Mini Studio Ghibli Movie Reviews #2

Earlier this month, I posted a collection of mini reviews for the 7 Studio Ghibli movies that came out on Netflix in February. Well, this post covers the next 7 movies which came out in March. If you would like to view my other post, you can check it out here.

The Cat Returns (2002)

Plot: High school student Haru rescues a cat that was about to be run over by a truck and discovers the cat is actually a prince named Lune. Out of gratitude, Lune’s father, the Cat King, asks her to marry Lune. Haru is brought to the Cat Kingdom, where she starts to develop feline features. When she is prevented from leaving, the Baron and Toto, two statues that have magically been given life, provide assistance in gaining her freedom.

My rating: 5 stars

My Thoughts:

  • I thought it was incredibly funny.
  • The story was super creative.
  • While it wasn’t incredibly long and probably not as epic as other Ghibli films I had so much fun watching this.
  • Great voice acting!

The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

Plot: Arrietty, a tiny teenager, lives with her parents in the recesses of a suburban home, unbeknown to the homeowner and housekeeper. Like others of her kind, Arrietty remains hidden from her human hosts, but occasionally ventures forth from beneath the floorboards to borrow sugar cubes and other supplies. A secret friendship forms when 12-year-old Shawn meets Arrietty, but their relationship could spell danger for Arrietty’s family.

My rating: 3 stars

My thoughts:

  • I loved watching how the borrowers lived and what they used to go about their daily tasks, like nails for stairs and little doll toys for their cups and saucers.
  • Amazing voice acting, especially Olivia Coleman.
  • Sadly, I didn’t really connect with the story or the main character.

My Neighbour the Yamadas (1999)

Plot: The lives of a modern Japanese family through a series of loosely connected episodes that delve into the family members’ relationships and their everyday exploits.

My rating: 3.5 stars

My thoughts:

  • I thought this was super funny.
  • A great movie to put on if you want to forget the world.
  • I really enjoyed the format of it being small shorts rather than one continous narrative. I loved just watching them tackle the ups and downs of life.
  • The art style and animation was great. It looked like we were looking at the sketches as they were being drawn.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Plot: Far in the future, after an apocalyptic conflict has devastated much of the world’s ecosystem, the few surviving humans live in scattered semi-hospitable environments within what has become a “toxic jungle.” Young NausicaƤ lives in the arid Valley of the Wind and can communicate with the massive insects that populate the dangerous jungle. Under the guidance of the pensive veteran warrior, Lord Yupa, NausicaƤ works to bring peace back to the ravaged planet.

My rating: 2.75 stars (DNF)

My thoughts:

  • I stopped watching this movie about halfway through. Sadly, the pacing was too slow for me.
  • I did think Nausicaa was a great main character. A strong female character to look up to.
  • The animation of both the Valley of the Wind and the Toxic Jungle were beautiful. The background design was so good.

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Plot: In the 14th century, the harmony that humans, animals and gods have enjoyed begins to crumble. The protagonist, young Ashitaka – infected by an animal attack, seeks a cure from the deer-like god Shishigami. In his travels, he sees humans ravaging the earth, bringing down the wrath of wolf god Moro and his human companion Princess Mononoke. His attempts to broker peace between her and the humans brings only conflict.

My rating: 5 stars

My thoughts:

  • A movie of epic proportions.
  • I actually didn’t realise how violent this film was!
  • The action shots especially of Ashitaka when he shoots an arrow were amazing.
  • The long shots of the forest and the rolling field and any form of nature were incredibly beautiful.
  • Lady Eboshi was a bad-ass and I really liked her character personally.
  • This was the movie I was most anticipated for this month and Studio Ghibli did not disappoint.
  • The score is so beautiful and monumental, when you listen to it you feel liek you are about to go on some epic adventure.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

Plot: Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

My rating: 4 stars

My thoughts:

  • Beautiful animation style! A mixture of watercolours and old Japanese art.
  • I loved the variety in character design. They all looked like really distinct characters.
  • The score was beautiful!
  • Wasn’t the biggest fan personally of Princess Kaguya’s voice actress.
  • I also felt the movie was too slow-paced and a tad bit too long but it did not stop the movie from breaking my heart.

Spirited Away (2001)

Plot: 10-year-old Chihiro and her parents stumble upon a seemingly abandoned amusement park. After her mother and father are turned into giant pigs, Chihiro meets the mysterious Haku, who explains that the park is a resort for supernatural beings who need a break from their time spent in the earthly realm, and that she must work there to free herself and her parents.

My rating: 5 stars

My thoughts:

  • I cannot to begin to describe how imaginative and creative the world in which Spirited Away is set is.
  • The colour palette of the movie is beautiful and bright.
  • I love the different designs of all the characters. They were all so varied!
  • The story was so good and I was rooting for Chihiro the whole way.
  • The design and animation of Haku the dragon was beautiful!
  • I loved the shots of the backgrounds as well as scenes where not just happens we just take in the shot and reflect on the story.
  • This movie does not get old no matter how many times you watch it.

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