Finding family friendly anime can definitely be a challenge. Yet if you’re looking for some great choices, we’ve got you covered! A lot of anime is marketed towards teenagers and young adults. Even those that may be produced for children in Japan don’t always meet the standards of what is considered family friendly in the US.
If you’re looking for some true fun and family friendly anime, you’ll definitely want to browse through Studio Ghibli titles. Anime by Studio Ghibli and the works of Hayao Miyazaki are typically as family friendly as you can get when it comes to anime. Some of the movies have even been dubbed and released in the US, a couple of which ended up on the big screen and you can probably find available online for order or streaming.
Overall, the list of family friendly anime is somewhat limited in the large pool of anime available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some! Here are five that you and your family will love.
Spirited Away was one of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films that was eventually dubbed and released in the US. It has won multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and currently holds the title as the highest grossing film in Japanese history.
The story revolves around a young girl named Chihiro, whose family took a wrong turn and got lost on the way to their new home. Unbeknownst to Chihiro’s parents, they were on their way into a supernatural realm that traps anyone who visits there if they don’t leave before sunset.
Not realizing that they had just entered the spirit world, Chihiro’s parents decide to stop and eat at an unattended restaurant. After gulping down heaps of food against Chihiro’s wishes, they turn into pigs. Chihiro then sets out on a quest to save her parents, meeting some rather interesting characters along the way.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Another Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki creation, Kiki’s Delivery Service is the perfect animated film to watch if your child is a fan of witches. Even if they’re not, they’re still likely to be interested. Kiki’s Delivery Service brings you into the life of a young witch named Kiki who is trying to adjust to her new found independence.
Kiki sets off to train in a European town with her cat Jiji by her side. While there, she starts a “witch delivery service,” delivering breads by broomstick for a bakery and meets a new friend during her journeys. When Kiki notices her powers fading as she struggles to adapt to a new lifestyle, she realizes she has to find a new purpose to regain them.
Arrietty is an animated Studio Ghibli film that surprisingly wasn’t directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Though Hayao Miyazaki helped out with the script and supervised the production, the film is actually directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. It was released into theaters across the US in 2012 and titled The Secret World of Arrietty.
In Japan, it was released in 2010 and titled The Borrower Arrietty, the title hinting that it was based on The Borrowers by Mary Norton. In the film, a family of tiny people tries to get by while secretly living in a normal sized family’s home. When the coast appears to be clear, they venture out into the home to borrow items for their small dwelling.
Arrietty is taken on her first borrowing mission with her father when things turn sour and she’s spotted by a young human boy who lives in the home they’ve been inhabiting and borrowing from. Much to Arrietty’s surprise, humans aren’t as she expected.
With all the news about Pokémon Go going around, you’ve likely heard of Pokémon before. Yet maybe you haven’t watched the series or any of the movies. If that’s the case, you and your family may want to!
Pokémon, known as “Pocket Monsters” in Japan, is mostly family friendly, especially if you choose to watch the dubbed version. The series follows Ash (who is known as Satoshi in the Japanese version) as he sets out on his quest to become a Pokémon Master. On the way, he meets new friends, rivals, acquaintances and of course plenty of the creatures known as Pokémon.
Besides fighting off the bad guys, Ash also has to face and battle against a variety of gym leaders during his journey. Along the way, he also learns some life lessons. Perhaps best of all though, is that you’re able to pick up a copy of some of the games (which are also family friendly!) after watching so you can get into the action yourself. Just be warned, though, as this is a very long series and you’ll have to decide when to call it quits. You might want to start on what’s available on US Netflix.
Cardcaptor Sakura, or Cardcaptors as it’s known in America, is a magical-girl anime series that focuses on a 10-year-old girl named Sakura Kinomoto. After Sakura releases magical cards (known as Clow Cards) from a book she finds in her home, the guardian of the cards appears and leads Sakura on a mission to find and collect the cards that have gone missing.
Each of the Clow Cards has a magical personification and by defeating them and sealing them away, Sakura gets one step closer to resolving the mess she created when the cards were accidentally released. Yet it turns out she isn’t the only one attempting to recapture the cards, leading to some conflict.
Though this article covers some of the best family friendly anime, there are definitely others that are worth mentioning. A few titles you may want to check out besides the ones already mentioned include Chi’s Sweet Home, Doraemon, Digimon, Case Closed and Ace Attorney.
Do you have any fun and family friendly anime in mind that you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below.
About the Author: Caroline loves watching anime any chance she gets. Now that she has a family of her own, she often has to choose family friendly anime over her usual choices, yet that certainly doesn’t stop her from enjoying some of her favorites!