Who doesn’t love great animated movies?! They’re fun, exciting and have a lot to offer. You can watch them alone, with your kids; even with your partner.
In this issue, we are gonna recommend you 33 of the best animated movies of all time.
While you may have already watched a lot of these movies, we also have included ones that you need to watch. Many animated movies in this list have been awarded a numerous times.
So why wait?
Let’s get started!
- 33. Coraline
- 32. Persepolis
- 31. The Secret of Kells
- 30. Song of the Sea
- 29. Fantastic Mr. FOX
- 28. Boy and the World
- 27. The Triplets of Belleville
- 26. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- 25. FrankenWeenie
- 24. Inside Out
- 23. The LEGO Movie
- 22. Shaun the Sheep Movie
- 21. Lilo & Stitch
- 20. Winnie the Pooh
- 19. Mary and Max
- 18. It’s Such a Beautiful Day
- 17. Wreck-It Ralph
- 16. Coco
- 15. Wall-E
- 14. The Incredibles
- 13. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- 12. Incredibles 2
- 11. Toy Story 3
- 10. How to Train Your Dragon 2
- 9. Zootopia
- 8. The Breadwinner
- 7. Tangled
- 6. Ratatouille
- 5. Up
- 4. Finding Nemo
- 3. Monsters, Inc.
- 2. Toy Story 4
- 1. Frozen
In recent years, more animation studios have been releasing quality work than ever before. Portland’s “Leica,” which got its break with the stunningly beautiful stop-motion animated “Coraline and the Button Witch,” is one of them.
Based on a book by Neil Gaiman and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), the film tells the story of a girl who escapes from her neglectful parents and comes to another world, only to discover that it’s actually a creepy place.
Attractively designed, it’s intelligent, emotional, atmospheric, rich, funny, exciting and unusual, and has been gaining fans ever since it was released.
Winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Persepolis, like Waltz on the Battlefield, which was nominated for both a Cannes and Oscar the same year, is about escape, forcing the main audience to embrace another function of animation. The personal and political content of the autobiography lent itself more to animation than live-action.
The protagonist’s point of view is quirky and the humanitarian attention to detail shows Marjan Satrapi’s talent as a filmmaker.
31. The Secret of Kells
The Secret of Brendan and Kells, an animated film directed by Tom Moore and Nora Tomei, both of whom are part of the production company Cartoon Saloon.
Underlying Celtic mythology and history, the novel follows the friendship between Brendan the boy and Aisling the forest nymph, the process by which the Book of Kells is created, and their attempts to protect it from Vikings and mythical creatures.
The film was nominated for the 82nd Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
30. Song of the Sea
Tom Moore’s second film, 2014’s Song of the Sea, is a charming story told by the studio’s trademark simplistic and rounded characters.
Brothers Ben, the lighthouse keeper, and Saoirse, the mute, learn that they are the legendary Irish fairy selkie (half human, half seal).
Combining Celtic lore with a Studio Ghibli feel, this emotionally charged and unforgettable story is not as grueling as it seems.
29. Fantastic Mr. FOX
Proving to be a good match for stop-motion animation and director Wes Anderson, the film is a sweet and sour adaptation of Roald Dahl’s original story.
There’s no arguing that it’s Anderson’s best film, but in many ways it’s also his masterpiece as a first-rate “artist”. The film adaptation of the picture book gives Anderson an even broader range of expression, and even the goofy humor is pleasantly portrayed.
It proved that even old-fashioned methods like ’60s stop-motion animation could create something new if done well. A lot of people will love this film, which is universal yet rough-hewn.
28. Boy and the World
The Brazilian animated film In Search of My Father was released in its home country in 2013 and in the U.S. in 2015, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2016.
The adventures of a young boy searching for his father, who has left his family to get a job, are allegorical and captivating.
Told in the absence of dialogue (the characters’ dialogue is rendered in gibberish) or any kind of story, it is a gentle political allegory about industrialization, globalization and the exploitation of workers. However, the charming and flamboyant fantasy approach makes it not preachy at all.
27. The Triplets of Belleville
The Belleville Rendezvous was directed and written by Sylvain Shome. There is no audible dialogue in his script and it proceeds almost randomly, leaving the audience to watch with anticipation of the content the entire time. But it all comes together in a magical and unique world.
Beautifully quaint and painterly animated, this labor-intensive film brings to life the wacky story of an adorable woman’s cyclist son who is kidnapped by the mob and used in a nefarious gambling scheme.
At the 2003 Academy Awards, the film was nominated in two categories: Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song.
26. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Spider-Man: The Spider-Verse is the first animated Spider-Man film to be released to date.
High school student Miles Morales had a face as Spider-Man, but couldn’t control his powers very well.
Then, one day, with time and space distorted, Myles meets a group of Spidermen working in a different dimension. Myles has to be trained by Peter Parker, one of Spider-Man’s best…
This is a film that fans can’t wait to see, as it also features minor spoilers from previous Spider-Man films. The story is a classic story and the powerful and realistic images of the anime are worthy of attention.
Frankenweenie is a film that takes Tim Burton, the once talented and uniquely sensitive filmmaker, back to his roots.
This film is a stop-motion animation remake of an early live-action short film. The film is a bonding story in which Sparky, a beloved dog who was hit by a car and died, is brought back to life by his owner, a boy named Victor, just like the story Mary Shelley describes.
The combination of impressive black-and-white stop-motion animation and Burton’s big-eyed character is a visual delight. The screenplay by John August is also excellent, and he manages to expand one story into an homage to Frankenstein and a number of other monster movies.
24. Inside Out
Pixar’s ambitious film, and one of its best, Inside Out.
Set in the mind of a young girl named Riley who has moved to San Francisco and is emotionally confused, the anthropomorphic Yorokobi and Kanashimi venture into the depths of her mind.
It’s surprisingly well thought out, easy to see how our emotions work, and brings us face to face with the hard-to-understand truth that grief is not only inevitable, but necessary. It’s the kind of subject matter you’d avoid in a movie that’s supposedly for grown-ups.
23. The LEGO Movie
The Lego(R) Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Gloomy Sometimes Meatballs), is mischievous and dizzying fun.
Parodying the story of “The Chosen One,” Emmett, played by Chris Pratt, becomes the last hope to stand up to the evil Great Punisher. It’s a very silly and meta action-comedy with a surprising amount of pathos.
22. Shaun the Sheep Movie
Made on a relatively low budget by directors Mark Burton and Richard Stasak, the movie Shaun the Sheep Back to the Home tells the story of the titular protagonist and his pack mates as they try to figure out how to get home while running away from a man in animal control in the big city.
Beautifully animated using the company’s trademark stop-motion technique, the story progresses almost without dialogue.
Finding common ground with the likes of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Jack Tati, the film is a genuinely enjoyable visual story progression, and the timing of the laughs is perfectly pressed.
21. Lilo & Stitch
The late 90’s and early 2000’s were the dark ages of Disney animation. “Brother Bear,” “Home on the Range,” “Save the Gigantic Farm! flopped, and films before Anna and the Snow Queen did little at the box office. However, it was “Lilo & Stitch” and “The King Who Became a Rama” that shone among them.
Though superficially referencing “E.T.,” directors Chris Sanders and Dean DuBois (who would later direct “Hiccup and the Dragon”) successfully sing the mischievous heart of the adorably dim-witted Stitch, lavishly realizing the Hawaiian setting and expressing the surprising pathos of Lilo and his sister, who is under investigation by the Department of Child Welfare.
It’s a very strange but entertaining film that would not have been made during Disney’s golden age in the early 90’s.
20. Winnie the Pooh
Disney’s handwritten animated film Winnie the Pooh, directed by Don Hall and Stephen J. Anderson, evokes a time when things were simple with its charm and wit.
It’s true that this film is aimed at young children, but adults familiar with the previous Winnie the Pooh films may find it lacking in Disney-like qualities. But this short, subdued, slightly funny work pays homage to A. A. Milne’s wonderful original picture book.
19. Mary and Max
Adam Elliott, director of the 2003 Academy Award-winning animated short film Harvey Clampett, makes his first attempt at a feature film, based on his own friendship with a correspondent friend in New York City.
It’s a color-limited stop-motion depiction of a decades-long friendship between an Australian girl and an autistic New Yorker through correspondence.
It’s too quirky, but it was praised by many for its boldness in dealing with subjects rarely depicted in animated films, such as loneliness, depression, bullying, mental illness, and Asperger’s syndrome, and especially for portraying authentic sensibilities and emotions. In the ending, we are moved by the bond between them that is so valuable to each other.
18. It’s Such a Beautiful Day
Released in 2011, the film What a Wonderful Day is the film that made director Don Hertzfeld’s name in the majors.
Made up of Hertzfeld’s trademark stickman line drawings, it’s ironic and extremely violent, with an incredible conclusion about mental illness and identity.
The film is an impressive, ultimately bizarre, life-affirming trilogy that combines two earlier short films, Surely It’s All Right and You’re My Pride.
17. Wreck-It Ralph
After years of playing villainous characters in the arcade game Fix-It Felix, Ralph was increasingly frustrated with playing the unlikable. So we jumped out of the game and into Sugar Rush, a racing game in the land of candy! There he meets Vanellope, a racer who also felt lonely.
A story of friendship between a villain who yearns for a hero and a lonely girl racer in Disney’s full 3DCG animation. There are also many more from Japanese games, including Bowser in Super Mario and Vega and Zangief in Street Fighter.
The Disney film “Remember Me” is set in the land of the dead and is themed around the Mexican holiday “Day of the Dead,” where the families of the deceased can be met. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Theme Song. Directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3).
The film tells the story of the adventures of Miguel, a boy from a clan whose music is forbidden, who wanders into the Land of the Dead and struggles to return to his world with Hector, a gypsy. And it’s a piece with a strong sense of family ties.
It’s a great way to get a taste of Mexican culture and take your eyes off of the colorful world. It’s also a place where you can enjoy the power and fun of the music.
WALL-E may be Pixar’s most risk-taking film to date. It’s a love-comedy-leaning fable about environmental issues, and it’s a very enjoyable film in either genre.
Featuring a lone garbage disposal robot working alone in the ruins of a marginalized civilization, the film boldly depicts a love affair with a high-tech exploration droid and a reconnecting with what humans have left behind. With extremely few lines compared to its predecessors, this almost silent film is one of Pixar’s most straightforward and ironic.
Not only that, but Andrew Stanton’s film is warm and funny, and there are glimmers of Wally’s wonderful emotionality, design and original story.
14. The Incredibles
The Incredibles is a legitimate thrill-packed action film, a character drama for adults and children alike, and a perfect response to the demand for superheroes.
The 50s-inspired suburban home and office landscape is cleverly designed, and the script is well done, with the two stories constantly complement and elevating each other. Not only is “Mr. Incredible” the best animated film of all time, it’s also the best superhero film of all time.
13. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Adventures in the Holy Land, the third book in the Hiccup and the Dragon series, debuted at number one in 54 countries worldwide. It is directed and written by Dean Dubois, as he did in the previous two films.
Thanks to the exploits of Hiccup and Toothless, people and dragons are able to live together in peace on the island of Bark. With too many people and dragons on the island, Hiccup and his friends set out on a journey to find a new place to live. But the land they arrived at was a hidden kingdom where only dragons could live.
The previous films have been about Hiccup and Toothless’ meeting and growing up, but the last scene in this film is the conclusion of their relationship and you can’t watch it without crying.
Look out for more intensely drawn individual characters, vivid spectacle, and an exciting story, not to mention a lonely but hopeful end.
12. Incredibles 2
The Incredible Family is a sequel to Pixar’s Mr. Incredible. The film is directed by Brad Bird, as in the previous film.
This is an action-comedy film about a family with extraordinary abilities who struggle to shine as heroes again. The story revolves around her mother, Elastic girl.
The battle scenes are more polished than in the previous film, and the way each family member with super powers fights with their own personalities is sure to be exciting to watch.
The film also depicts the growth of each family member, such as Elastic girl’s exploits at work and Mr. Incredible’s challenges in raising children and doing household chores, making this film a reminder of the importance of family.
11. Toy Story 3
The creative team of John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and director Lee Unkrich, who created Toy Story 3, moved forward in time just like in reality, sending Andy, the owner of the toys, to college.
The adventures of the toys include life threatening and slightly darker elements, making them deeply soul-grabbing even for an already grown-up audience. None of the “Toy Story” books were just plastic toy stories, they were actually stories about childhood that we can only appreciate in adulthood.
10. How to Train Your Dragon 2
Hiccup and the Dragon 2, a sequel to Hiccup and the Dragon and based on a children’s book by British author Cressida Cowell. Although the film was not released in Japan, it attracted a lot of attention at the Golden Globes and other film awards and became a big topic of conversation.
The story takes place five years after the last film. The film depicts the exploits of Hiccup, a young boy, and Toothless, a dragon, as they struggle to protect the dragon.
The textures and backgrounds of the dragons have been carefully crafted, and their visual beauty is fascinating. The dragon’s flight scene is a lively film that will excite children and adults alike.
Released in 2016, “Zootopia” may be without a doubt one of the best films Disney has ever produced.
The “animal world” theme is simple, but directors Byron Moore and Rich Howard have created a fascinating worldview and surprisingly folded in a cop-buddy mystery like “Chinatown” (1974).
The film received high praise in all aspects of the story, voice acting, and visuals.
8. The Breadwinner
The Breadwinner is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Canadian children’s author Deborah Ellis. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and attracted a lot of attention.
The film is set in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Pavana, a young girl who lives with her family, earns her living from a street vendor with her father, who lost one leg in the war.
One day, however, my father is suddenly taken to prison. Furthermore, since women are not allowed to go out alone in Afghanistan, the family faces a crisis.
Although this is a socialist anime that realistically depicts the male dominance of women under the Taliban, the fairy tales that are interspersed between the stories are artistic and beautiful, and the lurches and turns of the story are part of the appeal of this work. It’s a weighty and heartbreaking story, but one that I hope many people will see.
Rapunzel on the Tower” became Disney’s 50th feature-length animated film. Modeled after the Grimm fairy tale “Rapunzel,” the film was created by Disney animator Glenn Keane.
This film tells the story of Rapunzel, who, after living alone in a tower in the woods for 18 long years, embarks on an adventure into the outside world. Her curiosity and excitement as she comes into contact with the unknown world is depicted in a cute and innocent way.
The wild and aggressive Rapunzel may be an outlier among Disney princesses, but she still has a charm that people love. The film’s prince, Flynn Ryder, is the thief’s love interest.
Remy’s Delicious Restaurant is an unusual Pixar film, not so much because of its production history, but because the characters are more mature than in other Pixar films.
The story, set in the culinary world and aimed at critics, is relatively slow-paced.
The story of a mouse with dreams of becoming a cook and sophisticated tastes is a talking animal film, a romantic comedy, and a love letter to Paris and food that couldn’t have been made without Pixar. Other Pixar films have a broader appeal, too, but “Remy’s Delicious Restaurant” is truly a sophisticated animated film.
Grandpa Carl’s Flying House, directed by Pixar affiliate Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, best known for his screenplay for Finding Nemo. The four minutes of footage alone of Carl and Ellie’s marriage will have the audience crying in rags.
The film opens with the most effective death scene since Bambi’s mother, but “Grandpa Carl’s Flying Home” is nothing short of a joyous life anthem.
4. Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo” won the Best Animated Feature Film at the 76th Academy Awards. Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich directed the film.
The story is dizzyingly colorful, very funny, and full of memorable characters as the nightmare of his overprotective father, Merlin, comes true when his son Nemo is taken across the ocean. But hidden at the heart of it all, the story of a father and son is a powerfully emotional one.
3. Monsters, Inc.
Like Pixar’s Toy Story, Monster’s Inc. is packed with irresistible ideas about childhood and the little-known story of the monsters in the closet and under the bed.
Two of Pixar’s most beloved characters, Mike the First, played by Billy Crystal (dubbed by Yuji Tanaka) and Sally the Hairy, played by John Goodman (dubbed by Hidehiko Ishizuka), accidentally bring a cute little girl named Boo into the world of monsters.
The film, like the subsequent Pixar films, is not only perfectly told, but also attractively designed and has a heartwarming ending.
2. Toy Story 4
You still don’t know the real “Toy Story. Toy Story 4” with its challenging catchphrase. This is the fourth film in Pixar’s popular “Toy Story” series and is directed by Josh Cooley, who makes his first feature film directorial debut with this film.
Woody spends his days with his new owner, a five-year-old girl named Bonnie Anderson. One day, a new toy, Fokey, made by Bonnie, comes to Woody and the others. However, Fokey recognizes himself as trash and runs away from Bonnie.
This is the story of Woody and his friends’ adventure in search of the missing Fauquay. Unlike the previous Toy Story series, there are no villainous enemies. It’s also a thought-provoking story, the most adult-oriented of all the books in the series so far.
With the power to freeze everything she touches, Elsa has been locked away since she used that power to hurt her sister Ana when she was very young. Her parents, the king and queen, have died. And Elsa, on her coronation to become queen, unintentionally unleashes her power and turns the kingdom into a world of ice.
This is a disney animated feature film based on the Andersen children’s story “The Snow Queen”. The movie along with the theme song “Let It Go,” was a huge hit around the world. It is also known as “Anna Yuki” in Japan and has broken all records for box office performance.
These were the 33 best animated movies of all time for 2020. As years go by, we’re sure to see some new mentions in this list. But as for now, you can use this issue as a recommendation chart for your next binge-watching session. If you feel like we missed some important names, please let us know!