I hope everyone is having a great week! Summer continues to be hot and humid just like Summer has known to be. I’m just glad I don’t live in Texas or Arizona where it’s 100+ everyday. I just live in a place where it 90+ everyday. So much better! Good thing air conditioning and ice cream are things that exist. They both make summer so much better. One thing I’ve really been missing out on is swimming outside or going to the beach. I know that it’s kind of a summer cliche, but I can’t help to enjoy swimming in lakes or outside pools or beaches. I guess I just love swimming. It’s like exercise that’s actually fun and not sweaty. Anyway, here on the website, we had a wonderful week! Last Sunday, I published a Weekly Blog talking about The Fear Of Missing Out. Then I published a Special Weekly Blog on Monday, talking about The Five Video Games That Have Influenced Me which is in a similar vein as Five Books That Have Influenced Me. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read either of those, I highly recommend it. It lets me talk about some of my favorite books and video games and gives you some insight in my personality. On Wednesday, I published a Poem titled Summer Love. Finally on Friday, I published an Image Prompt titled The World After which is a post-Apocalyptic story. There is a ton of stuff on the website, so why don’t you take a minute to check it out. I’m sure there is something you would love to read. But before that, maybe you should finish this Weekly Blog. Just a suggestion.
On top of enjoying Summer, this week I’ve been house sitting for some friends and enjoying their superior wireless internet. Watching stuff on Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. You know, just enjoying the 21st Century and all of its wonderful entertainment options. Obviously I watched a lot of shows and movies, and one group of movies I watched this week were the Studio Ghibli movies. If you aren’t familiar with Studio Ghibli, they are what many consider the “Disney” of Japanese Animated Movies. They made movies such as Spirited Away, which is one of their most famous movies, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, and many others. The ones I watched this week were Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Now I’ll say that all the Studio Ghibli films I have seen are amazing. They tell wonderful stories with compelling characters and the animation is gorgeous. Even movies that are ten or twenty years old look amazing and they have messages that touch the souls of viewers young and old. If you haven’t watched a Studio Ghibli film before, I highly recommend checking them out. Again, Spirited Away is probably there best known film, but any of the ones I mentioned are really good. I have wanted to talk about these films for awhile now, but didn’t have a good opportunity to before now, so let’s talk a little bit about both Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle.
First I want to talk about Kiki’s Delivery Service because it ranks top of my Studio Ghibli list. I know that on any listing of Studio Ghibli films, Kiki does not rank very high, so this pick may be controversial, but I think it’s an underrated movie. Movies like Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke tell large stories with a lot of characters and a lot of action. Kiki’s delivery service focuses on a smaller cast of characters and a smaller story which I really appreciate. Sure it ramps up a little at the end, but the story doesn’t become a huge spectacle. To give a quick, spoiler free, summary of the plot, Kiki is a young witch you leaves home to go on a journey. Her mission is to find a new town or city to set up shop in and provide her services to the town. For example her mother makes potions and a witch Kiki meets along the way tells fortunes. Now Kiki can’t make potions or tell fortunes, but she has some experience flying on a broom. So Kiki ends up setting up a delivery service in a coastal city where she also helps out at a bakery. It’s a small story that stays pretty grounded, even with magic being a thing. Again, there’s a life and death situation at the end that I don’t want to spoil, but the main focus in on Kiki and her journey. She moves to a new town, meets new people, has some interpersonal problems, and ultimately comes out on top. It’s a coming of age story surrounding Kiki and her journey from an inexperienced witch to a small business owner and helpful witch.
Compare that to the story of Howl’s Moving Castle. This is a larger story which involves several magical beings as well as kingdoms locked in war with one another. A grander scale. But let’s jump back just a second and I’ll give a quick summary of this movie as well. Howl’s Moving Castle focuses on a young woman named Sophie who works in a hat shop and mostly keeps to herself. One day she is cursed by the infamous Witch of the Waste and turned into an old woman. Sophie then travels into the Waste to track down the witch and get her turned back into her regular self. Along the way she meets a Scarecrow and stumbles upon, the moving, mechanical “castle” of Howl who is a powerful magician. In the background of everything going on with Sophie is a terrible war between two kingdoms which occurs after the Prince of one kingdom goes missing. This leads to magicians and witches to be drafted into the war, but Howl does not want to get involved. There are other characters Sophie meets along the way including Howl’s apprentice, Markl, the fire demon that controls the castle, Calcifer, and the King’s adviser/powerful witch, Suliman. I don’t want to say too much more about the story, but you can already see that this is already a much bigger movie than Kiki’s delivery service. This movie is about war, love, sacrifice, friendship, and so much more. It has action as well as its more tender moments between characters and really funny parts too. It’s a story full of compelling characters and a truly fantastic story.
So why did I decide to write about these two Studio Ghibli films for this week’s Weekly Blog? Well mostly because I recently watched them and wanted to talk about them. I know I already said this, but Studio Ghibli films are great. I have a ranking of how good I think they are compared to one another, but in general, they are all really good movies. Hayao Miyazaki is such a visionary and Studio Ghibli does such a fantastic job of bringing his vision to life. Hopefully I sold these movies to you if you haven’t already seen them, because you really should. These movies are made for children, but people of any age can enjoy them and I think they contain such big themes that resonate with people no matter what age they are. These are just two movies, but I could probably dedicate whole Weekly Blogs breaking down each of these awesome movies and what they mean to me. However, I don’t think I’m really cut out to be a movie review website especially since these movies are not new in the slightest.
Ok I better cut myself off now before I ramble on for another thousand or so words talking about these movies. Seriously, go watch them if you haven’t seen them already. But before you do that, make sure you give this Weekly Blog a like if you enjoyed it. Also you can leave a comment down below if you want. Tell me if you have seen these films before of what your favorite Studio Ghibli film is. Again, mine is Kiki’s delivery service, but I know people all have their favorite one. Also, you can spend a minute checking out the other stuff on the website. There over a year and a half worth of Weekly Blogs, Poems, and Writing Prompt pieces on the website, so spend some time on the website and I’m sure you can find some stuff you’d enjoy to read. I really appreciate all the views and likes on both the most recent piece published and the older stuff. All of the support really makes my day, so thank you for making that happen.
Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Header Photo Credit to Studio Ghibli’s Wikipedia