Summer is here with a vengeance. While beach-days and tanning is still a thing, for those of you who want to beat the heat by staying indoors, in the comfort of your air-conditioning and pajamas, we’ve got you covered.
While a lot of people believe that animation is only for children, but we beg to differ. Here is a list of the seven underrated animated movies that we have compiled for you to enjoy in your free time. Since we’ve all memorised The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast by now [if you haven’t, I’m judging you], how about trying something a little different?
These movies will only give you a sense of adventure while just sitting at home, but also keep you entertained for hours.
1. Spirit: stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
This film by DreamWorks Animation is about a wild Kiger Mustang stallion that finds himself captured by humans, and here begins his adventure. Spirit is the leader of a heard of horses and it is this job to keep them safe. Beaten by his curiosity, he goes to explore a small campfire he sees in the forest and manages to get captured and taken to a US cavalry post. The US army is fighting the Red Indians and after befriending on of the Native Americans captured there, he manages to escapes his captivity, only to fall into more problems. With few dialogues and great direction, this movie is about friendship, freedom, love and more importantly, spirit. With music by Hans Zimmer, songs by Bryan Adams, and Matt Damon as Spirit, this movie will take you on an adventure you won’t forget!
Duration: 1h 23m
2. The Road to El Dorado (2000)
Directed by Eric Bergeron and Don Paul, this animated film begins in Spain, where two tricksters win a map to El Dorado, the city of gold, in a con. After being caught for having loaded dice, in an attempt to escape, they find themselves on a boat that is traveling to Mexico. They become prisoners onboard and manage to escape by stealing a small boat, with the help of a horse called Altivo who accompanies them on their journey. After days of travelling they are washed up on the shores of the hidden city, El Dorado, where they are mistaken for Gods because of a prophecy and this is only the beginning of their troubles. To keep up with their con and to steal the gold, they take the help of Chel, a girl con artist they meet on the island. Although this film did not do very well at the box-office, this movie is fun to watch and discusses greed, power, superstition and friendship, all woven together with some cheeky humor.
Duration: 1h 29m
3. The Boxtrolls (2014)
Based on the book Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, this 3D animated film is about a boy called Eggs who has been raised by trolls who collect trash, live underground and operate at night. Eggs was taken by the trolls to protect him from Archibald Snatcher, an exterminator who is determined to eradicate the trolls in order to get a white hat and sit in the City’s cheese-loving council. Eggs has never known a world other than the one he has seen and is devastated to learn that he is not a troll but a little boy. His past is a mystery and so are his parents and after most of his troll family get captured, he decides to uncover the truth and put an end to Snatcher. With the help of a girl called Winne, Eggs tries to change the mindset of the town, find his family and free the trolls. Though a little different with some loud animation, the movie highlights the division of classes, importance of power, family relationships, and misunderstandings. This movie is bound to keep you at the edge of your seat!
Duration: 1h 37m
4. The Book of Life (2014)
Directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez and produced by Reel FX Creative Studios, this 3D animated film is a treat for anyone who enjoys animated films and is a romantic at heart. The movie is a story inside a story and begins when a group of students visit a museum. Tour guide Mary Beth educates the children on Mexican folk legends and tells them about the Book of Life, which holds all the stories of the world. The children are told about the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten and the bet made by each spirit ruler, after seeing best friends Manolo and Joaquin competing over a girl called Maria. Depending on who got the girl, the spirit rulers would exchange kingdoms. Does Manolo get Maria or does Joaquin? You’ll just have to watch it to find out. With voices of Channing Tatum, Diego Luna, Ice Cube and Zoe Saldana, this film throws light on the importance of love, having a true heart, believing in yourself, facing your fears and family expectations. Also, the music is great!
Duration: 1h 35m
5. The Black Cauldron (1985)
This dark fantasy feature film produced by Walt Disney Animation is perfect if you’re looking for some dark characters, mystery and good cinematography. The film is set in the land of Prydain and revolves around the Horned King, aka the bad guy, who wants an ancient black cauldron that will help him rule the world. Dallben, an enchanter, fears that the Horned King will steal his pig, Hen Wen who has special powers and to prevent this, sends Taran, his assistant to keep her safe. Because of Taran’s negligence, Hen Wen gets captured and it is up to him to rescue her back and defeat the evil king. Taran, with the help of princess Eilonwy, a bard and a mythical creature, challenge the evil king in order to bring peace back to their land. Will they succeed? Watch this action packed film to find out!
Duration: 1h 20m
6. Balto (1995)
Even though this movie starts as a live action film, five minutes in and you are transported to the wonderful world of animation. The film is based on a true story about Balto, a sledge dog who helped save Alaskan children from an epidemic in the Great Race of Mercy where diphtheria antitoxin was distributed across the territory of Alaska by 150 sled dogs in five and a half days. Directed by Simon Wells and with Kevin Beacon as Balto, if you love dogs and adventures then you’re all set!
Duration: 1h 18m
7. The Iron Giant (1999)
This science fiction film is based on the novel The Iron Man by Ted Hughes and is produced by Warner Brothers Feature Animation. Set in the Cold War, the movie is about a little boy who finds a robot that has fallen from space and with the help of Dean McCoppin, a scrap collector, protects it from the US army and from being destroyed. Set almost fifteen years apart, Big Hero 6 (2014) shares a few similarities with this classic and if you enjoyed than then you’ll definitely enjoy this. With the voices of Vid Diesel as the Iron Giant and other actors like Jennifer Aniston and Harry Connick Jr., the movie emphasizes the importance of friendship and sticking together. The ending is quite bittersweet and we would definitely advise tissues (from experience)!
Duration: 1h 35m
Even though the list is endless and there are obviously some more underrated animated movies that have not been mentioned here, we do hope you enjoy these. If you have watched any of the above-mentioned movies, do let us know what you thought about them in the comments!
Hope you all have an animated break. Now shh, I’m trying to watch a movie!