Top 10 Anime movies that surpass Disney by lightyears

Written by screenhead

Disney is forever synonymous with cartoons and animation, and while the recent Pixar films (Pixar is owned by Disney) have gathered critical acclaim, they’re still a far cry from some of the best Anime movies ever made. During the late 80s and the 90s, Anime went from a niche viewership that was rarely available in the Western world, to almost mainstream it is today, mainly because of a few films that changed the way the Western audience looked at animes. Here are ten anime movies that surpass virtually anything Disney has made, including the Pixar films.

10: 5CM Per Second (2007, IMDB link)

Probably one of the most visually stunning animated movies (not just animes) to be released this decade, 5CM Per Second is comprised of three stories, which deal with love between people with a great distance between them. It’s not for everyone, especially young kids who won’t understand much of it, but the sheer beauty of the animation of Makoto Shinkai is some of the most artful visions you’ll ever see – both in animation and live action movies. Just search the title on Google Images and indulge yourself in a few frames.
9: Cowboy Bebop (2001, IMDB link)

Based on the hit tv-series Cowboy Bebop, the movie continues the neo-noir, jazz infested action following the bounty hunters who get a job to track down a terrorists. Cowboy Bebop has had a cult following ever since it was first aired in Japan, then in the US, and the movie is a great introduction to newcomers to the franchise.

8: Tokyo GodFathers (2003, IMDB link)

Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers is, more than anything, a social comment on Tokyo and the minorities of one of the largest cities in the world. The story follows three homeless friends, a young girl, a homeless man and a transvestite who find a baby in a dumpster and embark on a journey to return it to its parents. Pitch that to Pixar.

7: Princess Mononoke (1997, IMDB link)

Hayao Miyazaki, often referred to as the Walt Disney of Japan, has made plenty of genre defying anime movies (there are a few more on this list), and although he had done numerous movies before, Princess Mononoke was his breakthrough movie in the Western world. It was the highest earning movie at the Japanese box office before Titanic, which not only shows Japan’s love for anime, but just how popular the movie was in its home country.

6: Paprika (2006, IMDB link)

A visual feat for the eyes, Paprika shows just what a storyteller with a vivid imagination can do. A “dream machine” – which allows doctors to see a patient’s dreams – is stolen by a thief who uses it to enter people’s dreams, and it’s up to Paprika and her team to find the reclaim the machine. The movie shifts between reality and dreamworld continuously, and it welcomes a second viewing to get all the details.

5: Howl’s Moving Castle (2004, IMDB link)

The second Miyazaki film on the list, Howl’s Moving Castle, developed from the book by Diana Wynne Jones, centers around a girl who is cast with a spell that makes her look old, her only hope of becoming young again is with a wizard and his giant, walking castle. It features all the Miyazaki trademarks, from stunning artwork to graceful animation, and is widely considered one of his best films to date.

4: Ghost in The Shell (1995, IMDB link)

It was one of the first films to popularize Cyberpunk as an art style and vision of the future. The movie has not only been a visual inspiration to countless Hollywood action movies over the years, but a direct influence to The Matrix. The Watchowski brothers reportedly showed Ghost in The Shell to producer Joel Silver and told him, “We wanna do that live action”. There are countless references to Ghost in The Shell in the Matrix, from the way they’re plugged into the Matrix to the virtual world itself. It’s a must see for any sci-fi fan, whether you’re into anime or not.

3: Grave of The Fireflies (1988, IMDB link)

It was a movie that one can never imagine being made by Western animators or storytellers, Grave of The Fireflies was the film that made everyone realize, including the Japanese, that anime can be used to tell serious, heart felt stories. It centers on a boy and his young sister who struggle to survive in WW2 Japan when their mother dies during US firebombs of their city. Roger Ebert called it “the most powerful anti-war movie of all time”. And it’s just that.

2: Akira (1988, IMDB link)

With Akira, the West finally woke up to the power of the Japanese animes. It’s the movie that defined the whole genre, from its art style, to its realistic portrayal of violence, to its ability to tell several stories at once. The world of Neo Tokyo and it’s lawlessness, the motorcycle gangs and the technology introduced all contribute to making Akira the hallmark of anime for the past 20 years.

1. Spirited Away (2001, IMDB link)

Miyazaki’s masterpiece, the story of a girl who ventures into the land where witches, Gods and spirits rule, where she has to fight to keep her spirit, and fight to release the spirits of the ones she loves. The film was hailed by critics all over the world, and won dozens of awards, including an Oscar for best animated feature. The movie even surpassed Titanic to become the highest grossing move of all time in Japan.

94 thoughts on “Top 10 Anime movies that surpass Disney by lightyears

    1. JustUs

      Im a bit surprsed with all of you, has anyone leaving comments on this and other sites ever seen Robot Carnival?? This is what I suggest, drop what you are doing, type watch Robot Carnival online free, look for stagevu link, save target on download key, and after watching never make a top 10 without this movie ever again,thanks

  1. Greg H.

    Those are all quality films (except Akira, which is trash), but to say they surpass Disney’s by “lightyears” is ignorant. Disney is practically the gold standard in animation and has been since Snow White/Sleeping Beauty (up till present times with the Princess and the Frog). If you’re talking about quality, I’d argue Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Hercules, Mulan and others could stand toe to toe with the best japanese animation has to offer (without having to resort to gross amounts of violence, although many of the movies you list don’t). Plus, one thing I do think Disney films do better than anime is minimize down-time/boring stretches (some of the films you mention suffer from this – you may see this as a greater degree of inherent sophistication but I’d rather the film be more focused).

    1. j

      you obviously dont know what your talking about…….Akira deserves to be number 1……deffinately one of the most amazing anime movies ive ever seen and ive seen hundreds…..although i do agree with the disney part…..all the disney movies are great……you just have no right putting down one of the greatest movies ever made……AKIRA!

    2. Kaybee

      Disney films are entertaining but they are all passe. It was great fun when I was a kid but now as a adult when I have the ability to appreciate arts and aesthetic in animation, I vote all of the above films mentioned especially all of Hayao Miyazaki films as No.1 in every true sense, Japanese or not.
      Disney films are purely entertaining but these animations have ‘soul’ which Disney lacks.

  2. a

    Greg H.
    While I agree that nowdays they’ve made good movies like WALL E, you can never forget the abomination with that stupid cow they’ve made. It was a fucking abomination.

  3. ArrrghUkidding

    Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Hercules, Mulan are passable for light child’s fair and not the worst thing that you might have to suffer through as an adult. Films that have been dumbed down to the level Disney assumes children and undiscerning parents are at. However, the quality of animation in the aforementioned movies approaches beauty occasionally, technical virtuosity rarely, and is overshadowed by much of the animation Disney was doing almost half a century earlier. If you were just to critique then as musicals, they are wanting as well. Despite not having the physical limitations of live-action musicals from the bygone ’50’s, Disney’s newer canon fails to approach the choreography or music of even some of the more middle-ground of MGM’s catalogue. And as far as having scripts that engage ones intellect, challenge ones morals, or even simply have something of value to say about the human condition, Disney is continuing to fall short. So please, just because junk food is popular do not mistake it for being either genius or nourishing. Especially if you are to compare them to films which are, like most of Pixar’s work and many of the films on this list, doing things that Disney hasn’t done for decades.

  4. Joe in the OC

    Are you serious? Clearly you know nothing about true animation if you think a cheap pen drawing can come even close to the true artists that have worked at Disney Studios since the 1920’s. Consider yourself schooled.

  5. Tartra


    Nice try. You know the saying ‘missed it by a mile’? That goes hand in hand with saying ‘I beat you by a mile’. Replace that with ‘lightyear’ – good job on the distance, it’s pretty common knowledge by now – and you should understand what they’re saying.

    Learn to be right before you get nitpicky.

  6. Akshay

    ok ive heard u guys and seen thru ur ego trips. Anime and Disney(with or without Pixar) have both produced great movies. movies like lion king and aladdin have created strong memories of childhood for most of us people and probably will remain dear to us forever. almost all the Disney movies are cherished by westerners and many asians as well becuz to these ppl these were strands of their culture – it was something that we could enjoy viewing with our families as much as we cud enjoy ourselves.
    but if we really break away from our sense of unrelenting, almost often stubborn attachment to these ‘classic’ movies…the matter is a done deal. Anime have always been an impossibly sophisticated and deep class of movies when compared to the fairytalish disney and pixar. its conscious depiction of detail and fervent, but simultaneously ‘quite’, backgrounds have been benchmarks meant as points of inspiration for disney brand of movies like ‘monsters inc’ n ‘up’. ghost in the shell, akira, mononoke and spirited away are path-breaking cinema not just in the realm of animation but narration and sound synchronizing as well.

    so cmon, we all love genie in aladdin, we laughed our hearts out when mowgli danced with the monkey, we cud feel for wall e even when the film ended and i know whoever claims he/she dint cry with happiness when simba roared from the edge of pride rock after beating scar is a liar. but to say these films beat the grit, style, pace, sense of reality and level of intelligence as well as emotional depth of some(of course not all!!) anime movies would be a different kind of jingoism.

    PS- Trust and Betrayal and Blood the last vampire are amazing too

  7. Mello

    These are all great Anime, but I think saying that they are better than Disney is silly. Your number one pick, Spirited Away, is wonderful and it is produced by the Japanese branch of Disney. Same thing with Princess Mononoke. If you watch the DVD, there is an intro from Disney talking about the Japanese branch and the new innovations Disney is making in the Anime genre. Check it out.

    1. Yuu

      Mate, Studio Ghibli is not the Japanese Branch of Disney… Mononoke was distributed by Miramax in the U.S, and Spirited Away by Disney itself. The dub was supervised by Disney, but this hardly counts as production, and as dub is an abomination of anime anyway, this counts for nothing. Both films were produced in house by Ghibli’s chief producer Toshio Suzuki. Please do a little bit of reading before making stupid comments.

  8. Charles

    Japanese anime was the Sex Pistols of Japan. It started as an underground form of expression that went against the grain of societies “standards” of a somewhat oppressed culture. I mean the government requires them to obscure the genitals of their porn films. I am a stringent advocate of Japanese anime. It has a much deeper expression than just entertainment purposes (U.S. anime) if you read between the lines. People will find a way!!!

  9. Karl Marl

    I know I shouldn’t care. I know I shouldn’t feel anything about it. I know I should just move on, but there are, as usual, some sincerely stupid comments on this thread. I’m going to try not to come back and get into another blogument, but I just can’t let anyone who reads this thread and doesn’t know much about anime come away with false information. MELLO, STUDIO GHIBILI IS NOT IN ANY WAY THE JAPANESE BRANCH OF DISNEY. DISNEY HANDLED THE AMERICAN MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION FOR A FEW MIYAZAKI FILMS. Get off the Net and go play outside. Hopefully you’ll meet a nice guy with candy and a white van. AKSHAY, quit writing like that. It’s just dumbing you down and your generation is stupid enough. Anyway, great article and some terrific choices. I’ve seen six of them in the theatre, I own 9 of them on DVD and I’m going to look for 5CM per second.

  10. Asian

    To be honest, disney has done a great job leaving memories of our childhood with us… but the anime movies mentioned above provides animation in a complete different angle, so i really do not know why there are disney fans who are looking down on these anime movies. The examples people gave such as lion king etc… doesn’t convey the deep theories of society, war, perception and love seen in princess mononoke and spirited away. Why would you even say spirited away is a cheap hand drawn moving pictures compared to “true” masters in Disney. I mean, by saying that its clear to me that you’re just very self-centered and look down on Asian culture like you Westerners did when you invaded our countries with drugs. And Karl Marl, thank you for pointing that out, studio Ghiblio and Miyazaki would never be a branch of Disney since the films Disney produce will never convey such deep concepts and stay at the childhood audience stage.

  11. Lord Smartass of Wisemister

    Disney used to be awesome, I agree on that. But what the hell happened? the movies they are making today are so incredibly overloaded with moral talk and obvious stories, that you simply can not enjoy them when you reach a certain age. To me, The great mouse detective basil is still my favourit disney movie, because it had a sense of reality in it. If you fall of a building, you will die, not land, smash your face and walk home. In the new disney movies, the nature laws can be bent any way that suits the writer, and it is starting to piss me off!
    In the more serious Japanese movies, a bullet in the face means you die, not turned black by gunpowder.

  12. Animaniac

    Forget everything… take Final Fantasy Series Animation in one hand and all the rest of the world’s cartoons in the other… Still, the Japanese Animation technology in Final Fantasy or similar anime outweighs them all by 10 billion folds… ‘coz it’s Japanese…

    It’s as simple as that… I would buy a Honda or Toyota than Fix Or Repair Daily (FORD) car… I would buy a PS3 than a XBOX that never turned anyone’s head 360…

    So what is the point in arguing??? Japanese are always the best!!! No wonder people buy anything that’s made in Japan… lol!

  13. Bob

    asian the smart people.
    america the gnster dumass

    asin pawn the americans

    soon everyone will be part asian…

    asian rule the worlddddd…..

    and yes anime is way better than disneys. the movies these are mostly for little children. unlike anime, which is for people of all ages.
    disney right now is the on which anime walks on. if disney tells the real stories, such as the stepsisters chopping off their toes just to wear the shoes in Cinderalla(i dont know if it is spelled coerrectly), maybe disney can become ants getting crushed by anime’s foot.
    LAWL lolololololoo rofl disney got pawnd by anime.

  14. thelaughing_man

    It is kind of hard to compare Disney with the entire anime industry. In fact, the only thing I can think of is that they use the same medium which is animation of course. If I was to try and do a comparison between anime and something else, that something else would be Holywood :). You could compare Disney with Studio Ghibly however. And in this case I agree with the majority here that anime is better. I am not sure what it is exactly that makes anime better but I think it’s got to do something with the way the story is presented in animes.

    I have seen a few other top 10 anime movies list from some hard core anime fans and they were quite different from yours. But yours is actually really good too.

    I wonder how this 5CM movie has manged to evade so many of us including me :). It’s the next movie on my list to watch.

  15. auzius

    Akira and Spirited away are in their respected place although i would prefer akira to be number 1 over spirited away sinceAkira has a better story although one can still debate on that but one question remains WHERE THE HELL IS METROPOLIS ON THIS LIST!?

  16. the...person

    gasp! omg! omg! omg! ahhhhh! i love spirited away! x3 i have been watching that show for a long time a lot!eeep! imma watch it noe on youtube! ^-^

  17. somho

    I think the reason that many anime films are so much better than Disney films should be clear: Disney films are made for children. No matter what little features there might be that appeal to adults in their films, at the end of the day they are made for children, and so they simply can’t handle serious issues in the same way that anime can. Furthermore, because animation in the west has always been perceived as a medium intended for children, westerners don’t take animation seriously as a cinematic medium, and so many westerners don’t give anime the attention it deserves.

  18. Erathos

    somho, disney films aren’t made for children in the first place, exept the new trash ones, toltally different story for the classics like snow white pinoccio and others, that’s only what you realize when ur watching everything like a stupid without the singlest reflection about what ur watching, by that i mean how can u put yourself in defense of anime when u haven’t the singlest idea of how to argument what ur saying and u finish with disney are made for children. Cause thats only true for the new disney movies.

    Second, for disney defenders, disney classics are really great, but guess what, none of them are disney creations, most of them are masterpieces in litterature remade movies by walt disney company, before complaining first read the book or find the historical reference of your ”disney” story and analise it well, find the links with history and mythology, you’ll see that it isn’t for children at all, they can see them but they will never find the true meaning of those movies, wich can only be found by someone who has studied animation and it’s classics and know how to speak about, which obviously aren’t this disney defenders that think, ”the gave us the best memories of our chilhood”, maybe it’s true but at that age u never known what they were supposed to mean. The movies can’t compare to the originals masterpieces.

    And that’s were japanese anime is much better than disney, because for most of them they’re not a remake of some masterpieces, they’re original work from the authors that are someway based on something in society, war, the unknown or what makes humanity think about it’s existence or other psicological stuff that isn’t at all in disney exept alice in wonderland a bit, that’s what is my favourite disney, or even basedon myths as well but still the original work, not some remake of a true classic story, orthey are authors imagination but great analysed work not like that child stuff of pixar. So disney is great but anime is even greater, and no ghibli movies are not disney in japan, disney is just the company that comecializes them out of japan but it has nothing to do with disney creation, so why is disney so much more famous than anime: cause we live in a world of neocolonialism where america rules and the rest is colony, it’s obvious exept for the americans cos maybe they don’t learn that at school, but true for the rest, specially for a poor south american country like mine, although it’s changing with the economical crisis, If the states an japan were at the same level in world culture expansion, anime would obliterate disney. I agree with the list but princess mononoke, akira and spirited away should be on the first 3 places, also, eher is nausicaa, i know it ia a lot of miyazaki but the guy is atrue genius, you need also memories on that list, one the best actually, really worked on. 5 centimeters per second shouldn’t be there although it’s really good, where is ninja scroll, really good movie based on japan history and mythology, metropolis although really good shouldn’t be there
    cause the real credit is for fritz lang who made the original remade by osamu tezuka, and personally i think the true metropolis is the best of the german expresionism cinema.

    Well that’s all the expression ”that surpass Disney by lightyears” is right, lightyears is distance but that’s supposed to mean, anime is far beyond disney, there’s an uncatchable distance between anime and disney, and anime is the good one here.

    For the ones that may thing, what is that old jerk posting a comentary, i’m eighteen years old but i love cinema and specially anime more than all of you together, that’s why i investigate about everything i see of course after enjoying it like a stupid when i first watch it, cause that’s also fun. Here ends my long long comment. Hope it clarifies ur mind.

  19. Matt

    One difference between Disney and many of the great anime out there is that they do not reduce the human condition to mere ‘good’ vs ‘evil’.

    In anime the ‘bad guys’ can have redeeming characteristics or reasons for their actions that evoke empathy – Princess Mononoke is a great example of this. Good and evil in all of us is a common theme – the Monster anime series is another fantastic example.

    Many anime avoid the good and evil idea altogether, Totoro is a great example of this.

    Traditionally Disney has followed the good triumphing over evil path by personifying evil in a person or group. Brother Bear was Disney’s first departure from this line of story telling (that I am aware of), where the main character was the one who committed the terrible act.

    Disney has also been also always involved fairy tale romance ideals in many of their anime, which is a NOT how I want my daughter thinking of love and relationships.

    As far as animation the craft is concerned, Studio Ghibili (for cell animation) and Pixar (for 3D animation) are the 2 power houses as far as I am concerned. There are some other Japanese studios producing great animation, but not as consistently. These two strive to create art and evolve the craft. Dreamworks can also craft some great animation, but I wouldn’t rank them with Pixar.

    On a side note The Triplets of Belleville (sp?) is excellent and different again.

  20. Adament

    What makes anime good?? It makes you feel! Happy, Sad Angry, etc. This is what makes good movies. When a company can put together a piece by assembling a voice with a picture and make you feel, they have done an outstanding job. What impresses me the most is the ability for a company to do this by non conventional means, fairy tales make me feel nothing because they are unrealistic or are devoid of emotion. movies I really love can make me feel something even if I know whats going to happen because its the emotion i feel that surprises me not what happens with the plot, I believe that a lot of top companies fail to grasp this concept. Movies I normally watch are sci fi and pretty violent anime, but some good ones I never would have thought of are movies like “my neighbor tottoro”, and “howls moving castle” and series like eureka 7, and witchblade, violent to the core with a heart of gold. There is no good or evil, only your opinion.

  21. Halo is overrated

    Why are all of these comments directed towards the choice of title for the article as opposed to the content of the article itself? It seems rather redundant. So to interject with some relevance to the subject, good choices on the top 10 =)

  22. Jay

    Why would anyone bash Akira is beyond me, if it wasnt for akira the western world probably wouldnt know about anime, besides a very limited few. granted the Akira movie fails in comparison to its manga but the visualization of the anime is amazing, and still even today 90% of all anime’s fail to match its quality/detail of animation so GregH your a moron.

    You cant compare disney to anime, the styles are so vast, let alone the cultural differences at the time they were made, could u imagine Simba leaping on a gazelle in the movie an tearin its jugular open, blood spraying every place? or alladin running a simitar through Jafar?

    only until recently imo has disney realized that adults enjoy animated films besides just watching them with their children, So now they are finally creating films that are family friendly, an not just kid friendly.

    Over all a great list, Kudos

  23. j kelly

    Too all anime haters if u dont watch animes dont comment. It annoys me how there is alway one that puts down ohters passions be it for animes or movies ,comics or games . SCREENHEAD has obviously done his homework , watched many ,and listed the best animes ever released over the years , and kudos to him . There is one thing though . i read a comment about Akira , someone saying it is trash . Maybe it is down to personal taste but , if you cant watch the Grandfather of all animes and like it the anime world isnt for for you . You should stick to walt disney . Not everything in this world is looks and smells like roses and the same goes for animes .
    If u want soft and cuddley stick to Walt Disney . If you want awsome action well u know where this is going.

  24. j kelly

    just and edit for my last note i made a slight mistake in a sectence:

    If u watch the grand father of all animes and don’t like it the anime world isnt for you.

  25. Junaid

    “The girl who leapt thru time” and “brave story” are also few of good animation movies but would definately agree the anime movies mentioned are way better then disney cartoons (which i love still)

  26. nick grau

    im sad. with that said, cartoons make me happy, they let me forget. sometimes for a few minutes or even an hour or so. I like classic disney, i like new disney. however “home on the range” did suck pretty bad.

    but with every thing in life there will be good and bad, not in the sense of righteous or evil. just its enjoyable or its lame.

    anime is just a genre, a name for a style. I feel people fail to realize you shouldn’t care and become angry at what others think. they are entitled to an opinion just as you or me. does my opinion matter? nope, its only words.

    so cease the obvious ridicule of a biased unsupported opinion of disney is less then anime and just enjoy it for what it is….art.

    keep it simple stupid, art is art. like it or don’t, who cares.

    i feel i sound like Eeyore or Marvin from hitchhickers guide to the galaxy.

  27. john cb

    Oh k let me explain this to all of you, for 1 Walt Disney started the animation boom and at that time animation was not really a buisness!!
    another miyazaki is a youngin compared to walt and walts filmmaking!!

    understand that japans own walt is miyazaki in some sense and miyazaki had alot of shoulders to stand on!unlike walt Disney who had himself – he had to make something without any knowledge about it.

    Walt Disneys kids are around miyazakis age – that is how young miyazaki is!

    I dont know why everyone is using the word anime like a cult – when its actually miyazakis film making ability and not his races cartoons

    and whoever said japanese will take over the road and that their better than everyone should understand they have know Idea what their talking about! you honestly think blue eyes blonde haired people wanna help you with that venture, trust me they dont.

    and what would happen if the states stopped shipping items too japan? japan would flop like a fish – then go fight it out with china as ussual – but clearly get its ass whooped becuase the chinese are an impressive people!

    I am just amazed someone would be so ignorant as to say things about how great the japanese are and even say it using english writing -makes me laugh! becuase a white person probably said it!

    anyway comparing walt to miyazaki is like comparing da vinci to nicola tesla! the man who learned how to harness electricity- who do you think tuaght every countrie nearly in the world —the americans!

  28. a guy who doesnt put up with crap

    since you guys are comparing anime to disney… i just want to throw in the fact that hollywood owns all. it really is silly to compare the stories presented in disney and anime. if you look throughout disney history, its a childhood company. ask your grandpa (who probably hates cartoons either way)… better yet if you live in the USA you should already know the reputation cartoons have in the west: child’s play. adults don’t take cartoons seriously, heck, they hardly take comic books seriously, and i would say those are much more mature than any disney movie. comic bookies are almost a taboo culture in the west.

    sure many disney stories are based on a lot of old european folk lore, but many animes are also based on old japanese folklore.

    also ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and as an artist i would say both anime and disney are both beautiful genres of art. after all, my love of drawing is what got me into anime. however disney movies are always known for their high frame rates, flowing art, and attention to detail (throughout the whole movie i might add). just compare these two pictures for a second, i mean… look at the difference in the trees alone:

    miyazaki has always been praised for his “human like” movements in his animation, but that is something disney does everyday.

    in the end, i watch anime movies if i want to feel something that i can relate to about the world or just stories that spike my emotions, im an adult now and thats what i search for. i look back at disney with great childhood memories, a little of that “disney magic,” and basically…just eye candy that i can appreciate as an artist.

    oh and btw, if youre talking about japanese cars, you should check out the chevy volt. now thats a “real” hybrid. (dont be fooled by the talk of it being an electric car, its just another mechanic form of hybrid). that car is a step in history, and the first step in the right direction from gasoline dependence, and its made in america =p.

  29. Kodoi

    @all the ignorant clowns saying disney is still better and to the utter imbecile who said princess mononoke and spirited away were made by the ‘japan branch’ of disney, do you know what you’re saying?? Disney isn’t worthy of even shining studio ghibli’s shoes!

    If you have watched the movies I just mentioned and if you have enough of a brain to comprehend the storyline, then I can’t comprehend why you would say these movies were not as good as disneys. All aspects of the movies are top class, from the story to the animation, both simply amazing, well done studio ghibli!

  30. to the idiot above

    you are soo damn ignorant , for 1 animation wouldn’t exist without the Americans nor would the light bulb or the nuke or any everyday shit you can think of! sorry to tell you this is a white mans world and always will be!

    but one things for sure the next world war is going to be russia and america joined to destroy china and korea.

    cause were the white demons you know and we love it!

    1. To the ignorant Racist Motherfucker above

      I can name at least 20 “everyday shit” that u american morons use from the moment u leave ur beds in the morning,that are anything but american. Also,your exultation that ‘animation wouldn’t exist without the americans’ is as redundant as ‘Films wouldn’t exist without the French’.A talented american contributed to the Animation Scene almost a century ago,but instead of moving on,people like u typically like to sit on their fat asses and coast.The contributors in this thread were discussing Anime VS Disney,but i guess White Faggots like you need to be assured of ‘white supremacy’ so much that even a civilized and logical discussion needs to take a racist turn for you. Tell you what,Educated people like us (including educated and REAL Americans)will keep on discussing this topic while “y’all ken go back to yer inbreedin’ family and get on with fucking your sister”. I really don’t understand why even Americans tolerate such pathetic specimen like you that casts all of them in the negative stereotype that the entire world perceive about them.

  31. Tobbo

    Animation is a branch of US Media, not the main player–that would be Hollywood. Anime is the main player in Japanese media. The Anime films from japan are really good because its cheaper for them to make an animation rather than a live film requiring actors, special effects etc. Thats also why they have such diverse story lines exploring a variety of topics–just like american films. Imagine Shawshank Redemption as an animated film–you see the similarity with anime?
    You could say that all the best stories from Japan are forced into animation because of a cost rationale. Hollywood has nothing if not bags of money, and prefers making live action rather than animated films.
    So in conclusion, its not justified to compare Disney and Anime.

  32. Jackie

    I love disney japanese animated movies. Japanese people are the best at making cartoons that are interesting to both adults and kids. I've always loved Howls Moving Castle. Its probably my favorite. Along with Spirited Away and the new movie Ponyo.

    1. tom

      you don’t know jack shit about cartoons if you think japanese people make them the best. japanese people do not animate, it’s generally a bunch of still pictures, fast cuts, and obscured faces so as to not have to animate a mouth moving. not to mention that every single anime looks like the last.

      1. john

        yup…..way to be a total asshole and respond to someones comment like a year later. they have an opinion, and if its not animation….what is it….why do you have to not only be an ass, but an uneducated ass?

      2. Yuu

        Wow, do you live in a hole? Oh wait, sorry, you must be Tom of “Tom and Jerry” fame, correct? I see, what’s happened is that, due to being beaten repeatedly over the head by many a blunt instrument by your little mouse friend, you’ve lost pretty much all of the little intelligence you had! “bunch of still pictures, fast cuts, and obscured faces so as to not have to animate a mouth moving”… yeah, that’s probably the most pretentiously ignorant statement I’ve read thus far. Have you ever actually watched an anime?


    Hell yaah the list rocks, but i think Ghost in the Shel should be there too.

    The old disney movies rely suck ass, the only one that i cold stand was Mulan and maybe Lion King because of pumbaa and timon. Of course their new movies are getting god.

  34. Onefirefighter2b

    If not for Disney who knows what the landscape of animation would look like today or, for that matter, if animation would even still be around outside of cartoon shorts. Also, Disney is not just for kids. They can use pretty mature themes when they want to. Example: look up Hellfire from “Hunchback of Nore Dame”, Or the Night on Bald Mountain segment of “Fantasia” on Youtube. With that said, Disney is traditionaly about fairytales and happy endings and what not. It depends on what you like. If you want an escape from the real world and all its problems, then go with Disney. If you want something that is more realistic, go with anime. If you ask me, I prefer Disney but i'm not going to bash anime because the truth is they have some great films aswell.

  35. Dynamo

    I agreed mostly but, FYI, Akira isn't a trash. Akira actually inspired the bullet time effect in Matrix. Read its review before messing your head with your own.

  36. Casey

    I don’t think you understand just how incompatible the two topics are and not in quality but rather in context. The thesis had potential then you wrote a completely different article. Comparing these films to Disney films has the same value as comparing porn; they have no common ground. Saying they’re animated isn’t enough to argue their compatibility.
    Films such as Akira and Grave of the Fireflies are targeted at mature audiences while Disney focuses primarily on younger audiences, how can you compare something that cannot be compared on content alone? Just as you have attempted to do.
    I say this objectively and I think you need to think twice before you write this kind of journalists nightmare.

    1. Yuu

      Quite easily actually. Are you going to try and argue that Harry Potter or Twilight are better pieces of literature than Paradise Lost, Great Expectations, or Lolita? No, yet the former are both aimed at young people and the latter three at adults. Just as literature can be compared merely on its craftsmanship and content, rather than its demographic, so can animation. Disney and Anime can be compared in terms of how beautiful the aesthetic is, how much meaning their stories impart and how effectively they do this, and how well the entire film is crafted, as well as other respects I’m sure. And in most of these respects, anime bests the Disney of today (and also in many respects the older Disney films) by far. No Disney film has ever been close to being as beautiful as “5cm per Second” or “The Girl who Leapt through Time”, nor have any held as much significance as “Princess Mononoke” or “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds”. Anything can be compared my friend, you just have find the grounds on which to do it.

  37. whiteblood

    look at all the weaboos saying anime has surpass disney,are u kidding

    me if it wasnt for walt disney anime would not exist,asians will always

    be the bottom scum feeders as we caucasians rule the world,the most

    powerful mans in the world are caucasians see whos in charge,so asians

    know your place,youre lucky we let you in our glorious country,i dont know why so many asians come to america in the first place if there country are so great,ohh maybe its because their country suck,

    dont you ever forget that we are BETTER THAN YOU ASIANS AND WILL ALWAYS BE ELITE.

    1. rofl

      I wont even comment on your retarded racist shit but any teenager who watches Disney is a weaboo you nutcase. Anime for real people Disney for weaboos.

  38. anime sucks

    get of anime dick, what year did they start, oh yeah, way after disney. and pixar wipes its ass wit akira. ninja scroll rape scene is awesome though

    1. Yuu

      Oh look, it’s Thomas the stupid cat again! Hello there little Neko-chan ^^ Want some fishy food? Perhaps that’ll help your brain develop!

  39. mod3stmouse

    I think the comparison between cultures is something to be argues because the styles remain fairly different especially when pixar is added into the mix. I am a huge fan of anything pixar but i am also and anime fan as well and have seen most of the movies on this list. For the most part I think they are good but was sad to see missing titles like “Sword of the Stranger?” which carries its weight in action and emotion….there are a few other i would like to see on the list but as for “movies that surpass Disney by lightyears” if your counting Disney Pixar in the comparison then i would say you are off base

  40. rofl

    Anime shits all over disneys face?

    First of all the people who say that without Disney anime would not have existed. Any half retarded 10 year old would have noticed that the obvious next step after pictures was moving pictures but the Japanese animators perfected what Disney started. Thats more difficult than your Mickey and Minnie cartoons.


    Hot anime babes or dandy Disney Princesses.
    Epic action and drama or kiddie cartoons.
    Stylish and realistic character designs or stupid caricatures (mouse-dog-duck).
    Comlex and intriguing storylines and stupid morality tales.
    Mature themes or stupid good vs evil shit.
    Black Lagoon or G.I Joe although its not Disney.

    Im not saying Disney produces shit but it has got nothing to take on anime. Theres a reason why Disney animation is called cartoons. They are made for kids only. Besides the two or three 3d movies it produces in a year Disney hardly has any influence while Japanese animation industry is active throughout the year and inspite of the large quantity of animation they produce its got better storylines and production values than any 2d fare which Disney produces on television. Recess , Phineas and Ferb ? Are you kidding me ?!!

  41. rofl

    Anime shits all over disneys face

    First of all the people who say that without Disney anime would not have existed. Any half retarded 10 year old would have noticed that the obvious next step after pictures was moving pictures but the Japanese animators perfected what Disney started. Thats more difficult than your Mickey and Minnie cartoons.


    Hot anime babes or dandy Disney Princesses.
    Epic action and drama or kiddie cartoons.
    Stylish and realistic character designs or stupid caricatures (mouse-dog-duck).
    Comlex and intriguing storylines and stupid morality tales.
    Mature themes or stupid good vs evil shit.
    Black Lagoon or G.I Joe although its not Disney.

    Im not saying Disney produces shit but it has got nothing to take on anime. Theres a reason why Disney animation is called cartoons. They are made for kids only. Besides the two or three 3d movies it produces in a year Disney hardly has any influence while Japanese animation industry is active throughout the year and inspite of the large quantity of animation they produce its got better storylines and production values than any 2d fare which Disney produces on television. Recess , Phineas and Ferb ? Are you kidding me ?!!

  42. DancingKim

    Greetings, i’m a professional dancer. i would like to make a showreel regarding my promotions. I also want to use some animation. Can someone suggest me the best animation studio, but certainly not very expensive? I’m here for 3 months for a tour.

  43. Enoch

    Concerning the Disney and Studio Ghibili/Western Animation and Japanese Animation discussion, what’s wrong with liking both? I like Disney and Ghibili for what they do and other companies for what they do. I’d say that they both succeed very well in entertaining me (depending on the movie in question of course).

    They both have their good movies (Lion King, Under the Red Hood, Spirited Away, Millennium Actress), and they both have meh movies (Tangled, Sky Crawlers). I feel that all excellent examples of any animation is outstanding. Who doesn’t get goosebumps and feel depressed at the Stampede scene in Lion King or when Chiyoko has that running scene in Millennium Actress? Who isn’t creeped out a little by Frollo in Hunchback of Notre Dame or the Perfect Blue stalker?

    Anyways, back to the original topic of top movies. I completely agree with the inclusions of 5 Centimeters Per Second, Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away, and Howls Moving Castle. Don’t necessarily agree with their placings, but that’s just me. Been meaning to see Ghost in the Shell, Tokyo Godfathers, and Princess Mononoke for quite some time. Though if it were me I’d place Millennium Actress in the number 1 spot any day.

    Well, that’s all now. Going to watch Secret of NIHM now. A movie about the relationship of a mother and her children and what she’s willing to do to save them; along with a side story of genetically altered rats who argue whether to live by stealing technology from a farmer or isolate themselves in shameless paradise. Great western animated film. Chao ciao!

  44. WOW

    Japanese aninime i teand to like more now that im older… Stillyou haveto give credit to disney where it is due. Im not liking the comments that involve America being inognorant and apologetic to other countries though… How many Americans die in other countries protecting them? lots and lots. How many europeans or asians died in America protecting American soil? ummm i think its 0… And if you read this and say oh well America didnt do it to protect and oh they are nazis… think if we were actually nazis, first off you wouldn’t be typing on a computer and we would probably just rape pillage and burn all of your countries… so just be glad America has a bunch of liberals trying to protect you and has presidents such as obama who is a puss and sweet talks half of the idiotic people in america:) the comment about asia ruling is retarted by the way….American citizens with all their guns could take asia by themselves:)

    1. Randomer

      Wow, WOW,
      I have not seen a more ignorant and malinformed person. I apologise if this contradicts your views, but America is not the ruler of the universe.
      About your comment about Americans and their guns, just No. That’s right, capital N.
      America would have considerable difficulty taken even China by itself using just gunpower. Obviously they have more power in terms of nuclear warfare, but considering Russia is currently offering full support to China…
      Not putting down America, they’ve achieved many extraordinary feats, but this ‘america is so much better than the rest of the world’ thing is becoming obnoxious.

  45. Chad Sanderson

    Disney has long been past a conflict solely between good and evil. Look at Alladin- there’s the debate over using one person’s will to fit your own needs, and in Lion King the story deals with confronting mistakes in the past and overcoming them. Disney has always been more relatable to children and the simplistic problems they overcome than the debacles faced in high class anime productions. People who even try to compare them don’t understand they’re two totally different things.

    What people also don’t seem to get is that anime is category, while Disney is one company that targets children. Find me 10 anime children’s movies on the level of Disney and you’ll get some internet points. To save you some time, you can’t. Because they’re the best by a mile.

    Miyazaki is very talented, but his films are directed towards a very different audience. American adults aren’t keen on cartoons as much as Japanese adults so the market isn’t as deep. Stop trying to compare apples to oranges.

  46. No one

    Sorry,but this anime shit will never surpass disney movies like the lion king,pocahontas,mulan and so on.Because they are meaningful without violence like princess mononoke.Ans yes anime excisted before Disney but anime is excelled by disney. I know it.
    Lion King, my favourite disney movie is epic.

  47. Randomer

    Not trying to prove some point, but I was under the impression that the first anime production was released in 1917, 5 years or so before Disney was created. Why is everyone saying anime wouldn’t exist without Disney? :/
    Seems a bit biased to me…

    1. Randomer

      I personally prefer anime; the fast pace of the style simply suits me better.
      Yes I am asian, but I was born in England, and I’m simply astounded that some americans look down on us so much. I hope they are a minority, and read up to date on their facts before reposting ;]

  48. Kaybee

    I’ve lost count of how many times I watched Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. I would have ranked all of Studio Ghibli films before any other anime films. I am a HUGE fan of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki. I have watched all of their animated films and I love them all.
    My all time favourites apart from these 2 are Kiki’s delivery service, My neighbour Totoro, Whisper of the heart, The cat returns, Laputa- castle in the sky, Princess Mononoke, Only yesterday, Ponyo on the cliff by the sea…..etc…etc…
    Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika, Yobi- the five tailed fox (Korean), A Chinese Ghost story (Chinese), all the Final Fantasy series especially Final fantasy: Advent Children (I was totally on my seat through this action gripped anime. Totally awesome animation and special effects and visually cool looking people and things)…and many others…

    Everyone should watch “Grave of the fireflies”. This is not just any animation film. It is a must watch… I still tear up when I watch it…

    Recently I watched The Borrower Arrietty too and now it is in my most favourite list!!!

    ALL of Studio Ghibli and many other Japanese animes are visually so appealing and fantastic. They are so dreamlike. They take me to an another world…surreal.

    I can relate to these animes because they are so me! I love everything that is so English/ fairytale like/ rabbits/ fairies/ roses/ etc…but in an Asian sensibility.
    I like strong story lines and visually appealing cinematography (?) which is a visual and mental treat so Anime it is! .

    Animes have ‘Soul’.

  49. xeoz

    you see, Japanese treat anime movie (animation) as it was a real movie. like Hollywood did with inception, godfather trilogy, matrix, etc. They put depth, background story and some of them even rated M for violence, or sex and drugs reference.

    Hollywood treat animation as… well children’s movie. Put good vs evil, good heart hero vs super evil villain, an there you are, Hollywood animation.

    On the other side, Japanese animation movie blurring good and evil lines. some good characters do evil things to restore peace. or he’s just a badass anti hero and what did he wants to achieve? he wants to be left alone, or a robot struggles between becomes human but he’s only a robot and trying to figure how to make humans and robots becomes equals. Or an ex slaughter who wants find peace and vows to never kill anyone anymore.

    there’s no much personality in a character and that makes anime feels like another life, except it’s not on our time.

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