My choice is My Neighbor Totoro. Head over there to see the other choices and drop a vote! 🙂

Happy Monday (or Labor Day, if it applies) everyone!

Movie Reviews 101

opinion battles

Best Animé

When it comes to animé we have had some of the most beautiful animated movies of all time, usually coming Japan we have decided to pick the our favourites from the amazing cinema that just doesn’t get the praise or chance in mainstream cinema.

So far we have only ever done Best of films but for the next Opinion battles we are going to pick Worst Sequel, if you want to take part email moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 20th September 2015

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)castle

I have to pick this one because even though I do feel certain films could be more complete films but this one could easily be the most fun I have had watching an animated movie. The action adventure side is so perfect for animation while the comedy is nailed down brilliantly. To further my case for this…

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Genre Grandeur – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) – Tranquil Dreams

Check out my entry for April’s Genre Grandeur over at MovieRob’s for the genre, Dystopian movies. My choice, after some thought goes out to the 1984 Miyazaki film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

Having the chance to rewatch any Miyazaki movies is always a joy. This one holds a special place in my heart and this future world is one that sends us an important message possibly even more relevant today about the environment and our world than back in the day when this was released 🙂

MovieRob

dystopia__

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Dystopian Movies, here’s a review of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) by Kim of  Tranquil Dreams

Thanks again to James of Back to the Viewer for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by S.G. Liput of Rhyme and Reason.  We will be reviewing our favorite fantasy/sci-fi animated movies (non-Disney or Pixar) . Please get me your submissions by 25th May by sending them to animated@movierob.net  Try to think out of the box! Great choice S.G.!

Let’s see what Kim thought of this movie:

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nausicaa of the valley of the wind poster

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Voice Cast (English version): Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Shia Lebeouf, Uma Thurman, Edward James Olmos

Over a thousand years has past since the “Seven Days of Fire” has destroyed the world.  Human civilization can now only survive in…

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Breaking Emotions Blogathon: Breaking Love

breaking emotions blogathon

Can you believe its already the last set of emotions for Mettel Ray’s Breaking Emotions Blogathon? I can’t! Because that also means its nearing the end of the month.  The fact that I’ve managed to get all of the previous emotions done has actually surprised me.  With all the writing and craziness right now (I’ll fill you in later), its been rather unbelievable in both a good and bad way for this November.

Canada may be done with its Thanksgiving but I heard its the American Thanksgiving so I figured I should stick with only Breaking Love.  Plus, I don’t think I can think up 3 scenes that I truly hate that much.  Maybe anything with Rob Schneider *eye twitches* and I’m not about to go there.  So yes, its Thanksgiving and I’m staying happy and trying to bring some awesomeness to your life too and breaking love.  You can check out the details of that right HERE!  Maybe you’d like to break love too (its a good thing, ok?)

I’m looking for scenes that you love and adore until the end of time, scenes that just pop up in your mind while walking to the store and are just simply awesome. What are the scenes that you love the most?- Mettel Ray

Lets do it! 🙂 I tried to do it in some form of countdown but they kept shifting in my mind so I just gave up!

breakinglove

City of Ember – Opening scene/A Way Out

City of Ember

Following the clues

City of Ember

Is this the way out?

I know that two scenes but I’m horrible at choosing.  I chose 5 movies as is.  Any of these movies, I could’ve easily pulled out 5 scenes and just use it for the blogathon.  City of Ember is fantastic.  Its fun and even though, I’ve watched it so many times I know what happens when, I always sit around mesmerized by the beauty and detail of the city, the hunt for clues and just the sweet, sweet happiness in discovering a way out.  I love the scene of when they think its just darkness outside but then they see their first sunrise.  Its about those small things in life that we take for granted.  I love it: the excitement, the adventure and staying hopeful. I actually reviewed this movie earlier today so you can check it out HERE if you’d like! 🙂

Howl’s Moving Castle – Meeting Howl

I’ve seen almost all of the Miyazaki flicks.  I had to put on something animated because that defines me: Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, especially Studio Ghibli. Thats why it won over choosing a scene I love from Disney.  Miyazaki is an amazing director and storyteller. His animation is close to flawless and to me, the first time I saw a Studio Ghibli movie on the big screen was Howl’s Moving Castle.  Sophie meeting Howl was possibly one of the best scenes when he takes her for the first time on a walk on the sky to escape.  Christian Bale has a sexy voice, ok? Made it even better.  Plus, I personally remember whispering to my best friend in the theatre that if only there was such a handsome man in real life. It was enchanting and magical, a great start for an even more awesome movie. And you thought I would pick My Neighbor Totoro, eh? 😉

Hugo – What is Your Purpose?

I’ve heard that Hugo has a lot of dispute as to how many people like it or not. I loved the movie from start to the finish.  The score was awesome, the adaptation was beautiful and Asa Butterfield is a young talented actor or carried his role really well.  Plus, it actually gives justice to the book itself that it was adapted from.  Why did I pick this scene? It was a no brainer.  I love the quote.  I love the situation that it was said and the meaning behind it all.  It brings a deeper hopeful meaning to finding the purpose of our life.  That quote pops in my head whenever I feel like my life is going nowhere.  I can’t be a spare part, right? DEFINITELY! 🙂

Step Up 3D – Moose dance sequences

I hope the videos work since there wasn’t any embed link.  Step Up franchise is awesome not because Channing Tatum and his current wife in my book.  Ok, ok, I admit that Channing does have a nice bod but then I would’ve picked Magic Mike. Just saying… The first Step Up was possibly the best in script and inspirational.  However, for me, my love and repeated viewings goes to watching Moose (Adam Sevani) on screen. His dance sequences lights up the Step Up flick (and franchise) and seeing as he is one of the main characters in Step 3D, it seems appropriate to choose it.  I have probably 4 other dance flicks I could’ve chosen but for me, this one really is awesome! Love it to bits 🙂

Pride and Prejudice – Bewitched

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite movies. I probably watch it at least 4 times a year.  I think I’m actually due to watch it soon.  This is a super romantic scene and its set so nice with the sun blazing in and just makes me all giddy and joyful.  I’m a romantic, and a hopeless one at that. I seriously thought about doing this whole post with this movie but then I’d think, I’d just overdose you all.  So yes,  “you have bewitched me body and soul” equals my love for this scene.

There you go! Scenes I love aren’t necessarily the best movies in the world but they do merit my love for different reasons. It warms my heart, relaxes my body or charges up my energy.  Whichever it is, I’ve watched them tons of time.  These are just the ones I found came to me first but as I wrote this I have about 15 other scenes to put in. Tough choices…

What are scenes that you love? Ones that you love so much that you’d never get sick of it or those that your mind thinks about randomly?

Thank you to Mettel Ray for hosting an amazing and awesome Breaking Emotions blogathon! I loved it! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! 🙂

Debuts Blogathon: Hayao Miyazaki – Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

I had the fantastic opportunity of being part of the Debuts Blogathon hosted by Christ at Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop and Mark at Three Rows Back. Its about picking the first film of a director and looking at how they have evolved as a director compared to the films afterwards. My obvious choice was Hayao Miyazaki‘s Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro.

Have a read and hope you enjoy it 🙂 Remember to check out both of their blogs and read the other blogathon entries!

Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop

DEBUTS COLLAGE 4

Today’s post in the Debuts Blogathon, hosted by myself and Three Rows Back, comes from Kim at Tranquil Dreams. Kim’s blog covers a wide variety of stuff, not just films, which makes it a really excellent, eclectic read. Here she’s tackling the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and his debut feature, Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro…

HAYAO MIYAZAKI

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Hayao Miyazaki`s debut Lupin the Third:The Castle of Cagliostro was the only movie that was not affiliated with Studio Ghibli however, it was good enough to get him involved with bigger project. The Castle of Cagliostro is about Lupin, a 3rd generation thief that encounters with his partner a pursuit of a girl that they end up saving and losing again.  However, she leaves behind a ring with a goal symbol on it that Lupin recognizes associated with the Castle of Cagliostro…

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