After a hiatus at the start of the year, Vintage Sundays – our weekly celebration of classic films – returns this spring with a bountiful bento box of Studio Ghibli delights. This spring, we’re paying tribute to the visionary Japanese animation house with six of its very best features. So come and dance with fireflies, walk with kodama spirits and play with mystical Totoros in the madcap and beautiful world of Ghibli.
Sunday 4 March
Grave of the Fireflies (12a)
Director: Isao Takahata. Japan 1988. 89 mins.
When their mother is killed in an air raid, a boy and his little sister must try to survive on their own in the razed landscape of WWII Japan. Not shying away from the civilian horrors of war and perhaps even more impactful for being an animation, Grave Of The Fireflies ranks among the most powerful antiwar films ever made.
Contains moderate war horror.Find your cinema and book tickets
Sunday 11 March
My Neighbour Totoro (U)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Japan 1988. 87 mins.
Two young girls and their father move to a new home while the mother is in hospital. There the girls encounter the furry, rotund Totoro and other magical creatures who inhabit the surrounding countryside. A particular hit with younger children, this is a charmingly fantastical tale of childhood adventure tinged with just the right dose of pathos.Find your cinema and book tickets
Sunday 18 March
Kiki’s Delivery Service (U)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Japan 1989. 103 mins.
Thirteen-year-old novice witch Kiki must spend a year away from home as part of her training. She decides to settle in a pretty seaside town and set up a broomstick-based delivery service to make a living. Adventures ensue as Kiki faces the dual challenges of making deliveries and maintaining faith in herself. A delightful coming-of-age story.Find your cinema and book tickets
Sunday 25 March
Princess Mononoke (PG)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Japan 1997. 134 mins.
When Prince Ashitaka slays a raging boar god, he is wounded and becomes infected with the sickness that had sent the beast berserk, a malady stemming from humankind’s disharmony with nature. Set at the time of Japan’s transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era, Princess Mononoke is a morally complex tale that blends a fantasy quest with social comment for our times.Find your cinema and book tickets
Sunday 1 April
Spirited Away (PG)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Japan 2001. 125 mins.
A spoilt ten-year-old girl is transported to an alternative world, where she must work in a public bathhouse catering to a host of weird and wonderful spirits, gods and mythical beings, in order to save her parents who have been turned into pigs. Miyazaki’s wildly imaginative, rip-roaring visual feast won the Best Animated Feature Oscar.Find your cinema and book tickets
Sunday 8 April
Howl’s Moving Castle
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Japan 2004. 119 mins.
In Miyazaki’s enchanting freestyle adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’s novel, young hatter Sophie is transformed into a 90-year-old woman by a wicked witch. Pragmatically undeterred, she finds work as a cleaning lady in magician Howl’s clanking Hieronymus Bosch-esque mobile abode. As visually intricate as you would expect, Howl’s Moving Castle also packs an antiwar punch.Find your cinema and book tickets