If you’re looking for anime movies like Princess Mononoke, you might like to stick to this list. We have the top 12 best similar movies. You will find common themes like girl protagonists trying to protect the world or female warriors who work to bring mystical animals and humans together. All twelve anime movies heavily incorporate elements from Japanese mythology and folklore.
Princess Mononoke, based on a Japanese legend, is the story of the war between human civilization and forest animals and gods that protect the balance of the forces of nature. Mononoke is a defender and warrior for nature and animals. Obviously, most of the films on this list share the Ghibli Studio’s vibe. They have a very stunning visual appearance and very extraordinary animals. They are wonderfully done and are absolutely gorgeous anime to watch. So let’s dive into a magical universe like none other.
12 Greatest Movies Like Princess Mononoke
1. Pom Poko (1994)
Genre: Action, Drama, History, Thriller, Anime, Movie Duration: 117 mins
A peaceful raccoon community with supernatural abilities confronts the predatory foot of the man who seeks to dispossess it of its living spaces through massive construction. When mythology and love of nature meet amazing animation, you get movies like Pom Poko – for you nature lovers this movie is a Bingo. It reflects the situation of humankind abusing nature – and it was just 1994! Things got worse since then.
2. Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time (2001)
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Movie Duration: 100 mins
Kagome Higurashi is an ordinary-looking schoolgirl, whose family lives in an ancient temple. On her 15th birthday, she falls into a well in the temple and travels 500 years back in time to the Sengoku period, a long war period in Japanese history. There Kagome meets Inuyasha, a boy who is half human and half demon and is under a witchcraft spell. Inuyasha longed for a sacred jewel to use his magic powers and become an entire demon.
But, Kagome unknowingly released him from the spell and set him free. In their quest for the sacred jewel, the two find themselves in a struggle against a formidable force – Menomaru. Such a moving Anime movie that combines everything all together – romance, adventure, and amazing animation.
3. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Movie Duration: 96 mins
Nausicaä is the Princess of the Wind Valley, a commune whose inhabitants seek peace and grow mustaches impressively. Nausicaä spends her days on a glider and learns how humans and tentacles can live together. But, it should be learned quickly because the jungles threaten to destroy the few enclaves left by humanity.
The situation is even doubly serious because a real estate war between two neighboring kingdoms not only threatens the pastoral spirit valley of Nausicaä but is about to ignite retransmission to the apocalypse. This is one of the classic Anime movies, viewers keep getting back to it time after time, it has this enchanting atmosphere, simple and beautiful.
4. Spirited Away (2001)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, Movie Duration: 125 mins
When her parents decide to move from their house, Chihiro is forced to separate from her friends. She’s very sad and angry about it, and she does not hide it. On the way to their house, her father is tempted to enter a neglected amusement park. As her parents find themselves at a food stall, Chihiro wanders around, until someone warns her to get out of the place before dark.
But when she tries to warn her parents she discovers that they have already become pigs. From here, she will encounter more and more strange creatures and will have to take responsibility in order to maintain her own identity. This legendary film is a must for Anime lovers, it is full of smart ideas and hints for our 21-century destructive lifestyle. If you liked Spirited aways you would also like Kiki’s Delivery Service.
5. Howl’s Moving Castles (2004)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Movie Duration: 119 mins
Sophie is a young girl who works in a hat shop of her deceased father, under the management of her stepmother and her abusive sisters. One day when she goes out on town she meets Howel, a handsome young wizard who conquers her heart. When she returns home, she is punished by an evil and jealous witch who casts a spell on her and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. Devastated Sophie, secretly leaves her home, and joins the wizard Howl on a miraculous journey in his moving castle.
Fantasy at its best, the script is so imaginative and smart, outstanding animation – true art in motion.
6. Origin: Spirits of the past (2006)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Movie Duration: 94 mins
Agito is a young boy who lives in dystopian Japan in a city called Neutral City – a buffer from the forgotten forest to a military zone. One day he stumbles upon a large weird and old machine and accidentally revives Toola, a young girl who has been asleep for centuries, together they team up for an unforgettable quest.
This movie will make you appreciate nature more, with such a great storyline, drama, and action.
7. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Movie Duration: 86 mins
When two girls move to live in the village next to the hospital where their mother is hospitalized, they are exposed to magical creatures who live in the nearby forest and go on a variety of adventures. This is such a realistic movie even though it’s a fantasy animated movie, the characters, the relationship between two sisters, and interactions. You can truly believe that these imaginative creatures assisting the sisters are also real – a wonderful thrilling masterpiece.
8. The Twelve Kingdoms (2002)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Episode Duration: 25 mins
Youko Nakajima is a 16 years old girl who attends a girls’ high school. Yoko came from a rigid home and very conservative upbringing, so much so that her father forbade her to wear pants. She obeys all the instructions, and does really well at school, the one and only thing that bothers her teachers – is her red hair, which she claims is completely natural in color, but they refuse to believe it. Youko is secretly in love with Asano, who attends a boys’ school located near her school, but she fails to express her feelings for him. One day her routine life takes a turn when a mysterious man walks up to Youko in the middle of the class, and bows to her face. He demands that she agree to some contract under which he will serve her and give her a magical sword. Suddenly Youko Nakajima becomes a fierce swordswoman and a promising political leader. Many kids grew up with this hit series, it is so smart and keeps you with the right amount both with curiosity and information like hiding and seek play.
The medieval fantasy anime is naturally really amazing and the storyline will keep you coming back for more.
9. Ponyo (2008)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Movie Duration: 101 mins
Ponyo is a princess goldfish that lives in the depths of the sea. One day, she catches a ride with a jellyfish and rises to the surface of the sea, but gets stuck in an empty jar thrown into the water and drifts to the shore. Sosuke, a 5-year-old boy, rescues her and takes her with him in a small bucket to school. Ponyo’s father, a powerful wizard who hates the human world, is determined to bring her back to her natural place and mobilizes all the forces of the sea.
But, Ponyo has already fallen in love with the boy who saved her. She has magical powers of her own and she decides she wants to become a human girl and stay with Sosuke. Ponyo and Sosuke embark on an adventure that will test their friendship against the forces of earth and sea. Classical Anime film, comforting, and cozy. Kids are getting back to it time after time, with the beautiful colors and sights.
10. Dororo (2007, Live Action Film)
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Episode Duration: 30 mins
Hyakkimaru is a young man with 12 artificial body parts instead of the parts he lacks – as a punishment his father got before Hyakkimaru was born. Hyakkimaru needs to defend himself from the 48 demons who were made by his body parts. One day he bumps into Dororo, a female warrior and a thief. They become friends and try together to retrieve Hyakkimaru’s missing body parts. This is a dark Anime movie that has all the elements that make anime that thrilling genre – the looks, the script, and fantasy.
Dororo also has two anime tv adaptations. Season one finished in 2019, but even in 2021 fans on Reddit are waiting for Dororo Season 2.
See Related: 8+ Best Movies Like Mulan
11. Miyori’s Forest (2007)
Genre: Animation, Movie Duration: 107 mins
Miyori is an 11 years old girl, moving to live with her grandparents while her parents are getting divorced. Her grandparents live near a forest that is in danger of being extinct – Miyori starts a battle in order to save the forest. With beautiful animation and a moving plot, we are all on Miyoris’ side and want to join her battle for nature.
12. The Cat Returns (2002)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Movie Duration: 75 mins
Haru is a high school girl who saves a cat who is almost run over. That night Haru receives a visit from the cat king, It turns out that she saved his son the prince, and in order to thank her, a delegation of respectable cats arrives to take her to the cat kingdom and marry her to the cat prince.
This movie is like the Anime version of “The Wizard of Oz”, this film is full of imagination, humor, and humanism, it is witty and beautiful.