The best animated movies here are those that are easy to find and enjoy with your family. Charm, invention, a great story and a little magic are the perfect ingredients of the very best family films.
This is the pick of the best:
1. Up (2009)
Pixar’s first film in digital 3D begins with a tear-inducing backstory and is followed by a breathtaking scene where thousands of balloons lift octogenarian Carl’s house into the skies and take him on a journey of exploration, adventure and ultimately self-discovery in the jungles of South America. It is a true family film with something to appeal to the youngest and oldest ends of the scale.
2. Spirited Away (2001)
The most rewarding of Miyazaki’s film that won an Oscar tells the story of young Chihiro and her parents, who are en route to their new home but take a wrong turn and are spirited away into a magical world. When her parents are transformed into pigs and a flood prevents her from leaving, our feisty, 10-year-old heroine must fend for herself against Yubaba, the witch. It is a beautiful piece of filmmaking.
3. Song of the Sea (2014)
This visually stunning and enchanting fable combining Irish mythology, is about loss, magic and the love of family. When Saoirse and Ben’s mother mysteriously disappears into the ocean, the two children go on an epic journey to find out the truth about her, and in the process, discover mystical secrets about both their mother and Saoirse herself.
4. Inside Out (2015)
After 11 year old Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life to San Francisco, her conflicting emotions dealing with a new city, house, and school make for a heart-moving and meaningful movie that will also make you smile.
5. The Muppets (2011)
A good balance between the nostalgice and the contempory via a good script, great songs and the introduction of Walter, a muppet in need of discovering his heritage, this movie is great fun both to those of who loved the muppets already and a new generation discovering Jim Henson’s creations for the first time.
6. Ernest & Celestine (2012)
Bears live upstairs and mice live downstairs and never the twain shall meet. Until Ernest, a large, solitary and rather grumpy bear, meets Celestine, a wide-eyed orphan mouse who previously never believed that big bears even existed. So begins is a friendship that flies in the face of the established order of things.
7. Paddington (2014)
The first big-screen take on Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear breathes new life into our ursine hero. This is a charming family treat about a bear with a stare and a passion for marmalade.
8. Lion King (1994)
The Lion King continues to be the highest grossing hand-drawn film in history. The inspirational musical score combined with delightful traditional African storytelling makes this an animated adventure that you will thoroughly enjoy. Good enough to watch with children a hundred times.
9. 101 Dalmations (1961)
Blending humor, fantasy and adventure, the tale of Pongo and Perdita whose pups get kidnapped with dozens of others by the villainess Cruella De Vil. Leads Pongo and a heroic cast of animal characters on a dramatic quest to rescue each and every pup. You’ll watch this again and again.
Zootopia is a thriving metropolis packed with mammals big and small. Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is the first rabbit to join the police force, and she quickly finds that the life of an officer is no easy task, especially when she’s trying to solve a mysterious case with a wily fox partner.
11. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
A Disney adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s 1963 picture book using actors in costumes, animatronics and some CGI to create his vision. That refuses to talk down to its audience or compromise its intentions.
12. Finding Nemo (2013)
After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home. A brilliantly animated masterpiece with lots of humor that actually works and a plot that really brings tears to your eyes from time to time.