06 October 2010

Laputa’s Top 150 Japanese and World Animation (2003)


At the Laputa Animation Festival in 2003, 140 animators from around the world were asked to make a list of what they considered the 20 best animation films of all time. This information was used to determine the 150 best animations (features, shorts, TV series) from Japan and around the world (世界と日本のアニメーションベスト150). I have come across this list in various guises on anime forums over the years, but have noticed ommissions and errors on the lists. I have done some checking and tried to compile a more accurate list. I have also included countries of origin, official English titles, and titles in their original languages to the list. Laputa published a booklet about the films in 2003 and I am trying to track down a second-hand copy. When I do, I will correct any errors. Note that in several instances, films have tied for the same placement on the list. 

This list fascinates me because it is like a snapshot of a moment in animation history. We get to see what films a large group of animators gathering in Japan had on their minds at that moment in time. It is definitely not a definitive list of the greatest animated films of all time because it has a definite prejudice towards Japanese, North American, and European films. Glaringly absent are Lotte Reiniger, the German/UK pioneer of silhouette animation (esp. The Adventures of Price Achmed, 1926), William Kentridge, the South African charcoal erasure animator, and Len Lye, the influential New Zealand experimental animator – just to name a few. On the popular film front, I am surprised that none of the Rankin Bass television specials make the list – especially as they were animated in Japan by Tadahito Mochinaga, et al.

The Japan bias is obvious in the number of Lupin III films/TV series that make the list – as well as many TV series that had limited release outside of Japan. Even the Yakult Miru Miru claymation commercials made the list!  I believe these are only aired in Japan (though the studio has done animation for commericals internationally), but they are actually made by Francesco Misseri and his Italian company Misseri Studios (formerly PMBB).  Innovative animator Tadanari Okamoto is an important figure in Japanese animation history, but if this quiz had been given to attendees at an event outside Japan in 2003 it’s doubtful he would have made the list due to lack of international exposure. Russian films, particularly those of Yuri Norstein, get a high billing not only because his work is highly admired in Japan, but because he is also closely affiliated with Laputa Animation School and its festival.  The list  even includes his unfinished work The Overcoat

In the few short years since this list was compiled, there have been many amazing films made. I wonder how the list would differ if filled in by attendees of the next Laputa Animation Festival. I am pretty sure that Koji Yamamura’s Kafuka Inaka Isha (2007) and Kihachiro Kawamoto's Book of the Dead (2006) would make the list. The compiliation work Winter Days (2003), Kunio Kato’s La maison en petits cubes (2008) and Kon Satoshi’s Paprika (2006) are also likely additions. Not to mention a number of the latest computer animated films to come out of the States. Recent international favourites of mine include Sylvain Chomet's The Triplets of Belleville (France/Belgium/Canada/UK, 2003), Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis (France, 2007), Suzie Templeton's Peter and the Wolf (UK/Poland/Norway/Mexico/Czech Republic, 2006), and Anthony Lukas's The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (Australia, 2005).  I look forward to hearing your  thoughts in the comments section.  The images below are all DVDs currently available via cdjapan. In fact, the vast majority of the animation listed here is available on DVD in Japan.

5 January 2012: This list was revised by consulting with original publication by ComicBox 2003

Yuri Norstein Sakuhin shu (collection) / Animation

1. Hedgehog in the Fog
(Ёжик в тумане, Yuri Norstein, RUSSIA /USSR, 1975)
2. Tale of Tales (Yuri Norstein, RUSSIA /USSR, 1979)
3. Fantasia (9 Disney directors, USA, 1940)
4. The Man Who Planted Trees 
(L'homme qui plantait des arbres, Frédéric Back, CANADA, 1987)
5. The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep 
(La bergère et le ramoneur, Paul Grimault, FRANCE, 1953)
6. Future Boy Conan (未来少年コナン, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1978, 26 eps.)
7. My Neighbour Totoro (となりのトトロ, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1988)
8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (David Hand/Disney, USA, 1937)
9. Yellow Submarine (George Dunning, UK, 1968)
10. The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon 
(わんぱく王子の大蛇退治, Yugo Serikawa/William Ross, JAPAN/USA, 1963)

Taiyo no oji: Horusu no daiboken (Prince of the Sun: The Great Adventure of Horus) / Animation

11. Horus: Prince of the Sun 
(太陽の王子 ホルスの大冒険, Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1968)
12. Crac! (Frédéric Back, CANADA, 1981)
13. Mr. Bug Goes to Town 
(aka Hoppity Goes to Town, Dave Fleischer, USA, 1941)
14. Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (Nick Park, UK, 1993)
15. The Spider and the Tulip 
(くもとちゅうりっぷ, Kenzo Masaoka, JAPAN, 1943)
16. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 
(風の谷のナウシカ, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1984)
17. The Snow Queen 
(Снежная королева, Lev Atamanov, RUSSIA/USSR, 1957)
18. Blinkity Blank (Norman McLaren,CANADA, 1955)
19. Laputa: Castle in the Sky 
(天空の城ラピュタ, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1986)
20. Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro 
(ルパン三世, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1979)

Anthology of Short Films by Jan Svankmajer / Animation

21. Dimensions of Dialogue 
(Možnosti dialogu, Jan Švankmajer, CZECHOSLAVAKIA/USSR, 1982)
22. The Hand 
(Ruka, Jiří Trnka, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/USSR, 1965)
23. A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
(Sen noci svatojánské, Jiří Trnka, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/USSR, 1959)
24. Night on Bald Mountain 
(Une nuit sur le mont chauve, Alexander Aléxeieff /Claire Parker, FRANCE, 1933)
25. Dojoji Temple 
(道成寺, Kihachiro Kawamoto, JAPAN, 1976)
26. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Tim Burton, USA, 1993)
27. Fantastic Planet (La Planète sauvage, René Laloux, FRANCE, 1973)
28. The Magic Ballad (おこんじょうるり, Tadanari Okamoto, JAPAN, 1982)
29. Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 2001)
30. Akira (アキラ, Katsuhiro Otomo, JAPAN, 1988)

Ganba no Boken / Animation

31. The Adventures of Gamba (ガンバの冒険, Osamu Dezaki, JAPAN, 1975)
31. Tom and Jerry (Joseph Barbera / William Hanna, USA, 1965-72)
33. Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム, Osamu Tezuka, JAPAN, 1963-66, 193 eps.)
34. Father and Daughter 
(Michaël Dudok de Wit, UK/BELGIUM/ NETHERLANDS, 2000)
35. Pinocchio (Hamilton Luske / Ben Sharpsteen / Disney, USA, 1940)
36. Mobile Suit Gundam 
(機動戦士ガンダム, Yoshiyuki Tomino, JAPAN, 1979-80, 43 eps.)
37. Bambi (David Hand / Disney, USA, 1942)
38. Street of Crocodiles (Brothers Quay, UK, 1986)
39. Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1988)

Betty Boop / Animation

40. Betty Boop (Max Fleischer, USA, 1930-9)
41. The Iron Giant (Brad Bird, USA, 1999)
42. The Cheburashka films of Roman Kachanov (RUSSIA/USSR)
Gena the Crocodile (Крокодил Гена, 1969)
Cheburashka (Чебурашка, 1971)
Shapoklyak (Шапокляк, 1974)
Cheburashka Goes to School (Чебурашка идёт в школу, 1974)
43. Prince Bayaya
(Bajaja, Jiří Trnka, CZECHOSLAVAKIA/USSR, 1950)
44. The Sand Castle / Le Château de sable
(Co Hoedeman, CANADA, 1977)
45. The Old Man and the Sea 
(Старик и море, Aleksandr Petrov, CANADA/JAPAN/RUSSIA, 1999)
45. Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter, USA, 1995)
45. The Old Mill 
(from Disney’s Silly Symphonies, Wilfred Jackson, USA, 1937)
48. Neon Genesis Evangelion 
(新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Hideaki Anno, JAPAN, 1995-96, 26 eps.)
       48. The Street (Caroline Leaf, CANADA, 1976)
        48. The Snowman (Dianne Jackson, UK, 1982)

Osamu Tezuka Jikken animation sakuhin shu / Animation

51. Jumping (ジャンピング, Osamu Tezuka, JAPAN, 1984)
52. Heron and Crane 
(Цапля и журавль , Yuri Norstein, RUSSIA/USSR, 1974)
53. The Emperor’s Nightingale 
(Císařův slavík, Jiří Trnka, CZECHOSLAVAKIA/USSR, 1949)
54. Monsters, Inc. (Pete Docter, USA, 2001)
55. When the Day Breaks (Wendy Tilby/Amanda Forbis, CANADA, 1999)
56. Heidi, Girl of the Alps 
(アルプスの少女ハイジ, Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1974, 52 eps.)
56. Inspiration (Inspirace, Karel Zeman, RUSSIA/USSR, 1948)
58. Creature Comforts (Nick Park, UK, 1989)
58. Puss ‘n Boots (長靴をはいた猫, Kimio Yabuki, JAPAN, 1969)
60. Lupin III (ルパン三世)
(Masaaki Osumi/Hayao Miyazaki/Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1971-72, 23 eps.)

Kihachiro Kawamoto Sakuhin shu / Animation


61. The Demon (鬼, Kihachiro Kawamoto, 1972)
62. Gertie the Dinosaur (Windsor McCay, USA, 1914)
63. Superman (Dave Fleischer, USA, 1941-43)
64. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (人狼, Hiroyuki Okiura, JAPAN, 1999)
65. Once Upon a Dog 
(Жил был пес, Eduard Nazarov, RUSSIA/USSR, 1982)
65. House of Flame (火宅, Kihachiro Kawamoto, JAPAN, 1979)
67. Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave (Nick Park, UK, 1995)
67. The Cowboy's Flute (牧笛, Te Wei / Qian Jiajun, CHINA, 1963)
69. Broken Down Film (おんぼろフィルム, Osamu Tezuka, JAPAN, 1985)
70. Fox and the Hare 
(Лиса и заяц, Yuri Norstein, RUSSIA/USSR, 1973)
70. Luxo, Jr. (John Lasseter, USA, 1986)
72. The Nose (Le Nez, Alexandre Aléxeieff, FRANCE, 1963)
73. The Tale of the White Serpent  
(白蛇伝, Taiji Yabushita/Kazuhiko Okabe, JAPAN, 1958)
      73. Allegro non Troppo (Bruno Bozzetto, ITALY, 1977)
75. Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise 
(王立宇宙軍 オネアミスの翼, Hiroyuki Yamaga, JAPAN, 1987)
76. 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother 
(母をたずねて三千里, Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1976, 52 eps.)
77. Tales of a Street Corner 
(ある街角の物語, Eiichi Yamamoto/Yusaku Sakamoto, JAPAN, 1962)
77. A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit (Nick Park, UK, 1989)
77. Bad Luck Blackie (Tex Avery, USA, 1949)
80. Anne of Green Gables
(赤毛のアン, Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1979, 50 eps.)

81. Good Night Children 
(Спокойной ночи, малыши, Yuri Norstein, RUSSIA, 2000)
      81. Patlabor 2: The Movie 
(機動警察パトレイバー, Mamoru Oshii, JAPAN, 1993)
      81. Breakfast on the Grass  
(Eine murul, Priit Pärn, ESTONIA/USSR, 1987)
84. Night on the Galactic Railroad 
(銀河鉄道の夜, Gisaburo Sugii, JAPAN, 1985)
85. The Fabulous World of Jules Verne 
(Vynález zkázy, Karel Zeman, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/USSR, 1958)
85. Mickey Mouse (Walt Disney, USA, 1928 on)
87. Coffee Break (. コーヒーブレイク, Taku Furukawa, JAPAN, 1977)
87. Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner (Chuck Jones, USA, 1949 on)
89. Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (Ward Kimball, USA, 1953)
90. Mt. Head (頭山, Koji Yamamura, JAPAN, 2002)

Atamayama - Koji yamamura Sakuhinshu / Animation

90. Popeye (Dave Fleischer, USA, 1933, original series)
92. The Overcoat (Шинель, Yuri Norstein, RUSSIA, unfinished)
93. Polychrome Fantasy (Norman McLaren, UK, 1935)
93. Panda! Go, Panda! (パンダコパンダ, Isao Takahata, JAPAN, 1972)
95. Alice (Něco z Alenky)
(Jan Švankmajer, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/USSR, 1988)
95. The Humpbacked Horse (Конек-горбунок)
(Ivan Ivanov-Vano, RUSSIA/USSR, 1947)
97. Space Battleship Yamato 
(宇宙戦艦ヤマト, Toshio Masuda, JAPAN, 1974-75, 26 eps.)
97. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer
(うる星やつら2  ビューティフル・ドリーマー, Mamoru Oshii, JAPAN, 1984)
99. The Mitten (Варежка, Roman Kachanov, RUSSIA/USSR1967)
      99. Deputy Droopy (Tex Avery/ Michael Lah, USA, 1955)

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? / Animation

101. Macross: Do You Remember Love? 
 ( 超時空要塞マクロス 愛・おぼえていますか)
Shōji Kawamori/Noboru Ishiguro, JAPAN, 1984)
101. Heavy Metal (Gerald Potterton, CANADA, 1981)
103. The Cow (Корова, Alexander Petrov, RUSSIA/USSR, 1989)
104. The Breaking of Branches is Forbidden 
 (花折り, Kihachiro Kawamoto, JAPAN, 1968)
105. The Male Game (aka Virile Games / Mužné hry)
(Jan Švankmajer, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/USSR, 1988)
       105. Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊, Mamoru Oshii, JAPAN, 1995)
       105. A Thousand and One Nights 
 (千夜一夜物語, Eiichi Yamamoto, JAPAN, 1969)
       105. Harpya (Raoul Servais, BELGIUM, 1979)
109. The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa 
(Caroline Leaf, CANADA, 1977)
110. Powers of Ten (Charles and Ray Eames, USA, 1968/1977)
        110. Revolver
(Jonas Odell/Stig Bergqvist/Martti Ekstrand/Lars Ohlson, SWEDEN, 1993)
        110. Neighbours / Voisins (Norman McLaren, CANADA, 1952)

Norman McLaren / Animation

113. The Little Soldier (Le petit soldat, Paul Grimault, FRANCE, 1947)
113. The Mascot (Fétiche Mascotte, Ladislas Starevich, FRANCE, 1933)
115. The Hill Farm (Mark Baker, UK, 1989)
115. Tango (Zbigniew Rybczyński, POLAND/USSR, 1980)
115. The Restaurant of Many Orders (注文の多い料理店)
       (Tadanari Okamoto/Kihachiro Kawamoto, JAPAN, 1991)
118. Nocturnal Butterflies
(Papillons de nuit, Raoul Servais / Paul Delvaux, BELGIUM, 1998)
119. Tomorrow’s Joe 2
(あしたのジョー2/ Osamu Dezaki, 1980-81, 47 eps.)
        119. Street Musique (Ryan Larkin, CANADA, 1972)

Lupin III "The Mystery of Mamo" / Animation

119. Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo
(ルパン三世 ルパン vs. 複製人間, Soji Yoshikawa, JAPAN, 1978)
122. Galaxy Express 999
(銀河鉄道999, Rintaro, JAPAN, 1979)
122. A Poet’s Life
(詩人の生涯, Kihachiro Kawamoto, JAPAN, 1974)
122. Studies No. 1 – No. 13
(Studie Nr. 1 – Nr. 13, Oskar Fischinger, GERMANY, 1929-34)
122. The Bead Game / Histoire de perles
(Ishu Patel, CANADA, 1977)
122. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(Richard Williams / Robert Zemeckis, USA, 1988)
127. The Mighty River
(Frédéric Back/Hubert Tison, CANADA, 1993)
127. Dumbo (Ben Sharpsteen (Disney), USA, 1941)
127. Rainbow Squadron Robin
(レインボー戦隊ロビン, Takeshi Tamiya, JAPAN, 1966-67, 48 eps.)

Jiri Trnka no Sekai / Animation

130. Old Czech Legends (Staré povesti ceské)
(Jirí Trnka, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/USSR, 1953)
130. Praise be to Small Ills
(南無一病息災, Tadanari Okamoto, JAPAN, 1973)
130. Princess Mononoke
(もののけ姫, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1997)
133. Asparagus (Suzan Pitt, USA, 1979)
133. Ali Baba (Giulio Gianini / Emanuele Luzzati, ITALY, 1970)
133. Walking (Ryan Larkin, CANADA, 1968)
133. 8 Man (8マン, Haruyuki Kawajima, JAPAN, 1963-64)
133. Canon (Norman McLaren, CANADA, 1964)
133. Porco Rosso (紅の豚, Hayao Miyazaki, JAPAN, 1992)
133. Au Fou! (殺人狂時代, Yoji Kuri, JAPAN, 1965)

Yoji Kuri Sakuhin shu / Animation

133. Jabberwocky (Žvahlav aneb šatičky slaměného Huberta,
        Jan Švankmajer, CZECHOSLOVAKIA / USSR, 1971)
133. SPACY (Takashi Ito, JAPAN, 1981)
133. The Angel (L'Ange, Patrick Bokanowski, FRANCE, 1982)
133. Gutsy Frog (ど根性ガエル)
(Eiji Okabe / Tadao Nagahama, JAPAN, 1972-74)
133. The Big Snit (Richard Condie, CANADA, 1985)
133. Magical Maestro (Tex Avery, USA, 1952)
133. Memories
(Katsuhiro Otomo / Koji Morimoto Koji / Tensai Okamura, JAPAN, 1995)
133. The Mochi-mochi Tree
(モチモチの木, Tadanari Okamoto, JAPAN, 1972)
133. Yakult Miru Miru claymation commercials
(ヤクルト「ミルミル」 CM, PMBB/Misseri Studios, ITALY/JAPAN, 1980 on)
149. Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer (Brothers Quay/Aardman/et al., 1986)
149. Boniface's Holiday (Каникулы Бонифация)
(Fyodor Khitruk, RUSSIA/USSR, 1965)
Tadanari Okamoto Sakuhin Shu / Animation

© Catherine Munroe Hotes 2010

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