Studio Ghibli is primarily known for its animation and fantastical narratives, but these 10 quotes managed to be more impactful than anything else.
The Japanese animation film studio, Studio Ghibli, has made an incredible collection of movies since its founding in 1985. The films are famous for their imagination and talent for showing the world as whimsical and wondrous. Most of the films feature female protagonists and delve into magical realism that is inspired by literature and Japan’s Shinto roots.
Tucked away in these family-friendly movies is a lot of wisdom. After all, the themes in these films often include feminism, love, pacifism, family, and environmentalism. These are big topics, but they are in every breath of the world. They are especially shown in some of the most inspirational quotes from these films.
10. “Sometimes You Have To Fight For The Things That Are Worth Fighting For.” – The Secret World Of Arrietty (2010)
The Secret World of Arrietty is about a family not much bigger than mice called Borrowers. The main character, Arrietty, is a Borrower that forms a friendship with a human boy. This quote is from Arrietty herself. Due to her small size, she is quite brave and is willing to take risks throughout the film for her friends and family.
9. “They Say That The Best Blaze Burns Brightest When Circumstances Are At Their Worst.” – Howls Moving Castle (2004)
Howl’s Moving Castle is one of Studio Ghibli’s biggest international hits and is based on a book by the same name. It is a love story about a girl, Sophie, who is cursed to be an old woman, so she goes to work for a mysterious wizard named Howl.
The quote is from Sophie when trying to encourage Calicfer, the fire that keeps Howl’s castle moving. He has doubts about his abilities, so she tells him this. It is one of many great quotes from the movie.
8. “Always Believe In Yourself. Do This And No Matter Where You Are, You Will Have Nothing To Fear.” – The Cat Returns (2002)
The Cat Returns is another Ghibli film that has a ton of imagination in its story. A girl accidentally accepts a cats’ proposal in marriage, and she is kidnapped by cats and taken to the cat kingdom. She hires the Baron, a cat investigator who helps her save herself from her situation. The quote above is said by the Baron, who is somewhat of a wise mentor character to the protagonist.
7. “It Doesn’t Really Matter What Color Your Dress Is. What Matters Is The Heart Inside.” – Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
The story of Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a 13-year-old witch in training, Kiki. The film conveys the clear moral of having self-confidence but does so in a way that never feels preachy. The film, like most made by Studio Ghibli, won a lot of awards. However, it is one of its lowest-grossing projects, as well. This quote is another way of saying “don’t just a book by its cover.”
6. “Everybody, Try Laughing. Then Whatever Scares You Will Go Away!” – My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Totoro is one of Studio Ghibli’s most beloved creations and is often seen as the mascot for the company due to its popularity. The film My Neighbor Totoro is beloved for its childish innocence, creature designs, and for being one of those rare films that is very light on tension.
This quote is not said by one of the female protagonists, but their dad, Tatsuo Kusakabe. He is a secondary character that is a positive force in the life of his daughters.
5. “Life Is Suffering. It Is Hard. The World Is Cursed. But Still, You Find Reasons To Keep On Living.” – Princess Mononoke (1997)
Princess Mononoke is one of Studio Ghibli’s more mature films that highlight environmentalism and pacifism. The forest and the world of man are at odds due to mans’ greed.
While that may seem overdone in film, Princess Mononoke tells the story in a way where both sides are quite likable and complex. At the center of the conflict is a girl who was raised by wolves. Besides the story and characters, the film also has an incredible score. This quote actually comes from a very minor character; a human man named Osa who is suffering from leprosy.
4. “Once You’ve Met Someone, You Never Really Forget Them.” – Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away is another one of Studio Ghibli’s films that are most well known and highly scored on film sites. The coming of age story follows a young girl who gets spirited away to the land of spirits. The film won a ton of awards for its characters, story, design, music, writing, and more. This quote is from a minor character named Zeniba. She is a witch with a ton of wisdom.
3. “Life, As They Say, Has Its Ups And Downs. At Times, The Waves May Taunt You, Tossing You In Their Swells. But Take Heart. It’s Hard To Stick With It And Make It On Your Own. But Even A Couple Of Losers Can Survive Most Things If They’re Together.” – My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999)
This film is less known and has quite a unique animation style in comparison to most Studio Ghibli projects. The story isn’t exactly linear, as it is a collection of stories with the commonality of featuring the same cast of characters, the Yamada family.
The hidden gem of a film also has one of the most inspirational quotes. It is on the theme of love and family.
2. “It’s Funny How You Wake Up Each Day And Never Really Know If It’ll Be One That Will Change Your Life Forever.” – The Secret World Of Arrietty (2010)
Here is a second quote from The Secret World of Arrietty. The quote is a hopeful one. It is about how change is the only constant in life and that that can be exciting.
1. “Deny Death, And You Deny Life.” – Tales From Earthsea (2006)
Tales of Earthsea is known as one of the least popular Studio Ghibli films. It is based on a book of the same name, but it’s known to deviate a lot from its plot and characters. For a film made by Studio Ghibli, it fell quite short of expectations.
However, it still has its inspiring quotes. For example, accepting death is a big theme. To deny death is to deny that wish makes life possible.