Animated films make us nostalgic about our childhood. It is subconsciously associated with a period of innocence and childlike curiosity towards the world outside our head-space. It is, therefore, a matter of little surprise that animated films are some of the most preferred genres in the world of cinema. We have carefully handpicked and compiled the top 15 animated films of the 21st century for you.
1. Winnie the Pooh
This animated film was released in 2011. The title alludes to the central character, a talking teddy bear. It is a sweet homage to A. A. Milne’s book, which was the source material for the animated film. The Disney production explores the bliss of reading via the characters that interact with the texts on the page.
2. Millennium Actress
It is a Japanese animated film released in the early 2000s. The film is about two documentary filmmakers exploring the life story of a retired Japanese movie star, Chiyoko Fujiwara. The narration is fragmented, and it makes use of multiple genres and forms.
3. How to Train Your Dragon
A DreamWorks Animation production, the franchise explores an unlikely friendship between a young Viking who’s entering the stage of manhood and his dragon best friend. Their various thrilling adventures together are portrayed through stunning painterly visuals and cinematography.
4. Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo is Pixar’s much-adored production. The animated film explores the emotions tied in a familial bond, bridging the gap between a father and his vulnerable and adventurous son, the titular protagonist.
5. Toy Story 3
Released approximately a decade after Toy Story 2, this animated film raises quite a few soul-searching questions, possibly impacting the adults more than the children as an appreciation of childhood innocence.
This animated movie is based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The film revolves around the protagonist’s journey in a sinister world after escaping from her neglectful parents.
Unlike many animated comedies, Ratatouille is slow-paced. The title refers to the French dish served in the film while cheerfully doubling as a reference to the protagonist, a rat. The film celebrates artists.
An Oscar nomination, this animated movie is an autobiographical account by Marjane Satrapi, enmeshing personal and political elements together by narrating her terrifying account of growing up in Tehran during the Rebellion. The book and the film present an alternate perspective about the Islamic Revolution, which the western media often do not depict.
Through its lonely, nearly-mute garbage-robot for a protagonist, Pixar’s film warns the audience to pay attention to preserving the environment to avoid meeting an apocalyptic end. Therefore, this animated film can be viewed as a dystopian film too.
10. The Wind Rises
With the banner of Studio Ghibli, the film requires little introduction. It is another excellent work by Director Hayao Miyazaki. Inspired by the life of a Japanese airplane designer, Jiro Hirokoshi, the melodramatic film gently portrays the end and beginning of an era in Japan in the context of World War II.
11. Waltz with Bashir
Waltz with Bashir is another animated gem that inter-mingles personal and political on the screen. The film deals with the horrors of the Lebanon War. It is an animated documentary film that depicts the dehumanization and trauma of the war.
12. Fantastic Mr. Fox
This animated movie is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, which falls under children’s literature. The film is laced with goofy humor and was released in 2009. It depicts a fox family, where the head of the family engages in a morally wrong action out of desperation, therefore, finds himself in a difficult position.
13. The Tale Of Princess Kaguya
The Tale of Princess Kaguya is another release by Studio Ghibli, directed by Isao Takahata. The pastoral animated film expertly spins a tale around the themes of environmentalism and feminism.
14. It’s Such A Beautiful Day
This animated film combines the 2011 twenty-three-minute short film of the same title with two other shorts. It expertly employs satire and ends with questions about mental illness and identity. IndieWire, a film industry and review website, calls it “a stone-cold masterpiece.”
The list will be incomplete without mentioning the pure magic that Pixar created via this animated film. Perhaps one of the greatest grief movies ever created, this animation gently portrays the importance of human relationships, hope, and love- all presented against the backdrop, based on the principle of “Joie de vivre.”
To End The List…
A few honorary mentions in the world of 21st century animated films include Frozen (parts 1 and 2), Brave, Shrek, and Wreck-it Ralph. Perhaps the most tremendous boon of living in a digital world is the vast plethora of contents, genres, forms, and styles of animated films, from which the audience can choose to watch.
So this weekend, grab a mug of coffee or a bowl of potato chips. Go through the list given above, hit the couch, and dive into the world of fascinating animation films.
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