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These Are The Greatest Animated Movies Of All Time

Animated films got their beginning in the early 20th Century. They fully came into their own with the creation of Mickey Mouse by Walt Disney. Mickey Mouse’s first film was “Plane Crazy,” released in 1928. Walt Disney Studios remained an animation powerhouse well into the 1940s with widely distributed and highly awarded films led by “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), “Pinocchio” (1940), “Fantasia” (1940), and Bambi (1942). It still releases among the most successful and awarded animated films today.

It took decades before animated movies took the place where they were recognized for quality production, creativity, and acting the way the balance of the industry had been. The first Academy Award for “Best Animated Feature” was not given until 2002 for “Shrek” which had voice-overs from movie stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz.

Animated films have also been a major success at the box office since the early days. Over 25 animated movies have had domestic box office totals of over $250 million. Disney has seven of the top eight, according to Box Office Mojo–“Incredibles 2” (2018) at $608,581,744, “The Lion King” (2019) at $543,638,043, “Finding Dory” (2016) at $486,295,561,  “Frozen II” (2019) at $477,373,578,  “Shrek 2” (2014) at $441,226,247, “Toy Story 4” (2019) at $434,038,008, “Toy Story 3” (2010) at $415,004,880 , and “Frozen” (2013) at $400,738,009. Adjusted for inflation, some of the earlier Disney movies would likely make the list.

Among the definitive polls on “greatest films” are those done by the American Academy of Film. It not only keeps its list of the “100 Greatest American Films of All Time” (voted on by over 1,500 AFI members) but also keeps films by genre. Among these is “10 Greatest Animated Films”.

The AFI’s selections are in order top to bottom: 1) “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), 2) “Pinnochio” (1940), 3) “Bambi” (1942), 4) “The Lion King” (1994),  5) “Fantasia” (1942), 6) “Toy Story” (1995), 7) “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), 8) “Shrek” (2011), 9) “Cinderella”, (1950), and 10) “Finding Nemo” (2003).

Notably, five of these were made by Disney Studios while Walt Disney was still alive–“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Pinnochio”, “Bambi”, “Fantasia”, and “Cinderella”. And, the most recent one, “Finding Nemo”, was also made by Walt Disney Studios. The man, and studio, that started with Mickey Mouse almost a century ago, still dominated the industry.

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