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.
The Wind Rises is more than worthy closing act. It's one of Miyazaki's best films, a stunning ode to passion and perseverance in the face of a looming war.
Ponyo is a feast for all fans that were wishing Miyazaki would return to his pre-Mononoke era, and for those people it might even reach the same heights as Totoro did.
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.
The good stuff
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.
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.
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.