Watchmojo Best of Animated Series

I don’t know how familiar most of you are with youtube but the channel which will make a top 10 of everything (they literally have a top 10 evil despot list…,) watchmojo, has recently come out with a series on the top animated films by decade.  I will share some of my thoughts of their lists and what I would change.

For starters, I wouldn’t factor in success or how it changed the genre.  For my lists it would just be my favorites but I am sure for their channel they need more criteria.  It just seems like there are too many things that are popular or groundbreaking without necessarily being good.


I understand having to go off of the decade idea but why not do a golden age list, xerox list, ect?  You could do 1920-1950, 1950-1979.  Even that would be better than 1920-1970 but whatever that was their choice. For the most part its hard to argue with the quality of films on this list; although, I kind of feel like Charlotte’s Web made the cut because they needed a non-Disney.  I love Charlotte’s Web.  I included it on my Top 11 Forgotten Animated Films. But in the first 50 years of animated films it wouldn’t make my top 10.

I also would definitely not include Peter Pan, which disappointed me probably the most on rewatch.  Pinocchio and Bambi are artistic masterpieces but just not top 10 favorites for me, but I don’t mind them being on the list and I like them.  I personally would add Jungle Book and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (not even an HM?) in place of Charlotte’s Web and Peter Pan, but there isn’t a ‘bad’ movie on their list (too much to pick from over 50 years!)

#10: “Sleeping Beauty” (1959)-

#9: “Peter Pan” (1953)

#8: “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” (1961)

#7: “Charlotte’s Web” (1973)

#6: “Alice in Wonderland” (1951)

#5: “Fantasia” (1940)

#4: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)

#3: “Bambi” (1942)

#2: “Cinderella” (1950)

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
– “Lady and the Tramp” (1955)
– “Dumbo” (1941)
– “The Sword in the Stone” (1963)
– “The Jungle Book” (1967)
– “Robin Hood” (1973)

#1: “Pinocchio” (1940)


Someone took a long drink from the anime train in creating this list.  I can’t disagree with any of the Studio Ghibli picks and I have not seen Grave of the Fireflies or Akira but they are on my list to see.  Fox and the Hound is so corny I struggle including it; although, it certainly is better than other 80’s Disney offerings like Black Cauldron (which I don’t hate but has big flaws) and Oliver and Company.

I personally would take out Fox and the Hound (and certainly never put it 3rd!) and put Transformers on the list (it’s really good! Blows the Michael Bay monstrosities out the window).   I would also pick Secret of Nimh over An American Tail even though I like Tail, Nimh is sooo great with such a dynamic central female character and mother.  You certainly will have no quibble with me on their #1 pick! Little Mermaid is my favorite movie of the 80s period animated or live action.

#10: “The Land Before Time” (1988)

#9: “An American Tail” (1986)

#8: “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988)

#7: “Castle in the Sky” (1986)

#6: “Akira” (1988)

#5: “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989)

#4: “The Great Mouse Detective” (1986)

#3: “The Fox and the Hound” (1981)

#2: “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988)

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
– “The Transformers: The Movie” (1986)
– “The Secret of NIMH” (1982)
– “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (1984)

#1: “The Little Mermaid” (1989)


This is a really solid list with few quibbles from me.  I have not seen Ghost in the Shell but will add it to the list of anime I need to see.  The only other strange addition is James and the Giant Peach because on their 80’s video they said no live action/animated hybrids and so Who Framed Roger Rabbit was out.  James and the Giant Peach has an extended section that is live action (not just a few minutes like Lego Movie).  What’s up watchmojo?

I love Prince of Egypt so that would probably sub out for James but other than that no issue with this list.  Solid picks.  (The order I could squabble with but I’ll give them that). I loved Rescuers Down Under more than the average bloke so if it was solely on my preferences might have put that in and I really do like Tarzan but tough to argue with their choices

#10: “Ghost in the Shell” (1995)

#9: “Mulan” (1998)

#8: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

#7: “James and the Giant Peach” (1996)

#6: “The Iron Giant” (1999)

#5: “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

#4: “Princess Mononoke” (1997)

#3: “Aladdin” (1992)

#2: “The Lion King” (1994)

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
– “Antz” (1998)
– “The Prince of Egypt” (1998)
– “Tarzan” (1999)
– “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)
– “Pocahontas” (1995)

#1: “Toy Story” (1995)


This is another solid list with a lot of predictable choices.  If I was just going off my personal preferences Shrek would definitely not make the list as I find those movies grating and obnoxious.  I am also not the biggest Wes Anderson fan and his style in a children’s film with Fantastic Mr Fox wasn’t a huge fan of although the film looks great.  I would have added The Triplets of Belleville, which is an animated french movie which blew me away.  Corpse Bride absolutely belongs on the list and Howl’s Moving Castle. Both I think are much better than Monsters Inc even though I like MI).

I also love Emperor’s New Groove and Atlantis: The Lost Empire more than the average person, but I can see why they wouldn’t have made the list.  Waltz with Bashir if a stunning adult animated film that I love and I think Chicken Run is better than the Wallace and Gromit; although I like WandG.  That said, it is a solid list and I can see it totally being a popular opinion.  For the record, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs wouldn’t get an HM from me!  I have also found Lilo & Stitch to grow on me (own it on blu-ray now) even though I still hate Stitch’s design and personality. What I like I love!

Up is my favorite movie period, not just animated movie so no issue with me with that at #1 and Spirited Away, Finding Nemo, Incredibles, Rataouille, and Wall-e are masterpieces.

#10: “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005)

#9: “Ratatouille” (2007)

#8: “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009)

#7: “Monsters, Inc.” (2001)

#6: “The Incredibles” (2004)

#5: “Shrek” (2001)

#4: “Spirited Away” (2001)

#3: “WALL-E” (2008)

#2: “Finding Nemo” (2003)

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
– “Kung Fu Panda” (2008)
– “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (2009)
– “Lilo & Stitch” (2002)
– “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000)
– “Chicken Run” (2000)

#1: “Up” (2009)


Another solid and probably very popular list (although Frozen haters will be up in arms.  Go Frozen!). I am not a big fan of Wreck-it Ralph although I see why others like it and don’t dislike it just not as in love with it as others. It wouldn’t make my personal list.  I have also not seen Rango as  most of my friends hated it (not sure why but they did so I never saw it).  Glad to see Ernest and Celestine mentioned as that is such a lovely film (although Secret of Kells is great too).

I guess they were only going with children’s movies for these lists because Persepolis would have been cool to see.  I also loved Big Hero 6 and would put that in the Despicable Me spot (not that big a fan of those movies but I like the Minions!).   I also recently rewatched Paranorman and liked it even better on rewatch.  That would have gotten my Wreck-it Ralph spot.   But still a solid list.  It is kind of strange they go 50 years in first year and only 5 in final list (bad planning watchmojo?).  Definitely no arguments from me on their #1 movie.  Toy Story 3 made me cry my eyes out and it was tense, exciting, scary, and gorgeous- a practically perfect animated film.

#10: “Adventures of Tintin ”

#9: “Wreck-it Ralph”

#8: “Rango”

#7: “Tangled

#6: “Despicable Me”

#5: “Frozen”

#4: “Lego Movie”

#3: “Ernest and Celestine”

#2: “How to Train Your Dragon”

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
– Wind Rises

– Monsters University

– Bolt

– Megamind

– Frankenweenie

– Secret  World of Ariety

#1: “Toy Story 3”

So what do you think of Watchmojo’s list and my comments?  Where are they way off?  Where am I way off?  What do you agree with? As I well know nothing invites debate like the making of lists, so comment away.  Thanks!

22 thoughts on “Watchmojo Best of Animated Series

  1. I think the first list was the weakest, because obviously nobody really has an inkling about early animated movies. I agree with you, Charlotte’s Web wouldn’t have my list either, despite loving the movie. A honorable mention perhaps, because it is quite popular, but realistically speaking, the strange pacing and the quality of the animation let’s the material down.
    The non-Disney movies for this first long decate which are remarkable are “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” and “Watership Down” (I would also ignore Bakshi’s work, but to be honest, Fritz the Cat might have deserved a nod), When it comes to Disney movies, neither Peter Pan nor Alice in Wonderland would have gotten more than a honorable mention, and Cinderella is way too high on the list (though I guess without the movie the ones after it would never have made). I am also not sure about 101 Dalmations…I guess you can argue that it started a new animation style, but it is kind of arguable if this was a good thing. Robin Hood wouldn’t even gotten a honorable mention from me, I love the movie, but the quality of the animation…eh…..
    I am honestly puzzeled why they put Fox and Hound on the second list at all, and why The Great Mouse Detective got more than a honorable mention. I would have put Secret of Nihm in the actual top ten (they really understimated the impact of Don Bluth during this era), and added The Last Unicorn. And perhaps Barefood Gen.
    The third list…it is difficult to do it wrong. They managed. It was no doubt for me that the top spot had to go to either Beauty and the Beast or Princess Mononoke (I leaned to the former, with the second of place two), with maybe Toy Story beating both out because the movie started the CGI era, but naturally they were too impressed by box office. Thing though, Lion King didn’t have an influence on anything, it’s the high point of an era which was influenced by the movies which came beforehand. James and the Giant Peach doesn’t belong on the list at all. Live action segments aside, the movie also got very mixed critics and is not that well known. I agree, Prince of Egypt would have been a good pick for the top ten instead.
    In their place I would have made a cut at this point and would habe made a “best animated movie of the 1900s” list, but they didn’t do it for similiar topics either. Too bad, because “the best of a century” sounds quite impressive. Oh well…the 2000s list is actually easy, you just pick the oscar winners, take a look at the runner up, and give one of the best picture nominated movies I can get behind “Up”, though I am inclined to give it to “Spirited Away” because of the game changer it was concerning the way Anime is seen in th eWestern world.
    the 2010 are to young to give out prices yet.

    1. Great comment! Thanks.

      I think they have done a best of Disney of all time but you’re right a best of century would be interesting (and I’m sure highly controversial). A few you mentioned I have not seen such as The Last Unicorn, Barefoot Gen and Prince Achmed. Will have to check those out.

      I forgot about Watership Down. That is a forgotten gem. Like I said some adult animation like Waltz with Bashir or Persepolis might have been nice to seen on the list. They go out of the box the most on the 80s list and with anime but like you say especially with the 2000s it is pretty predictable but hard to argue with it at the same time.

      Cinderella is my 3rd favorite of the canon and 101 is in my top 10 so no issues them there (Alice in Wonderland is my #11) but yeah I agree with you for the most part. I certainly see what you are saying.

      I was surprised they didn’t pick Treasure Planet for 2000’s as at least an HM because they have it on their Top Most Beautiful Animated Movies list.

      Certainly has given me a lot to think about and a ton of movies to go check out and watch for the first time or rewatch. 🙂

      1. I guess a seperate list for animated movies aimed at adults would have worked, too, but in this case Akira would have belonged on it, too.

        I love Cinderella. I don’t argue with it being in the top ten, because it was a movie which rescued the animation studios, plus, it displays so much of Mary Blair. But I think that for example Sleeping Beauty is a way bigger achievement.

      2. I really want to see Akira. On my netflix que. Sleeping Beauty has a stronger visual style, and Prince and it is #10 in my ranking. Cinderella has more engaging songs and a stronger heroine. So both have their pluses. I love both. Cant decide 🙂

      3. Was just thinking maybe I’ll do a blog on best animated movies for adults. Any favorites?

      4. Well, Watership Down is borderline, as is the less known Plague Dogs…Akira is clearly adressing adults in my eyes (in fact Anime is your best bet, the biggest problem is to figure out which was written for which audience..)…Fritz the Cat is not really good in my eyes, but it is too well known to dismiss it….I have never seen Persepolis, but based on what I heart about the movie I should….same for Walking Live…then there is natrually stuff like Heavy Metal….Walz with Bashir is naturally an award winning example of an animated movie…some of the Pixar movie can be considered more geared towards adults than children….and if you include half-animated, Who framed Roger Rabbit is another movie I would count in the “more for adults” category.
        But all those are pretty much obvious, if you look for movies geared towards adults those are more or less the first results which would pop up. I have one more obscure for you “Felidae”…the movie is based on a bestseller and features a detective cat, but believe me, that one is definitly not geared towards children. The animation is sometimes a little bit questionable, but the source material is so good that it is certainly worth a watch, even if you have to deal with a dub.

    2. Do you think they didn’t include Winnie the Pooh because it was originally a group of shorts? I can see not including the package films for that reason but with Pooh’s ending I think it brings all the shorts together and makes it a cohesive feature film that is certainly one of the best.

      1. I suspect they just forgot. It deserves a HM, but I don’t think it was groundbreaking, so I am not too disappointed that it is missing. In general I wish that they had at least one cut between 1920 and 1970….it’s such a long time they had to cover.

    3. And I actually see Lion King’s pop influence as a heavy influence on Tarzan, Brother Bear and even Tangled’s music. Also you see its character imprint on many future Disney (and other studio) films. Even the Gargoyles trying to be the next wise cracking sidekicks, next Timon and Pumba. So I think Lion King was pretty influential. I ranked it as #13 on my canon list so it would probably make my top 10 of 90s but not as high as they have it. Also the star studded voicecast would certainly be very mimicked although Toy Story was probably also responsible in creating that trend.

      1. Oh, I don’t mind Lion King and Aladdin being there, I just think that both movies are too high because of their box office results.

      2. Concerning the “star studded voicecast”, high quality Animated movies always had well know actors and singers in their cast. Do you think Cliff Richards was a nobody? Or Ilyene Woods? Or Mary Costa? And I say that as a German, we have way more pure voice actors over here than America has, because we really love our radio plays and the the need to dub everything. But most voice actors, especially in the us, are not only voice actors but also have a “second job” so to speak, oftern actor or singer. What is new in the 1990s is that Dreamworks started to advertise with their voice actors more, but Disney doesn’t really do this to this day (at least not to this degree).

      3. That’s true. Good point. It just seemed compared to Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid they had mostly unknowns and after Lion King the big name voices were a bigger deal but you’re right mostly in advertising

      4. Disney hadn’t the budget for big names for The Little Mermaid, plus, they always pick the voices which fit first and foremost.

      5. That’s true. Thankfully voice fit first. Dreamworks I feel often goes with star power first.

      6. I would still say Lion King was influential and you can see people trying to mimic aspects of it in years to come

  2. The lists are fairly agreeable. I like the high placement of Bambi, Cinderella, The Fox and the Hound, TLM, The Lego Movie, HTTYD (and disclusion of HTTYD 2), and the overall strong presence of Pixar (6/10 on the 2000-2009 list!). On a side-note… why is BatB so low? “For this list… [we] have selected those that have achieved the most success, were the most original, and advanced the industry the furthest.” In terms of success (both financially and critically) and advancing the industry (CAPS system, Best Picture recognition), it’s hard to pick a different winner. Was it really that unoriginal?

  3. They just posted a TOP 10 Animated Films of all time list

    10. Snow White and the 7 Dwarves
    9. Bambi
    8. Finding Nemo
    7. My Neighbor Totorrow
    6. Aladdin
    5. Lion King
    4. Little Mermaid
    3. Cinderella
    2. Pinocchio
    Honorable Mentions-
    Spirited Away, Wall-e, How to Train Your Dragon, Up, Great Mouse Detective,
    1. Toy Story
    I would pick Up as my favorite as it is my favorite movie period but a decent list.

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