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Underrated Animated Movies You Need to Check Out Now

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Everyone loves a good animated movie. That’s just a fact. We all have our favorites- whether it be a Disney, Pixar, or even Ghibli movie- that we love to revisit whenever we have the chance or opportunity to. However, there are a ton of animated gems that deserve a lot more love and attention than they receive. Here are some animated movies that we believe are seriously underrated and definitely worth checking out ASAP:

1. A Bug’s Life (1998)  

Fun and lighthearted, but serious when it needs to be, A Bug’s Life is one of Disney/Pixar’s earlier computer-animated movies that follows an inventive and rebellious ant named Flik who is determined to recruit “warriors” to help save his ant colony from the tyranny of the grasshoppers. Absolutely genuine, cute at times, and persistently hilarious- it’s a movie definitely worth your time if you haven’t already seen it. 

2. Brave (2012)

Before there was Frozen, there was Brave. One of Disney/Pixar’s more recent movies, Brave is a heartfelt and passionate story about Scottish princess Merida whose ill-fated wish is granted which causes chaos to wreck the realm and kingdom. Only Merida can clean up the mess she made, however, she is also forced to face the relationship she has with her mother and the ideas she holds towards her identity as a princess.

3. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

When, out of the blue, Makoto, a high-school teenage girl, somehow obtains the ability to time travel, she tries to make the most out of it. However, she comes to realize that her leaping has dire consequences… Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a refreshing drama with simplistically beautiful animation. This unforgettable movie will unexpectedly leave you absolutely frustrated and reduced to the point of tears by the time the credits roll. 

4. Happy Feet (2006)

So cute! Warner Brother’s Happy Feet is an absolutely adorable movie with loveable characters and a great soundtrack. In the world of penguins, you gotta be able to sing in order to find someone you belong with. Unfortunately for Mumble, he doesn’t have a great singing voice but has amazing tap dancing skills. Grab a buddy, get wrapped up in layers of cozy blankets, and prepare to be invested in Mumble’s adventure.

5. Only Yesterday (1991)

Only Yesterday, which was very recently dubbed by Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), is a fantastic movie that follows 27-year-old Taeko who takes a trip to visit her family in the countryside. Taeko uncovers many of her buried childhood memories (both good and bad) and lasting regrets, however, with the help of her countryside kin, she realizes it’s never too late to be happy and have a say in how you obtain that happiness. Don’t let the animation fool you, it’s a movie that especially speaks to college kids who are already beginning to fear decisions that may eventually regret.

6. Ratatouille (2007)

Follow the adorable and ambitious Remy, an anthropomorphic rat, as he pursues his dreams of being a master chef with the aid of a clumsy and bumbling human companion, Linguini, in this Disney/Pixar movie. The journey of both Linguini and Remy’s character development, as well as the absolutely beautiful animation, will have you inspired to cook some more interesting meals and booking a trip to Paris to taste those scrumptious Parisian delicacies.

7. Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out is a film that will have you both laughing and tearing up. It features five personified emotions that dwell in the mind of a young girl Riley, and their struggle with maintaining their composure and fixing the problems that arise within the girl’s troubled and developing mind. Like all Disney/Pixar movies, the animation is beautiful and the heart is exactly where you expect to find it.

8. The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises, the last movie to be directed by Hayao Miyazaki (as of late), is a heartfelt movie about a man chasing his dreams. The historical biopic is set in Japan during World War II and follows designer Jiro Horikoshi as he chases after both his dreams of flight and the love of his life. Incredibly passionate and deeply moving, this movie is definitely one you can’t pass up on.

9. UP (2009)


Uplifting and entertaining, Disney/Pixar’s UP is about Carl Fredericksen, a grumpy old man, who is trying to protect his house and Russell, an eager and earnest “Wilderness Explorer”, who gets dragged into Carl’s adventure in the pursuit of making old wishes come true. You’ll be captivated within the first few minutes of the movie and compelled to follow both Carl and Russell pursue their dreams and just have fun. After watching this movie, you’ll want to get out of your seat and just live in the moment.

10. Wolf Children (2012)

Wolf Children, directed by the same director as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Mamoru Hosoda, is about a young college student named Hana who falls in love with a man who happens to also be a werewolf. Like many of the other movies on this list, it will put a smile on your face and bring you to tears as you watch Hana struggle with raising her two half-werewolf children, Yuki and Ame, in secrecy. It’s a movie that both explores and captures the essence of family, parenthood, and identity. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.


Check out these underrated animated movies!

Alexis Martin

Rutgers '19

Blogger Babe + Owl Lover. Currently a senior at Rutgers University pursuing a bachelor degree in Criminal Justice. Things I love more than HC... brunch, planning, the city, and of course Netflix! I also have a blog over at www.alexishoots.com! Go check it out if you loved this article!  
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