Studio Ghibli Marathon at Prince Charles Cinema

My neighbour Totoro

Great news for Studio Ghibli fans! The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is having an all-night marathon of Hayao Miyazaki’s magical films this Saturday, the  27th July. They’re in the original language with English subtitles. That’s Saturday night sorted then, right?

But wait a minute. It occurs to me that not everyone reading this is a Ghibli fan. There might be people out there who’ve never seen a Ghibli film. Well, just for you, here’s a quick outline of what to expect. (Ghibli veterans can just skip straight to the end of the post for ticket details).

Ghibli films are what the word ‘charming’ was invented for. Also ‘magical’ and ‘enchanting’. They’re beautifully hand-drawn by artists who bring a deep love of nature and a golden glow of nostalgia to films that celebrate the joys and challenges of an old-fashioned childhood.

The protagonists are generally spirited, independent young girls. They don’t fight evil villains. (Ghibli doesn’t do villains). They encounter strange (mostly friendly) spirits. They grow up; they face up to problems and overcome them; they love their families; they make friends, both human and animal; and they learn how to live. They ache, they struggle, they laugh, they cry – and so will you. In a good way.

There are six films in the marathon:

My Neighbour Totoro

My neighbour Totoro

The best ever Ghibli film. It’s the story of two girls who move to the country with their father while their mother is ill in hospital. In the peace and beauty of the countryside they meet the totoro, the spirit of the forest (see the picture at the top of this post to understand just how cuddly and loveable a totoro is), the bizarre cat bus with headlamp eyes and a host of other strange creatures.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service

Apprentice witch Kiki is sent to make her way in the world, which she does by delivering things on her broomstick, accompanied by a tiny, irresistible black cat.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

The film that gave Ghibli its breakthrough in the west, winning the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It’s the story of a young girl who has to rescue her parents, who have been turned into pigs, from the bathhouse of the gods.

Howl’s Moving Castle 

Howl's Moving Castle

Based on the book by English children’s author Diana Wynne Jones. A witch turns the heroine into an old woman. Only narcissistic young wizard Howl can break the spell.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Laputa: Castle in the sky

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Porco Rosso
Porco Rosso

An ex World War I fighter ace, turned into a pig by a curse, chases airborne pirates.

The marathon is on Sat 27th July, starting at 9:00pm. Tickets £22.50/£25. Check the cinema website for the running order.

The films are also being shown individually on Sundays, including one not in the marathon, Princess Mononoke, on 28th July.

Studio Ghibli marathon

10 thoughts on “Studio Ghibli Marathon at Prince Charles Cinema

  1. These movies are awesome! Watched many of them a long time ago, with my children too, dubbed in Cantonese. We call that ‘cat’ the ‘dragon cat’. One of he movies must be ‘The City in the Sky’, a truly beautiful story. Thanks for writing it up. 🙂


  2. I’ve seen Spirited Away and loved it. I had no idea there were so many other films from the same studio. I doubt I’ll be up for the marathon, but I’ll certainly check out some of the other films on DVD.


  3. Fab! I caught some of these when Film 4 did a Ghibli season a few months ago. I was already a fan of Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away but hadn’t seen any of the others. I loved My Neighbour Totoro, but to be honest I wasn’t wild about Kiki’s Delivery Service. Porco Rosso sounds great though!


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