The 100 best animated movies: animation experts
Experts including Disney and Pixar directors, Wes Anderson, Nick Park and Carlos Saldanha vote for their favorite animated movies
Wed Apr 16 2014
How did we choose the 100 best animated movies of all time? We went straight to the experts and asked them to tell us their personal top ten films. From there we calculated the top 100 overall best animated movies. Here you'll find the personal selections of people including Ed Desroches (the current president of the International Association of Animated Film), Steve Alpert (who has held executive positions at both Disney and Studio Ghibli) and the anime specialist Helen McCarthy. Explore their top tens here.
Abigail Addison is associate director of Animate Projects and a freelance arts producer.
“Alice first revealed the creative potential of animation to reinvent the everyday when I saw it as a child, and its uniqueness has stayed with me since. The dark imaginings that legendary Czech artist Jan Švankmajer shares in this, his first feature, are truly outstanding. Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beautiful Day is heartbreaking in its frank depiction of the bleakness of its everyman character Bill’s daily struggles and his battle with mental illness. Hertzfeldt uses simple hand-drawn animation (which in the third chapter is combined with experimental optical effects) and an indifferent voiceover to produce a deeply moving film. Hertzfeldt is truly one of the best animators producing independent creative work today.”
Steve Alpert has been an executive with both the Walt Disney Company and Studio Ghibli.
“One important thing about all the films I chose is that they were made against a backdrop of the filmmakers being told they couldn’t do what they had set out to do. Hayao Miyazaki was told that the story of Nausicaä was too ambitious for an animated film; before Isao Takahata made Grave of the Fireflies, he was told he couldn’t do a film about World War II (Japanese prefer not to think about it); Walt Disney was told Fantasia wouldn’t be commercially successful (it wasn’t); John Lasseter was told no one would want to watch a computer-animated feature whose characters were ordinary toys; Beauty and the Beast set out to be an operetta, and the studio’s businessmen thought it wouldn’t sell; Andrew Stanton was told he couldn’t make a film like Wall-E with no dialogue at all in the first half hour; Pete Docter was told no one would watch Up because the main character was old. Miyazaki always said that adversity during the production process made the films better. Maybe it’s not just a coincidence that many of the films I think are best had to struggle just to get made.”
Darren-Jon Ashmore is a researcher of animation history and teaches the subject at Akita University in Japan.
Jerry Beck is an animation historian and producer. His books include The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide and The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
“An additional list of ten runners-up: Fritz the Cat, Mr. Bug Goes to Town, Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Three Caballeros, Ice Age, The Simpsons Movie, Melody Time.”
Professor Giannalberto Bendazzi is the author of several books, including Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation.
Joe Curzon runs Otaku News, a website for fans of Japanese culture with a focus on anime and manga.
Ed Desroches is president of the International Animated Film Association and is an animator, Web designer, instructor and computer geek.
The 100 best animated movies
Animation experts A–Z
- Abigail Addison
- Steve Alpert
- Darren-Jon Ashmore
- Jerry Beck
- Giannalberto Bendazzi
- Joe Curzon
- Ed Desroches
- Rolf Giesen
- John Grant
- Steve Hulett
- Justin Johnson
- Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell
- Kevin B. Lee
- Nathan Loofburrouw
- Daniel Thomas MacInnes
- Helen McCarthy
- Marco Pelliteri
- Chris Robinson
- Pamela D. Scoville
- Jasper Sharp
- Brian Sibley
- Daniel Suljic
- Niels Viveen
- Nag Vladermersky
- Ramin Zahed
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21 things you never knew about The Jungle Book
The eight most vile Disney villainesses
So you want to make an animation?
The 30 best animated short films ever made
How to make an animated movie – in eight steps
The best songs from the top 100
The best films now showing
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
Jennifer Lawrence goes impressively fierce for this penultimate chapter.
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
Director Amir Bar-Lev diagnoses the collective mentality of State College, Pennsylvania, a town so in love with football and local hero Joe Paterno, it lost sight of morality.
- Rated as: 5/5
- Critics choice
Regarded as a classic in France (and a known influence on Japan’s Studio Ghibli), this sprightly 1980 animated film deserves a cult here.