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Best Adult Animation films ever made (20+1list)

Best Adult Animation films ever made

written by Souranath Banerjee

Adult Animation films!?

But aren’t animation supposed to be for kids? Well, the answer is Yes and No!

First of all we have to understand that ‘Animation is not a genre, but an art form.’

Although mostly Animation is been associated with children, them being taken for granted as the perfect target adult-animationaudience, but then, filmmakers most often use the art of animation to tell stories that are highly subversive in nature, tales of immense maturity been told under the guise of a children’s film!

And then, some others make such exquisite pieces of artistic animated Cinema aimed ONLY for the grown ups, the so called adults!

(But don’t get too excited because I am not talking of hentai or any other form of explicit or animated porn at the moment. At least not in this article!)

This particular list contains some of the Best Adult Animation movies that are often very realistic in approach, sometimes they are issue-based (specially wars or political turmoil), others are philosophical, may be allegorical or satirical (based on various metaphors), and obviously a few of them contain decent dozes of violence and sex that are not at all meant for the juniors!

So, here we go!

20. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbMl6DjhJ1I

Adult-AnimationFour boys, an R-rated movie and of course the war against Canada!

Directed by Trey Parker and writer Matt Stone (who also wrote the original South Park television series), one of the most hilarious comedy but not exactly meant for kids though.

The highest grossing animated film with an R rating till date and also the most mount of profanity used in any animated film ever! 

19. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN8Kd3zR_mE

Adult-Animation Comprised of three short films released over a period of 2006-2011, all directed and narrated by Don Hertzfeldt.

It’s the story of Bill, his world, his dreams, his revelations; all uniquely animated on paper with stick figures, shot on 35mm camera with experimental optical effects merged with real footages.

Funny yet deep and highly intellectual, undoubtedly the most philosophical animated cinema I have seen till date!

18. Paprika (2006)

Papurika (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_vUmm8Z0fM

Adult-AnimationThree scientists at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research invented a device that allows people to record and watch their dreams. But then their precious invention gets stolen and the worlds of dream and reality collide and merge into one horrific surreality.

Directed by Satoshi Kon, this anime is by far the most creative yet disturbing film in the list infused with a terrific soundtrack. Highly recommended!

17. Chico & Rita (2010)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgmBLyItITA

Adult-AnimationA passionate piano player and a beautiful singer, both young and full of dreams and ambitions – and yes, they become lovers! But their roads to success seem different, can their love survive against all the odds?

Directed by Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba, this is one rare and brilliant animated romance between two ‘real’ people beautifully depicting human emotions!

16. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Kôkaku Kidôtai (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2MEaROKjaE

Adult-AnimationThe year 2029. The mysterious and elusive cyber criminal, the Puppet Master is being hunted by a cyborg policewoman and her partner.

Directed by Mamoru Oshii, this is a futuristic, hyperrealistic and fantastic animated thriller that recently got made into live-action feature Ghost in the Shell (2017) starring Scarlett Johansson as the sexy cyborg cop (though the animated version is much better). 

It also has the animated sequels Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) and Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (2008) which are definitely worth your time.

15. Fantastic Planet (1973)

La planète sauvage (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCxCZNkQ9E

Adult-AnimationThe story of the unknown sci-fi world of Ygam where the masters are the beasts and the humans are their slaves. And here comes a revolution!

Directed by René Laloux, a film so masterly creative and epic in its content and animation style; beautiful and surreal and deservingly the winner of the Special Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival!

14. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no tobira (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au1AO1xaEts

Adult-AnimationThe year 2071. A terrorist bombing has released a deadly virus and a high-priced bounty is set for the capture of whoever is behind it. Can the bounty hunter crew of the spaceship Bebop encash the reward?

Directed by Shinichirô Watanabe, Tensai OkamurYoshiyuki Takei and Hiroyuki Okiura, a classy film made on the famous animated series by the same name. Adult in content but great storytelling!  

13. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Mononoke-hime (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OiMOHRDs14

Adult-AnimationA deadly curse that changes the fate of a young warrior, and he finds himself in the midst of a war between the humans and the Gods of the forest. And then he meets Princess Mononoke!

Directed by the acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki, a marvellous film dipped in Japanese myth and folklore, with enough blood and violence to make it count in this list.

A few other films from the same director that are more suited for adults than children are The Wind Rises (2013) and Spirited Away (2001).

12. Fritz the Cat (1972)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PADIloikkhg

Adult-AnimationThe first animated film to receive an ‘X’ rating and it opened the gates of the future nuisance that followed!  

Directed by renowned Ralph Bakshi, this one is one hell of a comic satire on the 60s NewYork scenario, with a cat being the main centre of attraction/attention.

Funny, comic and full of adult jokes,  an animated sex comedy – easygoing and entertaining as well.

11. Barefoot Gen (1983) 

Hadashi no Gen (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjLYP_X80GA

Adult-AnimationDirected by Mori Masaki, this is a a disturbing tale of a boy from Hiroshima, and how his life changes during the WW2.

The film brilliantly portrays the disastrous aftermath of the atomic bomb, and also the overall effect it had on Japan.

A brilliant tale – hard hitting, deeply emotional, told from the perspective of a little boy.

10. Watership Down (1978)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji-LqBskNyE

Adult-AnimationA survival story of a group of rabbits who are always in danger of predators ready to catch them, kill them, eat them – in a sense not very different from our own human world!

Directed by Martin Rosen the film is adopted from the famous novel by Richard Adams by the same name.

And not exactly for the kids, since it is a pretty violent and ruthless film to be animated!

9. Wicked City (1987)

Yôjû toshi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jDSbHomlrs

Adult-AnimationThe peace between the mortals and the supernatural world is being threatened and two professionals are given the responsibility to protect an old sleazy man of importance. But can they do their job successfully?

Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, this anime contains extreme sex, nudity and violence that almost pushes it to the Hentai territory.

Probably the only other anime film that can compete with this one in terms of erotic animated visuals is Hideki Takayama‘s animated feature Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (1989).

8. Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Vals Im Bashir (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J9uoLMhMhs

Adult-AnimationDirected by Ari Folman, a superb animated take on the first Lebanon war of 1982.

Through many meetings and interviews, an Israeli film director tries to recollect his memories of the war, the time when he was in the army.

Four years to finish, the first ever animated film nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar!

7. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Hotaru no haka (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vPeTSRd580

Adult-AnimationDirected by Isao Takahata, this is the story of a young boy and his little sister who tries their best to struggle and survive the brutality of the war.

A story told with such power and innocence, emotionally tragic yet such blissful and appealing.

Visually spectacular and masterfully animated in style, one of my personal favorite of all times.

6. Persepolis (2007) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PXHeKuBzPY

Adult-AnimationDirected by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, this is a powerful film that tells the story of an Iranian girl, growing up during the times of Islamic Revolution!

An animated satire, originally based on a comic-book; though the film has a comic touch but overall pretty serious in content, definitely not aimed for kids in mind.

It is a bold biographical journey of co-director Marjane Satrapi.

5Waking Life (2001)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbPgprcMtjo

Adult-AnimationDiscussions regarding the purpose of the existence and the meaning of life can be pretty heavy stuff but this animated feature manages to maintain an overall dreamy psychedelic mood that creates an unique experience for the viewers!

Directed by Richard Linklater, yes, my favorite director does it again! A superb story told in a cool and slow manner. Also check out a very interesting film called A Scanner Darkly (2006) by the same director.

4. Akira (1988)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUqd8qNaNg0

Adult-AnimationAnime became a global phenomenon with the release of this film and it is undoubtedly the most popular and expensive anime of the time – production cost 10 million!

Directed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo, one of the most visually challenging drama pact with some memorable soundtracks.

Violent, edgy, gritty and dark, a film that remains with you for a lifetime.

3. Anomalisa (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT6QJaS2a-U

adult-animationA man bored with his life is desperately seeking for some excitement, some incentive to go on. And finally he meets a girl who seems to be perfect!

(Click for the review)

A highly sensitive and melancholic film with the best stop motion animation ever!

Directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman, this film is a rare gem that needs to be cherished and relished forever.

2. Perfect Blue (1997)

Pafekuto buru (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXQraSkOOGs

Adult-AnimationA retired pop-star who is set to become an actress is stalked by an obsessed fan, but soon things becomes too dangerous to handle.

Paranoia, violence, sex and above all a creepy feel that makes the film both disturbing and exciting at the same time.

Directed by Satoshi Kon, this is one haunting animated thriller that will certainly make you very uncomfortable. A must watch!

1. Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Kanashimi no Beradonna (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WkcLMapo_Y

Adult-AnimationAbused and banished from her village, a woman unknowingly makes a treaty with the devil and  gains magical ability. But soon the devil wants his share!

Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, a story told metaphorically with highly explicit symbolisms.

A poetic epic, an avant- garde feature of exquisite beauty and certainly the most artistic film I have ever seen!

and (The ‘+1 film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Sita Sings the Blues (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y5_zJ1xfQs

Adult-AnimationThe epic Indian tale of Ramayana told from the perspective of Sita, and her choice of narration is to sing soothing Jazz songs from a forgotten era!

Directed by Nina Paley (autobiographical to a certain extent) perfectly complimented by the ever-melodious voice of Annette Hanshaw.

Enriched with enough satirical humour, a much underrated gem that has the potential brilliance to compete with some of the best animated features across the globe!

A few other Adult Animation films not exactly made for the kids are: The Triplets of Belleville (2003), Yellow Submarine (1968)The Illusionist (2010), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)Coraline (2009), Animal Farm (1954), Tokyo Godfathers (2003), Beowulf (2007), Heavy Metal (1981), The Plague Dogs (1982), Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018).

Similar Interest: Best Animated Films of 2015 

Similar Interest: Best Animated Films of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Animated Short Films

Similar Interest: Hayao Miyazaki – a parallel universe

 Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com and www.imdb.com.

Best Animated Films of 2016 (10+1list)

Best Animated Films of 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

Animation films are pure magic!

On one hand animation movies are the enjoyment package for a complete family and on the other hand, perhaps there are no other medium in this world that gives an artist such freedom of expression and creativity other than Animation!

Similar Interest: Best Animated Films of 2015

And so, it’s time to celebrate some of the Best Animated Films of 2016! Enjoy!

10. Kung Fu Panda 3

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGPPfZIvtCw

kung-fu-panda-three-posterAfter a long wait of 5 years, finally the third one comes along where Po, the Panda gets a chance to show off his amazing Kung Fu skills!

Directed by Alessandro Carloni,  Jennifer Yuh Nelson, and voiced by Jack Black this DreamWorks Animation produced instalment is packed with enough action and fun! 

Far from being the last movie in the franchise, another 3 Kung Fu Panda films are planned ahead!

9. Moana

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKFuXETZUsI

moana-poster1“lassoed the sun with a fish hook and pulled the land from the ocean.”

A brilliant adventure from  Walt Disney Animation Studios that has the most amazing look and feel – a visual treat for everyone.

Directed by Ron ClementsDon HallJohn Musker and Chris Williams – and then there is Dwayne Johnson‘s eyebrows, I mean voice.

8. Sing

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYHBD9RF2dk

sing-posterIllumination Entertainment owned by Universal Pictures presents their second musical film, first one was The Lorax in 2012.

The story of the greatest singing competition of the year, featuring over 85 hit songs from the 1940s till the present day!

Directed by Christophe Lourdelet,  Garth Jennings, this one is a treat specially for music lovers!  

7. Sausage Party 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBdeE7mzED4

sausage-party-posterTruth about life and death, about the world and it’s existence – well know it all from a sausage!

Directed by Greg Tiernan,  Conrad Vernon, the most unique concept I have come across specially for an animation movie. Seth Rogen is hilarious!

Presented by Annapurna Pictures,  Columbia PicturesPoint Grey Pictures, jokes a bit on the adult side but very much recommended!

6. Finding Dory

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKJA-VLpiCo

finding-dory-poster1

Pixar Animation Studio’s seventeenth feature film!

Ellen DeGeneres voices for the most popular animation character Dory, the blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so!

Brilliantly directed by Andrew Stanton,  Angus MacLane, this is the second instalment of the superbly successful Pixar Animation StudiosWalt Disney Pictures presentation Finding Nemo (2003). 

5. Kubo and the Two Strings

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4-6qJzeb3A

kubo-and-the-two-strings-poster1Laika Entertainment famous for their earlier production Coraline (2009), this time presents the longest stop-motion animation film till date!

Directed by Travis Knight, this is the adventurous story of a boy named Kubo!

A unique blend of animation and origami, made out of 145.000 photographs, turned into one of the most visually spectacular film!

4. Ethel & Ernest

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXDlEw5u8u8

Ethel-&-Ernest-posterDirected by Roger Mainwood and produced by Ethel & Ernest Productions and Lupus Films, the tale of a family from the early 30’s in London! 

With the backdrop of WWII this hand drawn animated film is based on the award winning graphic novel by Raymond Briggs and the story (it is a true story) is based on the lives of Raymond Briggs’s parents. A brilliantly well-made emotional film – a must watch!

3. Your Name

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU47nhruN-Q

Your-name-posterThis year CoMix Wave Films presents the most successful anime film of Japan and also an artistic brilliance.

A surrealistic fantasy tale of two strangers getting connected in the most unconventional way possible!

Brilliantly directed by Makoto Shinkai, this is one film that cannot be missed this year.

2. The Red Turtle

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw7BggqBpTk

red-turtle-posterA man marooned on a deserted tropical island which is only populated by turtles, crabs and birds.

A superb film without dialogues, the first non-Japanese film to be produced by Studio Ghibli.

Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, same director who made the best animated short film seen by me ‘Father and Daughter‘. 

  1. Zootopia

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWM0ct-OLsM

zootopia-poster1It’s the world of anthropomorphic animals and a rabbit becomes a cop. With her partner, a con artist fox, they solve the most mysterious case in town!

(click for the review)

Directed by Byron Howard,  Rich Moore and Jared Bush, a Walt Disney Animation Studios presentation and undoubtedly the best animation film of the year!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McRfaIjicvg

Doctor-who-posterIn 1974, all six episodes of the original tapes for “Power of the Daleks” were erased from the BBC archive!

But luckily fans at the time recorded the soundtrack directly from the television and so after 50 years BBC America presents the animation version of the series – directed by Christopher Barry and perfectly synced with the original lost-footage audio. 

A brilliant Si Fi totally worth your patience.

A few other films that didn’t make the list but still worth your time are StorksTrollsThe Angry Birds MovieLeap!Ice Age: Collision CourseOne Piece Film: Gold and The Secret Life of Pets.

Similar Interest: Best Animated Short Films

Similar Interest: Best Animated films not for kids

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com,  www.imdb.com.