Search form

Which Are the 50 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Thus Far?

List of 50 best animated features of the 21st century include Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away,’ Sylvain Chomet’s ‘The Illusionist,’ Isao Takahata’s ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya,’ and Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava’s ‘Ratatouille.’

Earlier this month, The Film Stage posted a list of the 50 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Thus Far, generating a ton of discussion all over the Web.

The list begins at number 50 with Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s 2014 smash hit The LEGO Movie, then climb’s through Cartoon Saloon and director Tomm Moore’s 2014 Song of the Sea, at number 45, LAIKA’s ParaNorman (number 43), Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues (40), Aardman’s Chicken Run, directed by Nick Park and Peter Lord (36), and Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponzo (35).

Other entries include Satoshi Kon’s spicy 2007 feature Paprika (31), Pete Docter’s Monsters, Inc., from Pixar (30), Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s 2015 Oscar-nominated stop-motion feature Anomalisa (29), and Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s 2D-animated Ernest & Celestine.

Moving closer to the top are Miyazaki’s Academy Award-winning Spirited Away (10), Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, the director’s 2006 follow-up to The Triplets of Belleville (17), Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, from Studio Ghibli (15), and Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava’s Ratatouille. Also appearing near the top is Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s 2000 movie about Iran, Persepolis (8) and director Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox (2).

Films getting an honorable mention included Tomm Moore‘s The Secret of Kells and LAIKA’s The Boxtrolls, while on the anime side, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Wolf Children, and Tekkonkinkreet were all recommended as were Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There and From Up on Poppy Hill. On the Hollywood side, the list-makers were impressed by Rango, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and Tangled, but ultimately couldn’t find room for them on the list. Lastly, Hiroyuki Okiura‘s A Letter to Momo, the stop-motion oddity Toys in the Attic, and the Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita each got a special mention as well.

We’re not going to spoil the top film, however, so head over to The Film Stage to see the full list, and let us know what your favorites are below in the comments!

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.