Entertainment

The Best '80s Cartoon Movies  

Ranker Film
7.4k votes 1.1k voters 42.5k views 46 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite animated films that were released in the 1980s

The 1980s brought a ton of explosive, bright, fun cartoon movies to the silver screen. Classics like The Little Mermaid and Oliver & Company delivered amazing musical hits, while All Dogs Go to Heaven and The Land Before Time kickstarted a generation full of kids who would become forever nostalgic for these heart-wrenching '80s cartoon movies. 


One man - who's films are included in this list -  has left an indelible imprint on the history of animated films: Hayao Miyazaki. The visionary Japanese animator and director produced some of his most well-regarded work in the 1980s, including such titles as
My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Also in this list of the best ‘80s cartoon movies, you’ll find Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the genre-bending neo-noir caper that blends live action and animation, with cartoon characters interacting directly with humans.


Vote up the best '80s cartoon movies, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section! 
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26
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slu... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Mickey Rooney, Rene Auberjonois, Michael Bell
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, known in Japan as simply Nemo, is a 1989 Japanese/American animated feature film directed by Masami Hata and William T. Hurtz. Loosely based on the comic ...more
27
Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi, Ayano Shiraishi
Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. It is based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical novel Grave of ...more
28
The Flight of Dragons is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
James Earl Jones, John Ritter, Harry Morgan
The Flight of Dragons is a 1982 animated film produced by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. and loosely combining the speculative natural history book of the same name by Peter Dickinson with ...more
29
The Return of the King is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added John Huston, Casey Kasem, Roddy McDowall
The Return of the King, is a 1980 animated musical television film created by Rankin/Bass and Topcraft. The film is an adaptation of the The Return of the King, the third book in The Lord of the ...more
30
The Snowman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
The Snowman is a children's picture book without words by English author Raymond Briggs, first published in 1978 by Hamish Hamilton in the U.K., and published by Random House in the U.S. that ...more
31
The Secret of the Sword is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Alan Oppenheimer, Lou Scheimer, George DiCenzo
He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword is a 1985 American animated feature film produced by Filmation. Although released before the series She-Ra: Princess of Power began, the film was a ...more
32
Fire and Ice is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Susan Tyrrell, Maggie Roswell, Stephen Mendel
Fire and Ice is a 1983 American animated adventure-fantasy film directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film, a collaboration between Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, was distributed by 20th Century Fox, which ...more
33
Fist of the North Star is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Jōji Yanami, Toshio Furukawa, Akira Kamiya
Fist of the North Star is a 1986 Japanese animated film adaptation of the manga series of the same name. It was produced by Toei Animation, the same studio who worked on the TV series that was ...more
34
Luxo Jr. is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Luxo Jr. is a 1986 American computer-animated short film produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter. The two-minute short film revolves around one larger and one smaller desk lamp. The ...more
35
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Hiromi Tsuru, Toshio Furukawa, Akira Kamiya
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, originally released theatrically in Japan as simply Dragon Ball Z and later as Dragon Ball Z: Return My Gohan!! for its Japanese VHS and Laserdisc release, is the ...more
36
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventur... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Jōji Yanami, Hiromi Tsuru, Toshio Furukawa
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, is the third Dragon Ball feature film, originally released in Japan on July 9, 1988 at the "Toei Manga Matsuri" film festival as part of a quadruple ...more
37
Rock & Rule is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Catherine O'Hara, Don Francks, Susan Roman
Rock & Rule is a 1983 Canadian animated musical science fiction fantasy film from the animation studio Nelvana. It was produced and directed by the company's founders, Michael Hirsh, Patrick ...more
38
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Bloo... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Jōji Yanami, Hiromi Tsuru, Naoko Watanabe
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies, known in Japan as Dragon Ball during its initial theatrical release and later retitled Dragon Ball: Shenron no Densetsu for its home video release, is the ...more
39
Asterix in Britain is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Roger Carel, Pierre Tornade, Paul Bisciglia
Asterix in Britain is an animated film released in 1986; the fifth Asterix feature film, and the last from Dargaud Films. It is based on the book of the same name. The theme song The Lookout is ...more
40
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Jōji Yanami, Hiromi Tsuru, Naoko Watanabe
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle is the second animated feature film based on the Dragon Ball manga by Akira Toriyama. It was originally released in Japan on July 18, 1987 at the ...more
41
Wicked City is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Takeshi Aono, Ichirō Nagai, Toshiko Fujita
Wicked City is a 1987 Japanese OVA horror neo-noir film directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, based on Hideyuki Kikuchi's novel of the same name. The story takes place towards the end of the 20th ...more
42
American Pop is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Vincent Schiavelli, Lee Ving, Lynda Wiesmeier
American Pop is a 1981 American animated musical drama film starring Ron Thompson and produced and directed by Ralph Bakshi. It was the fourth animated feature film to be presented in Dolby ...more
43
Project A-ko is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Megumi Hayashibara, Daisuke Gōri, Emi Shinohara
Project A-ko is a 1986 animated fantasy-parody film that had several sequels and a spin-off. This series references a number of other works of anime from the 1970s and 1980s, such as Macross, ...more
44
Hey Good Lookin' is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Philip Michael Thomas, David Proval, Richard Romanus
Hey Good Lookin '​ is a 1982 American animated comedy film written, directed, and produced by Ralph Bakshi. The film takes place in Brooklyn, New York, during the 1950s and focuses on Vinnie, ...more
45
Time Masters is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Alain Cuny, Yves Brainville, Sady Rebbot
Les Maîtres du temps is a 1982 Franco-Hungarian animated science fiction feature film directed by René Laloux and designed by Mœbius. It is based on the 1958 science fiction novel ...more
46
Royal Space Force: The Wings o... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
nick-slade added Hirotaka Suzuoki, Bin Shimada, Kazuyuki Sogabe
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise is a 1987 Japanese animated science fiction film and the first film produced by Gainax and Bandai Visual. It was directed and written by Hiroyuki ...more