5 best animated movies of all time

If you go back to the beginning, animated films started in 1917 with The story of concierge Mukuzo Imokawa. Created by ÅŒten Shimokawa, the film has been lost to modern audiences over time, but the archives of the daring project remain. Since then, anime has grown steadily as a popular medium and has become one of the greatest forms of Japanese entertainment to date.

Over the years, animated feature films began to draw record crowds and even found themselves honored abroad with foreign awards. One such film known as your name is on the verge of possibly winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but there have been plenty of films in the past that have won similar nods. Here at ComicBook.com, we’ve taken a step back and put together a list of the top five animated films to ever graced the big screen, so pack some popcorn for an intense movie marathon.

Honorable mentions

First, we start with honorable mentions. These three films are highly regarded by fans around the world and will undoubtedly become classics over time. This year, your name hit theaters and caused a media frenzy in Japan due to its smash hit. The Slice of Life romance has been compared to films praised by Studio Ghibli, and it envisions a possible Oscar victory over giants like Pixar.

In 2007, the cinema 5 centimeters per second also drew similar attention. The stunning film stunned audiences with its breathtaking and heart-wrenching script, and it won the Best Animated Feature at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2007. A year before, The girl who jumped in time captivated fans with its dramatic time travel plot and complex heroine.

your name
(Photo: Toho / Funimation)

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Princess mononoke

Next year, Princess mononoke will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the stage is one that many will honor with an impromptu marathon. The Studio Ghibli film is one of the company’s darkest affairs, but it tackles difficult themes like consumerism and naturalism with gravity. The story is set in distant Japan and follows an Emshi prince named Ashitaka as he protects his village from the demons of the forest. After being cursed by one of his victims, the prince heads to the forest and meets a pack of wolves raising a human girl named San. The latter considers all humans as a threat but agrees to help Ashitaka repel the demons that plague the region to protect her sacred home.

(Photo: Studio Ghibli)

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Ghost in the shell

In 1996, Mamoru Oshii created a genre film by adapting the Ghost in the shell manga in an anime feature. The history of cyberpunk was paired with stunning animation that left fans speechless, and its subtle philosophical questions left audiences wondering what made them human. The story takes place in a distant post-apocalyptic world where technology reigns supreme. The conglomerate society is divided by wealth, and there are a lot of lousy criminals who want to wreak havoc. This is where Major Motoko Kusangi comes in; The woman is the head of an anti-terrorism sector and is gifted in combat thanks to her fully cybernetic body. However, his stoicism begins to fade when a criminal known as the Puppet Master begins hacking into citizens with cybernetic prosthetics, leaving Motoko to wonder if his personality is organic or just synthetic.

(Photo: IG Production)

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the Grave of the Fireflies

the Grave of the Fireflies is the kind of movie that hits you in the stomach and then you thank him for making it. The emotionally turbulent film is considered one of the greatest films ever to be made and even Roger Ebert has called it one of the most powerful war films ever made. Studio Ghibli’s production tells the story of two young siblings living in Tokyo during World War II. The film begins with the death of the older brother and is told in reverse as audiences watch the cruel and heartbreaking horrors Seita and Setsuko went through. The heartwarming film will leave even the driest of viewers in tears by the end, and its introspective nature will make them feel hollow for a good few days.

(Photo: Studio Ghibli)

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years 1988 Akira is widely regarded as a milestone in Japanese animation. The supernatural drama has inspired countless upcoming artists who have since chosen Akira as their inspiration, and it’s easy to see why the film left such an impression. The gritty film is set in 2019 after Tokyo was destroyed by a psychic singularity that blew up World War III. A new city known as Neo-Tokyo was built, but its government found itself threatened by anarchists and gangs. The story mainly focuses on two boys named Shōtarō Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima. The former is a member of the Capsule gang along with the latter, but their life is plunged into chaos when they learn that Tetsuo possesses psychic powers similar to those who destroyed Tokyo decades ago. Together, the boys are embroiled in an ongoing rebellion against the national government and learn why psychic espers have their gifts.

(Photo: Tokyo Film Shinsha)

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Abducted as if by magic

Released in 2001, Abducted as if by magic is arguably the most popular anime feature of all time. The Studio Ghibli film is the most successful film in Japanese history, and its cultural reach spans dozens of countries. The charm of the film lies in its steadfast characters and fantastic story. Abducted as if by magic tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl who finds herself in the spirit world when a witch named Yubaba turns her parents into pigs. Terrified, Chihiro works for the witch as she hatches a way to save herself and her family, and a boy named Haku agrees to help them escape the strange world they have found themselves in.

(Photo: Studio Ghibli)


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