My Top 10 Best Animated Films

The weather in Melbourne has been just horrendous this week – Tuesday to Friday we had temperatures over 40C (110F) and it was just too hot to do anything. Cabin fever set in as I won’t let the kids play outside in the heat. It’s just too dangerous. So we watched a lot of movies. And it got me thinking. What makes a great kids film? Or more to the point, what makes a great family film – one that everyone enjoys?

There does seem to be a magic formula with animated films and only few have really hit the mark. I’ve also noticed that in recent years there is such a huge volume of animated films being released that the quality has dropped and only one or two a year are actually any good. So here is my top ten list. Purely opinion based on animated films I’ve seen. These are not in any particular order because I found it too hard to rank them.

Rio – story about two blue macaws and their adventures trying to avoid bird smugglers in Brazil. Great music, lots of hilarious support characters. Awesome soundtrack too.

Finding Nemo – no explanation required, I’m sure you’ve seen it. Fingers crossed Finding Dory (to be released in 2016) will be just as good.

Robin Hood – 1973 Disney animated film. This one is a huge favourite from my childhood and it’s still great today. Sure, the animation isn’t as slick as all the CGI stuff these days, but it’s hilariously funny and my siblings and I still quote lines from it.

Epic – Anna and I saw this in 3D last year after getting some free tickets. It was such a sweet movie, good story line, and I liked that it was very gender neutral. Both boys and girls alike would love it.

The Princess and the Frog – This one didn’t seem to be one of Disney’s more popular princess films, but I thought it was brilliant. Mainly because the main character, Tiana, was a pretty kick ass chick who was doing things her way and not waiting around for Prince Charming like so many of the other princesses do. I also loved the New Orleans / Louisiana setting. The voodoo scenes might be a little bit scary for little ones.

Tangled -I have really fond memories of this one because it was the first film I ever took Anna to. I was about 39 weeks pregnant with Lucy and I just needed to get out of the house, so we went out for lunch and saw Tangled at the cinema. It was a really special day, and the movie was brilliant. Anna was almost 2 1/2 and had never been to the cinema before, so her excitement and wonder at the whole experience was fun to share with her.

The Lion King – this was released when I was 14, so I was past kid films but this one was never really a kids film and I loved it. Everyone loved it – it was such a blockbuster. This film was a turning point for animated films I think, production companies became a lot more serious them. My girls love it and watch it regularly. Such an awesome cast too – James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane.

Shrek – that lovable ogre and the fairytale creatures. This movie put such a great spin of a lot of well known stories. I must say though, the original was the best, they overdid it with the subsequent films. (Although I do love Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots.)

Monsters Inc. – Anna watches it reluctantly because it scares her. It’s Lucy’s favourite film. That pretty much sums up my kids personalities perfectly! Mike & Sully, best bromance ever.

Ratatouille – the french rat who becomes a famous chef. Such a great film, I LOVE this one, but I do find my kids aren’t so interested. I almost think this one is more enjoyable for adults than kids.

So that’s my ten. And yes, I haven’t included Toy Story or it’s sequels. Sorry, but I just never connected with it. Weird, I know, but that’s just how it is. Despite not making my ten, I also have very soft spots for The Incredibles, Fantasia and The Rescuers (saw it at the movies when I was 7. I remember eating Jaffas during intermission!) I saw Frozen a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed that too.

And now over to you – tell me your favourites! Or your child’s favourites – don’t you find they get really obsessed with particular films? Lucky I like The Princess and the Frog, because we watched it so much about two years ago that I can recite it, line for line.

Did I miss any films that you think I should give another viewing?

18 thoughts on “My Top 10 Best Animated Films

    1. We haven't really given any of those movies a try, although I think Anna has watched Madagascar at a friend's place and she really loved it. I'll add them all to my list of movies to watch next time we have a crazy heat wave!

  1. Cars has been the first feature length anything my just-turned-2-year-old has watched. Sorting through my collection, I found it really hard to find an appropriate movie for him, especially seeing as I don't particularly want him to watch any where there's an 'evil' character who wants another one to die or be destroyed or to disappear, etc. Cars has the super competitive green car but no-one inherently evil, which makes me like it.

    I personally have a soft spot for Brave, although I'm a little miffed that she's been neatened and straightened and made curvy to join the Disney princess ranks (blerg!).

    And Up. But the first 20 minutes of that make me howl like a baby.

    1. I know what you mean about the 'evil' characters – some of the old Disney movies are quite scary for little ones, like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. I'm sure Lucy would really like Cars so I'll have to get it for her.

      I agree about Brave! I really loved that movie, although I felt it was for a slightly older audience than my girls. It's a real shame they modified her look 🙁

      I haven't seen Up, I'll add it to my list.

    1. The Croods – I saw it on the plane recently. I didn't love it, but watching anything on the plane is hard work on those tiny screens! I might have to give it another go 🙂

  2. My older son (now 5) only really watched Winnie the Pooh (the original movies not the new modern cartoon version) till recently. He still loves watching those and has only a few other favourties that he will watch. He loves the Gruffalow and The Gruddalow's child (both short), Robots and Monster's Inc. And that's about it. We've tried lots of other animated movies but we usually get about 10 miutes in and he decides he doesn't like it and won't watch it. My two year old however will watch pretty much anything. If he's let.

    1. Paula they are funny with their attention spans! My eldest will happily sit and watch a whole film but my youngest rarely does, she'll wander off and start colouring or playing with something else after 15 minutes!

  3. We used to watch a section of Finding Nemo every night while my oldest (then 2) had his milk before bed. We'd watch the entire movie through in about a week. Cars and Ice Age are big hits here. Lion King came out while I was in high school. Three friends and I dragged our boyfriends, who thought they were too cool for a 'cartoon'. I remember one of the other boyfriends being amazed with just the opening. All of us loved it.

    1. Haha love that story about taking your boyfriend to the Lion King!

      My girls love Ice Age but I've not really got into it. I've never seen Cars all the way through but I know it's a huge favourite, especially with boys. In this female dominated household my girls always seem to gravitate to the Princess films!

  4. I think I have watched Robin Hood over 100 times, I love animated movies, the toy story trilogy are my favourite Madeleine loved Epic, max loves Turbo, but my older boys watched Toy Story so many times I think I know it by heart (the first 2) were also very fond of the minions. I have to say the best part of having little ones the second time around is watching all those movies again. Thank goodness for the cool change I couldn't take one more day!

    1. Oh me either, the heat was just so draining! I am still tired 😉 I haven't seen Turbo or the Despicable Me films, will definitely check them out!

  5. My 2 favorite movies from my childhood are The Last Unicorn and The Secret of Nimh.
    They both scared the heck out of me as a kid but I was in love with them and would watch them over and over again.

  6. Hi, Just found your blog. Love your work.
    I also live in Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula and hated last weeks heat wave! I have five kids grown up a bit now ranging in ages 21 down to 14. I had a massive disney video library (back then no Cd players) and the kids still have their favs from childhood. Toy story was huge in our house and I have to say my all time favourite followed closely by Shrek! My oldest was obsessed with beauty and the beast and Lion King. She pretended to be a lion sooo much I was afraid her hands would be permanently frozen in the claw position. She at 21 still has disney songs in itunes! My little girls ( four out of my five ) also loved little mermaid 🙂 I am a recent quiltaholic so will be watching your blogg. Enjoy the rest of the holidays before the kinda runs start up again. My third goes for her licence tomorrow so mine are all pretty self sufficient now Yay!

  7. I enjoyed Shrek, Beauty & the Beast, Cars, Puss in Boots, all the VeggieTales, The Lion King, and some of the older Dr Seuss ones. I don't have any little ones around anymore, but there's no age limit on enjoying animated, right?!

  8. I always want to watch Ratatouille but my kids don't want to watch it either. Big fan of Monster in Paris at the moment and of course the Despicable Me's.

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