When most people think about movies from Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, they think about the stories, along with the wonderful hand-drawn animation and direction. They remember watching films such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away.

However, the music behind the movie is just as important. Many would argue that without the wonderful music, the movies would not be quite as interesting and powerful. That’s actually true of most films. Stop for a moment and think about just how differen the experience would be without all of that great music. Often, it would remove some of the heart and humor from the experience.

Studio Ghibli puts just as much creative power and thought into their music and themes as they do their storytelling, and the movies they’ve created over the decades have some of the best music in all of animation, and cinema for that matter.

Totoro – My Neighbor Totoro

At The Bus Stop on Disney Video

Honestly, this is just a fun song. It sounds very much like the start of a Saturday morning cartoon, and both the Japanese and the English version are equally great. Once you hear it, this song will be stuck in your head for days, and that’s not a bad thing at all… unless you start getting some strange looks while you are singing it in the grocery store!

Journey to the West – Princess Mononoke

I’m Taking the Wolf Girl – Princess Mononoke Clip on Disney Video

This music has an undeniably epic feel to it, and you can’t help but feel your heart and your spirits swell when you hear it. Once this is in your head, you will want to get out there and go on your own adventures, surely.

The Sixth Stop – Spirited Away

Spirited Away Trailer on Disney Video

While the other two pieces we’ve chosen as the best, or at least some of our favorites, are happy and upbeat, there’s something truly haunting about this music. The piano in particular is quite beautiful and sad, but the melodies will surely stick with you.

Of course, coming up with a list of the best music from these movies is difficult, not to mention highly subjective. Everyone will have his or her favorite music, but we’ve done our best to come up with some of the ones that we feel are at the top of most people’s list. If you haven’t heard any of this music yet, you don’t know what you are missing.

Watch the films, check out YouTube videos of the music, and pick it up if you can. You are going to love it.

Resources: Wikipedia, Disney