Long gone are the days when animated movies were just for children. With the likes of Pixar, Dreamworks, and Disney competing for the largest audiences, the best-animated movies now entertain everyone. With subtle jokes for the adults and great animation and stories for the younger audience, animated movies are now greater than ever.
What are the best-animated movies?
To be one of the best-animated movies ever made, a movie has to be entertaining for the whole family. It has to have an interesting enough story to keep the kids happy, have enough jokes for the adults to keep them awake in the theater, and it must have high-quality animation.
We’d like to start by building the top movies to watch in every genre, and this is the list of the best-animated movies. We compiled this list based on many metrics. We give a more human element to many of the movie ratings and top movies to watch lists out there.
We not only use review websites such as Amazon, IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Meta Critic, and many more, we also refer to movie forums, where movie lovers like you discuss their favorite animated movies. By bringing together all of these elements, we find good movies to watch.
We don’t give you dozens of movies to watch in each “best movies” list. We give you only the best, the cream of the crop, the top 10. You don’t have to wade through all those movies to find the good ones. At Movies to Watch Lists, we do the hard work for you. We scour the net to find you the best animated movies of all time and present them here for you.
You can be sure that these movies are the best-animated movies. No other best movies list will give you a better list. Without further ado movie lovers, here are the Top 10 best-animated movies ever made.
Animated Movies | 10 Best Animated Movies of all Time
1. Toy Story
Director: John Lasseter
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn
Review: All the Toy Story movies in the trilogy are fantastic and deserve to be on the list of the best-animated movies, but the first Toy Story is the classic that started it all and still shines through as the best.
Cowboy doll Woody is Andy’s favorite toy, and as part of that comes the privilege of being the leader of all the other toys.
His world is suddenly turned upside down when Andy gets a new Buzz Lightyear action figure for his birthday. Suddenly, Woody finds himself in danger of being replaced as Andy and all the toys flock to Buzz. Worse yet, Buzz doesn’t know he’s a toy. He thinks he’s the real Buzz Lightyear.
But when the two toys get lost a couple of days before Andy moves, they’ll have to work together to get home. Can Woody work with Buzz when they don’t have the same goal?
A joy to watch, Toy Story is an animated movie everyone can enjoy and watch over and over again.
2. Finding Nemo
Director: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Cast: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett
Review: The most outstanding aspect of the movie is the animation. From the breathtaking wonder of the Great Barrier Reef to the cold, sterile fish tank, the animation is top-notch and truly state-of-the-art. The water, which has always been the bane of animation, is picture-perfect, and the animators have captured the rolling but constant ocean and the light refraction’s perfect.
But animation itself doesn’t make a movie. Finding Nemo’s strongest aspect is its warm, witty, heartfelt, and funny story of a father’s quest to reclaim his son. The kids will love the vibrant characters and funny situations, and so will the parents.
Director: Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton S. Luske
Cast: Mel Blanc, Don Brodie, Walter Catlett, Frankie Darro, Cliff Edwards
Review: Pinocchio, Disney’s second full-length animated feature, is the tale of a wooden puppet who comes to life only to be tempted by good and evil.
The moral dilemmas which tempt young Pinocchio seem relevant even by today’s standards. The characters — Jiminy Cricket, Geppetto, the evil Honest John, and of course, Pinocchio — are among Disney’s most memorable. The title song “When You Wish Upon a Star” is one of the all-time classics.
There are visual effects in this movie that remained unchallenged until the digital age, and it’s worth recalling that every single one of them was drawn by hand. It has one of the most beautiful and exciting musical scores in the history of the movies, a deeply plangent sense of emotion that never tips over into bathos, and a wealth of detail that is still staggering after over 70 years.
4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Directors: Ben Sharpsteen, David Hand, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Wilfred Jackson
Cast: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell, Stuart Buchanan
Review: From the famous Grimm fairy tale about a beautiful princess who flees her jealous stepmother and finds refuge with seven friendly dwarfs, Walt Disney created a cinematic milestone. When it was released in 1937, the movie was embraced both by critics and audiences, grossing many times its then-record of $1.5 million budget.
Despite the cinematic advances and the passage of time, Snow White stands alone. While the classic story is but a framework for the movie, Snow White can be fully enjoyed for the pioneer it truly is and remains one of the best animated movies of all time.
5. Spirited Away
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
Review: Chihiro, a typical slightly spoiled ten-year-old girl, wanders off the beaten path with her parents, and is thrust into a bewildering another world. Her parents have soon fallen under a malign enchantment, and suddenly it falls to her, with the aid of a mysteriously familiar boy named Haku, to rescue them.
She has to decide where to place her trust, as it becomes apparent that Haku is in the service of the villainous tyrant grandmother Yabubu, who rules over this other world.
It is Chihiro’s spirit that steers her through these uncharted waters. We watch her discover in herself and exhibit, tentatively at first but with growing confidence, all of the virtues a fairy-tale hero must learn: resourcefulness, compassion, and courage.
Because we’ve witnessed her ordinary beginnings, we identify with and believe in all her emerging qualities. It’s all done with a deft matter-of-fact touch that never cloys and never preaches. The animation is quietly dazzling. The plot is dense and full of surprises.
6. The Lion King
Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella
Review: The Lion King starts with the greatest opening sequence in animated movie history.
The animals of the African plains pay homage to the new lion prince, Simba, at his birth. Already he has one strike against him from his father Mufasa’s brother Scar, bitter because Simba is now the heir to the throne of the pride lands.
While Simba and his friend Nala grow, Scar plots with hyena henchmen to dethrone Mufasa. Scar’s moment comes in one devastating blow, managing to make the young cub stricken with guilt in the process.
Simba runs off and is saved from death by exposure to the elements by Pumbaa, a kind warthog, and Timon, his meerkat best friend. As an adult, he has forgotten his legacy until a now-grown Nala and Rafiki, his father’s baboon best friend, remind him. He goes to face the hour of reckoning with Scar, his friends by his side.
Not only is this considered to have one of the best movie soundtracks, but it’s one of the top Disney movies ever made.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard
Review: Wall-E is a lonely little robotic trash compactor that was left behind after Earth was abandoned some 700 years earlier. He has been methodically cleaning up the trash-ridden planet ever since and harboring a tiny plant he has found among the garbage.
Eve, meanwhile, lives on the immense spaceship Axiom, which is also home to the fat, blob-like remains of the human race. She is a probe robot that flies to Earth to determine if the planet is ready for habitation. Wall-E takes one look at the streamlined, angelic Eve and falls in love.
Wall-E is a sophisticated treat for adults and teens. A cuddly romance for the juice-box set, this comedy, science fiction, romance, the animated movie took animated movies to a whole new and more mature level. Filled with artistry, depth, meaning, and a lot of humor, Wall-E is a masterpiece.
8. How to Train Your Dragon
Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill
Review: How to Train Your Dragon is the story of Hiccup, a Viking who feels out of place since he’s not a fan of killing the dragons the Viking’s world so revolves around in. But, when Hiccup captures the rare Night Fury Dragon and inadvertently injures it, the two become fast friends and attempt to bridge the gap of understanding between the Dragons & the Vikings.
The best-animated movie that Dreamworks has ever made, filled with jokes and as you’d expect, some deeper and more meaningful narratives, How to Train Your Dragon is undoubtedly one of the best-animated movies to watch for both kids and adults.
9. The Incredibles
Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee
Review: The Incredibles will overwhelm you with its sheer quality, both for the animation and the entertaining story. Everything you’ve ever loved about superheroes is addressed in this movie, from secret identities to the danger of wearing a cape. Add to the mix an amazingly complex family drama and you have one of the absolute best-animated movies.
Mr. Incredible, once the superhero of the year is now relegated to a cubicle in an insurance company, still trying to save the day one claim at a time. His wife, Helen, a.k.a Elastigirl has also turned in her spandex, using her special powers to juggle the task of raising three kids instead of wrangling villains.
Their son, Dash, wants nothing more than to use his super-speed to propel him to athletic glory. Violet, who can turn invisible and enclose herself within a force field broods like any normal teenager.
The baby, Jack-Jack doesn’t seem to have any superpowers at all, unless you include making funny faces in a high chair. Of course, events unfold and the family has to pull together and fight an evil villain.
Don’t expect this movie to be cliched. It’s not. It’s original and an absolute masterpiece.
Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Cast: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo
Review: Up defies the usual kid-movie conventions by starring a crotchety old man. It’s a charming, fun little adventure story with flying dogs and balloon-powered houses, but underlying it is a bittersweet little story about loss and love.
As a child, the shy Carl Fredricksen bonded with the oddball Ellie over their shared love of adventure, the explorer Charles Muntz, and Paradise Falls. They later married, move into their “clubhouse” together, and lived a long, sadly childless life together.
When Ellie died, she had never fulfilled her dream of going to Paradise Falls. Now crotchety, alone, and harassed by a real estate developer, Carl is finally ordered to a retirement home. But he isn’t going quietly — instead, he attaches thousands of balloons to his house and floats it away toward South America.
But he accidentally takes an enthusiastic, naive Wilderness Explorer named Russell along for the ride. Poor kid was just trying to earn an “assisting the elderly” badge.
A hilarious and touching animated movie Up is a fantastic way to round off our best-animated movies list
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