Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Animated Movie?

Watching and reviewing “The Lorax” this weekend got me to thinking about animated movies. There were a couple of commenters and a few other bloggers debate whether or not the film would be enjoyable for adults.

So it got me thinking about animated movies, and here we are. I have no qualms over enjoying animated fare just like every other type of film. The fact that they’re accessible to children doesn’t mean that they’re inaccessible to adults! I enjoy the colorful visuals and the fun stories, the in-jokes and the morals… all of it.

What are YOUR favorite animated movies? If you’ve grown out of them as an adult, that’s ok, you probably had one or two from when you’re a kid, right? Or perhaps now you have children of your own and can enjoy the fact that they enjoy them so much. Regardless, I think one way or another, everyone can get excited about animated movies. Feature length cartoons….

And I want to know what YOUR favorites are! Let me hear them! :D

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154 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Animated Movie?

  1. I have to say, it would be Cars. This is one of those cases where the movie experience is more meaningful than the actual film. Prior to that my son, who was like four at the time got scared at the movies. This was the first time he wasn’t and it was the first film he truly enjoyed. That was it for me. That being said, it was a very good film and had lots of “inside” jokes for the parents in that modern animated film way…Carlin as the VW micro bus, etc. Great film and a great movie experience for me and my boy.

    • Really! Wow. That’s cool. I definitely like that flick a lot, but typically its considered one of the “Lesser Pixars” ( Of course, an enjoyable day with your boy can change all of that.)

      So you’re now officially the biggest Cars fan I know. :D Ka-Chow!

      Did you see the travesty that was Cars 2? Wondering what your thoughts are on that one…

    • Three good ones. How to Train Your Dragon came out of nowhere for me. I didnt expect that at all. It was some seriously awesome stuff though, wasnt it? There’s a sequel on the way too supposedly, so we’ll see if it can maintain the quality level.

  2. Going old school, I would have to say Disney’s Robin Hood (1973); it’s a well done, drawn cartoon, and stands the test of time. This can’t really take anything away from the numerous Pixar contributions in the last decade; my favorite of theirs is Ratatouille.

  3. I would second Disney’s Robin Hood, can’t beat the nostalgia of watching that back. And to take it in a slightly different direction I loved Waltz With Bashir as well.

    • Wow, now there’s two different choices…

      See my comment above for my enthusiasm towards Robin Hood LOL.

      “Waltz” is a FANTASTIC movie, and a great example of how Animation doesnt necessarily just belong to children’s films. Mind blowing. I’m proud to have it in my Blu collection.

      Nice picks FD, definitely.

  4. Without question, it’s Disney’s Beauty and The Beast. The songs are great and I must have seen the Broadway musical based on this movie at least 6 times. I have all 3 versions of the movie (Theatrical release, Special Edition and the Work-In-Progress.) It’s also my #3 all time favorite film.

    • Holy Moley! Now THAT qualifies as being a “Big Fan”!!

      It IS a tale as old as time… :D

      I love that one too. Pretty sure it was the first animated flick I wrote up as a Movie that everyone should see….

  5. I cant name top spot but can give you the top three Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Tangled. Some would be surprised that the toy story films arent up there. But I think for me these three have much more cohesive stories in the end and I love a good fairytale!

    • Huh. Not that the three you picked arent good (and, yeah, Tangled was a pleasant surprise) but its interetsing you’d “Call Out” Toy Story. I guess I see what youre saying, theyre probably more character oriented than story driven, but still, I never thought of their stories as a weakness…

      I’d be surprised if they dont get a bunch of mentions here before we wrap this up, LOL

      • I dont view the stories as a weakness at all, but they arent story driven as much as toy trope oriented. Which is part of their charm in many ways because we identify with them as the iconic real life playthings they were! Perhaps great animation has to be coupled to great fariy tale stories in my mind!

  6. I really like animated movies so it took my entire commute for me to decide on what my favorite. Right now I will go with Toy Story. That movie is so nostalgic for me. When I was younger I was really into graphic design and 3D animation. I used to spend all of my time on my computer designing, so when I saw Toy Story it completely blew my mind as to what was possible. It was one of those magical movie moments. I love the entire trilogy, so picking which one is my favorite is very hard, but I will stick to the first one just because it was so revolutionary.

    • LOL.

      See? That didnt take long. (See commemt right above this)

      I agree, its a great flick. The animation was groundbreaking. I recall being floored by it… just incredible. And great, great characters.

      Its also a good point about how high quality the entire series is! All three of them are fantastic… 3 – surprisingly – is getting a lot of props for being the best of them all! And its the THIRD film in a trilogy. Amazing.

      My preference is still narrowly for one, mainly because of the original Woody/Buzz conflict. Hard to beat.

  7. Nobody is going to list any anime films.

    Fogs, I find it strange that such a huge movie buff as yourself would dismiss such a robust field of cinema.

    Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I get that. But there are a lot of great anime films that far surpass the typical Hollywood drivel. For example, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Paprika, anything directed by Hayao Miyazaki, etc.

    • You got me dude. I surrender. Seriously.

      I know. I mean, I know. There’s all this good stuff out there. And then… I’m just one of those people who “Its not my cup of tea”. I dont know what it is, the animation, the “slightly off” storytelling (For lack of a better way to say the stories feel a little different than ours)… Cant put my finger on it, I’ve given several films a shot over the years and never got sucked in, In fact, I’ve always wound up bailing.

      I guess we can lump it in with “Fogs doesn’t watch much foreign stuff”

      Doesnt mean you’re not free to discuss, I’d be shocked if others dont back you up here.

      Maybe this will need to be one of my many “I should do a series on”. Ideas…

      • I’m in the same boat as Fogs on this one; just haven’t seen too many Japanese animation films. I’ve seen Princess Mononoke and Akira. Mononoke was decent, a bit strange in places (I’m not sure if it’s different cultural mores or just odd storytelling), but not a bad film by any stretch. Akira… it was OK. I’ve only seen two feature length animes, and even at that I’m unwilling to crown it the greatest anime ever made the way some people do. I think it gets a huge perception bonus for being one of the first to gain attention outside of Japan. The story is OK, but gets very silly at times, and visually it does a lot of unusual things, and its impact on the field — and sometimes outside it! — can’t be denied. But I don’t think I personally would classify it as a great film on its own merits.

      • Heh… seeing as you specialize in “Foreign and Idie Cinema” BT, I bet you could buzz fastballs by me all day.

        UH, no I havent seen that one, is that good?

        Yeah, well, I’ve HEARD of it…. \

        One of these days I’m gonna have to check that out, yeah.

        LOL :D

        Akira has an excellent reputation. Now if they’d only make a live action version starring Keanu Reeves, I’d probably check THAT out. LOL

        (Ducking…)

    • I picked Spirited Away. It’s funny but the ones you call out I love as well. I’ve probably grown to love Paprika more than the other ones mentioned though.

  8. Disney’s “Peter Pan”(1953). This was one of the earliest trips to the theatre I can recall. For a six year old just going to the movie house was awe inspiring! It was the “Strand” in New Britain, a cathedral of cinema built in the golden age of movies when almost everyone went to a show several times a week(like you now Dan). Huge ceiling, carved columns, murals on the wall, some may remember what these were like before the Multiplex. Add to that a movie about pirates and pixies and indians! What an adventure! Ingrained in my DNA! The first ten movies Disney did read like a whose/who of not just the best animated films but the best films period! Snow White, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Lady and the Tramp to name a few. Sure brings back memories(can you tell?)!

  9. If we’re talking children’s animated films, then probably “Secret of Nimh” has to be my favorite. I dig the darkness of the tale plus it was kind of violent for a kiddy flick. Of the more adult oriented fare, it’s hard to beat Ralph Bakshi’s “American Pop” or “Heavy Metal” two great films with amazing animation and rocking soundtracks.

    • Mark-US! What’s up man? Awesome Lambcast this weekend man, can’t wait til it’s up.

      I saw Nimh, but for some reason I’m blanking except for the mouse factor. LOL. I should definitely check it out again though, cause Don Bluth is awesome.

      Meanwhile, you’re right… Those other two aren’t for kids, but I seem to recall seeing Heavy Metal when I was pretty young, Lol!!

  10. Since I’m a writer, I approach most movies from the script angle and find that many animated films rely a bit too much on visual style and simplification of story to make a truly great film. An example, for me, is Secret of the Kells as it was so stripped down to its basic parts that the “tension” bordered on mundane and the third act was so weak that the resulting “pay-off” felt cheaper than the already tame set-up promised. Funny considering the amount of time and energy that goes into an animated film compared to conventional live-action. That said, the ones that break the mold are far superior to most any other film.

    I can watch Monsters, Inc. over and over and felt it it could have taken Best Picture instead of simply Best Animated Feature (which it lost to Shrek – another good one), but what do I know. The premise, though it borrows from many other movies, feels unique, the world has an astounding attention to detail, the characters are perfectly drawn – they’re goals and relationships are complicated and ever-changing – and it has some of the most memorable minor characters (Roz, seriously). It’s imaginative, dark, has a pretty kickin’ closing action sequence and, above all else, wildly funny (the “how many kids you got in there?” line gets me every time). The writers at Pixar are far beyond ordinary screenwriters.

    I will sort of agree with the anime comment, citing again Paprika because it’s just too awesome to ignore. It almost seems, however, that such films are in a completely different category altogether, hence the distinction anime instead of animated film. It’s difficult to include them in the discussion because they are worlds apart.

    • Recusing myself from the Anime again (Why do I never think of this shit BEFORE I post these topics? LOL), I will say you raise an excellent point Meric. There’s no question that the Pixar films all feature excellent stories and characters… as do a lot of the Disney classics (but a lot of them were based on timeless tales). The beginning of WallE and Up deserve mention as well…

      I’ll tell you a film that exemplifies you point in a bad way. “The Lorax”. Its unfortunate but its true. The plot and characters are very simple, and the message is delivered with no subtlety at all… And yet the Animation carries the day. I enjoyed it, I gave it an A-… but if the writing had been a little better I would have loved to give it the ol A++, you know? Nice one.

      • Wall-E lost me the minute humans entered the picture (especially live-action Fred Willard – laaaaaaazy and is anyone as tired of him as I am?). I saw that film alone with no preconceptions and within the first five minutes I was almost in tears. I’m not an environmentalist, but I do love a good morality tale in the lens of the post-apocalyptic. Though funny on a rudimentary level, the humans made the movie so heavy-handed. “We get it! We ruined everything, are fat, dumb and blind to the doom of the future! Can we get back to the robots who say so much more with a vocabulary limited to proper nouns?!” If The Lorax comes even remotely close to this tone, I’ll wait for rental. It’s just not for me.

        And, yes, Up’s succinct expository opening sequence is pitch perfect. Not a detail wasted, not a moment unexplored. I hope to one day live up to the standards the Pixar team sets.

      • You know what’s funny? I feel that way about “Up”, not WallE. I love WallE all the way through, but like you’re saying about WallE, once the balloon house landed in “Up” I thought it kind of fell off from phenomenal animated classic to average animated chase/fight bad guy territory.

        Funny, huh?

        And I’m not now… he’s been laying low for awhile. But there was a time when Fred Willard wore out his welcome a little, yeah. :D

      • THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER is the award-winning animated tale of friendship, loyalty, and courage. All the appliances band together to find their owner who left them (it’s a summer cottage). It really is a great story!!! Even Rotten Tomatos says 75% of the people liked it. You don’t even have to buy this Disney flick:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48Kev09WBr4 (The whole thing on You Tube)

      • :D How can I refuse?

        Unfortunately I’m working til like 9 at night the next few days… will circle back to it though, I promise. LOL. How can I resist when you put the movie RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF ME! :D

        (Although, Ive done it before…)

      • Brave Little Toaster!!! That movie is awesome! Didn’t John Lasseter (Pixar) work on that one in some capacity? I remember watching a Pixar Documentary on it.

    • I had to look it up, but Max you are correct. According to Wiki: The film was produced by Hyperion Pictures along with The Kushner-Locke Company. Many of the original members of Pixar Animation Studios were involved with this film, including John Lasseter and Joe Ranft.

  11. I adore animated films. Everything from traditional animation to the computer generated ones. Here goes…

    Princess Mononoke, Fireflies in the Garden, The Iron Giant, The Lion King, All the Toy Stories, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up, Spirited Away, Ghost in the Shell, Aladdin, How to Train Your Dragon.

    Though, if I had to pick, my all time favourite would have to be The Lion King. There’s something about that film that really gets to me. Everything from the music to the characters and the story. It’s the one Disney film that really hits that point inside me. Just love it.

  12. Yellow Submarine. No surprise there, right? lol

    Quite aside form the sentimental reasons, it has a completely unfair advantage as regards the music, and also I’m really quite partial to that 60s era psychedelic style of images.

    In modern stuff I’m of course very partial to The Incredibles. One of the best superhero movies ever, in any format.

    Also worth noting is a 90s film called Titan AE, which I really loved, although very few others seemed to.

    • In the town where I was born. There lived a dude who worked for NASA…

      Oh, sorry. I love that movie too. like almost 50 years later now and its still awesome as hell. The Beatles, the trippy animation. The Blu Meanies… I always felt like that flick was a cross between The Beatles and Monty Python’s animated bits. Even more than The Ruttles. LOL

      Never finished Titan AE… got pulled away for some reason and never made it back…

    • Yellow Submarine was my favorite as a kid since I was in love with the Beatles music thanks to my parents. I still say it’s one of the scariest animated films ever.

  13. My favorite would have to be Fritz the Cat. Definitely not suitable for kids… but Heavy Metal is up there, too.

    As for family friendly films, I’d say cars is my favorite with Monsters, Inc & Toy Story close behind. I’d rank The Gruffalo right up there, too but, at approximately 30 minutes, it’s more of a short than a movie.

  14. Wow, serious amount of replies. Animation, you’d have to break this one down better to get a good response from me. This all depends on what you want. We talking traditional hand-drawn animation? Like many mention above, Disney’s Robin Hood, Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, etc. We talking computer animation, Ice Age, Over The Hedge, The WIld, How To Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Despicable Me, MegamInd, and all the Pixars, then there is the Anime class, the wonderful world of Miyazaki and tons of other great Anime like Ghost in the Shell, and Akira. What about some of the more adult type animations like Titan A.E. and Battle for Terra.

    Me, I love animation more than I love real movies. Cartoons included. You look at my DVR and you’ll find more of those on there than anything else. Penguins From Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Star Wars Clone Wars, Thundercats, etc.

    This makes it very hard for me to narrow it down. I guess it would be the class that still has something to find in them each time you watch it. Those would be movies like Despicable Me, Megamind, Pixar movies. Where each time you watch it, you catch some other joke, or something weird in the scene. Kind of like watching Mel Brooks movies, you always find a new line or some joke you missed the last time you watched.

    It takes a really bad animation for me not to like it. I’ve liked some that were ok. The first Hoodwinked was funny, the second one you can tell they had less of a budget but it was still enjoyable. The same goes for the Open Seasons.

    • It’s about damn time someone gave “Kung Fu Panda” some love. I thought I was gonna have to do it myself.

      I love that movie. Its freaking awesome.

      Megamind has been cracking me up lately. HBO or Starz or whoever has it has had it on quite a bit, and I’ve caught it several times. Ferrell is fantastic. Just slays me with how he mispronounces words and stuff. Hysterical. I enjoy the regular old cartoons as well, although I tend to lean more to superhero stuff. I havent gotten in to the Clone Wars cartoons… although I did watch the original series that was done by the guys who did Samurai Jack… because I love me some Samurai Jack. :D

      I’m a big fan of the animated stuff too, although… I’ll admit it, for whatever reason Im not that psyched about Brave. We are getting Paranorman and Frankenweenie this year though! :D

      • I’m actually looking forward to Brave. It’ll probably be one of those movies that look OK then you watch it and find it real good. For me, that was Wall-E and Up. It took watching the whole movie to really appreciate.

      • Seriously looking forward to Brave, personally. That’s way up there with the big movies of the year for me. Paranorman and Frankenweenie haven’t impressed me much yet… but I’m holding out hope.

      • I havent even gotten around to watching the Frankenweenie trailer yet so all I’m going off of is the fact that it’s Burton.

        But I like everything I’ve seen so far out of Paranorman, it looks oddball and good. I’m pretty stoked for it.

      • I’ve only seen the Paranorman trailer that came before The Lorax. It has potential, and “semi-spooky” is certainly right up my alley, but there’s something not quite clicking with me yet. Might be the look of the characters, not sure.

        What about The Pirates, since we’re talking about 2012 animated features? That one is looking like it might be pretty fun.

  15. Grave of the Fireflies.

    /discussion

    Nah, but seriously, it is a friggin’ amazing movie. I am generally a fan of ‘mature’ animated films, and that is the best one I have ever seen. Other than that, I do enjoy the Toy Story movies (big time nostalgia there) but I make an effort to avoid most Disney flicks. Just not a fan of movies catered toward younger audiences, I guess…

    • Wow, No Disney Love? Wha- wha – WHAT??

      Oh man. CMON!!

      And I knew I had promised someone I’d watch that flick. Still havent. Will though. One day. That and “The Brave Little Toaster” now. LOL

      • I’m not a huge fan of the whole ‘Disney’ thing either, really. Part of it might be that my Dad told me stories of Disney’s antisemitism when I was young, so I’ve never really gotten that out of my head, but also it always seemed to be aiming low (Fantasia excepted), whereas the Warner Bros cartoons, especially Bugs Bunny, always seemed so much smarter, funnier etc. I am definitely not on the ‘Camp Disney bus’

      • Get out, for real? Never heard that… bastiges.

        Me on the other hand, I love a lot of Disney. But if we’re going THERE, Bugs Bunny all the way. ALL the way. Bugs destroys Mickey in all regards for me. Even the lesser WB characters do. I suppose there might be some tough battles like if we selected the Jungle book, Robin Hood, you know, my disney faves…. but for the most part… I’m just smiling thnking about Bugs making people look like an ass. :D

        QUIT STEAMIN’ UP MY TAIL!!

      • Disney’s a weird one for me. I love their animal based originals – Bambi, Dumbo, The Lion King. But anything involving a princess (except Aladdin) I just never fell in love with.

        Grave of the Fireflies just broke me. It’s is the most heartbreaking film I have ever seen. Nothing will prepare you for watching it. Fogs, I challenge you!

      • Oh, shit! Now we’re throwing gauntlets? LOL

        Work will settle soon, and I’ll be doing my last Lambcast for awhile this weeked… I may have more time to squeeze some of this stuff in then. I’ve been filling my discretionary movie time with stuff for the Lambcasts recently….

        We’ll see. I’m a shameless crowd pleaser and everyone’s gung ho here, so…

  16. Favorite animated movie huh?
    Japanese – Spirited Away
    American – Finding Nemo / Sleeping Beauty

    It’s really tough to pick outside of those though. Finding Nemo was just the perfect storm for me and of all the incredible films Pixar has done, it is easily my favorite. Spirited Away also has the sense on having a journey that I love so much in my animated films.

    • Spirited Away is a great example of how I dont get Anime. I think I need to just sit down and watch it from beginning to end no matter.

      Cause I jumped into the middle of it and was like WTF is THIS? LOL.

      Nemo is awesome. I bet youre psyched for Mirror, Mirror, then, huh? What? No? Snow Way!

      • No not excited at all for Mirror, Mirror. Sleeping Beauty and Snow White are different films too. I would’ve been excited for Mirror is it wasn’t so epically stupid looking.

  17. All right, commented on a bunch of other comments here, better put some of mine out for discussion. Settle in, this could be a long one. :D

    Fantasia — and I’m just going to go ahead and throw Fantasia 2000 in with it — is easily the best artistic animated film ever made. Just, no contest there. It’s the one time I’ll cheerfully throw my lot in with the artsy-fartsy crowd and the stoned-out hippies.

    I’m a big fan of The Black Cauldron; saw it very early on, and it’s stuck with me. Fun, exciting, and amazingly dark, it’s just such a different film — not just for Disney, but for animated features in general. I know it’s under-appreciated by Disney fans overall — like a lot of those post-Golden Age pre-Renaissance films — but personally, I think it’s great. I think all of those middle-era Disney films get a bit of a bad rap overall. And like I said above, Robin Hood is just plain fun. (And truthfully, while I greatly admire the Disney Renaissance films, I don’t re-watch them near as much.)

    I don’t know if mixed-live-animation is breaking the rules, but I can’t pass up mentioning Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Song of the South.

    Toy Story hit me at just the right time. I was a teenager in high school, just starting to get interested in creating computer graphics. I would have gone to the theater for that even if the movie hadn’t been any good… thankfully, it was. (Although somehow I haven’t seen either sequel yet). I think I like Monsters Inc better overall, though — and it’s a pretty big technical achievement as well, with all of Sully’s hair.

    The Secret of NIMH was a childhood favorite, but I haven’t seen in it in years. Need to revisit it some time. Personally, I think it’s a shame that Don Bluth isn’t more highly revered — I remember really liking An American Tail and the original Land Before Time as a kid, and both of those movies were huge. It’s a big shame Titan A.E. flopped so badly at the box office, both because it seems to have put an end to Bluth’s career, and because it really didn’t deserve it — it’s a fun film, aimed at the young adult crowd, has a pretty good sci-fi story, and a very cool aesthetic to it.

    I haven’t seen anybody mention The Triplets of Belleville yet (sometimes called Belleville Rendezvous). First PG-13 film nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. It’s a French film, but don’t let that deter you, as it’s pretty much a silent film as well. And it’s drop-dead hilarious. Watched it with my parents when it came out on home video, and there was hardly a moment when we weren’t all laughing.

    • “It’s a French film, but don’t let that deter you, as it’s pretty much a silent film as well.”

      Love THAT sentence… you really know how to SELL it baby. :D

      Lots of good stuff in there. Props of course, must be paid to Fantasia. No doubt.

      I dont know, I gues the judges can be lenient on Roger Rabbit… there could be a slippery slope coming though. What about Tintin? A Scanner Darkly? Avatar? LOL

      • Oh come on, I thought French silent films were in right now. :D

        I thought Tintin was animated. Motion-captured, sure, but still animated. Rotoscoping, as in Scanner, is a bit fuzzier… starts to blur the line between animation and just being a filter over the film (especially if it’s automated, which I think Scanner was.) Avatar, I’d agree, should fall on the other side of the line. Lot of CGI there, but “look live-action” was the goal there.

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