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30 Great Animated Movies You Need To Watch

16 August 2013 | Features, Film Lists | by David Zou

great animated movies

Before anything else, we want to make it clear that we don’t want to compose just another “best animation list”. We value the term “animation” as the same as live action movies, it’s not just some kids stuff, an adult can enjoy an animated movie just as much as a kid. Toy Story is a great animated movie, but it’s also a fantastic movie. As technology develops, animated movies can tell any story a live action movie tells, and its form is freer and more expressive.

When we look back at the history of animated movies, there are just so many great ones to choose from, the ideas are never exhausted in the making of animation. We try to make a balance between different periods, countries and forms, which makes the process even harder. Anyway, here’s the ultimate great animated movie list we make, let your imagination go wild!

 

30. Mary And Max

mary-and-max-2009

The Movie: Who says animation has to be based on action? Here, it’s a window into the inner lives of two lost souls – one Australian, one American – who become penpals.

Only in Animation: The ability to show how different personalities see the world in different ways. For Mary, it is sepia. For Max, things are black and white.

 

29. Yellow Submarine

yellow-submarine-1968

The Movie: The Beatles had mastered just about every other medium: why not animation? A who’s who of 1960s animators helped invent the music video in the process.

Only in Animation: Look at any 1960s’ film about drugs. Then look at this. Which looks the most stoned?

 

28. How To Train Your Dragon

how-to-train-your-dragon-2010

The Movie: Doing away with its usual reliance on A-list voice casting and pop-culture gags, Dreamworks Animation proved it could handle spectacle and story as well as Pixar.

Only in Animation: Soaring landscapes that – with the help of Coen Brothers’ cinematographer Roger Deakins – look better than the real thing.

 

27. The Triplets of Belleville

belleville-rendezvous-2003

The Movie: Like director Sylvain Chomet’s later The Illusionist, this is a loving homage to Jacques Tati, full of elaborate sight-gags and a vividly retro look.

Only in Animation: The tender caricatures of the character design.

 

26. Wallace And Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

wallace-and-gromit-in-the-curse-of-the-were-rabbit-2005

The Movie: After using Chicken Run to test the big-screen, Nick Park set his most beloved creations loose in an epic Ealing-meets-Hammer mash-up.

Only in Animation: The infinite layers of character in Gromit’s furrowed brow.

 

25. Fantastic Mr Fox

fantastic-mr-fox-2009

The Movie: No need for the quote-unquote “fantastic,” Wes Anderson’s triumphant translation of his hipster deadpan into stop-motion is the real deal.

Only in Animation: All of the critics who had accused Anderson of self-parody suddenly allow him to get away with it once he stops using live-action.

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  • Carey Griffiths

    Great list. It would be hard to make a definitive list like that but I think you’ve done really well.

  • Iam_Spartacus

    Heavy Metal? Heavy Traffic? Fritz the Cat? Wizards? No Ralph Bakshi here at all.

  • sfawer

    No Heavy Metal?
    No Renaissance?
    No Princess Mononoke?
    Are you kidding me?

  • Judy Lynn

    American Pop, Heavy Metal? Anything by Rankin/Bass, Don Bluth? The little prince? Other Miyazaki favorites? I mean it’s a good personal list, but it is seriously overstacked with Disney. And the foreign ones are just plain guessable.

  • ladyofargonne

    As someone who is frequently held hostage by animated movies I would like to recommend Despicable Me 2 and Madagascar 3. Entertaining and original.

  • Terry Shannon

    I would agree that the list could use some more Miyazaki and at least one by Bakshi. The one ‘must see’ not mentioned yet is “Watership Down”.