Top 10 Studio Ghibli Movie Quotes

Studio Ghibli has created some of the most iconic and meaningful animated films of all time. They stand out for their pacing, their beauty, and their ever-present love of nature. There is beauty in every single frame of animation, and beauty in every single quote. Still, there are a few quotes that stand out above the rest.

So as a way to celebrate Hayao Miyazaki’s birthday, let’s dive into our top 10 Studio Ghibli movie quotes, from Miyazaki’s classics to Studio Ghibli’s more recent releases.

“Once you’ve met someone you never really forget them. It just takes a while for your memories to return.”

Spirited Away

The witch Yubaba was cruel and created treacherous contracts that stole your memory and your very name. And yet, Yubaba’s twin sister Zeniba had a hopeful outlook. She reassured Chihiro that memories return and that the people we meet always stay with us. Spirited Away has endless beautiful quotes, but it’s hard to imagine anything more reassuring than the notion that we stay connected to the wonderful friends we’ve made along the way.

 “Just follow your heart and keep smiling.”

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s mother, Kokiri, is a witch just like her daughter. And even though we don’t spend much time with her throughout Kiki’s Delivery Service, Kokiri does everything she can to support Kiki before she leaves. Kiki wants to be the best witch she can be, and having a good heart is important. Kokiri reminds her to follow that beautiful instinct.

“They say the best blaze burns brightest when circumstances are at their worst.”

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle follows Sophie Hatter, who has been cursed in the most interesting way. She is aging out of control and her age fluctuates all throughout the film. Luckily, she meets and falls in love with a powerful wizard named Howl. In the end, it is only love that saves the day. And whether it be the burning love in her heart or the fire demon Calcifer igniting the furnace, this movie is absolutely aflame with warmth and kindness.

“Everybody, try laughing. Then whatever scares you will go away!”

My Neighbor Totoro

Tatsuo Kusakabe is a kind father and a hopeful husband. His optimism and his joy, even in the face of the unknown, is charming and uplifting. After all, when you’re a child, there’s nothing more terrifying or mysterious than the unknown. But My Neighbor Totoro shows us that the unknown can be exciting, fun, and even hilarious. Next time you’re scared, try laughing.

“Life is suffering. It is hard. The world is cursed. But still, you find reasons to keep on living.”

Princess Mononoke

Osa only appears briefly in Princess Mononoke yet he makes a massive impact on the story and the audience. He suffers from leprosy, and wears bandages to cover his face. When speaking to Ashitaka, he says, “Young man, like you I know what rage feels like, and grief and helplessness…” and yet there is more than just suffering. There is still beauty in the darkness. There is still hope within pain.

“I love Ponyo, whether she’s a fish, a human, or something in between.”


Ponyo tells the story of a goldfish princess who longs to live on the surface. She forms an unbreakable bond with a human boy named Sosuke, whose heart is pure and kind. Magic doesn’t always make sense. Life doesn’t always make sense. And yet, pure love and pure kindness make sense of it all.

“The Earth speaks to all of us, and if we listen, we can understand.”

Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky was the very first film produced by Studio Ghibli. In a story about a floating island called Laputa, we get to meet the old coal miner Uncle Pom. He reminds us that our beautiful world has a voice. And while there are weapons and warriors that scream over the sounds, in calm and silence, everyone can hear the Earth’s voice. Most importantly, we can listen to each other and understand each other.

 “Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.”

Whisper of the Heart

We first meet Baron Humbert von Gikkingen inside an antique shop in Whisper of the Heart, where Shizuku Tsukishima is enchanted by him. On the outside, he’s just a statue of an anthropomorphic cat. However, there is something more to him that captures the imagination. He becomes more than just a statue, especially when night falls. That’s when he comes to life. In The Cat Returns, The Baron teaches us that there is life in creativity and beauty within it all.

Fun fact: In the English dub, The Baron is voiced by Cary Elwes, known for his role as Westley in The Princess Bride.

“Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all.”

Ocean Waves

Ocean Waves is unlike any other Studio Ghibli film. The film follows Taku Morisaki as we are taken through his memories and through his life. It is a thank you and a farewell to youth, and a promise of change. The story finds love in almost every gentle scene, and just as the tide turns, so does life. The film helps us realize that even as waves push and pull, they reveal the most beautiful shells in the sand underneath. Over time, Taku comes out of his shell. In a way, Ocean Waves is like soft rain on a window, and if you look out, you’ll see rainbows in the sky.

“My heart is stronger now that you’re in it.”

The Secret World of Arrietty

The Secret World Of Arrietty introduces The Borrowers, small beings who live under the floorboards in human homes. Borrowers take the little things that humans leave behind. It’s just enough for them to get by and, usually, humans never notice. Usually. But a young boy with a heart condition, Sho, notices Arrietty. They become friends, despite the danger, and even when the family must leave, Sho is grateful. For even in passing, and even in going, Sho finds strength in their friendship.

Which Studio Ghibli quote is your favorite? Are there any quotes you would add to the list? Tell us over in our Atomic Misfits Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!