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The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated March 13, 2020 11.2k votes 1.9k voters 38.1k views 60 items

List Rules Vote up the best sci fi movies that happen to be cartoons.

Live action films can be limiting in an expansive genre like sci fi, but animated features give filmmakers the opportunity to invent whole new worlds. The top animated sci fi movies transport viewers to mind-boggling settings as characters explore the outer reaches of the future. This is a list of the best science fiction cartoons, including everything from The Iron Giant to Big Hero Six.

What films will you find on this list of the best animated sci fi movies? The innovative Disney/Pixar film WALL-E takes place in space, long after humans have rendered Earth uninhabitable. Although it is an animated film, the plot still gently critiques consumerism, corporatism, greed, and ignorance. Akira is another fantastic animated sci fi film. Richard Linklater imagines a world rife with drug abuse and police surveillance in his dystopian sci-fi thriller A Scanner Darkly. Other good movies featured on this list include The Congress, Titan A.E.Heavy Metal, and Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.

Which science fiction cartoon is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards the number-one spot on the list, and please add any good films that are missing.

If you consider yourself a fan be sure to check out the best Akira quotes and the best Ghost in the Shell quotes. You might also like this list of the best CGI science fiction films.

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1
The Iron Giant is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel, Cloris Leachman

Released: 1999

Directed by: Brad Bird

The Iron Giant is a 1999 American animated science fiction comedy-drama film using both traditional animation and computer animation, produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and based on the 1968 ...more

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#43 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #49 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #543 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

2
Akira is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Takeshi Kusao, Mami Koyama, Tesshō Genda

Released: 1988

Directed by: Katsuhiro Otomo

Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated cyberpunk action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, written by Otomo and Izo Hashimoto, and featuring the voices of Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, and ...more

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Some Artists Drew All Of 'Akira' With 'The Simpsons' Characters, And It's Amazing #153 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #472 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

3
WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

Released: 2008

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more

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The Most Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About WALL-E #65 of 601 The Best Animated Films Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Maaya Sakamoto, Akio Ōtsuka, Kōichi Yamadera

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mamoru Oshii

Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 anime science fiction film based on manga of the same title by Masamune Shirow. The film was written by Kazunori Itō, directed by Mamoru Oshii, animated by ...more

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#154 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #535 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #75 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

5
Big Hero 6 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph, Génesis Rodríguez

Released: 2014

Directed by: Chris Williams, Don Hall

Big Hero 6 is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated superhero action comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 54th film in the Walt ...more

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#3 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #22 of 111 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Jennifer Hale, Megumi Hayashibara, Daran Norris

Released: 2001

Directed by: Shinichirō Watanabe

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, known in Japan as Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, is a 2001 Japanese animated Space Western action film based on the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop created by ...more

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#309 of 863 The Best Anime Series of All Time #482 of 572 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time #14 of 1,083 The Best Anime Movies of All Time

7
Heavy Metal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy

Released: 1981

Directed by: Gerald Potterton

Heavy Metal is a 1981 Canadian adult animated anthology science fiction fantasy film directed by Gerald Potterton and produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, who also was the publisher of ...more

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#351 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #311 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #315 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

8
Titan A.E. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Alex Gaginsky added Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon, Janeane Garofalo

Released: 2000

Directed by: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Art Vitello

Titan A.E. is a 2000 animated post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure film directed by both Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The title refers to the spacecraft central to the plot, with A.E. ...more

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'Titan A.E.' Was A Hail Mary To Save Fox Animation - And It Failed In A Big Way #285 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #136 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

9
The Animatrix is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Melinda Clarke

Released: 2003

Directed by: Peter Chung, Shinichirō Watanabe, Takeshi Koike, Andrew R. Jones, Mahiro Maeda, + more

The Animatrix is a 2003 American-Japanese-Australian best-selling direct-to-video anthology film based on The Matrix trilogy produced by The Wachowskis, who wrote and directed the trilogy. The ...more

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#357 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #394 of 572 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time #48 of 1,083 The Best Anime Movies of All Time

10
Atlantis: The Lost Empir... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
kotbayun added Michael J. Fox, Leonard Nimoy, James Garner

Released: 2001

Directed by: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a 2001 American traditionally animated action-adventure film created by Walt Disney Feature Animation—the first science fiction film in Disney's animated features ...more

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#55 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #59 of 111 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time #16 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies

11
9 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Byron_Dude added

Released: 2005

Directed by: Shane Acker

9 is a 2005 computer animated short film created by Shane Acker as a student project at the UCLA Animation Workshop. Tim Burton saw the film and was so impressed by its artistic vision that he ...more

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#271 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #210 of 212 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #65 of 72 The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made

12
Ralph Breaks the Interne... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer

Directed by: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is a 2018 American 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston. Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah ...more

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#286 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #79 of 111 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time #598 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

13
Lilo & Stitch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Byron_Dude added Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, Kevin Michael Richardson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated action-adventure comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 21, 2002. The 42nd ...more

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'Lilo & Stitch' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True #5 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #73 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

14
Paprika is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Satoshi Kon, Megumi Hayashibara, Hideyuki Tanaka

Released: 2006

Directed by: Satoshi Kon

Paprika is a 2006 Japanese animated film co-written and directed by Satoshi Kon, based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1993 novel of the same name, about a research psychologist who uses a device that ...more

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#524 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #64 of 96 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms #225 of 320 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

15
Ghost in the Shell 2: In... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Naoto Takenaka, Akio Ōtsuka, Yoshiko Sakakibara

Released: 2004

Directed by: Mamoru Oshii

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known simply as Innocence in Japan, is a 2004 anime/computer-animated sci-fi sequel to the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell. Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, and ...more

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#473 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #551 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #7 of 13 The 13 Best Anime That Use 3D Animation

16
The Girl Who Leapt Throu... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura

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#3 of 15 The 15 Best Anime Films That Aren’t Studio Ghibli #10 of 22 Anime With The Most Gorgeous Train Station Scenes

17
Fantastic Planet is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Hubert de Lapparent, Jean Topart, Yves Barsacq

Released: 1973

Directed by: René Laloux

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 cutout stop motion science fiction allegorical film directed by René Laloux, production designed by Roland Topor, written by both of them and animated at ...more

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#209 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #1,458 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #50 of 96 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

18
The Transformers: The Mo... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Orson Welles, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1986

Directed by: Nelson Shin

The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated TV series by the same name. It was released in North America on August 8, 1986 and in the UK on December 5, ...more

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#252 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #256 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #53 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

19
A Scanner Darkly is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder

Released: 2006

Directed by: Richard Linklater

A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 American animated science fiction thriller film directed by Richard Linklater based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The film tells the story of ...more

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Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True #550 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #736 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

20
Final Fantasy VII: Adven... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Maaya Sakamoto, Kenichi Suzumura, Toshiyuki Morikawa

Released: 2005

Directed by: Tetsuya Nomura, Takeshi Nozue

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a 2005 Japanese computer-animated science fantasy film directed by Tetsuya Nomura, written by Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Yoshinori Kitase and Shinji ...more

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#311 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #6 of 48 The Best Video Game Movies #31 of 1,083 The Best Anime Movies of All Time

21
The Chronicles of Riddic... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Vin Diesel, Keith David, Dwight Schultz

Released: 2004

Directed by: Peter Chung

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury is a 2004 made-for-DVD animated science fiction film. It was directed by the Korean-American animator Peter Chung, and features Vin Diesel reprising his role ...more

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#85 of 200 The Best Space Movies #58 of 60 The Best Movies About UFOs #12 of 26 The Best Black Sci-Fi Movies

22
Resident Evil: Damnation... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Dave Wittenberg, Robin Sachs, Michael McConnohie

Released: 2012

Directed by: Makoto Kamiya

Resident Evil: Damnation, known as Biohazard: Damnation in Japan, is a 2012 Japanese feature-length computer-animated horror 3D film by Capcom and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, directed by ...more

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#963 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #42 of 204 The Best Zombie Horror Films #54 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

23
Space Pirate Captain Har... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Haruma Miura, Maaya Sakamoto, Yū Aoi

Released: 2013

Directed by: Shinji Aramaki

Space Pirate Captain Harlock is a 2013 Japanese 3D CG anime film directed by Shinji Aramaki. In 2010, Toei Animation announced that it made a pilot for a computer-graphics remake, and it ...more
24
Starship Troopers: Invas... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
yurewitch.ron added Luci Christian, Chris Patton, David Matranga

Released: 2012

Directed by: Shinji Aramaki

Starship Troopers: Invasion, also known as Starship Troopers 4: Invasion, is a 2012 computer animated military science fiction film directed by Shinji Aramaki. The fourth installment of the ...more
25
Final Fantasy: The Spiri... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movies
Alex Gaginsky added Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, James Woods

Released: 2001

Directed by: Motonori Sakakibara, Hironobu Sakaguchi

Film Production NotesFinal Fantasy: The Spirits Within emerges from its successful interactive game roots to deliver an exciting new breed of motion picture adventure. A fresh, provocative take ...more

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#12 of 15 15 Bad Video Game Movies That Are Actually Good #409 of 572 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time #27 of 48 The Best Video Game Movies