You’re never really too old to watch cartoons, but sadly the window of time when your kids will snuggle next to you on the couch and watch one with you is shorter than you might think. Before they move on to bigger and louder blockbusters, make sure to add these best animated movies to your to-watch list.
For most of us, animation is the first genre we are exposed to as children, our gateway into cinema that has a hand in forming our taste in movies as adults. From Disney’s decades of dominance, to the emergence of Studio Ghibli, Dreamworks, Laika and others, animation has outgrown its reputation as solely children’s entertainment and evolved into a multidiscipline art form, telling stories we hold dear for a lifetime.
Of course, there are the classic Disney and Pixar films, which come with some of the most enduring songs and characters in all of kids’ movies (animated or not). But there are also greats from smaller studios, too. Stop-motion animation, in particular, is an area with a lot of experimentation; if your kids like things to be slightly odd or creepy, the stop-motion animated films use their dollhouse qualities to tell slightly scarier stories. Or, if you’re looking for something younger ones will love, claymation studios use the round, blobby characters for funny comedies.
Here, we present what we consider the very best of the genre, something no doubt everyone with have their own version of. For this countdown, we excluded anything that wasn’t a feature film, as well as films that mix both animation and live action.
And animation is also where you can get kids to sample stories from all over the world, from Japan’s Studio Ghibli to the United Kingdom’s Aardman Animations. While the kids are swept away in the stories, you can admire the technical marvels and see how far the art form has come