Animated Movies The Best '80s Cartoon Movies  

Ranker Film
5.7k votes 929 voters 31.9k views 45 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! 
list ordered by

1
185 56
The Fox and the Hound is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Corey Feldman he Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated drama film based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in the United States on July ...more

2
213 72
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans ...more

3
191 60
The Secret of NIMH is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton, Derek Jacobi The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 American animated fantasy adventure drama film directed by Don Bluth in his directorial debut. It is an adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's 1971 children's novel Mrs. ...more

4
180 55
The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Diana Ross, Frank Welker, Judith Barsi The Land Before Time is a 1988 American-Irish animated adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and ...more

5
154 48
All Dogs Go to Heaven is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Loni Anderson, Dom DeLuise, Vic Tayback All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 American–Irish animated musical adventure comedy film directed and produced by Don Bluth and released by United Artists and Goldcrest Films. The film tells the ...more

6
156 54
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Sullivan Bluth Studios and Amblin Entertainment. The film tells the story of Fievel ...more

7
179 72
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf's ...more

8
149 72
My Neighbor Totoro is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Noriko Hidaka, Ikue Ōtani, Sumi Shimamoto My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film – which stars the voice actors Noriko Hidaka, Chika ...more

9
126 56
The Last Unicorn is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Jeff Bridges, Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Last Unicorn is a 1982 American animated fantasy film directed and produced by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. It was produced by Rankin/Bass for ITC Entertainment, and animated by ...more

10
120 53
The Great Mouse Detective is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, Frank Welker The Great Mouse Detective is a 1986 American animated mystery film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, originally released to movie theaters on July 2, 1986 by Walt Disney Pictures. The ...more

11
124 59
Oliver & Company is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Cheech Marin Oliver & Company is a 1988 American animated musical buddy comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released on November 18, 1988 by Walt Disney Pictures. The 27th ...more

12
110 49
The Brave Little Toaster is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Joe Ranft The Brave Little Toaster is a 1987 American animated musical comedy-adventure film adapted from the 1980 novel, The Brave Little Toaster: A Bedtime Story For Small Appliances by Thomas Disch. It ...more

13
81 31
The Transformers: The Movie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Movieguy36 added Orson Welles, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy 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

14
113 58
Kiki's Delivery Service is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Kikuko Inoue, Kappei Yamaguchi, Akio Ōtsuka Kiki's Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced by Studio Ghibli. It was written, produced and directed by Hayao Miyazaki as an adaptation of the 1985 novel of the same ...more

15
90 46
Mickey's Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Victor Borge Mickey's Christmas Carol is a 1983 American animated fantasy short film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and released by Buena Vista Distribution. It was directed and produced by Burny ...more

16
98 53
The Black Cauldron is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
John Hurt, John Huston, Nigel Hawthorne The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated dark fantasy adventure film released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 25th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, it is loosely based on the first ...more

17
108 62
Castle in the Sky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Megumi Hayashibara, Mayumi Tanaka, Ichirō Nagai Castle in the Sky is a 1986 Japanese animated adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and is also the first film produced and released by Studio Ghibli. The film was distributed by ...more

18
108 64
Akira is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Takeshi Kusao, Mami Koyama, Tesshō Genda 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

19
86 55
Nausicaä of the Valley of the ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Jōji Yanami, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Ichirō Nagai Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a 1984 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on his own 1982 manga of the same name. ...more

20
76 49
The Care Bears Movie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Mickey Rooney, Melleny Brown, Cree Summer Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Care Bears Movie is a 1985 Canadian animated fantasy film, the second feature production from the Toronto animation studio Nelvana. One of the first films based directly on a toy line, it ...more

21
73 50
Vampire Hunter D is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Kaneto Shiozawa, Ichirō Nagai, Kazuyuki Sogabe Vampire Hunter D is a 1985 Japanese horror/science fiction OVA film produced by Ashi Productions, in association with Epic/Sony Records, CBS Sony Group Inc. and Movic. The screenplay is based on ...more

22
73 61
Heavy Metal is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy 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

23
54 49
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slu... is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
55 55
G.I. Joe: The Movie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Don Johnson, Burgess Meredith, Sgt. Slaughter G.I. Joe: The Movie is a 1987 animated film spin-off from the animated series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, based on the original Hasbro toyline. It was produced by Sunbow Productions and ...more

25
43 42
Daffy Duck's Quackbusters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Cartoon Movies
Mel Blanc, Mel Tormé, June Foray Daffy Duck's Quackbusters is a 1988 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies film with a compilation of classic Warner Bros. Cartoons shorts and animated bridging sequences, starring Daffy Duck. It was the ...more

26
43 46
The Return of the King is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
52 58
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
43 48
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
40 52
The Snowman is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
25 40
The Secret of the Sword is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
28 47
Fist of the North Star is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
25 44
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
31 56
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
25 48
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
28 56
Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventur... is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
21 46
Rock & Rule is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
23 52
Dragon Ball: Curse of the Bloo... is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
21 50
Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess... is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
18 45
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
14 44
Wicked City is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
17 54
American Pop is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
12 45
Project A-ko is listed (or ranked) 42 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

43
9 43
Hey Good Lookin' is listed (or ranked) 43 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

44
6 39
Time Masters is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
6 41
Royal Space Force: The Wings o... is listed (or ranked) 45 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