Our list of the Top 30 Animated Movies of all Time. Do you Agree?………The animated film genre was effectively launched in 1937. While there were feature-length animated films released before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it was this first Disney Classic that properly launched the genre to the Western world. The first princess and her seven short cohorts proved that legendary animator Walt Disney could sell a full-length animated film to the masses and he never looked back. In more recent times animation houses like Pixar, Dreamworks and the Japanese masters at Studio Ghibli have pushed the animated film to rival anything that live action has to offer¦ and sometimes more.
The story is told through three segments, each presenting a different snapshot of a life. There are three characters that 5 Centimetres Per Second focuses on, with two being the main characters, and one being the focus of the second segment only. It’s very hard to write this review without giving anything away, as the best way to go into it is completely in the dark about what is coming.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is an animated film about many different things. Coming of age, talent, creativity, becoming yourself, insecurity, and confidence. And yet, it does all of this without coming across as preachy or like it’s trying to shove inspiration down your throat. It’s a story, and it’s being told. And yes, it’s a masterpiece.
The Little Mermaid is a battle of Disney Good vs. Evil. Eric and Ariel try to get to know each other, leaving Ariel move in love than ever. Whilst Ursula try’s to destroy this match at every possible point using her power and sidekick eels. Ariel is one of the many Disney animated film Princesses of the 80’s and 90’s that many fell in love with as children and continue to do so today with children of their own. Truly a tale that surpasses any time boundaries.
Overall, Shrek 2 is probably the best animated film DreamWorks have produced. It’s still no Pixar, but it’s about as close as you’ll get from a non-Pixar studio; it’s a great film, an improvement over its predecessor, and compared to Shrek The Third, Shrek 2 is practically a masterpiece.
As with almost every Pixar animated film, be it short or feature length, Monsters, Inc. is packed full of great characters, storyline and mind blowing visuals and direction that we now take for granted. The climactic scenes involving a high speed roller coaster ride through the bowels of Monsters, Inc.’s door system is relentlessly brilliant, as are the comedy nuances in every character and the hilarious fringe characters such as Roz the dispatch manager and the misunderstood Abominable Snowman. Every bit of this animated film is enjoyable with no dead spots and again in classic Pixar style it manages to pack in a few emotional moments pitched at just the right level.
The Iron Giant is tinged with the sort of melancholy that Pixarhave branched into in recent years. If you imagine the opening scenes in Up or the presentation of the dead Earth in WALL-E you will be in about the right ball-park. In reality though it borrows its tone and atmosphere from the British nuclear threat animated film When the Wind Blows. Even if you don’t know the story, Bird does an excellent job in foreshadowing future events so that when the time comes, the audience is prepared for the harrowing twist/reveal/key moment that is so rare in animated films.
If you take Toy Story to be a story about the fear of being replaced by someone younger and newer, then Toy Story 2 is very much a story about finding yourself less useful and heading toward retirement. Woody sees himself in a more vulnerable state due to damage, wear and tear and is tempted by Stinky Pete’s offer of being put in display in a museum for the rest of time. It’s the offer of immortality for an aging toy that is the basis for the action as Woody must decide whether to stay with Andy, but risk being forgotten and never played with again.
The Illusionist works beautifully, as a semi-autobigraphical animated film, as a touching story of the two main characters’ relationship, and as a melancholy reflection on a time that is now gone and lost. There are some laughs, many of them provided by Tatischeff’s fat, angry rabbit, who objects strongly to being stuffed into a top hat for each performance. There’s also the overriding sense of melancholy, in the minor characters who are other acts on the music hall stage, whose careers are slowly dying, and in Tatischeff’s relationship with Alice “ that he can’t provide for her, that she’ll outgrow him and move on with her life.
The plot skips along at a good pace, and unlike the latterly released The Simpsons Movie, does not feel like 3 episodes stuck together. There’s even time for Kenny to finally reveal his face. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is one of the finest examples of animated film-making of all time. Rude, crude and hilariously funny from start to finish and with a soundtrack so catchy it rivals some of Disney’s finest, it will long be remembered as the epitome of satirical vulgarity.
Up along with its predecessor, WALL-E, demonstrates the confidence that was clearly growing within Pixar “ justifiably given that the studio had made eight animated movies and not a failure amongst them. This confidence allowed for a new ambition in storytelling terms, which is what makes Up so satisfying, and led to it being such a success. The comedy and an emotional depth not commonly associated with films of this nature are perfectly balanced and the story is wholly satisfying. It stands up next to any of Pixar’s films.review here¦
The great trick used in When the Wind Blows is understanding that the audience are aware of just how much trouble the protagonists are in, even when they remain clueless. It’s thoroughly dark and sinister throughout to watch as this lovable, if dim-witted couple ˜Keep Calm and Carry On’ blissfully unaware that radiation poisoning is slowly affecting them.
19. Bambi (1942)
One of Disney’s early forays into animal-lead animated films is an eternal classic. As is often the case with the ˜Mouse House’ they cleverly introduce death as a theme to young children, enabling them to come to terms with it when they get older.Bambi may a children’s film, but it has an enduring quality that keeps it fresh and relevant decades after its release.
18. Princess Mononoke (1997)
One of the many fantastic animated films written and directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke set, at time of release, a record box office record, beating the long-time champion E.T. and single-handedly caused Disney to pick-up every film ever released by Studio Ghibli to be released in the USA. So if you’re wondering why we were treated to Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, this is the reason.
Akira is one of the first animated films to have it’s subject matter extreme psychic powers. Since then, there have been plenty of films about powers that can manipulate anything, and are on a terrifyingly huge level. They were psychic powers in animated films before, but none on this scale. No anime film since has looked as good as Akira. The set pieces are beautiful, and its cinematography is absolutely fantastic.
Dreamworks attempts to cash-in to the animated film craze rekindled by Pixar in the mid-1990s finally paid dividends when Shrek was released. An all-star voice acting cast including a career-saving role as a talking donkey by Eddie Murphy, Shrek pokes fun at all the conventions of animated films while appearing fresh, engaging and above all else, fun. It spawned 3 sequels and a prequel (Puss in Boots) and is still as good now as it was on release.
Mia Farrow’s distinctive voice is a welcome departure from the diet of harsh American accents which children are fed in this era of Disney/Pixar domination and is a perfect fit for the exquisitely drawn The Last Unicorn, making her seem at once both warm and other-worldly.
Another entry from Walt Disney animated films, Aladdin was one of the key films in the second golden age that was kick-started by The Little Mermaid. It also marked one of the first examples of a-list actor casting with Robin Williams voicing the role of the genie and absolutely stealing the show. Combine the story of Aladdin with a memorable and superb soundtrack and Aladdin stands alongside Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and The Lion King as one of the ˜Mouse House’s’ best offerings.
All these elements fuse together to create an superb film that appeals to audiences of all ages and puts Finding Nemo at the top of most people’s favourite animated film lists. While lacking the historical punch of a Toy Story or Snow White, it has enough quality and charm without dripping sentimentality to be considered an instant classic. Just remember to just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
12. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Studio Ghibli remain the only realistic competition to Disney and Pizar’s dominance in animated film. Howl’s Moving Castle, their follow-up to the superb Spirited Away is a masterpiece in its own right and aptly hailed as one of the best and most accomplished animated films of all time. While it doesn’t quite hold the same impact as Spirited Away, it is the studio’s second best film.
With such a blend of voice-acting, narrative pace, comedy and pathos, Ratatouille does what all great animated films should do. It takes you on a journey is discovery and adventure, never stopping, never slowing down or making excuses for the decisions it makes. Perfect is a word that is rarely applied to films these days, but Ratatouille comes as close to it as any of the Pixar animated classics like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc..
10. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
Sylvain Chomet’s first feature-length animated film proves to be one of not only his best, but one of the finest, for-adults-only animated films of all time. His unique animation style, combined with a ripplingly witty and subversive script and a host of memorable characters and scenes places The Triplets of Belleville in the upper echelons of animated films alongside anything from Disney, Pixar or Studio Ghibli.
9. The Jungle Book (1967)
One of Disney’s most enduringly popular animated masterpieces, The Jungle Book remains one of the animated film companies most successful films. A sing-a-long classic soundtrack, combined with memorable and engaging characters makes this animated film based on Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories one of the greatest animated films ever committed to celluloid.
Hayao Miyazaki˜s most famous and best directorial and animated film to date, Spirited Away highlights everything that is wonderful and joyous about anime and Studio Ghibli. Drawing on elements from My Neighbour Tortoro and Princess Monoke, Spirited Away is a beautiful and stunning masterpiece that will live long in the memories to those fortunate enough to have seen it.
Toy Story 3 completes Pixar’s first great series of stories and unlike so many others, each instalment builds on the previous work to create the single greatest trilogy of films. Every moment is deliberate and perfectly placed to create one of the best viewing experiences imaginable. More than anything the audience have grown to love the characters and this is our chance to say goodbye to Woody, Buzz and the gang and Pixar send them out with the biggest bang possible. It is pure, unadulterated cinematic heaven.
In a story of deceit, jealously and death, Disney’s first attempt at the animated feature film is rather dark and ominous for children. Never the less Snow White goes on to be one of the most successful American animated films ever produced. Using the good vs. evil concept, which they grow and integrate into all their ˜classic’ tales, they will always have a princess to save or a wicked women to stop. Good will ultimately conquer all.
WALL·E is also no slouch in the social commentary stakes. The idea of a human race so obsessed with convenience and ease that they’ve come to resemble large babies is unique and completely believable. Then somewhere at the heart of the film is a little menial robot whom continues to work hard, interacts with anyone and ends up passively leading a revolution. It’s inspired, uplifting and an absolute joy in character development and story-telling.
It really is as spectacular, awe-inspiring, engrossing, sweet-natured and terrifying as it was on release and for children of a certain age it remains every bit as impacting. Years after its release Pinocchio remains one of the most recognisable and popular animated films from arguably the most popular and successful animation houses.
A Tale as old as Time¦Disney again catches the imagination of all children in the 1991 hit, Beauty and The Beast. Mindful of its audience Disney creates another film with an important message. Looks are not the be all and end all, despite what many think. Disney jumps on the band wagon to teach children that to respect people of all backgrounds is a trait no one should grow up without; however recycled into a easily digestible formula. One that many will remember for the rest of their lives “ relived through their own children’s childhood.
Smack in the middle of Disney’s second golden age, surrounded by other classics like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast comes Disney’s most enduring masterpiece, The Lion King. Telling the story of Simba, The Lion King uses story devices from its finest works to create a veritable menagerie of life-lessons, catchy songs and hilarious side-characters. This is the epitome of Disney and the last great Western hand-drawn film since the advent of Pixar in all its glory and an animated film has never been better.
Toy Story represents film-making at its very best, with a cast and crew desperate to prove their quality in a market dominated by Disney’s hand-drawn animation, Pixar paved the way for the majority of future animated films. Future animations like How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs all owe a debt of gratitude to Lasseter and Pixar and more importantly so do countless thousands of children, whose upbringings were influenced and shaped by Woody, Buzz and the gang. It goes to show that we’ve all got a friend in Toy Story. Comfortably the best animated film of all time.