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#1 Spirited Away – 2001

Spirited Away won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, making it the first (and only, to date) non-English language hand-drawn animated film to win the award. It tells the story of a young girl named Chihiro, who must travel...

#2 My Neighbour Totoro – 1988

Two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, have moved with their father to a new home in the countryside. With their mother recovering from an illness in a nearby hospital, they keep themselves occupied by playing in the nearby forest. This is where they meet the ‘forest...

#3 Kiki’s Delivery Service – 1989

Kiki’s Delivery Service tells the charming story of Kiki, a young witch who must leave home to learn her craft. Accompanied by a chatty black cat named Jiji, Kiki flies on her broomstick to the charming port city of Koriko, where she gets a job delivering goods for a...

#4 Laputa: Castle in the Sky – 1986

When a young girl named Sheeta floats down from the sky into the arms of Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, they must flee from air pirates and secret agents as they try to reach the legendary floating castle Laputa and uncover the truth.

#5 Howl’s Moving Castle – 2004

Loosely based on the novel of the same name written by British author Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle follows the journey of Sophie, a teenage girl who is swept off her feet by a mysterious wizard named Howl who lives in a magical moving castle.

#6 Grave of the Fireflies – 1988

By far the most serious inclusion on this list, Grave of the Fireflies was originally accompanied by the much more light-hearted My Neighbour Totoro for its initial theatrical release in Japan. It tells the story of two orphaned children struggling to survive in the...