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MHT Space > 15 Best Animated Movies of the 21st Century

15 Best Animated Movies of the 21st Century

Animated movies have a separate fan base. From 5 to old age, people love watching animated movies irrespective of their age. It’s primarily the story an animated film comprises. Whether it is comedy, drama, fantasy, action, or any genre, we watch and immerse in them by its engaging screenplay & profound characters. When the film begins with an intense scene, gets more fascinating & ended with gratifying resolution. That’s when we use the word “Best” and that is generally rare.

So, in this 21st century, I’ve seen many animated flicks and enjoyed most of them, while some were vapid. Out of everything I’ve seen so far, I consider these 15  best animated movies that carry definitive storytelling with compelling characters that hold our spellbound.

Wall E

walle best animted movies

Wall E is personally one of my favorite & arguably best-animated movies of the 21st century. The main aspect I love the most about this animated movie is gritty and grim storytelling. It depicts how humanity would become in modern society and how they’ll become captives to technology. Right from the beginning, you’ll hook to the screen & eager to know what will happen next. We may have seen movies that have shown artificial intelligence dominion, earth extinction, and spaceship invasion. However, in this feature, we 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?



Klaus best animated movies

Klaus is the latest animated christmas movie that you all love even if you’re a 90’s or 20’s person. What’s so special about this cinema is the writing & exceptional character writing. Klaus brought fresh viewpoints and make us think for some time after watching it. It tells a beautiful tale of incredible characters who prove gifts & materialism isn’t a real christmas. But, the love, care, generosity collectively is what makes a joyful and real christmas.

It’s so captivating, refreshing & has great characters that immerse you throughout the feature. Never miss if you love christmas.

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 santa.



coco best animated movies

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 everyone would think about coco & imagine if it happens in real life.  Personally, I had zero expectations before watching Coco after the first 15 minutes, I had a hunch that it’s gonna be incredible along the way & that turns out to be true. It is highly recommended for people who are from mexico, as the main story revolves around the mexican family.

If you’re looking for the best-animated musical movie that puts you on the edge of your seat. Coco is for you. You’ll enjoy thoroughly with its music as well.

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.


Toy Story

toy story best animated movies

Of course, everyone knows toy story films since their childhood especially if you’re a 90’s kid. It’s a nostalgic feeling that makes us reminisces about our childhood & toy story films. I know maybe still some people haven’t watched them, but don’t worry it’s not too late. Toystory is such a series that makes you binge-watch the entire saga & stick to the screen.

If you have a good time & off for one day, then toy story is a strongly recommended series for you. Despite the fact it’s an animated film about toys, every age group would love & become a fan of it.

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.


Inside out

Inside out best animated movies

Inside out is one of the most thought-provoking animated movies that thrill you throughout the film. 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.


Up best animated movies

Up is a heartwhelming & soulful animated film you should never miss. My definition of an animated film is ” pushing the boundaries of  fantasy storytelling with no limitations.” It’s an opportunity to tell fantasy stories on a supreme level & immerse the audience by capturing tale. So is Up, which depicts the life of a couple & their dreams they want to achieve.

I’m sure it’s a tear-jerker & makes you cry while watching the movie. It gives 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.


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.


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.

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.


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 & celebrated animated films in 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.


Monster Inc

Monster Inc best animated movies

Have you ever felt someone may pull 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 & gets 1st place.

Monster Inc is a film that makes you laugh 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.



Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse best animated movies

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.


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 & action 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 point. 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.


Spirited Away

Spirited Away best animated movies

Oh yeah, Spirited Away is the highest-rated animated movie and probably the most acclaimed film in the animation category. The list of best animated movies is incomplete without spirited away. What I love about this movie is the depth of storytelling & its spectacular theme. It may not be a regular animated movie you all watch, but spirited away has to be a rare & brilliant anime movie that every movie fanatic should watch.

About cinema storytelling, It’s not easy to portray darker views through films even though you have an idea about it. But, spirited away is perfectly crafted & well-executed which will stay with us for a long time.

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.


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.


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 makes you think. It also has remarkable characters that will stay with you for a long time.

If I have to one thing about Fantastic Mr.Fox, it’s a beautifully crafted animated film you should 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.


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


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Rosie Ireland
2 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!