We have a list of the best Japanese animated films of all time! Can’t remember the titles of the best Hayo Miyazaki movies? Hayo Miyazaki is the japanese animation director everyone is talking about. The following is a list of the best Hayao Miyazaki directed and/or produced family-friendly movies on DVD or Blu-ray. I was happy to find out that pretty much all of his movies are good, clean movies and they are all rated very high and are popular sellers. It includes several recommendations for tween/pre-teen movies, which can be a hard age group to find high-quality movies for. I hadn’t even heard of any of these Disney movies until I started this business but they are very popular and something the whole family can watch together.
Our Compilation Video of this Blog Post:
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – Don’t let the fact that this is the last on the list detract you from it, my children love this movie and it still has a very high score. They watched it over and over when it was on Netflix for a while. A few cute story. There is a big storm and scary things come out of the ocean but my 3 year-old girl wasn’t scared. Of course, she’s not scared easily so I don’t know if that’s much of an indicator. . .
Summary – A young boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo, and they embark on a fantastic journey of friendship and discovery before Ponyo’s father, a powerful sorcerer, forces her to return to her home in the sea. In her quest to become human and reunite with Sosuke, Ponyo stumbles upon and releases her father’s magical Water of Life and triggers a gigantic storm. Now balance must be restored to the world they all cherish.
#10 – The Cat Returns
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – Once again, better for tweens because of violence and a mature storyline.
Summary – Haru, a schoolgirl bored by her ordinary routine, saves the life of an unusual cat, and suddenly her world is transformed beyond anything she ever imagined. The Cat King rewards her good deed with a flurry of presents, including a very shocking proposal of marriage to his son! Haru embarks on an unexpected journey to the Kingdom of Cats where her eyes are opened to a whole other world and her destiny is uncertain. To change her fate, she’ll need to learn to believe in herself and appreciate her everyday life.
#9 – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – The first movie he attempted to do out of his own studio. You can tell he put in a lot of himself to make it really good. It is beautiful and has a good message. It is violent enough that I would only recommend for tweens and up.
Summary – A thousand years after a global war, a seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind remains one of only a dew areas still populated. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley are engaged in a constant struggle with powerful insects called Ohmu, who guard a poisonous jungle that is spreading across theE arth. Nausicaa and her brave companions, together with the people of the Valley, strive to restore the bond between humanity and the Earth.
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – Another well-done, magical film. Violence in the form of shooting, fighting, death rays, etc. I would recommend it more for the pre-teen age.
Summary – This high-flying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, finds a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, wearing a glowing pendant. Together, they discover both are searching for a legendary floating castle, Laputa, and vow to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal around Sheeta’s neck. Their quest won’t be easy, however. There are greedy air pirates, secret government agents and astounding obstacles to keep them from the truth — and from each other.
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – This movie has a similar plot to The Borrowers, but has its own original twist to it. It is a great animated movie that the whole family can watch and enjoy together. I enjoyed the simplicity of the animation and the songs. Do note that Miyazaki did write the screenplay, though he did not direct the film.
Summary – In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live quietly among us. But when tenacious and tiny Arrietty is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, their secret and forbidden friendship blossoms into an extraordinary adventure.
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – This is one of his darker films intended for an older audience. I tried to get my 6 and 7 year olds to watch it with me and they were scared within the first minute. So I would recommend it to tweens and up.
Summary – Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent flying castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell.
#5 – Whisper of the Heart
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – An honest, realistic, beautiful moving film. It has a great message and positive role models. I just don’t think younger children will appreciate the storyline so much so I recommend it for older children.
Summary – During summer vacation, a schoolgirl named Shizuku, who longs to discover her true talents, observes an ordinary-looking cat riding by himself on the train. Intrigued, she decides to f ollow him. This chance encounter leads her to the mysterious Seiji, a boy who is determined to follow his dreams, and The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers in her heart. Soon, Shizuku’s exciting adventures carry her far beyond the boundaries of her imagination.
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – A well-done movie that you won’t mind watching over and over while your children do the same. It has a good message and an enjoyable storyline.
Summary – Kiki is an enterprising young girl who must follow tradition to become a full-fledged witch. Venturing out with only her black cat, Jiji, Kiki flies off for the adventure of a lifetime. Landing in a far-off city, she sets up a high-flying delivery service and begins a wonderful experience of independence and responsibility as she finds her place in the world.
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – This has a wonderful, magical story with beautiful attention to detail. Overall a good family movie I would recommend to children ages 4/5 and up.
Summary – Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei when they move into a new home in the countryside. To their delight, they discover that their new neighbor is a mysterious forest spirit called Totoro — who can be seen only through the eyes of a child. Totoro introduces them to extraordinary characters — including a cat that doubles as a bus! — and takes them on an incredible journey.
#2 – Princess Mononoke
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – This is my friend’s all time favorite. Although she loves all of these Japanese anime. She admires the main characters in this film a lot.
Summary – Inflicted with a deadly curse, a young warrior named Ashitaka (Billy Crudup – Without Limits) sets out to the forests of the west in search of the cure that will save his life. Once there, he becomes inextricably entangled in a bitter battle that matches Lady Eboshi (Driver) and a proud clan of humans against the forest’s animal gods…who are led by the brave Princess Mononoke (Danes), a young woman raised by wolves!
Mommy Bear’s Opinion – A beautiful, well-done movie intended for girls. Although it is a cartoon, it is quite scary and violent and I would not recommend it until the pre-teen years.
Spirited Away is a wondrous fantasy about a young girl, Chihiro, trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.
For more information, please visit the Wikipedia article.
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