Top 10 Favorite Animated Films

I love animated films. All that is required for you to enjoy this post is that you love them, too.

If, on the other hand, you think that animated films are for kids only, or that you’re above watching anything that resembles a cartoon – well, in that case, I have two things to say to you: go away. You may think you’re acting very “adult” (or some such rot), but as Lewis so glibly put it: “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Lastly, I should add that this is not a list of the Greatest Animated Films of All-Time (though I think many of the ones mentioned here would make such a list); it is simply a collection of my personal favorites – the ones that are nearest and dearest to my heart, brain, and funny-bone.

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
That’s right: the number one spot goes to Monsters, Inc. And if you haven’t at least seen it, you have no business calling yourself a cinephile. Pixar has given us a vast array of superb films, but for me, this one is the cream of the crop. The story, the characters, the script, the “monstrous” animation – it all works. Perfectly. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Mike’s line: “Sulley, put that Thing back where it came from, or so help me…”

The Incredibles (2004)
Sleek artwork. Remarkable voice-acting. Slam-bang action. Brilliant script. Unforgettable characters. Thrilling storyline. Great message. All this to say, The Incredibles is incredible. In the words of R.L. Shaffer, it’s “a sharp, even amusing, homage to comic book lore, a great family-friendly action-comedy, and a thoughtful marital drama all wrapped up in a deliciously exciting package.”

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Simply terrific. It has an absorbing plot, an impressive cast, smart pulp writing, and consistently impressive action – all of which make it one of the finest examples of comic book filmmaking I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. What really makes it stand out, however, is the emotion and thematic depth of the storytelling. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Just remember one thing: while most of the films listed here are appropriate for all ages, this one is emphatically not. It’s grim, sobering, and loaded with considerable amounts of violence (including a murder which will make even the most hardened viewer cringe). Taking that into account, older fans will find Under the Red Hood well worth their time and consideration.

Toy Story 3 (2010)
The final installment of the Toy Story series is undoubtedly the best – leave it to good ol’ Pixar to craft one of the finest, most memorable threequels of all time. Even now, I can’t quite get over how awesome it is: the story, the art, the cast, everything. And the ending… wow. Just wow. I echo the words of an anonymous wise-man who had this to say: “You think Titanic was sad? Try watching the ending of Toy Story 3.”

Despicable Me (2010)
This is a slapstick comedy featuring some of the most hilarious characters ever conceived. Those who watch it are pretty much guaranteed an hour and a half of pure, unadulterated, side-splitting fun. Carell and Segal are delightful as the villainous rivals, and the animation – full of odd shapes and settings – fits the story and offers plenty of visual appeal. Plus, the script is simply loaded with awesomeness: “We stole the Statue of Liberty… the small one from Las Vegas.”

WALL-E (2008)
Filled with visual razzle-dazzle, sophisticated storytelling, and charming characters, WALL-E is yet another stunning example of Pixar’s artfulness and ingenuity in the realm of filmmaking. It’s unfortunate, then, that it’s also severely misunderstood. Contrary to popular opinion, WALL-E is not a commentary on environmentalism or obesity; anyone who thinks that it is ought to do some serious re-watching, because they’ve missed the point entirely. This is a movie about relationships. No technology, no matter how advanced, can ever replace the need for love and interaction between human beings. In an age overrun by gadgets and mechanical wizardry, that’s a message we need to hear. Our world isn’t so different from WALL-E’s, after all.

Up (2009)
A masterpiece. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer. This critic says it best: “At a time when too many animated films consist of anthropomorphized animals cracking sitcom one-liners and flatulence jokes, the warmth, originality, humor, and unflagging imagination of Up feel as welcome as rain in a desert.”

Megamind (2010)
Quirky to the core, and laced with ironic asides and clever jabs at the superhero genre Ferrell is pitch perfect as the bored-to-death super villain, and Pitt lends a fair share of humor to the film as Metro Man. I was also pleasantly surprised by how little of the funny stuff relied on innuendo or bodily functions – a quality that’s pretty rare in family comedies these days.

Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (1993)
“They’re techno-trousers, ex-NASA, fantastic for walkies!” Did you honestly expect to read this list and not find at least one Aardman film? How naive. Out of all the W&G films, this one is my favorite: A Grand Day Out and A Close Shave are both excellent, but The Wrong Trousers takes the cake for inventiveness, humor, and storytelling excellence. It also offers an enlightening look at the true nature of penguins. You’ll never look at those flightless, black-and-white birds the same way again. I guarantee it.

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs takes some significant liberties with the original short story – and succeeds in every way possible. It’s funny and it’s strange – very strange, but in a good way. And watch out: when the food begins to fall, you just might feel the urge to snack. No joke. I’m dead serious about that. Speaking from experience, you see.

Now what about you? Leave a comment (or two, or three) and share your favorite animated films with the rest of us!

27 thoughts on “Top 10 Favorite Animated Films”

  1. Interesting list, I like your choice of Megamind, was very underrated. The hilarious references to the classic Superman movie and other comic book were great. :D
    Although I’m not the biggest fan of Pixar’s films. I love 2D animation, especially TV series, like Batman: The Animated Series, Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Avengers ect. and 2D animated movies.
    Here is my list using my Flickchart account.
    1: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
    2: Rango
    3: The Incredibles
    4: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    5: Hulk Vs.
    6: Planet Hulk
    7: Megamind
    8: Ultimate Avengers
    9: Ultimate Avengers 2
    10: Green Lantern: First Flight

    I’ve added Under the Red Hood to my Blu-Ray rental list after reading your review. :) Really looking forward to seeing it.


    1. EDIT: Oh, I completely forgot, my favorite animated TV series is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was a lot better than The Clone Wars movie and currently my favorite TV series in general. Also the 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars miniseries was awesome too, it is like a 2 hour movie. Sorry for the long comment again. :/


  2. I love cartoons! I have two whole shelves of them. I also love any movie having to do with superheroes or star wars or sci-fi “spacey” stuff! :]

  3. I adore animated movies. Animation as an art fascinates me, but I also just love the stories that are generally found in animated movies. 75% of what I watch & own is animated. Do I get the InkSlinger stamp of approval for that? :D

    I am incredibly pleased to see Toy Story 3, Wall-E, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on here. Those are some of my all-time favorites, as well as some of the all-time best animated movies, in my opinion. Almost anything Pixar is good, of course, and I liked Megamind although it’s not my favorite of Dreamworks. The minions were darling in Despicable Me. :D

    Aside from that, some of my personal animated favorites are How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda 2, and, from the 2D world, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Oh, and Tangled is gorgeous, in terms of art anyways. Do you watch much 2D? I’ve been revisiting a lot of the classics lately.

    1. The simplicity of 2D is often refreshing to watch, especially in this age of 3D/4D overkill. Under the Red Hood is 2D (and totally awesome), and so is The Iron Giant (also awesome). So yeah, I watch 2D – I just wish sometimes that there was more of it. :)

  4. Love the list! Incredibles (a sentimental favorite) was the first animated movie I watched and thought. “Hey, this isn’t just for kids!”. The first ten minutes of Up is some of the finest storytelling ever, animated or not. And Megamind is by far my favorite, if for nothing else than, “Oh, you’re a villain alright. Just not a super one.” “Whats the difference?” “PRESENTATION!!”

  5. I’m not sure I could compile such a list…there are so many good animated films! I have to mention a few of the 90s Disney classics, namely Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. I’m appalled that no one has mentioned The Iron Giant, though!

    1. Y’know, I watched The Iron Giant years ago; I remember liking it, but I think I’d have more of an appreciation for it now that I’m older (strange, but true). I’ll have to re-watch it sometime soon.

  6. Am I revealing my age by saying I cannot believe there is Favorite Animated Film list that does not include The Emperor’s New Groove????

  7. I think I was just as excited as my children (or more?) to see a good animated movie. Some of my favorites were the Land Before Time, The Lion King, all the Toy Story films, and my all time favorite is Up. Fun post – thanks!

    1. I admit it: I got more than a little misty-eyed during Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 3, and (especially) Up. The first ten minutes of the latter is one of the sweetest love stories ever written for film.

  8. Dear Ink Slinger,

    Thanks for taking the time to give those of us who are “cinematically challenged” a couple movies worth watching:)

    “Monsters Inc”. was probably our family favorite too! We also dearly loved “Toy Story 1 and 2. I should probably not admit to liking Shrek, but I did… Very excited to watch “Up” and “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”.

    Blessings to you and your precious family, charisse

    1. ‘Tis a pleasure to share my love of movies with others. :) If you liked Monster, Inc., I guarantee you’ll like Up. So good. I haven’t seen Shrek… maybe one to add to the NF queue.

  9. Haven’t seen everything you’ve got here.

    Perhaps the best-done part of Up is the love story at the beginning. Tears your heart out. We went to wedding and that music was played for the first waltz, bride and groom. I had to go off into a corner and tear up a little bit.


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