The Best Animated Movies Of All-Time

Film roll
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

When Walt Disney released Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs in 1937, history was made, and after a number of hugely successful animated shorts, he released his first animated feature film.

Long after Walt Disney's passing, his studio would go on to make history once again, when Beauty and the Beast became the first animated feature film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

It should be noted, however, that Snow White is frequently incorrectly labeled as the first feature-length animated film.

That distinction, in fact, belongs to Quirino Cristiani and Federico Valle's El Apostol's, a forgotten satire of the Argentine government. The only known copy was destroyed in 1928.

Even so, it goes to show that while Disney is often synonymous with animated films, they are not the last word on the genre.

Dreamworks, Aardman, Studio Ghibli and others have created dazzling masterpieces as good or better as anything the house of mouse ever created.


Redditor idkigiveup was eager to hear what people considered to be the greatest animated film of all time, leading them to ask:
"What is the best animated movie and why?"

Haunting, Disturbing and Magnificent.

"Paprika."

"Some clever editing technique outlined in this wonderful video essay."- OldTangerine

Have The Tissues Ready

"Grave of the Fireflies."

"Never would have thought that an animated movie could make me cry like a little b*tch."- ballislyfeee

An Epic Masterpiece

"Not sure if anyone’s said this, but 'The Last Unicorn'."

"Everything from the animation to the characters is stellar, and I don’t think I’ve ever watched an animated movie that’s made me feel the same way as 'The Last Unicorn' does."- doodlerooniee

the last unicorn GIFGiphy

The Magnificent Worlds of Miyazaki

"'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind' for me."

"The intricacy of Miyazaki's worlds is always fascinating, and I just love Nausicaa herself so much."

"As well as the tightly constructed plot, the majesty of the Ohmu."

"Such a great movie."- Temmere

An Undervalued Disney Gem

"'Meet the Robinsons', Disney movie."

"I fell in love with it as a child."

"I have been ridiculously depressed lately and I was going to watch something else on Netflix but saw they had it on here and immediately started crying so I put it on."

"Cried throughout the entire thing."

"Just before I was about to quit on myself entirely, that movie told me to KEEP MOVING FORWARD."

"'You learn from mistakes, successes... Ehhh not so much'."

"Was a great reminder and definitely a favorite."- lilskizzard

Can't Pick Just One...

"I have a few."

"'Your Name' is a fantastic piece of art - visually breathtaking."

"'Song of the Sea' is another gorgeous animated piece: purely magical story rooted in Irish mythology."

"The art style is a little different and beautiful, and the sound design is also fantastic."

"'The Breadwinner' is another example of beautiful storytelling filled with empathic characters and realism, telling a difficult story through the eyes of a child."

"All three of these are kind of 'mood movies' for me, for when I want to feel extra emotional."- theScribblerBirdie

song of the sea animation GIF by Coolidge Corner TheatreGiphy

To Call It A Work Of Art Would Be An Understatement

"'Loving Vincent' is the first, and to my knowledge only, full-length film where every frame is an oil painting."

"It's about a guy who goes to the town in Southern France where Vincent van Gogh was living and tries to figure out how he died."

"Amazing movie all around."

"I'm pretty sure that counts as animation."- nicethingscostmoney

Lost City Come To Life

"Definitely 'The Road To El Dorado'."

"Visually beautiful, music by Elton John, funny."

" I could rewatch that movie so many times."- warr1or6

Little Foot's Mom Though...

"'The Land Before Time'."

"It was the fist time that a movie made me feel so many emotions that I couldn't place at my young age, and watching little foot cope with his mother's death was devastating."

"I watched it last year when it was on Netflix, still cried."- OriginalReach

the land before time dinosaur GIFGiphy

The Music, Oh The Music!

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say 'Triplets of Belleville'."

"If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and go watch it."- Malvagio

It's easy to dismiss animated films as "cartoons", strictly intended for children.

Those who do, however, are grossly underestimating how much animation can add to a story.

Leaving images in your mind that you will likely never forget for as long as you live, and often hitting at your emotions in ways you never thought possible.

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