With the holiday season in full swing, sweet Christmas carols multiplying the joy in the air and people making New Year’s resolutions to bring in 2014, we thought what better moment than this to pick our top 10 favorite animation movies to watch in the comfort of your couch and cozy blankets.


1) Wall-E:  The sci-fi genius of the movie going hand in hand with an innocent and charming love story makes it special to both sci-fi nerds and suckers for a romantic movie. Catch yourself going “Wow” and “Awww” all the way through the movie. Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Andrew Stanton, Wall-E tells the story of a character by the same name programmed to clean the waste covered Earth far into the future and his love interest Eve also sent to earth and programmed for certain tasks. The adventure progresses when Wall-E follows Eve to outer space and the plot thickens. The perfect weather, time on hand and the mood for leisure makes this an ideal choice for a great movie night.


2) Mary & Max: “Mary Dinkle’s eyes were the color of muddy puddles. Her birthmark, the color of poo.” “My teacher, Mrs Pendergast, says I should smile more. I told my mum and so she drew a big smile on me. I don’t think Mrs. Pendergast likes me anymore. I better go now. My tears are “smudgling” my words.” The quirky dialogues are memorable making it one of the best written scripts. The movie stays with you long after you’ve seen it. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh and the characters find a special place in your heart. Mary & Max is a 2009 Australian clay-animated black comedy drama directed by Adam Elliot.  It’s a story spanning 20 years and revolves around two characters Mary Daisy Dinkle who lives in Australia and Max Jerry Horowitz who is based out of New York. They become pen pals and form a deep friendship. For kids it’s a fascinating, out-of the-box animation movie. For adults it’s a great tale that makes one reflect on life in general. It might not be a popular choice for a holiday season movie but it definitely is something kids should be encouraged to watch. It gives you an interesting perspective on life. The outstanding achievement be it photography, art, design or music makes it a gem and a must watch.


3) Grave of The Fireflies: Japanese animation movies are incomparable to any others on many levels. This movie is a fine example. Grave of The Fireflies is sure to move you with its achingly sad but beautiful anti-war story based in war torn Japan. Written and directed by Isao Takahata, the plot revolves around Seita and Setsuko two Japanese siblings trying to survive in the aftermath of World War II with their mother gone and in a situation where kindness and food become sparse. A movie that makes you so grateful for everything you have and a definitely great choice for holiday watching.

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4) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: An engaging sci-fi romance animation flick that keeps you hooked from the beginning to the end. The premise of the movie being a girl gaining powers to time travel and how she uses her unique powers to alter her closest relationships; this has all the elements that makes a great sci-fi with a touch of romance. Written by Satoko Okudera and directed by Mamoru Hosoda, the film won numerous awards including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.

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5) Ratatouille: No top ten movie lists could go without this one. An absolute perfect recipe to draw kids as well as adults closer to the movie world and away from their daily lives. An ambitious little rat following his idol chef Gusteau’s words- “Anyone can cook” to the T and the adventures he has along his journey to becoming a chef. Perfect watching with lots of food, good humour, fast-paced well defined characters and a great ending. You’ll know why Ratatouille always makes it to the top ten.


6) Up: Released in May 2009, this became the first animation movie to open at the Cannes Film Festival. An American 3D computer-animated comedy drama adventure film, Up stays true to its name- it’s exciting, punchy, good humored, flying houses and talking dogs all woven into a great storyline.  This is an energetic movie that will take you on an adventurous exploration of South America with an unlikely pair Carl Fredrickson an 8 year old boy and Russell-a 78-year-old salesman.


7) Toy Story: Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by John Lasseter. Toy Story has two sequels Toy story 2 released in 1998 and Toy Story 3 released in 2010. Again a great movie for both kids and adults; while for adults it’s a reminiscing their childhood days of building a whole world of their own with their favourite toys while for kids it’s reinstating the world they live in. It’s a tale of a boy and his toys. Groundbreaking for the time when it was released, it still holds that freshness and creativity every single time you watch it again. Toy Story is also filled with morals that kids can learn from maintaining it’s fast paced and highly interesting storyline. It is a great holiday watch.


8) Spirited Away: Written and directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, a 2001 Japanese movie, which is gorgeous in every sense of the word. The movie transports you to the world of Chihiro and Yubaba, the nasty witch. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards. Spirited Away makes you wonder more about the world you’re living in. It also leaves you in a dream-like state that very few films have the power to do. There are also some very basic contrasting human qualities like generosity, evil, strength and courage that are beautifully highlighted all through the movie. Miyazaki’s inspiration for the script came from his friend’s ten year old daughter who came to visit his house each summer. Stunning images, vivid imagination and an extremely well told story.


9) Beauty And The Beast: The classic Beauty And The Beast is an ideal pick for holiday watching. It became the first animated movie to be nominated for best picture. It is magical staying true to fantasy and drawing you completely into the fable. A beautiful Belle, a monstrous looking beast who is actually a handsome prince and the romance throbbing at the heart of the tale is perfect. The song and dance numbers is icing on the cake. The movie has all the required ingredients to keep you at the edge of your seat, with popcorn on your lap and relishing family moments watching it together.


10) The Lion King: This is a classic film with all the right ingredients that mark a great movie. Stirring, rich and beautiful, this film tells the story of a lion cub’s journey as he grows into an adult.  It’s a perfect family watch and the best way to rekindle the bond among family members. This is definitely something that kids want to remember as their growing up movie. It also has some very endearing and learning dialogues. For instance when Rafiki advises Simba and tells him “Past can hurt, but as I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it!”

– By Shridevi Keshavan

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