Do you know what sucks about getting older? That people become assholes and some of those assholes become those people who think animated movies are for children and children alone. I find that often animated movies are far more thoughtful, original and emotionally engaging in an industry pumping out movie after movie without another thought.
10. ParaNorman (2012)
I’ve spoken about ParaNorman before and I’m about to do it again. If you haven’t watched this yet, I highly recommend. It is quite the standard coming of age outsider story underneath it all. What makes it great behind everything immediate is the heart behind it. I don’t know if this completely holds true but to my immediate recollection, every stop-motion animation I’ve seen has always been of quality. It’s such a long meticulous process that if the production crew isn’t fully in it, what’s the point?
9. Mulan (1998)
How can you not love Mulan? I feel this was the first step for many little girls towards feminism or at least girl power. I might have not had the words for it back then but seeing a girl let alone a Disney girl take charge of her own destiny and not needing a man, it triggered these new feelings and new thoughts of what exactly you’re capable of.
Reflection and I’ll Make A Man Out Of You are iconic as well.
8. Aladdin (1992)
So Aladdin has given me one of my favourite Disney songs of all time. It could be literally any song in this movie but because I’m not like most girls and whatever the fuck else… I love One Jump Ahead. It’s such a big theatrical song and the storytelling and the manic pace of it and you fully get who Aladdin is in one song.
Abu is one of the best animal sidekicks in the history of animal sidekicks. Jasmine lives in the same realm of Mulan. Girls with their own agency are appreciated. Who knew? Jafar is a great villain and has a good motive behind his actions which I sometimes find Disney villains lack. And Aladdin, himself, is my favourite Disney boy.
Don’t worry what they say, McLovin’. Looking like Aladdin in a vest isn’t an insult in the least.
7. Beauty And The Beast (1991)
What do I even say about Beauty And The Beast that hasn’t already been said? Growing up, Belle was my favourite Disney princess. I will fight anyone who argues the Stockholm Syndrome thing for Belle. Did we not watch the same movie? If anything, Beast fell victim to Belle’s warmth and charm despite him being an asshole.
The songs are iconic. Belle’s yellow dress is THE dress. Gaston has a boss villain song. This was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture. It was released in my birthday. Beauty And The Beast is just excellent.
I truly believed this movie stemmed one of the traits that defines the very fabric of me. I’m a very obsessive person. I’ll research something to no end and will have to find all the information I can obtain. So when I saw this movie, I was immediately taken with the story, the songs and very much Anastasia as a whole. When I found out this was based around a true story, my whole brain exploded. One of my favourite places when I was a child was the library so you could imagine I got my mom to take me there immediately and I got every book available on Princess Anastasia. I even went to the regular section of the library and not just the kid’s section upstairs. Let me tell you…it was intense.
Anastasia obviously takes a lot of liberties with the story. The real Anastasia was actually found in an unmarked grave and Anna Anderson was a very convincing con women. I’d like to think the story actually was more like the movie to be honest. The music had no right to be as good as it was. Once Upon A December is one of the most enchanting and inspired musical numbers in any animated movie. Meg Ryan and John Cusack are the leads. How could you possibly go wrong? YOU CAN’T!
5. Tangled (2010)
For Tangled not to be in my top five would be a crime against myself. Mandy Moore is the voice of Rapunzel and with that, it’s already one of my favourites. Like every little girl, I wanted to be a Disney Princess. When it was announced Mandy would be one, it felt like the closest I’d ever get. People have posed the question to me of ‘would I still like Tangled as much without Mandy as the lead?’ And frankly, I don’t want to even think about a timeline where she wasn’t. And Tangled is one of the best Disney movies in my humble yet correct opinion.
I don’t know how much Mandy inspired the song of the music but the guitar based more folky style of the music is very on brand for her. It also brought something fresh and new to the Disney animated movie. No character in this movie from Rapunzel to even the Stabbington brothers feel lacking in anything. I just really love Tangled. Rapunzel coming into her own, she and Flynn both saved each other and Rapunzel going in for the kiss first. That’s some good shit right there.
4. Wall-E (2008)
Wall-E is truly a stunning feat in the Pixar world. Visually, it’s a no brainer. Just look at the image above if you don’t understand. Pixar has been known to emotionally destroy the most put together adults in the world. But to do so with robots who are more human than the humans in the film and hardly any dialogue until mid-way through the film is remarkable. I remember immediately being charmed by Wall-E and his journey in finding love and purpose all while keeping a childlike wonder to the world. This movie just makes me feel good while also being a warning to how consumerism could destroy us…that is if we don’t destroy ourselves first. ….Yup…
3. The Adventures Of Tintin (2011)
I’ve already spoke of this movie too many times on this site. I don’t know how to reiterate how much I love this movie and how much I’m waiting for a sequel that I still have blind hope for. Deep down, I’m sure it’s not going to happen but I’ll still carry hope. The animation of his is absolutely insane. I still think it’s some of the best animation I’ve seen. You can see the pores of character’s faces and all the thread work on clothing. It’s stupid. It’s also simply a good adventure movie if you take out the animation aspect of it. God. I can’t stop gushing over this movie. It’s just… perfection.
2. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Hands down. My favourite Disney movie ever. No questions about it. Lilo & Stitch is that bitch, will forever be that bitch. It has my favourite story arc of an outsider character finding their place in the world with the insertion of a misunderstood character in their lives. As well, I can’t not talk about Nani and how incredible of a character she is. The love of family and more specifically sisters in this makes me want to go Frozen who? How much attention Frozen got over being about sisterly love over romantic love infuriated me so much when Lilo & Stitch is literally right there! This movie will never not make me sob and never not fill me with such warmth and love.
1. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
And this is no surprise if you’ve read my Kiki article I’ve posted before. Kiki’s Delivery Service left such a mark on me as a child. Seeing it at a young age was a game changer for me and how I viewed myself and the world around me. While the message take affect until my later teens, the notion that you are your greatest enemy and you have everything within yourself to succeed and also fail is so powerful. Kiki is such a relatable character that she makes bad choices, she’s not always happy and she’s simply a young girl trying.
I can’t recommend this movie enough to people and actually any movie on this list.
Enjoy animated movies. They’re made for everyone. The effort behind them and the grand production put into each one is more than deserving of your time and validation.