Any ranking is bound to leave someone displeased, but this particular one has more than a few people balking at the selection for last place. 

Unless you’re a poor sucker in the U.S., Canada, or Japan, the rest of the world is now officially tuning in to the first batch of Studio Ghibli films released to Netflix. In celebration of the films’ move to the streaming service giant, British daily newspaper The Guardian released a definitive ranking of the legendary studio’s 22 feature films, including the television film Ocean Waves (1993) as well as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), which was technically released before the founding of Studio Ghibli. See the whole list as well as the top ten in greater detail below. Did your favorite film make the top cut?

22. Porco Rosso (1992)

21. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

20. Only Yesterday (1991)

19. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

18. Arrietty (2010)

17. Pom Poko (1994)

16. When Marnie Was There (2014)

15. Ocean Waves (1993)

14. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

13. The Wind Rises (2013)

12. The Cat Returns (2002)

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

10. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Whisper of the Heart evokes a gentle sense of childhood nostalgia. While its two young protagonists individually pursue their dreams, we are also reminded of the hardships that come from being separated from those we love. The Cat Returns is a spinoff sequel to this film. We also recently learned that the story will be getting an official direct live-action sequel later this year.

9. Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008)

Perhaps the Ghibli film that most successfully captures the world from a young child’s point of view, Ponyo‘s earworm of a theme song sung by an eight-year-old is also bound to get stuck in your head. We could watch Ponyo running on the waves for hours on end.

8. Tales from Earthsea (2006)

This film is the first Studio Ghibli film directed by acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki‘s son, Goro Miyazaki. It is generally considered a disappointing entry, though it does have some stunning visuals.

7. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies is the only one of these films left out of the Netflix deal. Directed by the late Isao Takahata, this masterpiece is often cited for its tragic depiction of the horrors of war through the eyes of two young siblings. If you’ve never wept while watching an animated movie before, this one will do the trick.

6. Spirited Away (2001)

This writer was truthfully shocked that Spirited Away didn’t land in the top three. The film regularly tops lists of best films of the century and remains the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, not even outdone by 2016’s global phenomenon Your Name. Part other-world fantasy, part coming-of-age story, and entirely inventive, the film’s magnificent visuals and musical score will leave you breathless.

5. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

Castle in the Sky bears the distinction of being the very first film animated by the newly formed Studio Ghibli. With its steampunk designs and adventure elements, it has influenced countless subsequent animated works. Plus, it features anime’s most skillful lady-killer as well as a pretty darn appetizing-looking meatball stew!

4. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

It’s no secret that Totoro is loved by children around the world. The lovable forest spirit even serves as the mascot of Studio Ghibli. The good news is that you can visit a replica of Satsuki and Mei’s house in Aichi Prefecture. Also, how about taking the Catbus for a spin?

3. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Before Harry Potter even existed, there was a young witch trying to make her way in the world alongside her talking black cat. The story is charming and will strike a chord with youth of any age.

2. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Loosely adapted from the eponymous novel by Diane Wynne Jones, this film offers the unusual premise of a young woman who’s turned into a 90-year-old and her quest to break the curse. Along the way she strikes up an interesting relationship with the mysterious wizard Howl, who is perhaps Ghibli’s most enigmatic character of them all.

1. Princess Mononoke (1997)

This writer concurs that only Princess Mononoke could possibly challenge Spirited Away for the top spot, so this is an acceptable final entry. The film covers an epic historical fantasy, detailing the war between humans and nature, with a haunting recurring melody. It also features some stunning animation–the opening scene alone took two years to animate by hand. There are so many memorable moments to revisit, but the scene when San wipes blood off of her face in the presence of Ashitaka is sure to leave you entranced.

While the top few spots were largely accepted, net reactions included an overwhelming number of voices chastising the ranking for putting Porco Rosso in last place:

“Porco Rosso is dead last?! The ranker has no sense at all.”

You guys on here have some serious love for the Crimson Pig.”

“I’d erased Tales from Earthsea from my memory…”

“I like Howl’s Moving Castle, but out of the whole collection of Ghibli works I’m not sure it warrants second place.”

“I can’t accept a world where Howl’s Moving Castle ranks more highly than Porco Rosso.”

“Just switch Ponyo and Porco Rosso and I’ll be happy.”

“No matter how I look at it, last place should go to the Cat Returns.”

Regardless of specific placement, many net users agreed that even the “worst” Studio Ghibili films are still nothing detestable. Compile your own personal ranking as you watch them one by one on Netflix over the next several months!

Source: The Guardian via Yurukuyaru
Top image: ©SoraNews24
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