What Are Your Five Favourite Animated Movies?

What Are Your Five Favourite Animated Movies?
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Animated movies are one of my favourite childhood memories, and they’re the focus for this week’s Off Topic. Let’s narrow it down to five.

We’ve got plenty of anime fans amongst the Kotaku crew, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are plenty of fans of animated movies. Mark’s written in the past how he loves How to Train Your Dragon more than anything else, and while I don’t know that it’d be my favourite of all time, it’s definitely in the top 5.

It’s really hard to nail down a top five, especially since how much I enjoy films often depends on what else is happening in my life at the time, the state of mind I’m in, and all that. But I generally find that anything I return to is pretty good, so here’s my five favourite anime films:

  • Howl’s Moving Castle: Not the most beloved Miyazaki production, but one of the sweetest. Gets me every time.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Dreamworks doing Pixar better than Pixar.
  • Toy Story: But when Pixar are at the top of their game, they’re still better than most filmmakers. Anywhere.
  • Ratatouille: As you can tell, I’m a big Pixar fan. Lot of charm here, a very cute rat, features a lot of food, and Peter O’Toole’s speech at the end is brilliant, especially if you dabble in creative criticism from time to time (hello!).
  • Aladdin: First animated movie I remember seeing at the cinemas. There were only two families in the cinema at the time. Actual. Best.

What’s your top 5 animated movies, and why?


  • Ponyo/Spirited Away
    Pokemon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back
    How to Train Your Dragon (No. 2 was better objectively but didn’t have the same flair that No. 1 had)

    Studio Ghibli just does it without any form of narration.

  • How am I supposed to choose five? :sob:

    It’s hard for the whole list not to be Ghibli films, but here goes:

    ~ Spirited Away
    ~ Wolf Children
    ~ Paprika
    ~ How to Train Your Dragon
    ~ Up

    This list is not all accurate. Pretty sure it works be all Ghibli films otherwise…

  • Oh this is hard, damn. In no particular order:

    • Princess Mononoke
    • Spirited Away
    • End of Evangelion
    • The Lion King
    • Your Name

  • It would be easy to just list out 5 Ghibli films and be done with it, so I’ll add a few others that I am quite fond of:
    Toy Story 3
    The Aristocats
    The Lion King
    Inside Out

    • Props for Robin Hood! It narrowly missed out a place in my own Top 5, but it’d definitely be in my Top 10 🙂

  • In no particular order:

    – Perfect Blue
    – Sleeping Beauty
    – Beauty and the Beast
    – Grave of the Fireflies
    – Ninja Scroll

    • If all you want to do is cry and destroy your soul, then yes go watch Grave of the Fireflies.

      Indeed make sure your small children are watching….the first scene where the young boy passes away is a great way to introduce the fear of death into your kids.

      • I went into Grave of the Fireflies not knowing anything about it and it pretty much destroyed me. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much as I did after watching it.

  • In no particular order:
    Escaflowne (movie)
    Castle of Cagliostro
    Girl Who Leapt Through Time

    • If you enjoy Castle of Cagliostro I highly recommend The Gravestone of Daisuke Jigen. It’s a the latest Lupin III OVA and it is super stylish and fun to watch.

  • In no particular order. There should probably be at least twenty.
    Lion King (I’m disappointed by it’s absence in your list Alex)
    Howl’s Moving Castle
    Wolf Children
    My Neighbour Totoro

  • What about The Rescuers???? Great flick.

    The Rescuers Down Under also fun for the kids. and me.

    Oh and Pooh’s Heffalump Movie was lovely.

    • I was a big fan of The Rescuers Down under as a child – I rewatched it on an Air Qatar flight a month or so ago (now 30).

      Hasn’t missed a beat.

  • Excluding anime (because there’s already enough Studio Ghibli recommendations).

    Fantastic Planet
    World of Tomorrow
    Waking Life

  • I found that taking LSD and watching the below films is an utterly heart breaking and soul destroying way of spending a day.

    1. Ponyo
    2. Spirited Away
    3. Howls Moving Castle
    4. Grave of the Fireflies
    5. Nausicaa

    Then if your a complete sadist and want to really fuck with yourself go get addicted to something and, whilst in the thro’s of withdrawals (opiate withdrawal is a good one to try) watch those films are again.

    You’ll spend about 12 hours crying like a baby.

  • 1. Howl’s Moving Castle: while other Miyazaki films have received more praise, this one is just my favourite.
    2. Wall-E: probably the best thing Pixar has ever made.
    3. Ninja Scroll: I don’t think this film gets enough props for its role in bringing anime to the west.
    4. The Lion King: IMO Disney’s best animated film.
    5. The Transformers movie: the first movie in my life that made me cry – just seeing the light in Optimus’ eyes go out like that… :*(

  • Some fantastic lists and some items added to must watch! Thanks guys!

    No order but,
    Book of Life. Underrated movie that still gets rotation in my house
    Spirited Away. My introduction to Studio Awesome
    Lion King. Its Lion King
    Kubo. Better than Coraline by just a fraction
    Howls Moving Castle. Just Imagination

    Honourables are
    Moana. Just islander things
    Transformers. The Movie. Unicron was scary when i was young
    Toy Story 3. Them feels. Them bloody feels

  • The Incredibles
    Spirited Away
    Who Framed RR (animated? Sort of)

    The final is the most flawed, but has some stellar scenes for hand drawn animation.

    Shout out to Take On Me

  • In no particular order.
    How to Train your Dragon 1 & 2
    Laputa: Castle in the Sky
    The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
    Summer Wars
    Atlantis: The Lost Empire

    Honourable mention to Your Name. Overrated but still very enjoyable. Too fresh in my mind to consider top 5.

  • A function of how much I have watched these, not necessarily merit based

    Ghost in the Shell
    Fist of the North Star
    Macross: Love Do You Remember?
    Ninja Scroll

  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
    Boruto: Naruto the Movie (I’m not usually a big fan of Naruto, but I liked the dynamic and interactions between Boruto and Naruto.)
    Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
    Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (Not sure if most people would call this a movie.)

    Yeah, I can’t really think of any more.

  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
    The Transformers: The Movie
    DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
    An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

    Excluded Ghibli because it’s well enough represented and this reflects my nostalgic feels.

  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (please watch if you havent)
    Lilo and Stitch ( i think people just forgot about this movie…)
    A Silent Voice (koe no katachi)
    Kiki’s Delivery Service
    Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

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