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Top 13 Animation movies on Netflix

Netflix has increased its focus on animated films. Netflix has become more ambitious with its own animated offerings, despite the fact that the company’s overall movie section has shrunk and Disney and Pixar have pulled their movies for their own service. Both adults and children can find something they like on the streamer. Particularly, the anime section has never been more robust. Finding animated movies on Netflix can be difficult because the website doesn’t have a dedicated “Animated Movies” section, but we’ve searched through all the kids’ and adult-oriented categories to pick 13 Netflix animated movies that are worth your time. Check out our list of The 13 Best Kids Animation movies on Netflix Right Now if you’re just looking for movies for the little ones to watch.

Here are top 25 Netflix animated films:r

1. Blame!

  • Year: 2017
  • Director: Hiroyuki Seshita
  • Stars: Sora Amamiya, Kana Hanazawa, Takahiro Sakurai
  • Genre: Anime, Sci-Fi, Action
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 105 minutes

Tsutomu Nihei is a visionary of industrial sci-fi. Nihei’s art is sparse and labyrinthine, defined by an obsession with invented spaces. Bow-legged synthoids and ghoulish predators with bone-swords and gristle-guns populate Byzantine factories with gothic accents spanning impossible chasms. His most famous series, Blame!, inspired videogames, music, art, and fashion. No anime adaptations of the series have been successful. So far.

Polygon Pictures’ Hiroyuki Seshita released Blame! with Netflix’s help. Blame! is set on a far-future Earth consumed by a massive, self-replicating superstructure known as ‘The City’ Killy, a taciturn loner, wanders the planet in search of a human with the elusive ‘net terminal gene,’ thought to be the only way to stop the city’s expansion.

Seshita’s film, written by Sadayuki Murai (Cowboy Bebop, Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue) and supervised by Nihei, abbreviates the manga’s early chapters and streamlines the story into a more narrative and action-driven affair. Hiroshi Takiguchi deftly replicates Nihei’s distinctive aesthetic in colour, while Yuki Moriyama improves on the uniform character designs of the original, giving its casts easily identifiable traits and silhouettes that improve the story’s parsability. Blame! is a faithful adaptation and a good introduction to the manga. Blame! is one of, if not the best original anime film to grace Netflix in a long time.

2. A Silent Voice

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  • Year: 2016
  • Director: Naoko Yamada
  • Stars: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yuki, Kensho Ono, Yuki Kaneko, Yui Ishikawa, Megumi Han, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Mayu Matsuoka
  • Genre: Anime, Drama
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 129 minutes

In a medium constricted by masculine aesthetic sensibilities and saturated with hyper-sexualized portrayals of women, Naoko Yamada’s presence is a breath of fresh air, to say nothing of the inimitable quality of her films.

Yamada is a director par excellence, capable of arresting attention and evoking melancholy and bittersweet catharsis through delicate compositions of deft sound, swift editing, ephemeral colour palettes, and characters with rich inner lives rife with knotty, relatable struggles.

A Silent Voice is based on Yoshitoki Oima’s manga of the same name. Shoya Ishida bullies deaf transfer student Shoko Nishimiya to his classmates’ amusement. When Shoya goes too far and forces Shoko to transfer for her own safety, his peers brand him a pariah, and he retreats into self-imposed isolation and self-hatred. Shoya meets Shoko as teenagers and tries to make amends for the harm he caused her, while grappling with his own motivations. A Silent Voice is an emotionally powerful film about adolescent abuse, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines

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  • Year: 2021
  • Director: Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe (co-director)
  • Stars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Olivia Colman
  • Genre: Comedy/Sci-Fi

The Mitchells vs. the Machines‘ animated generational divides are sci-fi carnival-like. Gravity Falls co-creator Mike Rianda’s feature debut is absurd, endearing, and terrifying. It’s easy to feel as lost or overwhelmed by the flashing lights and exhilarating sights as the central family, but it’s also easy to come away with the exhausted glee of a long, weary theme park outing.

Its genre-embedded family bursts through every messy, jam-packed frame like they’re trying to escape, creating the year’s most energetic, endearing animated comedy. Its premise is modest. Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is leaving for college and must take a road trip with her family: Rick (Danny McBride), her outdoorsy Luddite dad, Linda (Maya Rudolph), and Aaron (Rianda), her dino-freak little brother. Katie and her dad don’t always agree, even when Katie isn’t on her phone or computer. That “screen time” is a dirty phrase technocriticism could be as hacky as a Tim Allen sitcom’s 12th season.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines avoids this danger with nuance and anti-nuance. Evil tech companies mess up and phone-grown robots shoot all the humans into space. This film needed a big story to support its kitchen-sink visuals. The Sony film adds comicky shading to its expressive CG, like Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. After some of the crazier setpieces, Miles Morales might save the day. Katie’s meme- and movie-obsessed sketchbook doodles add explosive oddity to The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ palette. This unique style meshes well with The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ wonderfully timed slapstick, crashing and smashing with unexpected violence, balanced out with one dorky pug and plenty of visual asides poking fun at whatever is going on.

4. Lu Over the Wall

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  • Year: 2018
  • Director: Masaaki Yuasa
  • Stars: Kanon Tani, Shota Shimoda, Christine Marie Cabanos, Michael Sinterniklaas, Stephanie Sheh
  • Genre: Animated, Comedy, Kids & Family, Fantasy
  • Rating: G
  • Runtime: 107 minutes

Lu Over the Wall is sold as “family friendly” by distributor GKids, and it is, as an innocuous, offbeat alternative to the conventional computer animated films found in modern multiplexes. But there’s a difference between “whimsical” and “weird,” and before director Masaaki Yuasa gets through the opening credits, Lu Over the Wall has crossed over into the latter.

We hardly ever get close to reality: even its most human beats, those precious hints of relatable qualities that encourage our empathy, are elongated, distorted, and rendered nearly unrecognisable by exaggeration. Lu Over the Wall isn’t a movie that takes itself seriously, which is a good thing for the average moviegoer. The plot is both simple and complicated: Kai (voiced by Michael Sinterniklaas in the English dub), a recent transplant from Tokyo to the quiet fishing village of Hinashi, spends his days doing what most teenage boys do: hunkering down in his room and shutting out the world. As Kai struggles with his self-imposed isolation, he befriends Lu (Christine Marie Cabanos), a miniature manic pixie dream mermaid.

What is a lone emo boy to do in a literal and metaphorical fish-out-of-water plot with xenophobic undertones? Lu Over the Wall combines joy with political allegory, vibrant colour palettes, storytelling magic, and far too many upbeat musical interludes to count. Simply calling the film “creative” feels like an insult to its inspired madness.

5. How To Train Your Dragon 2

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  • Year: 2014
  • Director: Dean DeBlois
  • Stars: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill
  • Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Adventure
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 112 minutes

How to Train Your Dragon was the epitome of a pleasant surprise, so its sequel had a lot to live up to. It’s to the creative team’s credit, then, that rather than repeating the themes of the first film, they chose to expand the world in new and interesting directions.

It’s been five years since the last film’s events. Everyone in the Viking village of Berk now lives in harmony with the dragons and even plays fun games with them. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), our protagonist, has grown since we last saw him, but he remains as endearingly goofy and sarcastic as ever. However, not everything is perfect in paradise. Stoick (Gerard Butler), Hiccup’s father, wishes to begin grooming his son to succeed him as village chieftain.

Hiccup is woefully unprepared for the role, despite the encouragement of his now-girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera). However, our hero’s personal squabbles are cut short when he and Astrid come across a group of men attempting to capture dragons. They are led by Eret (Kit Harington), a dragon trapper who claims to be on a mission from Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), a ruthless conqueror hellbent on raising a dragon army and taking over the land. Whereas the first film benefited from a simpler, more concise narrative involving the classic boy-and-his-dog/cat/dragon arc, this sequel bites off more story than it can chew. But it has more than enough memorable moments to make up for it. It’s a technological marvel to behold.

As good as the original film’s flying sequences were, this sequel outperforms them. Furthermore, the animation’s level of detail is at times befuddling. How to Train Your Dragon 2 isn’t quite Toy Story 2 (or The Empire Strikes Back), but it’s a worthy successor to the first film. Even when it falls short of its lofty goals, you can’t help but admire how seriously it pursues them.

6. How To Train Your Dragon

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  • Year: 2010
  • Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
  • Stars: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill
  • Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Adventure
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 100 minutes

First, upon exiting the theatre, my then-five-year-old son stated, “I’d like to see this movie a million times.” [Pause for reflection.] And I’m sure if I saw it a million times, I’d want to see it a million more.” My emotions were more restrained, but as a child fan of Anne McCaffrey and The Neverending Story, I understood his enthusiasm. It’s a film about riding a dragon.

That is the only thing that can compete with pet robots and dinosaurs. Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders use our preconceptions of Vikings—big swarthy, stubborn men and women who refuse to leave their cold, barren, inhospitable lands despite regular dragon attacks costing them their sheep, homes, and limbs—as a foil for its undersized, unathletic hero.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is the chief’s son, and he has no chance of following in his father’s dragon-slaying footsteps. But the young lad remains hopeful. When cleverness and a little luck present him with the opportunity to slay his first dragon, he discovers that he has also been cursed with the un-Viking-like trait of pity. What follows is a film about standing up for what is right in the face of unpopularity. Hiccup is weak and uncoordinated, but he’s clever, brave, and principled, and these qualities help him save the day, make his father proud, and so on—and fly on a dragon.

Even if this is the film’s main reason for being—much of the screentime is devoted to aerial training, aerial romance, and aerial battles—the result is fun and thrilling, with plenty of snappy jokes and sight gags to keep audiences of all ages entertained.

7. The End of Evangelion

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  • Year: 1997
  • Director: Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki
  • Stars: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Yuko Miyamura, Kotono Mitsuishi, Fumihiko Tachiki, Yuriko Yamaguchi
  • Genre: Anime, Sci-Fi, Action
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 87 minutes

Fans of the series will remember the final two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The two-part finale, titled “Do you love me?” and “Take care of yourself,” famously sidelined the series’ climactic finale, instead opting to take place entirely away from the action within the subconscious of the show’s protagonist, Shinji Ikari, as he struggled to resolve the self-loathing and hatred that plagued him throughout the story’s duration.

Because of the unconventional and unsatisfying nature of this conclusion, disgruntled fans threatened Anno’s life and defaced Gainax’s building with graffiti. In response, Anno began work on a different ending to the series, which would be produced in two parts and aired in theatres.

The End of Evangelion is not the movie for you if you’re looking for a light, campy, and celebratory ending. Instead, fans were treated to one of the most fatalistic, avant-garde, and, oddly enough, life-affirming anime series endings ever produced. In short, it combines the best and worst aspects of Evangelion to create a film unlike any that has come before it. Despite its relentless darkness, End of Evangelion stays true to its subtitle’s ethos: the joy of death is in the act of rebirth.

8. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

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  • Year: 2021
  • Director: Kwang II Han
  • Stars: Theo James, Lara Pulver, Graham McTavish, Mary McDonnell
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 83 minutes

The Witcher was a massive hit for Netflix in 2019, introducing mainstream audiences worldwide to the dangerous world of Geralt of Rivia, a magically enhanced professional monster hunter known as a Witcher. The animated film Nightmare of the Wolf, like many prequels, can feel more interested in setting the stage for the next season of the live-action series than in telling a standalone story.

Your mileage may vary on whether you think that’s a good idea or not—hardcore fans will be delighted by the frequent namedropping and heightened violence in the run-up to the series’ return, while casual viewers may wonder what the big deal is about any of this. Nightmare of the Wolf, on the other hand, works because it unabashedly doubles down on much of what made the original series so appealing, namely the rich lore surrounding the existence of Witchers in general. And in doing so, it expands the original series’ world in a way that makes almost every aspect of it seem more complex and interesting than it did before.

The film is technically a Vesemir origin story, but it’s also a crash course in how Witchers came to be, from the harsh conditions under which they are created to the uneasy position they occupy in the Continent’s politics and cultural consciousness. Most importantly, Nightmare of the Wolf muddies the moral waters of the Witcher universe by creating complex characters in every shade of grey imaginable.

The broader message of Nightmare of the Wolf about how we often create the monsters we fear isn’t new. But those familiar beats eventually help us see the world of the live-action series—and Geralt’s place in it—in a new light, one that both justifies the Continent’s distrust of Witchers and deepens our understanding of why these remaining men have chosen to fight anyway.

9. Over the Moon

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  • Year: 2020
  • Director: Glen Keane
  • Stars: Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeung
  • Genre: Adventure, Family
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 100 minutes

Over the Moon was Netflix’s first bold step into producing animated films to compete with Disney’s. The film appears to have all the elements of another animation classic, directed by former Disney animator Glen Keane, who was responsible for bringing films such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Tangled to life, and containing a collection of catchy and heartwarming songs, explosively colourful animation, and a story immersed in Chinese culture.

The film follows Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), a 14-year-old Chinese girl who lives with her now-single father four years after her mother’s death. Still mourning her loss, Fei Fei clings to her mother’s traditional stories of the goddess Chang’e (Phillipa Soo) living on the moon, awaiting her departed lover, and believes that if she can prove Chang’e exists, her father will follow her example and stop trying to start a new family. Over the Moon’s beautiful animation sequences cannot be ignored, even if they are poorly contextualised, and there are times when the colourful display is mesmerising enough to distract from the plot confusion.

There’s a good chance that very young children will enjoy the movie just for the bright colours and cute animals, and the songs are catchy enough that they won’t drive their parents insane after the millionth time they hear them.

10. Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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  • Year: 2014
  • Director: Rob Minkoff
  • Stars: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Ariel Winter, Patrick Warburton
  • Genre: Animation, Family, Adventure, Comedy
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 92 minutes

Mr. Peabody & Sherman shows that Hollywood’s obsession with reboots, revivals, and re-imaginings can be done well. The characters first appeared on the popular 1960s cartoon series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and the track record for adapting segments from that show to the big screen is dreadful.

Peabody director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little) makes the wise decision to keep the new film entirely animated, with no need for live action. This decision both honours the original material and opens up new possibilities for a story that begins with a wacky premise—a dog, Mr. Peabody, who happens to be a certified genius adopts a human boy, Sherman, as his son—and gets crazier from there as the duo travel through time in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine (pronounced “way-back”).

He’s a canine Doctor Who, though his adventures are limited to Earth. The original Peabody shorts were known for their clever, pun-driven humour and amusing riffs on history and culture, which are all carried over here.

11. Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack

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  • Year: 1988
  • Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
  • Stars: Toru Furuya, Shuichi Ikeda, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Maria Kawamura, Nozomu Sasaki, Koichi Yamadera
  • Genre: Anime, Sci-Fi, Action
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 119 minutes

Char’s Counterattack is the first Gundam theatrical film and the final chapter in the original saga that began in 1979 with the “Universal Century Timeline” of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. It has the weight of three seasons of TV behind it. Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of the Gundam series, directed and wrote the film, which was based on his novel Hi-Streamer.

Char’s Counterattack, widely regarded as the best film in the Gundam franchise, is most successful in concluding the 14-year rivalry between the “hero” of the Earth Federation, Amuro Ray, and the leader of Neo-Zeon, Char Aznable. The plot revolves around a classic Gundam dilemma: Char’s Neo-Zeon force attempts to drop an asteroid laden with nuclear weapons onto Earth, freeing the colonies from the yoke of oppression imposed by their rivals, the Earth Federation, but killing everyone on Earth in the process. As with all of the best Gundam stories, Tomino takes a hard sci-fi approach to the story, clearly laying out the science behind things like giant mobile suits and “newtypes” (humans that have evolved to acquire psychic abilities).

Tomino carefully explains the reasoning behind Char and Amuro’s passions and hatreds, preventing the viewer from picking a clear side. The Gundam series has always been willing to engage in discussions about the horrors of war and how humanity, despite its advances, never seems to be able to free itself from its baser instincts. Char’s Counterattack does the same thing, but it’s more concerned with putting an end to the rivalry between Amuro and Char—and it succeeds spectacularly on that front.

The film is unquestionably one of the high points of the Gundam Universe, with gorgeous, tense fight sequences set in space, an excellent soundtrack by Shigeaki Saegusa, and some of the most lauded Gundam designs in the franchise’s history. One disadvantage: If you don’t have the time to watch hundreds of episodes of television with these characters, the plot can be confusing, and Char/ending Amuro’s may not be as powerful. Regardless, Char’s Counterattack is a pivotal moment in the Gundam universe that is still worth seeing almost 30 years later.

12. I Lost My Body

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  • Year: 2019
  • Director: Jérémy Clapin
  • Stars: Hakim Faris Hamza, Victoire Du Bois, Patrick d’Assumçao
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 81 minutes

While we’re on board, at least passively, for however many sequels Pixar wants to give Toy Story, and patient for however long another one takes, I Lost My Body is a unique animated film that, frankly, doesn’t get made anymore.

Partly because hand-drawn features from small studios are becoming increasingly rare, but mostly because it’s a defiantly adult animated film wrapped in oblique storytelling and steeped in grief. The beauty of director Jérémy Clapin’s images, often limned in filth and decay, is how revelatory they can be when tied so irrevocably to the perspective of a small hand navigating both its nascent life in the treacherous urban underground and its host body’s traumatic memories.

I Lost My Body is an unassuming, quietly heartbreaking achievement that the Academy should prioritise over expectedly competent big studio fare now more than ever.

13. Klaus

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  • Year: 2019
  • Director: Sergio Pablos
  • Stars: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Norm Macdonald, Sergio Pablos
  • Genre: Adventure, Family
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 98 minutes

Just by its appearance, Sergio Pablos’ lauded Netflix film Klaus would be a Christmas mythology origin for the ages, but its complex and mature telling should entice plenty of adults and savvy kids by being a (wood)cut above pretty much all of its animated ilk.

The story of its isolated people—from its postman (Jason Schwartzman) to its toy-making hermit (J.K. Simmons) to the ferryman (Norm Macdonald) who connects them all—and feuding clans may contain too much narrative for younger viewers, but its message is clear: Good actions, even if begun for the wrong reasons, can result in good outcomes.

The interiors of the hot-and-cold film have the look of a fireside thanks to some incredible, complex lighting, and its exaggerated characters are a delight to watch navigate its realistic world. Not every piece of pop culture requires an origin story, but if they’re as nuanced and beautiful as Klaus, they have the potential to fill our legends’ stockings with more than coal.

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