Animated movies can seem like they are made for children. After all, they are just one step away from cartoons, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. The best animated movies are those that can reach out to all the audiences. As you will see some from our list, they are definitely meant for grown ups too. Who can forget Avatar afterall?? So carefully go through our list of best animated movies and see if you have missed out on any. Sure, you will find some kid-friendly titles, but there’s so much more!

1. Coraline – one of the eerily best animated movies

The book Coraline was written by the very talented Neil Gaiman, who is the author of the well-known book and now series, American Gods. The movie made on the book is brilliant and matches the requirement perfectly. A summary of the movie would be, that 11-year-old Coraline is frustrated with her home and family – especially her family. But there is a sort of alternative universe or reality where she can have the idealized home environment. The problem? This place has really creepy, sinister secrets. Will Coraline choose this ideal version and shut her eyes against these uncomfortable aspects? Or will she choose her earlier reality? The portrayal is beautiful and it often reflects many choices we have to make as adults. The gripping tale surely deserves to thus be in the list of best animated movies of all time.

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2. Fantastic Mr. Fox

This is a 2009 movie based on a Roal Dahl book by the same name. The reason this movie is one of the best animated movies of all times is because it has messages for both younger and older audiences. For the younger ones, it’s just about Mr. Fox finding a way to live that can help his family and friends be safe. He used to be a thief earlier and returns to his old ways of being bored with his job, and pays heavily for it. In the end its all good as they find a way to outwit farmers who are out to harm Mr. Fox and his friends.

For the adults, it contains messages like – deciding between individual choices and the need to belong with loved ones. It is also about navigating the best ways to achieve our goals and also the struggle that goes into giving up bad habits.

3. Persepolis

There is a wonderful book by the same name by Marjane Satrapi. Perspeolis is one of the best animated movies because of its beautiful message. Sure, this does not look as fancy as a Disney or Pixar production, but it surely touches your heart and ignites the fire. The story follows a young girl as she grows up in the backdrop of the Iran revolution. The regime becomes stricter, more moralistic. While the movie is overtly about politics, it is also about the internal schism that you go through while you try to negotiate your independence and your inner voice. This movie is about the struggle and importance with others, but also with oneself.

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4. The Iron Giant

We have heard of Iron Man and seen the familiar face of Robert Downey Junior and his famous quirks, but what is the Iron Giant. On the surface, it is a story of friendship with a robot that had a good heart. While the police are out to capture the robot, two young kids are set on saving it. Towards the end, the robot convinces the town that he means no harm, but it might come a tad bit late. But there is still hope, as you will see in the end. Beneath the surface, however, is the reason why this is in the list of best animated movies.

The backdrop of the cold war and the robot having connections with the society missile launch makes us wonder if the underlying message was to not view everything which is different, which is foreign, with so much suspicion. Not only about international relations, but it also talks about how to deal with everyday people who might be different from us.

5. Moana

“I am Moana!”, you would have heard a cute, adorable girl say these words to the ocean. You may have seen that the ocean is friendly to this little girl. Well, what was this movie about? It was about a girl who helps her tribe to find the right way and restore nature’s balance and not try to steal from or destroy nature. This movie was an apt release in 2016, and is one of the best animated movies because of its timely message of harmony with nature and also about inspirational female leadership.

The tribe member who steals the heart of the ocean in order to give the man the power of creation is a man. The movie tries to portray that we have used enough masculine energy of destruction and creation, now it is time to use the feminine energy of restoration and exploration. A delightful movie that has the potential to touch hearts of all ages.

6. Anomalisa

Does every day and every person start to sound the same to you at times? Feel the same? Then you should definitely watch this movie for useful insights. The story follows a customer service expert for whom, everyone looks and sounds the same – even his own wife and son. He feels so alienated from people that others are just one big mass with the same face and voice. Suddenly, he meets a woman whose face is different from the rest. She has a scar on her face that she is conscious of but which he finds exhilarating. Will this be the break from the monotony that he was looking for? Or will this anomaly mean that he confront his own inner demons? To know, watch Anomalisa, one of the best animated movies made recently.

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Another beautiful movie on the metaphor of trying to capture “what is life really for and what do we want from it?” Humans in this movie are in the perfect utopia of food, least movement and full-time entertainment. Additionally yes, the desire to have a fully flourishing earth is what unites humans and robots against the dominant voice of “there’s no point” and “let’s seek comfort alone”. The voice is of course personified as an evil robot. At the heart of it, WALL-E is also a story of love and the hope that it can bring. If you watch this movie with children, to ensure that you discuss the deeper meaning of it. WALL-E is definitely a great movie and thus deserves to be on the best-animated movies list.

Now that we have covered the “off-track”, less known movies, its time to cover the popular ones. Many of these are childhood favourites and have multipart series. 
8. Finding Nemo series

Finding Nemo is one of the best-animated movies because of its focus on family and values, but more so, how change within families is not a bad thing. Nemo is a clownfish that gets lost in the Great Barrier Reef and his father is trying to find him, with the help of other fish and creatures. Some of the creatures are good and some are bad – but the idea is to just keep swimming. Finding Dory is the second part of the series. Here, Dory, an amnesiac fish, tries to find her parents with the help of Nemo and his Dad.

9. Lion King series

Another story on family, heritage and values, Lion King is a favourite of children worldwide. It is one of the best-animated movies because though it first released in 1994, ongoing interest in the film led to many movies and shows. There is Lion King 2, Lion King 1.5, and of course, the parallel story of Hakuna Matata – Timon and Pumba. In 2014, the show The Lion Guard was also released.

10. Avatar

Avatar was the much-awaited animated film by James Cameron. It is the story of Pandora, a planet humans take interest in. Initially, the protagonist starts with selfish human motives. However, as the story progresses, the nature of Navis’ helps him to get convinced that better values are needed. The film’s animation was well acclaimed and the story was beautiful too.

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11. Club Ganesha – best animated movies

Bal Ganesh and my friend Ganesha are the two films in this group. My friend Ganesha has more than one part. While Bal Ganesh is the story of Ganesha the God’s childhood, my Friend Ganesha is the story of a lonely boy whose friend is Ganesha and they go on many adventures together.  by children in India and all over the world love both these films.

12. Chota Bheem

Chhota Bheem travels to Kathmandu, Nepal in order to rescue Migo, a yeti cub. For this, he must fight the evil Snow Leopard Clan in the snow-clad mountains of Nepal and bring the cub to his father. This movie was much awaited after the daily show that is adored by all Indian Children. This is one of the best animated movies in recent times.

13. Mahabharata animated series

The story is pretty much the same – Krishna helping the Pandavas to win against the Kauravas. However, the 2013 animation of the story was by Pen India limited and was appreciated as one of the best animated movies trying to bring classical stories to young people.


Are there any other movies that we have missed that completely touched your heart? Do tell us in the comments below.

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