Animated films have long been a mainstay of the media market. Whether they are films based on pre-existing worlds or totally original creations, these works are omnipresent and engaging. Unlike the typical associations of animated films with media focused on children, animated films cater to a wide range of audiences, from the oldest to the youngest. Some animes are even becoming popular enough to warrant reboots and live-action recreations, although the success of those efforts has been mixed.
Over the past decade, many animated films have been released that vary widely in subject matter and target audience, some being definite masterpieces that blend beautiful animation with complex themes and ideas. Here, we’ve narrowed it down to the ten best animated films of the past decade, ranked according to Rotten tomatoes.
ten Arrietty’s Secret World (95%)
This Studio Ghibli film is a family feature film that follows the life of Arrietty and her parents, a small family that lives in the tight spaces of a human garden. This small group borrows supplies from humans for a living, undiscovered until the arrival of young Shou, who befriends Arrietty.
This film takes on a slow pace, reveling in shots that explore the rich world and the nuances of how Arrietty and her family walk through the great human house that surrounds them. Like other Ghibli films, the art and music are excellent, creating a beautiful film that anyone can enjoy.
9 Promare (96%)
Promare is an action-packed film by Studio Trigger, who are the creators of other fast-paced works like Kill the kill and Hell Cop. In this film, the city of Promepolis, with the help of a team of firefighters, must continually battle the randomly appearing flame mutants that infest their world.
Our main character, Galo Thymos is a recent recruit to the fire brigade who sets out on a quest to uncover the true cause of the mutants. The aesthetic of the film is both simple and detailed, allowing for a fluid animation style and a fast pace that transports viewers through its world. All in all a brilliant ride from start to finish.
8 In this corner of the world (97%)
This historical drama captures the feel and essence of life in Japan during WWII. The main character Suzu Urano is a young girl who loves to draw and who first lives on the outskirts of the city of Hiroshima before marrying a man in the port city of Kure.
This story covers the period before the war, slowly progressing over the years and following the life of our protagonist as the conflict draws closer and closer to his homeland. As a film, it offers a unique and heartbreaking perspective on one of the world’s greatest wars and is not to be missed.
7 Your name (98%)
your name is a fresh take on the genre of body swap movies that mixes romance and fate. They are two protagonists, Mitsuha Miyamizu, the country girl, and Taki Tachibana, the city boy, periodically find themselves exchanging their bodies.
The film follows the couple as they attempt to solve the puzzle behind this event and seek each other out in real life. The tragic idea of a desperate and distant love with visually lush scenery makes for a gripping story that could tear even the most stoic of moviegoers a tear.
6 Skate with you (98%)
This film is another creation from the mind of talented director Makoto Shinkai, known for works like 5 centimeters per second and the above Your name. In this film, Tokyo is plagued by a series of disruptive rain showers.
When the two protagonists, Hodaka Morishima and Hina Amano meet, it is revealed that Hina can summon the sun when she prays for him, which gradually leads to a sometimes fantastic and sometimes surprisingly well-founded plot. The story here is rooted in the characters, their interactions, and the way they develop throughout the film – and it all works out wonderfully.
5 Penguin Highway (100%)
A surreal mystery is at the heart of this film. The one that fourth-year Aoyama finds himself drawn into when a flock of penguins suddenly appear in his hometown. Applying the scientific method, he begins to search for the penguins and finds that they come from a woman in his dentist’s office, but this is only the beginning of his journey.
This coming-of-age story follows Aoyama and his friends as they research this phenomenon, with a sense of eccentric wholesomeness and philosophical depth that makes it an engaging and thoughtful watch.
4 Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (100%)
Kirito and his friends are coming back for Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale. In this adventure, they are drawn into the world of the popular game Ordinal Scale, available on a new augmented reality platform called Augma. Like the other entries in this series, things aren’t as they initially appear, with a hidden villain being introduced as the plot progresses.
Naturally, Kirito and his gang are trained, resulting in over-the-top action scenes and high-octane fights that Sword art online is famous for. Overall, this movie is a real treat for fans of the series.
3 My Hero Academia: Two heroes (100%)
This is another film that builds on a pre-existing franchise, this time acting as an extension of the world of My hero university. In My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Izuku Midoriya accompanies his teacher All Might to a superhero convention on I-Island, an area dedicated to finding quirks and heroes.
Things take a step towards calamity when a group of villains attack and chaos ensues as the heroes mobilize to stop them. This film, like the series, is all about its action sets and they don’t disappoint. Viewers also get a glimpse into the life of All Might, giving the film a dash of character development that complements it all.
2 Maquia: when the promised flower blooms (100%)
Maquia: when the promised flower blooms is a fantastic and dramatic adventure that follows Maquia, an ageless being who longs to see the outside world but is instead confined to her clan house. Destruction is next on the list, as the kingdom of Mezarte invades their homeland in an effort to gain immortality for his race.
Eventually, Maquia finds herself alone with nothing but a human baby that she decides to raise. The film explores this mother-son bond in depth, dealing with heavy themes of family, self-realization and suicide. It’s a play mired in enough drama and emotion to touch the hearts of even the most cynical viewers and it’s a movie you can’t miss.
1 The Tale of Princess Kaguya (100%)
The tale of Princess Kaguya is another Studio Ghibli movie that makes the list. He follows a bamboo cutter, his wife and the mysterious baby they find in the forest. This baby is known as Kaguya and the story follows her from the tiny village of her youth to the mansion in the capital where she and her family come to live as they attempt to turn Kaguya into the princess they think she is. it is destined to become.
This visually stunning film has a surprising depth to its plot and takes unexpected story turns that make it a unique gem that can be enjoyed by all.
NEXT: Every 90s Studio Ghibli Movie, Ranked
Top 10 smallest swords in anime, ranked
About the Author