We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion. With that being said, here are the top 10 animated movies of all time that weren’t made by Disney or Dreamworks. Feel free to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. An American Tail (1986) 69% at Rotten Tomatoes
Fievel is a young Russian mouse who’s separated from his family on the way to America. They believe it’s a new world without cats hunting them, but it turns out to be a rough world for poor immigrants. He knows his family is somewhere out there, but can he reunite with them before being eaten by cats?
Director: Don Bluth
Starring: Dom DeLuise, Christopher Plummer, Erica Yohn
9. Spirited Away (2002) 97% at Rotten Tomatoes
Chihiro’s family moves from the city to a small Japanese town in the countryside. Her parents decide to stop at an abandoned amusement park and eat some food without paying. They’re turned into pigs, and Chihiro (who didn’t eat the food) must figure out a way to save them from a town full of demons, spirits, witches, and evil gods.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise
Starring: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
8. Anastasia (1997) 85% at Rotten Tomatoes
Anastasia is the daughter of Russian Tsar Nicolas II who escapes the palace during the Russian Revolution incited by Rasputin. She suffers amnesia, but teams with two con men to return to her grandmother. One of them turns out to be the servant boy who initially saved her life.
Director: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman
Starring: Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd
7. The Chipmunk Adventure (1987) 87% at Rotten Tomatoes
The Chipmunks and Chipettes are overheard arguing over a video game by two wealthy diamond smugglers. They’re given the opportunity to settle the score in a hot air balloon race around the world. They’re to exchange dolls filled with diamonds for dolls filled with cash while being tailed by the FBI.
Director: Janice Karman
Starring: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, Dody Goodman
6. Metegol (2013) 67% at Rotten Tomatoes
Amadeo is a genius foosball player but a loser in real life who can’t get a girl. When he beats the town bully, he sparks a grudge that lasts for 10 years, in which time his rival became an international football superstar. Amadeo’s tears bring his table football players to life, and they motivate him to challenge Flash to a real football game.
Director: Juan Jose Campanella
Starring: Gabriel Almiron, Federico Cecere, Ezequiel Cipols
5. FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) 67% at Rotten Tomatoes
The fairies of FernGully lived in peace for years, but humans are on a path of destruction through the jungle with their woodcutting machines. Now fairy Crysta must partner with Zak, a human she shrunk down to fairy size, in order to save their species and way of life.
Director: Bill Kroyer
Starring: Samantha Mathis, Christian Slater, Tim Curry
4. The Land Before Time (1988) 70% at Rotten Tomatoes
Littlefoot is a Brontosaurus who was orphaned when his family set off for the legendary Great Valley. In his journey to reunite with his family, he meets three young dinosaurs: Cera (a Triceratops), Petrie (a Pteranodon), and Ducky (a Saurolophus). Together, they seek vegetation while avoiding the vicious Sharptooth.
Director: Don Bluth
Starring: Pat Hingle, Gabriel Damon, Judith Barsi
3. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) 50% at Rotten Tomatoes
Charlie is a dog who owns a casino and is killed by his rival Carface. In heaven, he cons his way back and teams with his partner Itchy and an orphan girl to seek vengeance. His quest may end up damning him to hell, however.
Director: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Dan Kuenster
Starring: Dom DeLuise, Burt Reynolds, Judith Barsi
2. The Iron Giant (1999) 96% at Rotten Tomatoes
Nine-year old Hogarth Hughes makes friends with a giant alien robot (Diesel, though don’t hold that against the movie) while a government agency does everything in its power to kill him. Despite being a death machine, the Giant has a heart, which is accentuated by the boy’s love of super heroes. It’s a heartwarming tale with more real emotion than any live-action movie.
Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel, Eli Marienthal
1. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999) 81% at Rotten Tomatoes
Four boys from Colorado watch an R-rated movie starring their idols Terrence and Philip (a Canadian Beavis and Butt-head). It leads to them all swearing, so Kyle’s mom leads an anti-Canadian movement reminiscent of today’s #MAGA movement. It’s the antithesis of Disney musicals with much catchier tunes.
Director: Trey Parker
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman