Most Artistic Animated Films

So on my recent post debating the merits of CG vs Hand Drawn animation I made the bold statement ‘if I made a list of the most artistic animated movies close to half would be CG’.  Well, it got me wondering and it turns out I lied.  Only 4 out of my Top 20 Most Artistic Animated Films are CG but that’s not half bad given the medium has been around way less time.

To me each of these 20 films are artistic masterpieces and stunning however they are drawn or created.  Art is completely subjective so I thought it would be kind of futile for me to try and explain what I think is beautiful or artistic.  I will just let the images speak for themselves.  If you haven’t seen any of these movies I highly recommend it.

Since again art is in the eye of the beholder please share with me your lists instead of merely critiquing mine (I mean what am I going to say ‘I think it is stunning and you don’t and there you have it).

My Top 20 Most Artistic Animated Films
20. Secret of Nimh

artistic119. Prince of Egypt

artistic218. Book of Life

artistic317. Waltz with Bashiir

artistic416. Tarzan

tarzan and jane15. Up

artistic514. Sleeping Beauty

sleeping-beauty-woods-213. Ponyo

artistic612. Alice in Wonderland

Alice-march-hare-mad-hatter11. Ratatouille

ratatouille-paris-pixar-dvdbash10. Les Triplettes de Belleville

artistic79. Lion King

artistic88. Princess Mononoke

princess mononoke7. Persepolis

persepolis26. Tale of Princess Kaguya

tale-of-princess-kaguya-15. Song of the Sea

song of the sea24. Wall-e

walle3. Spirited Away

artistic92. Bambi

bambi21. Fantasia


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!