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Time Ranks The Top 25 Animated Films Of All Time – And Gets The List Really Wrong

So the TIME Senior Movie Critic, Richard Corliss, thinks he can pass of a Top 25 list of Animated Films of all time and not have CARS on that list?

Well, I imagine the folks here at Take5 might take umbrage with that fact.  But beyond parochial leanings from this perch, there are some really poor choices on this list in this man’s opinion.  Courtesy of the good folks over at GeekTyrant where I first learned of this list, here are your, Mr. Corliss’s, Top 25 Animated Films of all time (Films highlighted in RED are suggestions for removal made by yours truly with further commentary after the list):

25. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
24. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
23. Yellow Submarine (1968)
22. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
21. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
20. Paprika (2007)
19. Tangled (2010)
18. The Lion King (1994)
17. Akira (1988)
16. Happy Feet (2006)
15. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
14. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
13. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
12. Toy Story (1995)
11. Toy Story 3 (2010)
10. The Little Mermaid (1989)
9. Finding Nemo (2003)
8. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
7. Up (2009)
6. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
5. Spirited Away (2001)
4. Dumbo (1941)
3. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)
2. WALL-E (2008)
1. Pinocchio (1940)

So you will note I have highlighted eight films on this list that I feel have no business being there. I have left Paprika alone as I have not seen that film but the trailer you can view on the TIME site here makes you pause about taking it off I believe.

And while I have not seen The Fabulous Mr Fox, I have seen enough clips and previews to know that there are plenty of contenders worthy of that slot on this list.  And finally, The Adventures of Prince Achmed gets a pass for the artistry created within the year it was made (1926).  Watch that clip here to assess for yourself.

Granted, here at Take5, we can be accused accurately of a bias toward Pixar films but beyond the box office and merchandise sales these films have created, their story telling ability is second to none from day 1 in my opinion.

Does CARS deserve to be on this list? Absolutely!  Remember that CARS came out in 2006 and there was a lot of speculation if anthropomorphizing CARS for a full length feature and boy did they knock that one out of the park. Boy did it ever.

So, without devolving into a film school treatise, I propose eight other films to replace those on this list:

Steamboat Willie – A shortie but a goodie starring Mortimer Mouse which quickly changed to Mickey

Tron – I think people forget just how much computing power was needed to create the animated segments of this film and they had to back it down to more simplistic models to get the footage done. Provided a HUGE leap forward in what people thought was possible.  The lightcycles and the sounds for them still resonate strongly with geeks today.

Fantasia – How in the world did this not make that list is beyond me. Sure this film and many others I am suggesting as replacements were originally commercial flops at the time but have had huge staying power

Sleeping Beauty – A classic Disney film with and an epic climatic fight with a dragon. Shrek obviously borrowed heavily from this story and one could argue for Shrek to be on this list.


How to Train Your Dragon – I loved this movie and surprising enough that Dreamworks produced it.  Rent/Buy this film and you’ll like the experience

Iron Giant – Brad Bird made this film before getting hired over at…Pixar.  Hugely underrated, very well voice acted (Bonus surprise – Vin Diesel is the voice of the robot) and tightly scripted albeit a bit heavy handed on some of the messaging.

The Incredibles – Another fantastic film left off the list that would make my top 5. Directed by – yep – Brad Bird. (Bonus Surprise – Mr Incredible voiced by Craig T Nelson).


Beauty and the Beast – Another ground breaking film at the time that introduced computer animation along with traditional cell animation to no small hue and cry.  Still, they produced a tight film against a old storyline that works with some great music. (Bonus Surprise – Robby Benson voices Beast)

So, those are my suggestions.  What’s yours?




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29 June 2011 Film 36 Comments


  • Man-I-Fold says:

    I just watched the original Tron on DVD recently and it had a pretty interesting documentary in the bonus section. I learned that each frame (in the Tron world) was hand-colored over a black & white film!

    • bobbyjack says:

      They spent a fortune back in the early 80’s making that movie. Then it did better in the arcades than the box office! Going to watch it today, just got it and the sequel on Netflix!

  • oliversmom says:

    Dont mind Wallace and Gromit there at all, but found Happy feet boring and South Park – really???? just didn’t belong to that list

  • kdthomas says:

    Finally saw the movie tonight. Watched the Russian version. Really disappointed. Trying to figure out why a Samari car that got 5 seconds of airtime was released before talking parts cars. I can scratch a lot of cars off my needs list now. Do want the VW bug that is in the return to Radiator Springs scenes.

  • Jenny says:

    Awwww yea look at that!!! My all time favorite little boy is #1. i love pinocchio!! Soooo cute!!!

  • DjBennett22 says:

    Ahh…the iron giant, i havent seen that since it was on cartoon network many years ago. good times.

  • Rollerwings says:

    No Heavy Traffic? 😉

    Agreed, Yellow Submarine should be on the list, and Iron Giant is a good choice to replace some of those already on the list that shouldn’t be there.

  • born2collect says:

    Thank God it is just one man’s opinion. I guess the 60’s were not very good to him. Met hit on some really good movies. The Iron Giant is in my top 3 list for sure. Pixar alone should dominate the list.

  • Lorri says:

    The Lion King? I thought it was pretty good and had a great soundtrack. Would definitely leave it on the list.

  • danrio says:

    South Park should definitely be off the “Best” list. Starting with the title, too much junk in the trunk in that one! I also would agree with both Paprika and The Fantastic Mr. Fox being off the list. I found neither to be impressive. On the other side, I believe Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Wererabbit deserves a spot on the “Best” list. If you can get around the “Britishness” of it, the story was fairly well presented in a low tech way similar to Ray Harryhausen’s films. I thought the animation was pleasant and refreshing.

    • John in Missouri says:

      But wasn’t that stop-motion as opposed to being animated?

      • Edge says:

        Definition of stop-motion: “Stop-motion (also known as stop-action or frame-by-frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. This type of animation uses 3D figures made from clay or plasticine. The figures are photographed as they change. It is a simple process but very time consuming.”

        So it IS animation, and besides Wallace and Gromit, in my opinion “Coraline” also deserves to be on this list, and probably even “Corpse Bride”. Having worked on a stop-motion movie myself, I can tell you how incredibly hard it is to make one of those…

  • jess says:

    wallace and gromit would be on my list for sure

  • Jack says:

    Happy feet only won the oscar because of it’s sustainable development message and UN led solution. So the fix was in. Although I did think it was cute.
    I definitely agree that Beauty and the beast should be somewhere on the list as should Cars 1. You can’t say the biggest merchandising animated movie of all time wasn’t good enough to be on the list.
    I would have to give much more thought to this before I could come up with more opinions. I did really enjoy the animated Robin Hood as a kid though.

    • John in Missouri says:

      “Beauty and the Beast” was among that year’s Nominees for Best Picture — not just animated picture, but best picture PERIOD. I cannot believe it’s not on here either!

      • Jack says:

        Yes Beauty and the Beast was really good with a great soundtrack too. We also saw it on Broadway. One of the best shows I have seen. The short version at Disney World is also definitely worth seeing. They do a nice job on it.

    • tizmanian says:

      Loved the animated Robin Hood too! Bought a copy a few years back for the kids who love it.

      (MET: Or one of my favs – JUNGLE BOOK).

  • sodabear says:

    Ponyo would have been in my top 5.

  • Tom says:

    All of these not for kids, but Would The Wall and Roger Rabbit be considered animated? When the Wind Blows was pretty cool too.

    • John in Missouri says:

      I second your vote for “Pink Floyd: The Wall”.

      • bobbyjack says:

        I haven’t watched that movie since I was in college. The VHS tape is still sitting on a shelf in my house…next to the DVD of South Park, Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Don’t worry, I haven’t let my son watch that one yet.

  • sidewall74shine says:

    2. WALL-E? It sucked! LAME. I hate Happy Feet because it beat Cars for the Oscar that year.

    • Fillmore1234 says:

      :O Wall-E was one of the best movies Pixar ever made! I like it so much I saw it this morning on our Blu-Ray! I think Pinnocchio shouldn’t be #1, but it does deserve to get in the top 5. Wall-E definitely needs to be recognized as Best Animated Movie, in my opinion!

  • John in Missouri says:

    I think it is unfair to have one list with both styles of animation — traditional and computer-aided.

    I will never see Happy Feet only because it beat out Cars for that year’s Oscar.

  • bobbyjack says:

    I think a film should be at least 20 years old to get on this list so you can tell if it makes an impact on the next generation of kids or not. Otherwise how can it claim a title of “Greatest of all Time”? The Pixar films are all awesome, but we were all pretty much adults when they came out. Let’s wait and see how our grandchildren feel about them. I loved Tron when I was a little kid, but none of my nieces and nephews had ever even heard of it before the sequel came out last year. Most of them are in their teens and early twenties now.

  • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

    I bet these critics did not view most of these films, nor the ones which are not listed. The list is total BS!

  • sotoam says:

    How in te world can a “top animated list of all time” NOT have Snow White in the top 5? Many would argue that it should be #1 with a bullet on any list. Did they even watch some of these movies? Horton Hears a Who? South Park? Happy Feet? Tangled? Ugh!

  • John in Missouri says:

    CGI films should have a separate list, pretty unfair to combine both styles of animation.

    I hate Happy Feet because it beat out Cars for the Academy Award’s Best Animated Film that year.

    My list would include The Beatles Yellow Submarine.

    …and if you could count movies with some animation, I’d have to include Pink Floyd: The Wall as well.

    • Edge says:

      Agreed, and stop-motion (or clay-mation) should have a separate category, too. How Richard Corliss puts Wallace & Gromit on the list but then leaves out “Coraline” or “Corpse Bride” is beyond me. Both of those movies are brilliant.

  • PirateDad says:

    100% agree with How to Train Your Dragon…fantastic movie, wonderful story, beautifully voiced….these lists are always flawed!

  • ScoobyDoo says:


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