Watchworthy

The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s 

Ranker Film
Updated October 15, 2019 2k votes 358 voters 5.3k views 44 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite animated films that were released in the 1940s

What’s up, doc? The Golden Age of Animation from the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s gave us some of the most iconic cartoon characters in film history. This list of the greatest ‘40s cartoon movies contains classic figures like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the ubiquitous Bugs Bunny. Many of these characters were voiced by acting legend Mel Blanc, who brought a unique, radio-trained sensibility to Warner Bros.


Also on this list, you'll find some of the first instances of an animated Superman. The Superman short films of the ‘40s propelled the Man of Steel to new cultural heights. Famous directors like Tex Avery, and Looney Tunes creator, Chuck Jones, have numerous entries on this list. Other top ‘40s cartoon movies include
Fantasia, featuring Mickey Mouse in one of his last major appearances until the mid-’50s. Other classic tales like Bambi, Dumbo, and Pinocchio are also featured.


Vote up the best '40s cartoon movies, and let us know which ones are your favorites in the comment section! 
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Pinocchio is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards, Frankie Darro

Released: 1940

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, T. Hee, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen, + more

Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It was the ...more

More Pinocchio 

#45 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #71 of 601 The Best Animated Films Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Bambi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Sterling Holloway, Sam Edwards, Cammie King

Released: 1942

Directed by: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Paul Satterfield, Bill Roberts, Norman Wright, + more

Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama film directed by David Hand, produced by Walt Disney and based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten. The film was ...more

More Bambi 

#57 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #109 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books #425 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Walt Disney, Corey Burton, Leopold Stokowski

Released: 1940

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, T. Hee, Ford Beebe, + more

Is this the best Mickey Mouse movie ever?

Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. With story direction by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, and production supervision by Ben ...more

More Fantasia 

#53 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #62 of 209 The Best Movies About Music #57 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

4
Baseball Bugs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Tedd Pierce

Released: 1946

Directed by: Friz Freleng

Baseball Bugs is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released on February 2, 1946, starring Bugs Bunny.
5
Fun and Fancy Free is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Walt Disney, Dinah Shore, Dennis Day

Released: 1947

Directed by: Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, William Morgan, Jack Kinney

Fun and Fancy Free is a 1947 animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures on September 27, 1947. It was one of the "package films" the studio produced in ...more

More Fun and Fancy Free 

#169 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #98 of 111 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time #81 of 105 The Best Movies To Stream On Disney+

6
The Three Caballeros is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Sterling Holloway, Pinto Colvig, Frank Graham

Released: 1944

Directed by: Harold Young, Norm Ferguson

The Three Caballeros is a 1944 American animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film premiered in Mexico City on December 21, 1944. It was released in the United States on ...more

More The Three Caballeros 

#157 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #219 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #127 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

7
Donald's Snow Fight is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Clarence Nash

Released: 1942

Directed by: Jack King

Donald's Snow Fight is an animated short film featuring classic cartoon character Donald Duck in a civil war-esque snowball fight with his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. It was released in 1942 ...more
8
Rhapsody Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc

Released: 1946

Directed by: Friz Freleng

Rhapsody Rabbit is a 1946 Merrie Melodies animated short subject, featuring Bugs Bunny and directed by Friz Freleng. The short was originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures on ...more
9
Saludos Amigos is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Walt Disney, Milton Berle, George Burns

Released: 1942

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Norm Ferguson, Jack Kinney

Saludos Amigos is a 1942 animated feature package film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It is the sixth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. ...more

More Saludos Amigos 

#193 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #74 of 105 The Best Movies To Stream On Disney+ #57 of 58 The Best Disney Animated Movies

10
Bugs Bunny and the Three... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears Mel Blanc, Stan Freberg, Bea Benaderet

Released: 1944

Directed by: Chuck Jones

Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears is a Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short released in 1944, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. This short marks the first ...more
11
Der Fuehrer's Face is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Clarence Nash

Released: 1943

Directed by: Jack Kinney

Der Fuehrer's Face is a 1943 American animated propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon, which features Donald Duck in a ...more
12
The Adventures of Ichabo... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, J. Pat O'Malley

Released: 1949

Directed by: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a 1949 animated package film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film consists of two segments – the first is ...more

More The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 

#162 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #1,135 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #133 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

13
The Cat Concerto is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s

Released: 1947

Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

In this episode, Tom plays as a concert pianist who plays beautifully, but keeps getting interrupted when Jerry is inside of the piano, making Tom hit the wrong keys. Throughout the episode, Tom ...more
14
Dumbo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards, Verna Felton

Released: 1941

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Samuel Armstrong, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, Norm Ferguson, + more

Dumbo is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and premiered on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures. Sound was recorded conventionally using the RCA System. One voice ...more

More Dumbo 

#245 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #61 of 601 The Best Animated Films Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Wabbit Twouble is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan

Released: 1941

Directed by: Bob Clampett

Wabbit Twouble, as referred to Elmer Fudd's speech impediment, is a Merrie Melodies cartoon starring Bugs Bunny, produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions and released on December 20, 1941 by ...more
16
Yankee Doodle Daffy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc, Billy Bletcher

Released: 1943

Directed by: Friz Freleng

Daffy Duck, agent to the stars, complete with business card that flashes like a theater marquis, does everything he can to convince Porky Pig of "Smeller Productions" that his ...more
17
A Wild Hare is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan

Released: 1940

Directed by: Tex Avery

A Wild Hare is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short film. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions, directed by Tex Avery, and written by Rich Hogan. It was originally ...more
18
Screwball Squirrel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Hernan Hernandez added

Released: 1944

Directed by: Tex Avery

Screwball "Screwy" Squirrel is a cartoon character, an anthropomorphic squirrel created by Tex Avery for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, generally considered the wackiest of the screwball cartoon ...more
19
The Screwball is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Hernan Hernandez added The Screwball Mel Blanc, Harold Peary, Kent Rogers

Released: 1943

Directed by: Alex Lovy

The Screwball is the seventh animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on February 15, 1943, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and ...more
20
Daffy Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc

Released: 1949

Directed by: Robert McKimson

Daffy Duck Hunt is a 1949 animated Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Robert McKimson, and starring Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Barnyard Dawg. Porky is hunting duck for dinner, and ...more
21
Hair-Raising Hare is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc

Released: 1946

Directed by: Chuck Jones

Hair-Raising Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1946. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. It stars Bugs Bunny and features the first appearance of ...more
22
High Diving Hare is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc

Released: 1949

Directed by: Friz Freleng

High Diving Hare is a 1948-produced Warner Brothers Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Released to theaters on April 30, 1949, the short is an expansion ...more
23
The Great Piggy Bank Rob... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc

Released: 1946

Directed by: Bob Clampett

The Great Piggy Bank Robbery is a Warner Brothers Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short, produced in early 1945, and released in 1946. It was directed by Robert Clampett, and features Daffy Duck ...more
24
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
Mel Blanc, Sara Berner, Kent Rogers

Released: 1942

Directed by: Bob Clampett

Bugs Bunny Gets The Boid is a 1942 Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Bob Clampett, produced by Leon Schlesinger, and released to theatres by Warner Bros. Pictures. It marks the first ...more
25
Song of the South is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cartoon Movies of the 1940s
John Lee Hooker, Hattie McDaniel, Bobby Driscoll

Released: 1946

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Harve Foster

Song of the South is a 1946 American live-action/animated musical film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures, based on the Uncle Remus stories collected by Joel Chandler ...more

More Song of the South 

#286 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #601 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever