Entertainment

The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time  

Ranker Film
730 votes 89 voters 1.3k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

As children, we don't always notice how intelligent and/or clever animated movies can be, but in fact, they often are. Animated flicks and cartoons are typically targeted toward children, however, adults are usually the ones taking kids to the movies, so it only makes sense the writers add a little something for adults in there too. Of course, these thought-provoking elements don't have to be geared specifically for adults, as most (if not all) animated films set out to teach kids lessons and values, or even change their perspective on certain issues. 

These intelligent animated flicks don't have to just teach lessons or provoke thought, however. The best animated films are almost always quite clever, and often appeal to a wide audience—not just young children. Take Toy Story 3, for instance. By the time it came out, any kid who saw the original in theaters was a teen or young adult. Even then, it was funny, emotional, and clever—offering something for everyone. Another prime example of an intelligent animated movie is Inside Out. In fact, how do you get "smarter" than a film about the mind? As far as animated films go, you might not.

Whether it's an animated film that makes you cry, or one with witty jokes snuck in for adults, there's a range of intelligent animated films out there. Check out the list of movies below and vote for your favorites, or those you think are best. You can also vote down movies accordingly, and even add your own ideas of smart ones to the list. 

list ordered by
1
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more
2
WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy
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
3
The Incredibles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee
The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy superhero film written and directed by Brad Bird and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was the sixth film produced by Pixar ...more
4
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Eddie Murphy, Ming-Na Wen, George Takei
Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical action-comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. The 36th animated feature in the Walt ...more
5
Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy-comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by John Lasseter, Toy Story was the ...more
6
Up is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman
Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more
7
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana
Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more
8
Lilo & Stitch is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, Kevin Michael Richardson
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
9
Inside Out is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Amy Poehler, Diane Lane, Mindy Kaling
Inside Out is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama film directed by Pete Docter. In the mind of a young girl, five personified emotions - Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), ...more
10
Spirited Away is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
comicspies1 added Miyu Irino, Bunta Sugawara, Ryunosuke Kamiki
Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, ...more
11
Despicable Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Despicable Me is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud. When a mastermind (Steve Carell) uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand ...more
12
Watership Down is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
John Hurt, Denholm Elliott, Richard Briers
Watership Down is a 1978 British animated adventure drama film written, produced and directed by Martin Rosen and based on the novel of the same name by Richard Adams. It was financed by a ...more
13
Brave is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, Billy Connolly
Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and ...more
14
Mary and Max is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Eric Bana, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette
Mary and Max is a 2009 Australian stop motion animated comedy-drama film written and directed by Adam Elliot and produced by Melanie Coombs. The voice cast included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni ...more
15
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones
The Lion King is a 2019 American live-action epic musical drama film directed by Jon Favreau, and a remake of the 1994 animated film. When tragedy strikes home, Simba (Donald Glover) must step ...more
16
The Brave Little Toaster is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
MarySmith1 added 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
17
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Angela Lansbury, Frank Welker, Jerry Orbach
Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 30th film in the Walt Disney ...more
18
Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig, Jimmy MacDonald
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the ...more
19
The Lego Movie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks
The Lego Movie is a 2014 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. An ordinary Lego minifigure (Chris Pratt) who finds himself being the only one ...more
20
Song of the Sea is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt
Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated fantasy film by Cartoon Saloon that is directed by Tomm Moore. The traditionally animated film, which began production soon after the release of The ...more
21
Isle of Dogs is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray
Isle of Dogs is a 2018 American stop-motion animated adventure film directed by Wes Anderson. In a dystopian future Japan in which dogs have been quarantined on a remote island, a boy ventures ...more
22
Anomalisa is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Thewlis, Tom Noonan
Anomalisa is a 2015 American stop-motion animated comedy-drama film directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. A lonely customer service expert (David Thewlis) perceives everyone (Tom Noonan) ...more
23
The Plague Dogs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, Nigel Hawthorne
The Plague Dogs is a 1982 British adult animated drama film based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Richard Adams. The film was written, directed and produced by Martin Rosen, who also ...more
24
The Secret of Kells is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
MarySmith1 added Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, Paul Tylak
The Secret of Kells is a 2009 French-Belgian-Irish animated fantasy film by Cartoon Saloon that premiered on 8 February 2009, at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival. It went into wide ...more
25
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Animated Movies of All Time
Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk
Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature in the ...more