30 Best Cartoons and Animated Movies For Kids

Animated movies are a very popular film genre, and many of the works that represent it are true masterpieces awarded the most prestigious prizes. The first outstanding animated fairy tale was “Snow White” from 1937, produced by the Walt Disney Company. It was Disney fairy tales produced since the 1930s that set the most important trend of animated films for children. Most often, their plot uses literary models, presenting a world with a clear division of values and a clear moral. According to this teaching, evil is punished and good is rewarded.

Animated films for kids are productions that are made using stop-motion technique, that is, they give an illusory movement to a stationary object, developing each frame separately. Initially, art techniques played a very important role, that is, cartoons were created. Subsequently, other types of animation technology were created, namely object and combination animation. The object technique, which involves not replacing drawings, but moving an object, has three main variations. Depending on the object used, these are puppet, puppet and cutout techniques. At the end of the 20th century, computer animation began to emerge, sparked by the film “Toy Story”.

The cinema has made children’s cartoons a prime film genre, which brings fame and huge profits to filmmakers. Many times it has two levels of meaning: one intended for the youngest and another aimed at adult viewers.

Cartoons and Animated Films For Kids

1. “Bambi” (1942)

The best animated films - Bambi

Bambi, a 1942 Walt Disney animation, was based on a work by Felix Salten. The cartoon tells the story of a little deer, the son of the King of the Forest, whose mother is shot by hunters. Bambi grows up under the care of his father and has many adventures with his friends Tuptus the rabbit and Kwiatek the skunk. The music from the animated film and the song Love is a Song, performed by Donald Novis, were nominated for an Academy Award. In 2008, “Bambi” was ranked third on the American Film Institute’s List of the 10 Best Movies in 10 Classic Genres.

2. “Cinderella”, 1950

The best animated fairy tailes - Cinderella 1950

“Cinderella” is another Walt Disney animated film. It was based on an extremely old fairy tale. Its best-known literary elaborations are versions by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. The story of a girl orphaned by her mother and raised by her father, stepmother and two half-sisters has moved children around the world for generations. Disney’s fairy tale was nominated for the Golden Lions in Venice and an Oscar, among other awards. In turn, it won the Golden Bear in Berlin in the best musical category.

3. “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs”, 1937

The best animated movies for kids - Snow White and Seven Dwarfs

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is also a Disney classic from 1937. It was the first animated production in the history of American cinema. The story of a beautiful princess, hated and persecuted by an evil stepmother is one of the most beloved fairy tales by children. The music of the film about Snow White living in the house of the seven dwarfs won an Academy Award nomination, and Walt Disney himself received an honorary Oscar for the production. They recognized “great cinematic innovation” by awarding a special prize in the form of one large statuette to seven small ones.

4. “Asterix and the Vikings”, 2006

The best cartoons - Asterix and the Vikings

One of a series of adventures of brave Asterix and his friend Obelix, two Gauls who have to face various threats of the ancient world. This time they will come to face the menacing Vikings, who come to the Gaulish village with the hope of experiencing real fear. For the inhabitants of Normandy have heard that this will make them grow wings. The French-Danish animation is a screen adaptation of the famous comic strip by Rene Gosinny and Albert Uderzo.

5. “Pocahontas” (1995)

The best cartoons for children -Pocahontas

“Pocahontas” is an animated film produced by Disney in 1995. The cartoon depicts the touching love story of a beautiful Indian girl and English traveler John Smith, who arrives in the New World on Governor Ratcliffe’s ship. A chance meeting of the characters turns into a passionate affection, completely changing the English colonizer’s view of the world. The story of Pocahontas is based on the biography of an authentic character of a famous Indian woman living at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. The film’s music and the song Colors of the Wind, performed by Vanessa Williams, were awarded Academy Awards. The fairy tale’s musical composition also won a Golden Globe, and its Polish version was recorded by Edyta Górniak.

6. “The Lion King”, 1994

The best cartoons for kids The Lion King

“The Lion King” from 1994 is a beautiful children’s fairy tale that has entered the canon of the most popular animations. Awarded two Oscars and three Golden Globes, the film tells the story of Simba, the son of the animal king, who is accused of manslaughter of his father. The sentence for the young lion is exile. Terrified, Simba leaves his tribe in disgrace, only to face his fears and return home as a mature and courageous lion. Unforgettable songs from the animated film include Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Hakuna Matata and Circle of Life.

7. “Shrek” (2001)

Animated movies for kids - Shrek

“Shrek” is a huge cinematic hit that both kids and adults fell in love with. It tells the story of a friendly ogre who one day, with the help of a talking donkey, rescues Princess Fiona, who is trapped in a tower. The girl is destined to become the wife of the evil Lord Farquaad, and Shrek reclaims his home in the swamp in return for his deed. During their journey together, however, an affection is born between Fiona and the ogre that will change the fate of both characters. Shrek won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film and received a BAFTA statuette for Best Adapted Screenplay. The fairy tale lived to see equally popular sequels: “Shrek 2” (2004), “Shrek the Third” (2007) and “Shrek Forever” (2010).

8. “Finding Nemo”, 2003

Animated films for kids - Finding Nemo

“Finding Nemo” is a hugely popular Oscar-winning fairy tale about the adventures of a small fish that is fished out of a coral reef and gets into the aquarium of a dentist. Devastated by the disappearance of his son, the father sets out to find him. Along the way, he meets the over-sympathetic Dory, who suffers from short-term memory loss, which causes many funny situations. Meanwhile, Nemo is about to get into the hands of a spoiled girl… The fairy tale lived to see several sequels and won the sympathy of viewers around the world.

9. “Lady and the Tramp”, 1955

Animated films for children - Lady and the Tramp

“Lady and the Tramp” is a beautiful classic Disney fairy tale about the love between two animals: a beautiful female cocker spaniel Lady and a stray mutt Tramp. Famous for his roguishness, the hero wins the heart of his chosen one by inviting her to a romantic dinner in the back of an Italian restaurant. The scene in which the animals’ muzzles meet while eating the same strand of pasta has gone down in cinema history. However, Lady is captured by a fearsome hycla, and Tramp must do everything to get her back.

10. “Beauty and the Beast”, 1991

Disney animated movies - Beauty and the Beast

“Beauty and the Beast” is another Disney fairy tale that has won critical and audience acclaim. Awarded two Oscars and three Golden Globes, the animated film tells the story of beautiful Bella, who, while searching for her missing father, ends up in the castle of a prince turned into a monster. The beast promises to free the man if the girl agrees to live with him for a year. This is because the monster hopes to remove the evil spell from himself. After all, the condition for regaining human form is bestowing true love on the beast. The Oscar-winning song for “Beauty and the Beast” was performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson.

11. “Tangled”, 2010

The Best Disney animated movies - Tangled

“Tangled” is a great animated film in which children and adults will find a solid portion of good humor, but also emotion. The basis of the plot was a fairy tale about Rapunzel, the royal daughter, who is locked by an evil witch in a high tower. The girl has magnificent long hair, which the witch climbs up to the king’s chamber. In “Tangled”, Rapunzel one day meets a certain Flynn, a young man pursued by highwaymen and the king’s steed, who decides to take refuge in a random tower. The meeting of the heroes becomes the beginning of many interesting adventures.

12. “Toy Story” (1995)

Animations for kids - Toy Story

“Toy Story” is a landmark fairy tale in the field of cinematic animation, from which the production of computer images began. Here in the land of toys of a boy named Andy appears a new acquisition – cosmonaut Buzz. The hero arouses both admiration and envy among the inhabitants, especially from the cowboy Skinny. Toy Story has lived to see several sequels. The latest, “Toy Story 4”, was made in 2019.

13. “The Little Mermaid”, 1989

The best Disney animated films - The little mermaid

The Little Mermaid is the winner of two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. The fairy tail movie tells the story of a mermaid named Ariel, who one day saves Prince Eric from death. Ariel falls in love with the young man, but the only way for her to gain an earthly character is to sacrifice her magnificent voice. The Disney film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, although unlike the original it has a happy ending. The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded the music and the song “Under the Sea”, performed by Samuel E. Wright.

14. “The Jungle Book”, 1967

Disney cartoons - The Jungle Book

“The Jungle Book” is a classic for the youngest. The 1967 animation tells the adventures of a boy named Mowgli, who, orphaned by his parents, is raised by wolves. When the hero grows up, he has to face a dangerous tiger. “The Jungle Book” has animated sequels: in 2003 a second part was filmed, and in 2018 “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle”.

15. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, 1996

The best Disney cartoons - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is a Disney animated film based on the novel by Victor Hugo. The main character of the story is Quasimodo, a disabled bell-ringer from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The young man lives in hiding on a daily basis, but during the festival of jesters he leaves the tower and joins the joyous carnival. He then meets Esmeralda, a beautiful gypsy girl, whom he begins to have deep feelings for.

16. “Ice Age”, 2002

Top Disney cartoons - Ice Age

“Ice Age” is a cartoon that has gained extraordinary popularity and lived to see several parts. The story is set about 20,000 years ago, when the earth is going through a period of glaciation. Interestingly, in the story it was caused accidentally by a carefree Squirrel, who tried to save his nut from destruction. The main characters of the film are the mammoth Manfred (called Manius) and the sloth Sid. They find a lost human infant and decide to give it back to humans. However, during the dangerous trek they are joined by saber-toothed tiger Diego, who has completely different plans for the baby.

17. “Zootopia”, 2016

Top Disney animated movies - Zootopia

“Zootopia” was awarded an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best animated film. The fairy tale movie has several levels of meaning – that’s why it appeals to both the youngest and adult viewers. The main character of the film is the queen Judy, who manages to avoid her destined role as a carrot seller and get the coveted job in the police force. It soon turns out that the young student of justice must unravel a very complicated criminal mystery, and her helper becomes a petty crook fox named Nick Byer.

18. “Hotel Transylvania” (2012)

Animated films for kids list - Hotel Transylvania

“Hotel Transylvania” is a fairy tale that will appeal to all children who like stories with a thrill. This is because the story is based on Bram Stocker’s novel Dracula. Thus, the story is set in Transylvania, where the vampire Dracula lives with his daughter Mavis. The girl is already bored with the monotonous world of monsters, the whole range of which she has the opportunity to see in the hotel run by her father for the scariest monsters. One day Mavis decides to explore the interesting world of humans.

19. “Ratatouille”, 2007

30 best animated movies for kids - Ratatouille

“Ratatouille” is a great animated film, whose funny and at the same time moving plot is set in Paris. The main character of the film is a rat Remy gifted with extraordinary culinary talent. One day he is taken in by Skinner, a poor cook from a French restaurant. When the man discovers his pet’s talent, he decides to hide him in his chef’s hat and take him to work, where Remy will help him prepare meals for his guests. The experiment succeeds and soon the restaurant is gaining huge fame. One day, however, a menacing food critic shows up at the establishment and threatens to destroy everything. The fairy tale movie won as many as three prestigious statuettes in the best animated film category: an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

20. “How to Train Your Dragon”, 2010

Disney animations list - How to train your dragon

“How to Train Your Dragon” is a beautiful and at the same time having a good dose of humor fairy tale movie about an unusual boy from a Viking village with the graceful name Hiccup. The boy, due to his weak physical stamina, is sent by his father, the proud chief of the tribe, to a school for fighting dragons. Meanwhile, Hiccup finds an injured dragon in the forest and soon befriends the animal, which he names Toothless. This acquaintance will change the fate of the entire village and their attitude to dragons. The fable teaches not only that aggression is worse than friendship and mutual respect, but also tames otherness and frailty.

21. “The Little Prince”, (“Le Petit Prince”), 2015

Cartoons list The Little Prince

“The Little Prince” is a beautiful animated film by Mark Osborne based on the well-known novel by Antoine Saint-Exupery. The popular story, which entered the canon of school reading, is told from a contemporary perspective. Indeed, the main character of the tale is a little girl, raised only by her mother, an employee of a large corporation. The mother puts too many demands on her daughter and during the vacations develops a special plan for her to study. However, the girl in her free time meets an elderly neighbor who tells her the story of “The Little Prince”. The story will completely change the relationship between the heroine and her mother. The clever French animation was awarded the César Award.

22. “Sing” (2016)

Animated comedy film for kids - Sing

“Sing” is a great animated film directed by Garth Jennings. Buster Moon is a koala bear who runs his own theater. When the venture begins to slowly collapse, the owner decides to organize a musical competition to determine the most beautiful voice in the world. So the most original individuals from all over the globe are drawn to the theater to present their talent and personality. The characters’ performances are a mix of hilarious characters and gags with a touching story in the background. The film received numerous nominations for prestigious awards, including the Golden Globes.

23. “The Lego Movie”, 2014

Computer animated films for children - The lego movie

“The Lego Movie” is an animated film that launched a series of cartoons about the adventures of human beings from the popular series of building blocks. The main character is Emmet, an ordinary, unremarkable inhabitant of the Lego-world, who one day while working on a construction site has an accident. He then gains contact with an alternate ghost reality, where he learns that he is the chosen one to save the world from the evil Lord Business and his crazy plan. Shot in 3D, the film won many awards, including a BAFTA statuette.

24. “Big Hero 6”, 2015

Best animated movies of all time for kids - Big Hero 6

“Big Hero 6” is Disney’s 2015 blockbuster film adaptation of the Marvel comic book. The main character of the film is Hiro, a brilliant boy who is friends with his giant robot Baymax. One day he discovers that the city of San Frnasyoko is in danger of extinction. The hero then organizes a team of superheroes, the titular “big six,” to prevent the disaster. The cartoon won an Oscar in the category of best animated film.

25. “Frozen”, 2013

Funniest animated movies - Frozen

Disney’s “Frozen” has become a cinematic hit and a popularity phenomenon. It tells the story of two princess sisters: Elsa and Anna, who live in the kingdom of Arendelle. When the entire land is plunged into ice, Anna realizes that it’s the affair of her sister, who has a powerful but difficult to control gift of turning everything into snow. So she sets out on a journey to find her sister and save the kingdom. In turn, she is accompanied by Kristoff with his reindeer Sven and the playful snowman Olaf. The film was awarded two Oscars, including one for the best song “Let It Go”.

26. “Madagascar”, 2005

List of animated movies - Madagascar

“Madagascar” depicts the hilarious adventures of the residents of the New York Zoo: a lion, a zebra, a hippo and a giraffe. The animals are sent to an African zoo after a failed escape attempt. During the journey, however, an accident occurs: the ship on which the heroes are traveling overturns, and the castaways end up on a mysterious island. It soon turns out that it is ruled by the eccentric King Julian, ruler of the lemurs. From the film comes the popular song “I Like to Move It”.

27. “Coraline”, 2009

Best animated movies in history - Coraline

“Coraline” is a striking animation by Henry Selick based on the book by Neil Gaiman. A little girl one day finds a secret door in her house that leads to an alternate world. It is inhabited by other parents, and Coraline succumbs to their persuasions and decides to see how she will live in a different reality. However, it soon turns out that the new guardians have no intention of ever letting the girl go, and her real parents are in grave danger. Due to its serious subject matter and atmosphere of heightened tension, the film is intended more for older children and teenagers.

28. “The Prince of Egypt”, 1998

Top 30 animated movies - The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt” is an animated film for kids that tells the story of the biblical Moses, a Jewish child raised by the Pharaoh’s daughter. The boy grows up in the royal court, and his closest friend becomes the future ruler of Egypt. Nevertheless, when Moses learns the truth about his identity, he begins to ponder his own destiny. Soon God himself entrusts him with the mission to lead the Jews out of Egypt. The music for the animated film was created by Hans Zimmer, and the song When You Believe won an Oscar.

29. “The Iron Giant”, 1999

Family animated movies - The Iron Giant

“The Iron Giant” is a very clever animation based on the novel by Ted Hughes. The main character of the cartoon is a boy who one day discovers that a giant robot has emerged from the sea near his home. The iron giant fell from the sky, and the protagonist manages to befriend him. However, these are the times of the Cold War and the unusual newcomer quickly arouses the interest of government agents.

30. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (2022)

New animated movies - Puss in boots the last wish

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is a really successful sequel to the 2011 production about the adventures of the titular hero, who is as brave as he loves to boast. In the latest installment he will have to face quite an adversary: his own fear. For it will turn out that with his bravado the famous cat has led to the loss of eight of his nine lives. What to do with the last chance he has left? Should he retire quietly in a secluded place, or on the contrary use his luck as much as he can?

These are the questions the famous adventurer will have to answer, especially as the chance to get a star that fulfills your fondest wishes looms on the horizon. Of course, the Cat in Boots is not the only contender to find it. Other daredevils, led by the dangerous Jack Plack, will also embark on a dangerous journey. “Puss in Boots. The Last Wish” is an animation full of exciting twists and turns, which is sure to appeal to both children and adults. For the latter, the creators, as usual, have prepared many juicy tidbits. After all, the cat’s story can be read as a portrait of a modern neurotic struggling with panic attacks, who gradually overcomes his inner fears thanks to therapy.

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