Fantasy animated films similar to Studio Ghibli films

Anime is a broad genre, spanning everything from sports to science fiction. It can take the viewer to places not yet possible in live-action, as evidenced by the many failed anime adaptations, and some famous names are known for their excellence in animation.

RELATED: The Best Animated Movies On Netflix (January 2022)When it comes to Japanese animated feature films, no one has a more international name than Studio Ghibli. The fame of everyone’s favorite Japanese animation studio is considerable and well-deserved, but there are plenty of others doing great work too.

seven Your Name (2016)


Your name animates

For anime fans who love romance as much as fantasy, your name is a perfect mix of both. It’s a simple plot about two high school students, a boy in Tokyo and a girl living in the countryside, who switch bodies. It’s city mouse versus country mouse and male versus female, with fun but terrifying results.

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It sounds like it could be cheesy and cliché with a bit of crude humor, but this movie has none of those little distractions. CoMix Wave Films put together the sublime look of the film, and Toho handled the distribution.

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6 Wolf Children (2012)


Wolf Children animated film

Have you ever thought of a monster story but from a monster’s point of view? This is the idea behind Wolf children, in which Hana, who is a human woman, loses her werewolf husband and must raise her lycanthrope children on her own. Imagine a lightweight version of Princess Mononoke in its early years instead of a horror or adventure film.

This is often mistaken for a Ghibli movie simply because the look is similar, but Wolf children was written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. He started a new animation studio, Studio Chizu, just to make this movie, and then made several more.

5 The Last Unicorn (1982)


Smendrick and the unicorn.

The story is a fractured fairy tale, playing on the old tropes of heroes, dragons, and damsels in distress. Although it is an American film, adapted from a book by Peter S. Beagle, it is a team of Japanese animators collaborating with Rankin/Bass who edited the animation. This means that there is a practical loophole that can classify The last unicorn as animated.

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Full disclosure, we’re cheating a bit here. The name of the Japanese animation team was Topcontent, and in 1984 they had a few more successful projects and staff to support their talent, and officially changed their name to Studio Ghibli.

4 The girl who crossed time (2006)


Anime The girl who crossed time

It’s a fantasy we’ve all had. No machine is needed, just the innate ability to go back in time whenever you want. When high school student Makoto discovers this power, she enthusiastically uses it to her advantage, but begins to realize that changing her past could have detrimental effects, not only on her own timeline, but on anyone she comes into contact with.

The girl who crossed time was directed Mamoro Hosada and produced by Madhouse animation studio. Hosada had previously worked on Samurai Champloo and parts of the A piece series beforehand, which are also decent recommendations for non-Ghibli but still excellent animation.

3 Ghost in the Shell (1995)


A little credit ghost in the shell bringing not only mecha, but also cyberpunk, into the mainstream of media. The music and literary references that fill part of the dialogue give this film a dimension that goes beyond science fiction and allows it to delve into the realm of fantasy and mythology.

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Masamune Shirow is the creator of the original manga of the same name, released in 1989. Production IG is the animation studio that not only brought the original film to the screen, but also the sequel, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, and the various Ministries that serve as prequels.

2 Metropolis (2001)


screenshot metropolis 2001

If you’re wondering what the term “diesel drama” means, check out Metropolis, a film directed by the famous Rinatro and produced by the animation company Madhouse. The setting is a futuristic city in which humans and robots exist, but there isn’t exactly peace between the two groups.

Looks like Astro Boy but has much more in common with blade runner Where ghost in the shell. Don’t be fooled by the retro look, because this isn’t really a kid’s movie. Indeed, the plot of Metropolis revolves around a robot who thinks she’s human and the implications of what happens when she discovers the truth about her identity. Things never go well, and this story is no exception.

1 Red Line (2009)


Planet Supergrass, Redline, party with TVs and pools

Famous for its colorful, experimental animation style and equally stunning soundtrack, Red line is yet another Madhouse production, but this time with Takeshi Koike as director. The film was critically acclaimed and well received by fans despite not fitting into any specific style or genre.

This film mixes sci-fi with fantasy and even some crime drama, set in the distant future on multiple planets and featuring thrilling and deadly car racing. JP, who is both a greaser and a gear head, had dreamed of winning this race since he was a side-looking kid. He faces off against a vicious mob boss, Twisted Rivers and fellow countryman Sonoshee McLaren, who wants victory just as much as he does.

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