Top 5 Animated films for Adults

Animation can be so much more than the cute and cuddly offerings of Disney and Pixar. This week we take a look at the best adult animation films, a collection of fantastic titles which provide visually breathtaking, stimulating entertainment. From the inventive and philosophical Waking Life which introduces existentialist quandaries to the brave and beautiful Persepolis which tackles uncomfortable subject matter without flinching, these films break the Mickey Mouse mould.

Claudia Gonella

1. Princess Mononoke
This gorgeous piece of animation by anime master Hayao Miyazaki explores the tension between civilisation and nature with plenty of fast-paced action and imagination. A young warrior is cursed whilst trying to protect his village from a rampaging boar-god and a life threatening scar begins rapidly spreading over his body. Whilst seeking out a cure he comes across a war between dwellers of a sacred forest and those set on using the forest for producing iron. With its spectacular mountainous landscapes, detailed characters and thoughtful plot, this is undoubtedly one of the very best anime films available on DVD.

5. Persepolis
An exciting breakthrough for a country whose artistic output has been stifled, Persepolis has received universal critical acclaim from audiences world-wide. Informative yet entertaining, this original film is a beautifully depicted tale of a young girl growing up during the Iranian Revolution.

2. The Plague Dogs
Created by the same artists who worked on Watership Down, The Plague Dogs is a dark and intense film certainly not made for kids. Two dogs escape a research lab but are hunted by humans who believe they are infected with the plague. Martin Rosen's animated adaptation of Richard Adam's book is beautiful, tragic and affecting.

3. Waking Life
Richard Linklater's abstractly structured, dream-like film, follows a man as he drifts in and out of philosophical discussions and ethereal experiences. Shot as a live-action film, then rotoscoped into an animated version, this is a stunning and surreal piece of work. Open your mind and prepare for a truely unique experience.

4. Fantastic Planet
Widely interpreted as a metaphor for the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, René Laloux's feature debut is an adeptly realized experiment in abstracted French sci-fi. On a planet called Ygam, blue-skinned giants keep humans as pets, abusing and pampering them until one boy instigates an uprising. An undeniably distinctive style, this is a hugely inventive film.

Film Listing

Princess Mononoke (Special Edition)

Hayao Miyazaki, 1999

Highly rated adventure story with a magical and mystical theme set in medieval Japan. A prince saves a village from a demon but is cursed to die a slow death... More

£16.99 DVD

The Plague Dogs (Uncut Edition)

Martin Rosen, 1982

Classic animation based on the Richard Adams novel in which two dogs, Rowf and Snitter, escape from a research laboratory and are chased down by the authorit... More

£6.49 DVD

Princess Mononoke

Hayao Miyazaki, 1999

Highly rated adventure story with a magical and mystical theme set in medieval Japan. A prince saves a village from a demon but is cursed to die a slow death... More

£20.49 DVD+Blu-ray

Waking Life

Richard Linklater, 2001

Wiley Wiggins tries to find the difference between waking life and dreaming, always questioning and learning from those he encounters. More

£11.99 DVD

Recommended Star

Persepolis

Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi, 2007

Animated film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's bestselling autobiographical graphic novel set during the Islamic revolution in Iran. When the despotic Shah is... More

£8.99 DVD

Persepolis

Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi, 2007

Animated film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's bestselling autobiographical graphic novel set during the Islamic revolution in Iran. When the despotic Shah is... More

£12.99 Blu-ray