The 30 Best Animated Movies To Watch With Friends And Family

From Disney classics that we all saw as a child, to auteur films that renew the genre, animated films touch all audiences and make young and old alike dream, through metaphors and double readings. So from Peter Pan to Akira, from Persepolis to Soul, discover our selection of the best animated films.

How about (re) discovering the vast world of animation cinema during this time? Something to put the whole household in joy, young and old alike! From Pixar to Disney to the original creations of Wes Anderson and much more.

If you’re more of the type to sit down in front of an animated film after a long day, but don’t know which one to watch, don’t panic. We have selected for you several animated feature films that will please you.

1. Soul

One of the most accomplished masterpieces of studio Pixar, Soul is a marvel to put under all pairs of eyes and ears. Centered above all on music, Soul tells the story of Joe Gardner, music teacher and jazz enthusiast, who finally gets the job of his dreams. Unfortunately, it is also the day of his death. Propelled into the next world, his quest will be to find his body to live his dream, and perhaps in the process, that of helping a soul in distress.

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2. Coco

Coco is the 19th feature film from Pixar studios, which once again puts us in the eyes. The film takes us to Mexico, to the heart of the Feast of the Dead, a great celebration throughout the country. We follow the adventures of young Miguel whose idol is none other than the late musician Ernesto de la Cruz.

Unfortunately, music has been banned for generations within the family. Against all odds, Miguel will participate in a song contest, and will be sent in spite of himself to the Land of the Dead. An initiatory journey follows, dotted with adventures, encounters and discoveries about the past of her family and her great-grandmother, Coco. A high-end Pixar, punctuated by the traditional music of the Mariachis, with breathtaking graphics, like this lively and colorful country. Oscar for best animated film in 2018.

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3. Moana

Disney is venturing this time to the islands of the Pacific, and offers a real initiatory journey for young Moana. A gripping environmental intrigue, but above all a very strong theme: that of following the path that others trace for us, in the face of the personal need to follow our dreams. Aided by a demigod who is a little too sure of himself, Moana, the Legend of the end of the world is a superb film, offering touching music and a breathless plot. A new success for the studio! This is a movie which you can watch on Disney right now and enjoy a fun time with family and friends.

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3. Your Name

Released in 2016, Your Name tells the story of Mitsuha and Taki, two teenagers who don’t live at the same time or in the same place. While everything separates them, they meet each other by inverting their bodies. Hailed by critics for his aesthetic qualities, Makoto Shinkai has managed to achieve a feat: hit theaters and place his film in the galaxy of great Japanese animated films.

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4. Inside Out

The discovery of emotions through cartoons. Here is a good method to better apprehend this rather particular learning. You never know how to explain this phenomenon to the youngest and here is a great ally: Inside Out. Welcome to Riley’s 11-year-old spirit headquarters. At the beginning of adolescence his five emotions Joy, Anger, Disgust, Sadness and Fear are in full swing. When her family moves, emotions try to cope but they inadvertently lose vital memories. Joy and Sadness decide to go in search of them and venture into Memory, the Land of the imagination or the production workshop of Dreams… not without twists and turns.

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5. Frozen

In the kingdom of Arendelle, Princess Elsa is able to control the ice. But by accident, this one transforms the whole kingdom of Arendelle into a huge empire of ice. While Elsa is forced into exile, we follow Anna who decides to go in search of her big sister. If the Snow Queen is part of the long line of Disney princesses, the film also opened the way for the new generation, whose protagonists want a little less conventional.

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6. Brave

Pixar, which is embarking on a princess film, is unheard of! But beware, Princess Mérida is not an ordinary princess. Daughter of a King of Scotland, she refuses all the conventions and expectations that we have towards her: she does not want to get married, she prefers to do archery and ride her horse. In short, she is a rebel. Following an argument with her mother, she accidentally turns her into a bear, and her quest will be to deliver her from this curse, without renouncing her principles. A true feminist tale, and this is a first, where the princess takes a role against what we used to see until then!

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7. Rapunzel

Dust off a tale of the forgotten brothers Grimm, here is the ambitious bet of the Disney studio in 2010, which returns to fairy and princess tales, as usual. We follow Rapunzel, a young princess with very long blonde hair, locked in a tower and manipulated by a woman she believes her mother. But the arrival of the thief-charmer Flynn turns everything upside down and finally brings her out of the tower. Rapunzel is a very beautiful film which signs the revival of the Disney studio after complicated 2000s, and which validates the definitive transition to 3D, while keeping a very simple form and a return to the “princess film”, a sure bet for the public.

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8. Despicable Me

Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud offer us a nice family and original entertainment! Me, ugly and bad was successful with the spectators following this first opus of this trilogy, because two others followed: in 2013 and 2017. We follow the story of the wicked and detestable Gru (voiced by Gad Elmaleh) and ses Minions, living in a charming residential area bounded by white wooden fences and adorned with flowering rose bushes. Gru has all kinds of dirty toys and a multitude of aerial combat vehicles to accomplish his super-villain plan: steal the moon! Will the meeting with three little orphans soften the heart of the villainous Gru?

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9. The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog is the story of one of the first Métis Disney Princesses, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. He puts forward two ideas: to believe in his dreams without giving up anything and love does not know social classes. We are in the 1920s, in the French-speaking district of New Orleans, where a jazzy and party atmosphere reigns. A prince arrives in town, very lazy and dependent, he simply knows how to please. But it wasn’t long before he met Tiana, beautiful, hard-working and dreaming of becoming a restaurateur in her own establishment. They are the opposite in all directions but their adventures will bring them together… not everything will go as planned!

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10. Up

Up, released in 2009, is a reference film in the history of animation. Few films have managed to be so touching, and for as many people. It tells the story of old Carl, a widower threatened by the modernity of the world. In order to avoid the retirement home, he takes off his home using helium balloons to land it in South America, far from hassle, where he had always dreamed of going with his wife. In spite of himself, he embarks a carefree young scout, Russell, who deprives him of the expected tranquility, and an adorable talking dog, Doug. Poetic, touching, funny. Up is a fable dealing with many themes: the family, transmission between generations, mourning, attachment to places or objects, there is even its share of thrill and action. In short, it is not to be missed under any circumstances.

11. Kung-fu Panda

It was in 2008 that Kung-Fu Panda was released in theaters, produced by the DreamWorks studio which seeks to renew its style after some disappointments. We follow Po, a big panda fan of martial arts, who only has eyes for the 5 cyclones, an elite group that fights evil in a kingdom populated by animals. After a terrible mess, he was appointed dragon warrior, and charged with defending the valley in the face of terrible danger. A beautiful story with a situation comedy that works well, excellent writing and perfect artistic direction.

12. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of the most magical recent animated films. He transports us to the world of catering through the world of the young rat Remy, a fan of gastronomy. The director Brad Bird makes us discover his world, his dream, his friendship with the heir of the chef Gusteau, Alfredo and his two left hands. They will cooperate and try everything to impress the brigade of the starred Parisian restaurant. It’s an exciting and very well done adventure that proves that anyone can cook!

13. Madagascar

Marty, a zebra in the midst of an existential crisis, wants to leave the New York Zoo to join the wild. He ends up stranded on the island of Madagascar, with Alex the megalomaniac lion, Gloria the bossy hippopotamus, and Melman the hypochondriac giraffe. However, they are far from imagining what real wild life is, they who are used to being pampered on a daily basis. The result, a frankly hilarious animated film, with a very high-end French VF cast: José Garcia, Anthony Kavanagh, Jean-Paul Rouve and Marina Foïs, very, very heavy!

14. The Incredibles

Let’s come back to this unforgettable pixar: The Incredibles, which was directed by Brad Bird in 2004, is also the first Pixar Studios to feature humans and more particularly: superheroes! Since the small family of superheroes are forced to stop using their powers, the Parr family finally leads a quiet life. That’s without counting on the evil plan of Syndrome, a superhero gone wrong. The incredibles will no longer continue their lives as normal humans. It must be said, it’s difficult for superheroes to hide their talents in a world that always needs them.

15. Howl’s Moving Castle

Adapted from the novel Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle features Sophie, an 18-year-old girl who crosses paths with a handsome magician called Hauru. A witch in love with the latter misunderstands their intentions and then casts a spell on Sophie. She finds herself in the body of a 90-year-old woman and is forced to flee. On her way, she comes across the Howl’s Moving Castle of Hauru and gets hired as a housekeeper, hiding her identity. Unlimited creativity, Miyazaki lets all her grace and genius burst forth in this tale. The smallest details are taken care of, we get attached to the characters and we marvel at the landscapes. The imagination of Miyazaki continues to make us dream!

16. Finding Nemo

Named best animated film Oscar in 2004, Finding Nemo is the 5th feature film Pixar and remains a reference for the studio and animation. Direction Australia and the Great Barrier Reef as we have never seen it. Marin, a clownfish dubbed by Franck Dubosc, lives with his only son Nemo, who has the distinction of having an atrophied fin. A worried father, Marin does everything to protect his son, but he inadvertently gets kidnapped by a diver. Determined to find him, Marin will brave all the dangers of the ocean and will meet a myriad of fish and all kinds of creatures on his way, starting with Dory, a surgeonfish with a very short memory. The strength of the film lies in the friendship between these 2 characters and the hilarious situations in which they find themselves. A refreshing humor, breathtakingly beautiful underwater scenes, emotion and tenderness… a Pixar mastered from start to finish.

17. Monsters, Inc.

In Monstropolis, children’s cries are an essential energy resource. This is why the monsters that inhabit it collect them by passing through the doors of closets connected to children’s rooms around the world. The catch is when a fearless little girl accidentally crosses the closet border, and ends up in the wrong world. Sully and Bob, two roommates working at harvest cries are found in improvised babysitter with a human that they should especially not touch … A beautiful story, the result of collaboration between Pixar and Disney, Monsters, Inc. had a huge success when it was released and a prequel, Monsters University, in 2013.

18. Shrek

In 2001, DreamWorks brought us Shrek, an animated film very different from what we have seen until then. If the plot takes place in the world of fairy tales, which is a classic basis, we follow a misanthropic green ogre, devoid of empathy and any notion of personal hygiene. Helped by a horrifying donkey, he will deliver a princess for whom he has – at the start – no affection. Except that this one, struck with a curse, is an ogress, just like Shrek! Three suites at the cinema later, the character gallery will even also host a spin-off of the character of Puss in Boots, a parody of Charles Perrault’s puss in boots.

19. Mulan

Mulan arrives in theaters in 1998, and the challenge for the giant Disney studio is sizeable: how to succeed in renewing itself and involving spectators in a beautiful story, after having had a series of successes in the 90s? The film tells the story of young Mulan, in medieval China, destined for a rather simple destiny: to be married and to bring honor to her family. Rather than follow the path laid out for her, she decides to run away and replace her father, called up to defend China against the invasion of the Huns. Helped by the reckless little dragon Mushu, she has to pretend to be a man, and face the bloodthirsty Shan-Yu… Handsome, funny, with artistic direction and a keen sense of detail, striking music, Mulan is one of the most successful Disney films, with a relevant background message, about the relationship between men and women and the place of the latter in society.

20. The Lion King

In The Lion King, we follow power and succession feuds within a royal family of lions. Uncle Scar is only the king’s brother, he cannot claim the crown. But, obsessed with his thirst for power, he plots in the greatest of secrets a plot to overthrow his brother. As young as he is, Simba must already prepare to avenge the affront suffered by his father. This film shattered all records and instantly became a staple in the Disney catalog in the 1990s.

21. Beauty and the Beast

You should not be fooled by appearance, beauty does not give birth to love, but it is the feelings that make everything more beautiful. This is the moral of this cartoon released in 1991. Beauty and the Beast was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise for Disney studios. It is the story of a young woman, the daughter of a ruined merchant who wishes to marry her with a friend of her son. But one evening the old man meets the beast by stealing a rose from him, the latter offers to save his life on condition that he has one of his daughters, and it is Belle who proposes himself. The Beast, who suffers from his ugliness, surrounds him with luxury and thoughtfulness. At first terrified, Belle’s feelings will turn into pity then gradually into friendship and finally love will come.

22. Beauty and the Tramp

This good old Disney animation classic, Beauty and the Tramp, made in 1955 and produced by Hamilton Luske, this story tells us about the love between two dogs. She traces the life of a little dog named Lady, welcomed into a beautiful house in a quiet New England town, with Jim and Darling. Pampered and adored by her owners, Lady will soon see her life turned upside down when another baby puppy arrives in the family: Tramp the dog!

23. Bambi

It is impossible to remain insensitive to Bambi, one of the very first Disney, released in 1942. When we think of Bambi, a scene that has traumatized many of us comes to mind, and since the film is approaching its 80’s candles, we are entitled to spoilers: this is obviously the one where Bambi’s mother is killed by the hunter. All in suggestion, because there is obviously no question of seeing it directly on the screen, the scene changes Bambi’s fate in a few seconds, and the film with it. A magnificent tale and a beautiful graphic feat for the time, because the film initiates some advances in animation, in short: a must.

24. Peter Pan

Peter Pan, or the great classic of our childhood! Walt Disney has often focused on fairy tales for girls with princesses and a love story… This time, we find fights, pirates, Indians, fairies… A universe perfect for all tastes. This story, as often at Disney, is adapted from a literary work: takes up the play by James M. Barrie written in 1904. Wendy and her two brothers, bourgeois children in early 20th century London, dream of adventures of Peter Pan, where he takes them to his fantastic world… The magic has only just begun.

25. 101 Dalmatians

Unmissable Disney classic, The 101 Dalmatians landed in 1961. The film is the Disney studio’s first set in a contemporary era (and in France!). In addition, this is the second time that the studios have dared to show a wicked human powerless, but this time really cruel or even criminal, who smokes on the screen! A great first. The story of a litter of 15 puppies and their parents, more united than ever even if each of them is unique. The moral of this masterpiece is simple: do not hurt animals, it instills an ethic towards the animal world.

26. Treasure Planet

The protagonist is Jim Hawkins, a young man who lives on the planet Montressor. A great lover of pirate tales, he dreams of living a great adventure. One day a spacecraft makes a makeshift landing near his home and, taking care of Billy Bones, a wounded alien, receives a metal sphere from him, which he asks him to protect at all costs. Thus began his incredible adventure in space.

27. Wall-E

The Earth is an abandoned landfill. The last human beings ran away many years ago. They are on board a spacecraft, where they grow fat and unaware of the fact that they have a planet to which one day to return. On Earth lives Wall-E, a robot sweeper who suddenly finds himself in front of the robot EVE, charged with finding life forms. An incredible love story will be born between the two, with Wall-E at the center of a moving adventure.

28. Anastasia

Anastasia is the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, of the Romanov dynasty, who has reigned in Russia for 300 years. The family falls victim to the evil Rasputin, with the young Anastasia lost forever, or so it is believed. Her grandmother never stops looking for her, suffering several scam attempts. The real Anastasia, however, does not know her past but will start a journey backwards, discovering reality.

29. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The splendid Snow White escapes into the woods to be able to save her life. Her cruel stepmother intends to kill her so that she is the most beautiful woman in the realm. The hunter, in charge of killing her, spares her life and the young woman finds herself in a house in the middle of nowhere, together with seven dwarf miners, with whom she will start a splendid adventure.

30. Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington is the head of the Halloween village, inhabited by monstrous beings like him. His job consists in frightening children, which does not satisfy him and on the contrary begins to bore him mortally. One day he will find out how to enter the kingdom of Santa Claus and devise a plan to kidnap him in order to take his place, so finally he will no longer have to scare the children but give him gifts.

The visionary genius of Tim Burton strikes anyone with this film that has entered the history of cinema not only in animation but in general cinema. Jack is now famous as a rock star and all the adorably dark atmosphere that hovers around him has become a real style. Gothic and noir in tones, this film will make you rejoice and return to good humor despite deceptive appearances!

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