If you have children or know any children, you know that they are losing their brains over Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa coming out over the weekend. Hooray for good animated movies! Over the years, I have been forced to sit through many horrible animated films by my dear sweet nephews. My animation snob husband, on the other hand, has bombarded me with tons of good animated films I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. While the bad ones may be horrid (Polar Express anyone?), the good ones are really good and it was difficult to narrow them down to a list of 10 but I did my best.
Here are 10 animated films that grown ups will dig, even if most of them were intended for kiddos. Sit back, relax and enjoy a DVD that doesn’t have a smiling tank engine in it for once.
10. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Grab this on DVD today. It’s really funny and the fight scenes are so well executed that you almost forget you’re watching a panda battle a snake and feel like you’re watching an actual Kung Fu film. The stunt casting actually works well in this film. You can’t imagine any other voice than Jack Black’s as the lovable Po.
9. Toy Story (1995)
Even though this is clearly a kid’s movie, Toy Story also appeals to even the surliest adult. With it’s clever premise and familiar characters, this film draws you right into the world of the toy. If you ever owned a toy or if you were ever a child, you’ll like this one.
8. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
They had me at ‘Spider Pig’. And, it just gets funnier from there. This film is everything you love about an episode of The Simpsons, only better.
7. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
An obnoxious, hilarious, satirical but somehow sweet musical starring your favorite 4th graders. Trey Parker and Matt Stone bring the wit and social commentary they are known for on the show to the big screen and freakin’ rock it. If you haven’t seen it yet, shame on you. But you probably have, so just let me say it is worthy of a re-watch. Come to think of it, this is so on my Christmas List…hint-hint.
6. Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003)
A visually astounding film. The character design alone in this movie will blow you away. One of those rare flicks (animated or not) that make you marvel at the creativity required to construct something so full of life out of thin air. Quite charming. I’m charmed if you couldn’t tell and you will be too.
5. Disney’s Robin Hood (1973)
Nostalgic, yes, but Robin Hood still entertains. Although this is a film you could certainly watch with your favorite 5-year-old, I would argue that to adults, a viewing of this film is like cheap therapy, a balm for your soul. Watch the little gallant fox and escape to Nottingham for awhile! In my opinion, this is one of Disney’s best and I never grow tired of watching it.
4. The Iron Giant (1999)
A completely under-the-radar film from the amazing Brad Bird, The Iron Giant can make grown men cheer then cry. A robot, a boy, and a message all ensure you’ll be captivated.
3. The Incredibles (2004)
What’s not to like about this fast-paced and clever Pixar film? This movie delighted both my mother and my husband, which is like getting my dog and cat to agree on a whining schedule. I know children enjoy this movie but, let’s face it, the jokes are for us adults. The beauty of The Incredibles is the excellent execution of a solid story, which appeals to everyone.
2. Spirited Away (2001)
Oh, Miyazaki, I love you so! While Miyazaki classics like My Neighbor Totoro or Kiki’s Delivery Service are arguably kid-oriented, Spirited Away has more adult themes. The film is enchanting and deep, with a great story that doesn’t spell it out for you, morally speaking. The magical bathhouse for spirits is a dark and lovely setting for this beautiful tale. A stunning film all around.
1. Monster’s, Inc. (2001)
Pixar is at it’s best with a superbly witty premise and a sweet compelling tale to tell. The monsters are crazy affable and “Boo”, the human child is the cutest, most realistic kid you’ll ever see in an animated movie. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie but I’m sure the number is embarrassingly high. You can’t help but fall in love.
*Remember, these are just the movies I think are worthy of the list. Let us know what your favorite is…enlighten us by leaving a comment!