”Animated movies are primarily made for children” is an outdated statement. Like any Hollywood hit machine, animated movies can also lure kids and adults alike and sweep the box office to become blockbusters. Numerous animated flicks have been made throughout the history of cinema. More than 100 years have passed since ‘Fantasmagori,’ the first animated cartoon by Émile Cohl that came out in 1908. Not to forget, Winsor McCay’s ‘Little Nemo (1911)’ and ‘Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)’, which are among the most popular movies of this genre. From the early animated movies, which were made by a team of animators drawing each frame manually with all the background and character details, the medium has matured into a full-fledged genre that can represent all our dreams and fears. With that said, here’s the list of really good animation movies on Amazon Prime that are available to stream right now:
16. The Gruffalo (2009)
‘The Gruffalo’ is a heartwarming tale of a mouse who sets out on a journey in search of a nut. Based on the classic children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson, the plot revolves around the mouse’s journey through the dangerous woods, keeping himself alive from the claws of predators. ‘The Gruffalo‘ unfolds as a bedtime story narrated by a Red squirrel mother for her children. The mother presents the story as a parable of survival tactics and resilience. ‘The Gruffalo’ is directed by Jakob Schuh and Max Lang. The voice cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, John Hurt, and Tom Wilkinson.
15. Wrinkles (2011)
‘Wrinkles’ is a 2D animated movie based on the 2008 Spanish comic of the same name created by Paco Roca. The movie is centered around the friendship between two old men, Emilio and Miguel, who live in a remote care home. Emilio, who has Alzheimer’s disease, depends on Miguel and other inmates to cope up with the adverse conditions in the care home. Everyone fears to end up on the top floor which is also known as the ‘assisted’ floor for extreme cases. In order to save Emilio from the horrible floor, a gang of inmates plan a wild escape scheme. Though the plan doesn’t go as expected, it opens up a new door of hope for them. Directed by Ignacio Ferreras, ‘Wrinkles’ features a voice cast of Tacho González, Álvaro Guevara and Mabel Rivera.
14. Ryan (2004)
‘Ryan’ is an animated documentary tribute to the legendary Canadian animator Ryan Larkin. The movie is created and directed by Chris Landreth and unfolds as a long conversation between Landreth and Larkin. Inspired by Landreth’s chance encounter with Larkin, ‘Ryan’ also incorporates interviews of Larkin’s ex-partner and colleagues. ‘Ryan’ shows clippings from ‘Walking’ and ‘Street Musique’, Ryan’s ground-breaking animated shorts. The movie shows Larkin as a burned out artist addicted to cocaine and alcohol during the ’70s. ‘Ryan‘ is a touching tribute to one of the most brilliant animators who ever lived.
13. Sita Sings the Blues (2008)
‘Sita Sings the Blues’ is an animated retelling of the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. The movie centers around Sita, wife of Lord Rama, who accompanies him to the wilderness in a 14-year exile. When the demon king Ravana abducts Sita from their forest home, Rama embarks on a long journey which ends up in a bloody war with the mighty Ravana of Lanka to retrieve the love of his life. Directed by Nina Paley, the movie also depicts a biographical narration of the filmmaker’s relationship with her husband. ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ is an experimental animated flick with tracks by Annette Hanshaw accentuating the story. The voice cast includes Annette Hanshaw, Aseem Chhabra and Bhavana Nagulapally.
12. Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)
‘Kirikou and the Sorceress’ is an animated folk tale based on the West African myths. The movie features a young boy named Kirikou and the people in his remote village. Kirikou is a talented boy who can speak and walk at a younger age. His village is cursed by the evil witch Karaba who devoured all males except one. The little boy embarks on an epic journey with the last man in his village, who is his uncle, in search of the evil witch. Little Kirikou and his little tricks are the last hope for the villagers. The movie is directed by Michel Ocelot and Raymond Burlet. ‘Kirikou and the Sorceress’ features Doudou Gueye Thiaw, Maimouna N’Diaye and Awa Sene Sarr as the voice cast.
11. The Last Unicorn (1982)
‘The Last Unicorn’ is a Japanese-American animated movie based on the novel of the same name written by Peter S. Beagle. The plot follows a unicorn who learns from a butterfly that she is the last living creature in her race. The Unicorn sets out to find the truth behind the disappearance of all other unicorns. She befriends Schmendrick, an unsuccessful magician, and Molly Grue, a middle-aged woman who fancies unicorns. Their investigation ends up at the seaside castle of King Haggard, the keeper of the Red Bull. The king is obsessed with unicorns and captures them from all the places. The last unicorn prepares for the final showdown to save her race from extinction along with her best friends. ‘The Last Unicorn’ is directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. and features a tremendous voice cast which includes Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury, and Christopher Lee.
10. Life, Animated (2016)
‘Life, Animated’ is a touching documentary based on Ron Suskind’s 2014 book named ‘Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism’. The movie follows the real events in the life of Ron Suskind’s son, Owen Suskind. The boy grapples with autism and learns to communicate with others despite his difficulties. The film shows how he achieves this feat through his passionate love for Disney’s animated movies. The Disney flicks provide Owen with a tool to understand the outside world and he responds to the external stimuli in an effective way at the age of 3. The boy eventually starts to develop his own stories inspired by the Disney classics. ‘Life, Animated‘ is directed by Roger Ross Williams. Jonathan Freeman, Gilbert Gottfried, Alan Rosenblatt, Owen Suskind, and Ron Suskind are part of the voice cast.
9. The Busy Little Engine (2005)
‘The Busy Little Engine’ tells the story of a wooden toy train who acts like a real one. But the toy train doesn’t know how real trains behave in the real world. So he tries to improvise a little bit which lands him in apparent embarrassment. Busy Little Engine’s puppet friend, Pig, comes to the rescue. Busy Little Engine and his friend learn about the real life of trains through role plays and manipulated dreams. The movie presents the chaotic adult world from the point of view of a little kid. ‘Busy Little Engine’ is directed by Desmond Mullen, who also lends his voice to the Engine. Lorrie Guess serves as the voice of the narrator.
8. The Snowman (1982)
‘The Snowman’ is based on the children’s picture book of the same name created by Raymond Briggs. The movie tells the magical tale of a snowman and a young boy who believes the legend is true. The boy makes a snowman on Christmas Eve and goes to sleep in the hope that the snowman will come at midnight to see him. As per the boy’s wish, the snowman comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet none other than the Santa Claus! The short was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Directed by Dianne Jackson and Jimmy T. Murakami, the movie features David Bowie and Raymond Briggs as the voices of the main characters.
7. Ernest & Celestine (2012)
‘Ernest & Celestine’ is based on the children’s books by Belgian writer and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent. The movie follows the titular characters, Celestine, who is a little mouse, and Ernest, a big bear. The worlds of rodents and bears are separated by thick lines and prevailed by mutual fear and hatred. In order to escape the career as mouse dentist, Celestine runs away from the rodent world. Ernest, a street bear musician, is also rejected from his bear community for standing out in the crowd. The two outcasts find a common platform and mutual connection despite the enmity between their races. Together, Ernest and Celestine embark a dangerous journey into the depths of criminal underworld. The movie is directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner.
6. Yellow Submarine (1968)
The animated musical ‘Yellow Submarine’ features the Beatles‘ music and cartoon counterparts as characters. The plot centers around the fictional country of Pepperland under the sea. The music apartheid Blue Meanies take over Pepperland and ban all its music. They fire anti-music weapons, chase people with green apples, turning them into stone with the Dreadful Flying Glove, and wreck havoc in Pepperland in all possible ways.
Lord Admiral is the only survivor who manages to get out of the land in the yellow submarine. He goes straight to Liverpool and meets the Beatles. The music band reaches Pepperland to take on the enemies. Their weapons are the songs, ”Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”, ”With A Little Help From My Friends”, ”Hey Bulldog” and ”All You Need is Love”. The real Beatles appear at the end of the movie singing ”All Together Now”. The movie is directed by George Dunning. Though the cartoon Beatles are voiced by other actors, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr appear in the closing scene as themselves.
5. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
‘The Secret of NIMH’ is an animated adventure flick based on the 1971 children’s novel, ‘Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH’ by Robert C. O’Brien. The plot follows a widowed mouse and her sick son. Their tiny family is in grave danger of elimination because of a farmer. In order to save her son from the enemy, the mouse seeks help from her friends — a crow and a pack of lab rats. The mother mouse also learns from the lab rats that her late husband was in the lab along with the rats. Together, they were subjected to some mysterious experiments at N.I.M.H. (The National Institute of Mental Health). Though the experiments give the rats superpowers, not all of them can bear the outcome. They agree to help the mother mouse to move her house. But in the chaotic events that follow, the mother mouse’s will power to save her family helps the rescue team to perform a miracle, ‘The Secret of NIMH’ is directed by Don Bluth. The voice cast includes Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi and Dom DeLuise.
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4. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
‘The Adventures of Tintin’ is a 3D animated action flick based on the comic book series created by renowned Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The plot revolves around a young reporter named Tintin, his best friend dog Snowy and the Unicorn, an ancient ship that rests on the seabed with a hidden fortune. But Tintin and his gang, which includes Captain Haddock and detectives Thompson and Thompson, find themselves in a rat race with the Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine to reach the ship first. They follow the clues and symbols that lead to the ship only to realize that it doesn’t just hold a fortune but also a curse. ‘Tintin’ is directed by Steven Spielberg and features an ensemble voice cast that includes Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, and many more.
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3. Chico & Rita (2010)
‘Chico & Rita’ is a bilingual animated flick that unfolds in Havana, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Paris. Set in the late ’40s and early ’50s, the movie follows Chico, a young and talented piano player with ambitious dreams, and Rita, a beautiful woman with a mesmerizing singing voice. Music brings them together and love makes them one. ‘Chico & Rita’ is the tale of their struggle to hold on to each other against all odds. Their love for each other and passion for music take them from Havana to New York, through Paris, Hollywood, and Las Vegas. Their 60 years of journey culminates in an emotional reunion. The English and Spanish versions of the movie are directed by Tono Errando, Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal. Eman Xor Oña, Limara Meneses and Mario Guerra voice the major characters.
2. Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)
The animated superhero movie ‘Batman vs. Two-Face’ is a sequel to ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.’ The plot involves a botched lab experiment by Professor Hugo Strange and his assistant Dr. Harleen Quinzel, which leaves former Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent severely injured. One side of his face is scarred by the explosion. The accident also makes deep wounds on his mind and he transforms into the villainous persona of Two-face. Soon, Gotham City slips into a new wave of crimes and criminals. Batman and Robin manage to capture Dent and help him recover from his physical and mental injuries. But the crimes in the city increase at an exponential rate. All the acts follow the typical Two-face’s mode of operations, yet, the recovering Dent seems innocent. The movie is directed by Rick Morales. Adam West, Burt Ward and William Shatner lend voices to the lead characters of the film.
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1. Tatsumi (2011)
‘Tatsumi’ is a manga-inspired animated film based on the memoir ‘A Drifting Life’ and other short stories by the renowned Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi. The plot follows Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who is a comics artist living in post-war Tokyo. Tatsumi meets Osamu Tezuka, the legendary Japanese manga artist, cartoonist and animator, in a chance encounter. The meeting leads Tatsumi to create the gekiga genre of Japanese manga for adult readers. The movie also features Tatsumi’s short stories like ‘Hell,’ ‘Beloved Monkey, and ‘Just a Man,’ in between the biographic stream. Tatsumi himself provides the narration for the biographical part. The film is directed by Eric Khoo and features Japanese stage actor Tetsuya Bessho as the voice actor.
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