Making Sense

15 Anime Faves for Kids + a Chance to Win!

Share your love of animated movies and enter to win a set of Hayao Miyazaki classics.
Angela Zimmerman Editorial Content Manager Categories: We recommend
Editorial Content Manager

We love anime films for their whimsical storytelling and gorgeous animation. Director Hayao Miyazaki is a master of the anime genre, and his beloved movie treasures continue to delight kids around the world. Enter to win a DVD/Blu-Ray set of the classic Miyazaki films My Neighbor Totoro and Howl's Moving Castle. Just leave a comment below telling us your family's favorite anime or animated movie. We'll contact three winners by email by May 28.

Meanwhile, check out a list of 15 of our favorite anime films.

And watch one of our favorite clips from My Neighbor Totoro.

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About Angela Zimmerman

As Common Sense's editorial content manager, Angela is responsible for promoting and packaging articles and reviews to both users and content partners, which means she gets to learn about all the new movies, TV shows... Read more

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Comments (64)

ahh,,Sprited Away.. the movie that made my childhood, I loved it so much and I used to watch it over and over until my parents got sick of it. I was really young and I don't really remember how young but it is appropriate for childen
A decade after watching Castle in the Sky I found it again on dvd, only to learn of all the other Miyazaki movie! Such a joyous period of my life delving into those wonderful stories, and now that I have children I'm counting down the days until they can follow those fantastic journeys too.
My children had never watched television or movies and we introduced it to them with Kiki's Delivery Service. Our whole family became hooked on Miyazaki movies! We found that every time we watched them we would see something new.As parents we appreciate the life lessons taught; all of us love the saturated colors and, of course, story lines. Kiki will always be first in our hearts, but Totoro is a close second. We haven't seen Howl or Ponyo yet. . . .
I love My Neighbor Totoro because it has so many moral value, it teaches us about friendship, love, family, courage and so many more.Besides,The story is so original and unpredictable + unforgettable, The story gave me rollercoaster emotion (which can light up my mood like everytime and really moving). P.S. not to forget to mention about how amazing Hayao Miyazaki’s works. I LOVE IT ^^
We've loved Howl's Moving Castle, which we saw projected on a wall outside, so it was truly larger than life. Also saw Spirited Away, but liked Howl more.
My daughter and I stumbled upon Spirited Away one night during a special TV airing on A&E, and were blown away. She was probably 6 or 7 then. We then discovered Howl's Moving Castle, followed by Kiki's Delivery Service and Totoro. We waited over a year for Ponyo to be released to DVD in the US. But Howl's Moving Castle is my daughter's all time favorite by far! She loves other anime films, too, like Whisper of the Heart and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but Miyazaki is the best anime director.
Spirited Away from Studio Ghibli: The story is great and the animation and art is amazing. Studio Ghibli Rocks! ~ Audrey (14 yrs. old)
My favorite anime films have been Ponyo, and Arrietty. They hold a special place In our hearts since we surprised our three kids with Arrietty on our 15th year anniversary trip to the Smoky Mountains :)
We've had a lot of fun introducing these films to our daughter, starting with Kiki's Delivery Service when she was 5 or so and this year it was Princess Mononoke now that she's twelve. My favorite is Spirited Away but Totoro is what we have all over the house.
My first movie was Kiki's Delivery Service. That movie taught many life lessons. My younger sister loves Ponyo and my parents' favorite is Spirted Away.
The first one I saw, when my son was about one, was Spirited Away when it won the academy award. I thought it was amazing and beautiful. As soon as I thought he was old enough to grasp the movie, around 4 or 5, we watched it. He was hooked. His favorite is Howl's Moving Castle. Totoro is a close second for him. He's 12 now and we've seen them all. They are beautifully told and manage to capture your heart no matter how old you are. We would love to amass a collection but they continue to be fairly expensive so we keep eyes open for specials. Truly wonderful story telling!
Although we've watched several Hayao Miyazaki films together as a family, including Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, The Cat Returns, and Whisper of the Heart, my younger siblings favorite was My Neighbor Totoro. Grasped the attention of my mother, age 45, brothers 16, 13, and 10, and my sister, who is 7.
We've watched many Miyazaki movies as a family. I love the positive messages and the strong female characters. Spirited Away is probably our favorite. It's spooky and wonderful. Miyazaki is an eccentric, creative genius.
We are big Miyazaki fans. My favorites are My Neighbor Tortoro and Howl's Moving Castle. My oldest son once proclaimed Castle in the Sky to be best movie ever made by the best director of all time, Hayao Miyazaki.
The films from Studo Ghibli are amazing and are easily my families favorite anime movies. Particular My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, and Naussica.
My son is nine years old and feels he's too old now for Totoro and Kiki's--even though he still sleeps with a Totoro doll and a Jiji doll, but don't tell anyone--but currently he is ineluctably addicted to Interstella 5555, which is an anime film, directed by Leiji Matsumoto, set to the music of Daft Punk's album, Discovery. My daughter, on the other hand, is one and a half and I can't wait for her to experience Miyazaki's films.
All studio Ghibli films are great we've watched 7 so far, with 5 saved on our sky+ box! Should get the DVDs really ;0). Great family films
My husband has been an avid anime-watcher since his teenage years, and our kids know Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Ponyo practically by heart. Our current favorite is Chi's New Address -- it's a TV show made up of very short (10-15 min) stories about a cute kitten and his adoptive human family.
My 8 year old loves "Ponyo" but "Castle in the Sky " is her all time favourite. She's watched it a gazillion times and the best bit is, she can sing the closing credits in Japanese now. In years to come, her memory of living in Japan will be her love for these wonderful Miyazaki films.
I love Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo (Even though it might scare sensitive young kids), My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, The Girl Who Leapt Though Time, and especially Paprika (which CSM hasn't reviewed yet). My Neighbor Totoro, however, will always win a place in my heart and I can't wait to show it to my kids someday.
We LOVE Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, My neighbour Totoro, Ponyo, Arrietty, Howl's moving Castle, The Cat returns and recently From up on Poppy Hill.
We love all the ones we have seen, too. It's so hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to it would be "The Cat Returns." At least, that's the one checked out of the library the most times!
My girls have loved Totoro since they were 3 and 6 years old. Oh my, that's 7 years ago! They still watch it occasionally and have introduced their friends to Hayao Miyazaki's movies. My favourite is Princess Mononoke.
Love animated movies. MY favorite on your list of 15 is probably Hellboy. My boys and wife are fans of Howl's Moving Castle. :) Pick me!!! :D
Ponyo gets the most repeat views but Kiki's is a close second. And we do not yet own My Neighbor Totoro and Howl's Moving Castle! Thanks!
My daughter and I love all of the Studio Ghibli movies. lol She asks people if they know and like them all the time. (She is nine years old) Totoro and Kiki and Ponyo are favotire characters. She loves Whispers of the Heart too. <3
Totoro and Ponyo are my sons favourites so far, he absolutely adores them and I can't wait to share the rest of the Studio Ghibli collection with him as he gets old enough to enjoy them.
[Insert fangirl squeal] We love Miyazaki anime! So classic, I love that my girls have grown up with all the stories. Totoro was our first when they were little, as teens they were recently introduced to Princess Mononoke. Totoro is definitely the family favorite. My 14yo loves Spirited Away, my 13yo's favorite is Howl's Moving Castle, and mine is Kiki's Delivery Service.
Totoro & Spirited Away are clear favorites. A Cat in Paris was delightful. The Tintin movie was surprisingly quite enjoyable.
Though my teenage kids love Totoro, I am entertained over and over by Spirited Away. We have seen every Hayao Miyazaki movie multiple times! Now we're starting to watch his son who has the same storytelling gift.
My Neighbor Totoro is our family favorite. Our kids have only ever watched it in Japanese and as they've gotten older and able to read it's become such an adventure for them, and for us as parents! CAT BUS!
We love all of Miyazaki's work! It's so fun to introduce these movies to new folks. We also love Avatar: The Last Airbender (the TV series, not the movie).
We just started watching Hayao Miyazaki videos and the kids love them. Ponyo is my favorite but the kids adore My Neighbor Totoro. I am looking forward to sharing more with them.