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The Wind Rises (2014)

This is a beautifully animated tale of love, tragedy and war. The latest (and rumored to be the last) release of a Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises tells the story of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, a pioneer in aircraft design in the first half of the twentieth century. More than aspiring to achieve flight, Jiro is an artist and dreamer striving to stay true to himself during a trying time in his life and in Japanese history. If you enjoy animation of imaginative tales, this movie is not one to be missed!

Rango (2011)

A family's pet chameleon suddenly finds himself thrown out of his safe aquarium and left to fend for himself in the Western desert. He goes from living in his own private fantasy world (as a movie star and director) to playing a starring role as a swashbuckling hero who rescues the drought-ridden town of Dirt from evil bandits.

Spirited Away (2003)

Probably Miyazaki's best film!  Spirited Away is the story of young Chihiro and her quest to save her parents from the spirit world.  A classic hero story, Chihiro (or Sen as she is called in the spirit world) braves her way through many adventures to set her parents free and prove herself as an independent soul in this story of adversity and strength.

Samurai Champloo (2004-2005)

Samurai Champloo is one of the most entertaining adventures in the samurai genre. Three unwilling companions set out on a journey across Edo period Japan.  A young woman looking for a possibly nonexistent samurai that smells like sunflowers,  a wild swordsman looking to challenge absolutely anyone who irritates him, and a taciturn ronin with a hidden past forge an unlikely bond. Though set in the 17th century,  Samurai Champloo has a hip-hop sensibility, with many modern references and themes.  The dialogue is extremely witty and the characters endearing.

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