My opinion is 100% opposite of yours, Lotso
; Castle in the Sky
is my favorite of Miyazaki's feature films (with Porco Rosso
a close second), while Princess Mononoke
ranks 'least' among his films, for me (below even his pre-Ghibli works, IMO).
Though, there is
a Ghibli film which I do 'hate' to watch: Graveyard of the Fireflies
.. mostly because it's just so very
depressing. Castle in the Sky
is just right up my alley, anime-wise; I was already a fan of Miyazaki's TV series Conan: Boy of the Future
.. and one of my other favorite anime TV series, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
, rather unashamedly used CitS
as its 'template' (substituting the works of Jules Verne in place of Jonathan Swift). I love that (in all three anime) the story starts small, but slowly builds into a three-way chase/quest .. that the 'villains' in the early portion become allies halfway through .. and their whole whimsical retro-sci-fi 'vibe' (basically 'steampunk', but well before that term was coined). They are also fairly light adventure fare; serious emotionally-charged stuff does happen, now and then, but humor is never very far away .. and, though their plots can sometimes be complex, the friendship of the two main characters is the simple heart of their stories.Princess Mononoke
is kinda the opposite of all that.
Which doesn't make it 'bad' .. just .. outside the realm of what I personally enjoy.