The 50 Greatest Animated Films

Here I list the animated films that I feel are the greatest. Note that my list includes only films that I have watched and there are many that I haven't.

I only included full length animated films, films by the likes of Yuri Norstein and Frederick Back aren't included, though I have watched some of these shorts (The Man Who Planted Trees would be in my top 10 if I included shorts).

The ones listed first are the ones I think are the greatest: the first three are my three favorites, the next 7 are among my 10 favorites, etc. However, the particular position is not precise: the 14th film is not greater than the 15th, though it should be greater than the 25th.
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1.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet. (117 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ Widely considered by specialists and polls in Japan as the best animated film ever made it is also my personal favorite. It is near flawless, in fact the only flaw of this film is it's small budget.

Quote Foundation, Issue 72, Spring 1998, p57-81, Andrew Osmond: "In the late 1980's it was among the top Japanese films selected by a national panel of writers, critics and directors."
Quote film critic Noel Vera, from BFI's Sign and Sound Poll: "From Miyazaki, one of the few science-fiction films to deal with ecological systems and the environment – arguably the greatest animated film ever made." ” - jose-cruz53
 
2.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby. (86 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ Best film ever made? Maybe, here Miyazaki managed to capture childhood in a bottle. ” - jose-cruz53
 
3.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime. (134 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ This film is pretty much a remake of Nausicaa in a different setting: it is based on the same novel and feels very much like the other film and is about the same themes. It is near flawless as well and can be considered superior to the original on a technical level. ” - jose-cruz53
 
4.
Spirited Away (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ After finishing the Nausicaa manga and making Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki was exhausted while he felt that he had finished his lifework project relating to the relationship between man and nature and decided to do something lighter, indeed, he said that this was the film he made that he had the most fun while making it. The result was another timeless masterpiece, which is also a strong candidate for the title "greatest animated film" ever made. ” - jose-cruz53
 
5.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II. (89 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
6.
Only Yesterday (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô. (118 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
7.
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses. (111 mins.)
 
8.
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service. (103 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
9.
Castle in the Sky (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
10.
Akira (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psychics can stop. (124 mins.)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
 
11.
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle. (119 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
12.
Summer Wars (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday. (114 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
 
13.
WALL·E (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. (98 mins.)
Director: Andrew Stanton
“ American animation makes its first appearance here. ” - jose-cruz53
 
14.
Porco Rosso (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 1930s Italy, a veteran World War I pilot is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig. (94 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
15.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A coming of age story involving young love and a mysterious music, coming from a crystal radio left as a memento by an absent father, that leads a young heroine deep into a hidden world. (116 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai
 
16.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own. (98 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
 
17.
Paprika (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it. (90 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
18.
Gauche the Cellist (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A cellist in a small orchestra receives help from animals to help him practice his music. (60 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
19.
Ponyo (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A five year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him. (101 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
20.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master. (83 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
 
21.
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love. (63 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai
 
22.
Millennium Actress (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career. (87 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
23.
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to. (100 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
24.
Up (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. (96 mins.)
 
25.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered. (94 mins.)
 
26.
Perfect Blue (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A retired pop-singer-turned-actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past. (81 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
27.
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (91 mins.)
Director: Gorô Miyazaki
 
28.
Fantasia (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music. (125 mins.)
 
29.
Ratatouille (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant. (111 mins.)
 
30.
Pinocchio (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. (88 mins.)
 
31.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen soon learns of this and prepares to feed her a poison apple. (83 mins.)
 
32.
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
To save her ill son, a field mouse must seek the aid of a colony of rats, with whom she has a deeper link than she ever suspected. (82 mins.)
Director: Don Bluth
 
33.
Memories (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
"Memories" is made up of three separate science-fiction stories. In the first, "Magnetic Rose," four... (113 mins.)
 
34.
Chie the Brat (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Chie Takemoto is a small dependable girl, who lives in Osaka with her dad. She has to goals - to get her troublesome father, who runs a tavern, some work and then get him to make up with her mother, who left him. (105 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
35.
Ocean Waves (1993 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
As a young man returns home after his first year away at college he recalls his senior year of high school and the iron-willed, big city girl that turned his world upside down. (72 mins.)
 
36.
Bambi (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The story of a young deer growing up in the forest. (70 mins.)
 
37.
Wings of Honneamise (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In an alternative Earth, a young astronaut participates in a controversial fledgling space program. (121 mins.)
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga
 
38.
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan. (104 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
39.
Barefoot Gen (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people. (83 mins.)
Director: Mori Masaki
 
40.
Winter Days (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
(105 mins.)
 
41.
Kenji Miyazawa's Night on the Galactic Express (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two kittens go on a metaphysical journey on a magical railroad train. (113 mins.)
 
42.
The Plague Dogs (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two dogs escape from a laboratory and are hunted as possible carriers of the bubonic plague. (103 mins.)
Director: Martin Rosen
 
43.
The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him. (78 mins.)
Director: Sylvain Chomet
 
44.
The Illusionist (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever. (80 mins.)
Director: Sylvain Chomet
 
45.
Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents. (93 mins.)
 
46.
Persepolis (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. (96 mins.)
 
47.
Waltz with Bashir (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict. (90 mins.)
Director: Ari Folman
 
48.
Ninja Scroll (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A mysterious vagabond sets out on a journey to confront his past. Little does he know he is up against a demonic force of killers, with a ghost from his past as the leader. (94 mins.)
 
49.
Waking Life (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe. (99 mins.)
 
50.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South. (91 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai