Five Soul Filled Animated Films Everyone Should Watch

By Taylor Smith 

As someone who has consumed a wide range of media, there are many movies I have watched. Some are amazing treasures that are sadly forgotten about as years go by, while others are subpar films that manage to stay relevant due to easy marketing. With the many films I have watched throughout my life I wanted to share my five favorite films.  

Cats Don’t Dance (1997 Warner Bros) 

This was one of my favorites ever since I was a child. In fact, I remember watching the tape so many times that it eventually broke. This animated musical features a world where humans reside alongside anthropomorphic animals. The animation is incredible and each of the songs is captivating and memorable. It initially failed in theaters due to a lack of marketing; however, like many film flops, it is a cult classic that was well ahead of its time. I strongly believe that if it had been given the same chance as many of the successful movies at that time, it would be on par with films like Mulan or Toy Story. If you enjoy vaudeville musical stylings, a cast of memorable characters, and an unexpected villain, then you will enjoy this film.  

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989 Studio Ghibli) 

This is one of my favorite movies to turn on in the background as it is enjoyable whether you are actively or passively watching. With an easy-to-follow episodic storyline, you never feel lost during this movie. Of course, the film’s soundtrack as well as the beautiful and artistic animation adds even more to enjoy. This film is perfect during a lazy afternoon or when you need a break from the overstimulating world around us.  

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004 Studio Ghibli) 

This film has everything that an animated film needs to be amazing. Beautiful artwork, a talented cast of voice actors, magic, monsters, romance, relatable and memorable characters. Sophie, the lead character, is cursed to transform into an elderly woman. She seeks out Howl’s traveling castle and takes up residence as a new housekeeper. Throughout the film, it is subtly revealed that the less confidence she has the older she becomes and the only way to return to her true younger self is by restoring her self-confidence. I genuinely believe this movie has something for everyone.  

The Land Before Time (1989 Universal Pictures) 

This is the first movie to make me cry. As a kid, I remember watching the sequels of this film all the time because they were always on Cartoon Network. When I finally watched the film that started the franchise, none of them could even compare. It is a story about a bunch of kids who become unlikely friends after being separated from their families by a natural disaster. The deaths of loved ones, an interspecies adoption, and all of it being wrapped up with a heartfelt reunion scene. This movie is a classic that I believe everyone should watch at least once, especially if they are looking to feed their inner child’s love of dinosaurs.  

Tokyo Godfathers (2003 Sony Pictures) 

This film focuses on a trio of homeless people in Japan; an alcoholic named Gin; transwoman and former drag queen, Hana; and the teenage runaway, Miyuki. While searching through the trash for food on Christmas Eve, the trio finds an abandoned newborn baby. Along with the child are a few clues about her identity, and with that the trio take her in and begin their search for her parents, who are also actively trying to find her. This is a heartwarming film with a beautiful story that I believe everyone should watch at some point. 

Animation has always had a special place in my heart, and this list shows my love for it. There are so many incredible stories that can only be captured by this medium. I hope I can convince others to give these films a chance, because it is impossible to convey even a fraction of my love for these movies in such a short time. So, go make some popcorn, grab a seat, and enjoy some new heartfelt classics!  

About Taylor Smith

Taylor is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. They plan to graduate in Fall 2023 and finish their education at a 4-year university.
View all posts by Taylor Smith →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.