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Studio Ghibli with Mom

My mom, in no way shape or form, is an anime fan. She loves her K Dramas, and honestly she only has cable for the weather channel. It’s a bit strange though, cause whenever I visit her she wants to watch all the movies, from Mission Impossible to Insidious. Visiting her is a total movie binge (mostly delving in the horror genre). She doesn’t really go to the movies, nor does she even really watch them without me. Yet, one day she told me she watched “My Neighbor Totoro” and said she wanted to watch more movies like that. Thus, started our Studio Ghibli movie marathon, which could be a way to bond with your mom for this Mother’s Day. With that thought in mind, I’m listing our top 5 favorite studio Ghibli films.

Ponyo (2008)


This movie made my mom laugh the most. She couldn’t get over the dynamic between Ponyo (her real name being Brunhilde) and Sosuke. Sosuke finds Ponyo trapped inside a jar and breaks it open, saving her. She exclaims she has a desire to become human and wishes it true, growing arms and legs using her magic. Due to the overuse of Ponyo’s magic, the world is put off balance and a storm hits Sosuke’s home. Sosuke and Ponyo then go off into a journey, where Sosuke must prove his love to Ponyo in order for her to stay human and keep the world in balance.

The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)


My mom called this one the Japanese Thumbelina; a movie I adored as a child. A family that is only 4 inches tall live within the household of another family. They consider themselves “borrowers” and take from the normal size family in order to live. Making their own furniture and more. Yet their lives change when Arrietty, the daughter, is discovered by Sho: A boy who will never forget his summer at the house. My mom’s favorite parts of this movie was just seeing what the Borrowers used for certain things, like Arrietty’s use for a potato chip bag clip as a holder for her hair.

Whisper of the Heart (1995)


A heart warming love story where two lovers follow their dreams. I think this tugs at my mom’s heart strings because I played violin in my younger years. It also doesn’t help that John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads is a key song in the movie. It’s definitely a song we would sing on our road trips across country. This movie is a slice of life story of a boy who wants to make violins and a girl who wants to become a writer. The two fall in love as they push and inspire each other to follow their dreams. If your mom loves sappy romance, this is the movie to watch with her.

The Wind Rises (2013)


I think this was my mom’s favorite judging from her reaction. It’s probably because it’s about someone’s dream to build amazing airplanes. The type of imagination, projected in this film, that it takes to invent and create beyond just art really got her talking throughout the movie. This movie take place in WWII where Jiro, an engineer, wants to design airplanes. He is fascinated with the Italian engineer Giovanni Batista Caproni, who appears in his dreams to urge him forward about his plane designs. The film is colorful, filled with imagination, and inspiring.

My Neighbor Totoro (1998)


I honestly believe this is my mom’s favorite one which, she actually found on her own. Even though she loves slice of life movies, she found Totoro extremely cute and funny. This is actually the film that started the Studio Ghibli binge and her love for Hayao Miyazaki. Two sisters move to a rural area where they encounter forest spirits. The truth is this movie doesn’t have a huge plot but is cute, fun and magical. What’s great about this movie is that the whole film is a good lens at viewing the world from a child’s perspective. My mom absolutely loves Totoro, but I think mostly she loves the movie because it allows her to feel young again.

At the end of our day. I’m pretty grateful to have a mom who supports me even to this day. Studio Ghibli makes fantastic films for all ages, and it’s pretty nice to bond with my mom over something I’m interested in.  In fact, recently most of my gifts include a bit of Studio Ghibli in them, making Studio Ghibli special for her and me. Hopefully, it will become special for you and your mom too.

About Janey La Royale (22 Articles)
Graphic designer, photographer, artist and cosplayer, I love all things kawaii! My anime watch list is longer than most. My favorite film series is actually Fast and Furious. I mean seriously who doesn't love fast cards, explosions and fight scenes?
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