Ushering in an Era of the Best Animated Movies  

There’s nothing quite like gathering around the TV to watch the best animated movies. From childhood favorites to some of the newer computer-generated feature films, these animated creations have been bringing joy to viewers of all generations.

Animated movies have come a long way since the days of hand-drawn features and stop motion animations. Plotlines have become more intricate, and guest-starring voice actors such as Tom Hanks and Emma Watson have become the norm.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best animated movies ever made. In this article, you’ll discover some of the all-time classics, as well as some of the new must-watch movies.

The History of Animation  

Racing through the timeline of animation history, it’s interesting to see where we started, and how far technology has come. Before we get into the list of the best animated movies of all time, let’s take a look at the origins of animation.

Pre-20th Century Animation

Although some of the earliest concepts in animation can be tracked back to the 1800s, the industry didn’t become seriously successful until the early 20th century.

In 1917, acclaimed animator Winsor McCay created a series entitled Little Nemo in Slumberland, which was the first animation to include sound. Then, in 1922, the first animated feature length movie was released. Entitled The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the film was hand-drawn and included over 6,000 frames.

The Arrival of Cel Animation

Cel animation is the technique of drawing characters, props, and backgrounds on transparent sheets of celluloid. This launched a more effortless approach to animation, allowing more flexibility in the creation process.

From this, we started to see the emergence of some of the most beloved characters in animation. Three of the most famous are from the Walt Disney Studios. The first was Mickey Mouse, who debuted in the 1928 movie Twitch and Shout. This was followed by Donald Duck in 1934 and Goofy in 1932.

The Sky’s the Limit: Computer-Generated Features

In the late 1980s, the animation industry started to become heavily reliant on computer-generated images, or CGI for short. This made the film process more efficient, and allowed larger and more expansive projects to be completed in a short amount of time.

Some of the first most notable CGI features were Toy Story (1995), Antz (1998), A Bug’s Life (1998), and Monsters Inc. (2001). Since then, CGI animated movies have continued to make huge strides in the industry and expand the limits of what’s possible.

The Best Animated Movies of All Time  

Now that you know a bit more about the history of animation, let’s take a look at some of the best animated movies ever made. These classic films remain popular today and are sure to be treasured for years to come.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

One of the most beloved animated films of all time, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937 with an estimated budget of $1.5 million. This Disney classic follows Snow White as she attempts to escape her wicked stepmother, the Queen. Wanting to keep her title of the “fairest of them all,” the Queen turns to a dark figure for help. Its incredible hand-drawn animation and riveting storyline quickly made it the highest-grossing movie of the time.

Fantasia (1940)

This Disney feature film sees magical music combined with amazing visuals, creating a magical world of made-up creatures and other whimsical wonders. Fantasia is widely praised as an animated movie milestone, pushing the boundaries of animation to create a truly immersive experience.

Bambi (1942)

Following an adorable fawn, Bambi, this tender film explores the death of his mother and the life that follows. Wonderful backgrounds and a classic storyline make this yet another Disney masterpiece.

The Lion King (1994)

Centered around Simba, a lion cub who tragically loses his father, The Lion King touched the hearts of viewers around the world when it premiered in 1994. Its opulent colors and catchy soundtrack forge this adventure for all ages.

Toy Story (1995)

The first of Pixar’s feature-length films, Toy Story set the bar for all the computer-generated films that followed. Featuring a cast of beloved toys all brought to life, the loveable characters, witty dialogue, and heart-pounding moments all make this a top-notch classic.

Chicken Run (2000)

Blending in a classic slapstick comedy style with a heartwarming story, this imaginative and inventive stop motion film tells the story of an ambitious group of chickens who are determined to escape their run-of-the-mill coop. The classic tale of freedom inspiring millions of viewers, both adults and children alike.

The Incredibles (2004)

Following the adventures of a family of vigilante superheroes, The Incredibles is warm, brightly colored, heartfelt, and full of action. This action-packed Pixar production shows a family unit that fights together, faces challenges together, and overcomes evil together.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Providing a funny twist on the classic vampire tale, Hotel Transylvania gives us a hilarious look at everyday life at a Zingerman-run family-friendly hotel. With a stellar cast and an interesting script, this computer-generated comedy will keep you in stitches.

Zootopia (2016)

This vibrant and captivating movie follows the story of a fox who teams up with a rabbit cop to solve a missing animal case. With an electrifying soundtrack and incredible voice acting talent, this heart-wrenching film will have you in tears.

Coco (2017)

This beautiful movie tells the story of a young boy, Miguel, who lives and works in a small Mexican village. After accidentally entering the Land of the Dead, Miguel embarks on a journey to find the key to their family’s musical past. The colorful, musical masterpiece will move your heartstrings and squeeze an emotional reaction from even the toughest audience.

Moana (2016)

Moana follows the journey of a young Polynesian girl on an adventurous mission to save her people. Despite being an animated movie, Moana includes elements of mythology, fantasy, and culture, offering something for all ages to enjoy. Exciting features and memorable characters make it a popular go-to among viewers.

As you can see, animation has come a long way since its early beginnings. From hand-drawn movies to those created with the help of the latest technology, they are the perfect way to sit back and escape into a world of adventure.

Whether animated movies date back to the age of Prince Achmed or they are a more recent release, they are bound to leave a lasting impression. All of the aforementioned films are some of the best animated movies ever created, and can all be appreciated and enjoyed by viewers of all ages.

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