If you are looking to get your kids (or yourself) into anime than Miyazaki is the way to go. We’ve recommended him before, but let me further impress upon you just how great he is. Miyazaki is likely the best known anime director in the business and has been a boon to the genre as a whole. Princess Mononoke, which he wrote and directed, was Japan’s highest-grossing film of all time. In 2003 his film Spirited Away won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
These are great flicks and you should see them, but a word of warning. If you have kids on the younger side (read 6 or under) I would recommend starting with some of Miyazaki’s earlier works. Princess Mononoke is violent with an ample supply of dismemberment. Spirited Away has elements that would at best confuse and at worst frighten a young viewer. There are four movies that Miyazaki has done that would be appropriate for most viewers. These are classic flicks and all are what would be considered must see. Quick synopsis and trailers after the jump.
- My Neighbor Totoro: Two children move with their father to a rural countryside where they befriend a forest spirit.
- Kiki’s Delivery Service: Kiki is a young witch in training who must conquer her insecurity to become a full fledged witch.
- Castle in the Sky: Sheeta is a girl on the run who teams up with young Pazu to seek out Laputa, the Castle in the Sky.
- Howl’s Moving Castle: Sofî, a young girl who has been cursed into an old woman, must break her spell by seeking out a young wizard who lives inside a walking castle.
There is a lot of anime out there, but if you are looking to get a good head start then you can’t go wrong with these movies. Have any other recommendations for the budding anime geek?