As with all things some animated productions are good and others are not. Here is a list of the best animation I’ve seen. This is my desert island list of animated programs and films. They are not in any particular order. They are more or less in the order I encountered them. These are though, the best of the best, the 1% of animation. If you want to know why I love animation, watch these, and you will understand.
Mushi-shi: Beautiful stories. Gentle but very deep.
Natsume Yuujinchou: Similar in feel to Mushi-shi. Set in the modern day but still beautiful.
Spirited Away: I’ve said this is the best movie I’ve ever seen. Not the best animated film, the best film, period.
No e In: Good story. Deep, complex characters. Beautiful animation.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Spectacular flying, moving story, just beautiful.
Ghost in the Shell: The first two series and the early films are gritty, philosophical, and thought provoking.
Death Note: Asks some very hard questions. Very good and thought provoking.
Fantasia 2000: What Disney can do when they don’t worry about if a film will make money.
Kino’s Journey: Similar in feel to Mushi-Shi. Slightly more violent, but still just wonderful.
My Neighbor Totoro: Sweet, and beautiful. A delight.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Just silly fun. My favourite Xmas movie
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Very realistic. Well researched and written. No ‘anime’ cliches. You care about Marai.
Samurai Jack: Good story. Interesting animation. Very stylized.
Planetes: Well written characters that you care about. A Sci-Fi story that got the physics right.
Stellvia: Beautifully written story, believable characters you care about, Sci-Fi as it should be done.
Madlax: Everyone has good and bad in them. A class act.
The Future is Wild: The subtle writing leaves you wanting to know what happens to them AFTER the series ended.
Aoi Bungaku: Classical Japanese literature done as Anime. Very Nice.
Shiki: When does self protection become genocide?
Elfen Lied: Violent, subtle, beautiful and deep. A very important message.
Bounen No Xamdou: Achingly beautiful and horrifying story of the power of love and the stupidity of war.
Saishuuheiki Kanojo: The Last Love Song on this Little Planet. In war, all victories are pyrrhic.
Somali and the Forest Spirit: An exquisitely beautiful story of two lost souls who learn how much they need each other.
Your Name: What if you met the person of your dreams? What if you only met them in your dreams and didn’t know their name?
Hakumei and Mikochi Lovely stories of tiny people in the woods in a lovely setting. Peaceful and lovely