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150 best animations of all time (from 2003 Laputa Festival)

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150 best animations of all time (from 2003 Laputa Festival)

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drawing, old man
At the 2003 Laputa Animation Festival in Tokyo, 140 animation artists and film critics from around the world were asked to list what they thought were the 20 best animated films or animated series. These lists were then combined into one list with 150 titles on it. Many films from the finished list were shown at the festival that year, and after that it was made into a Japanese -language book about animation (like Jerry Beck's 50 Greatest Cartoons list, though this one had entries from three different continents rather than from just North America).

The 2003 Laputa list was widely reported on in the Russian press because places #1 and #2 were taken by Yuriy Norshteyn's films Hedgehog in the Fog and Tale of Tales. Russian reporters also mentioned with pride that 11 entries were from the Soyuzmultfilm studio, and only four from Disney's. However, none of those news releases mentioned what the full list was, and it was barely mentioned in the English press at all.



I looked for the full list for a few years before recently finding a partially-translated version posted a year ago at miyazaki_ru. Somebody in the comments linked to a Japanese website which had once had the full list, but which no longer existed. However, thanks to the wonders of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and Google's Japanese-English translator, I managed to translate the rest of the list and am now "publishing" it in English for the first time. :) (well, ok, the first time was at the pelleas.net forums, where a few nice people helped clear up some remaining translation issues)

Most of these films can be found on video websites like Vimeo or Youtube (some films, such as "Powers of Ten", really benefit from being watched in higher resolution on Vimeo).


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(note: some numbers are repeated because the score of the films was tied)

1. Ёжик в тумане / Hedgehog in the Fog (1975, Yuriy Norshteyn)
2. Сказка сказок / Tale of Tales (1979, Yuriy Norshteyn)
3. Fantasia (1940, Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske)
4. L'homme qui plantait des arbres / The Man Who Planted Trees (1987, Frédéric Back)
5. Le Roi et l'oiseau / The King and the Mockingbird (1952/1980, Paul Grimault)
6. 未来少年コナン / Future Boy Conan (1978, Hayao Miyazaki) (tv series)
7. となりのトトロ / My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Hayao Miyazaki)
8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937, David Hand)
9. Yellow Submarine (1968, George Dunning)
10. わんぱく王子の大蛇退治 / The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (1963, Yugo Serikawa)
11. 太陽の王子 ホルスの大冒険 / Prince of the Sun: The Great Adventure of Horus (1968, Isao Takahata)
12. Crac (1981, Frédéric Back)
13. Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941, Dave Fleischer)
14. Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (1993, Nick Park)
15. くもとちゅうりっぷ / The Spider and the Tulip (1943, Kenzô Masaoka)
16. 風の谷のナウシカ / Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984, Hayao Miyazaki)
17. Снежная королева / The Snow Queen (1957, Lev Atamanov)
18. Blinkity Blank (1955, Norman McLaren)
19. 天空の城ラピュタ / Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986, Hayao Miyazaki)
20. ルパン三世 カリオストロの城 / The Castle of Cagliostro (1979, Hayao Miyazaki)
21. Moznosti dialogu / Dimensions of Dialogue (1982, Jan Svankmajer)
22. Ruka / The Hand (1965, Jirí Trnka)
23. Sen noci svatojanske / A Midsummer Night's Dream (1959, Jirí Trnka)
24. Une Nuit sur le Mont Chauve / Night on Bare Mountain (1933, Alexander Alexeieff, Claire Parker)
25. 道成寺 / Dojoji Temple (1976, Kihachiro Kawamoto)
26. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Tim Burton)
27. La Planète sauvage / Fantastic Planet (1973, René Laloux)
28. おこんじょうるり / The Magic Fox (1982, Tadanari Okamoto)
29. 千と千尋の神隠し / Spirited Away (2001 Hayao Miyazaki)
30. アキラ / Akira (1988, Katsuhiro Otomo)
31. ガンバの冒険 / Adventures of Ganba (1975, Osamu Dezaki) (tv series)
31. Tom and Jerry (1940-1957, Joseph Barbera, William Hanna) (theatrical series)
33. 鉄腕アトム / Astro Boy (1966, Osamu Tezuka) (tv series)
34. Father and Daughter (2000, Michael Dudok de Wit)
35. Pinocchio (1940, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen)
36. 機動戦士ガンダム / Mobile Suit Gundam (1979. Yoshiyuki Tomino) (tv series)
37. Bambi (1942, David Hand)
38. Street of Crocodiles (1986, Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay)
39. 火垂るの墓 / Grave of the Fireflies (1988, Isao Takahata)
40. Betty Boop (1930-1939, Max Fleischer)
41. The Iron Giant (1999, Brad Bird)
42. Чебурашка / Cheburashka (1971, Roman Kachanov) (four short films)
43. Bajaja / Prince Bayaya (1950, Jirí Trnka)
44. The Sand Castle (1977, Co Hoedeman)
45. Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter)
45. The Old Mill (1937, Wilfred Jackson) (from the "Silly Symphonies" series)
45. The Old Man and the Sea (1999, Aleksandr Petrov)
48. 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン / Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996, Hideaki Anno)
48. The Street (1976, Caroline Leaf)
48. The Snowman (1982, Diane Jackson)
51. ジャンピング / Jumping (1984, Osamu Tezuka)
52. Цапля и журавль / Heron and Crane (1974, Yuriy Norshteyn)
53. Cisaruv slavík / The Emperor's Nightingale (1949, Jirí Trnka)
54. Monsters, Inc. (2001, Pete Docter)
55. When the Day Breaks (1999, Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis)
56. アルプスの少女ハイジ / Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974, Isao Takahata) (tv series)
57. Inspirace (1948, Karel Zeman)
58. Creature Comforts (1989, 2003-????, Nick Park) (short film & tv series)
58. 長靴をはいた猫 / Puss in Boots (1969, Kimio Yabuki)
60. ルバン三世 / Lupin III (1971-1972, Masaaki Osumi, Hayao Miyazaki & Isao Takahata) (tv series)
61. 鬼 / Oni (1972, Kihachiro Kawamoto)
62. Gertie the Dinosaur (1914, Windsor McCay)
63. Superman (1941-1943, Dave Fleischer)
64. 人狼 / Jin-Roh (2000, Hiroyuki Okiura)
65. Жил был пес / There Lived a Dog (1982, Eduard Nazarov)
66. 火宅 / House of Flame (1979, Kihachiro Kawamoto)
67. Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave (1995, Nick Park)
68. 牧笛 / The Cowboy's Flute (1963, Te Wei, Qian Jiajun)
69. おんぼろフィルム / Broken Down Film (1985, Osamu Tezuka)
70. Лиса и заяц / Fox and Hare (1973, Yuriy Norshteyn)
71. Luxo Jr. (1986, John Lasseter)
72. Le Nez / The Nose (1963, Alexandre Alexeieff)
73. 白蛇伝 / The Tale of the White Serpent (1958, Kazuhiko Okabe, Taiji Yabushita)
73. Allegro non Troppo (1977, Bruno Bozzetto)
75. 王立宇宙軍 オネアミスの翼 / Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (1987, Hiroyuki Yamaga)
76. 母をたずねて三千里 / 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976, Isao Takahata) (tv series)
77. ある街角の物語 / Tales of a Street Corner (1962, Eiichi Yamamoto, Yusaku Sakamoto)
78. Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out (1989, Nick Park)
79. Bad Luck Blackie (1949, Tex Avery)
80. 赤毛のアン / Anne of Green Gables (1979, Isao Takahata) (tv series)
81. Спокойной ночи, малыши / Goodnight, Children (2000, Yuriy Norshteyn) (introductory segment)
81. 機動警察パトレイバー2 The Movie / Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993, Mamoru Oshii)
81. Eine murul / Breakfast On The Grass (1987, Priit Pärn)
84. 銀河鉄道の夜 / Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985, Gisaburô Sugii)
85. Vynález zkázy / The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958, Karel Zeman)
86. Mickey Mouse (1928-present?, Walt Disney)
87. コーヒーブレイク / Coffee Break (1977, Taku Furukawa)
88. Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner (1949-present?, Chuck Jones)
89. Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953, Ward Kimball)
90. 頭山 / Mt. Head (2002, Koji Yamamura)
91. Popeye (1933-1957, Dave Fleischer)
92. Шинель / The Overcoat (2 parts) (unfinished, Yuriy Norshteyn)
93. Polychrome Fantasy (1935, Norman McLaren)
94. パンダコパンダ / Panda-Kopanda (1972, Isao Takahata)
95. Něco z Alenky / Alice (1988, Jan Švankmajer)
96. Конек-горбунок / The Humpbacked Horse (1947/1975, Ivan Ivanov-Vano)
97. 宇宙戦艦ヤマト / Space Battleship Yamato (1977, Toshio Masuda)
98. うる星やつら2 ビューティフル ドリーマー / Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984, Mamoru Oshii)
99. Варежка / Mitten (1967, Roman Kachanov)
99. Deputy Droopy (1955, Tex Avery, Michael Lah)
101. 超時空要塞マクロス / The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982-3, Noboru Ishiguro) (tv series)
102. Heavy Metal (1981, Gerald Potterton)
103. Корова / The Cow (1989, Aleksandr Petrov)
104. 花折り / The Breaking of Branches is Forbidden (1968, Kihachiro Kawamoto) (also translated as "Flower-Fold")
105. Mužné hry / Virile Games (1988, Jan Švankmajer)
105. 攻殻機動隊 / Ghost in the Shell (1995, Mamoru Oshii)
105. 千夜一夜物語 / A Thousand and One Nights (1969, Eiichi Yamamoto)
105. Harpya (1979, Raoul Servais)
109. The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa (1977, Caroline Leaf)
110. Powers of Ten (1977, Charles Eames, Ray Eames)
110. Revolver (1993, Jonas Odell, Stig Bergqvist, Martti Ekstrand, Lars Ohlson)
110. Neighbours (1952, Norman McLaren)
113. Le petit soldat / The Little Soldier (1947, Paul Grimault)
114. Fétiche / The Mascot (1934, Ladislas Starewitch)
115. The Hill Farm (1989, Mark Baker)
116. Tango (1981, Zbigniew Rybczynski)
117. A Well-Ordered Restaurant (1991, Tadanari Okamoto)
118. Papillons de nuit / Nocturnal Butterflies (1997, Raoul Servais, Paul Delvaux)
119. あしたのジョー2 / Ashita no Joe 2 (Tomorrow's Joe 2) (1980, Osamu Dezaki) (tv series)
119. Street Musique (1972, Ryan Larkin)
121. ルパンvs複製人間 / Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo (1978, Soji Yoshikaw, Yasuo Otsuka)
122. 銀河鉄道999 / Galaxy Express 999 (1979, Rintaro) (first film)
123. 詩人の生涯 / The Life of a Poet (1974, Kihachiro Kawamoto)
124. Studie (1929-1933, Oskar Fischinger) (unclear if all of these films are meant or just one of them)
125. The Bead Game (1977, Ishu Patel)
126. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, Richard Williams, (Robert Zemeckis))
127. The Mighty River (1993, Frédéric Back)
128. Dumbo (1941, Ben Sharpsteen)
129. レインボー戦隊ロビン / Rainbow Squadron Robin (1966-7, Takeshi Tamiya) (tv series)
130. Staré povesti ceské / Old Czech Legends (1953, Jirí Trnka)
131. 南無一病息災 / Praise be to Small Ills (1973, Tadanari Okamoto)
132. もののけ姫 / Princess Mononoke (1997, Hayao Miyazaki)
133. Asparagus (1979, Suzan Pitt)
134. Alì Babà (1970, Giulio Giannini, Emanuele Luzzati)
135. Walking (1969, Ryan Larkin)
136. 8マン / 8 Man (1963-4 Haruyuki Kawajima) (tv series)
137. Canon (1964, Norman McLaren)
138. 紅の豚 / Porco Rosso (1992, Hayao Miyazaki)
139. 殺人狂時代 / Au Fou! (1968, Yoji Kuri)
140. Žvahlav aneb šatičky slaměného Huberta / Jabberwocky (1971, Jan Švankmajer)
141. SPACY (1981, Takashi Ito)
142. L'Ange / The Angel (1982, Patrick Bokanowski)
143. ど根性ガエル / Frog With Guts! (1974, Eiji Okabe, Tadao Nagahama)
144. The Big Snit (1985, Richard Condie)
145. Magical Maestro (1952, Tex Avery)
146. MEMORIES (1995. Morimoto Koji, Okamura Tensai, Otomo Katsuhiro)
147. モチモチの木 / The Mochimochi Tree (1972, Tadanari Okamoto)
148. ヤクルト「ミルミル」CM / Yakult "Miru-Miru" commercial (1979, PMBB)
149. Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" (1986, Brothers Quay, others)
150. Каникулы Бонифация / Bonifas' Holidays (1965, Fyodor Khitruk)

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There are a lot of wonderful films on this list that I had not seen before; for example, I had never before known about Karel Zeman's incredible film "Inspirace" (animated with glass figures which were heated and moved into position between frames):

I think that overall, this list is a very good guide for anyone who wants to get a good overview of the best animation from around the world. There are a great number of films here that I have not seen (most of the Japanese ones, for one thing). The countries representated on the list (roughly from most to least) are: Japan, America, Czechoslovakia, Canada, USSR/Russia, France, England, Poland, Sweden.

A pretty good variety, though the omission of German cinema is striking.
The biggest omission in my eyes is Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed (the oldest-surviving animated feature). But it seems that this film was very little known until recently (I think the first proper version of the film - with original tinting and title cards - was only released on DVD in 2001).

Some possibly eye-raising inclusions are of Norshteyn's unfinished 20 minutes of footage for The Overcoat (#92). After seeing a few clips from it, though, I think it is very likely deserved.

There are also some films such as Powers of Ten which I hadn't considered to be animation before (though I love the film), and which actually try their best to make you forget about this fact.

Another inclusion that baffled me is #148: Yakult "Miru-Miru" commercial. This seems to be it on Youtube (or possibly one of a series of commercials). I have no idea what makes it significant, but maybe it's historically important in Japan in some way.
  • Shock, horror! Snow White is in the top one hundred and fifty! My life is not worth living any longer!
    • Your words confuse me.
      • Snow White

        I think the person is implying that Snow White is not worthy of being on the list. Of course they must not really like good animation if they cannot see why this film is highly regarded if only for historical reasons.
        • Re: Snow White

          I think that Snow White is much better then many of cartoons in this list.
  • (Anonymous)
    I have seen juste a little more than a hundred of the films in this list. Most I haven't seen are japanese, some of them I heard of.

    Good list. No perfect I must say. Some curious entries, some missing (I'm thinking of some Chuck Jones which usually make those lists) and weird idea of choosing series as a whole).
  • (Anonymous)
    Are you sure that #31 is the TV series "Tom and Jerry", and not the series of theatrical cartoons? I've never seen any acclaim for the tv series.
    • You're probably right. The original list mentioned only the directors and the names, not the dates, so that was my mistake.

      Fixed.
  • Error

    (Anonymous)
    There's 21 films or series in that list I haven't seen (though in some case I haven't seen all the Mickey Mouse, neither all the studies by Fischinger). I doubt I'll ever see some of them.

    I noted a error: Number 28, The Magic Fox, it's japanese name is Okonjoruri, which you seem to have wrote as the author's name. The author is Tadanari Okamoto, who made three other films that made the list.
    -Saturnome
  • Small note - again!

    (Anonymous)
    I just bought a Kihachiro Kawamoto DVD (Kino), and they translate number 104 as "The Breaking of Branches Is Forbidden". Now I think certainly your translation may be more accurate, but it's just a small note.
    -Saturnome
    • Re: Small note - again!

      Thanks again. I changed it, but I added a note that it has another translation. It wasn't actually my translation; you can see it on some websites online.
  • Galaxy Express 999

    (Anonymous)
    I think you made a mistake for #122. The Japanese website says "銀河鉄道999(映画第一作)" which Google translates as "Galaxy Express 999 (his first film)". So I think it's supposed to be the 1979 film, rather than the 1981 sequel "Adieu."

    Anyway thanks for posting the list. It's very useful. I've been trying to watch as many of these as possible.
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