The Top 10 Animated Films!

10. Watership Down

This haunting and mythical tale of a group of rabbits searching for safety is an understated classic. Released in 1978 this British animation remains unique in its sophistication and refusal to shy away from dealing with the dark subject matter of death.


9. Akira

Akira is a stylized Japanese animation widely regarded as a major influence on the subsequent style of later anime.

Akira is the tale of two bikers Tetsuo and Kaneda. The former has developed potentially devastating psychic powers and while he attempts to locate the legendary titular character, Akira, who possessed similar capabilities others including Kaneda work to stop him.

The film was released in the late 80s and kicked off the anime craze that we see today.


8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit may seem rather old hat now but the blending of live action and animation blew the minds of both critics and audiences back in 1988.

The movie is reminiscent of the film noir genre, with Bob Hoskins playing a tired detective who investigates the framing of cartoon character Roger Rabbit in the death of a prominent businessman.

Littered with memorable characters Who Framed Roger Rabbit probably gave us the sexiest animated cartoon ever drawn; Jessica Rabbit.


7. Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas lets loose the director’s famed imagination although the film itself is actually directed by Henry Selick.

Jack Skellington, the leader of Halloween town has an idea to take over Christmas having grown tired of Halloween and in his attempts to usurp Santa Claus he unsurprisingly causes mayhem and unhappiness before coming to his senses.

Hailed for its originality and score, the 74 minute film has become an animation classic.


6. The Jungle Book

The Jungle book is undoubtedly one of Disney’s finest adaptations.

Rudyard Kipling’s tale of Mowgli, an orphaned child raised by wolves who has to escape the man eating tiger Shere Khan with the help of friends Bagheera and Baloo captured the imagination of all who saw it and garnered almost universal praise.

Hon. Mention; The Lion King. This other Disney classic has very similar themes to The Jungle Book; it is also essentially a coming of age story told with similar humour and boasts its own stellar soundtrack.


5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a landmark film; the first full length animated feature film in history, the first made in full colour and the first of the Disney animated classics legacy. This is the film that began our love affair with animation.

The film was Walt Disney’s vision, he had to mortgage his house to finance the film which cost almost $1.5 million to astronomical sum in those day.

But his steadfast belief paid off, upon its release the film was a hit and was immediately recognized for its significance. The film ran and ran in theatres, earning over $8 million at the international box office and winning an Academy Honorary Award.


4. Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast marked another step forward in animation. Using new technology, traditional hand drawn images and computer generated animation were blended together seamlessly to produce spectacular colours and depth, which is most obviously illustrated in the celebrated ballroom sequence.

Beauty and the Beast was the first ever animated feature to be nominated for a Best Picture award at the Oscars and was a significant commercial and critical success for Disney.


3. Up

There is a lot to be said for a film that can move audiences to tears within the first 10 minutes.

Up is the story of grumpy widower Carl Fredricksen and his unlikely friendship with young boy scout Russell.

The film deals with the subject of loss and loneliness with nuanced sympathy. The tale is in fact a very grown up story set amongst flying balloon houses and mysterious giant birds. The film’s emotional crux ensured that audiences and critics responded positively to it and it became the second animated film in history to be nominated for the Best Picture Award at the Academy Awards.


2. Spirited Away

Spirited Away is Japanese animation at its best and comes from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

Western audiences having recently grown tired of the accomplished yet borderline ubiquitous work of Pixar and Dreamworks have discovered Studio Ghibli which has produced other classics such as Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Spirited Away is the story of 10 year old Chihiro Ogino who finds herself trapped in a spirit world where her beloved parents have been turned into pigs by the evil Yubaba. Chihiro must find a way out of this world with the help of a dragon boy called Haku.

Spirited Away uses minimal computer technology and harks back to the golden age of animation. That along with the original stories has ensured that Japanese animation has became a staple of the film lover’s diet.


1. Toy Story 3

And finally we come to the third ever animated feature film to be nominated for a Best Picture gong at the Academy Awards; Toy Story 3.

In the movie we catch up again with cowboy Woody, his best friend Buzz Lightyear and their gang of friends as they deal with the consequences of their owner, Andy, growing up.

As always Toy Story is about friendship and in this third installment Pixar outdid themselves as they said good bye to the franchise.

One particular scene near the end of the movie where the friends link hands moved even the most hard hearted of critics.

The movie became the first ever animated film in history to make over $1 billion worldwide and is one of the highest grossing films of all time.

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