My 6 Favorite Animated Movies of All Time (This Week)

I went and saw Kubo and the Two Strings last weekend, excited by the captivating trailers. It was a fine film and quite enjoyable, but not the epic adventure I was hoping to see. A student of art craft would probably love it a lot more, considering all the work that LAIKA studios put into the stop-motion animation. But I’m not very good at marveling at that sort of thing. I just enjoyed a nice movie.

Spoiler Alert: He actually has three strings

And seeing a quality animated film on the big screen has me wondering about all the animated films I’ve loved in the past! I’m a huge fan of cartoons and have watched so many in my lifetime that I’ve probably forgotten a few. Right now, BoJack Horseman and Steven Universe are probably the two best TV shows on the air. And films like Finding Dory and The Secret Lives of Pets are two of the hottest films of an otherwise disappointing summer. Loving cartoons is just who am I.

So join me after the jump for my six favorite cartoon movies of all time — at least right now. Whims and memories could change these at any moment! And feel free to share your own favorites in the comments.

Honorable Mention: Space Jam

Michael Jordan’s greatest game

Space Jam probably doesn’t count as an ‘animated movie’, but it holds a special place in my heart. It came at a time when I was really into Wile E. Coyote as a kid, and I loved the blend of live action and cartoon. I also stand by my claim that Space Jam features the best Bill Murray cameo of all time. The movie is a cultural touchstone, and I am eagerly anticipating a future Honest Trailer of Cinema Sins takedown. The tongue-in-cheek 30 for 30 segment was great.

6. The Land Before Time

The second greatest dinosaur movie franchise

This dinosaur pic was my favorite movie was a kid. The story of Littlefoot the longneck and his friends as they traverse the world of dinosaurs was heartfelt and touching. It had action, danger, sorrow, joy and a message about true friendship. Plus dinosaurs! Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? I don’t know if this movie holds up at all today — and I refuse to watch the myriad of straight-to-DVD sequels — but the original was a true pleasure when I was a little kid.

5. Wreck-It Ralph

Sarah Silverman is a national treasure

Finally, a movie that gets video games right. I’ve always been a gamer, and it was great to see Disney tackle video games in a way that respects and celebrates the hobby. Too often, movies and TV shows that focus on video games are just terrible, as if nobody knows how they even work. But Wreck-It Ralph got it right and delivered a powerful movie about underdogs and friendship. And that ending still gets me choked up every time. You’re a hero, Ralph! Even if you are a bad guy.

4. Brave Little Toaster

“The streets will run black with the oil of the non-believers!”

Another staple of my childhood, Brave Little Toaster is one of my favorite musicals of all time. It tells the insane story about a sentient toaster and a few other appliances traveling across the country to try and find their former master. The idea is just insane enough to be amazing. It’s got great characters, wonderful voice acting, a lot of intense action, and some truly amazing songs. Worthless is still an all-time favorite of mine.

3. The Incredibles

Super-powers are weird on the genes

The Incredibles is probably the most perfect superhero movie ever made. It’s a standard-bearer for Pixar movies and pretty much gets everything absolutely right. Superheroes are treated with respect, the family is incredibly well realized, there are no silly animal sidekicks or cheap superhero jokes, the action is beyond amazing. The Incredibles is about as good a movie as society can make, and it just so happens to be about one of my favorite topics of all time.

2. The LEGO Movie

Everything is very awesome

I’ve watched The LEGO Movie a few too many times now and some of the magic is gone, but this movie hit me like a train wreck when I saw it in theaters. I’ve always been a huge LEGO fan, both when I was a kid and now as an adult. And I went in expecting a fun, comedic film. The trailers had been great and I was on board to have a good time, but I had no idea how damn good the movie would be. It was hilarious and touching, with great characters and a great exploration of LEGO.

Then came the ending. There were plenty of hints throughout the movie, but somehow, my brain simply tuned them out. I had no idea that The LEGO Movie was building to a real world finale and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly, this fun film had even more depth, and it spoke to me. This was a film about how we play with our toys, both as a kid and as an adult. This movie spoke to me like few other things ever have. That’s got to count for something.

1. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

There was no punch and pie

The South Park movie is a friggin’ masterpiece. Even all these years later, the film is pretty much perfect from beginning to end. The satire is as sharp as ever, the comedy is classic South Park and the songs are just as catchy as you remember. It should be no surprise that Trey Parker and Matt Stone went on to conquer Broadway with The Book of Mormon. These guys know songs.

The last great musical of the 20th century easily lives up to all the nostalgia with a still-relevant tale about overblown censorship and how Kyle’s mom is a big fat bitch. It’s also the perfect transition between South Park‘s more offense-based beginnings and its satirical golden years. I still love South Park to this day, and it’s shocking to think the movie is this old.

But that doesn’t matter, because it’s still pure gold. It’s a shame we’ve never gotten a sequel.


About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on August 24, 2016, in Cartoons, Lists of Six!, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. That lego movie sure was magic. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen WF on screen without wanting to slap him. He does such good work with good writing, it’s a shame so little of it makes its way to him.

    • I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan. My favorite movie is Stranger Than Fiction, where he takes a serious, dramatic turn, and I love that. So seeing it again in The LEGO Movie was fantastic.

  2. I’m just going to say “Studio Ghibli.” Which is also my answer for “Favourite Movies.” But if I have to pick 6:

    6. Akira
    5. Big Hero Six
    4. Aladdin
    3. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
    2. Kiki’s Delivery Service
    1. Spirited Away

    I limited it to three Ghibli movies. But honorable mentions to a bunch of other Ghibli movies. Arrietty, When Marnie Was There, Whisper of the Heart, Castle In the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, The Cat Returns . . . I love Studio Ghibli.

    • Not to chase you away from my blog or anything, but I…uh…have never seen a Studio Ghibli film…I keep meaning too, and I hope to see Spirited Away someday, but the opportunity has just never come up. I’ll go hang my head in shame now.

  3. I’m limiting myself to just one film per studio, because otherwise this list would be pretty much impossible to make.

    Honorable Mention: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (not really an animated movie, but it deserves to be here)
    6. Waltz with Bashir
    5. Anomalisa
    4. Coraline
    3. Princess Mononoke
    2. Fantasia
    1. WALL-E

  4. Here’s mine

    Honorable Mention: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (One of my top 10 favorite movies of all time)

    6. The Lego Movie
    5. Toy Story 1
    4. Toy Story 2
    3. Kung Fu panda 2
    2. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    1. Tie between Tarzan and Up

    You should try doing your top 6 favorite cartoons of all time

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