Top Ten Best Animated Movies of All Time

Top Ten Best Animated Movies of All Time

These animated features can stand their ground against any live-action heavyweight you can think of. 

This is the final installment of a series of videos spanning the decades of animated flicks from the 1920s to the 2010s. For this list we took the top 4 entries on each of the previous decade lists and pitted them against each other in a new ranking. Some of the entries here may rank higher or lower than they did on their respective decade list because there are entirely different criteria to consider when making an “all time” list as compared to a decade specific list. A movie may have shone when compared to only other animated movies of its decade but when considered within the entire history of the animated features they did not have as much impact.

#10: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)

Considered one of the most significant milestones in 20th-century cinema, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the very first feature-length movie made by Walt Disney! A feat for which the animator was awarded an honorary Oscar at the 11th Academy Awards, he was presented a standard-sized statuette, along with 7 mini reproductions! The story is truly timeless, as it encompasses the very essence of a fairy tale... A princess, an evil queen, and true love’s first kiss - “Snow White” didn’t follow the rules, it made them!

#9: “Bambi” (1942)

In the ‘30s and ‘40s, Disney could do absolutely nothing wrong! “Bambi” was another beautifully brilliant production - providing an emotional concoction of the incredibly uplifting, and the absolutely heart-breaking! A film for those adults who passed animation off as ‘child’s play’, it had anyone and everyone crying over cartoon animals! An establishment of what would become a very fruitful formula, the title character was backed up by some cute, comedic sidekicks, and a journey was made in the name of hope! It worked then, and it still works now!

#8: “Finding Nemo” (2003)

Things began to get a little digital in the 2000s. Ever hear the proverb about the needle and the haystack? Well, this is that... plus water! Nemo is a clownfish with a sense for adventure, Nemo’s dad is a clownfish with a sense for stability... when the former is lost and the latter sets out to find him, so begins an animated tale that takes in half the ocean! Marlin and Dory are an unlikely partnership, but theirs is a journey that brings sea-life to the silver screen unlike anything else before! They ‘just keep swimming’, and Pixar just keep winning!

#7: “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988)

Hayao Mayazaki built an animation empire in the ‘80s, and this was his crowning glory! “My Neighbor Totoro” was released theatrically as part of a double bill with “Grave of the Fireflies”, but fared a little better than its brother due to its more light-hearted themes! An intensely natural picture, the plot revolves around a father, his two daughters, and the mystical ‘keeper of the forest’, Totoro. An iconic creature now synonymous with Japanese animation, Totoro’s a neighbor we all wish we had!

#6: “Aladdin” (1992)

In the 90s Disney went through a renaissance of sorts and one movie that was a part of that rebirth was “Aladdin,” which is now considered one of the company’s finest ever films! Bringing to life part of the “Arabian Nights” stories, the film follows the ambitious Aladdin, his pet monkey Abu and their quest to get noticed by the beautiful Princess Jasmine. A cave of animated wonders in itself, characters such as the Grand Vizier Jafar and the Genie voiced by Robin Williams complete an awesome Agrabah ensemble!

#5: “The Lion King” (1994)

If there’s ever been a better animated adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, we have yet to see it! Not that Elizabethan monologues were especially on our minds when we watched “The Lion King” - it was less ‘To be, or not to be’ and more ‘hakuna matata’! Another glorious group of characters is this time headed by Simba, the reluctant but rightful heir to the thrown of the Pride Lands. The complete Disney package; there’s laughter, magic and memorable music! “The Lion King” very nearly took our throne!

#4: “The Little Mermaid” (1989)

Even after the success of “The Great Mouse Detective” in 1986, Disney struggled to regain its stronghold at the cinema... But that all changed with “The Little Mermaid”! The story of Ariel and her dreams of becoming human proved a huge hit, and inspired the celebrated Disney Renaissance. Nine more films would be made in the following ten years that re-confirmed Disney as ‘the daddy’! But it all started ‘under the sea’ with a mass of marine characters that made one helluva splash! She wanted to be ‘part of our world’, and boy did she become that!

#3: “Cinderella” (1950)

An animated classic if ever there was one, “Cinderella” was actually a crucial creation for Disney! The company had not fared well during World War II, and by 1950 they were on the verge of bankruptcy. Then, along came Cindy to breathe new life into everything! A damsel in the utmost distress, Cinderella lives out her lonely existence, dreaming of ‘happily ever after...’ Once more, this is the movie that created the cliché! Often copied but never bettered, its place on the podium is beyond doubt!

#2: “Pinocchio” (1940)

If we said this wasn’t the best animated movie of its era, then we’d be lying... And then of course our nose would grow... And we don’t want that! A puppet’s dream to be a real boy is this film’s drive, but there’s more than simple hope here! It’s a coming-of-age tale, and an epic adventure as well! Alerting everyone to the Jiminy Cricket inside us all, and scaring everyone away from temptation, this is one of Disney’s defining moments!

#1: “Toy Story” (1995)

Disney’s Renaissance dominated the early ‘90s, but at the decade’s mid-point another school of thought emerged, and excited us even more! Pixar brought us “Toy Story”, the first feature-length movie to be entirely computer-animated! Quite apart from its technological prowess, however, this was also a very fine film! The eclectic characters, the A-list voice talent, the seriously snappy script... Pixar had pulled it off, big time! So endless did the possibilities seem, ‘To infinity... and beyond’ became a believable mantra! Woody and Buzz revolutionized the industry forever!

Do you agree with our list? Which animated classic did we miss? 


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