15 Best Anime Movies Like Ponyo-Ranked!

Hello friends, welcome back to Anime Fleek. This time again, your otaku friend has brought a great list of recommendations on your special demand. You guessed it right; it’s all about anime movies like Ponyo. All of the Ghibli movies have something special about them, and the same goes for this one. 

It’s been so many years, but people are still demanding movies similar to Ponyo, proof of what kind of a masterpiece it is. Whether you enjoyed the chemistry between Sousuke and the goldfish or you enjoyed the elements like transformation, magic, nature, and calamities, I’ve got you covered. I have enlisted all the movies that, in one or another, grab our interest the same way our favorite movie did. So, let’s get started already!

Anime Movies Like Ponyo That Will Touch Your Heart With The Best


  • The list is specially made for the searchers of anime movies like Ponyo
  • Movies from almost all different genres and times are listed below to create a variety
  • The list is ranked based on my personal liking

15. Panda And The Magic Serpent

Panda and the Magic Serpent
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For anyone who enjoyed the transformation element of Ponyo and her desire to be a human, you must watch this one. Not gonna lie; the story is fine, but the animation might bother you because it first hit the screens in the 1950s. But the interesting thing is it’s the work of our popular Studio Toei Animation

It’s the story of Xu-Xian, who had a snake pet and loved caring for it. Unbeknownst to him, the snake was actually a Goddess named Bai-Niang who had feelings for her master. She waits for the right time, and when the two reach an appropriate age, she transforms into a human. Unfortunately, the local wizards of that time failed to understand her transformation and labeled her a vampire. Many troubles knocked on their door. To top it off, they also prohibited the boy from the village. In this chaos, the boy’s pets, Panda and Mimi, come to help their master. 

If you are someone who is curious to learn how anime movies were made in the 1950s, it’s not a bad idea to try this one. Of course, there would be many things, from the script to aesthetics, that won’t appeal to you considering the quality nowadays. 

However, it’s always good to try something out of the ordinary. So, yes, because of the similarities, such as human transformation, love between two different species, and the challenges they face, it’s one of the anime movies like Ponyo.

14. Summer Days With Coo

Summer Days With Coo
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Kouichi Uehara is our fourth-grade school student, and we follow his journey throughout. His life becomes interesting when he finds a stone that is actually the remains of a baby Kappa. It is revealed that he has been asleep for almost three centuries. When Kouichi finds him, he takes him home, and eventually, the two become very good friends. 

Though the baby Coo enjoyed spending time with the boy, it also felt off without his family. He continuously missed his loved ones as well. You must watch this gem; trust me, you’ll fall in love with it. The bond between Coo and the others is so pure and beautiful that it’ll melt your heart. It was definitely worth adding to this list of anime movies like Ponyo.

13. Ride Your Wave

anime movies like Ponyo--ride your wave
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Although there is nothing like human transformation, it sure has a sea, and characters have a love for surfing over it. College student Hinako’s life starts a new chapter when her building catches fire. In the nick of time, Minato, a talented firefighter, saves her just like a knight in shining armor. The two quickly become well acquainted with each other and, with time, become very good friends. Minato, impressed with the girl’s surfing skills, asks her to teach him. 

This request leads them to the adventure over the sea. Their increasing closeness swiftly turns into love, and their bond strengthens. Just like surfing is no fun without its ups and downs, so is life. The two find their lives in a challenging position where they must not give up. People in search of anime movies like Ponyo should give this one a shot because it’s actually worth it!

12. Lu Over The Wall

Lu Over The Wall
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Friendship between a human and a mermaid is an attractive and amazing thing, right? You guessed it right; this movie highlights this very aspect. Kai Ahsimoto is our handsome male lead who lives in a town near the sea. Legends have it that there are deadly and man-eating mermaids in the sea who are attracted to music. 

Therefore, Kai’s grandfather never allowed him to play music. The boy still didn’t stop creating beats, which showed his passion for music. Whenever he creates something new, he uploads it to the internet, which grabs the attention of others. After learning about his skills, his classmates invited him to be a member of their band. 

Soon after, the boy joins them in a practice session taking place at the very famous island. Guess what? The legends were absolutely true.  At night, enjoying the view, Kai starts playing his music, which attracts a mermaid named Lu. The boy learns that though the legends are true, the horrible things said about them are not. 

Lu is a very kind mermaid who wishes to earn the love of people on land. Next, we witness a beautiful friendship between a human and a mermaid. Trust me, this is one of the best anime movies like Ponyo.

11. Wolf Children

anime movies like Ponyo- wolf children
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When it comes to the aesthetics, the hardships, and the bond between humans and a different species, this one comes among the best anime movies like Ponyo. Hana is our gorgeous and brave female lead whose life starts a challenging chapter after she falls for a werewolf

Their love for each other forced them to have a family, and thus, there were soon four of them. Unfortunately, her happiness wasn’t long-lasting as her lover passed away, leaving her and the wolf children behind. 

Hana, being a single mother aware of the horror of the human world, fears for the safety of her kids. Thus, to hide their identity, she shifts to a place where human interaction is much less common. This movie highlights the lengths to which a mother can go for her children. It’s indeed a magnum opus!

10. Kiki’s Delivery Service

anime movies like Ponyo -Kiki's Delivery Service
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It’s the story of an adorable and ambitious Kiki who must leave the house as soon as she turns 13. It’s her family tradition that has been followed by her mother as well. To become a full-fledged witch, the 13-year-old must search for a new town and start a new life there. 

Well, the good thing is it’s not for the whole life, it’s just for a year. Things become challenging yet interesting when our brave girl leaves with her talking cat, Jiji, on the way to pursue her dreams. Many challenges come her way, but she stands firm on her feet. 

Winning people’s hearts and finding a place to live in a completely new town was very hard. However, that’s not it; her strength is constantly put to the test. This movie has many elements that will appeal to your eyes, such as nature aesthetics, her friendship with a cat, her struggles, the use of magic, and a lot more. Therefore, all of these elements make it one of the best anime movies like Ponyo.

9. Children Of The Sea

Children Of the Sea
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Ruka Azumi is our adorable FL who tries to avoid going home because she can’t bear her alcoholic mother. Therefore, she is most of the time on the handball court enjoying her life. Unfortunately, her exclusion from the team came as a challenge for her since she didn’t have a place to stay out of her home. 

So, she decides to visit her father’s workplace, which is an aquarium. There, she comes across Umi, a boy who was raised by dugongs; thus, when people learn about him, he becomes the object of research. Eventually, Ruka and Umi become very good friends, and later, they are joined by some others. Their adventure led them to explore the beauty of the world under the sea. Believe me, it’s one of the best anime movies like Ponyo, for so many apparent and beautiful reasons. 

8. Stand By Me Doraemon

anime movies like Ponyo-Stand By Me Doraemon
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The next one on our list of anime movies like Ponyo is Stand By Me Doraemon. It has so many things that make it similar to Ponyo, such as the friendship between Nobita and Doraemon, their adventure, and challenges. Nobita’s life was a complete mess before Doraemon entered his life. 

Before his arrival, Nobita used to suck at almost everything. Thus, to help him out, his future successor brings Doraemon, a robotic cat, for his help. Hilariously, after finding that dealing with Nobita is going to be tough and he fails at the most basic things, the cat decides to return. 

Luckily, the boy’s successor forcefully makes him stay. We follow the duo’s adventures, which lead them to develop an unbreakable bond with each other. 

7. Howl’s Moving Castle

anime movies like Ponyo -howl's moving castle
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Howl’s Moving Castle is a forever favorite movie of otaku worldwide, and if you still haven’t watched it, it’s time! Though the nature of its story is very different from Ponyo’s, it does have similarities. You will find it similar in its art, aesthetics, adorable creatures, and stunning visuals

Not just that, there is also magic, romance, wizards, and a lot more, which makes it one of the best anime movies like Ponyo. Sohphie’s life flips upside down when a witch turns her into an old woman. She is cursed because the witch feels insecure about her beauty when she learns about her charming interaction with the popular wizard, Howl. 

Their first interaction was beautiful, but it was also casual as Howl saved her from some creeps. After watching her old form, Sophie runs out of her house to find a cure, which leads her to stay in Howl’s Moving Castle to work as a Cleaner. Guess what? Though our handsome wizard sniffs that she is under a spell, he fails to recognize her. The story progresses, and we see the two learning about each other’s suffering, eventually bringing them close to each other. 

6. Spirited Away

anime movies like Ponyo --SPIRITED AWAY
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Well, well, it is time for an all-time blockbuster with a lot of aspects that make it one of the best anime movies like Ponyo. 10-year-old Chihiro is our cute female lead whose life flips upside down when she visits a haunted park with her parents. 

Even though she stops them, they still start exploring the creepy place, and their greed turns them into pigs. Her parents were no longer humans and didn’t recognize their daughter. Moreover, it gets late, and the spirits and ghosts start following Chihiro. In this time of stress, a boy named Haku comes to her help. 

He reveals that if she wants to survive, she must work in Yubaba’s bathhouse. Chihiro’s stay there was not easy as the daily duties were very challenging. With time, she learned everything and continued her search to turn her parents back to humans so that she could escape.

5. The Cat Returns

anime movies like Ponyo: The Cat Returns
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Hau Yosioka is a high school student who feels bored with her life, but things become intriguing for her the moment she saves a cat from an accident. It turns out the cat belongs to the Kingdom of Cats and is actually a prince. He feels grateful for her help and thus invites her to the cat kingdom. 

In a turn of events, the cat also sends a proposal for marriage. Still, though she wanted to refuse, things became very confusing. Certain events led her to the Kingdom, where, with time, she started losing her humanity. Things became extremely stressful for her, and in this time of need, she was helped by the Baron. 

He advises her to find answers within herself, which makes her learn about herself. It’s indeed one of the best anime movies like Ponyo, and I bet you will find many similar aspects to it. The friendship between Baron and Haru and the complexities that are created by her involvement with cats are very similar to what you are looking for. 

4. Suzume

anime movies like Ponyo: Suzume
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Well, before you watch, let me warn you that the handsome male lead, Souta, will steal your heart. So stay firm because it’s one of the anime movies with attractive characters. Suzume is a high school student who when she comes across the gorgeous boy Souta gets curious about him instantly.

He enquires her about a door, and she refers him to the nearby abandoned area. Souta was searching for a door that would let the deadly worm-like creature enter the earth. He searches such doors and closes them with a key to prevent the creature from wreaking havoc

Suzume worries about him and goes for his search in the area, where she comes across the door and accidentally removes the Keystone. The cat statue that she moved was actually the keystone that transformed into a living cat and ran. 

The opened door led the creatures to enter the world, leading to earthquakes. Now Suzume, with Souta’s help, must do something to protect their world. Not gonna lie; the supernatural element, the heroine’s struggles, and the chemistry between her and Souta make it one of the best anime movies like Ponyo.

Spoiler: Just like the transformation element in Ponyo, there is also a transformation element in Suzume. Can you guess what? Well, the male lead transforms into a chair!

3. My Neighbour Totoro

anime movies like Ponyo: 
My Neighbor Totoro
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Did someone say anime movies like Ponyo? Then you must be looking for a film with similar adorable creatures, right? If that’s true, then you must watch this spellbinding masterpiece. Sisters Satsuki and Mei shift to their hometown with their father. Soon after entering, the girls see some black spirits hiding in the house. 

They tell their father, but he doesn’t believe it because the spirits are only visible to the girls. Their curiosity to learn more about them finally makes them meet Totoro, their adorable, chubby, and giant neighbor. It was a spirit, and their friendship with it opened doors of happiness, fantasy, and beautiful adventures. 

It’s a must-watch anime movie for people of all ages. You are gonna love this one! Also, make sure to watch it with your family for double fun, as it’s one of the best family-friendly anime movies.

2. The Secret World Of Arrietty

anime movies like Ponyo -Arrietty
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Arrietty is also one of the anime movies like Ponyo, due to its many similarities. Characters in this movie are also very cute, and their way of living will surprise you. Arrietty, our female lead, belongs to a group of tiny humans called Borrowers who hide their existence from humans. They live in a human’s house and steal food and useful things to run their house. 

When a boy named Shou visits his aunt’s house, he learns about Arrietty and her family. The girl intrigues him, and they become friends. However, the two soon find themselves in serious challenges that put them in a tight spot. Learning about the daily life struggles Arrietty will move your heart for sure! In fact, you can watch it with kids; it’s one of the best anime movies for kids.

1. A Whisker Away

A Whisker Away- anime movies like Ponyo
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Finally, the first one on our list of best anime movies like Ponyo, is Whisker Away. Miyo Sasaki is the FL whose relationship with her parents is not good, somewhat similar to Ponyo’s. The only thing that brings a smile to her face is her crush, Kento. Unable to find ways to be close to him, she finally gets a great idea

Her transformation into a white cat opens a gate to his heart. Kento pets her unbeknownst to reality and shares his secrets with her. The girl’s happiness for staying close to Kento was not long-lasting, as she started regretting hiding the truth. 

After all, she could do nothing to help her love in her animal form. She finds herself in a tight spot, and now she must find a peaceful way out of this mess. I am sure you are gonna enjoy this movie. So, have a great watch!

Final Notes

Here, we are done with this list of best anime movies like Ponyo. All of them have many similarities with your favorite movie and hopefully will win your heart the same way. Just pick any one of your favorites and come back later to inform me about your experience watching. If you enjoy reading anime movie recommendations, consider visiting Anime Fleek often!


What makes Ponyo a good movie for Children?

There is so much to learn from Ponyo because it teaches us many life lessons. We learn to think of our actions and how they affect the life around us. So, it’s one of the most suitable anime movies for kids. 

What are the themes commonly found in movies like Ponyo?

The theme  of friendship between different species, and the element of magic are the common themes found in Anime movies like Ponyo. Some of them are  Suzume, and The Cat Returns.

Where can I watch anime movies like Ponyo?

You can feel free to watch them on Netflix and Crunchyroll.

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