Formed in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli is known as one of the biggest monuments of Asian animation movies. Even many believe that Ghibli should be considered as Walt Disney of Asia and can definitely compete with the US film producer. The following best Studio Ghibli movie list includes 5 masterpieces fans must watch at least one or two times. Let's check out the best Studio Ghibli movie list with!

Best Studio Ghibli Movie List For Anime Fans

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away is considered as the best Studio Ghibli movie because it was the first anime movie in Japan’s history to win a Golden Bear award at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards. Moreover, Spirited Away is recognized as the highest-grossing anime movie with a total grossing of $275M.

This fantasy movie is written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The story begins with a journey to the new house of Chihiro -the girl who feels upset about not meeting her close friends. Her father accidentally takes a short cut to a moss-covered door. Although Chihiro tries to prevent her parents from entering the door, her parents still choose to discover what’s inside the door. It is their curiosity that leads to a series of unlucky incidents to both Chihiro and her parents.

Spirited Away
Spirited Away.

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Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)

Like Spirited Away, Grave Of The Fireflies continuously received a rain of praise from the critics due to its humanity. The animation expert Ernest Rister compared this movie to famous director Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and said that Grave Of The Fireflies was “the most profoundly human animated film” he had ever seen.

As one of the top 5 Studio Ghibli movies, Grave Of The Fireflies is written and directed by Isao Takahata. It is set in the final period of World War II in Japan and revolves around the touching brotherhood of two orphanages Seita and Setsuko. They lose their mom after a violent bombing attack of the US Air Forces to Kobe City while their father is struggling for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Seita and Setsuko try their best to keep surviving amid the famine and cruel indifference of people surrounding them (including their relatives). Finally, Seita sees Setsuko dying of malnutrition in vain. The images depict the limitless pain and death of the little girl may be considered as the best Studio Ghibli scenes and the most tragic scenes in a Japanese history of animation movie. In this movie, the audience may get deeply obsessed with what war brings to humans.

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

My Neighbour Totoro is the animated fantasy movie to win the Animage Anime Award for Grand Prix Prize and the Mainichi Film Award for Best Film in 1988. It’s not a coincidence that Ghibli chooses Totoro as its symbol. This lovely character became a huge symbol for the studio’s styles: creativity, loveliness, and humanity. My Neighbour Totoro hints a powerful influence and attaches to the childhood of a large number of audiences. This movie deserves as one of the best Studio Ghibli movies for toddlers.

The Kusakabe family moves to live in the countryside. Their new house is rumored to be haunted. However, such rumors can’t stop the curiosity and mischief of two daughters of the Kusakabe family: Satsuki and Mei. At their new house, Satsuki and Mei befriend nice neighbors Nanny and Kanta (who is at the same age as Satsuki). One day, 4-year-old Mei accidentally meets a giant “animal” that turns out to be the lord of the forest, Totoro. Despite appearing in a few scenes, Totoro still makes many audiences crazy about him.

My Neighbour Totoro
My Neighbour Totoro.

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Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Released in 2004, Howl’s Moving Castle gained high appreciation from the critics and was nominated for the Best Animated Feature at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006. With the enticing plot, this movie is a combination of adventures and familiar mysteries in Ghibli’s products. Additionally, it also tells the story of pure and simple love. Therefore, it always belongs to the list of best Studio Ghibli movies ranked.

Howl’s Moving Castle revolves around Sophie - a young milliner, aged 18, who is turned into a 90-year-old woman by a witch. For the first time, Sophie feels worried about her changes but she gradually accepts the truth. She starts a new adventure to ask Howl for his help.

Howls Moving Castle
Howl's Moving Castle deserves a spot on the best Studio Ghibli movie list.

Howls Moving Castle Dvd

Whisper Of The Heart (1995)

Whisper Of The Heart must be a must-have name on the best Studio Ghibli movie list. It is amongst a few of Ghibli’s movies that mention life in a large city. Whisper Of The Heart manages to win the hearts of the audience although it is directed by Kondo Yoshifumi, instead of Hayao Miyazaki or Takanaka.

The movie starts with a sweet melody of the English version of the Country Road song. Our main character is Shizuku Tsukishima, aged 14. Shizuoka often goes to borrow books at the library. Each of the books is attached with a card that the borrower’s name is written down. Shizuku suddenly feels curious about a name: Seiji Amasawa. And their tender love story starts.

best studio ghibli movie
Whisper Of The Heart.

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Ghibli Studio produced lots of outstanding movies that anime fans across the world can’t forget. Although this animation film studio announced the cease of film production, fans always hope to watch the new best Studio Ghibli movie list. Meanwhile, let’s watch the above list again and keep updating the latest news and movies on the Movies section at!