Despite that heavy-sounding plot, Porco Rosso makes for a light-hearted action film, lacking any overwhelming depiction of the rise of a fascist state or brutal depiction of war that you might find in Howl’s Moving Castle or Grave of the Fireflies.
My Neighbor Totoro
The film that features the most recognizable character in any Studio Ghibli film, the eponymous Totoro of My Neighbor Totoro can alongside Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse within the annals of Japanese pop culture.
Though Ponyo aims at a younger audience demographic, the film features dozens of recurring Studio Ghibli themes, including pro-environmental messages and the idea of finding one's place in the world.
Kiki's Delivery Service
A coming-of-age story in every sense, Kiki's Delivery Service features the main character growing up into maturity, relying less on the adults around her and more on herself.
Grave of The Fireflies
It's a movie impossible not to tear up while watching, but it's one everyone should make an effort to see, not just as an anime fan but as a human being as well.
A film that explores far-ranging topics like environmentalism, spiritualism, fantasy, and consumerism, Spirited Away feels like a modern retelling of Alice of Wonderland crossed with the fantastic work of Neil Gaiman.