The Wonderful World of Ghibli

The husband is here for a visit (yay!), so we took the Ninjas on a trip to Disney World. We had a wonderful surprise when we hit a gift shop in Epcot‘s Japan showcase: Studio Ghibli gear!

For any of you who don’t know about the wonderful world of Ghibli, they produce magical movies that my Ninjas just love. Fantastic tales are told with such imagination and beautiful illustration, they immediately fill a soft spot in your heart.

If you’re wondering why Ghibli gear is being sold in a Disney World gift shop well, Disney has the rights to some of Ghibli’s output. And you know, if Disney wants to sell it, it’s because the company feels Ghibli produces family-friendly films. On a side note, these films are Japanese and are dubbed for English-speaking audiences, so there are some things in the films which, culturally, don’t make sense to Americans. It’s an opportunity to think outside of the box, folks. The English translations of the movies are performed by well-known actors, such as Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson, Michael Keaton (yup, Batman), Kirsten Dunst, Lauren Bacall, Phil Hartman, Christian Bale (that’s right, Batman, again), Billy Crystal, Mark Hamill (ahem, Luke Skywalker), Brad Garrett, and Dakota Fanning.

These are Ninja favorites:

  1. Ponyo – The tale of a magical fish who falls in love with a young boy. He lives on a tropical, Asian island, similar to Okinawa, however it reminds us of where Ninja #1 was born, Guam.
  2. My Neighbor Totoro – That cute, grey animal in this post’s picture is of Totoro, a forest spirit who watches over two sisters. The Ninjas love him to pieces. Naturally, we had to take him home with us when we saw him sitting on a shelf in Epcot.
  3. Kiki’s Delivery Service – My Ninjas enjoy this, but it’s more of a mommy favorite. It reminds me of the cartoons I watched when I was little. A magical story of a young witch and her black cat companion, Jiji.
  4. Howl’s Moving Castle – This movie tells the tale of a sorcerer named Howl, who hides from his troubles until he finally finds the strength to face them after falling in love.
  5. Porco Rosso – Truly a Ninja movie with a vintage feel. Set in the Adriatic around the time of World War I, Porco is a man cursed with the likeness of a pig only because of the guilt he carries over his comrades’ deaths. Airplane acrobatics and old-fashioned dog fights with prop-planes give Ninjas a thrill-a-minute in this high flying adventure. Make sure to give the Ninjas a potty break before turning it on because they won’t want to turn it off!
  6. Castle in the Sky – The hero in this story is Pazu, a young man searching for the lost city of Laputa. There are air pirates, flying battleships, good guys vs. bad guys, robots, a damsel in distress, and, you guessed it, a castle in the sky in this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it adventure.

Are there any Studio Ghibli films you enjoy that I didn’t mention? Which is your favorite?

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