Cranking out the last number of movies proved more difficult than I thought it would be. I watched six movies out of the last eight. The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya were unavailable to me, despite my best efforts at trying to find them. I was so upset that I couldn’t find those movies. I especially wanted to see The Wind Rises, which is supposed to be the last of Hayao Miyazaki’s work since he is retiring. This past week I watched Pom Poko, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Ponyo, From Up On Poppy Hill, and Tales from Earthsea.
Don’t read if you don’t want spoilers!
Castle in the Sky Grave of the Fireflies My Neighbor Totoro Kiki’s Delivery Service Only Yesterday Porco Rosso Pom Poko Whisper of the Heart Princess Mononoke My Neighbors the Yamadas
The Cat Returns
Howl’s Moving Castle
Tales from Earthsea Ponyo
The Secret World of Arrietty
From Up On Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises (x) unavailable
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (x) unavailable
Pom Poko (1994)
This movie was… odd, to say the least. Something about it just seemed… off. While the premise of the story was a positive one (exercising your right to defend your home) and an interesting one, I didn’t really enjoy the movie. Most of the Ghibli movies run around the same time, but with this movie… it just seemed to draaaaag. The 110+ minutes seemed as if they were never going to end. It’s about shape-shifting raccoons who try to scare off humans so that they may save their forest land from developers. Like I said, the story is a positive one, but I never connected emotionally.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
My God this movie was incredible. An epic story of about… well, nearly everything! Hatred, love, grief, bloodlust, war, etc. The story follows a young man named Ashitaka, afflicted with a curse and in search for a cure. He ends up getting caught in a war between forest gods and humans. One of the things I enjoyed most was the fact Ashitaka took no sides. He remained neutral while still being as helpful, selfless, and thoughtful as possible. The viewers, like me, probably rooted for the forest gods, and the fierce, beautiful Princess Mononoke (a human girl that was raised by the Wolf God). However, Ashitaka did not take a side (even though he felt something for Mononoke). The movie also brought me sadness as I watched the other forest gods became fueled by hatred. The hatred changed them in to demons, giving light to the fact that if you allow yourself to hold grudges, it can eat away at you. Loved this movie.
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
I actually quite liked this movie! The animation style was COMPLETELY different than usual, but I honestly enjoyed it. The style was in form of cartoon strips, which added a unique perspective on the story. The movie is about the family of the Yamadas and the various adventures and mishaps they go through. For me, I can’t say very much, other than I enjoyed just watching this family interact with each other. I was happy to see something different from Ghibli.
I thought this was a cute movie, as well as a masterpiece when it came to the animation. I don’t even know where to begin. A lot of times during the movie I would catch myself getting goosebumps from the animation. It was just… spectacular. The story is about a little boy that befriends a girl goldfish that possesses magical powers that she ends up using to turn human. I loved the story, but couldn’t get past the fact that a lot of people probably DIED from the huge flood that was unleashed =P Yet the movie had a happy tone to it. I found it kind of morbid, lol. All in all though, I would definitely recommend this movie. Go see it for the animation alone.
From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)
Rating: 6/10This movie is about a group of school students working diligently to save a historic building that serves as a home for them to be free to study whatever subject they want. It also focuses on two teenagers that fall in love and the mystery behind the teenage boy’s identity of his real father. I thought the movie was okay, just okay. Since the movie is new(er), the animation was more clean and crisp which I thought made the movie more beautiful. My favorite part had to be when all of the students piled in to that house and cleaned/repaired it. They worked so hard, and made me think about how hard I’m working for what I love in my life.
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
This film showed a young man struggling with the light and the dark inside him. It was fascinating to me to see the dark side (haha) take over Arren. I thought this was a beautiful movie. Also, who can dislike dragons? While I thought this was a good movie, it didn’t wow me. I’m always comparing these to other Ghibli films like Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. and seeing what worked. It seemed like not much was put in to the pace of the story. I often felt bored. However, I can’t deny the fact the animation was incredible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Studio Ghibli will never cease to amaze me.
That concludes my February Main Challenge! While I am upset that I was unable to watch the last two films, I’m still very happy that I watched a lot of new movies this past month, and found ones I like!
My sub challenges were to read Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind (and to also lose 10 pounds, buuuut I decided to postpone that until I knew what the hell to do). Unfortunately, I didn’t complete my sub-challenge, I did finish 50% of it. I should’ve known that a slow reader like me would take forever reading an 800+ page book. However, I plan to make it up to you all (and myself). I know I can complete it quicker, and I will.
Overall, my thoughts on the February challenge are this: it was a rocky start, but I thoroughly enjoyed educating myself.
Since March is finally here, tomorrow I will post my main challenge plus my sub challenges. I promise to work harder for myself, and to obtain my goals. Thank you to whoever enjoyed my posts. I hope my future ones don’t disappoint.