As one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios, Studio Ghibli has produced some of Japan’s most critically acclaimed and highest-grossing films - but what are the most popular Studio Ghibli movies around the world?
Founded in 1985 by friends and collaborators, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli has been responsible for creating some of the most beloved animated movies of all time.
Their work has also influenced other animators and live-action filmmakers with the likes of Guillermo del Toro and Wes Anderson being vocal fans of their work.
But despite their popularity, Studio Ghibli films have historically been hard to track down and expensive to buy. However, thanks to a deal with Netflix, the bulk of the Ghibli catalogue is now available for your streaming pleasure - so where should you start?
To help you prepare for your Studio Ghibli marathon, broadbandchoices.co.uk analysed Google search data to find the most popular Ghibli movies around the world, as well as where the biggest Studio Ghibli fans live.
Note: While Nausicaa is not technically a Ghibli movie, we chose to include it as it led to the founding of Studio Ghibli. Not included are Ocean Waves (TV movie) and Earwig and the Witch (theatrical release scheduled Aug 2021).
The most popular Studio Ghibli film in (almost) every country
Topping the list in 80 countries, Spirited Away (2001) is by far the worlds most popular Studio Ghibli film.
The film often credited for helping bring Studio Ghibli to western audiences, Spirited Away held the title for the highest-grossing anime film for nearly two decades and was the first Ghibli movie to win an Academy Award.
A loose adaptation of the book by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle (2004) came in second place. While it’s an anti-war film at heart, Howl’s is still full of imagination and features witches, fire demons, sentient scarecrows, and of course, a moving Castle - the English dub also stars Christian Bale and Billy Crystal.
Tying for third place are Princess Mononoke (1997) and Ponyo (2008). Representing the two extremes that Ghibli has to offer, Princess Mononoke is one of the studios most dark and violent movies and was the first Ghibli movie to earn a PG-13 in the U. On the other hand, Ponyo is one of the most child-friendly films on the list and is a quasi-adaptation of The Little Mermaid with a bit of Pinocchio on the side.
The most searched for Studio Ghibli films
Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly considering how much it dominated on a national level, Spirited Away (2001) owned the highest percentage of global search volume across all the Studio Ghibli movies included in our study.
However, both Princess Mononoke (1997) and Ponyo (2008) jumped to second and third place respectively, relegating Howl's Moving Castle (2004) to fourth overall.
Similarly, when looking at total search volume, Grave of the Fireflies (1988) leapfrogged the much loved My Neighbour Totoro (1988) to take the fifth spot on the list, while Porco Rosso (1992) fell all the way to 10th.
Where do the biggest Studio Ghibli fans live?
To find the biggest Studio Ghibli loving countries outside of Japan, we totted up the total number of Ghibli related searches in each country and compared it to their population to find how many Ghibli searches each country has per 1,000 people.
What’s the most popular Studio Ghibli film in your country?
Whether you plan on streaming the world’s favourite Studio Ghibli movies in HD or glorious 4K, make sure your internet connection is up to the task - and maybe even offset some of the cost of your Netflix subscriptions - by comparing broadband deals with us today.
An analysis of worldwide average monthly search data by country using ahrefs keyword explorer.
While Nausicaa is not technically a Ghibli movie, we chose to include it as it led to the founding of Studio Ghibli. Not included are Ocean Waves (TV movie) and Earwig and the Witch (theatrical release scheduled Aug 2021)
To find the biggest Ghibli lovers, monthly data for each country was multiplied by 12 to find annual search figures, then divided that countries population to find the number of searches per 1,000 people.