Catch the 2023 Studio Ghibli Fest in Theaters Near You
Ten classic Ghibli films are coming to theaters for a limited time.
Ever wanted to watch your favorite Studio Ghibli films on the big screen, where they were meant to be experienced? You can always watch the magical and heart-wrenching animated Ghibli classics on HBO Max, but for the rest of 2023, you can also watch them in select theaters near you.
GKIDS, the animation distributor responsible for bringing international films like Lu Over the Wall, Lupin III: The First, and The Secret of Kells to the States, is once again hosting Studio Ghibli Fest, a yearlong movie marathon in partnership with Fathom Events. This means that Ghibli Fest is coming to most Regal and Cinemark theaters, among others.
At least once a month from March to November, select theaters will host both subtitled and dubbed showings of one of ten classic Ghibli films from director Hayao Miyazaki. The next event on the list is Kiki’s Delivery Service, which you can catch in participating theaters on June 11, 12, and 14.
Keep reading for the full Studio Ghibli Fest schedule.
March 25–29 | My Neighbor Totoro
Celebrate Totoro’s 35th anniversary with this classic family movie. It’s about two sisters, Satsuke and Mei, who discover and befriend spirits in the forest near their new home while their mother is in the hospital. In the English dub, Dakota and Elle Fanning voice the sisters.
April 23, 27 | Spirited Away: Live on Stage
For the first time ever, Spirited Away is coming to the stage, and you can immerse yourself in the magic from the comfort of your local movie theater. Like the original 2001 film, Spirited Away: Live on Stage follows Chihiro, a young girl separated from her parents while on vacation. She ends up in a mysterious and often scary world of spirits who live in an abandoned amusement park in the countryside.
Unlike the rest of the films, Spirited Away: Live on Stage isn’t available anywhere for streaming, so fans won’t want to miss this two-day event.
May 7–8, 10 | Ponyo
Can you believe 2023 marks Ponyo’s 15th anniversary already? Personally, it feels like just yesterday that I was watching Frankie Jonas and Noah Cyrus sing “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” on the Disney Channel.
Ponyo is a Little Mermaid reimagining about a young fishy princess who wants to become a little girl. She befriends a human boy and discovers the wonders of the surface world, including some delicious ham and hot ramen noodles.
June 11–12, 14 | Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a young girl (named Kiki) in training to become a witch. She’s all ready with her broom and her talking cat Jiji, but she has to set off on her own before becoming a full witch. Her new delivery service seems to be going well until a moment of self-doubt knocks her powers out of whack.
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July 9, 11 | Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaä is super underrated, and this writer’s personal favorite Ghibli film. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where much of the planet has become inhospitable from ecological toxins. Princess Nausicaä must connect with the giant, dangerous creatures known as Ohms in order to bring peace to her world.
Also—and I’m just learning this now—the English dub features Mark Hamill, Shia LaBeouf, and Patrick Stewart.
July 10, 12 | Castle in the Sky
Castle in the Sky was Studio Ghibli’s first film, released in 1986, and is about two children in the late 19th century on the run from their government and a band of air pirates. They search for the titular floating castle in the sky in an effort to prevent a magical crystal from falling into the wrong hands.
Miyazaki loves including big magical castles and flying things in his films, but if you were curious, this doesn’t have anything to do with Howl’s Moving Castle.
August 5–9 | Princess Mononoke
In Princess Mononoke, a young prince named Ashitaka is cursed by a dying boar god. He travels looking for a cure until he finds San, a human girl raised by a wolf goddess. The film follows the resulting conflict between humans and nature spirits. In the English dub, Ashitaka and San are voiced by Billy Crudup (The Morning Show, Hello Tomorrow!) and Claire Danes (Stardust, Homeland).
August 20, 22 | Porco Rosso
Okay, bear with me for this one: Porco Rosso is a film about a former World War I pilot who battles sky pirates in 1930s Italy. This may seem a bit un-magical for a Ghibli film, but the titular pilot Porco Rosso isn’t an ordinary WWI vet. He’s also an anthropomorphic pig with a mustache.
August 21, 23 | The Wind Rises
The Wind Rises, the most recent film from Hayao Miyazaki, turns ten years old in 2023. (We would say it’s his final film, but that title actually goes to the upcoming How Do You Live, which releases in Japan on July 14, 2023.) A lot of Miyazaki films focus on airplanes and air travel, so it’s not surprising that The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biography of Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese aircraft designer in World War II.
September 23–27 | Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle is this writer’s second-favorite Ghibli movie. Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones, it follows a hatmaker named Sophie who, after being cursed into the form of an old woman, becomes an enigmatic wizard’s live-in maid. It’s a sweetly romantic movie, and the movie’s theme song, “Merry-Go-Round of Life,” is iconic.
October 28–November 1 | Spirited Away
Rounding out 2023’s Ghibli slate is Spirited Away—the movie version, not the stage show. If you’re unfamiliar, Spirited Away is about a young girl named Chihiro whose family accidentally enters a haunted amusement park. She gets separated from her parents and becomes trapped by the world of spirits.