Family fun | Family Fun | Rainy Day Fun | Arts

Top 10 Non-Miyazaki Anime Films for Kids and Families

Mobile Suit Gundam WingJapanese anime TV shows and films and manga (comic books) have an increasing influence on our popular culture and are injecting new life and creativity into the media our kids are consuming. If you're looking for an alternative to the standard Disney-princess fare, anime can provide strong characters and story detail that move beyond many of the clichés we're used to seeing.

Best known, of course, is the work of Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese filmmaker who dominates best-of-anime lists the way the Beatles own the top ten on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. There are good reasons why he enjoys more popularity outside of Japan than any other director (find our favorite Miyazaki films).

But while Miyazaki's reputation is well earned, many other filmmakers are producing movies and television shows that are also original, rich in visual inventiveness, bizarre, and entertaining. Here are some of my favorites. 

I've only scratched the surface with this list and no doubt anime fans will raise a fuss over the exclusion of some (Neon Genesis Evangelion?!*) but these are a good starting point if your kids are interested in exploring the genre further.

This list includes both television and movies. All titles are available either on DVD or streaming through Netflix or Amazon. I’ve ordered this list by age recommendation youngest to oldest.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (2000)

Recommended age: 8 and up

Mobile Suit Gundam is a good place to start with anime, and not just because it is a wildly popular and influential series, but also because it's also violent, which is a recurring theme with a lot of anime. The violence is focused mostly on giant robots and other vehicles but there is no shortage of implied violence to the human characters. But it's only implied, which is why I'm giving it a thumbs up for younger audiences.

>Next: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Read Next