The Japanese Animation industry is a powerhouse that does not need any introduction. Despite its artistic peaks and massive cultural impacts, the animated movies from Japan's studios struggle to get the recognition they deserve in the Western awards- like the Oscars. Hopefully, times will change, and more Animated Film getting what they deserve. Here is the list of all the Japanese animated movies nominated at the Oscars.
1. Spirited Away
Hayano Miyazaki's Japanese Animated film, Spirited Away, is the first Anime movie to get nominated for Best Animated Features. It is also the only Anime to win in this category. Spirited Away is a well-deserved and one of the best Animated films ever made. The story is about a girl named Chihiro who finds herself in a world of Japanese folklore creatures. She works in a bathhouse to free herself and her family, where she meets peculiar characters. It is a charming way of portraying Japanese mythology.
2. Mt. Head
Koji Yamamura's Mt. Head also got nominated in the same year as Spirited Away for the Best Animated Short Film. But it lost to The ChubbChubbs!, which premiered alongside Stuart Little 2. Mt. Head is only ten minutes long and tells a simple yet effective story. This short film gets based on a Japanese art form consisting of a performer sitting and telling a story. Mt. Head talks about a man who can grow a tree on his head and gets forced to deal with noisy people.
3. Howl’S Moving Castle
Hayano Miyazaki's other most beloved movie is Howls Moving Castle. It is a story about a woman, Sophie, who gets cursed by a witch to turn into an old lady. To break the curse, she visits a mysterious wizard, Howl, who travels in a moving castle. Howl's Moving Castle lost the award for Best Animated Feature.
4. La Maison En Petit’S Cubes
La Maison en Petit's cubes, translated to 'The House of Small Cubes,' is the Japanese animated short film to win an Academy Award. This film tells the story of a man whose house gets flooded. The art style of this film is old-fashioned and rustic. It is beautiful to see how a movie animated like this could impress fans.
5. The Wind Rises
The Wind Rises, by Hayao Miyazaki, was nominated for Best Animated film but lost to Disney's movie Frozen. The Wind Rises is a stand-out film depicting Japanese folklore and mythology. The film revolves around Jiro Horikoshi, a designer. It is also a heartbreaking story between Jiro and Naoko, his wife.
Shuhei Morita's Short Peace project included a short anime film entitled Possessions. It got nominated for the Oscars. Possessions get known as 'Tsukumo' in Japan. The story follows a traveler in a storm who takes refuge in a shrine. There he encounters many spirits who terrorize him. The stories in this collection include anthologies and get set in parts of Japanese history.
7. The Tale Of Princess Kaguya
The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a fantasy movie by Isao Takahata. This tale gets based on old Japanese folklore- 'The tale of the Bamboo Cutter.' In the story, a man and his wife discover a girl inside a piece of bamboo.
8. When Marnie Was There
When Marnie Was There' is another movie by Studio Ghibli by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. This movie lost the Academy Award to Disney's Inside Out. The story is about a young girl, Anna, who lives with her relatives in Kushiro after an asthma attack at school. There she encounters a Marnie, with whom she grows closer as they keep each other's secrets.
Mirai is the most recent Japanese animated movie nominated. However, it lost the award to Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse. Mirai is about a young boy, Kun, who discovers a secret garden that transports him back in time. On his adventure, he interacts with his relatives. Mirai gets praised for its simple yet beautiful visuals and its emotional story.
10. The Red Turtle
The Red Turtle was produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by a Dutch Animator. It was nominated at the Academy Awards but lost to Disney's Zootopia. This film is simple yet visually stunning. The story follows a man who is stuck on a deserted island. He comes across a red turtle and falls in love with a red-haired woman who lives inside the turtle.