7 Best Anime Movies for Toddlers

Because mainstream cartoons are not enough!

How many times have you watched the same old Disney movies? They’re great and all, but sometimes change can be good. We adults might enjoy watching those classic animated films, but the world of Anime is where it’s at. Today’s generation of kids need the blend of perfectly executed animation, morals and childlike fun. Fortunately, Japanese anime films are filled with these qualities! Can the anime films be compared to the over-popularized films of the west? To find out, here are seven recommendations for the best in Anime.

1. Spirited Away (Sen To Chihiro no Kamikakushi)

Our first contender is probably one of the finest animated films that Japan has brought to us. The plot revolves around a ten-year old child named Chihiro. After deciding to move to a new place with her parents, they begin their journey to a new home. However, they end up getting stranded on the way at some sort of abandoned amusement park. Unknowingly, they end up in a magical world, now trapped. Chihiro’s parents are distracted by food in a nearby stall and begin eating. Chihiro decides to explore and meets an unusual boy who warns her to leave the unnamed place before it’s too late. Alas, it was indeed too late and she ends up being trapped as well finding out that her parents have now been turned into pigs. The movie follows her journey working in a bathhouse in order to finally get back home.

2. Wolf Children

Released in 2012, Wolf Children is a Japanese animated film by acclaimed director and animator, Mamoru Hosoda. The film revolves around the lives of three amazing characters, Hana and her two “wolf children”- Yuki and Ame. A few years after her children were born, her husband, a wolf man, dies in an accident. Hana must now raise both her innocent children alone while in grief, pressured by the fact that she must hide their wolf-like tendencies from the world. Overall, it is a beautiful story of sacrifice, motherhood and innocence that even all mothers out there will shed tears to.

3. My Neighbor Totoro

This is a true classic that probably every Japanese child has grown up watching. We’re referring to non-other than, ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. It’s called a classic not only because it was released way back in 1988, but because the film has earned that title overtime. My Neighbor Totoro tells the timeless tale of a professor’s two young daughters- Satsuki and Mei. They venture into the woods one day, following a strange rabbit that introduces them to a whole new world of creatures. By the way, if you’re looking for more anime recommendations, animewhiz.com has it all!

4. The Cat Returns

There is always space for an animal-oriented film. However, this one in particular surpasses the plots of those like “Finding Nemo.” The Cat Returns is a story that follows a high school student named Haru. After rescuing a cat that would’ve been run over by a vehicle, she discovers wonders that are way beyond her imagination. Kids of all ages would enjoy this “meow” worthy anime film!

5. Ponyo On the Cliff by the Sea

If your kids enjoyed the fishy tale of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, they’ll definitely enjoy this one. Ponyo tells the adorable tale of a young boy who lives by a cliffside with his mother. One day, he discovers a weird looking fish with the face of a human girl. The boy takes her home and soon enough, they grow fond of each other. Ponyo is a cute story of young love and innocence told through the amazing animation studios of Ghibli. What better gift for 2-year-olds than a great movie followed by some yummy snacks!

6. Kiki’s Delivery Service

Another oldie on our list, Kiki’s Delivery Service revolves around a young witch named Kiki. Due to her ongoing witch training, she moves to a seaside town with her talking cat, Jiji. Kiki does this to spend the year alone as per tradition says. The rest of the film follows Kiki in her flying courier service adventures and the obstacles that follow her along the way.

7. Stand by Me Doraemon

If you’ve loved the ever so famous ‘Doraemon’ television series, then this film will steal your heart. Released in 2014, Stand by Me Doraemon tells of the initial meeting of Nobita and the title character. It portrays the compression of the entire TV series in one beautiful story. Follow Doraemon as he embarks on a journey to change Nobita’s life for the better. Stand by Me is a must watch for kids of all ages and is the fifth-highest-grossing-anime film of all time!

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