There are very few directors with such massive reputations Hayao Miyazaki. The master of Japanese animation and co-founder of the legendary Studio Ghibli has produced many of not only the best animated films of all time, but also many of the greatest films of all time. There has never been a director like Miyazaki, and there likely never will be again. His creative mind which is so different from everyone else that there is no mistaking it when he had a hand in making a movie.

Since his first feature film was released in 1979, Miyazaki has directed a total of 11 animated films, with his twelfth and final (how do you live?) scheduled for release this year. Looking at his filmography, there are legitimate arguments that could be made that any of his films are his best. Some people think his greatest work dates back to 2001 kidnappedwhile others argued in 1988 My neighbor Totoro1997 Prince Mononokeor 2013 The wind rises. In anticipation of the 82-year-old director’s final film, here’s how all of Miyazaki’s work ranks on Rotten Tomatoes:

11 Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) – 87%


At the bottom of the list is 2004 Howl’s Moving Castle. A fan favorite in its own right, Howl’s Moving Castle Being Miyazaki’s lowest-ranked film on Rotten Tomatoes is more a testament to how great the director was, rather than any negative qualities of the film. as a follow-up kidnappedThere was a lot of anticipation Howl’s Moving Castle, and Miyazaki delivers a whimsical fantasy that is one of his most charming stories to date. Furthermore, composer Joe Hisaishi (who scores the music for all of Miyazaki’s films) does some of his best work here.

10 Wind rise (2013) – 88%

Jiro Horikoshi and Giovanni Caproni dreamed of flying in Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rising

Miyazaki’s latest movie, released in 2013 The wind risesAnd Perhaps the director’s most emotionally complex film yet. While there are some fantastical patterns built into the animation, the story is also the most grounded in any of Miyazaki’s films, which is ironic given that it’s about a guy who designs planes. It exists as one of Miyazaki’s least “kid-friendly” films in the sense that it is a film aimed more at adults than at children. It is a story of dreams, bargaining, love and loss. It’s a great movie in a stellar filmography, and it’s not a movie that deserves to be overlooked or taken lightly.

Related: Rising Winds: Revisiting Hayao Miyazaki’s Dream of Flying

9 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) – 89%

Nausicaa in the poisonous forest
Toei Corporation

althoug Nausicaä Valley of the Wind It was not technically produced by Studio Ghibli, since the studio did not exist yet, and is often considered the first Ghibli film as all three studio founders collaborated to produce the film. after release Nausicaa In 1984, the success of the film was a major inspiration for Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki to launch the legendary animation studio. Looking more specifically at Nausicaais often one of Miyazaki’s most underrated films.

It showcases some of the director’s most imaginative storytelling yet, and is arguably the closest he’s ever come to producing a work in the vein of such classics as the Lord of the Rings or Dune. The film has a score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, though it only counts for 19 reviews, which prevents it from achieving Certified Fresh status.

8 Ponyo (2008) – 91%

A scene from Ponyo

Miyazaki movie 2008 Ponyo It is often described as Studio Ghibli the little Mermaid, which is a surprisingly accurate description. It’s a heartwarming tale that hearkens back to some of Miyazaki’s earlier, more authentic films, such as My neighbor Totoro And Kiki’s delivery serviceThe underwater portions of the film make for some of the most stunning animation the director and Studio Ghibli have ever produced.

The film has an impressive 91% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 173 reviews. Interestingly, however, the audience score is slightly lower at 83%, which shows why Ponyo It is not often seen as one of Miyazaki’s best productions.

7 My Neighbor Totoro (1988) – 93%

My Neighbor Totoro from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

It’s a bit of a surprise to see what is often considered Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s most acclaimed film, 1988’s My neighbor Totoro, very low on this list. While there are interpretations of the films that rank higher, which we’ll discuss as they come out, 93% of approved new films are still something to laugh about. The audience score for the film was even higher, at 94%. My neighbor Totoro It has proven to have an amazing ability to win over new fans even 35 years after its release. The film has an incredible legacy, and it will always be regarded not only as one of Miyazaki’s best films, but also as one of the best animated films ever made.

6 Princess Mononoke (1997) – 93%

Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

A fan favorite movie from Miyazaki, Prince Mononoke It is often considered one of the most adult films produced by Studio Ghibli. It is one of only two films directed by Miyazaki to be rated PG-13 in the United States (the other being The wind rises), which the MPAA stated was justified due to the film’s “sexual content, violence, and language”. Prince Mononoke It certainly earns this rating, as no other Miyazaki films have as many beheadings as this.

Although it also contains 93%, Prince Mononoke falls over My neighbor Totoro On this list because of the number of reviews counted. while Totoro Only 57 reviews counted (barely enough to make him a certified freshman), Mononoke Double that number with 114 comments. Audience score, like Totoroalso comes in as a smidge higher than 94%.

Related: 5 reasons why Legend of Zelda fans need to watch Princess Mononoke

5 Porco Rosso (1992) – 95%

1992 Japanese animated fantasy-adventure Porco Rosso

Placing the next three films on this list is sure to surprise many of Miyazaki’s films. comes at the top My neighbor TotoroAnd Prince MononokeAnd Howl’s Moving Castle And all the other movies listed, are just that Porco RossoAir Dogfight at Studio Ghibli in 1992. Porco Rosso It is undoubtedly an entertaining movie, as there is something irresistibly fun about watching a freak pig (voiced by Michael Keaton in the English dub) shoot fascists from the sky while saying lines like “I’d rather be a pig than a fascist.”

However, it’s hard to see how this movie is better reviewed than many of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s classics. In fact, it may not be, as it has a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews with an average score of 8/10, just higher. Howl’s Moving Castle7.5 on average and Ponyo7.6.

4 Cagliostro Castle (1979) 95%

Cagliostro Castle
Toho Co., Ltd.
Columbia Pictures

Miyazaki’s directorial debut, Cagliostro Castle, was released six years before Studio Ghibli was founded. However, the film has a special charm that makes it well listed among the director’s cinematic films. However, like Porco Rosso It’s amazing to see her ranked so high. The reasons for this are exactly the same. Only 21 reviews counted, and these reviews are actually an average of even less than Porco Rosso It has an average rating of 7.4/10, which is the lowest of all of Miyazaki’s films.

However, the reason why we have listed them above Porco Rosso Because he got a higher score from the masses. while Porco Rosso It has an 87% audience score, based on over 5,000 reviews, Cagliostro Castle It has a score of 88% based on over 10,000 reviews.

3 Castle in the Sky (1986) – 96%

castle in the sky
Toei Corporation

beating both Porco Rosso And Cagliostro Castlewhile still likely to cause similar confusion, is 1986 castle in the skythe first film produced by Studio Ghibli since its founding. castle in the sky is some truly epic fairytale, and it features some of the best animation and sound design of any Ghibli film. It has a 96% approval rating from critics based on just 26 reviews, with an average score of 7.5/10. The audience score also remains an impressive 91% based on over 50,000 reviews. castle in the sky is one of Miyazaki’s least talked about films, and it’s kind of unfair.

2 Spirited Away (2001) – 97%

Stay away from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli
Toho Co., Ltd.

If any movie has been successful in expulsion My neighbor Totoro As Miyazaki’s most popular movie, it’s 2001 kidnapped. The film was only the second film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, and remains the only Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli film to win the award, although several were nominated. There is no overestimation of the pure magic and creative genius at work kidnapped.

It is often considered by fans, both enthusiastic and casual, as Miyazaki’s finest work. It holds a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 195 reviews with an average rating of 8.6/10. Even the audience score is a solid 96%, based on a whopping 250,000 reviews.

1 Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) – 98%

Kiki at Kiki's delivery service.
Toei Corporation

Finally, coming to the top of the list is none other than 1989 Kiki’s delivery serviceThe fifth film to be produced by Studio Ghibli and the follow-up to Miyazaki My neighbor Totoro. While all of Miyazaki’s films have their charms, there is also an indescribable spark of joy Kiki’s delivery service which sets it apart from the rest.

The story of a young witch who sets off on her own and starts her own delivery service on her flying broom is so quirky and hilarious that it’s hard not to love it, and it even manages to include strong themes about independence, love, and what it’s all about. It means being an artist. Based on 41 reviews, although still recent, Kiki’s delivery service It holds a rare 98% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.


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