Friday, 9 August 2013

Five on Friday

I left Ghibli off my 'anime for beginners' list as I feel they are basically a whole other medium to themselves. If you're not familiar with Studio Ghibli they are a Japanese film studio who craft beautifully hand drawn animation that has garnered them worldwide acclaim. Here are my five recommendations if you perhaps haven't watched any of them, or even if you have and just need inspiration for what to watch this weekend! (We all know this FoF is just a reason for me to post cute gifs, right?!)

1. Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind
Though Nausicaa came about before the formation of Studio Ghibli it is still considered a Ghibli film. This stunning epic focuses on a princess living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where 'spores' are taking back the land from humans. Faced with the onset of war and a really big bug problem, Nausicaa has to try and figure everything out and restore peace to all of humanity. Not much of a task then! I love this film for the strong female protagonist and the action sequences, its also a great example of a 'cartoon' going above and beyond what we would expect a cartoon to be able to achieve, both technically and story-wise!

2. The Cat Returns
I flipping LOVE The Cat Returns, it MIGHT be my favourite Ghibli film of all time (along with all the others that are my favourite of all time). It's just a funny, action packed adventure with a good message and some real fancy cats thrown in. It is short but doesn't skip of great animation or a great soundtrack. Though it is more childish than other Ghibli offerings that in no way takes away from its enjoyment.

3. Ponyo
Ponyo is just an explosion of colour and energy and cuteness all over your screen. I guarantee you'll be hypnotised from beginning to end! A spin on the classic Little Mermaid tale, Ponyo is a stubborn sea baby who wants to go live on land. In comes her harassed father trying to get her back, and a little boy determined to help her stay! I saw this in the cinema in Bristol and its easily one of the best films I've seen on a big screen. The colours are just wonderful!

4. Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke is everyone's favourite Ghiblit film, right? I mean, its clearly the most ambitious and has the most complex story of all the Ghibli I've seen. I promise its not as creepy as that gif makes it seem! If you haven't watched, its the story of a girl raised by wolves, a boy with a curse and a badass lady and her village of badass women shooting guns. It is basically a celebration of strong women everywhere and will make you want to go wear a pelt and suck wolf blood. 

5. Howl's Moving Castle
I know I've said this with every film but FOR REALSIES this is my favourite Ghibli of ALL. TIME. Howl's Moving Castle is kind of nonsensical, the plot is all over the place, I've watched it close to fifty times AND read the book (which is fantastic by the way) and I still can't really make head nor tail of it. Still, it is a perfect film. I wouldn't normally suggest this, but watch it dubbed instead of subtitled, with voice work from Christian Bale and Billy Crystal you don't want to miss it! It's got the cutest sentient fire and its all about friendship and love. It's just bloody great, okay?

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