Animated Movies With The Best Visual Effects For Every Generation

best animated movies

Whether you are the little kid around the corner of the ice cream parlour, the old couple taking their dog out for a walk, or the middle-aged man fishing in the open lake with a pounding rain, or whoever you are (stress on whoever), the odds are that you have watched one animated movie that has made you just love (eye roll) some characters and go scrambling in search for something similar. We here at FlickZee will help you in taking a tour through some of the best animated movies ever made with some appreciatable VFX.

The Incredibles (2004)

The Incredibles showed us how it would be if the heroes were suddenly unemployed, and got stuffed in a 9 to 5 job. Bob Parr, aka Mr Incredible, is your “average” superhero, who got phased out of his glory days because of him getting old. His wife Helen, aka Elastigirl, is also a former superhero with incredible stretching abilities. Things are normal as Bob and Helen have two kids, Dash and Violet, who have superpowers as well. All in all, a really normal, superhuman family; Pun intended. But Things go downhill soon as a past superfan of Bob, Buddy, now Syndrome lures Bob in a trap and keeps him in captivity. The Incredibles, along with Bob’s old friend Lucius aka Frozone, finally get the better of Syndrome.

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How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Vikings, an ancient but barbaric race, are in constant conflict with dragons. Both hate and hunt each other. But what if one of each decided to draw a truce? That is what we see in this movie, when Hiccup, a clumsy, timid Viking, befriends Toothless, a Night Fury whose personality is more like a cat than a dragon. However, things get a bit complicated when Astrid, a fellow Viking girl finds out about the pair’s friendship. She approves of it with a bit of “persuasion”, but the rest of the Vikings don’t. The story touches upon a fundamental human error, the fear of the unknown, and shows that taking the risk sometimes can pay huge dividends. Will Hiccup be able to keep his secret? Watch How to Train Your Dragon to find out.

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Despicable Me (2010)

Gru is one genius criminal mastermind and he has been living like this for his whole life. Now, he is planning to steal the moon, and to the dismay of everyone, there is no one to stop him and his army of minions, the cute yellow minions. Except for three orphan girls. Agnes, Edith and Margo. Gru, however, plans to use the girls as mere pawns in his grand heist of the moon, but the girls see Gru as a father figure to their lives and have genuine respect for him. Will Gru be able to pull of the moon heist? How would the girls react when they come to know the reality of Gru? Experience the funny madness with Despicable Me.

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The Lion King (1994)

This classic flick is one of the most iconic movies in its segment, and for good reason. Though its live-action remake is on the way in 2019, the original Lion King gets better with every watch. Simba, a cub is made the new king of the jungle post his father’s death. He grows to be like a royal child, arrogant and morbidly stupid. After being conned by his uncle, Scar, Simba gets ousted from the territory. He then grows into adolescence with Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and a warthog, with the philosophy of “Hakuna Matata” that translates to ‘no worries’. Simba meets his past and decides to face it, to assume his rightful responsibility in the Pride Lands. The movie has developed a cult following over the 25 years of its existence and remains one of the highest rated animated movies.

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Madagascar (2005)

Life in the Central Park Zoo of New York is amazing for Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo and Melman the Giraffe. One day, though, Marty breaks out to get a look at life outside the zoo and is mesmerised by it, naturally. The other animals follow suit and in all the hustle that ensues, they find themselves on a ship en route to Africa, which is then pirated by a group of penguins. They land at Madagascar, which was being ruled by King Julien, a goofy likeable character. The New Yorkers had to learn to live the life in the jungle, as they go on endless adventures in a bid to try to escape “Mad” Madagascar.

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Toy Story (1995)

An animated cult classic, Toy Story brings to life the toys all over the world. Andy is a normal little kid, who likes to play with his toys, but when he’s not around, his toys come to life. Woody, a sheriff doll, is Andy’s favourite, up until Buzz Lightyear shows up. The space cowboy soon takes over from Woody as Andy’s favourite toy. Woody, unable to bear the imminent oblivion he faces, decides to get rid of Buzz so that Andy won’t leave him. A power struggle like no other takes between Buzz and Woody and all the others are forced to take sides. The movie shows a deeper understanding of affection, jealousy and every other basic human emotion.

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Finding Nemo (2003)

Great Barrier Reef, that is where this maritime adventure starts. Finding Nemo is one of the most recognizable movies ever made in the genre. Nemo, the clownfish with a “lucky” flipper, is abducted by a fishing ship on his day at school, is packed up and sold to a dentist based near the Sydney Harbour. Marlin, his father, is bereaved by his son’s disappearance and sets out, with Dory, a blue tang, in the open ocean to find him, based only on a slight idea of where he might be. Overpowering immense odds and fearsome sea creatures alike, the unlikely pair finally find Nemo and return to the Reef largely unscathed. Finding Nemo is an elegant depiction of what family means while conveying the message that nothing is impossible when your intentions are pure.

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Up (2009)

Up is an emotional account of the life of Ellie and Carl Fredrickson, and what it feels like to be in love with someone, and then lose them. We see Ellie and Carl meet and bond over their one true love – exploring things, adventure, fantasies about the forbidden Paradise Falls in South America and Charles Muntz, their childhood idol. A musical sequence is there after the initial meeting, which shows Ellie and Carl getting married, moving in their dream house, discovering Ellie can’t have kids, saving money for a trip to the Paradise Falls, failing to keep that money safe, and eventually Ellie passing away, leaving Carl alone. Many years later, Carl meets Russell, a budding scout and has to reluctantly take him on the trip to the Paradise Falls, which he makes on board his house powered by a million balloons. They face many hardships. Eventually, Carl and Russell develop a close relationship. Up is a beautiful, beautiful depiction of love, loss, friendship, and above all, humanity.

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Ratatouille (2007)

The perfect underdog story, Ratatouille takes the viewer with characters from two different species, but with similar character arcs. Remy is an up-and-coming chef, with a great eye for innovation and a vast knowledge of the flavours and ingredients. He seeks to work in his idol’s restaurant, the Gusteau’s, owned by the famous chef Auguste Gusteau. Only with a slight problem; he’s a rat. Alfredo Linguini is a human but is just as neglected as Remy. Together they make a tremendous team, are able to get a star back in their ratings and even attract the attention of Anton Ego, the world’s harshest food critic. In the end, we see Remy and Linguini work together in a small restaurant of their own, with Ego as their regular customer, among others. Ratatouille calls out to all the underdogs, to look above their origins and become the best if they can. As Ego says in his fateful article, “Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere”.

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The Shrek (2001):

In the land of Duloc, there rules a heartless ruler, Lord Farquaad, who banishes all fairy-tale characters like the Gingerbread Man, the magical mirror, and whatnot. Which does not fare well for our very own solitude-loving ogre, Shrek. His house turns into a refugee camp, disrupting his life while earning him some friends, too. Like Donkey. Shrek, though, goes to the Lord to seek out an arrangement, but Lord puts forth a demand – get Princess Fiona. The troubles of Shrek begin then, as the princess is locked up in a tower guarded by an actual fire-breathing dragon. Shrek however, outsmarts the dragon and takes the princess along, who hides a deep, dark secret in her chest. Like so many animated movies, Shrek is a portrayal of the most fundamental human emotions, with a unique approach cementing its place as one of cult classics.

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Tangled (2010)

The movie took a fresh look upon one of the iconic ‘Disney Princesses’ stories, Rapunzel. Kidnapped as a baby by Mother Gothel, Rapunzel has hair with regenerative properties – hair which is 70 feet long. Mother Gothel tells her that she’s her daughter, brainwashes her with false stories of the outside world so that she could remain as young as ever. One day, however, a thief named Flynn Rider stumbles upon the tower where Rapunzel is held captive, and scales it, just to be taken captive by her. He somehow strikes a deal with Rapunzel, in exchange for taking her to the place from where the lanterns emerged every year on her birthday. A great adventure ensues, with both being chased down by their captors; Rapunzel by Mother Gothel and Flynn by the king’s guard, and a horse called Maximus. Flynn is proven to be innocent and Rapunzel discovers that she’s indeed the lost princess, and returns to her father and mother, the King and the Queen, and marries Flynn in a happily ever after. IMDb: 7.8.

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Big Hero 6 (2014)

Hiro Hamada is a teenage prodigy in the city of San Fransokyo, an amalgamation of San Francisco and Tokyo, who specializes in making robots (cool, right?) and so is his brother, Tadashi. Hiro, however, uses his genius in participating in illegal robot fights. Tadashi manages to motivate Hiro to participate in the exhibition his university, the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, where Tadashi studies robotics under the legendary Professor Callaghan. Hiro makes a swarm of nanobots, which he can manipulate via neurotransmitters, that is, he can make the swarm do as he imagines. But his technology gets stolen in the fire that breaks out at the exhibition center, killing Tadashi. Tadashi left behind a healthcare robot, Baymax, who helped Hiro overcome PTSD he was going through. He, along with a few friends of Tadashi, forms a group of high tech heroes he calls “Big Hero 6”. The movie covers their adventures as the group try to unfold the mystery behind Tadashi’s death.

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Frozen (2013)

Another Disney Princess story, Frozen narrates the story of Princess Elsa, mostly her uncanny ability to freeze things. In her childhood, she accidentally strikes her younger sister Anna’s heart, and she barely makes it. Since then, Elsa locks herself in her room for many years, while her powers grew and matured to a maximum. At 21 years of age, during her coronation, a series of events happen which lead to Elsa denouncing her throne to Anna and leaving the kingdom of Arendelle. Her powers are so vast and uncontrollable by now that it freezes the whole kingdom. Anna, now the queen, had to find Elsa, and with the help of Kristoff and his reindeer, Sven. After many adventures, betrayals and ordeals later, Olaf liberates Anna and she saves Elsa before turning to ice, and immediately turning back normal again; an act of true love saved her.

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Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Ralph is an arcade video game villain, his job being wrecking stuff for the last 30 years, which is then fixed by his game’s hero, Fix-It Felix. He longs to be as beloved as him. When a game starring Sgt Calhoun arrives in the arcade world, Ralph decides to enter in the contest and do a simple job – win a medal and prove himself as a Good Guy. But he is best at wrecking, and wrecking he does, he wrecks everything and unleashes a deadly foe – the Cy-bug, which threatens the whole arcade universe. With his own game at a threat of being “pulled the plug” on, and the whole arcade universe at imminent danger, he teams up with a glitch named Vanellope Von Schweetz to get back to his game, with the only way out being to win the race in the “Sugar Rush” race organized by King Candy.

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Kung-Fu Panda (2008)

Yet another cult classic, Kung-Fu Panda takes us through the tumbling life of Po the Panda, who works at a restaurant with his father, a stork called Mr Ping. Meanwhile, Tai Lung, a snow leopard, threatens the whole of China as he escapes his prison to get back to his teacher, Master Shifu and know about how to become the dragon warrior. But, as things turned out, Master Oogway chose Po, and thus began his journey as a Kung-Fu master, along with the Furious Five – Mantis, Monkey, Tigress, Crane and Viper. The news of Tai Lung’s escape reaches the Jade Palace, and the Furious Five set out to fight Tai Lung, only to come back defeated and paralysed. Po now must fulfil his duties as the Dragon Warrior and fight Tai Lung.

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Ice Age (2002)

This movie is yet another movie with a cult following to it. Set in the last ice age, which ended around 10,000 years ago. A Woolly Mammoth named Manny, A Sabre-Toothed Tiger called Diego and Sid the sloth, make an unlikely trio as they find a human infant, and set out to return him to the human tribe. We see these four unlikely individuals go through a plethora of adventures, escaping glaciers and geysers alike, with Diego’s pack out for the human baby’s life and the trio’s as well, it makes for a fast-paced adventure riddled with Sid’s screw-ups, Diego’s loyalty and Manny’s calm and collected nature.

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Hotel Transylvania

No one thinks of kid-friendly when it comes to vampires (looking at you, Twilight), but this goofy movie, laced with an undertone of love, loss, happiness and despair, showing humans’ ugly as well as beautiful faces. Count Dracula has built Hotel Transylvania, a high-end resort for the monsters from all around the world, as a refuge of sorts. His daughter, Mavis, has just come of age (118, apparently, is coming of age in vampires), and wants to explore the world. But, the count plans an elaborate hoax to scare her away from the idea. He doesn’t realize that this charade attracts the attention of Jonathan, a traveller who’s just 21, follows the people (read: zombies) involved in the hoax and discovers the hotel. Dracula tries to hide him, passing him off as a relative of Frankenstein. A comedy of errors ensues as everything first goes wrong and then settles back right.

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Cars (2006)

Set in a world where humans simply don’t exist (what a wonderful world), Cars is about…cars. One car in particular. Lightning McQueen is a hotshot rookie racer with a sense of recklessness and arrogance unlike no other. We see him, Chick Hicks and Strip Weathers scrape through the Piston Cup finals in a three-way tie, which would have been settled in California, except that Lightning goes missing. We see him catastrophically damage the little town of Radiator Springs on Route 66, and is sentenced to repair works by Doc Hudson, the judge, who, as it is later revealed, was a legendary racer himself. Lightning makes friends with Mater, a tow truck, Sally, who owns a motel and the rest of the residents of Radiator Springs very quickly. The race is still on, and it is up to McQueen to go for glory or to stay for love and friendship.

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Moana (2016)

Moana is yet another Disney Princess, from the Polynesian people. Moana lives in the time when a powerful curse, referred to as simply by calling it “darkness”, is spreading from island to island in Polynesia. When that curse threatens her home, she takes it upon herself to seek out a demigod called Muai, who had stolen the heart of Te Fiti, the goddess who gave everything life. The problem was, Muai had lost the heart and his fishhook which gave him shape-shifting abilities, to the volcanic demon Te Ka, who actually is Te Fiti without her heart. Moana is guided by Muai in becoming an excellent Wayfinder, as they sail across the seemingly insurmountable odds in trying and restoring Te Ka back to Te Fiti.

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Zootopia (2016)

In yet another human-free world, we see the city of Zootopia, where anthropomorphic animals live, with stigmas such as violent behaviour surrounding carnivores, in spite of the fact that herbivores outnumbered them 10 to 1. The city is governed by Mayor Lionheart, a lion (obviously), along with Assistant Mayor Bellwether, a sheep. We follow Judy Hopps, a bunny from the town of Bunnyborrow, eager to join the Zootopia Police Academy, headed by Chief Bogo, a rhino. She uses her wits and ingenuity to graduate, against all odds, as a valedictorian, becoming the first ever bunny police officer. Her problems, however, have just started to mount, as mysterious disappearances of carnivores and reappearances with signs of derangement and violent behaviour happen all across the city, and Judy is assigned to deliver within 48 hours. She joins forces with Nick Wilde, who is a conman but with a nice touch of investigation and a knowledge of all of the back-alley business of Zootopia, to uncover the mystery.

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Inside Out (2015)

Riley is an 11-year-old girl who loves playing ice hockey, is a total goofball, loves his family and friends and is honest. We do follow her, but mostly, we follow her emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. When her father starts up a new business, Riley and her family move from Minnesota to San Francisco. Needless to say, this move affects her badly, as she starts showing signs of depression – because Joy and Sadness are dumped in the long-term memory of hers, accidentally. Now it is up to the rest of her emotions to try and cope up with Joy and Sadness and her core memories gone.

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Mulan (1998)

Mulan is a retelling of Chinese folklore, in which a maiden called Moran takes it upon herself to save her father. When the Huns are about to attack, she learns that her weak father will be called up to serve in the army. Knowing fully well that he won’t survive, she decides to disguise herself as a man and fight in her father’s stead. Unbeknownst to her, her ancestors decide to dissuade her from the destiny Mulan was choosing for herself and decide to send a dragon called Mushu to do their bidding. As things turned out, the dragon decides to help Mulan in her quest to save her father’s life.

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Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

One of Roald Dahl’s classic children books, Fantastic Mr Fox is the movie adaptation of the novel. Mr Fox and his wife, Felicity Fox, on one of their raiding trips to the three farmers’ farms – Boggis, Bunce and Bean – are trapped in a cage. Felicity makes Fox promise that they’ll quit raiding by telling him that she’s pregnant. After a few years, Fox is working as a journalist, has the responsibility of his son Ash and his nephew Kristofferson, but his raiding days aren’t past him yet. As he continues raiding again, the farmers attack his house and force them to retreat to the sewers. There, Fox rallies the animals, rendered homeless by the farmers’ destruction of the hill, to take the fight to them.

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Wall-E (2008)

Earth is in shambles, overcome by humans and their habit of destroying everything. So much so that it has been over 700 years since the last humans escaped from the planet, leaving Wall-E, who lives alone on the planet, given the mammoth task of cleaning up. He lives in peace, collecting trinkets from human history and has a pet cockroach. Things take a turn for the better (or worse, if Wall-E is an introvert) when EVE, a reconnaissance robot comes by to find the evidence of any plant life. Wall-E, the collector he is, owns a plant in a boot, too. EVE goes in a deactivated state except for a green beacon, awaiting her retrieval. But Wall-E doesn’t know, so he comforts her in all the adorable little ways imaginable. A ship comes to retrieve EVE but Wall-E is also taken up to the mother ship, the Axiom, owned by the multinational company called Buy N Large. Wall-E and EVE must overcome great odds now to guide the Axiom back to Earth.

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

One of the most recognizable stories known, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the Disney adaptation of the original story by the Brothers Grimm. The movie was one of the very first animated movies and takes us along Snow White, who is the stepdaughter of the wicked Queen, who has to take refuge in the cottage of the seven dwarfs in the forest. The queen is after Snow White because every time she asks her magical mirror about who “is the fairest of them all”, expecting it to take her name, gets Snow White’s name as the answer. Snow White now protect herself from the wrath of her evil stepmother, who is hellbent on becoming the fairest of them all.

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So that’s it for this blog. We had fun writing this one. From timeless and nostalgic classic like Toy Story to the modern marvel like Frozen, we tried to cover the best-animated movies in this blog. Did we miss anything? Let us know down in the comment section. Keep coming back for more such interesting reads. Happy Reading!

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Laxitha Mundhra

Laxitha is a content creator at FlickZee. A management student, reader, movie buff and a couch potato by day, and a writer by night. Coffee keeps her awake and she is introverted. Try finding her on Instagram and Facebook. But a word of caution: Don't get her started on Harry Potter and MCU.