At one point or another, we have all lost ourselves in the world of animation. Storytelling through animation brings endless possibilities for creators to explore and execute their imagination. With a creative mix of compelling visuals and interesting storylines, animated movies can captivate the viewers, no matter their age.
Animated movies are delightful to watch, plus they tend to contain a philosophical take on the world. And while the characters in most animated movies are amusing for the younger audience, certain references or nuances can only be perceived by adults. Gone are the days when animation was primarily used as a medium for children’s entertainment. The universal sense of humor and nostalgia in animated movies can bring joy even to adults. A lot of animated movies use the light-hearted approach of animation as a medium to portray and convey deeper meanings that older audiences can appreciate.
And if you didn’t know, anime is also animation. Anime movies are influenced by Japanese culture, art, and history and have distinct artwork and themes. You can check out this separate blog on Anime movies worth watching for a list of some of the best anime movies of all time.
Animated movies make room for using undertones and subtexts as well as for subtle or exaggerated cues through animation techniques. A character need not speak anything upfront. It can simply be animated to show emotions that are easily relatable to the viewers.
Here are some of the best animated movies ever that will crack you up, entertain you, feel heartwarming, give uplifting messages, teach various life lessons, and leave you something to think over and feel while watching them by yourself or with family and friends. Yes, these amazing animated movies are for all ages—check it out!
1. Inside out (2015)
‘Inside Out’ is about five personified emotions inside the mind of a young girl and how she reacts to various difficult changes in her life. It feels like a bittersweet story about growing up that can take the viewers along on a journey full of emotions. This movie shows us all how to befriend our emotions of joy, sadness, fear, disgust, and anger. And the movie deserves applause for its creativity and execution! It is a must-watch for people of all ages!
2. Up (2009)
This 2009 Academy Award-winning movie is a story about an old widower who gets off his lonely life and embarks on an adventure to fulfill a lifelong dream. It is also a story of an unlikely friendship between a little boy and an old man with a house tied-up with thousands of balloons. ‘Up,’ an eye-popping animated movie, with its magical and emotional storyline, has been an inspiration for many movie-makers and is a delight for children and adults.
3. Toy Story 1-4 (1995-2019)
The Toy Story movie franchise is an action-comedy about the secret life of children’s toys. The franchise features a gripping drama with a bunch of interesting toy characters and hero figures, which is fun to watch for kids as well as their parents and adults. The colorful visuals and detailed animation illustrating the adventures and exciting journey of toys is a total entertainer.
4. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
This well-executed animated movie is much more than a kid and his pet story—it’s about a young Viking teen trying to find himself and prove his worth. While on his quest to feel accepted by his clan by being a dragon slayer, young Hiccup ends up befriending the dragon he captured. This adventure comedy looks colorful and has different types of dragons marvelously designed. Behold the dragon fighting sequences and witness the sweet friendship between a young kid and his dragon. Family values, traditions, cooperation, teamwork, friendships, and various emotions are also beautifully woven within the storyline.
5. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
The storyline of this comedy-drama is based on monsters powering their world with the screams of human children. However, the monsters in the movie aren’t really scary. In fact, they are vibrant and adorable. Their lives turn upside down when a human girl finds out about the monster world. Apart from the fantastic character design, this movie is not only an entertainer for people of all ages—it is packed with life lessons and relationship dynamics that can keep your mind hooked and make you contemplate.
6. Frozen 1-2 (2013-2019)
The movie Frozen and its sequel can take the viewers on a magical adventure of self-discovery and love. The adventure starts when Snow Queen Elsa accidentally uses her magical power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, taking us all on an emotionally gripping drama. Apart from being visually stunning, this soulful drama has catchy songs like “Let it Go” and “For the first time in forever.” Both princesses, Queen Elsa and her sister Anna, are magnificent and full of character, but it is impossible not to love the cute and humorous snowman, Olaf!
7. Kung Fu Panda Film series (2008-2016)
The Kung Fu Panda movie franchise is one of the most entertaining action comedies. The lovably optimistic and funny lead character Po (the Panda) dreams of becoming a Kung Fu legend and is chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy and defend the Valley from evil. The franchise has various memorable characters, superb voice acting, and stunning cinematography. The feel-good storyline with lots of drama, clever humor, and great action is fun for children, friends, and family. The series teaches us to accept the past, live in the present, and not stress about the future. It makes one realize that nobody is ordinary—the real power lies within each one of us.
8. Wreck-it Ralph & Ralph Breaks the Internet (2012 & 2018)
The soft-hearted villain of an arcade game is tired of playing the bad guy and wishes to break free to become a video game hero. Get ready to embark on this animated adventure of fictional game characters along with a storyline that conveys heartwarming messages on friendship, selflessness, and love. While the first part is based on arcade games, the plot for the second part is adapted to modern-day internet culture, where the characters face challenges to save themselves and the arcade. All in all, Wreck-it Ralph and its sequel are feel-good movies for the entire family.
9. The Incredibles 1-2 (2004-2018)
This underrated superhero flick franchise focuses on a family of superheroes juggling their superpowers while saving the world from worldwide threats. This incredible superhero family tries to fit into a normal world and be their true selves, all while learning how to work together as a family. Incredible characterization, incredible action sequences, incredible funny moments, and music score—all in all, it’s a very artistic masterpiece!
10. Finding Nemo (2003)
Sail through the underwater adventures of a clownfish named Nemo, his father Marlin, and a regal blue amnestic fish named Dory. This iconic animated movie is highly appreciated for marvelously animating water and life under the ocean. Children, as well as adults, can be inspired by Nemo’s bravery, Dory’s friendship and perseverance, and Marlin’s ability to overcome his fear and stay persistent. With a lot more lessons for kids and their parents, and all the fun adventures the movie takes us through, Finding Nemo is an all-embracing movie. And the most significant lesson of all is—never give up!Need more? Sure you do! With such beautiful storylines and artistic creations over the years, the list for best animated movies is definitely never-ending. You can check out this extensive list of top 100 animation movies worth watching.