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.
Rolf Giesen is a German screenwriter, curator and author, whose books include Animation Under the Swastika and Chinese Animation.
John Grant has written many books, including Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters, Masters of Animation and The Young Person’s Guide to Bullshit.
Steve Hulett is the business representative for the Animation Guild. Before becoming a union rep, he worked as a story writer for Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Justin Johnson works with the BFI Film Fund on animation films. He also programs films at the BFI, including this year’s Studio Ghibli retrospective.
Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell
Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell are authors and critics whose books include works on Studio Ghibli and anime.
“There have been cinema adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for a century, some of them animated, but none of them match the surreal and occasionally deeply macabre Jan Svankmajer film Alice, which seamlessly segues from live action to the animated world as we follow Alice on a nightmare journey. Wonderful and shocking. The Iron Giant takes a children’s book by poet laureate Ted Hughes as its source but sets its story in Cold War America. Brad Bird’s feature debut makes for a delightful and intelligent cel-animated story, where robots, politics and childhood friendship combine in a film that is exciting and genuinely moving. Whisper of the Heart is Yoshifumi Kondô’s story of burgeoning love between two teens—a young violin maker and his friend who aspires to be a writer. With the exception of some fantasy background sequences, this is an anime that could just as easily have been filmed as a live-action piece, and is a lovely coming-of-age drama.”
Kevin B. Lee
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, critic, video essayist and the cofounder of dGenerate Films. He was supervising producer for Ebert Presents: At the Movies.
“I absolutely love these movies, but I’m not satisfied with my list. I know this list is embarrassingly top-heavy with titles from the past decade, but animation features have simply exploded in number, depth and variety just within that brief period. On the other hand, I have to point out that narrowing the parameters to just feature-length animation privileges U.S. and Japanese productions, which I think distorts the full picture of great movie animation. If this exercise could include shorts, this list would be very, very different in makeup—in terms of time periods, nations and styles, we’d have a much richer selection to draw from, so to speak.”
Nathan Loofbourrow is president of the Animation Guild. He previously worked as a technical director at DreamWorks on films such as Kung Fu Panda.
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
More animated film features
21 animated movie moments guaranteed to make you weep like Bambi
The ten most annoying Disney songs
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: 5/5
- Critics choice
Mike Leigh delivers a naturalistic, stunningly shot biopic about the working life of J.M.W. Turner. Timothy Spall plays the legendary painter with brave and captivating restraint.
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
In the unlikely event that this subversive Seth Rogen comedy proves to be Sony’s downfall, at least they'll go out with a bang—the jokes are wonderfully lowbrow.
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
This year’s winner of the Palme d’Or is a nearly four-hour drama about a curmudgeon who lives in Turkey's remote mountains. Despite that, it’s pretty great.