The world of animation is a vast space. The individuals responsible for crafting some of the most exceptional animated movies are true heroes, blessed with innate talents and ingenious minds. The evolution of animation in both films and series has shown a consistent trajectory of improvement, fueled by advancing time and resources. The ability to move shapes and designs and create a story out of a charcoal drawing or animate paper art is a profound skill in itself. Animation legends like Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, and some recent ones like Peter Lord, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and Wes Anderson have introduced us to the unimaginable world we could only dream of.
In the realm of animation, we have typically assumed that it presents narratives centered on the conflict between good and evil, often targeting a younger audience. However, In recent times, the art of storytelling through animation has evolved to encompass elements of magic, realism, emotions such as sorrow and happiness, depictions of lucid dreams, exploration of social issues, and various societal and moral dilemmas. Powerful messages addressing pressing issues such as child marriage, racism, environmental hazards, and constantly shifting political landscapes have become an essential part of animated movies. The genre has only grown more artful and creative with the help of stop-motion excellence, the dominant form of hand-drawn brilliance, or CGI spectacles.
The following is a list of some of the best animated movies of all time. The list should be considered as a solid recommendation for each entry because they are all excellent in their own little ways:
1. Fantastic Planet (1973)
Directed by René Laloux and co-written with Roland Topor, Fantastic Planet is a French experimental adult animated science fiction film. Based on the 1957 novel Oms en série by French writer Stefan Wul, the unique use of symbolic childlike animation and whimsical storytelling transports the viewer to an otherworldly space.
In the film, humans are trapped on a strange planet where giant humanoid-like aliens treat them like filthy animals. As strange as it may appear, the story makes a significant point about morality – are humans any better than other creatures, and can they coexist peacefully in the same world?
René Laloux has used cut-out stop motion in the film, making it look like traditional 2D cartoons, which has earned applause for its surreal psychedelic visuals. The film’s aesthetics and visual effects draw you in from the word go, presenting a much-detailed analysis of human’s destructive nature.
The French animated epic won the Grand Prix special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. The soundtrack of the film, which heavily features Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother Suite,” also leaves an interesting mark, as it hypnotizes you, creating a sci-fi, psychedelic ambiance that is simply unforgettable.
2. Belladonna of Sadness (1973)
Belladonna of Sadness is a Japanese adult art film from 1973 that tells the story of a young peasant woman named Jeanne. After being raped by the local lord of the village on her wedding day, Jeanne turns to the art of witchcraft.
Notable for its erotic and psychedelic imagery and often deemed a cult film, the 1973 Japanese animation is a landmark in tragic storytelling, showcasing a woman’s triumph and ruin in life. It not only raises questions about morality and human nature but also delves into the most debatable subject of all times—the power of femininity.
The animation used in the film, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, is unusual and filled with graphical hallucinatory images, making it a compulsory watch for any animation lover. Additionally, the shift in animation throughout the film is surprising, making it ahead of its time.
Although the film was a commercial failure, Belladonna received its much-deserved appreciation after a 4k digital restoration for international theatrical release in 2016. Belladonna of Sadness is a visual treat for fans of experimental cinema and adult animation. It is a must-watch for those who are interested in occult themes, the exploration of female sexuality, and counter-culture influences.
3. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
“Tonari no Totoro,” or My Neighbor Totoro, is a Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the story of two young girls who meet a friendly wood spirit, a forest keeper, in post-war rural Japan.
What makes this Japanese classic stand out is the fantastic atmosphere that gives you a sense of nostalgia. It creates a strong belief in the audience’s mind that the coexistence of supernatural creatures with the modern world is real.
Animated by Studio Ghibli, the film feels extremely personal to everyone who watches it, primarily because of its convincing warmth and innocence portrayed through the vivid imagination of the two little girls.
My Neighbor Totoro makes you believe that there is always a moment of hope and joy in the wonders of life. One only needs to be determined to find magic in everyday life in order to cope with various uncertainties.
This 1988 classic animated film is one of the best from Studio Ghibli and has received love from every generation, doubling down its evergreen nature. It is a simple, warm, and touching film that teaches us to be aware, kind, and open to new possibilities while embracing what life has to offer.
4. Only Yesterday (1991)
Directed by Isao Takahata and co-written by David Freedman, Only Yesterday follows the story through the eyes of a 27-year-old Japanese office-going woman named Taeko. She travels to the picturesque countryside and reminisces about her time growing up in Tokyo.
Staying in the village prompts her to reflect on her childhood and contemplate how different life could have been. This 1991 creation from Studio Ghibli still feels relevant and has the ability to evoke an emotional response, especially in adults.
The calmness and beauty that the film serves are enough to transport you back to your childhood. The nostalgia trip that Only Yesterday offers is not manipulative, but it encourages you to reflect on the moments you shared with loved ones while growing up. The film provides a sense of emotional comfort and has the power to change your perspective on the times when you may have acted differently among your peers as a child.
5. Princess Mononoke (1997)
At this point, it feels like this list of the best animated movies of all time would consist entirely of Studio Ghibli movies. However, the epic nature of this story and the breathtaking visuals that Princess Mononoke offers are simply unparalleled.
The plot follows a young prince affected by the challenges between a warrior princess fiercely protective of her forest kingdom and the world crumbling down due to the uprising of mechanization. It aims to remind us of the honest reality we have long forgotten. Although this movie is a warrior princess tale, where the princess tries to bring balance to her kingdom, it also serves as a perfect life lesson for us as adults.
The fact that we constantly strive to want more and more, even going ahead and exploiting the limited resources that the forest has to offer, signals our selfish nature. Princess Mononoke beautifully orchestrates that the forest has a life of its own. It reiterates that, as human beings, we must not interrupt the peaceful living environment of the animal kingdom. It also provides us with an animal’s perspective, enlightening us about our many mistakes. It shows us how proud we are of urbanization, to the point where we fail to learn from these mistakes. Especially for the younger generation, Princess Mononoke is an important life lesson.
6. Perfect Blue (1997)
The 1997 psychological thriller, directed by Satoshi Kon, revolves around Mima Kirigoe, a pop idol who decides to leave her music career to pursue acting.
As she begins her acting journey, she becomes entangled in a series of disturbing events, including receiving threatening letters and experiencing hallucinations that blur the line between reality and fantasy.
Perfect Blue takes us through the themes of identity, obsession, and the dark side of fame, working deep into subjects such as the loss of innocence, the objectification of women, and the psychological toll of being in the public eye.
When we talk about animation, Perfect Blue combines traditional 2D animation with a touch of realism, using techniques such as dynamic camera angles and visual distortions to enhance the psychological unease experienced by the protagonist. The film, which was way ahead of its time, uses an animation style that effectively contributes to its unsettling atmosphere and emphasizes the blurred boundaries between Mima’s perception and reality, making it one of the essential watches in the animation genre.
7. Spirited Away (2001)
One of my favorite animated movies of all time is Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The story follows Chihiro, a young girl who enters a supernatural world after her parents are transformed into pigs.
To save them and return to the human world, Chihiro must navigate the realm ruled by spirits and work in a bathhouse for supernatural beings.
Spirited Away is among the most popular Studio Ghibli movies and still the only one that has won an Oscar. The film has gained immense popularity among kids and young adults due to its captivating storytelling, imaginative world-building, and relatable coming-of-age themes exploring courage, resilience, and personal growth while discussing the importance of compassion and empathy.
The breathtaking animation, which combines Miyazaki’s notable work of using hand-drawn 2D animation with digital enhancements, allows the visuals to feel rich and detailed as they bring out the fantastical world of spirits to life. The animation style captures the story’s whimsical and darker elements, further enhancing its appeal and telling a heart-warming story through the eyes of Chihiro, our protagonist in this magical tale of self-discovery. Its universal themes, stunning animation, and Miyazaki’s masterful storytelling stand the test of time and still resonate with audiences of all ages.
8. Waking Life (2001)
You might know Richard Linklater for his Before Trilogy, but his 2001 animated film Waking Life sets him apart as a real auteur. While not far away from his style as it dives into philosophical and existential issues through surreal and thought-provoking conversations, the story follows an unnamed protagonist trapped in a continuous dream-like state, encountering various individuals and engaging in profound discussions about the nature of reality, free will, and the meaning of Life itself.
Linklater uses a unique animation technique called rotoscoping, where live-action footage is traced and transformed into animated form, resulting in a distinctive visual aesthetic that blurs the line between reality and fantasy.
The film’s mash of this unique animation style to explore intellectual and philosophical concepts might feel a little heady, but the way Linklater navigates to really pertinent questions about our past, present, and future makes it well worth a watch.
In some ways, Waking Life becomes a revolutionary breakthrough in film animation, with its deep exploration of existential questions challenging viewers to contemplate their own perceptions of existence. The central wish within Waking Life pushes us to understand the nature of consciousness, the role of dreams, the human experience, and the search for Life’s meaning. Right now, the film stands as a cult, niche film, especially among those seeking introspection and philosophical contemplation.
9. Mind Game (2004)
Masaaki Yuasa directs the 2004 Japanese anime – Mind Game, which follows Nishi, an aspiring manga artist who, after a near-death experience, finds himself on a surreal journey through life, love, and self-discovery.
The story takes unexpected turns as Nishi encounters bizarre characters and navigates through various fantastical and psychedelic situations. The original screenplay has unconventional storytelling, vibrant visuals, and an imaginative animation style that combines traditional hand-drawn animation with experimental techniques, including fluid and dynamic visuals.
Yuasa deliberately used this technique to amplify the film’s energetic and chaotic atmosphere. The film is widely popular among kids and young adults because it explores crucial notions such as seizing the moment, embracing change, and the power of self-realization.
Mind Game enables its audiences to break free from societal norms and embrace their true selves, essaying themes of love, mortality, and the interconnectedness of life. The director’s distinct animation style and engaging narrative using mind-bending ways is a cult favorite among those pursuing unconventional storytelling.
10. Paprika (2006)
The 2006 animation Paprika is directed by the late visionary Japanese director Satoshi Kon. The story revolves around the DC Mini device, which allows therapists to enter their patient’s dreams.
When the DC Mini is stolen, a psychotherapist named Paprika must dive into a surreal and unpredictable world of dreams to recover it in order to prevent a crisis that blurs the line between dreams and reality.
Based on a novel of the same name written by Yasutaka Tsutsui, the film strives for an extraordinary visual experience that pushes the boundaries of how storytelling can be used to explore the subconscious mind.
Paprika engages its audience with its compelling, mind-bending plot, combining elements of mystery, science fiction, and psychological exploration. Kon combines traditional hand-drawn animation and CGI techniques, creating a seamless blend of reality and fantasy.
People who have watched the film would agree that the film’s visuals are vibrant and surreal, capturing the dreamlike nature of the story. Additionally, this story explores the mysterious power of dreams and how technology impacts society.
Paprika is one of those films that allows you to discover yourself and embrace your true and authentic nature. Notably, the film inspired Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” which drew parallels to “Paprika” regarding its exploration of dreams and reality.
11. Persepolis (2007)
Based on Satrapi’s own graphic novel, the 2007 animated film is co-directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. The coming-of-age film tells us the story of her upbringing in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War.
Persepolis provides us with a unique and personal look at the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath, offering insights into the lives of individuals affected by political and social upheaval. Additionally, it also sheds light on the challenges faced by women in a conservative society.
Using a visually striking animation style, employing black-and-white hand-drawn animation, the directors have captured the essence of Satrapi’s original illustrations in the graphic novel.
The film explores identity, cultural clashes, social and political repression, the impact of war, and the search for personal freedom. It delves into Marjane’s struggle to find her place in the world, balancing her desire for individuality with her connection to her Iranian heritage.
This is an important film that humanizes a complex historical period and gives voice to personal experiences within a larger socio-political context. It challenges stereotypes and offers a nuanced portrayal of Iran, going beyond media representations and allowing viewers to empathize with the characters.
12. Wall E (2008)
Wall-E is a heart-warming sci-fi film (with elements of romance) set in the distant future, where Earth has become uninhabitable due to excessive pollution. The story revolves around WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), a small waste-collecting robot left behind to clean up the planet.
Over time, WALL-E gains sentience and unexpectedly falls in love with EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), another robot. Together, WALL-E and EVE embark on an adventure that holds the key to humanity’s future.
Directed by Andrew Stanton, this visually stunning film showcases Pixar’s signature storytelling and attention to detail. Its narrative appeals to both children and adults, exploring environmentalism, consumerism, loneliness, love, and the importance of human connection.
Through WALL-E and EVE’s shared journey, the film raises questions about the consequences of excessive consumption and the potential impact on future generations. Furthermore, Wall-E beautifully emphasizes the value of friendship, love, and empathy in overcoming adversity.
The animators at Pixar blend computer-generated animation with a mix of realistic and stylized visuals, bringing the characters and environments to life and immersing the audience in the story. Wall-E also offers an important commentary on our relationship with the environment and the dangers of unchecked consumerism. It encourages viewers to reflect on their own habits and choices, urging a mindful approach to preserve the planet for generations to come.
13. Coraline (2009)
Turning Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy into a stop-motion film, director Henry Selick follows the story of a young girl named Coraline Jones who moves into a new house with her parents.
Bored and feeling neglected, she discovers a hidden door that leads to a parallel world that initially seems like a better version of her own reality. In this alternate world, her “Other Mother” and “Other Father” are attentive and loving, and everything appears to be perfect. However, Coraline soon realizes that this world is more sinister than it appears, and she must find a way to escape from the clutches of the Other Mother.
The puppet work that has gone into creating the characters of Gaiman’s world is meticulous. The animation style syncs right into the eerie and surreal atmosphere that is needed to enhance the fantasy and horror elements of this story. Additionally, the rich foundation of the story allows a multifaceted exploration of identity, family, bravery, and the dangers of escapism, making the film land into psychological and emotional territory that appeals to both children and adults – a great middle-ground for parents and their children to be on.
14. Up (2009)
Directed by Pete Doctor, with Bob Peterson helming the co-director cap, Pixar’s Up follows the story of Carl Fredricksen, an elderly widower, who, after his wife Ellie passes away, decides to honor her memory by embarking on a journey to Paradise Falls – a location in South America that the couple had always dreamed of visiting.
To achieve this, he attaches thousands of helium balloons to his house, turning it into a makeshift airship. However, Carl soon discovers that he has an unexpected guest onboard – a young wilderness explorer named Russell. The two unlikely companions find themselves in a series of adventures as they navigate the challenges of the journey, encountering a talking dog, a mysterious bird, and an old adventurer-turned-villain along the way.
Using a mix of detailed set designs that Pixar is known for and putting it around a realistic environment and characters, the animation in Up stands out. The animation captures the intricate textures of objects, the natural beauty of landscapes, and the expressive emotions of the characters. The vibrant and imaginative sequences, like the house floating with balloons, showcase the creativity and technical prowess of the medium.
If you are new to watching animated movies, Up is certainly one of the first movies that you need to watch. The emotional depth of the opening sequence, which traces the love story of Carl and Ellie in a series of wordless scenes, is particularly powerful.
15. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Based on the 1970 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox follows the story of Mr. Fox, a charismatic and cunning fox who used to steal poultry and other goods from three wealthy farmers: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. However, after Mr. Fox’s wife becomes pregnant, he promises to retire from his thieving ways in order to provide a safer life for his family.
Years later, Mr. Fox finds himself feeling unfulfilled and nostalgic for his adventurous past. He hatches a plan to rob the three farmers once again, putting himself and his family in danger. As Mr. Fox carries out his elaborate heists, the farmers retaliate, leading to a series of comedic and thrilling events that explore themes of family, friendship, identity, and the balance between the wild and the domestic.
Using his quippy and fast-paced humor and blending it with a unique mix of stop-motion animation and traditional hand-drawn animation, Anderson creates a visually distinctive look characterized by detailed puppet-like characters. His intricate sets and whimsical aesthetic only enhance the sensory experience of watching Mr. Fox and his tale unfold.
16. Mary and Max (2009)
The 2009 Australian stop-motion film Mary and Max has to be one of the greatest animated movies of all time. Directed by Adam Elliot, this super cute story takes a dark comedic approach to explore the unlikely pen-pal friendship between Mary Dinkle, a lonely young girl from Australia, and Max Horowitz, an older man with Asperger’s syndrome living in New York City.
The distinctive animation style uses stop-motion animation but with a twist. Elliot and his team of animators take an approach that involves physically moving and photographing real objects frame by frame to create the illusion of movement. Essentially, the style compliments the two central characters, who share the common trait of being absolutely childlike and innocent in spite of the difference in their ages.
The result is a moving story that tackles sensitive topics such as loneliness, mental health, friendship, and the challenges of navigating life’s hardships. Deliberately using black and white, Eliots provides incredible depth to these well-rounded characters, leading to an immersive experience that moves you to tears by the time it ends.
17. Boy and The World (2013)
The Brazilian animated film Boy and the World (original title: O Menino e o Mundo) is unique in a way that the others on this list are not. Using minimal dialogue, which uses a gibberish, made-up dialect of its own, this is a stunning work that tells its story primarily through visuals and music.
The story follows a young boy named Cuca who lives in the countryside and embarks on a journey to find his father, who has left their rural home to work in the city. Throughout his journey, Cuca encounters various colorful and imaginative landscapes, each representing different aspects of the modern world, from urbanization and industrialization to consumerism and environmental degradation. Through Cuca’s experience, we are allowed to make our own perception of the world that can be both enchanting and harsh at the same time.
The film truly stands out because of its distinctive animation style that combines hand-drawn, watercolor-like visuals with a mix of other techniques. The animation is characterized by its simplicity, vibrant colors, and fluid transitions, making Boy and the World one of the greatest animated movies of all time.
18. Ernest & Célestine (2012)
Based on a series of children’s books of the same name by Gabrielle Vincent, Ernest & Célestine tells the heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between two characters from different worlds. Ernest is a bear who lives above ground, while Célestine is a young mouse who lives below ground in a world of mice.
In their respective societies, bears and mice are not supposed to interact, as bears are seen as dangerous predators to the mice. However, Ernest and Célestine overcome these societal expectations and form a close bond. The story follows their adventures as they challenge the norms of their societies and prove that friendship and understanding can bridge even the biggest divides.
The animation style of Ernest & Célestine is characterized by its watercolor-like visuals and hand-drawn aesthetic. The animation feels warm, charming, and nostalgic, resembling illustrations from a storybook. This unique visual style sets the film apart from many other contemporary animated movies, which often use more polished and digitally rendered animation techniques.
19. Anomalisa (2015)
Based on a play written by Charlie Kaufman and funded by a Kickstarter campaign, the 2015 stop-motion wonder Anomalisa is co-directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson.
Following the story of a lonely and emotionally detached customer service guru named Michael Stone, Anomalisa doubles down on his alienated existence. Micheal perceives everyone around him as having the same monotonous voice and appearance until he meets Lisa, a woman who sounds and looks different to him, and he becomes enamored with her unique “anomaly.”
The intricate and detailed stop-motion animation is Anomalisa uses the technique of physical puppets and sets that are manipulated frame by frame to create the illusion of movement. The style adds a layer of tactile and realistic quality to these characters who are going through literal existential crises, giving Anomalisa a sense of authenticity.
20. Inside Out (2015)
Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter, explores the complex world of emotions and the inner workings of the human mind, particularly through the experiences of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. The story primarily takes place inside Riley’s mind, where her emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—take the roles of characters that influence her thoughts, memories, and actions.
When Riley and her family relocate to a new city, her emotions face challenges as they navigate the adjustments and changes in her life. Joy and Sadness become separated from the core memories that define Riley’s personality, leading them on an adventure through different areas of her mind to restore balance.
This Academy Award-winning film revolves around the importance of embracing and understanding all emotions, even those often considered negative. It delves into the role of each emotion in shaping a person’s identity and explores how the interplay of emotions can impact decision-making and overall well-being.
Through the journey of Joy and Sadness, the film stresses the significance of acknowledging and expressing Sadness as an essential part of emotional growth. It employs a combination of traditional animation techniques and computer-generated imagery to vividly bring the diverse landscapes of Riley’s mind to life.
Each emotion is portrayed with a distinct appearance, color palette, and personality, enhancing their characterization – offering a nuanced and engaging means of comprehending the complexities of human emotions, rendering it an indispensable viewing experience.
21. Your Name (2016)
Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name revolves around two main characters, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana as they mysteriously start switching bodies intermittently.
Mitsuha lives in a rural village and dreams of escaping her small-town life to experience the excitement of Tokyo. Taki, on the other hand, lives in Tokyo and aspires to become an architect. As the two characters navigate each other’s lives in different bodies, they leave notes and messages to help each other adjust. However, as they try to meet in person, they discover a shocking revelation transcending time and space.
This visually stunning film, with vibrant and detailed artwork, is Makoto Shinkai’s best work so far. It seamlessly weaves together elements of romance, fantasy, and drama. Blending traditional hand-drawn animation with computer-generated imagery, Shinkai captures breathtaking visuals that portray both Tokyo’s bustling cityscape and the rural village’s serene beauty. The anime film focuses on the connection between people and the impact of destiny on their lives, offering a unique take on the concepts of identity, fate, and the power of human connection across time and space.
22. My Life as a Zucchini (2016)
Adapted from the novel “Autobiographie D’une Courgette” by Gilles Paris, the heartfelt and touching stop-motion animated film My Life as a Zucchini showcases the power of human connection.
The film follows the story of a young boy named Zucchini, who, after the sudden death of his mother, is sent to an orphanage. There, he meets a group of other children who have also faced difficult circumstances and challenges in their lives. As they form friendships and support each other, they learn to move forward in life while understanding the complexities of growing up and finding a sense of belonging.
This is a powerful film as it shows these young children’s struggles, dreams, and fears, shedding light on the harsh realities they have experienced. Through their interactions and shared experiences, the children learn to heal, trust, and find hope, even in the most challenging circumstances.
Utilizing the stop-motion technique, the film crafts characters brought to life through detailed puppets and sets. Resonating with all age groups, it delves deep into complex human emotions, emphasizing the importance of empathy and understanding for others.
23. Tower (2016)
Tower is one of the most powerful and essential animated documentary films ever made. It recounts the tragic event of a mass shooting at the University of Texas at Austin on August 1, 1966, where a lone gunman positioned himself on the university’s clock tower and began firing at random people on the campus below.
Constructed from the perspectives of survivors, witnesses, and law enforcement officers who were present during the attack, the film proves to be a significant contribution to the documentary genre.
Using a combination of rotoscoping, a technique in which live-action footage is traced and animated, and archival footage from the time of the event, the blend of animation and real-life footage creates a distinctive visual experience, allowing the audience to engage with the past without actually being in it. Director Keith Maitland explores the resilience and bravery of these individuals in the face of unimaginable tragedy, delving into the experiences of those directly affected by the shooting and capturing their stories of fear, courage, and survival.
24. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
In 2018, the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse set a new pedestal for animation films. It re-imagined the Spider-Man story in a fresh and inventive way. Drawing inspiration from Marvel Comics’ Spider-Verse, the central theme of the story revolves around the concept of multiple universes and the idea that anyone can be a hero.
The film introduces us to Miles Morales, a teenager who becomes the new Spider-Man in his universe after being bitten by a radioactive spider. However, his world collides with parallel universes, bringing together different versions of Spider-People, including Peter Parker from another universe, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, and Peni Parker. The film explores the idea of identity, self-discovery, and the power of teamwork, with each Spider-Person coming from a unique universe with distinct traits, challenges, and backgrounds – with a mission to save the multiverse from a threat that could destroy all realities.
By blending computer-generated animation with traditional hand-drawn techniques, the Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman co-direction feature bold colors, comic-style halftone patterns, and visual effects that mimic the appearance of a comic book come to life.
Paying homage to the source material while pushing the boundaries of animation with their jaw-dropping technique, the makers meticulously explore diversity, inclusion, and the acceptance of different perspectives resonating strongly throughout the narrative.
Winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the film is a breath of fresh air in the superhero genre that appeals to both comic book enthusiasts and general audiences.
25. The Wolf House (2018)
This absolutely unique and intriguing animated film draws inspiration from historical events and stories, making it stand out for its dark storytelling and animation style. The Wolf House follows the story of a young woman named Maria, who escapes a German religious colony in Chile during the 1960s. She finds refuge in a mysterious house in the woods, only to discover that it is alive and possesses sinister intentions.
The narrative unfolds with a surreal and dreamlike approach, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Using the stop-motion animation technique combined with painting and sculpture, the film takes a striking and unconventional approach to telling a story that deals with isolation, manipulation, power abuse, and trauma’s impact.
The film uses continuous sequences, where the animation is seamlessly integrated into the walls of the house in order to give a sense of immersion, further creating a haunting atmosphere.
Challenging conventional narrative structures, the film explores psychological and emotional depths using the elements of surrealism and experimental storytelling. Co-directed by Joaquin Cociña and Cristóbal León, this Spanish horror drama film is still pretty severely underseen, but its genre-defying nature makes it one of the greatest animated movies of all time.