6 Mind-Blowing, Underrated Movies That Represent Animation At Its Best

Animation is an incredibly versatile practice, with some of the highest-grossing films being animated classics that are now forever entwined in pop culture. It’s a genre that everyone has seen at least once in their life; ranging from family-favorite wholesome classics by major studios like disney Where Dream works to grittier, grown-up masterpieces that help explore complex ideas, but are also sadly seen by some as less important and intended only for children.



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Although anime-inspired movies can be swept so easily into favor of their live counterparts, animation is an art form that continues to thrive. This list will include some of the most dazzling animated films of all time that deserve more love.

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wolf walkers (2020)

Set in 1650s Ireland during the growing rule and influence of England and the final days of the country’s native wolf population, the Irish product wolf walkers is a beautiful, Celtic-inspired film that takes you on a mystical journey through luminous splashes of beauty and vibrant color. The film follows the friendship between an English-born daughter of a wolf hunter, Robyn, and Irish-born Mebh, who has the ability to shapeshift into a wolf when she sleeps and how outside forces and conflict interfere with each other to threaten both. Their families.

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Realized by Tom Moore and Ross Stewart and produced by Cartoon Saloon, the film is the third by Moore ‘Irish Trilogy’ which includes other stunning animated films such as Kels’ secret and The Song of the Sea, which also explore Irish mythology and help bring the country’s rich history to life. The voice cast showcases the talents of many actors, including Sean Beanin an incredible performance by Robyn’s father, Bill, as well as music by DAWN it helps to add to the esoteric and magical feel that the film embodies. wolf walkersis a must watch film if you haven’t already and will make you fall even more in love with the beauty of Ireland’s forests, mythology, history and humor.


Persepolis (2007)

Originally a graphic novel created by an Iranian Marjane Satrapi documenting his childhood and life under the Iranian revolution and the subsequent rise of the regime of Islamic fundamentalism in his country, Persepolis is a black and white animated film that depicts Iran’s recent history through a striking and distinctly comedic art style. The film also explores the immigrant experience, shown when Marjane is moved to Austria for safety by her parents, then struggles to disconnect from her homeland while living halfway around the world in a country that views her as a foreigner. . Related: Best Indie Animated Movies Of All Time

The film takes full inspiration from its graphic novel lineage and adapts its animation style directly from its printed representation. It remains monochromatic like in the novel and highlights the character’s facial expressions and dialogue over colorful visuals. Persepolisis a beautiful and serious account of Satrapi’s youth and growth into adulthood through the unique lens of Iranian identity and history, using animation to tell this story in an exceptional way.


perfect blue (1997)

Legendary animator and author Satoshi Kon is known for so many brilliant works including Paprika, godfathers of Tokyo, and Millennial Actressall of which deserve their own place in this list, but if we can only narrow it down to one of his films, that place absolutely goes to his 1997 feature debut, perfect blue, a psychological thriller that blends the fabric of reality and illusion and leaves each viewer questioning their own lives. The story centers on an aspiring actress and former pop idol, Mima Kirigoe, as her relationship with her own identity takes a nosedive when her public persona literally tries to outrun her existence.

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This film is essential not only in the world of animation and anime, but also inspired directors of live action films such as Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan and you can see perfect bluethe influence of in their own films. The film is so poignant due to Kon’s ever-relevant critique of fame and celebrity culture, as well as reimagining the horror figure of a look-alike to new and terrifying heights. perfect bluehelped show how animation can be used effectively in horror to create truly terrifying moments and helped pave the way for other animation work to explore dark themes and stories in new, creative and energizing ways. You might question your own identity for days after watching, but perfect blueis a film that takes you on a high-speed journey that will stay with you.


Spirit: Cimarron Stallion (2002)

As any traditional artist will tell you: horses are really difficult to draw, let alone animate, as their incredibly specific bodies, heads, and movements require such a level of precision that only the most skilled professional can replicate. That is why Spirit: Cimarron Stallion deserves a spot on this list because every animated sequence featuring horses (which makes up about 99% of the movie) is so smooth and beautiful and it’s all directed by the legendary animator, James Baxter. First published in 2002 by dream animation, the film had to compete with cinematic giants such as Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and by Sam Raimi Spider Manso it unfortunately did not receive all the appreciation it deserved at the time.

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The film’s cast includes Matt Damon as Spirit’s internal monologue, a departure from other animal-driven films that feature them talking directly, which helps to add a strong sense of realism and understanding of Spirit’s determination to reunite with his family. The film also deals with issues of the time, including Native American wars and the reality of colonialism in indigenous communities, featuring a young Lakota as the film’s second protagonist to provide audiences with a different perspective that is not usually explored. in the western genre. The beauty and grandeur of the American West is showcased perfectly here, and everyone from the toughest horsewoman to the indifferent observer can’t help but fall in love with this pony photo.


When the wind blows (1982)

With regard to the grim portrayals of nuclear fallout in the media, by Jimmy Murakima 1982 disaster animated film When the wind blows takes the cake to be the most heartbreaking. Based on the work of Raymond Briggs, known for classic children’s Christmas animation The Snowman, the film follows an elderly couple living in the idyllic English countryside who fall victim to a nuclear war beyond their control. The couple, named Hilda and Jim Bloggs and based on Briggs’ own parents, think it is possible to survive the threat of nuclear war since they also survived World War II, but as the film goes on, it is clear that they will meet a serious fate.

The film does not shy away from showing the real effects of the nuclear explosion and radiation, depicting the real consequences and human cost of using nuclear energy. The art style also incorporates live action, traditional hand-drawn animation, and stop-motion, giving it an unsettling and incredibly distinct feel. First published amid Cold War and Soviet-Afghan War fears, When the wind blowsis yet another all too apt warning of the devastation wrought by nuclear weapons.


The last unicorn (1982)

As mentioned earlier, horses are difficult to draw and unicorns look just as difficult. Also released in 1982 and featuring the legendary actress mia farrow in the titular role, The last unicorn is a fantasy adventure family animation that dared to think about what would happen if a beautiful unicorn in a magical world had an existential crisis. The film is absolutely dazzling, as any unicorn movie should be, and features incredible character designs, from the unicorn itself to the mighty red bull, not to mention a whole host of terrifying creatures like the Nightmarish Harpy.

According to the book of Peter S. Beagle, which had a very turbulent relationship with the film, it’s a bittersweet story about the tragedy of immortality and the loss of one’s identity, told through a luminous and ethereal tale of dark magic and high fantasy. The unicorn is given incredible depth, and her desperate quest to find other members of her species is fraught with complex emotions that she struggles to comprehend. The film has a very unique portrayal of unicorns that is different from how unicorns are typically portrayed in popular media. This unicorn is a little more apathetic and a bit rougher than other unicorns you might be used to, but that’s part of its charm. It’s a timeless and poignant tale, filled with gorgeous visuals to keep you entertained throughout its run.

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