Unlike my last foreign film list, this one features only animated movies. Yes, Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and other US movie studios seem to have quite the monopoly going on the animated front. But, there are more than a few movies from other countries that deserve our attention as well.
My Neighbor Totoro Sisters Satsuki and Mei must go live in the countryside with their father while their mother recovers from an illness in the hospital. They find their new “neighbor” is a magical forest spirit, and this movie about their adventures together is pure magic.
Spirited Away Yet another movie directed by the legendary Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki (you’ll find most of the movies on this list are his), a young girl named Chihiro is forced to work for an evil witch. She finds inner strength, and is eventually able to free her parents and her friend, who have been under the witch’s spell.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Brits Nick Park and Steve Box have created two of my favorite animated characters. This movie finds Wallace and his dog Gromit battling a mysterious Were-Rabbit. Can they save the vegetables from the hungry Were-Rabbit in time for the annual vegetable contest?
Kiki’s Delivery Service Kiki, a thirteen year old apprentice witch, must find her place in the world.
Howl’s Moving Castle The evil Witch of the Waste turns young nineteen year old Sophie into an old woman. In her quest to end the curse, Sophie finds love as well as her true self.
Chicken Run– Aardman Studios, who brought Wallace & Gromit to the world, made this movie about chickens who are trapped on a chicken farm. They dream of leaving, and after many escape attempts, the situation becomes especially dire after Rocky the rooster lands among them. Can the super-smart Ginger, along with Rocky, who promises to teach them how to fly, lead the way out?
Castle in the Sky Inspired by Gulliver’s Travels, the story follows orphan Sheeta and her friend Pazu as they outwit the evil Muska. Watch as they travel through the magical world of Laputa with some rowdy sky pirates.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind A thousand years after a devastating war, Princess Nausicaa is humanity’s best hope for survival, as she is the only one who understands the importance of saving the polluted forest which borders the lands on which they live. The first of a long series.
Wallace & Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures Two of these adventures won Best Animated Short Oscars, and one was nominated. These are three hilarious short films with claymation characters that will have you and your kids rolling on the floor.