The 15 best animated films of all time, according to Letterboxd

The users of Letterboxd are among the biggest movie lovers you will find everywhere on the internet. They tend to take their movie experiences seriously, so their ratings can often be a good barometer of how good something really is. That is certainly the case with the animated films they have reviewed.

RELATED: The Top 10 Pixar Movies by Letterboxd

With hundreds of thousands of movies on the website, every animated movie is included. From Pixar movies to Hayao Miyazaki works to visually breathtaking releases to Oscar winners, a few animated images stand out above the rest as those that score the most impressive ratings on Letterboxd.

Updated March 17, 2022 by Kevin Pantoja: One thing that’s interesting about Letterboxd is that reviews are constantly coming in as the availability of certain movies grows. So the animated films that had the highest average rating have actually changed a lot in less than a year. Now, some classics from Pixar and Disney have been replaced by newer movies from across the country. There are still Disney movies located near the top, but you can now see what’s worth branching out to see from Studio Ghibli and elsewhere.

15 Coco (2017) – 4.18

Stream on Disney +

One of the latest items included is 2017’s Coco. This was another release from Pixar Studios, which is basically the cream of the crop when it comes to animated films, especially in the US. Coco tells the story of a young boy who travels to land of the dead to get permission from an ancestor to pursue his musical dream.

Not only did this win an Oscar for best animated film, but it also won best original song for the heartbreaking “Remember Me”. Coco has four and five stars as its most common score (31% and 32%), while four and a half stars come next time (15%), proving that almost everyone loves this movie.

14 My Neighbor Totoro (1988) – 4.19

Stream on HBO Max

Satsuki and Mei fish with Totoros in My Neighbor Totoro

If there is one director outside the United States whose name is synonymous with star animated films, it is Hayao Miyazaki. It’s actually hard to find out Miyazaki’s best movie because he has delivered so many amazing.

The most iconic of his work is probably My neighbor Totoro as the titular Totoro is almost something of a mascot for Studio Ghibli. The film follows sisters who become friends with spirits in the woods near their new home after their mother is hospitalized. Four and five stars are a draw (31%) for the ratings that are awarded more often.


13 Your name. (2016) – 4.19

Rent at Vudu

Characters standing against a purple sky in your name

It may not be from Studio Ghibli, but Your name. is one of the most well-received animated films that has come out of Japan. The story is about two high school students who are complete strangers, but discover that they suddenly change bodies one night.

The two commit as they have to adapt their lives to this incident, which begins to happen randomly in the future. The film was a box office success and won awards at several major shows. The majority of reviewers on Letterboxd actually gave it the full five stars (33%).

12 Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) – 4.19

Stream on Disney +

Most of the best rated animated films are either made in traditional style or by using the more modern CGI format. However, Fantastic Mr. Fox takes a different approach by focusing on stop-motion animation. It’s a style that works perfectly for Wes Anderson.

RELATED: 10 Best Stop Motion Movies Ever, According to Rotten Tomatoes

The quirky instructor kept all his trademarks in this format and it worked expertly. The story follows a fox working with other animals to steal from vicious farmers in their area. Fantastic Mr. Fox was instrumental in winning Best Animated Film at the Oscars, and most reviews gave it four stars (31%).

11 Akira (1988) – 4.20

Stream on Hulu

The motorcycle scene from Akira.

You would be hard pressed to find a more influential animated film than that Akira. Released way back in 1988, this was huge in terms of inspiring and popularizing the cyberpunk subgenre and was masterfully adapted from the manga of the same name.

The action focuses on a teenager who works with his biker friends and psychics to defeat a furious psychopath after a military experiment. Five stars is its most common score (31%), with four stars (29%) following closely behind. The film was praised for its action, nice pictures that holdand more.

10 The Lion King (1994) – 4.20

Stream on Disney +

Simba realizes that Mufasa is dead in The Lion King

As for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Lions King became their biggest crossover hit. It was not expected when it hit theaters in 1994, but the film spawned several sequels, a Broadway show, a box-hit remake in 2019, and more. It all started somewhere, though.

Lions King deals with Simba’s struggles to become king after his father’s death, and he gets blamed for it by his evil uncle. The timeless narrative has an absurd 35% of its ratings, which are perfect results, while four stars (29%) come in right behind.

9 Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Three Times Upon a Time (2021) – 4.23

Stream on Amazon Prime

Shinji In Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 Three times

That Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise is one of the most well received in anime history. It has been a popular manga, an amazing TV series, and it produced some of the most impressive feature films found anywhere.

One of the many strong films that come from the series is Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 three times. The film follows the main characters while stranded without their faithful Evangelions and must figure out how to survive on their own. Although a new release, it has sparkling reviews, with five stars (37%) being the most common.

8 Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) – 4.28

Stream on HBO Max

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli

Once again, it tells about the creative genius that is Hayao Miyazaki that yet another of his films ranks so highly. This time it is Howl’s Moving Castle which is a very popular release from Studio Ghibli.

Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of a shy young girl who is cursed to turn into an old woman by a witch, and then she becomes friends with a selfish but insecure wizard who lives in a walking castle. It’s the kind of strange premise that only Miyazaki can make into something special. The best animated film nominee was most often rated five stars (36%).

7 Princess Mononoke (1997) – 4.33

Stream on HBO Max

San sits on top of the wolf Moro in Princess Mononoke

While Pixar may carry the crown in terms of animated films, one studio comes close and possibly surpasses them in terms of quality. It is Studio Ghibli and their best reviewed films are often those created by the always impressive Hayao Miyazaki, i.a. Princess Mononoke.

RELATED: The 10 smartest Studio Ghibli main characters

Miyazaki’s work goes back decades, with Princess Mononoke released in 1997. This fantasy epic follows a young prince trapped in a war over a forest between a mining colony and gods. This film, which garners accolades and accolades, has as much as 36% of its ratings, giving it the perfect five stars.

6 Revy Starlight: The Movie (2021) – 4.34

Not currently available for streaming

The girls in Revue Starlight

Another incredible new movie that has received the impressive ratings on Letterboxd is Revy Starlight: The Movie. Like Neon Genesis EvangelionThis is another popular Japanese media franchise that includes manga, stage games, TV shows and of course movies.

The latest movie is Revy Starlight: The Movie, which is a follow-up to the TV series where the main group of girls have to go their separate ways after graduating from Seisho. An overwhelming number of reviewers gave it the perfect five-star rating (55%).

5 Perfect Blue (1997) – 4.36

Rent on Apple TV

Perfect blue

This may not be quite as popular or famous as some of the others for scoring so high, but it does not stop Perfect blue from being one of the more exciting animated films ever made. Released in 1997, this Japanese psychological thriller was quite unique for its time.

The plot sees a young singer try to go over to acting only to go crazy as she is haunted by an obsessed fan and a ghost from her past. Perfect blue has five stars as the rating it gets most often (36%), with four stars (27%) and four and a half (23%) coming in right behind.

4 Grave Of The Fireflies (1988) – 4.36

Rent at Vudu

War movies are quite common in Hollywood history, but not many of them are animated. That makes it even more impressive The grave of the fireflies is often mentioned among the greatest war films ever made. Based on a 1967 short story of the same name, the Japanese image arrived in 1988.

RELATED: 10 best anti-war films, ranked (according to IMDb)

It is an anti-war film as it focuses on two siblings struggling to survive the end of World War II and the many hardships they encounter during that time. Incredible 39% of reviewers gave The grave of the fireflies a perfect rating where only 2% of users give it less than three stars.

3 Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (1997) – 4.41

Stream on Netflix

That the whole series of Neon Genesis Evangelion is on Letterboxd and has a unique average rating of 4.5. Although well received, the last two episodes were considered controversial. In 1997 Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion was released to tell that conclusion from a different perspective.

The decision was wise as this was met with much better praise, even though the feelings were mixed at first. It has since become quite iconic, and almost half of the users (46%) who reviewed this film gave it a perfect rating, which is rarified air on the website.

2 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – 4.44

Rent on Apple TV

Pixar usually cleans up when it comes to Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. However, that was not the case when their film, The Incredibles 2lost to one of the most unique films ever made, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. This 2018 release gave fans a new take on the superhero genre.

It did so by not only telling an emotionally charged story about spider-themed heroes from different universes that came together, but also with a sleek animation style that felt like it was straight out of the comics. 44% of users gave this a perfect five star rating, with only 2% going below three stars. It’s a special movie.

1 Spirited Away (2001) – 4.47

Stream on HBO Max

Chihiro and No Face

For many fans, it is difficult to choose the best film from Hayao Miyazaki’s legendary career. Although there are many candidates, the users on Letterboxd have spoken, and the one who scores highest on average is Spirited away. Written and directed by the filmmaker, hits from 2001 have won numerous awards over time.

The story follows a young girl who moves to a new city, only for her parents to be transformed and for her to enter a world of spirits. The imagery has become iconic while the reviews are sparkling. Just under half (49%) of users consider it perfect, and only 6% give it less than three and a half stars.

NEXT: The 10 highest-rated Oscar winners for best animated film, according to Letterboxd

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