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The 15 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century


Animated movies have a separate fan base. It doesn’t matter if the viewer is young or old, animated films are popular among everyone. It’s primarily the storyline of an animated film that keeps the audience engaged. Whether it is comedy, drama, fantasy, action, or any genre, They captivate us with their appealing screenplays and profound characters. When a film begins with an intense scene, gets more fascinating as it progresses, and ends with a satisfying resolution. That’s when we use the word “Best” and that is generally rare.

In this 21st-century, I have watched a lot of animated flicks and enjoyed some of them, while others were vapid. Based on everything I have seen so far, these are the 15 best animated films of the 21st century with engaging storytelling and brilliant character development.

Here’s the thing; cinema is a subjective experience. Obviously, you might not have the same taste as me, so this is the list based on my subjectivity.

 

Contents

15. Klaus

Klaus best animated movies

Klaus, a Christmas film, is a beautiful tale about a lazy postman who is dispatched to a frozen island, where feuding people hardly come out of their houses. A great deal of this film’s appeal lies in how he invites joy & laughter to the island with the help of his new friends, Klaus & Alva.

What I personally love about Klaus is the quality of its writing and the exceptionally well-built characters that elevate this cinema to a higher level. Well, If I’d have to summarize: It’s a heart-warming and touching film that portrays the elements of selflessness, compassion, generosity, and goodwill with aesthetic storytelling. It is more or less a biography of Santa Claus. You will immerse in it and I have no doubt that Klaus is one of the best Christmas movies ever.

“A true act of goodwill always sparks another”

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Cast:  Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, and more..

Plot: After a postman proved to the worst worker at the academy, he is sent to a frozen town where he finds out about Klaus.

 

14. Fantastic Mr. Fox

fantastic mr. fox best animated movies

Fantastic Mr.Fox has to be the underrated animated movie that a lot of people may have missed. It’s odd, humorous, entertaining & depicts a deep message that allows you to think deeper. It also has remarkable characters that will stay with you for a long time.

If I have to say one thing about Fantastic Mr.Fox, it’s a beautifully crafted animated film you must not avoid.

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Cast:  George ClooneyMeryl StreepBill Murray,  and more..

Plot: Mr. Fox, a family man finds himself ambushed when three farmers decide to kill him and his kind.

 

13. Monster Inc

Monster Inc best animated movies

Have you ever felt someone pulling your ankles while you’re sleeping? Indeed, I know every person would feel this way & get tizzy about it. If you want to learn the truth behind it, watch Monsters Inc right now. No, I’m not kidding, it is exactly what happens when we sleep. It’s a business for every monster, they share rivals, whoever scares humans the most will get more points & attains 1st place.

Just kidding, Monster Inc is a film that gives you a laugh riot the entire time you’re watching. It’s one of the most hilarious & comedy animated films you shouldn’t miss.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Cast:  Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs, and more..

Plot: In Monstropolis, best friends Sulley and Mike are the top scarers. However, their lives are hugely disrupted when a human girl gets through their world.

 

12. Your Name (2016)

Your Name best animated movies

Your Name is a must-watch animated movie if you’re a fan of romantic & love story stories. It’s gonna be unique, arresting, mesmerizing & emotional which will definitely wedge your heart. While the music is also heart-touching.

You may be looking for romantic stories, then don’t miss Your Name.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Cast:   Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita, and more..

Plot: Two teenagers feel a magical connection upon discovering they are swapping bodies.

 

 

11. Zootopia

Zootopia best animated movies

Zootopia is about anthropomorphic animals as if they are the main living things in the world. It’s one of the most embraced & best animated films of the 21st century.

Looking for a hilarious & engaging animal feature? Zootopia is the best choice. It’s sort of detective thriller, adventurous, & humor blended into one.

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Cast:  Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, and more..

Plot: In a city of anthropomorphic animals, Judy Hopps, a rookie officer in the Zootopia police department uncovers a conspiracy with the help of a cynical con artist in order to prove her abilities.

 

10. Finding Nemo

Finding nemo best animated movie

Finding Nemo is one of the nostalgic & animated films that we all love. Imagine if we could see the emotions of fishes, & their lifestyle as if they can talk. That’s what finding Nemo shows with enthralling screenplay & phenomenal character arcs.

It’s personally my childhood favorite film & used to watch this many times whenever I’m bored and it is still one of my favorites & will always be.

Also, I forgot marlin is a clownfish who suffers from short-term memory & makes lame jokes. ( It’s a joke, I know it’s dory)

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Cast:  Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and more..

Plot: When Nemo is caught in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, his father marlin & Dora sets on a quest to seek his son.

 

9. Inside out

Inside out best animated movies

A truly thought-provoking animated film, Inside Out keeps you entertained throughout the entire movie. Just imagine if you can see how your emotions act & are portrayed. It’s a hilarious & beautiful representation of five core emotions, Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness which are common in every person. Basically, Inside out is what shows you how you’re inside of your brain in a cartoonistic way.

It is highly recommended for comedy genre geeks who are looking for exhilarating storytelling & hilarious characters.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and more..

Plot: Eleven-year-old Riley decides to move to San Francisco, leaving behind her parents in Minnesota. Her five core emotions, Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust, and Sadness, copes with her new life.

8. How to Train Your Dragon

How to train dragon series best animated movies

How To Train Your Dragon is undoubtedly one of the most adventurous & best animated films of all time. Imagine a friendly dragon, that’s what it is. It has strong character development, captivating storytelling, & emotional drama that will make you cry at certain points. I’m clear that you will fall in love with the dragon & main lead chemistry.

The entire saga will surely be one of your favorite animated series.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and more..

Plot: A discontented Viking who aspires to hunt dragons befriends a young dragon.

 

7. The Incredibles

the incredibles best animated movies

The Incredibles is one of the best enjoyable & entertaining animated films of all time. Are you fond of the superhero genre? then, The Incredibles should clearly be on your watchlist. You may be a comic book reader or marvel fan, if that’s the case, you’ll surely love this series & will cosplay them.

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, and more..

Plot: An undercover superhero family, while trying to live suburban life, are forced to come into action & save the world.

 

6. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse best animated films

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is regarded as the best spiderman movie of all time. It’s the SPIDERMAN, one of the most loved characters in the comic book.

If you’re a marvel fan, who still hasn’t watched this film yet, just go & watch it right now. Yea, most of the Marvel fans would’ve watched it already but, you know it’s just a strongly recommended film even you’re a normal film geek. It certainly has a gripping screenplay that makes you hooked to the screen. Spiderverse is a phenomenon when different universes collide & create a rift. That’s when we witness various versions of spiderman from different universes which reminds me & want to say SPIDERMAN ASSEMBLE.

“You aren’t a superhero genre geek if you still haven’t seen this film,” Nuff said.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Cast:   Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, and more..

Plot: Teenage, mile morales after becoming spiderman in his universe meets alternative versions of spiderman to save the multiverse.

 

5. Up

Up best animated films

Up is a heart whelming & soulful animated film you should never miss. My definition of an animated film is ” pushing the bounds of fantasy storytelling with no conditions.” It’s an opportunity to tell fantasy stories on a supreme level & immerse the audience with a capturing tale. So is Up, which depicts the life of a couple who fancies to achieve their surreal aspirations.

I’m sure it’s a tear-jerker & makes you cry while watching the movie. It gives a new meaning to life, dreams, & obstacles, suggesting to live every min to the fullest & celebrate the cheery life with what you have. We don’t know the importance of a person until they’re gone, & that’s what the main lead learns & moves on with.

If there is one animated film which you will be your last, Watch Up.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Cast:Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, and more..

Plot: Carl, Oldman goes on an adventure in his flying house in quest of Paradise Falls, his wife’s dream destination.

 

4. Coco

coco best animated films

Coco is such a film that comes rarely & doesn’t make you feel bored even for 1 minute. It’s such a masterpiece that engages you with its engrossing screenplay, amazing characters & thought-provoking story. I’m sure all of us would think of coco film and imagine what it would be like to experience it in person. My personal expectations were zero prior to watching Coco, but after the first 15 minutes, I had a hunch that it would be awesome & indeed it turned out to be one of my favorite animated films. I highly recommend it for people who are related to Mexico as the main story revolves around the Mexican family.

Moreover, If you’re looking for the best-animated musical movie that puts you on the edge of your seat. Coco is for you.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Cast:   Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, and more..

Plot: Miguel, a musician aspirant confronted with his family suppression on music, embarks on the land of the dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

 

3. Toy Story

toy story best animated films

Of course, Everyone has grown up watching Toy Story films, especially if they were born in the 90s. There is a nostalgic feel to it that makes us reminisce about our childhood. Because why wouldn’t it, We literally grew up watching toy story, and yes, I did the same thing as you

Deliberately peeking at Woody & Buzz to see whether or not they’re moving. We all did this as kids.

However, Despite this pure euphoria, some people still have not watched these classics & missed the joy in childhood. But not to worry, it is not too late. Toystory is such a series that is engaging all throughout irrespective of any age. It is enjoyed by all ages & will undoubtedly become one of your favorite animated films of all time, I mean it. When you have the chance, watch the Toy Story movies if you’re off for the day.

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, and more.

Plot: The adventures of a group of living toys who pretend to be inanimate before humans.

 

2. Wall E

walle best animated films

Wall E is personally one of my favorite & arguably best animated films of the 21st century. The main aspect I love about this animated movie is gritty and grim storytelling. It depicts the dark fate of humanity in modern society and how they’ll become captives of technology. Right off the bat, you’ll hook to the screen & eager to know what happens every next moment. We may have seen movies that portrayed fictitious contexts such as artificial intelligence dominion, earth extinction, and spaceship invasion. However, in this feature, we’ve got every aspect that is required for a perfect post-apocalyptic film.

Never miss this masterpiece if you love animated films.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, and more.

Plot: On abandoned earth, a small outmoded robot that collects garbage on the planet meets a modern robot & falls in love with her. Together, how they changed the fate of mankind?

 

1. Spirited Away

Spirited Away best animated films

There’s a strong reason spirited away being at top 1. This is definitely one film we have to talk about. Honestly, without spirited away, a list of best animated films would be incomplete. It is such a mature animated movie that you can’t ignore because of its depth of intricate writing & elements that resonate with real-life views. Spirited away covers many allegorical concepts & perceptions on society. Especially greed and consumerism have been highly alluded throughout the film. It pushed the boundaries of cartoon storytelling with brilliant underlying themes & compelling characters. It isn’t a generic animated film you all have been watching for years, spirited away has to be a rarely brilliant animated movie that every age group should watch.

To sum up, I’d say spirited away is the top-tier masterclass movie.

 

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

Cast:  Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, and more..

Plot: A 10-year-old girl and her parents wander into a world ruled by supernatural beings and where humans are changed into beasts.

 

Honorable Mentions :

There are still some movies that people have enjoyed & admired,

  • The Lego Movie
  • Moana
  • Soul
  • Shrek
  • Big Hero 6
  • Frozen
  • I Lost My Body
  • Coraline

 

Which is your favourite animated movie ?

 

15 Best Animated Movies of the 21st Century

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Rosie Ireland
7 months ago

I’ve still not seen coco! I know people were going mad about it before Christmas, so I’m adding it to my watch list!

Rosie