Top 24 Best Ghibli Movies [In Order]

Top 24 Best Studio Ghibli Movies In Order


Headquartered in Koganei, Tokyo, Studio Ghibli is one of the most popular anime studios of all time. And I don’t think there’s any denying that this studio has changed the way people looked at anime altogether.


This is one of the rare animation studios that happens to have its own separate fan base. And people would start to admire any work as soon as it gets associated with this incredible company.


Titles (In Order)

Release Year

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind


Castle in the Sky


Grave of the Fireflies


My Neighbor Totoro


Kiki’s Delivery Service


Only Yesterday


Porco Rosso


Ocean Waves


Pom Poko


Whisper of the Heart


Princess Mononoke


My Neighbors the Yamadas


Spirited Away


The Cat Returns


Howl’s Moving Castle


Tales from Earthsea




The Secret World of Arrietty


From Up on Poppy Hill


The Wind Rises


The Tale of The Princess Kaguya


When Marnie Was There


Earwig and the Witch


How Do You Live?



However, this brand image isn’t built overnight. Instead, there were a lot of stories that were told beautifully by this studio that made them so famous. And here’s a list of all of them for you.




1. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind


The story is set in the future where war seems to have taken place. The idea of this movie is that the world’s ecosystem is ruined due to an inappropriate disaster.


And that’s where things started to fall apart. However, a girl decides to bring peace back to this accursed world. This girl is going to battle the entire world and tries to make sure that this planet is brought back to life.


However, that is going to be quite difficult. Fortunately, this girl has a special power that allows her to communicate with insects in this messed-up world. And that’s why this fight is going to be remarkable, to say the least.




2. Castle in the Sky (1986)


Castle in the Sky


The name is enough to explain the excellence of this anime. And that’s why anything moving forward is trivial. This is a beautiful story by Studio Ghibli that talks about a girl named Sheeta who happened to be kidnapped by a group.


However, luck was on her side when her kidnapping plane was attacked by another group. In the midst of the chaos, Sheeta managed to escape the kidnapping and finds a guy named Laputa.


Along with him, she realizes that there’s more to this world than what meets the eye. After all, they will be seeking a castle in the sky.




3. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)


grave of the fireflies (1988)


This is one of the most heartbreaking movies of all time. This is Grave of the Fireflies. And the name might sound a bit upsetting. However, the actual story is just way too good to ignore.


The movie depicts the horrors of the second world war and talks about the lethal incident that took place in Japan back in the day. That’s why this movie will make you ball your eyes out as you will see a pair of siblings, trying their best to survive in the midst of all the terror.


The key message of this movie is to highlight the fact that wars in general are a horrible idea. If you think that war is cool or that two countries being in a rigorous battle is entertaining then this movie will give you a nice reality check. 


And maybe then, you will be inclined to stop wars. 




4. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)


my neighbor totoro (1988)


Hayao Miyazaki happened to create a character that will soon be compared to the legendary Mickey Mouse himself. This is the story of My Neighbor Totoro. The show talks about a pair of siblings who happened to have settled in a new village along with their father, waiting for their mother to get well soon.


However, they are going to experience something completely unreal as they come across a creature named Totoro who will take them on a journey like never before. And that’s why this movie will grip you like nothing you have ever seen before. It is amazing.


A smooth sailing experience for fans as they watch characters have the time of their lives in the most unique way possible. If you haven’t watched it yet, make sure that you do so. 



5. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)


Kiki's Delivery Service


The story talks about a witch named Kiki who has traveled to a new village to complete her training as a witch. The idea here is that young witches are sent to unknown locations to test their ability to survive.


Soon enough, Kiki is going to find a way to secure food and shelter. However, that won’t be enough since she would have to do something more than just deliver food for a bakery.


Therefore, she decides to take things to the next level and start her delivery service. And this 13-year-old is going to have a grasping journey very soon in the story.



6. Only Yesterday (1991)


Only Yesterday


This movie will give you an idea as to why having a family is more important than anything. It talks about an unmarried woman named Taeko Okajima who happens to be going on a trip outside of her usual Tokyo.


However, that is going to be a mesmerizing experience for her since she would be having flashbacks of her younger self. As she lives the horrible and stress-filled days of her career, she would look back at her younger self and ask a big question, “Is this what I always wanted?” The world will understand life a lot better with this movie.



7. Porco Rosso (1992)


Porco Rosso


This is the story of a former World War 1 Pilot ace who happens to have a lot going on for him. This man is going to shake the way things work in the story as he will be a subject of absolute competition.


Moreover, he will be responsible for some bigger issues in his life as well, including the attempt to cure himself from looking like a pig. However, that is going to be tough since the Sky Pirates are not going to spare the wealthy.


But that’s exactly why Porco Rosso is going to take matters into his own hands and make the most out of the situation.



8. Ocean Waves (1993)


Ocean Waves


This story talks about a love triangle that will melt your heart from the core. The show focuses on Taku Morisaki who is going to have a reunion very soon.


She is traveling back to her high school in hopes of attending the reunion. And on her way, she will be reminiscing about her past. She will look back and think about the love triangle that was a major part of her life.


She will shape the way you look at love and create a new image for you in your mind. That’s why this anime is worth all your time and effort.


If you are an enthusiast for some good romance then this is the one for you.



9. Pom Poko (1994)


Pom Poko


This story will talk about the clash between technological advancements and preserving natural beauty. The series talks about the story of a bunch of characters who happened to have the ability to shape-shift.


And they are nothing but creatures of myth with supernatural powers. People look up to them as they can bring fortune and that’s just part of their appeal. In the grand scheme of things, this story is going to be nothing less than fascinating for us as we watch all these incredible characters, strive their best to save their precious land using their superpower.



10. Whisper of the Heart (1995)


Whisper of the Heart


The story talks about a girl named Shizuku who happened to be very inquisitive in her nature. And she wants to be a writer later in the future. Soon enough, she comes across a guy named Seiji Amasawa who also happened to be a book enthusiast.


And that’s why things started to get interesting between them. Soon enough, this duo is going to spend some quality time together as they find the beauty of life and love in this story.


This is why Whisper of the Heart is one of the most captivating anime movies of all time. It is just too good.



11. Princess Mononoke (1997)


Princess Mononoke


This story talks about a guy named Ashitaka who happened to have got a curse upon him from a demon. The only way for him to get rid of this curse is to figure out something around it.


That’s why he leaves his village in search of a cure. And that’s when he ends up landing in a new place where a separate war seems to be taking place between a girl named San and Lady Eboshi.


This duo is going to go all out as they try and save what they cherish the most for themselves. And Ashitaka will become the witness as well as a mediator for this entire war.



12. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)


My Neighbors the Yamadas


This is a simple story that talks about the daily life of the Yamada family. The idea here is that these guys live a seemingly simple life. And although most of you would feel that it’s a bit too generic, the way this movie depicts that story is nothing less than fascinating for the audience.


It keeps you engaged with its incredible characters such as Takashi who is the father of the house and he just can’t give up on that TV remote. His wife Matsuke is not letting him have that remote while our granny gives her graceful proverbs and daughter Nanko enjoys her youth.



13. Spirited Away (2001) 


Spirited Away


At one point in time, this was the highest-grossing anime movie of all time. This is Spirited Away. The sheer influence that this movie had when it aired was absolutely unreal.


The story talks about a young girl who ends up in the spirit world along with her parents. However, the problem here is that her parents have turned into pigs and she has no idea how to deal with the situation.


Seeing the captivating endeavors of this child is what attracted the audience so much. The story is going to give you the chills that you need as a fan of the studio.


And that’s why you should watch Spirited Away, no matter what!



14. The Cat Returns (2002)


The Cat Returns


The story talks about a high school student named Chizuru Ikewaki aka Haru who happened to save a cat from getting run over by a truck. However, soon enough, she discovers that this is not an ordinary cat.


This cat was the prince of the Cat Kingdom and his father asks Haru to marry him. His name is Lune and he is very attractive. However, she starts to develop feline features and because of that, she decides to escape the place.


Although she wasn’t allowed at first, with the help of a few people, she will manage to secure her freedom. However, the way she will do so is absolutely stunning.



15. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)


Howl's Moving Castle


Howl’s Moving Castle is one of the most appreciated Ghibli movies of all time. This one focuses on the life of a girl named Sophie who got cursed by the Witch.


Now she looks incredibly old and she wants to find a cure for her situation. However, the only ray of hope seems to be the floating castle of Howl, the most captivating Wizard.


But doing that won’t be easy since this journey is going to be a rough one. And that’s one of the many reasons why this story is appreciated so much by the audience.


The sheer amount of excellence that this movie has is unreal.



16. Tales from Earthsea (2006)


Tales from Earthsea


The story is set on the lands of Earthsea. And it talks about nothing but a potential massacre in the story. The movie talks about a force that is unknown to the species on this planet.


However, this force has the potential to take down anyone and everyone in an instant. This is why Sparrowhawk, one of the most powerful wizards, decides to take this enemy down.


However, he is not absolute and so, he will require the assistance of a few people. And trust me when I say this, these few people are going to change the shape of the series.


And the battle is going to get a lot more intense.



17. Ponyo (2008)




Ponyo is a complex movie that functions in two different dimensions with its narrative. The two main characters of the story are Ponyo and Sosuke. Ponyo is fish that has always wished for the ability to turn into a human.


And Sosuke is the guy who happened to give Ponyo her name. Now Ponyo spends time with Sosuke and soon enough, she becomes human-like. However, since Ponyo is a fish, she would have to return to the ocean kingdom.


And although her desire let her break through the kingdom, soon enough she will realize that her escape has brought nothing but trouble to Sosuke’s village.



18. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)


The Secret World of Arrietty


The Secret World of Arrietty is a story that talks about a new species of beings that happen to be very small in size. Arrietty is one such species and she doesn’t seem to be all that connected to her human host.


However, that does make a lot of sense since these kinds are not close to their human hosts anyway. But, this being is going to get into some serious trouble since Arrietty will be befriending a human.


And although their hearts will be pure, they will have a lot of issues with each other. After all, they are from completely different species.



19. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)


From Up on Poppy Hill


This movie is going to feature a lot of elements of Japanese culture and so, it is much more appropriate for all those who wish to enjoy the good old days of the country.


The movie talks about the year 1963 when Japan was trying to modernize itself. The entire country was experiencing changes and trying to move past the horrors of the second world war.


However, they need a strong reason to do so and the Tokyo Olympics will be that reason. The movie pushes positivity and excellence and that’s why it is appreciated so much in the community. Make sure that you watch it.



20. The Wind Rises (2013)


The Wind Rises


This movie will shake you from the core as it will allow aspiring with the most passion. And if you are someone who is a bit negative about his or her life then this is going to be fuel for you.


The movie focuses on a guy named Jiro Horikoshi who happened to be an engineer with a passion for flight. He just wants to reach the high skies and that’s what allowed him to become a Japanese Aviation Engineer.


And his achievements will include the creation of the A6M World War II fighter plane. If you are someone who wants to enjoy some soothing documentary-like anime then this must be your selection.



21. The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)


The Tale of The Princess Kaguya


This is one of the most visually stunning movies in the entire world. And that’s why it is one of the most anticipated movies of all time. It talks about the life of a tiny nymph that happened to grow into a beautiful lady.


And this lady was first found in a bamboo tree. This woman would have to face countless challenges in her life as she strives to survive in the current world.


This is why the story is so captivating for the audience. By the way, a fun fact about this movie is that it cost over 5 Billion JPY. That’s a Billion with a B.


Since this movie was entirely hand-drawn, the cost went way out of hand.



22. When Marnie Was There (2014)


When Marnie Was There


This story talks about two girls and the relationship that exists between them. The first girl happened to be sick and thus, was sent to the country for treatment. However, this is where things get interesting as this girl will meet another girl named Marnie who will have gorgeous blond hair.


But things are a lot more complex than that. This girl is going to experience something unreal. Why? Because she will realize that her connection with Marnie is a lot deeper than she might think.


It is a tragic story that will melt your heart but teach you a lot about life.



23. Earwig and the Witch (2020)


Earwig and the Witch


The story talks about an orphan girl named Aya who seems to love her life as an orphan since she is the one who controls it with her actions and commands.


However, one day, things take a turn for the worse as this girl was sent to a couple named Bella Yaga and the Mandrake. This woman is an actual witch who wanted Aya just for the sake of being her assistant.


And the Mandrake is a grumpy man who will react in ways you wouldn’t want to see as a kid. However, for Aya, this is nothing less than a challenge that she gladly accepts. And that’s why this movie is so entertaining.



24. The Boy and the Heron (2023)


the boy and the heron (2023)


This movie took the entire anime community by storm. And it wasn’t just because of its story but also because of its cast. The movie talks about a boy named Mahito who lost his mother due to war-bombings.


Soon enough, he moves to the countryside along with his father, who is traumatized due to his wife’s death. Later on, Mahito meets a supernatural creature and enters a new realm where he is bound to realize the truth of his mother’s death.


And the fact that stars like Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, and Florence Pugh were present in the movie, makes it so much more fun. 



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