Animated films only get better over the decades, with the best continuing to push the boundaries of form. Letterboxd fans have awarded exemplary 2010s animated films with the highest marks on the site, which is an ideal guide for audiences looking to watch great movies from the previous decade.
From Bill’s haunting story in It’s a beautiful day to the epic adventures of the friendly neighborhood hero in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, there is a wide range of storytelling and visual styles for viewers to choose from. It’s never too late to look back at some of the best animated films that have contributed to and shaped the genre today.
ten Wasteland (2019) – 4.2
The enigmatic and sometimes terrifying world portrayed in director Jonni Phillips’ film Wasteland is as captivating as it is confusing. Fans who don’t really like the original movies might not be sure what to do with the five-part movie, but those who do get into it are likely to find it easy to fall in love.
The characters’ struggles around their sanity, mundane life, and questionable realities are portrayed in seemingly unrelated shorts. They all make sense when viewed as a whole, as they tell a strangely tellable story to anyone who has ever felt comfortable in seclusion.
9 Coco (2017) – 4.2
by Pixar coconut is often considered the studio’s most touching film to date, with Miguel’s touching story likely making even adults cry a little. Her determination to pursue music despite her family’s mysterious aversion to it is inspiring.
Everything he discovers along the way coconut makes fans feel like they are discovering pieces of family history together. With heavy themes like death and abandonment, the beautiful movie is something kids can watch when they get older to better understand the seriousness of the story.
8 Your name (2016) – 4.2
When Miki and Taki inexplicably find themselves changing bodies at random, they discover that they can help each other improve each other’s lives in your name. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, the film may seem like it has a plot that has been done before on the surface, but the story turns into something more complex and mind-blowing as the film progresses.
The moving romantic fantasy film explores themes of memory and time, all wrapped up in a visually stunning way. The anime is a must-have for anyone who enjoys a heart-wrenching love story with a touch of magic.
seven Infinity Train (2016) – 4.2
Infinity train is well known today for being a popular animated series, but some fans may not be aware of its origins as a single short film. Director Owen Dennis introduces viewers to some of the Infinity trainmany likable characters in its now non-canon pilot of 2016.
In it, Tulip struggles to find her way back aboard the wacky titular Infinity Train. She travels from one strange room to another and even finds one full of farts until she reaches the Corgi King. It’s a crazy adventure that heralds the start of a crazy show. They even remade the pilot in one episode of the series, aptly titling “The Corgi Car”.
6 Tomorrow’s World (2015) – 4.2
The world of tomorrow is the first part of the bizarre and magnificent trilogy of short films from director Don Hertzfeldt. Told from the perspective of a little girl named Emily, viewers are transported to a strange future where clones of the protagonist explain how they discovered the secret of immortality.
Emily’s innocence is shocking compared to her technologically advanced adult counterparts. The animated film delivers a powerful, even eccentric, message about the fleeting nature of life and the value of the present. Its heartwarming conclusion can move, confuse, and leave viewers wanting more, which is why it’s a good thing that there are two more movies that follow what happens next.
5 The final release of the disciples of Ascensia (2019) – 4.2
Director Jonni Philips transports viewers to the strange world of a woman named Celisse. She faces a massive change in her life when she encounters a UFO cult who invites her to join the Disciples of Ascensia. Audiences watch her learn about the troubled past and problematic goals of her new friends, all while trying to figure out her own identity and desires.
The film is creatively animated, using a variety of materials like construction paper and watercolors to show the different stages of Celisse’s journey. The final exit of the disciples of Ascensia It’s about as much about a bizarre cult as it is about feeling lost and needing to be accepted into your life, which makes it a touching film in a special but welcome way.
4 World of Tomorrow Episode 2: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts (2017) – 4.3
The continuation of Emily’s story is described in one of the best animated films for adults, The burden of other people’s thoughts. The girl’s clones are at the center of the film directed by Don Hetzfeldt, as they travel through time and space to relive and uncover memories old and new.
The avant-garde film tackles themes such as youth, memory and death, which contrast with its bright and childish artistic style. It’s a must-have for fans of bizarre tales that make viewers think about what they just watched.
3 Joe Pera Tells You About Sleep (2016) – 4.3
Director Kieran O’Hare Joe Pera talks to you about sleeping is exactly what it sounds like: a relaxing movie made to make audiences fall asleep. Its simple animation style is meant to eliminate distraction, helping viewers focus on the soothing, monotonous voice of the narrator.
Joe talks about everything from barns and dog names to Stephen Hawking’s business and hearty breakfasts. Its only downside is that it can actually be hilarious and interesting enough to pay attention to, which isn’t the best thing for viewers who are just trying to sleep.
2 It’s such a beautiful day (2012) – 4.3
In director Don Hertzfeldt’s first and arguably best feature film, It’s a beautiful day, it tells the heartbreaking story of Bill, a stick-shaped man with an unknown neurological disease. Fans see the confusing world through Bill’s eyes, as he attempts to piece together pieces of his reality, despite feeling like everything is drifting apart.
Viewers can’t be faulted for shedding a tear or two upon learning of the protagonist’s tragic past, his complicated relationship with his mother and bewildered doctors. It’s a touching film that is meant to stay on the minds of audiences long after they’ve watched it.
1 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) – 4.4
Very positive reviews Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse received on its initial release are all well deserved. The gripping origin story introduces fans to the thrilling adventure of Miles Morales as he embarks on a groundbreaking adventure.
Each spider person has their own fascinating story, not to mention unique worlds with a magnificent animation style. The film is a prime example of a well-done superhero animated film, as it masterfully weaves action-packed sequences, a gripping storyline, unforgettable characters and striking locations, pushing fans to the edge of their seats and entertaining them from start to finish.
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