The Ultimate Studio Ghibli Hit List


  1. Howl’s Moving Castle
  2. Ponyo
  3. Princess Mononoke
  4. My Neighbor Totoro
  5. The Secret Life of Arriety
  6. From Up on Poppy Hill
  7. The Wind Rises
  8. Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies is my #1 then Spirited Away, Ponyo, Totoro

Planning to see the others in your list^

  1. Grave of the Fireflies
  2. Howl’s Moving Castle
  3. My Neighbor Totoro
  4. Spirited Away
  5. Howl’s Moving Castle
  6. Princess Mononoke
  7. Nausicaa
  8. Castle in the Sky

My kids and I love them all but our favorite is Pom Poko, with Tonari No Totoro a close second.

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Trivia: Grave of the Fireflies is the only theatrical Ghibli film not produced for parent company Tokuma Shoten so it is always not included on distribution because they don’t have publishing rights (e.g. Netflix). It was also not by Hayao Miyazaki. It’s directed by Isao Takahata for Shinchosa, the publisher of the semi-autobiographical short story written by Akiyuki Nosaka.

It was very atypical and a game-changer at the time it was released because Ghibli films are known for its light-hearted animation. But Grave of the Fireflies is dark and depressing. It has never failed in making me cry even after repeat watches. It was released as a double feature together with Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro when the two directors worked on their projects simultaneously.

Aside from the two mentioned, others on my list of favorites: Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo on the Cliff, Princess Mononoke, The Wind Rises.


Ugh. the first time i saw it i was depressed for days after. I dont think i can watch it again. Child endangerment themes make me weep uncontrollably these days :bawling: