Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Studio Ghibli Movies

So, stuff can I first off say…god, I’m sorry about being the most awful blogger in the entire world lately. I mean, I’ve just been rubbish (I’ve also been saying rubbish a lot lately, I blame the Doctor Who convention for that). I haven’t posted a Tuesday Top Ten in weeks and there have been NO book reviews, because frankly I haven’t read any books.

But I am trying SO hard to get back to it all. I promise I will work as hard as possible.

Moving on, this week’s topic is brought up because in the past week, Jon and I have been sort of working our way through the Studio Ghibli movies…at least the ones that myself and my sister own! So that is the inspiration of this week’s countdown!

Can I also add that, in making this list, I realized there are a TON of Studio Ghibli films that I have not yet seen? I need to get on that. I feel like such a fake Ghibli fan…I mean, I couldn’t even get TEN movies. I only ranked the 8 I’ve seen. I think I’ve seen more but I haven’t seen ones like The Cat Returns or Pom Poko in years so its hard to rank them. Sigh.

Anyhow, here is my list:

8. Princess Mononoke 

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People are always, like, aghast at the fact that this is my least favorite of the Ghibli movies that I’ve seen. This is not to say that I don’t like it because I do. And I know so many people who are absolutely obsessed by it, my sister included. I think its beautifully animated and an incredible story but its also a bit…weird, even for me. Sometimes I have a hard time paying attention to it, because of its weirdness. The story also sort of bounces around a bit and the main character, Ashitaka, is kind of wishy washy and the ending is so abrupt and not really what I look for in an ending. But again, it is beautifully done and I do enjoy watching it.

7. Ponyo 

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Now this one is based off of Hans Christian Anderson’s story, The Little Mermaid. And it honestly baffles me because they don’t seem similar in the slightest. Well, the Disney version wasn’t either so there we go. That being said, its a CUTE, weird little movie and I love it. The animation of this movie is so stunning and its just kind of a light, fun story with adventure and mischief and agh, I just love it. Its one of the more younger stories of the Ghibli collection but I think that’s why I love it so much. Its fun watching a children’s movie, especially when you watch it with children. There is so much to giggle about it. And the story of friendship and love and family is all so wonderful too.

6. Spirited Away 

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Okay, I’ve decided that Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki are fully capable of weirdness. I definitely think this one is weird as well but the story is just so incredible that you forgot the weirdness and just get absolutely lost in the story. While it is not my favorite of the films (see? number six?), I definitely think its one of the BEST of his. Everyone always talks about this one when talking of Miyazaki and there’s a reason for it. Its a great story, its visually appealing and there are so many iconic moments in the film. I see pictures and I can spot it from a mile away. Its just such an incredible movie.

5. Kiki’s Delivery Service 

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I love this one because its fun! Its probably one of the most fun of the movies. The music is beautiful and fun, and its an adventurous story. Kiki and her little cat, whose name completely escapes me at the moment, go on their little adventure, and I think its a fun sort of coming-of-age story. Kiki starts her delivery service, learns and grows with her powers and really finds out who she is and who she can be. Its such a fun growing up story, and I love to show it to little kids because they can laugh and have a fun time (especially with that silly cat) but then they can also learn from it too. Okay, its been awhile since I watched this and talking about it makes me want to watch it. Big time. Let’s make this happen soon..

4. The Secret World of Arrietty 

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I have ALWAYS loved the book, The Borrowers, and to see it translated onto the big screen, from the amazing minds behind Studio Ghibli was so exciting. I mean, no offense to the movie with Tom Felton in it haha, but this one was just so absolutely beautiful. The animation of these movies just getting better and better and the characters and stories are always so compelling and addicting and familiar. This is so true of this one as well. I think I love this one as much as I do because of the book. I think they do a pretty good job of adapting it while also giving it that Studio Ghibli feel. Its adventurous and beautiful and I laugh and I get choked up at bits, and I will never stop getting over the fact that Will Arnett is the father in the movie haha.

3. Castle in the Sky 

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When I first saw this movie, I thought it was the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle. Howl’s is a book and the sequel to Howl’s is called Castle in the Air. Yeah, definitely not the sequel but definitely an amazing amazing amazing movie. The story is amazing. I absolutely love it. Its so fantasy. I think it would make an excellent book but alas, it was written as a movie and I still love it anyway. I love that there is a sort of lost legend/myth quality about it, and that there is family and love and friendship. Ghibli and Miyazaki are so good at that. They are so good at human emotions and I think this movie is really one of the best at it. There are so many characters and there’s laughter, and there are times when I’m clutching my seat, wondering what is going to happen next. Plus its little baby Anna Paquin and James van der Beek and can you can wrong with that? I don’t think so.

2. My Neighbor Totoro 

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I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I seriously go around all the time and sing “Totoro, To-toro, Totoro, To-toro!” Its silly and fun, and short but that’s why I like it. There’s a very light, adventurous, fun feeling to it. You can watch that, and giggle and sing along and have fun without really having to think. You know that, in the end, everything is going to work out and everyone is going to be fine and I just love it. Plus I want a Totoro friend, who will take me adventures, and a cat bus to ride in. Who wouldn’t want that? Crazy people, I tell you. Every time I see something that is Totoro, I just want to grab all my money and buy it all. Its so cute.

1. Howl’s Moving Castle 

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This is my favorite by far, and there are several reasons for that. One, it was really the first time I had watched a Ghibli movie and fallen in love with it. It is what sparked me to go home and watch the rest. So it holds a special place in my heart because of that. But I also just love the story. I’m cheesy and its a love story. The love story between the two totally messed up characters, Howl and Sophie, and how they save each other, and make each other better…come on, its beautiful. But its more than that, too, its a story of family. Sophie finds a family that accepts her for herself and gives her so much strength in Howl, Calcifer, and Markl. Howl is able to recognize the family that he has, and what it means to feel and love. Its a story of coming-of-age for both Howl and Sophie. And it also has magic and humor and so much more. I will never get enough of this story. It also led me to the books by Diana Wynne Jones, so there’s that too!

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So what did you think of the list, everyone? I hope you liked it and I hope I’ll be able to be back on top of this again. I sincerely do.

Are you a Miyazaki fan? What are some of your favorites? Share them in the comments! 

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Romance Movies

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you all are having great weeks so far. I know that there are many of you gearing up for San Diego Comic Con this weekend (so jealous!) and I am so excited for you guys. My best friend is getting MARRIED this Friday, sale which is just too crazy to even believe, doctor and I am so excited! I am in the wedding too, doctor along with my boyfriend, so it should be a seriously fun time!

And since there is so much romance in the air this week, at least for me, I decided to make this week’s Tuesday Top Ten with a little bit of romance. That and my dad said he’s tired of all the book top tens haha!

So here it is: my ten personal favorite movies with the best romances in them!

10. Dirty Dancing

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Come on! “Nobody puts Baby in the Corner”! One of my absolute favorite lines EVER. Francis, also known as “Baby”, goes to a swanky little country club type resort, where she runs into the bad boy with a heart of gold, Johnny. When Johnny’s dancing partner is under the weather (an illegal abortion), Baby steps in to take her place and summer love ensues, despite the differences in social classes. Its so cheesy, and ridiculous and one of those movies that gets over played over the years but I can’t…I love the dancing and the silliness of Jennifer Grey and the sexiness of Patrick Swayze, and the whole story of it. I am addicted to those kind of movies with music and dancing, and this has both of them. You really don’t get better than that.

9. Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice is one of the BEST romantic books ever to exist in the history of literature so it would only make sense that it would be one of my favorite movies. I know most people would mention the Colin Firth adaptation of the movie, and while I definitely enjoy that one, I was thoroughly impressed by the Keira Knightley one. I have watched that one so much, I could probably quote it, and I really enjoyed that they quote the book quite often at times. I think Keira makes a really good Elizabeth Bennet and the guy who plays Mr. Darcy whose name escapes me at this time is so hot and believable as Mr. Darcy. The story of two people who absolutely loathe each other falling in love is just so addicting and you’re cheering and blushing and jumping up and down when they both finally realize and they have that moment where you just know they are going to live happily ever after. The character of Mr. Darcy is especially my favorite too because he accepts his attractive WAY before Lizzie and you just watch him struggle with it, and agh, its just so GOOD.

8. Titanic

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I don’t care what anyone says, I know this movie is cheesy and dramatic but it has been one of my favorite movies since I first saw it when I was 9 years old. One, I’ve always been ridiculously obsessed with the Titanic. I know, that’s kind of a morbid obsession to have but its true. I read every book, every article, watched movies and documentaries and all of that. I was obsessed with it. I wanted to write a novel set on the Titanic for a long time but I felt like I was just writing a rewrite of this movie. Granted I was thirteen when I was attempting this. I really wanted to try again but we’ll see. I do love the love story of the movie, rich and unattainable Rose, wanting to break out of her restrictive world, falling in love with the exciting but poor, Jack. You don’t get any cheesier than that. But I love the background of the Titanic and the history that they weaved into it. Of course, a lot of the history is exaggerated and embellished but still. I love this movie. I will watch it every time it comes on TV, even if it takes me five hours.

7. Sixteen Candles

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You know what I remember every time I think of this movie? I think of me and my parents getting in trouble because we watched this movie at my very first sleepover, when I was ten years old, and apparently it was rated R and yeah, my friends’ parents were all so pissed off. I don’t even know; apparently its Rated R because whats-her-face is naked in the beginning of the movie, in the locker room. Whatever. Anyway, this is the best teen movie ever made, and I loved that Jake Ryan (oh Jake Ryan) is totally smitten with dorky but super pretty Samantha Baker. The hilarity that ensues and the amount of actors in that movie that go on to do bigger things like Joan and John Cusack and Anthony Michael Hall, its just all great. I love that they are so many one-liners in that movie. I quoted this movie on a daily basis when I was about sixteen years old and it still remains one of my favorites :)

6. The Princess Bride

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The funniest, romantic movie that I have ever watched in my life. I watched this movie when I was a kid and it still remains a favorite. I finally got it on Blu-Ray this past Christmas (thanks dad!) and I’ve watched it so many times. This is actually, also, one of those few instances where I’ll say that the movie was better than book. I know, I know. The book WAS great, I’m not going to lie but this movie is just such a classic. I love the ridiculous fantasy element of it, and the hilarity of it, and all the actors that are in it. I like it because its a beautiful romance story but with the added awesome of humor, and action and all of that. Its a great movie for kids. Its got that fairy tale, the one we are all so familiar with because of Cinderella and Snow White or whatever, but with a twist. This is also a movie I tend to quote a ridiculous amount of times.

5. The Apartment

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I LOVE this movie. I watched this movie for the first time with Jon and it took us MONTHS to do it. We would always start watching it really late at night, and its a fairly long movie, and we’d always fall asleep. Not to say that its a boring movie, because it DEFINITELY is not. Its sweet, funny, and one of those romances that’s all about the build up. You don’t need overly sweet lines and over-the-top make out scenes to create a romance. The simple exchanges between John Lemmon as Baxter and Shirley MacClaine as Fran creates the brilliant romance between them, especially when Fran is staying in Baxter’s infamous apartment. The ridiculousness of all the managers taking their mistresses to Baxter’s apartment, and the way he really wins in the end, its so beautiful. Its such a classic and awesome movie. It won five Oscars for a reason, for many reasons. And Shirley MacClaine was such a beautiful woman, and a talented actress and John Lemmon was a comedic genius. Sigh.

4. Wall.E

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This is one of the most beautiful love stories that I have ever seen in a movie and its between two robots that barely say anything else besides their own names. Wall.E and EVE are ROBOTS for goodness sake, and yeah the movie is ultimately about the earth, and not abandoning it and taking care of it, and it does get a little preachy but I love that. But in between all that, is the beautiful love story of two robots, two very different robots who band together on a single mission and as this goes on, they fall in love. Its just such a beautiful thing. I think the simplicity of it is what makes me love it so much. And sure, the fact that its a movie my boyfriend and I both enjoy thoroughly does have something to do with it. We had been together…five months and he had come home from a tour with his band, and he was so incredibly tired, but he really wanted to see this movie with me. And we’ve seen every Pixar movie (excluding Cars 2) on the day its come out, as a tradition. So it sort of has an outside romantic connection as well.

3. Howl’s Moving Castle

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Before Howl’s Moving Castle, my experience with anime was very limited to basically Pokemon. My sister loved it, and I kind of scoffed at it. But for my sister’s 8th grade graduation, I believe, in 2005, I went with her and my mom to go see this movie in the theaters and I was blown away by this truly amazing movie. I basically went home and ate up all of the Studio Ghibli movies, which are all so fantastic. And my quiet love for anime grew from there. But Howl’s Moving Castle…its not just one of my favorite romance movies, or my favorite animated movies, its one of my favorite MOVIES, period, of all time. I love the fantasy aspect of it, with the moving castle and the wizards and different airships and all that. I love the simple romance of it, between Howl and Sophie, the build up of it, to the moment when they finally can admit it to each other and to themselves. Its such a beautiful story, and such a beautiful movie. Hayao Miyazaki makes amazing movies. When I first showed this to my boyfriend, I was so afraid of him not liking it but he loves it and it is another movie that I am so happy we get to enjoy together. Also Christian Bale as Howl? Josh Hutcherson as Markl? My nerd heart loves it.

2. Up

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I know, technically this is NOT a romance movie, since most of the movie is about the adventure that Carl and Russell have together to get the house to Paradise Falls. But I consider it in my top ten because this movie told one of the most beautiful, most heartwarming and heartbreaking love stories in a matter of minutes. The “Married Life” scene in the beginning of the movie, where you see Carl and Ellie meet for the first time, and become friends, and then marry and live their life together? I’m getting teary eyed just THINKING about it. Its exactly what a love story SHOULD be. Its exactly how a life with someone you love should be. It should be about this lasting love, a friendship that is strong, where you’re able to go on adventures, but also do simple things like clean the house and read together and still be so incredibly happy. Carl spends so much time in regret for not giving Ellie the adventures that she’s always wanted but in the end, her life with him was the best adventure she could have. How does that not make you tear up? That is just too beautiful for words and its the reason its one of my favorite movies, the reason that Jon and I have seen it so many times that we could quote it on a daily basis (and do!) and why its so high on this list.

1. Gone with the Wind

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I can’t even remember how old I was when I first watched this movie but it is such an important part of my childhood. My mom is a huge fan of the book and the movie, as well as her two sisters, and it was a huge part of my life. I first read the book when I was thirteen years old, all 1000+ pages, which was a hefty read for a girl that young. But I remember this movie, and continue to as one of the best love stories ever told because it is a love story that goes so terribly wrong, and gets so insanely messed up and isn’t that the truth? Scarlett O’Hara knows what she wants but what she wants is what is so precisely wrong for her. The man that was made for her, that will love her for her strengths and her flaws, for her attitude and her selfishness and her ambition and determination is Rhett Butler and she screws it up so badly. She makes all the wrong decisions and all the wrong moves and in the end, she is left alone, without the man she loves, because she has realized it way too late. She is heartbroken and you are heartbroken and you’re grabbing a pint of Cherry Garcia and you want to hand it through the television to Scarlett with a box of tissues while you yell at her, through your sobbing, for being so incredibly stupid and blind. It is also one of the most amazing movies ever made and remains the highest grossing movie of all time, when adjusted for inflation.

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s edition of the Tuesday Top Ten and don’t forget to check out previous lists!

Don’t forget to enter my Tammara Webber giveaway!

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I’d also like to say a HUGE congratulations to my best friend, Allison Holley, and her husband (on Friday!) Aaron Lane. I am so incredibly happy for you guys. Its been an up and down journey, a long journey but you guys have made it this far and you will continue to make it because you guys love each other, and you are best friends, and you have a wonderful relationship. I can’t wait to stand next to you two on Friday when you say your vows :) I love you guys!

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