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 animators and filmmakers including the Rio and Ice Age director Carlos Saldanha, director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), CGI pioneer Alvy Ray Smith and the The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast writer Linda Woolverton. Explore their top tens here.
Jeff Scher is a painter and experimental filmmaker whose work has been shown in galleries worldwide. He has directed music videos for Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.
“Prince Achmed is one of the first animated features ever, and it’s still stunning. Silhouette animation magic. Fehérlófia is a film that’s incredible with color. Raw, beautiful, cel-painted, it’s narrative and abstract at the same time.”
Writer-director Henry Selick is best known for his stop-motion animated features James and the Giant Peach, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline.
1. The Adventures of Prince Achmed
4. The Iron Giant
5. My Neighbor Totoro
6. Spirited Away
7. Toy Story
8. The Triplets of Belleville
9. Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
10. Yellow Submarine
Maureen Selwood is an Irish artist and animator whose short films have won numerous international prizes.
2. Yellow Submarine
3. Fantastic Planet
4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
5. Princess Mononoke
6. Alice in Wonderland
7. Toy Story
8. Fantastic Mr. Fox
9. Allegro Non Troppo
10. James and the Giant Peach
“I show Svankmajer’s Alice a lot when I’m teaching. I find it amazing for its exquisite camera and deep understanding of myth and dream, while still being true to the story. I became an animator after seeing Yellow Submarine, and fell in love with George Dunning’s experimental work. Toy Story opened up a new way to tell a story. It made young people think animation was new and special. James and the Giant Peach changed the way we think of stop-motion. Something had to move away from drawing just to bring n a new way of telling a story with a different perspective on space.”
Matthew Senreich is a cofounder of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, whose work includes the animated TV show Robot Chicken and one terrific Simpsons couch gag.
2. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
3. Toy Story
4. The Incredibles
5. The Iron Giant
6. Wreck-It Ralph
7. The LEGO Movie
8. The Transformers
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas
10. The Last Unicorn
Chris Shepherd is an animator best known for his work on the sketch show Big Train and his 2005 collaboration with David Shrigley, “Who I Am and What I Want.”
Alvy Ray Smith
Alvy Ray Smith is digital animation pioneer. He cofounded Pixar, created the Lucasfilm computer division and directed The Adventures of André and Wally B.
“Yes, I know Snow White is kind of corny, but it was the film I saw as a child that first sucked me into the world of animation. I could put any one of the early Disney oeuvre here instead—Pinocchio, Peter Pan,Cinderella. Or Fantasia, which is infamously uneven, but I don’t care. It featured the work of my first animation hero, Preston Blair, with his dancing hippos. I first learned to animate from Blair’s $1.50 how-to book. The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar movie, because of its 1950s vision-of-the-future sets, just as promised by the Ford Times when I was a kid (a magazine for Ford automobile owners); hats off to Brad Bird, the funniest man, who added bite to Pixar. Tubby the Tuba was so bad that it inspired all the rest.”