This is a list of top rated old fashioned, highly appreciated and full-length Anime/Cartoon movies of all time. It all started with a 2 minute Japanese anime clip about a samurai testing his new sword on his target and it was first screened in 1917. It’s format of storytelling through imaginative creatures and characters. When it comes to Anime feature films, the first name that comes to mind is Hayao Miyazaki.
He is a popular Japanese Anime director and he got international acclaim for his anime feature films such as “Spirited Away” And “Princesses Mononoko”. Miyazaki’s work has big impact and influenced many other animation studio worldwide. The Anime/Cartoon always been a special experience and brings back old memories. These movies are refreshing, innovative and enduring. Here is the some of the greatest full-length Anime/Cartoon movies of all time.
1. Spirited Away (2001)
“Spirited Away” starts with a young girl named Chihiro, and her family, moving to a new place. When they wander into what seems like an abandoned theme park and her parents start to eat prepared food (but with no one around to attend them), they turn into pigs. Chihiro runs and encounters a bathhouse for the gods and spirits. With the help of a young boy named Haku, Chihiro learns that in order to reverse the effects of her parents dilemma, she must work in the bathhouse. Life isn’t easy, not even for the gods. She’ll come across bizarre creatures & places. She will learn hard work, the sense of loss, greed, & the importance of friendship and love.
The story is just totally brilliant. It’s odd but oh so beautiful. The imaginary world gives the movie a totally unique and beautiful look and feeling. It all helps to make “Spirited Away” an unique and unforgettable viewing experience. The beauty in the movie is in its unpredictability. Because its so unique and original, you never know what to expect next and everything comes as a pleasant surprise. My only complaint about the story is its love-story, if there even was meant to be one, wasn’t really believable and felt underdeveloped and like a missed opportunity.
Do not hesitate to watch this magical, enchanting, and rare gem that we have the privilege to see. And if you have seen it, go out of your way to view the rest of Miyazaki’s films, like ‘Nausicaa’, ‘Castle in the Sky’, & ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’.
2. Princess Mononoke (1997)
“Princess Mononoko” film is set in Japan, during the Muromachi Era, and begins in the quiet peaceful township of the Emishi tribe, when young Prince Ashitaka (Yôji Matsuda), the last of the Emishi royalty, is wounded slaying a demon in an unexpected attack. When the tribe’s wise-woman tells Ashitaka that the wound is a curse of hatred that will eventually kill him, he sets out on a journey to the west to discover the origins of the demon.
What he finds is a war being waged between the villagers of Iron town, an industrious Iron-works fort led by the ruthless Lady Eboshi (Yûko Tanaka), and the beasts of the forest, represented by the beautiful Princess Mononoke (Yuriko Ishida), a human girl raised by wolves, with whom the cursed prince falls in love. Soon Ashitaka’s efforts to make peace are put to the test by each side’s bid for allegiance.
“Princess Mononoke” is a fantastic work of art on many fronts, and arguably Miyazaki’s best film to date. While some of his other projects have had the same enchantment and excitement, “Mononoke” has an intriguingly dark and infinitely more mature feel, established by the bloody battle-scenes and sensitive color treatment, and solidified by a complex plot and rich, interesting characters.
Every single frame of this movie has a unique beauty, and all the characters, humans or animals are very likable and interesting. This movie isn’t overrated. It deserves all the praise that it receives, and I think that every fan of the animated genre should see this, at least once in his life.
3. Lion King (1994)
“The Lion King” tells of a young cub named Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones) who is destined to become king of the Pride Rock. One day, Simba’s ruthless evil uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) plots to take over Pride Rock by killing his father and tricks Simba into feeling guilty which causes him to flee from the kingdom never to return. Once he disappears, he meets two friends named Timon, a meek rat, and Pumbaa, a warthog who helps teach him the meaning of “Hakuna Matata”.
A few years later, after reuniting with his friend Nala, Simba, now an adult (Matthew Broderick) realizes that he doesn’t know who he is anymore and is aware that Scar has destroyed everything that the lions had hunted for. He is then persuaded to return to Pride Rock and must overthrow his uncle to restore the kingdom to its rightful place.
Disney’s animated features are known for their gorgeous artwork. Nowhere is this more apparent than in “The Lion King.” Every single frame is jaw-dropping. The colors are rich, and the drawings are sharp and beautiful. One of the pitfalls of animation (both computer and hand-drawn) is that there is sometimes a visible distance between the subject and the background, making it seem as if the figure animation was cut and pasted on the background (this is obviously what happens, but it is up to the artists to make sure that it isn’t noticeable). There is none of that here.
It will really make you feel like a kid for an hour and a half, and also give you witness to Disney’s most beautiful masterpiece that isn’t just Dinsey’s Best, but possibly one of the greatest achievements ever made…..The Lion King!
4. Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)
“Grave for fireflies” is a heart rendering animated tale from japan that is based on the events of world war II invasion of japan by America. The movie highlights the evils of war and shows in detail the way lives of normal people get affected by political motives of power hungry leaders. It is most definitely anti-war, but it does not point fingers, because it doesn’t need to. It does not want the viewer to feel anger towards the circumstances of the war, it wants you to feel strong emotions for the consequences and effects it had on people during the war.
This is one story that will remain close to your heart for a long, long time. Words will not do justice to the movie, you will have to watch it. A word of warning though – you will feel depressed for a day to a month depending upon how emotional you are. An excellent movie,
5. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
“Howl’s Moving Castle” story, set in a 19th century British countryside, involves a young woman named Sophie who is literally swept off her feet by the handsome yet enigmatic wizard, Howl despite warnings from her fellow friends that this “lady-killer” of a magician eats the hearts of young girls alike. Soon after, Sophie finds herself cursed by the jealous Witch of the Waste where she is transformed into a ninety-year-old crone.
Forced to flee from her hometown, “Grandma” Sophie (who occasionally reverts from old to young as the film progresses) takes refuge in Howl’s fortress, where she makes a pact with a wisecracking fireball known as Calcifer in order to break his own curse, and likewise, her own.
Hayao Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” is one of the best motion pictures I have seen in 2005. To me the movie was simply stunning. I have seen most of Miyazaki’s movies and still enjoy this one as much as any of the others. “Howl’s Moving Castle” draws the viewer into a world where magic and technology have developed along side each other. While appealing to audiences of all ages, This film is reminiscent the heart and spirit of the early Disney films.
6. Beauty And The Beast (1991)
“Beauty And The Beast” is Disney at its peak. From the stained glass window at the opening and the beautiful narration, the viewer is drawn into the story by the appealing music and clever lyrics (“Belle’s Song”) which gets the picture off to a bouncy start. The opening sequence showing Belle and the townspeople in song is masterfully handled and choreographed for maximum effect, setting the tone for the entire story.
“Once upon a time, a prince lived in a shining castle; and although he had everything his heart desired, he was spoiled and selfish….” Thus begins one of Disney’s most wonderful animated classics. The prince is transformed into a hideous beast, matching his outward appearance with his heart. He is given an enchanted rose which will bloom until his 21st birthday. By the time the last petal falls, he must learn to love someone and earn her love in return, and the spell will be broken. If not, he must remain a beast.
In the end, the wonderful characters, beautiful animation, incredible original score and unusually smart scripting come together to create a great film, by any standard. Quite possibly, the greatest animated movie ever created, and I’ve no doubt that if you give it a watch, you too will fall under it’s enchantment.
7. Aladdin (1992)
Aladdin the street urchin (voiced by Scott Weinger) finds a magical lamp that unleashes the power of the blue Genie (voiced by Robin Williams) who grants him three wishes. Unfortunately the evil Jafar plans on using the genie to his own will and wreaks havoc on Aladdin’s newly-found life (he wishes to become a sultan in the hopes of earning the love of his life, Princess Jasmine).
This is simply a wonderful story with bold animation and a truly terrific vocal performance by Robin Williams. It’s the movie’s adult humor such as the Ah-nuld and Woody Allen impersonations done by Williams that make it equally enjoyable for all ages. When this was released in 1992 I was fascinated and used to watch it all the time; now, as an adult, I still enjoy the film for many different reasons, while still managing to appreciate the utter joy of the story. I think no matter how old you are, or no matter what you do, that there is always room for a good Disney movie.
8. Simpsons Movie (2007)
“The Simpson Movie” story line is quite different for a Simpsons theme- Homer miraculously pollutes the local river, thus the power plant is closed down and the residents of Springfield are evacuated. Cue the Simpsons who must fight to save their town or lose it forever!!!
The Simpson movie will have you cracking up with laughter before the opening title appears. There are hysterical one liners threw out the film and catches the humor of the show before it went down hill. Pulse it nice to have a hand drawn film for a change. I was starting to forget what that looked like since every thing has to be CGI these days.
There really is little to criticize about this movie. A lot of people are rattling on about the movie being too similar to a single stretched-out episode, but this was always going to be an issue from the beginning. I suppose if you go into the movie expecting an overly long episode then that’s what you’ll get, but if you take it with a pinch of salt then the Simpsons Movie is great fun, and very funny.
9. The Illusionist (2010)
“The Illusionist” Tatischeff, a travelling French illusionist in the ’50s, plies his trade all over Europe, going, always with his irascible rabbit, wherever people will hire him to perform his magic tricks. Business isn’t doing very well, though, because of new competing forms of entertainment – in one hilarious sequence Chomet shows the illusionist having to wait on the backstage for a Beatles-inspired rock band to finish their act before he can get on stage.
There’s a feeling of an era fading away in this movie; a running theme is the demise of the old vaudeville performers: magicians, clowns, puppeteers, acrobats, etc., living in cheap hotels, unemployed, prone to suicide and alcoholism. Tatischeff belongs to a breed that wanes mentally and emotionally before dying physically.
This is a beautiful film insofar as each and every scene is a work of art. A visual treat for the eye, one to be brought out and savored from time to time. The road is long and can be at times beautiful and many times not. The Illusionist is one of the most beautiful stories to emerge in modern animation for a very long time.
10. Tarzan (1999)
“Tarzan” delves right into the core of the story from the very start, beginning with the shipwreck that causes mother, father and son to be castaways on an island inhabited by wild animals. The montage of scenes are brilliant as they show, side by side, comparison between the humans and the animal families. After this spectacular start, the timeworn story gets brilliant treatment from the Disney animators.
The boy grows into the fearless hunk and his meeting with Jane in the jungle has to be one of the cleverest bits of animation ever. Jane is voiced by Minnie Driver in what is undoubtedly the top vocal job in the film.
It’s top-notch Disney with the jungle settings looking more real than ever thanks to their new “deep canvas” technique for background paintings. By all means, see it and enjoy.