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Top 10 Animated Movies From Around The World

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Trent Lee From Walt Disney to Studio Ghibli. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Animated Movies from Around the World. For this list, we're choosing full-length animated feature films regardless of where they’re from or where they were made, based on a mix of their quality, popularity, critical and commercial success, storyline, characters and more. Special thanks to our user blademon4 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Trent Lee

Top 10 Animated Movies From Around The World


From Walt Disney to Studio Ghibli. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Animated Movies from Around the World.

For this list, we’re choosing full-length animated feature films regardless of where they’re from or where they were made, based on a mix of their quality, popularity, critical and commercial success, storyline, characters and more.

#10: “Persepolis” (2007)

This French-Iranian-American flick recounts a true story told through the eyes of a young Iranian girl named Marjane as she grows up during Iran’s 1979 Revolution, the Shah’s rise and the Iran-Iraq War. As her liberal family’s world falls apart and Marji’s rebellious spirit lands her in trouble with authorities, her family’s pressured to send her to Vienna. Struggling to reconcile the identities of East and West, gender, race, and religion, Marji returns years later, finding herself also alienated from the Iran she left behind. “Persepolis”’ triumphant coming-of-age tale proves that, despite geopolitical turmoil, tradition and unconditional family love is an everlasting refuge.

#9: “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005)

When a demonic scourge that locals name the were-rabbit plagues a village’s vegetable garden in this British-American stop-motion comedy, they turn to pest controllers extraordinaire, Wallace and his sidekick-slash-dog Gromit! However, one man stands in their way: Victor Quartermaine. Threatened by Wallace's relationship with Lady Tottington, Quartermaine vows to catch the titular Were-Rabbit before the duo does. A laugh-out-loud Hitchcock-ian suspense for children and adults alike, Wallace & Gromit are the UK’s most celebrated Claymation comedy franchise, so it’s no wonder “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” received critical acclaim upon release and won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

#8: “The Secret of Kells” (2009)

It’s medieval Europe and barbarians are besieging Brendan’s outpost relentlessly. In this French-Belgian-Irish fantasy, the salvation of his outpost lays with a magical book, and Brendan is now tasked with filling its pages, which will unlock knowledge and powers beyond imagination. But first, he must conquer his fear of entering an enchanted forest of mystical beings. In the process, Brendan befriends a wolf-fairy who helps light the way. The secret to “The Secret of Kells”’ success is in its resounding message that wisdom is indeed the greatest defense against mankind’s wickedness.

#7: “Waltz with Bashir” (2008)

Haunted by memories of the past, Israeli filmmaker, Ari Folman, attempts to unravel the meaning behind his friend’s recurring nightmares in which he’s hunted by 26 canines. They suspect it’s somehow rooted in their past combat roles with the Israeli Defence Forces during the 1982 Lebanon invasion - about which Ari’s own memory’s is a complete blank. Diving psychologically into the past, human psyche, crime, mystery, and war, this is one of Israel’s most controversial and beautifully shot documentaries – and just think, it’s animated. “Waltz with Bashir” truly challenges the reliability of the media, memory and narratives.

#6: “Ghost in the Shell” (1995)

In this Japanese anime film, it’s 2029 and the world is an intensively interconnected dystopian future where cybernetic humanoids and cyber crimes challenge world governments. Led by cyborg agent Motoko Kusanagi, Section 9 is formed to respond to these new threats and combat the information age’s terrors. When a mysterious criminal hacker known as the Puppet Master’ is discovered in Tokyo, Kusanagi is tasked to capture him. But what begins as a “manhunt” turns into an existential quest for God and humanity. “Ghost in the Shell” has since been hailed as one of the greatest art-house animated feature films of all time.

#5: “Les Triplettes de Belleville” [aka “The Triplets of Belleville”] (2003)

When Madame Souza’s grandson, Champion, goes missing along with his two competitors during the last leg of the Tour de France, she suspects something’s amiss. Indeed, their kidnappers have plans to exploit the racers’ talents. Along with Champion's dog, Bruno, Madame Souza tracks them down to the town of Belleville, where the pair is befriended by three elderly music hall singers. The titular Triplets of Belleville soon join their quest to rescue Champion. Quirky and surreal, this French-UK-Belgian-Canadian coproduction is a charming story that was nominated for 2 Oscars and can be considered Europe’s resounding response to Japanese anime.

#4: “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988)


During WWII Japan, brother and sister Seita (say-ta) and Setsuko (set-sookoh) lose their mother to an air raid while their soldier father’s fate remains unknown. Forced to live with their aunt, they soon quarrel, which ends with the siblings running away. But as food and supplies grow scarce during wartime rationing, the siblings have only each other and the light of the fireflies at night to brighten their spirits. A tragic masterpiece and a raw image of war, “Graveyard of the Fireflies” illuminates a painfully important saga in Japan’s history and is one of the most haunting yet moving productions to come out of Japan.

#3: “Princess Mononoke” (1997)


To break a curse put on him by a berserk deity, Ashitaka journeys into a forest where beast-like gods roam. Caught in between thewar of gods and mining colonists, Ashitaka walks between camps, yet belongs to neither. Indeed, finding merit on both sides of theargument, he eventually discovers a kindred ally with the wolf-god’s human daughter, San, or Princess Mononoke. Neither fully accepted by man or beast, she and Ashitaka must find a way to save the forest. This Japanese anime isn’t only an important and timely fable of mankind and its place with nature but also a milestone production in animation history.

#2: “Akira” (1988)

In dystopian Neo-Tokyo, biker gang member Tetsuo is experimented upon in a secret military project, which gives him god-like psionic powers. Tetsuo then goes on an apocalyptic killing spree that can only be stopped by his friend Kaneda and a group of psychics. An epic psychedelic visual trip, “Akira” reportedly set the record for highest production cost of any anime film for its time. Gory but with a sophisticatedly existential plot, the Japanese sci-fi thriller was undoubtedly an awakening for the West to adult animation. Indeed, “Akira” is one of the most influential keystone films in the genre’s history.

Before we unveil our top here are some of our honorable mentions that didn’t make it to the list:
- “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988)
- “Ernest & Celestine” (2012)
- “Mary and Max” (2009)
- “Castle in the Sky” (1986)

#1: “Spirited Away” (2002)

A modern Japanese “Alice in Wonderland” if ever there was one, “Spirited Away” is imbued with that country’s folklore of shape-shifting humans into animals, spirits and evil gods. When 10-year-old Chihiro and her family stumble into an enchanted amusement park, a boy warns Chihiro that her family is in grave danger. Whisked away, Chihiro must save them but it means going deeper downthe rabbit hole. Disconcerting at times yet visually captivating, the fantasy flick occupied Japan’s top spot in gross box-office returns with over $300 million earned worldwide, nabbed the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and is considered one of the best animatedmovies ever.

Do you agree with our list? Which animated feature is your favorite? For more animated Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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