While Japan certainly has the market cornered on animated post-apocalyptic films, this article includes a list of my favorite animated films from all over the world. This is certainly not a complete list, but it’s my ten favorite at the time of this writing.
Honestly, this movie is so crazy it should be #1 on my list, but I’m not currently on acid, so it goes down to #10. In the same year George Lucas was showing off Star Wars (1977), director Ralph Bakshi was showing off this masterpiece.
#9 Titan A.E.
The world didn’t end as predicted in the year 2000, but we did get this film as compensation. Titan A.E. never did get great ratings at the box office, but I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was at the time.
A scary animated post-apocalyptic movie from Tim Burton? Yes, please! 9 has a great message and wonderful story, but the thing that stuck with me the most about this film is the unique imagery.
#7 Conan the Future Boy: The Big Giant Robot’s Resurrection
This is Hayao Miyazaki’s second film on this list, but not his best (in my opinion). Still, the whole Conan the Future Boy series is an amazing story, and this film goes right along with all the rest.
#6 Fist of the North Star
Another classic 80s anime that shaped my childhood, Fist of the North Star features a great story and some of the best post-apocalyptic biker gangs outside of GI Joe’s Dreanoks.
#5 Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
This 1984 film is such a classic Miyazaki masterpiece that I will just go ahead and say that it’s better than his most popular anime, Spirited Away. There, I said it. Ironically, my first exposure to Miyazaki was in the Heidi anime of the 70s, but I’m always a big fan.
#4 Attack on Titan: The Roar of Awakening
There are a handful of great Attack on Titan properties (including the series and the manga), but I believe that this full-length feature film from 2018 is the best for my list.
#3 When the Wind Blows
This 1986 film started life as a graphic novel, but the film was so much better, thanks in part to a soundtrack featuring David Bowie and Roger Waters.
Akira made every kid in 1988 want to buy a fast motorcycle and save the world. Akira set the stage for anime’s wild popularity in the west and truly became a turning point for anime’s global acceptance.
While many of the films on this list are not really made for children, WALL-E is one of the greatest family movies of all time. It regularly tops lists for best sci-fi and best animated films and it has one helluva great message. WALL-E is one of the greatest films ever made, animated or not.