Top 10 Animated Movies Released from 1980-1990

We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 cartoon movies released from 1980-1990. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.

10. The Black Cauldron (1985) 55% at Rotten Tomatoes

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A boy named Taran is directed by Dallben to protect his pig Hen Wen. Unfortunately, he fails, and the Horned King steals him. Taran and his friends then go on a quest to stop the Horned King from raising an invincible army.

Rating: PG
Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich
Starring: Grant Bardsley, Freddie Jones, Susan Sheridan

9. Heavy Metal (1981) 61% at Rotten Tomatoes

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An astronaut brings his daughter a glowing green orb, which ends up being the ultimate evil. Called Loc-Nar, it kills him and terrorizes her with a series of stories, each a self-contained story with a different director. Only a silent swords-woman named Taarna in a future earth has the power to stop Loc-Nar and avenge its victims.

Rating: R
Director: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, Harold Whitaker
Starring: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty

8. Akira (1988) 87% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Tetsuo gets involved in a secret government project called Akira when it’s discovered he has psychic powers. His gang leader Kaneda tries to save him, but first he must escape the Neo-Tokyo police. The rival Clown gang and anti-government activists add even more obstacles, and soon the singularity is sparked and the city is left in ruins.

Rating: R
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
Starring: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama

7. Oliver & Company (1988) 44% at Rotten Tomatoes

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A kitten is abandoned on the streets of New York and meets a dog named Dodger, who invites him to join his gang. They survive by stealing from humans for a homeless man named Fagin until Oliver meets a young girl named Jenny. She takes him in until she’s kidnapped by Sykes to cover Fagin’s debt. Now they have to rescue her so he can live a normal life.

Rating: G
Director: George Scribner
Starring: Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin

6. G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987) 43% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Duke is injured when Serpentor is rescued on Lt Falcon’s watch. He’s sent to Sgt Slaughter’s camp while Cobra Commander and the rest of Cobra reaches Cobra-La. Now Globulus and the Cobras are going to turn the entire world to serpents, and it’s up to Slaughter’s Marauders to stop them while G.I. Joe is on the brink of defeat.

Rating: NR
Director: Don Jurwich
Starring: Charlie Adler, Robert Remus, Michael Bell

5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) 97% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Roger Rabbit has been (spoiler alert) framed for murder, and toon-hating detective Eddie Valiant is his only hope of clearing his name. Meanwhile, Judge Doom has created dip, the only way of killing toons, and is determined to demolish Toon Town to make way for a new freeway for humans.

Rating: PG
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Bob Hoskins, Joanna Cassidy, Christopher Lloyd

4. Rockin with Judy Jetson (1988) 25% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Judy Jetson dreams of being a songwriter for teen heartthrob Sky Rocker. She attempts to give him a song she wrote for him, but it’s switched with a secret message meant for Felonia Funk, who wants to rid the world of music. Now Judy and Sky’s alter ego (created long before Hannah Montana) must team up to save rock & roll and the galaxy.

Rating: NR
Director: Paul Sommer, Ray Patterson
Starring: Penny Singleton, Mel Blanc, George O’Hanlon

3. The Little Mermaid (1989) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes

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Ariel is the princess daughter of king Triton. Unlike her sisters, however, she’s unhappy living under the sea and dreams of meeting a human prince and walking on land. Ursula, the sea witch, grants her wish, but it comes with the price of her beautiful singing voice. If she can’t convince the prince to fall in love with her by the end of the curse, she’ll be forever stuck a human.

Rating: G
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Starring: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Rene Auberjonois

2. An American Tail (1986) 69% at Rotten Tomatoes

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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?

Rating: G
Director: Don Bluth
Starring: Dom DeLuise, Christopher Plummer, Erica Yohn

1. The Chipmunk Adventure (1987) 87% at Rotten Tomatoes

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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.

Rating: G
Director: Janice Karman
Starring: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, Dody Goodman



Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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