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The Best Animated Movies On Netflix Right Now

By Kristy Puchko | Guides | June 10, 2016 | Comments ()

By Kristy Puchko | Guides | June 10, 2016 |


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Cartoons aren’t just for kids anymore. As an ardent indulger in the genre, I pored through Netflix to pick out the best animated movies that are now streaming.

Minions (2015)

These Tic Tac-looking scene-stealers ran away with Despicable Me. So, an origin story prequel was inevitable. See the box office sensation that laughed its way to the bank. They’re dumb. They’re adorable. They’re Minions.
Watch it here.

Lilo and Stitch (2002)

Playing like Men In Black meets Blue Hawaii with a dash of plucky Disney princess, this wildly original tale about a girl and her alien-dog will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone.
Watch it here.

The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie (2004)

Absolutely bonkers and totally fun, this Bikini Bottom-based comedy sets the silly sea sponge and his oafish bestie Patrick on a mission to rescue the ever-cantankerous Mr. Krab. And did I mention it features David Hasselhoff as a motorboat?
Watch it here.

Thumbelina (1994)

Acclaimed animator Don Bluth spins Hans Christian Andersen’s teeny fairy tale into a larger-than-life romance. Once Thumbelina falls for a fairy prince, she believes she’s found her happy ending. However, when a family of frogs abduct her, this wee heroine must not only escape, but also find her way back to her home and love. And who could blame her? Prince Cornelius is a total babe.
Watch it here.


Robin Hood (1973)

Maybe the best take on this British vigilante’s tale, Disney’s Robin Hood boasts a timeless appeal, lovable characters, and a petulant prince with laughable Mommy Issues. Oo-da-lolly, what’s not to love?
Watch it here.

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2013)

Out of France comes a trippy fairy tale/ rock musical about a boy whose weak heart was replaced by a cuckoo-clock. While the operation at the hands of a caring sorceress allowed him to grow up, its mechanics threaten to break down with heavy emotion. So, she warns dear Jack never to fall in love. But when he meets a self-conscious songstress, a fateful journey begins that loops in a blustery bully, nightmarish train ride, fantastical circus, and pioneering filmmaker George Melies. Parents be warned: with lyrics like I’ll rip your clothes between my teeth and turn them into confetti,” these songs are a bit steamier than Disney fare!
Watch it here.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

It’s not as good as the first one, but that one’s not streaming. Still though, this DreamWorks feature is a wonder, offering some of the most impressive CG animation the world has seen. Picking up where his last adventure left off, Hiccup has converted his viking tribe from dragon-slayers to dragon-allies. So when they hear of a tyrant enslaving their flying friends, Hiccup and his crew saddle up and soar.
Watch it here.

Tarzan (1999)

Disney brought skater moves and Phil Collins’ velvety pop songs to this classic story of a man raised in the wild. Vibrant with color, lush with comedy and laced with pathos, this animated adventure is an exhilarating ride.
Watch it here.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1998)

This meta comedy-noir took animation to new heights, weaving cartoon characters into a live action world, and making people play by loonier rules. Bob Hoskins stars as glum detective Eddie Valiant, whose life is irrevocably and ridiculously pitched into spin by a rowdy rabbit wanted for murder. Watching it nearly 20 years later, you’ll still marvel at the world-building director Robert Zemeckis pulled together, both in practical effects, and in negotiating appearances from such iconic characters as Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, and Mickey Mouse.
Watch it here.

Mulan (1998)

This Disney princess doesn’t get enough love! Based on the Chinese legend, Mulan follows in eponymous heroine through a feminist adventure where she sheds society’s gender confines to fight for her family, her nation, and her own identity. It’s inspiring and exciting. And you can make a “girl power” double feature by pairing it with its sassy sequel.
Watch Mulan here. Watch Mulan II here.

Anastasia (1997)

Another princess tale spun from fact is this wild Don Bluth offering. Meg Ryan lent her voice to the eponymous orphan girl who’s stunned to discover she might just be Russian royalty. John Cusack plays the charismatic conman who wins her heart, and Christopher Lloyd and Hank Azaria slather on accents to play the undead villain Rasputin and his batty sidekick Bartok. It’s enchanting, bizarre, and epic.
Watch it here.

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

I remember seeing the trailer for this road trip/odd couple cartoon and groaning over its manic brand of humor. But I found the chemistry between David Spade’s spoiled rotten prince (turned stuff-chucking llama) and John Goodman’s noble peasant electric and hilarious. Add to that Eartha Kitt positively living as the evil sorceress Yzma, and Patrick Warburton giving his goofy all as her lunk-headed sidekick Kronk, and you’ve got an untamed comedy that never gets old. Bonus, Netflix also has its loony sequel,
Watch The Emperor’s New Groove here, and Kronk’s New Groove here.


The World of Tomorrow (2015)

For something more experimental and mind-bending, try Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated short about a girl who travels to her own future. Just 17 minutes, but an emotional rollercoaster and intellectual adventure.
Watch it here.

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

As iconic as it is heartwarming, this series of shorts sees Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, Rabbit, Eeyore and Roo frolicking about the Hundred Acre Wood in a string of musing-filled misadventures. When the world is too noisy and reality too harsh, few things are as soothing as spending time with Winnie the Pooh.
Watch it here.

The Land Before Time (1988)

Before it spawned way too many sequels, this terrific tale introduced us all to Littlefoot, Cera, Spike, Ducky and Petrie, a misfit band of baby dinosaurs in search of their missing families. Along the way, they’ll encounter grave loss, and harrowing brushes with a blood-thirsty T-rex, but also discover the value of true friends. Your heart will swell, your eyes will water. It’s cool. You’re not crying at a kid’s movie. It’s just mad dusty in here.
Watch it here.

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

I know. Adam Sandler became a hack with a string of soulless, gross, unfunny comedies. But I swear this monster-filled movie is a wonderful romp. Sandler stars as Dracula, who’s fretting that his half-human grandchild Dennis won’t be a vampire. So, he rounds up his friends (Frankenstein’s monster, a werewolf, a mummy, the blob) to try to spark the kid’s inner beast. Helmed by Samurai Jack’s Genndy Tartakovsky, this corny sequel is the best thing Sandler’s done in ages.
Watch it here.

The Boxtrolls (2014)

LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio that brought us Coraline and ParaNorman, delivered their most ambitious project to date with this inventive adaptation of Alan Snow’s novel, Here Be Monsters! Set in a dystopia where cheese is prized and boxtrolls are feared, this rollicking adventure follows an orphan boy raised among these maligned creatures. Embedded with them, he learns love, loyalty and engineering. But it’s making a new friend out of a horror story-adoring girl that’ll teach him bravery. Deliciously weird, delightful and spirited, Boxtrolls will thrill no matter your age. And it’s my personal favorite on this list.
Watch it here.

Kristy Puchko probably watches more cartoons than your children. #sorrynotsorry


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