PONYO (崖の上のポニョ) (2008)

dir. Hayao Miyazaki. Stunning hand drawn animation. Lots of visual similarities with PORCO ROSSO (1992), with the seaside town, and the beautiful aircraft and ships. I always think the end of the world plot line is too much, but it all comes to gather in the end. I love how the mother gets drunk and falls asleep on the carpet when the father is stuck out at sea. After SPIRITED AWAY (1995), and HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (2004), this film might have the most delicious looking animated food? Craving ramen and ham right now, maybe with a can of Sapporo. 

THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO (ルパン三世 カリオストロの城)(1979)

dir. Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki’s first feature film, pre-Studio Ghibli. Not an original story, but based on the Lupin III manga series. I grew up watching an English dub on VHS, and revisiting is a real nostalgia trip. The action scenes are very clever and unpredictable. Some early glimpse of the Miyazaki with the beautiful Autogyro, and car engine details, and the intricate rings. In comparison to his other features, this now has the feeling of a feature length TV episode, maybe because of the slightly cheesy music. Absolutely worth watching for Miyazaki completionists, but not on the same level of of the Studio Ghibli features.