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

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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.

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Daniel Thomas MacInnes

Daniel Thomas MacInnes is the publisher and writer of Ghibli Blog, a webzine dedicated to Studio Ghibli, animation and the movies.


“Isao Takahata’s emotionally overpowering tone poem Only Yesterday is a work of genius, Ozu painted with watercolors. It is a masterwork of a style that literally does not exist in the West, but should: a naturalist animation that blends documentary neorealism, surreal pop art and every director’s trick in the book. The scene of a sunrise peaking over a mountain range, illuminating fields of safflowers, may be the single most beautiful moment in all of cinema. Whisper of the Heart is a stunningly beautiful coming-of-age story, one that treats its characters (and its audience) with respect and honesty. Hayao Miyazaki’s personal touches abound: the value of hard work, the awareness of loss, his romanticism. But director Yoshifumi Kondo is the real star, whose quiet pacing perfectly pairs Miyazaki’s dynamism with Takahata’s realism. His 1998 death remains a tragic loss.’



Helen McCarthy

Helen McCarthy is the U.K.’s foremost authority on Japanese animation. She founded Anime UK magazine, and her books include The Anime Encyclopedia.


“I don’t know how anybody ever picks the ‘all-time top ten’—we haven’t seen all time yet, so how do we know? But favorites—that’s something else. I may not know much, but I know what I like. Mostly. Totoro has been my number-one movie since I first saw it in 1989; it’s the greatest film ever made. My father took me to see Sleeping Beauty as a little girl, and Eyvind Earle’s artistry blew me away. Pom Poko is funny, thought-provoking, beautifully animated and very honest; Isao Takahata is in many ways a more interesting and challenging filmmaker than his colleague Hayao Miyazaki. Testicle sight gags aren’t normally part of family animation.”



Marco Pelliteri

Marco Pellitteri is a scholar and author whose works include books on Walt Disney, Pokemon and manga.


Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson is artistic director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. He also wrote the screenplay for the animated documentary “Lipsett Diaries.”


“In truth, if you really want to find the depth, diversity and all that good stuff about animation, you’re best bet is to look toward short films. There you will find the essence. But since we’re restricted to animation features (none of which have reached the heights of short-form animation), here are nine you should find, watch and breathe.”




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