Despite often being dismissed as childish diversions, animated movies require immense levels of passion and hard work and often rival the greatest live-action releases when it comes to powerful storytelling. There are too many animated masterpieces to count. Original classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” are always marvelous to revisit. More recently, in the ’90s, the Disney Renaissance gave us such movies as “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Tarzan,” which captured the imaginations of an entire generation of little kids. Stop-motion movies like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” are still mind-blowing to watch. Then there are the brilliant computer-animated films of the last few decades, like Pixar’s “Toy Story” series, “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” and “Wall-E,” as well as equally worthy releases from different studios, like DreamWorks’ “Shrek” series. Meanwhile, Studio Ghibli movies like “Grave of the Fireflies” proved animated movies could tackle mature, even heartbreaking themes, just as well as any live-action film.
With so many beloved masterpieces to choose from and revisit for family movie night, there are more than a few excellent gems that have fallen through the cracks. So which animated features deserve a little more love? We’ve taken the liberty of assembling a list of forgotten or underappreciated movies that are every bit as good as the ones that first come to mind when you’re in the mood to revisit your childhood.