We’ve curated a top-notch collection of animated films for you that both kids and adults can enjoy, currently streaming on Netflix as of August 2023.

Netflix intensified its focus on animated movies. Even as the overall movie section shrinks and Disney and Pixar films depart from the service, amidst the burgeoning presence of Amazon Prime and Hulu, the streaming giant ambitiously broadens its animated repertoire.

You’re bound to fall in love with the vibrant cartoon characters in each movie.

Trolls

Trolls bring the jewel-bellied dolls to life with a world full of lore, music, and friendship. Starring Anna Kendrick as cheerful Princess Poppy and Justin Timberlake as skeptical survivalist Branch, they embark on an adventure to protect their kingdom from the monstrous Bergens.

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This vibrant jukebox musical balances light-hearted fun with occasional darker drama. The cast boasts a multitude of Hollywood talents, including Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, and Gwen Stefani.

Klaus

Seasoned animator Sergio Pablos presents Klaus, a potential holiday classic featuring an old-school, 90s Disney-style animation. It narrates the origin of the world’s favorite toymaker, Santa Klaus.

Mailman Jesper, far from excellent at his job, is dispatched to a desolate arctic town where he encounters Klaus, a meeting that revolutionizes the town and global Christmas celebrations. Alongside its warm, comedic, and nostalgically hand-drawn animation, this festive family film features renowned voice talents like J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, and Jason Schwartzman.

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Before the animated Nickelodeon series that graced our screens from 2002 to 2006, the brilliant mind of the boy genius Jimmy Neutron first appeared in the warmly welcomed film of 2001.

This film, brimming with enthralling cartoon characters, centers on the young yet prodigiously intelligent Jimmy Neutron, who, at just 11 years old, boasts an intellect that vastly outstrips his age.

Despite his impressive intellect, young Jimmy struggles with his social skills, often at odds with his peers. His day-to-day life paints a vivid picture of a child genius grappling with the relatable awkwardness and challenges that accompany middle school.

Blame!

Tsutomu Nihei, a visionary in dark industrial sci-fi, blends his architectural training with manga authorship to create art that’s both minimalistic and intricate. His work features gothic, sprawling factories populated by eerie synths and predators armed with bone swords and flesh guns.

His foremost series, Blame!, influences diverse fields, from video games to fashion. Despite previous unsuccessful attempts at anime adaptation, Hiroyuki Seshita from Polygon Pictures, with Netflix’s support, has finally delivered the long-anticipated Blame! Film.

The Magician’s Elephant

Directed by Wendy Rogers, The Magician’s Elephant is a stunning animated film adapted from Kate DiCamillo’s book. This magical and whimsical tale explores themes of bravery, teamwork, individuality, and problem-solving.

The film, with an all-star voice cast including Mandy Patinkin, Brian Tyree Henry, and Benedict Wong, features Noah Jupe as a young boy embarking on his destiny by accepting three impossible challenges from the king.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish made its premiere at New York City’s Lincoln Center on December 13, 2022, and hit theaters in the United States on December 21, 2022, following a delay due to DreamWorks’ restructuring.

The film emerged as a critical and commercial hit, raking in over $484 million worldwide against a production budget of $90–110 million and securing a spot as the tenth highest-grossing film of 2022. It earned a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 95th Academy Awards and picked up additional nominations at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, and British Academy Film Awards.

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The Bad Guys

A lifetime of crime lands a band of criminals, featuring a pickpocketing wolf (Sam Rockwell), a safe-cracking snake (Marc Maron), a hacker tarantula (Awkwafina), a master-of-disguise shark (Craig Robinson), and a strong piranha (Anthony Ramos), in custody.

To dodge jail, they must transition into good guys. Guided by a philanthropic guinea pig (Richard Ayoade), they strive to become reformed citizens, a daunting mission given the deceptive circumstances. The Bad Guys is a visually delightful film that guarantees a barrel of laughs for the whole family.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

The Captain Underpants book series, beloved by kids since 1997, saw its tighty-whities-clad hero leap onto the big screen twenty years later in The First Epic Movie. The story revolves around fourth-grade best friends George and Harold, who conjure up the Captain Underpants comic book and hypnotize their stern principal into embodying the superhero — albeit without superpowers.

With its kid-friendly charm that’s also tolerable for parents, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie wins praise from EW’s critics for its authentic self. The movie even inspired a Netflix series, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, which aired from 2018 to 2020.

Mirai

Almost all of Mamoru Hosoda’s original films over the past decade serve, to varying extents, as autobiographical pieces. Summer War, borrowing a premise from Hosoda’s 2000 directorial debut, Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!, loosely retells the story of Hosoda’s first encounter with his wife’s family.

The 2012 film, Wolf Children, draws inspiration from the loss of Hosoda’s mother, weaving in the fears and hopes surrounding his upcoming fatherhood. The Boy and the Beast, completed following the birth of Hosoda’s first child in 2015, emerges from his contemplation about a father’s role in his son’s life.

A Silent Voice

The film debuted in Tokyo on August 24, 2016, and hit Japanese theaters on September 17, 2016, before rolling out worldwide between February and June 2017. Critics praised the film’s direction, animation, and the characters’ psychological depth.

With a worldwide gross of over $31.6 million, the film claimed the Best Animated Feature Film at the Japanese Movie Critics Awards. Despite earning nominations for the Excellent Animation of the Year at the Japan Academy Film Prize and the Best Animation Film at the Mainichi Film Award, it fell short to In This Corner of the World and Your Name, respectively.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio presents a stunning rendition of the timeless fairytale, weaving in elements of sorrow, parenthood, and war. The Shape of Water’s visionary, Guillermo del Toro, displays his love for animation in each frame, crafting a deeply touching, unique experience. While the tale may ring a bell due to its multiple adaptations, rest assured, you’ve never encountered a version quite like this.

Skull Island

Situated within the Monsterverse, a shared universe accommodating King Kong, Godzilla, and their associated films, Skull Island focuses on marooned survivors from a shipwreck. They find themselves on the titular enigmatic island, a habitat for many prehistoric creatures, including the imposing Kong.

The Skull Island series captivates audiences with its compelling combination of character development, poignant relationships fraught with looming peril, pulse-pounding action, breathtaking visuals, and sharp humor.

The Sea Beast

The film started its limited theatrical release on June 24, 2022, and made its Netflix debut on July 8. Critics lauded it with positive reviews, and it rose to become Netflix’s most successful original animated film, boasting 165 million viewing hours in its first five months of release.

The film garnered several nominations, including one for Best Animated Feature at the 95th Academy Awards, but ultimately lost to another Netflix original animated film – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Currently, a sequel is under development.

The Angry Birds Movie

Red, a bird prone to anger, has experienced ostracization on Bird Island since his hatchling days due to his quick temper and oversized, jet-black eyebrows. After accidentally triggering the premature hatching of another bird’s egg, the island’s authority sentences him to the harshest punishment possible – an anger management class.

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Two of Red’s classmates, the hyperactive Chuck, capable of hypervelocity movements, and Bomb, who can trigger explosions with his anger and fear, make attempts to forge a friendship with him. However, Red chooses to keep his distance.

Chicken Run

The 2000 stop-motion animated film Chicken Run, a collaboration between Pathé, Aardman Animations, and DreamWorks Animation, features a cast led by Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson. The plot, set in 1950s Yorkshire, revolves around anthropomorphic chickens who seek the help of an American rooster, Rocky Rhodes, to escape their fate as chicken pies.

Chicken Run was a critical and commercial hit, earning over $220 million and becoming the highest-grossing stop-motion film in history until DreamWorks’ Shrek surpassed it in 2001. Netflix plans to release a sequel, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, on December 15, 2023.

Missing Link

Chris Butler wrote and directed the 2019 American stop-motion animated adventure comedy film Missing Link under the production of Laika. The film features an all-star voice cast including Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, David Walliams, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Timothy Olyphant, Amrita Acharia, Ching Valdes-Aran, Emma Thompson, and Zach Galifianakis.

The story unfolds in the Pacific Northwest and traces the journey of a Sasquatch named Mr. Link. With the assistance of British explorers Sir Lionel Frost and Adelina Fortnight, Mr. Link ventures to the Himalayas in a quest to connect with his Yeti cousins.

Wish Dragon

Din, portrayed by Jimmy Wong, is a college student residing in Shanghai who longs to rekindle his friendship with Li Na, voiced by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, his best friend from childhood whom he hasn’t seen in ten years.

A magical dragon emerging from a teapot offers him three wishes, providing Din the chance to reconnect with Li Na and potentially impress her with an illusion of grandeur. Wish Dragon unfolds as a delightful and heartwarming narrative emphasizing friendship, adventure, and authenticity.

Over the Moon – A Netflix Orginal

Glen Keane, in his feature directorial debut co-directed by John Kahrs, directed the 2020 computer-animated musical fantasy film, Over the Moon. Audrey Wells wrote the screenplay, with Alice Wu and Jennifer Yee McDevitt contributing additional material. Pearl Studio and Netflix Animation produced the film, while Sony Pictures Imageworks carried out the animation.

The film features a voice cast including Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, and Sandra Oh. The narrative traces the journey of Fei Fei, a young adventurer who crafts a rocket ship to meet a legendary goddess on the moon.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Originally, Sony Pictures Releasing intended to launch the film theatrically under the title ‘Connected’ in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on movie theaters led Sony to sell the distribution rights to Netflix for all regions outside of China.

Netflix renamed the film to ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines,’ which was the original preferred title of Rianda and Rowe. It made a limited theatrical release on April 23, 2021, before becoming available for streaming a week later on April 30. Critics highly praised the film for its animation, voice acting, action sequences, themes, humor, visual effects, and representation of the LGBT community.

Paddington

In the dense jungles of “Darkest Peru,” a British geographer uncovers a new bear species. He discovers these bears possess high intelligence and a strong affinity for marmalade. He names them Lucy and Pastuzo, leaving them with his hat and an open invitation to London.

Four decades later, Lucy, Pastuzo, and their orphaned nephew live harmoniously until an earthquake devastates their home, compelling them to find refuge underground. Unfortunately, Pastuzo doesn’t reach the shelter in time and succumbs to a falling tree. While she decides to relocate to the Home for Retired Bears, Lucy, surviving the calamity, nudges her nephew to seek comfort in London.

A Whisker Away

Studio Colorido, Toho Animation, and Twin Engine produced A Whisker Away, a 2020 anime romantic fantasy film known in Japanese as “Nakitai Watashi wa Neko o Kaburu” (lit. “Wanting to Cry, I Pretend to Be a Cat”). Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama directed the film, which premiered on Netflix in Japanese on June 18, 2020.

Netflix originally planned to coincide the English dub’s release with the film’s Japanese premiere, but they postponed it until June 28, 2020, when they officially released it.

Entergalactic

American musician and actor Kid Cudi created Entergalactic, an adult animated music television special that complements his same-named album. Originally conceived as a TV series, it premiered as a special on Netflix on September 30, 2022, coinciding with the album’s release.

Directed by Fletcher Moules and featuring the voices of notable actors like Jessica Williams, Timothée Chalamet, and Vanessa Hudgens, the romantic comedy boasts an art style influenced by I Lost My Body and When Harry Met Sally. Critics lauded the special’s animation, visual style, music, and story. The project, dedicated to Cudi’s late friend and costume designer Virgil Abloh, debuted on Abloh’s birthday.

My Father’s Dragon

Netflix Animation, Mockingbird Pictures, and Cartoon Saloon co-produced the film. Originally scheduled for a 2021 Netflix premiere, the film instead made its debut on November 11, 2022. Prior to this, it had limited theatrical runs in Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom starting from November 4. The film received widespread acclaim from critics.Critics widely praised the film.

The story unfolds from the perspective of an unseen older woman, recounting her father, Elmer Elevator’s childhood experiences. Elmer and his mother, Dela, once owners of a small-town candy shop, had to shut down their business and relocate as the town’s population dwindled. They intended to establish a new shop in the distant city they moved to. However, they eventually drained all their savings to make ends meet.

Vivo

In the animated film Vivo, a musical kinkajou named Vivo, voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, shares an inseparable bond with his owner, Andrés, voiced by Juan de Marcos González. Despite the language difference, their shared love for music unites them.

When Andrés’ old flame Marta (Gloria Estefan) invites him to reconnect as she retires from music, Vivo, initially resistant, undertakes an epic journey to deliver Andrés’ love song to Marta after a tragedy, accompanied by lively tween Gabi (Ynairaly Simo). The film, lauded for its beautiful music and animation, is a treat for the whole family.

Nimona

Nick Bruno and Troy Quane direct Nimona, a 2023 American computer-animated science fantasy adventure comedy film. Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor penned the screenplay, based on ND Stevenson’s 2015 graphic novel of the same name.

Set in a Middle Ages-influenced sci-fantasy world, the film stars Chloë Grace Moretz voicing the title character, with Riz Ahmed as her ex-knight sidekick. Eugene Lee Yang and Frances Conroy lend their voices to supporting roles.

Nimona first debuted at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 14, 2023, then hit select cinemas on June 23, 2023, before streaming on Netflix starting June 30, 2023. Critics warmly received the film, lauding its animation, themes, humor, characters, musical score, tone, and voice performances, especially those of Moretz and Ahmed.

Author: Ken

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