IndieWire's Best Animated Films of the 21st Century

IndieWire's Best Animated Films of the 21st Century's icon

Created by Gershwin.

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IndieWire wrote:
Pixar and Studio Ghibli tend to spring to mind first when discussing great animation, but there’s a world beyond those two giants. Animated films have grown ever more artful and affecting as more and more folks realize that it’s never just been a medium for kids, with studios and indies alike creating stop-motion marvels, hand-drawn standouts, and CGI spectacles.

The genre has grown so much since we entered the current century, in fact, that it can be easy to forget the Academy Awards didn’t even recognize animation until 2001. As few as three movies were nominated per year until 2010, but since then animation’s increased prominence has been reflected in the race’s competitiveness. Not every worthy movie could make the cut on either the awards circuit or this list, sadly, but rest assured that “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Secret of Kells,” “The Breadwinner,” and “Loving Vincent,” to name just a few, are very honorable mentions.

IndieWire first launched a shorter version of this list in November 2017. Given the extraordinary number of great animated films released since then and ongoing reappraisal of films previously released, now is the time for an update.

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  1. 1 -

    Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

    2001 — a.k.a. Spirited Away, in 39 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Fantastic Mr. Fox

    2009, in 9 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    La tortue rouge

    2016 — a.k.a. The Red Turtle, in 1 top list Check
  4. 4 -

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    2018, in 21 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    Kaguya-hime no monogatari

    2013 — a.k.a. The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, in 8 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    Finding Nemo

    2003, in 17 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    Kaze tachinu

    2013 — a.k.a. The Wind Rises, in 4 top lists Check
  8. 8 -

    The Illusionist

    2006, in 0 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    WALL·E

    2008, in 26 top lists Check
  10. 10 -

    Persepolis

    2007, in 9 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    World of Tomorrow

    2015, in 4 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    The Congress

    2013, in 1 top list Check
  13. 13 -

    Frozen

    2013, in 5 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    2016, in 0 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Vals Im Bashir

    2008 — a.k.a. Waltz with Bashir, in 11 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Toy Story 3

    2010, in 16 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Paprika

    2006, in 7 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Up

    2009, in 16 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Coraline

    2009, in 3 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Hauru no ugoku shiro

    2004 — a.k.a. Howl's Moving Castle, in 18 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Ratatouille

    2007, in 14 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Moana

    2016, in 4 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    The Lego Movie

    2014, in 5 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Isle of Dogs

    2018, in 1 top list Check
  25. 25 new

    Coco

    2017, in 14 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Les triplettes de Belleville

    2003 — a.k.a. The Triplets of Belleville, in 11 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Anomalisa

    2015, in 2 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Shaun the Sheep Movie

    2015, in 0 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Sita Sings the Blues

    2008, in 2 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    ParaNorman

    2012, in 1 top list Check
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Last updated on Apr 1, 2020 by Gershwin; source