Animated movies are our escape. They’re reminders of our childhoods, of simpler times, and for a couple hours, our adulthood troubles are lifted. And if there are kids in the house, then they are subsequently entertained, and you get a much deserved break.
Kids and adults alike love animated movies for a variety of reasons. They make us laugh, especially movies like Shrek, which possesses a potentially illegal amount of moments containing adult humor. They make us cry, and they make us feel just about everything on the emotional scale if they’re well-rounded enough. Animated favorites have hidden treasures in the form of lessons and relatable characters. These films have appealing aesthetics, a perfectly paced plotline, and may even feature the voices of our favorite actors and actresses.
However, there are so many animated movies out in circulation that a few beloved childhood favorites tend to get left behind. That is, until they’re dusted off and brought back to the surface, making us fall in love with them all over again. Massive franchises like How To Train Your Dragon or Shrek may overshadow these classics with their popularity, but they’re still capable of standing on their own once we remember them. Highlighted in this list are some childhood favorites for people of all ages to either discover, or rediscover.
1. The Swan Princess (1994)
In 1994, this classic tale was brought to life for audiences to see the story of Princess Odette and Prince Derek. Born to separate kingdoms, their parents force the two to spend time together as they grow up, hoping for their children to marry and unite the kingdoms one day. Trouble is, the two loathe one another.
Then, Derek suddenly feels differently when he sees the beautiful woman Odette has grown up to be and has a change of heart—for the wrong reasons. It takes a terrible fight, Odette’s fate as a swan and the defeat of Rothbart, the evil sorcerer, for Derek to find out what true love really is.
At times corny, it’s still a classic that, despite box office disappointment, has produced a number of sequels that last to this day.
2. The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
This film’s cult following is substantial; audiences commend its cast, its edgy content and its theme and messages. Funnily enough, the feature could be considered a cross between Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and Toy Story, considering the film follows a group of home appliances in search of their master.
The home appliances, which include a toaster, a blanket, a vacuum, a radio and a lamp, journey in search of their master, refusing to believe they have been abandoned and thus embark on something of a self-discovering kind of quest, testing their limits, and their bonds with one another. For fans of the 1980s, especially musicals, The Brave Little Toaster should be on your list. Plus, it has two sequels, The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue and The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars, to keep the story going.
3. Balto (1995)
Loosely based on a true story, this 1995 story follows a half-wolf, half-dog hybrid named Balto, who lives on an old boat in Nome, Alaska with a goose named Boris. The people of Nome are wary of Balto and most other dogs in town tease him profusely for his heritage. When illness strikes and help is lost, Balto steps up to the plate for the chance to save young Rosie and goes in search of the lost dog sled team, who carry the vital antitoxin to cure the diphtheria victims.
Braving brutal storms and the foes of nature (like a grizzly bear or frozen lake), Balto finally accepts his heritage and uses his newfound strength to find the team and lead them home. It is a truly touching story that made us all love Balto and root for him.
While not initially successful in its theatrical run, it was very successful in video sales, which led to the release of two sequels. Balto’s story is one of hope and overcoming obstacles of practically every kind; whether it be his peers, nature, or Balto himself.
4. A Goofy Movie (1995)
A Goofy Movie is the perfect summertime film, played on the Disney Channel in the late 90s and early 2000s, airing frequently around the time kids would get out of school in May or June. For those of us who didn’t go on cross-country road trips, we lived vicariously through the many misadventures of Goofy and Max.
Afraid Max is slipping from his grasp, Goofy spontaneously takes Max on a road trip to go fishing in Lake Destiny, Idaho. Meanwhile, Max wants to impress Roxanne, so he makes up a story that Goofy knows Powerline, a popular musician, and is going to Powerline’s concert in LA to appear onstage. While the two have their difficult moments, Max and Goofy learn to get along and even repair their previously dissolving relationship. They manage to have a pretty awesome summer out of it, too.
5. The Rugrats Movie (1998)
Every 1990s kid remembers The Rugrats – Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Dil, Angelica and Susie. The kids had wild adventures and unusual perspectives on life that we loved. When their first movie was released, it did incredibly well in the box office and brought about two more sequels.
In this adventure, the kids accidentally take Stu’s newest invention, the Reptar Wagon, for a spin and end up in the woods, where they embark on a journey to find the “lizard”, who they believe will get them home. They have to outrun escaped circus monkeys and a wolf, but they all get a chance to accept newborn Dil, teaching a valuable lesson about family and sticking around for one another.
6. The Jetsons Movie (1990)
The beloved Hanna-Barbera characters of the Jetson family find their lives uprooted when Mr. Spacely, George’s boss, promotes him and sends him to an asteroid to oversee Spacely’s new plant. At first the family rejects the move, then comes to connect with their new community and their new home.
Soon, Elroy and his new friend Teddy-2, alongside another neighbor named Fergie, discover the reasons why the new plant keeps having problems: it’s digging into the community of the Grungees and destroying their homes.
Though perhaps not the most memorable animated film, it’s sentimental among Hanna Barbera fans, or simply for anyone who grew up watching The Jetsons. Plus, it features the voice talents of pop teen sensation Tiffany for 1980s kids.
7. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
This 1986 charmer is perhaps among one of the most underrated of Disney films. Who could ignore the witticisms of Basil of Baker Street, the mouse detective that is based on the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes?
Initially reluctant, Basil takes on the case of finding young Olivia’s father and uncovers a greater scheme than he ever imagined. A rat with an identity crisis out to rule all of England at any cost stands at the forefront as the notorious villain, while Basil is aided by newfound sidekick Doctor Dawson and young headstrong Olivia. Memorable characters, from Basil to a bat with a peg leg, gives this film the life and good vibes it needs to withstand time, and to keep us entertained for years to come.
8. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
In 1939 New Orleans, smooth-talking entrepreneur Charlie B. Barkin is murdered by his business partner Carface. Luckily, as he is a dog, he makes it to Heaven. The thing is, he’s not ready for the afterlife, so he steals a watch and gets himself sent back to Earth.
Out for revenge against Carface, Charlie begins building a new business and snatches a young girl with an ability to talk to animals from Carface’s clutches. He uses her to gamble and win money at horse races, not truly caring for the orphan girl. When he points this out to his jealous best friend Itchy, the little girl overhears and runs away, and is once again captured by Carface.
Faced with saving her or his watch, Charlie does the right thing and saves her, even knowing that if his watch stops he’ll be sent to Hell instead. Luckily for him, giving his life for hers rendered him eligible for Heaven again, and in ghost form he finds Itchy and Anne-Marie together, having been adopted by a kind couple. All dogs do find their way to Heaven, and we love the chemistry that Burt Reynolds and his real-life buddy Dom DeLuise had while playing Charlie and Itchy, respectively.
9. Robots (2005)
A young robot named Rodney has a dream: to become an inventor and meet his idol, Bigweld, in Robot City. All his life he’s never had much money, but his supportive parents have always encouraged him to follow his dreams.
Unfortunately, Robot City isn’t everything Rodney dreamed it would be. He learns that Bigweld’s company isn’t what it used to be, but just before he’s about to give up and go home, he finds another passion: helping to fix robots that cannot afford new parts, and who can no longer find spare parts as Bigweld’s company no longer makes them.
An inspirational story about following your dreams against all odds, this 2005 feature is somewhat overshadowed by the likes of “The Incredibles” and “Madagascar”, the former of which was released shortly before and the latter released shortly after “Robots.” It’s worth keeping in your animated movie archives.
10. The Black Cauldron (1985)
Critically, this movie wasn’t Walt Disney’s finest moment. It plummeted at the box office and the Walt Disney animators were only too happy to move on to other projects, especially since this film nearly forced them to declare bankruptcy. Yet, they didn’t realize the impression “The Black Cauldron” was leaving behind.
A dark fantasy film about the quest of a young princess, a pig keeper, a bard and a creature named Gurgi to destroy a magic cauldron, something seemed to resonate with audiences. Whether it’s the characters, the unusually sadistic appearance of a Disney villain in the form of the Horned King or aesthetics, there’s a lot to choose from. Regardless, it’s a timeless favorite that, despite all odds, still managed to become a beloved classic.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures may contain affiliate links, which may provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.