The Best Animated Movies Ever Made, According to Critics

The top six films include a hand-drawn 1930s classic from Walt Disney, an anime feature from Studio Ghibli, a computer-assisted 1990s Disney fairytale, and three computer-animated Pixar films. Newsweek

In June, Indiewire reported Disney was closing one of its three animation studios, laying off 75 staff and canning an upcoming release in the process. But what does that mean for the future of animation?

Probably not that much, as it turns out. In the same month, Pixar’s Incredibles 2 earned $180 million during its first weekend at the box office, breaking records for an animated film. It’s expected to become the highest-grossing animation of all time.

The success of Incredibles 2 must have had the industry breathing a sigh of relief. But although the film is a financial success, how do critics feel about it?

Aggregation website Metacritic has compiled a list of the animated movies that were best received by critics. The website translates each review given to a film into a score, which is weighted depending on the critic’s fame and stature. The total number of reviews a film receives also affects its final score.

Walt Disney Productions, which has been releasing feature-length animations since 1937, understandably dominates the list with 20 films. Twelve of these were made with Pixar, the animation company that shot to fame in 1995 with the release of Toy Story and which was bought by Disney in 2006.

Rivaling Pixar’s twelve films is the Japanese company Studio Ghibli. The company was partly founded by legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, who directed a number of the studio’s hits including My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.

Miyazaki retired in 2013, but has since announced he is working on another film, How Do You Live? , due for release around the 2020 mark. He expects it will be his last movie, and it’s hotly anticipated.

Cartoon Saloon, a relatively new Irish animation studio that opened in 1999, has managed to place all three of their feature-length releases in the top 100. Aardman Animations, the British studio known for their Wallace and Gromit series, also places three movies in the list.

Read more: The 100 Best Films of All Time, According to Critics

The top six films include a hand-drawn 1930s classic from Walt Disney, an anime feature from Studio Ghibli, a computer-assisted 1990s Disney fairytale, and three computer-animated Pixar films. But which film claims the number one spot? Join us to find out.

01 The Breadwinner
=72. The Breadwinner (2017, Cartoon Saloon). Metascore: 78. Directed by: Nora Twomey. Summary: "Parvana is an 11-year- old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy in order to support her family." Cartoon Saloon
02 Yellow Submarine
=72. Yellow Submarine (1968, United Artists). Metascore: 78. Directed by: George Dunning. Summary: "The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies." United Artists
03 Zootopia
=72. Zootopia (2016, Walt Disney Pictures). Metascore: 78. Directed by: Byron Howard, Jared Bush and Rich Moore. Summary: "When optimistic Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde, to solve the mystery."—Walt Disney Animation Studios. Walt Disney Pictures
04 A Silent Voice
=72. A Silent Voice (2017, ABC Animation). Metascore: 78. Directed by: Naoko Yamada. Summary: "The poignant and moving story of Shōya Ishida, a school bully, and Shōko Nishimiya, a young girl with a hearing disability. Their story begins in sixth grade when Shōko transfers to Shōya’s elementary school and quickly finds herself bullied and isolated due to her hearing disability. Years later, the tables turn, and Shōya finds himself the victim." ABC Animation
05 Rocks in My Pockets
=72. Rocks in My Pockets (2014, Zeitgeist Films). Metascore: 78. Directed by: Signe Baumane. Summary: "Fighting for her sanity, Signe Baumane uses wit and imagination to confront the secrets of her family's madness." Zeitgeist Films
06 Tatsumi
=72. Tatsumi (2011, Infinite Framerworks). Metascore: 78. Directed by: Eric Khoo. Summary: "Tatsumi celebrates the life and work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi and his life in post-war Japan."—Happiness Distribution. Infinite Framerworks
07 Castle in the Sky
=72. Castle in the Sky (1989, Studio Ghibli). Metascore: 78. Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki. Summary: "A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle." Studio Ghibli
08 Monsters, Inc
=72. Monsters, Inc. (2001, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures). Metascore: 78. Directed by: David Silverman, Lee Unkrich and Pete Docter. Summary: "The Academy Award-winning creators of Toy Story open the door to a frightfully funny world of monsters and mayhem and scare up lots of laughs."—Disney/Pixar. Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
09 Tarzan
=70. Tarzan (1999, Walt Disney Pictures). Metascore: 79. Directed by: Chris Buck and Kevin Lima. Summary: "With his wisecracking ape buddy Terk and neurotic elephant pal Tantor, Tarzan learns to survive in the animal kingdom. His 'Two Worlds' collide with the arrival of humans, forcing Tarzan to choose between a 'civilized' life with the beautiful Jane and the life he knows and loves with his gorilla family." Walt Disney Pictures
10 Your Name
=70. Your Name. (2017, CoMix Wave Films). Metascore: 79. Directed by: Makoto Shinkai. Summary: "High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works."—FUNimation. CoMix Wave Films
11 Coraline
=63. Coraline (2009, Focus Features). Metascore: 80. Directed by: Henry Selick. Summary: "A young girl walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life—only much better. But when this wondrously off-kilter, fantastical adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents (including Other Mother) try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home—and save her family."—Focus Features. Focus Features