Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Studio Ghibli Films

Fact: Studio Ghibli has never made a bad film.

If you've never seen any of the Studio Ghibli films, you need to. And to get you started, here are my Top 5 Favorite Studio Ghibli films:

1. Porco Rosso
2. My Neighbor Totoro
3. Howl's Moving Castle
4. Castle in the Sky
5. The Cat Returns

Runner up: Spirited Away


buddy2blogger said…
I need to check these movies soon!

I have seen "Spirited Away". Probably the same director made some of these movies as well...
Rick said…
Hayao Miyazaki is the guy who directed pretty much all of the Ghibli films (he also wrote most of them himself as well). I believe the latest Ghibli movie, "The Secret World of Arietty", is the first to be directed by someone else.

All of the films are bright, colorful, and imaginative. None of them follow a standard formula like Disney cartoons (plucky main character, two goofy non-human sidekicks, central villain with goofy sidekick, etc...). Some of them are clearly intended for children such as "My Neighbor Totoro"; some have more serious themes like "Porco Rosso" (survivor's guilt after WWI) or "Princess Mononoke" (culture clashes, ecology, and moral dilemmas).

I have yet to find one that wasn't worth watching.