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 critics and journalists. Some of them are from Time Out, both in the US and the UK, and others include Owen Gleiberman, who until recently was the film critic at Entertainment Weekly, and J Hoberman, formerly of the Village Voice and currently a writer for the New York Times. Explore their top tens here.
Film critics and journalists: A-L
Sam Adams (in alphabetical order)
Sam Adams is the editor of Criticwire, Indiewire’s film and TV criticism blog.
Catherine Bray is the editor of Film4.com and the cocreator of the forthcoming teen-flick documentary Beyond Clueless.
“Watership Down is horrible, obviously. But it’s also fantastic. And okay, some of The Lord of the Ringsis ropy, but the minimalist prologue, evocative battle sequences, and genuinely scary orcs and Ringwraiths are often eerier and feel more truly Tolkienesque than much of Peter Jackson’s more successful screen version. The Wall is not what you’d call an exercise in sharp plotting, but the animated sequences in this Alan Parker–directed nightmare fever vision of shifting dystopias have a proggy charm all their own.”
Alex Dudok de Wit
Alex Dudok de Wit is a journalist and writer specializing in film and animation. He is the son of Michael Dudok de Wit.
Film critics and journalists: G-K
“With apologies to Hayao Miyazaki and the Brothers Quay.”
J. Hoberman (in alphabetical order)
J. Hoberman is the home-video columnist for The New York Times. He wrote for The Village Voice for 33 years, serving as its senior film critic from 1988 to 2012.
“It’s a list with five caveats. (1) My favorite animated films are mainly less than 60 minutes. (2) Hence, I included movies in which digital and/or stop-motion effects are crucial. (3) I also limited myself to only one movie per filmmaker. (4) The list is alphabetical, but I had a tie for tenth place with A Scanner Darkly. (5) I’m sure I forgot something.”
“Every one of the films on this list is pretty much flawless. To be honest, picking The Bugs Bunny/Road-Runner Movie is kind of a cheat: It’s the 11 greatest Looney Tunes shorts haphazardly nailed together, along with a compilation of Road Runner gags. Still, the result is perhaps the funniest movie ever made, certainly the most insanely inventive and unexpectedly literate. Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beautiful Day is the result of eight years work by arguably the most original filmmaker currently working in any medium. It broke my heart.”
“These are unranked. As an amateur cartoonist—or maybe now I’m just a rabid doodler—I have always been attracted to the deceptive simplicity of the drawn line, which reaches the height of its unlikely sophistication with Don Hertzfeldt’s brilliantly subversive short ‘Rejected.’ Meanwhile, Ari Folman’s The Congress is an unprecedented vision of classic and contemporary technologies forced together with constantly beguiling results. Everything else on here has some elements of those ingredients in play, but they’re also just fully unique visions—weird, funny, insightful and uncompromised, they illuminate the range of powers offered by movies of all stripes.”
Film critics and journalists: L-P
Peter Labuza is a contributor to Variety and the Film Stage, an editor with Masters of Cinema and To Be (Cont’d), and the host of the Cinephiliacs podcast.
1. Waking Life
2. Spirited Away
3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
4. The Iron Giant
5. Waltz With Bashir
6. Finding Nemo
7. It’s Such a Beautiful Day
8. Chicken Run
9. The Triplets of Belleville
10. Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors
“Like many lists, this is too dominated by recent animation and perhaps too weighted toward American films. But all of these I find transcendent or at least fascinating, simply to view how paint splashes in unique ways across the screen.”
Matt Prigge is the film and tech editor and critic at New York Metro. He is pursuing his master’s in cinema studies at New York University.
Film critics and journalists: Q-Z
Nathan Rabin is a writer for the Dissolve, former head writer for the A.V. Club and the author of four books, most recently You Don’t Know Me but You Don’t Like Me.
Tasha Robinson is a former writer for the A.V. Club and the Chicago Tribune. She is currently a senior editor at the Dissolve.
1. The Incredibles
2. Charlotte’s Web
4. Spirited Away
5. The Jungle Book
6. The Iron Giant
7. My Neighbor Totoro
8. Kirikou and the Sorceress
9. The Castle Of Cagliostro
10. The Triplets Of Belleville
Keith Uhlich is a film critic at Time Out New York.
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
2. Looney Tunes: Back in Action
3. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
4. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
5. The Adventures of Tintin
6. Sita Sings the Blues
7. The Iron Giant
8. The Triplets of Belleville
9. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
10. Winnie the Pooh