Thelma the Unicorn: 10 Similar Heart-Warming Animated Movies to Watch

‘Thelma the Unicorn’ is an enchanting animated comedy directed by Jared Hess and Lynn Wang, bringing to life Aaron Blabey’s beloved children’s book series. The musical adventure film, featuring the voices of Brittany Howard, Will Forte, Jemaine Clement, and Zach Galifianakis, follows the whimsical journey of Thelma, a small farm pony with big dreams of musical stardom. After a glittery mishap transforms her into a unicorn, Thelma seizes the chance to shine, captivating audiences and navigating the dizzying heights of fame alongside her quirky bandmates, Otis the donkey and Reggie the llama.

As Thelma grapples with the pressures of her newfound celebrity status, she learns the importance of authenticity and self-acceptance in a heartwarming tale filled with humor, music, and magical moments. If you thirst for more narratives that ooze with the values of authenticity, friendship, and the importance of embracing one’s true self amidst the allure of fame and glamour, have a look at these 10 animated movies like ‘Thelma the Unicorn.’

10. UglyDolls (2019)

‘UglyDolls,’ directed by Kelly Asbury, is an animated musical adventure based on the popular UglyDoll toy line. The film, boasting a star-studded voice cast including Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton, and Pitbull, follows Moxy and her friends as they journey to the Institute of Perfection, confronting what it means to be different and ultimately embracing their unique qualities. Similar to ‘Thelma the Unicorn,’ ‘UglyDolls’ explores themes of authenticity, self-acceptance, and the pursuit of one’s dreams despite societal pressures, making both films heartwarming tales about embracing one’s true self.

9. Turning Red (2022)

Turning Red,’ directed by Domee Shi, is an animated coming-of-age film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. The movie centers on Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a 13-year-old girl who discovers she can transform into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited or stressed. As Mei battles with her newfound abilities and the challenges of adolescence, she navigates the complexities of family, friendship, and self-acceptance. With a heartfelt storyline and vibrant animation, ‘Turning Red’ reels in audiences with its themes of identity, empowerment, and embracing one’s true self, reminiscent of the endearing message found in ‘Thelma the Unicorn.’

8. Sing (2016)

In the animated musical comedy ‘Sing,’ directed by Garth Jennings, a diverse ensemble cast of animals, including a koala, a porcupine, a gorilla, and a pig, come together to compete in a singing competition hosted by a theater owner in desperate need of a hit. Driven by the voices of talented ensemble including Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, and Taron Egerton, the characters navigate their own dreams, fears, and insecurities as they pursue their passion for music. Much like ‘Thelma the Unicorn,’ ‘Sing’ celebrates the power of music and the importance of embracing one’s talents and individuality, delivering a feel-good story with universal themes of perseverance and self-discovery.

7. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

In the animated comedy ‘The Emperor’s New Groove,’ directed by Mark Dindal, viewers are whisked away to the vibrant and whimsical world of ancient Peru. The film follows the arrogant Emperor Kuzco, who is transformed into a llama by his scheming advisor, Yzma, and must rely on a humble peasant named Pacha to help him reclaim his throne. With the voices of David Spade, John Goodman, and Eartha Kitt, among others, the movie takes audiences on a hilarious journey of self-discovery and friendship. Much like ‘Thelma the Unicorn,’ ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ explores themes of humility, redemption, and the importance of embracing one’s true self, delivering a timeless tale with humor and heart.

6. Soul (2020)

In Pixar’s ‘Soul,’ helmed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, audiences are transported into a transcendent realm where jazz musician Joe Gardner embarks on a cosmic adventure after an unexpected accident. With Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey leading the voice cast, the characters dive into existential questions surrounding purpose, passion, and the meaning of life itself. Set against the backdrop of vibrant New York City and the ethereal Great Before, the film takes viewers on a soul-searching journey filled with poignant reflections and philosophical musings. Akin to ‘Thelma the Unicorn,’ but in a more mature way, ‘Soul’ plunges deep into themes of self-discovery, fulfillment, and the interconnectedness of all things, offering a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant exploration of the human experience.

5. Trolls Band Together (2023)

‘Trolls Band Together’ is an animated jukebox musical comedy directed by Walt Dohrn, featuring voices from Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, and Zooey Deschanel. As a sequel to ‘Trolls World Tour,’ the film follows Branch and his brothers, former boyband members of BroZone, as they reunite to rescue their brother Floyd from villainous pop-star wannabes. The adventure underscores themes of family, identity, and self-acceptance. Similar to ‘Thelma the Unicorn,’ where a pony becomes a “unicorn” to chase stardom, ‘Trolls Band Together’ highlights the struggle between true identity and societal pressures, ultimately celebrating authenticity and the power of being oneself.

4. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Both ‘Kubo and the Two Strings‘ and ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ share themes of self-discovery, the importance of embracing one’s true self, and the power of storytelling. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ directed by Travis Knight, is a stop-motion animated film featuring the voices of Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, and Matthew McConaughey. It follows Kubo, a young boy with a magical shamisen, on a quest to retrieve his late father’s armor to defeat a vengeful spirit. Along his journey, Kubo learns about his heritage and the strength within himself, much like Thelma, who discovers the value of authenticity and self-acceptance amidst the deception of fame.

3. Luca (2021)

‘Luca’ and ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ both explore themes of friendship, self-acceptance, and the journey of embracing one’s true identity. ‘Luca,’ directed by Enrico Casarosa, is a charming animated film set on the Italian Riviera, featuring the voices of Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Emma Berman. The story follows Luca, a young sea monster who experiences life on land as a human, forming a deep friendship with another sea monster named Alberto. As they swim through the challenges of fitting in and hiding their true selves, Luca learns the importance of being authentic and accepting his unique identity, echoing Thelma’s journey in discovering the power of being true to oneself.

2. Coco (2017)

‘Coco’ and ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ both tap into the themes of identity, family, and the courage to follow one’s dreams. Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, ‘Coco’ is a vibrant Pixar film that brings the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos to life. Featuring the voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, and Benjamin Bratt, the story follows young Miguel, an aspiring musician who finds himself in the Land of the Dead. On his journey to uncover his family’s secrets and gain their blessing to pursue music, Miguel learns the importance of staying true to himself. Much like Thelma, who is dealing with fame and authenticity, Miguel’s adventure is a tale about embracing one’s true passions and understanding where one truly belongs.

1. Vivo (2021)

Fans of ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ will find ‘Vivo’ an absolute must-watch for its vibrant adventure and heartfelt themes of self-discovery and the transformative power of music. Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords, ‘Vivo’ features the voices of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, and Zoe Saldana. This animated gem follows Vivo, a music-loving kinkajou, on his epic journey from Havana to Miami to deliver a love song on behalf of his late owner. Along the way, Vivo comes to realize the importance of originality and character. Just as Thelma treads her path to stardom, Vivo’s story brims with emotional depth, catchy tunes, and a celebration of authenticity, making it an irresistible experience for ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ fans.

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