Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/4

 

 
PROS –
1) In a post-apocalyptic world filled with poisonous forest swarming with giant mutant insects, two kingdom fight for a “Giant Warrior“, while the main protagonist Princess Nausicaä of Valley of the Wind tries to find a way for giant insects and humans to co-exist.
2) Hayao Miyazaki’s mesmerizing world of creatures with magical powers, and mankind with steampunk technology.
3) An epic storyline heightened by great animation.
4) The prophetic glider-riding hero of the story, Nausicaä herself is a giant character.
5) Nausicaä opening theme – Kaze no Tani no Naushika.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Nausicaä: You must not burn down the toxic jungle! You should have left the giant warrior beneath the earth!… Asbel, tell them how the jungle evolved and how the insects are guarding it so we won’t pollute the earth again. Asbel, please!

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/4

 

 

PROS –
1) A poignant tale of two orphaned Japanese siblings (Seita & Setsuko) struggling to survive the horrors of World War II. One of the greatest animated movies ever made.
2) The beauty of any Studio Ghibli movies can’t be described in words. The dedication and effort this studio put in every one of their movies is beyond belief. This movie is no exception.
3) The background music of a bucolic Japan (crickets, bullfrog, the ocean, rain, flowing water, etc.) makes the movie more realistic.
4) Amelita Galli-Curci – Home Sweet Home.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Setsuko: I don’t need anything. Please stay home with me. Don’t go! Don’t go! Don’t go!

Princess Mononoke (1997)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – N/A
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

Verdict – 3/4

 

Pros –

 

1) The trademark multi-layered fantasy story-line from Studio Ghibli.
2) Ashitaka – Atticus Finch of this story
3) Lady Eboshi – character who deserves her own film.

 

 

Cons –

 

1) Misleading title – Mononoke is definitely not the central character here.

 

 

 

Quote –

 

 

Jigo: So you say you’re under a curse? So what? So’s the whole damn world.

Castle in the Sky (1986)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – N/A
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

Verdict – 4/4

 

Pros –

 

1) Another gem from Studio Ghibli with it’s trademark elements of fantasy, music ,female protagonist and cyberpunk machines.
2) Fast paced
3) Mythical Laputa
4) Rich characters like Dola, Muska and Uncle Pomme.

 
Cons –

 

N/A

 

Quote –

 

Dola: There’s nothing worse than having your pigtails shot off!

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/4

 

 

PROS –
1) Fascinating characters like Calcifer and Turnip
2) A must watch for steampunk fans. A surreal world with a blend of medieval times wizards with portal doors and hi-tech aircraft.

 

 

CONS –
1) Too many plot-holes
2) Sophie-Howl’s first encounter remains unexplained
3) How Sophie returned to her young form?

 
QUOTE –
Old Sophie: A battleship?
Howl: On its way to burn cities and people
Old Sophie: The enemy’s? Ours?
Howl: What difference does it make?