Is there such a thing as getting 'too old' for cartoons? The only acceptable answer is no.
We all know that adulting can be extremely hard. And in those cases where nothing is going the way we want it to, many of us desperately want to throw tantrums and hope our problems will miraculously get fixed. But what if there was a better way to deal with things? Now I’m not saying I have a magical solution to these issues, but what if instead of crying over how awful growing up is, we save our tears for our favorite cartoon characters as we watch them go through their journeys?
Having been around for nearly 100 years, there is no denying that animation movies have been beyond successful in keeping us engaged with the story being told. They provoke emotions we might not necessarily be comfortable feeling and often even teach us lessons. So many of us have grown up watching these kinds of films, our childhood filled with memories spent inside these make-believe settings. And while we will never forget some of the classics we love so much, here’s a list of some must-watch animation movies to see whenever you’re feeling blue or just on a random Wednesday afternoon.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Based on the renowned novel by author Roald Dahl, this film combines a remarkable story with director Wes Anderson’s recognized filming style, all the while bringing to life iconic characters with a fantastic cast. The story centers around Mr. Fox, a retired thief sick of living in a hole as his family grows bigger. Deciding to finally do something about it, he, along with the friends he managed to convince, forms a plan to steal from the three wealthy farmers who live just above the surface. But even the most skilled of thieves can get caught.
What’s great about this stop-motion animation is that it can genuinely be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. The witty script, delivered by some Hollywood A-listers like George Clooney and Meryl Streep, covers many themes, from greed to right vs wrong. The movie encourages its audiences to question all types of relationships out there, whether between family, friends, or your relationship with yourself.
Although quite a recent film, this animation has caught the hearts of many, some even ranking it as one of the best movies Disney has put out in a long time (and I agree). And if you still haven’t heard any songs from the incredibly catchy soundtrack, written by no other than composer and filmmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda, then you, my friend, have definitely been living under a rock.
Aside from getting these beautiful melodies stuck on repeat in your head for possibly the rest of your life, you’ll instantly fall in love with every single one of the characters, the Madrigal family. These individuals, both real and relatable, welcome you into their perfectly imperfect family. For them and their town, they are perfect… that is until the cracks they try so hard to ignore start to seep through. Will they be able to mend them? Follow along their journey to find out. And remember, whatever you do, don’t talk about Bruno!
Now for this next film, I feel obliged to tell you that while the story and its characters will fill your heart with warmth and joy, your stomach will be empty, growling for attention. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when you spend almost two hours surrounded by the food inside the kitchen of a high-end restaurant in none other than the city of love, Paris. Following Remi, a rat who only dreams of cooking, the film’s plot moves with him as he finds himself away from the only home he’s ever known and in a place that could possibly become his new home. But that is only if he’s brave enough to take a chance on himself and his dream. That also means trusting his worst and maybe only enemy — humans. Lucky for us, his mentor and established chef, Auguste Gusteau, believes that anyone can cook. Prove him right and treat yourself to a delicious home-cooked meal before pressing that play button.
What’s really special about this film is the smile it brings to your face, which only grows even when you suddenly catch yourself and try to dim it down. The movie tells the stories of two young sea monsters trying to leave their home, the sea, to see what life would be like on the other side of their world, a sunny seaside town on the Italian Riviera. Fear certainly clouds their minds, but they soon find a way to silence it, and when they do, only adventure follows. But how long can they pretend to be humans living among the begins that threaten their existence? Even more frightening, what happens when they start to actually like being humans? A beautiful animation that explores a dilemma we all face, regardless of age. How can we fit in and still stay true to ourselves?
The Incredibles (2004)
Although the oldest movie on this list, this animation is among my favorite ever made. When two superheroes are forced to retire, they decide to make the best of it and spend time with their family. However, while they drill into their children that their superpowers come with great responsibility, they realize they cannot just give up that responsibility and stop saving the world. So, they decide to secretly put their superhero suits back on. And while keeping your identity from the public is easy, it’s much harder to keep it from your family. Aside from being a fantastic movie exploring themes of family and trust, this film ultimately paved the way for the superhero stories told today.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Last but not least, this film will not only make you forget all your troubles, but it will also transport you into another world. Combining both computer animation with hand-drawn style designs to mimic comic book art, the film’s artistic visuals are not like any other animation. The movie follows teenager Miles Morales as he’s forced out of his comfort zone into a new school, his parent’s expectations heavy on his shoulders. And to add to his misery, he witnesses the death of the one man who truly inspired him, Spiderman. But what if he was not the only Spiderman in our vast universe? Can there be a Spiderman that’s not a Peter Parker? There’s only one way to find out.
Photo: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock
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