Eleven of the Best and Worst Forms of Transport in Ghibli Movies

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My sister and I recently went on a Ghibli movie marathon because that’s how we celebrate the holidays, and I started wondering: if I had to travel by a Ghibli universe mode of transportation, what would it be? So here’s a list of some of the worst rides you could hitch to the best ones, from Howl’s moving castle to Kiki’s broom!

(Note: I’m skipping The Wind Rises even though it’s full of fantastical and real airplanes since it seems a bit tasteless to rank real warplanes alongside my gushing about fictional animals.)

11. Tombo’s weird bike plane machine: Kiki’s Delivery Service

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Tombo is a super sweet kid, and I know that he built a working bike-plane at the end of the movie, but that first test run was horrible and put the both of them in a lot of danger. So irresponsible! *shakes crane angrily at the youths*

10. Celestial Cloud: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

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Rolling in with celestial beings to the moon? Badass! Losing your earthly memories and connections? Less rad, depending on your perspective.

9. Spirit Train: Spirited Away

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This is probably a lot of people’s favorites, but hear me out. Yes, the animation is beautiful and it’s a fantastic part of the Spirited Away world that Miyazaki created that I love. Yes, I recognize there’s a motif of moving forward and not backwards that appears again at the end when Chihiro’s not supposed to look back. That being said, a one-way train? Very impractical.

8. Crowd of Cats: The Cat Returns

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On one hand cats! One the other hand, these cats were kidnapping her so they could force her into a marriage. Hmmmmm. Also, I get car-sick very easily and this looks bumpy.

7. Totoro + Spinning Top: My Neighbor Totoro

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The spinning top isn’t higher mostly because I don’t want to put two Totoro items too close to each other, but also because you have to just hold on to his fur? I don’t have the arm strength for that! Safety first, y’all.

6. Kiki’s broomKiki’s Delivery Service

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Kiki makes flying by the ocean look so pleasant. This is more about attaining witchy powers than transport in some ways since she flies a couple different brooms, so I’m not too fussy about which one.

5. Yakul the elk: Princess Mononoke

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I don’t think it’s possible to watch this movie and not fall in love with Ashitaka’s loyal, strong, and adorable steed. I’ve also read that Yakul inspired Mula, the cat-deer from Legend of Korra, so if you love Yakul you’re in good company.

4. Howl’s Castle: Howl’s Moving Castle

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You can really see Miyazaki’s love of machinery here, just look at the way it moves! I’m pretty sure I’d get nauseous, but the design and magic of the whole castle is irresistible.

3. Haku: Spirited Away

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The nicest, best friend you’ve ever had. And he can fly so you don’t get stuck at Swamp Bottom because the train only moves in one direction.

2. Moro the Wolf God: Princess Mononoke

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Moro not only adopts San as her own child, she’s also ferocious, protective, and very quick. As long as there are no town leaders trying to kill The Forest Spirit, you’ll be fine.

And my number one is……*drumroll*

  1. Catbus: My Neighbor Totoro

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Catbus is soft and cushiony! It’ll take you directly to your destination without making any other stops! It has an awesome theme song! It’s a cat! Clear winner.

Thought my list was totally bogus or thought of a Ghibli transport that you think should’ve been on it? Let me know in the comments!

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