Animation has a long and storied history, transforming ideas born from imagination into tangible pieces of art. The importance of animation has become a vital part of pop culture and the entertainment industry—from Disney to Studio Ghibli—with stories weathering franchise storms and cult followings. Whether it's hand drawn, computer animation or stop motion, here's five animated works worth your binging time on good ol' Aussie Netflix don't go beyond a first season or instalment.
Your Name (2016)
Your Name (also known as Kimi no Na wa) is a 2016 Japanese animated film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. Since its release, it has earned its title as the highest-grossing anime and Japanese film of all time, and has received widespread acclaim. Stunningly animated and well-acted, the film takes the traditional coming-of-age genre and splices it respectfully with body-swap comedy, creating an unforgettable time-travel romance and adventure. The film itself is also steeped in traditions, folklore and mundanity, giving an essential look into life as a Japanese teenager.
Watch if you like: Howl's Moving Castle, A Silent Voice, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Recently released on Netflix, Hilda is a British-Canadian animated television series based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Luke Pearson. The show follows the adventures of witty and fearless Hilda, a blue-haired girl who—along with her adorable deerfox Twig—travels to the city of Trolberg, where she befriends even the most dangerous monsters. The series' style is simple, vibrant and effortlessly happy-go-lucky, earning its place as an essential Netflix Originals watch. Boasting a cool, bass-dirve soundtrack (and theme song by Grimes), the lo-fi beats bring Hilda's magical adventures to life.
Watch if you like: Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, Steven Universe
In This Corner Of The World (2016)
In This Corner of the World (also known as Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni) is a wartime drama film by Sunao Katabuchi that broke crowdfunding records in Japan. Less of a war film than a period drama, the film is an introverted look into female forbearance and how both nature and traditional culture in Japan clearly contrasted the cruel scenes brought by war. Created with old-fashioned anime techniques, the film in its entirety hand-drawn using traditional 2D cel animation; backgrounds are often highly detailed and scenes rich in textures.
Watch if you like: Grave of The Fireflies, The Wind Rises, The Tale of Princess Kaguya
The Breadwinner (2017)
The Breadwinner is a drama film directed by Nora Twomey, co-produced by Aircraft Pictures (Canada), Melusine Productions (Luxembourg), and Cartoon Saloon (Ireland). It follows Parvana, an 11-year old girl living in Kabul, Afghanistan, under the control of the Taliban. When her father Nurullah is unjustly arrested, her family is left without the means to support themselves. Taking their hardships into her hand, Parvana's story is filled with the eerie beauty of resilience; the film celebrated for its story and animation creating a fluid space for much-needed bravery and laughter as she navigates her world.
Watch if you like: Persepolis, Kubo and the Two Strings, Song of the Sea
The Little Prince (2016)
The Little Prince is an English-French 3D animated fantasy drama film directed by Mark Osborne, based on the 1943 novella of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Using stop-motion animation which is woven into a computer-animated framing narrative, the film follows a young girl who has just met the book's now-elderly aviator narrator as he retells her a story. Deeply personal and profoundly moving, the film has been hailed as a sensitive and affecting portrait of humanity.
Watch if you like: Coraline, The Red Turtle, Kung Fu Panda
Other essential films or series that go beyond a first season include: BoJack Horseman, The Iron Giant, Violet Evergarden, Psycho Pass, Shrek, Rick and Morty, Little Witch Academia and Big Mouth.
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