films seen
average score
Japan - 83 years old
Alive and kicking
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The most legendary anime director out there. A headstrong man with pretty strict ideas about animation, but Miyazaki's directed so many anime classics that it's virtually impossible to question his authority. Required viewing.


My Neighbor Totoro

Tonari no Totoro
1988 / 86m - Japan
Fantasy - Animation
My Neighbor Totoro poster

A sweet, soft-hearted and imaginative film. The fantastical elements are pure perfection, the attention to detail is simply stunning. It's a film that every kid should have the chance to experience.

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

Gake no Ue no Ponyo
2008 / 101m - Japan
Fantasy - Animation
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea poster

It is great to see Miyazaki return to his former self after 15 years, Ponyo is certainly up there with the best of his work and is a good step up from Mononoke, Chihiro and Howl.

The Wind Rises

Kaze Tachinu
2013 / 126m - Japan
- Animation
The Wind Rises poster

The Wind Rises is a more than worthy closing act. It's one of Miyazaki's very best films, a stunning ode to passion and perseverance in the face of a looming war.

Porco Rosso

Kurenai no Buta
1992 / 94m - Japan
Adventure - Animation
Porco Rosso poster

Porco Rosso remains one of my favorite Miyazaki films. Personally, I prefer his softer, smaller films over his big epics, as they are more aimed at atmosphere and less at getting a message across

Howl's Moving Castle

Hauru no Ugoku Shiro
2004 / 119m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Howl's Moving Castle poster

Howl's Moving Castle is high fantasy. That's not really my preferred Miyazaki material, but the level of execution is so perfect here that it hardly bothered me at all. The animation is superb, the characters are charming and the pacing is exactly right. Not his best film, I prefer his more modest narratives, but great fun nonetheless and a must for animation fans.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Tenkû no Shiro Rapyuta
1986 / 125m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Laputa: Castle in the Sky poster

A sprawling adventure from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki. Laputa hasn't lost much of its charm over the years. The flying islands, mystical robots and bickering pirates are still as fun to discover as the first time I watched Laputa. Combined with top-notch animation, a slightly darker edge and perfect pacing, it makes for a lovely film.

Spirited Away

Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
2001 / 125m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Spirited Away poster

Hayao Miyazaki's most popular film. Not my personal favorite, I still feel there are some pacing issues at the start, I also think Miyazaki fares better when he favors subtlety over grandeur, but there are definitely moments of genius here and by the end it does feel as if you just witnessed something epic. One for the ages.

The Boy and the Heron

Kimitachi wa Dô Ikiru Ka
2023 / 124m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
The Boy and the Heron poster

Miyazaki's second farewell movie. While I was happy to get a new Miyazaki film, I must admit that The Wind Rises was more suitable as a career finale. The Boy and the Heron feels like an amalgam of Miyazaki's oeuvre, taking cues from many of his previous films. While interesting in its own right, it also makes it one of his most redundant films, as it doesn't add anything substantial to Miyazaki's existing oeuvre. The animation is sublime, the fantasy elements are wondrous and the film is extremely polished, but in the end, it's quintessential Miyazaki. Word is he's already considering a new film, so maybe he'll surprise us with a second encore.

Kiki's Delivery Service

Majo no Takkyûbin
1989 / 103m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Kiki's Delivery Service poster

Not Miyazaki's most memorable film, also not his most accomplished one, and yet it's almost impossible to call out any flaws. It's quintessential Miyazaki, with an idyllic European setting, a simple but loving coming of age story about a young witch and her cat, lushly crafted environments and an overwhelming sense of warmth that makes every scene a joy to behold. A film that has a tendency to slowly fade away over time, but never fails to amaze whenever I watch it again. A true Ghibli classic.

Princess Mononoke

1997 / 134m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Princess Mononoke poster

Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro

Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro no Shiro
1979 / 102m - Japan
Comedy, Adventure - Animation
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro poster

Conan the Future Boy: The Big Giant Robot's Resurrection

Mirai Shônen Konan Tokubetsu-hen: Kyodaiki Giganto no Fukkatsu
1984 / 49m - Japan
Adventure - Animation
Conan the Future Boy: The Big Giant Robot's Resurrection poster

Made in the same year as Nausicaa, this compact Conan the Future Boy film signaled the talent that was about to blossom. Miyazaki wasn't quite there though. While a fun and amusing little film, the animation, his usual eye for detail and the pacing weren't up to par with his later work.

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This film is a compilation of the final episodes of the TV series, though the plot is easy enough to follow without having seen the series. It's a simple good vs bad guy story, where Conan has to save the world from an evil empire that tries to get their hands on an almighty weapon. Nothing too out of the ordinary there.

The art style is rather basic, so is the animation, but that's no surprise considering the film's TV roots. The Big Giant Robot's Resurrection is littered with the usual Miyazaki traits, and it already holds a lot of what would make a film like Laputa so great. Interesting for those who love Miyazaki's films and are wondering how it all started for him.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Kaze no Tani no Naushika
1984 / 117m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind poster