10 Best Animated Romance Movies, Ranked

Pradeep
13 Min Read

10 Best Movies: Throughout the years, animated movies have demonstrated to be an ideal platform for incredibly creative and visually captivating narratives that can only exist within the wonderfully boundless realm of animation. On numerous delightful instances, this platform has been the ideal conduit for grand romantic stories, enabling the creation of especially imaginative narratives with vibrant characters that bring the central love story to vivid life.

From timeless Disney favorites that shaped the genre, such as Beauty and the Beast, to more unconventional contemporary gems like the strange Anomalisa, animated love stories can often be the most captivating. The unique visual and storytelling possibilities of animation enable creators to develop characters and highlight the enchantment of love in ways that live-action films cannot.

10 ‘The Princess and the Frog’ (2009)

Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements

Tiana and Naveen as a Frog
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The Princess and the Frog is Disney’s final 2D-animated romance movie, following the story of a waitress who wants to own a restaurant. Her dream is jeopardized when she turns into a frog after kissing a frog prince, and they both must embark on a journey to return to their human forms. Challenging traditional fairy tale romance themes while still honoring them, the film encapsulates the classic Disney magic and stands out as one of the studio’s top achievements in recent times.

The film may not revolutionize the genre, but it captivates viewers with stunning animation, a touching story, and a cast of unforgettable characters. It harkens back to the animation giant’s origins and received praise for its overdue spotlight on African-American characters. While some may have desired a more original storyline, The Princess and the Frog still exudes enough charm to enchant anyone.

9 ‘Tangled’ (2010)

Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

A still from Tangled
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Following the remarkable Disney Renaissance, the studio began to venture into a wider range of stories beyond the classic romantic fairy tales that had long been their trademark. Tangled marked a return to their storytelling origins with a comedic musical that reimagines the story of Rapunzel, pairing her with a fugitive thief who helps her escape the tower where she has been confined her entire life, allowing her to experience the world for the first time.

The film achieves a wonderful blend of charming screwball humor and touching romance, while also incorporating a story of self-discovery and growth. Featuring unforgettable characters, beautiful animation, and memorable music, Tangled demonstrates that the fairy tale genre can thrive with innovative storytelling.

tangled_movie_poster
Tangled

Director Nathan Greno , Byron Howard

Runtime 100

8 ‘Whisper of the Heart’ (1995)

Directed by Yoshifumi Kondō

Shizuku is joined by the Baron in a fantasy world as she daydreams of the book she is writing
Image via Toho

Whisper of the Heart, a film in Studio Ghibli’s collection, stands out as a charming and distinctive story. It revolves around a girl with a passion for reading and a boy who has borrowed all the books she has selected from the library. This movie, penned by the renowned Hayao Miyazaki, combines coming-of-age, romance, and fantasy, making it a delightful choice for fans of romantic anime.

Whisper of the Heart, one of Japan’s leading animation studio’s top-rated movies on IMDb, is brimming with genuine emotion and mature portrayals of love and relationships. This demonstrates that animated films can be suitable for the whole family without being patronizing or overly childish. The animation has aged beautifully, and its message about following one’s aspirations remains uplift.

7 ‘Your Name.’ (2016)

Directed by Makoto Shinkai

Taki and Mitsuha looking at each other with a worried expression in Your Name
Image via Toho

Romantic anime set in modern times is quite common, but a movie as enchanting, magical, and emotionally impactful as Your Name. is a rare find for audiences. The story revolves around two teenagers who find themselves swapping bodies due to a deep connection between them. The plot becomes even more complex when they make the decision to meet in person.

Romantic anime set in modern times is quite common, but a movie as enchanting, magical, and emotionally impactful as Your Name. is a rare find for audiences. The story revolves around two teenagers who find themselves swapping bodies due to a deep connection between them. The plot becomes even more complex when they make the decision to meet in person.

6 ‘Aladdin’ (1992)

Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements

Aladdin and Princess Jasmine
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Aladdin, released at the start of the Disney Renaissance, is considered one of the studio’s top films. Drawing inspiration from the famous tales of The Thousand and One Nights, it’s an epic desert journey in which a compassionate street urchin falls in love with a young princess. His fortune takes a turn when he discovers a genie in a lamp that grants wishes, unaware that the Sultan’s malevolent advisor has his own agenda for both the young man and the lamp.

Aladdin has something for everyone to enjoy. It includes imaginative fantasy elements, thrilling action, side-splitting comedy delivered by Robin Williams, who many consider to have given the best voice performance in any movie, and a heartwarming romance between two charming characters. The movie celebrates the bravery of being true to oneself and living with integrity.

5 ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ (2004)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Howl's Moving Castle
Image via Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki is not just the most famous anime film director, but also one of the most renowned Japanese filmmakers in history. This is because his films are captivating, sophisticated, and incredibly captivating, with Howl’s Moving Castle being a prime example. The story follows a vulnerable young woman who is cursed with an elderly body by a vengeful witch, and must seek the assistance of a conceited wizard and his allies to lift the curse.

The standout elements of Howl’s Moving Castle appear to be its exciting action, captivating world-building, and imaginative ideas that are typical of an adventure epic. But at its core, it’s a touching love story about two characters who, as they learn to love each other, also come to accept themselves and their imperfections. It’s truly one of Miyazaki’s finest works, which is saying a great deal.

Howl’s Moving Castle

Cast Chieko Baisho , Takuya Kimura , Akihiro Miwa , Tatsuya Gashûin , Ryûnosuke Kamiki , Mitsunori Isaki

Runtime 119 minutes

4 ‘Anomalisa’ (2015)

Directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson

An aging man and woman walking down an empty hallway
Image via Paramount Pictures

Charlie Kaufman stands out as one of the most brilliant and innovative figures in today’s film industry. He has penned some of the most thought-provoking and delightfully peculiar scripts, and has also helmed some of the most attention-grabbing spectacles in existentialist cinema. “Anomalisa,” his seventh work as a screenwriter but only his second as a director (working alongside stop-motion expert Duke Johnson), is a stop-motion romantic comedy-drama that revolves around a man who feels trapped by the dullness of his life and struggles to form meaningful connections with others. His world is turned upside down when he encounters an extraordinary stranger.

Anomalisa stands as a profound and transformative work of existentialism, uniquely crafted by Kaufman. It presents a poignant portrayal of solitude, human connections, and the overwhelming burden of existence. David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh deliver outstanding voice performances, lending brutal authenticity and heart-wrenching realism to the central relationship in the narrative.

3 ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1991)

Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

The Beast and Belle dancing in Beauty and the Beast
Image via Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

In 1992, Beauty and the Beast achieved a historic milestone as the first animated film to receive a nomination for the prestigious Best Picture Oscar. This recognition was a great honor and has stood the test of time. The film is still revered as one of the most exquisite animated love stories, portraying the transformation of a cursed prince into a monster who rediscovers his humanity through the love of a young woman.

There are numerous factors that have contributed to the enduring popularity of Beauty and the Beast among audiences. It could be the stunning and vibrant animation, the memorable songs (considered some of the finest in Disney’s extensive collection), or the complex and thought-provoking romantic narrative that it emphasizes. It is likely a combination of all these elements, and more.

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Director Gary Trousdale , Kirk Wise

Cast Paige O’Hara , Robby Benson , Richard White , Jerry Orbach

Runtime 84 min

2 ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ (2013)

Directed by Isao Takahata

Princess Kaguya
Image via Toho

It’s undeniable that Miyazaki is a highly skilled filmmaker, but he’s not the only outstanding Japanese filmmaker around—especially at Ghibli. Isao Takahata is another prominent figure at the studio, having created some of their most iconic films. One of his best works might be The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, a fantasy drama based on Japanese folklore. The story follows an old bamboo cutter and his wife who discover a young girl inside a bamboo stalk and raise her as their own. Despite being pursued by five nobles, Kaguya refuses to marry a stranger and sets them on impossible tasks.

It’s undeniable that Miyazaki is a highly skilled filmmaker, but he’s not the only outstanding Japanese filmmaker around—especially at Ghibli. Isao Takahata is another prominent figure at the studio, having created some of their most iconic films. One of his best works might be The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, a fantasy drama based on Japanese folklore. The story follows an old bamboo cutter and his wife who discover a young girl inside a bamboo stalk and raise her as their own. Despite being pursued by five nobles, Kaguya refuses to marry a stranger and sets them on impossible tasks.

1 ‘Shrek 2’ (2004)

Directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon

Shrek and Fiona meeting the King and Queen of Far Far Away
Image via DreamWorks Pictures

What occurs following the fairy tale ending? Shrek 2 poses this question as one of the greatest, most humorous, and most innovative animated sequels of all time. The plot follows Shrek and Fiona as they journey to the Kingdom of Far Far Away to visit the princess’s parents, only to discover that they are not as warmly received as they had expected.

Shrek 2 shifts the focus from the titular character learning to accept love from others to him learning to embrace and love himself just the way he is. The film retains the charm of the original with its enjoyable characters, witty humor, and a heartwarming love story, while also introducing inventive world-building and meaningful themes that set it apart as a rare sequel that surpasses the original.

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