Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most legendary living directors of all time. It has very little competition when it comes to Japanese animated films. Born in January 1941, Hayao Miyazaki has directed several films that have become classics. He not only directs films, but also writes screenplays for them. He started his career in 1963 and worked for several major film studios. His directorial debut took place in the late 1970s. His work is very popular and he has won many awards for it.
Hayao Miyazaki prefers the classic approach and is not a big fan of CGI. Perhaps this is one of the reasons his films continue to woo people and get high marks.
Lupine III: The Castle Of Cagliostro (1979): 71
It is obvious that Hayao Miyazaki is doing something right when the lowest rated film he has made always has an above average rating. Lupine III: The Castle of Cagliostro is one of Miyazaki’s oldest films. That would explain why not as many viewers know him as his last films. The film tells the story of a thief who tries to free a captive princess from an evil count. At the same time, the thief is looking for treasure, and the princess is the key to finding it.
Princess Mononoke (1997): 76
Unlike the previous film, Princess mononoke is a classic, loved by many fans. It works with Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite theme that appears in several of his films – the importance and protection of nature. Critics praised the film not only for its story but also for its captivating animation. Since much of it takes place in nature, a forest, it is a pleasure to observe the landscapes.
Castle in the Sky (1986): 78
This film also has the title Laputa: Castle in the sky, depending on where you are looking. Either way, it’s a great adventure that kids and adult viewers alike will enjoy. Two children decide to find the legendary floating castle. But they’re not the only ones looking for it. The film is full of beautiful places and the heroes are friendly. A funny fact is that the creators used 381 colors to make this film.
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004): 80
Hayao Miyazaki not only cares about nature, but also enjoys telling stories about castles. This film proves it once again. Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of the young girl Sophie who works for the powerful wizard Howl.
Little by little, Sophie learns more about her employer and discover his magic house. Watching the film gives free rein to the imagination of every spectator. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature and while it didn’t win, it’s now a classic.
Porco Rosso (1992): 83
The heroes of Hayao Miyazaki’s films are not always humans. But what they have in common is that they have a goal and they are pursuing it. They don’t like to give up, despite the obstacles life throws at them. Porco was a human but a curse changed him and he now has a pig face. He doesn’t let the curse stop him. Porco is a talented driver and he is about to enter a race. Besides, he has to fight for his wife. The film is set in Italy in the 1930s, which makes it different from most of Hayao Miyazaki’s films.
The Wind Rises (2013): 83
The wind picks up is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest achievements. It got the essential cachet on Metacritic, unlike other Miyazaki films. Miyazaki again took inspiration from Italy and focused on flying. It tells the story of Jiro who loves airplanes and wants to become a pilot. He is nearsighted, however, he changes his focus and becomes one of the best aircraft designers in the world. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989): 83
Just like The wind picks up, this film also obtained the essential label of Metacritic. Kiki is a thirteen year old girl who has to go through a ritual to become a witch. It sets up its own delivery service. Since it can fly, this gives it a clear advantage over its competition. But even then, things will not be easy for her. Audiences might find it interesting that Kiki was inspired by a real person, the daughter of the film’s producer.
Ponyo (2008): 86
Most of Hayao Miyazaki’s films are set in the air, this one is rather close to the water. The story is inspired by the famous fairy tale The little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.
Ponyo is a young goldfish determined to become human. But if she wants to achieve this, she will have to embark on a great adventure. Oddly enough, this is just Hayao Miyazaki’s movie where no one steals.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984): 86
Nausicaä and the valley of the wind is part of Hayao Miyazaki’s Oldest and Best Movies. Despite this, he continues to captivate audiences to this day. A little similar to Princess mononoke, this film tells the story of a brave princess who tries to prevent two nations from destroying each other and destroying their planet. The film is based on Hayao Miyazaki’s manga and it uses 263 colors in total!
My Neighbor Totoro (1988): 86
Many people may have dreamed of having a neighbor like Totoro. But only the main characters of this film succeeded. Two young sisters move into a new home and discover an adorable forest spirit that Totoro sees nearby. They become friends with him and experience many adventures. The film is inspired by the life of Hayao Miyazaki more than any other of his films. What a lot of fans might not know is that Totoro has an asteroid named after him – that’s how popular he has become.
Chihiro (2001): 96
Even though it came out almost 20 years ago, Abducted as if by magic remains Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular film. A young girl Chihiro enters a whole new dangerous world. She must find her parents and break the curse that has struck them. The film is beautiful and scary, sometimes at the same time. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and critics say it’s weird and wonderful.
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