10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (2023)

One of the most controversial moments during 2022’s 94th Academy Awards ceremony happened during the presentation of the Best Animated Feature. Presented by Lily James, Naomi Scott, and Halle Bailey — three actresses known for their appearances in live-action remakes of classic Disney animated films — the category of Best Animated Feature Film was dismissed as a category only for children.

RELATED: The Greatest Best Animated Feature Winners

While Disney is known for being a family-friendly company and has won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature 16 times since the category’s creation in 2001, it is reductive to think that animation is “just for kids”. Animated movies can appeal to people of all ages, as recently seen with the success of Pixar’s Turning Red depicting intergenerational trauma and exploring complex mother-daughter relationships. Animation is not a genre, but a style. It’s a way of telling stories and a cinematic art form that can be used to explore adult themes.

‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ (2021)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (1)

A notable contender for Best Animated Feature at the 94th Academy Awards, The Mitchells vs. The Machines was considered one of the biggest Oscar snubs of the night as the award went to Disney’s Encanto instead.

In the latest film from Sony Pictures Animation, The Mitchells vs. the Machines follows quirky and ambitious young filmmaker Katie (Abbi Jacobson) and her dysfunctional family as they are all caught up in the robot apocalypse. Almost as if the film was made by Katie herself, The Mitchells vs. the Machines implements what the creators call “Katie-vision” with 2D doodles and stock footage overlaid on the CG animation. The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a movie about embracing your unique personality, and the creative animation style perfectly captures the heart of the movie.

‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ (2009)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (2)

Adapting Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, Wes Anderson brings his skill for carefully curated shots and picturesque cinematography to his first venture in stop-motion animation with Fantastic Mr. Fox.

(Video) 10 Movie Jokes That Prove Animation Isn't Just For Kids

Following the titular Mr. Fox (George Clooney) planning an elaborate heist to provide for his family, Fantastic Mr. Fox delves into what it means to be a good father and husband. With its rugged animation style and mature themes, Anderson’s animation reveals that children can be mature just as much as adults can be childish.

‘Flee’ (2021)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (3)

Making history as the first film to be simultaneously nominated for Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards, Flee is a Danish animated documentary directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen following a man under the pseudonym Amin Nawabi as he shares his hidden past and the time he fled his country of Afghanistan.

Flee is a groundbreaking animated film with its distinctive style, mature themes, and LGBT+ representation, it expands the very definition of what it means to be a documentary.

‘Grave of the Fireflies’ (1988)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (4)

Studio Ghibli films are known for their whimsical aesthetics underscored by mature themes. Set during World War 2, Grave of the Fireflies is a tragic film with anti-war sentiments following a boy and his younger sister struggling to survive in war-torn Japan.

RELATED: Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked

(Video) No. Animation isn't just for kids.

With loss, destruction, and death at its core, Grave of the Fireflies is a difficult film to watch as the children lose their mother and their home but still hold onto their hope. An eloquent and deeply depressing film, it’s a prime example of animated movies' capabilities of providing mature social commentary.

‘Klaus’ (2019)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (5)

While a movie about Santa Claus may not seem like a movie made for adults, Klaus is more than what it appears to be. Becoming one of the first animated films from a streaming service to be nominated for an Academy Award, Klaus is a groundbreaking animated movie for both its themes and animation style alike.

When a postman arrives at a small Arctic village, he befriends the reclusive carpenter Klaus (J.K. Simmons) and employs his help in distributing toys and spreading joy to the lonely inhabitants of the town. Making the most of new technology available, the animators behind Klaus brought its characters to life by using lighting and texture to make the characters appear 3D despite being a 2D film. Painting with light, Klaus’ unique animation style conveys emotion through light and shadow, achieving a feat thought impossible in 2D animation.

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ (2018)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (6)

Considered one of the best Spider-Man movies ever made, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse revolutionized animation for Sony Pictures Animation as producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller engrained the film with a unique style.

Combining computer animation with traditional hand-drawn comic book techniques, the film employs numerous techniques to make the most of the animated medium. By alternating the frame rate between 24 frames a second and 12 frames a second, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has a unique sense of rhythm to its movement. As the multiverse opens, multiple animation styles collide bringing together the cartoony style of Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) with the anime style of Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and the noir aesthetic of Spider-Noir (Nicolas Cage). With its innovations in animation, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse not only makes the most of its medium but also celebrates it and acknowledges the breadth of its creative potential.

(Video) Why Animation Isn't JUST For Kids

‘Akira’ (1988)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (7)

An early entry exemplifying innovations in animated cinema, the dystopian Japanese cyberpunk world of Akira was brought to life by Katsuhiro Otomo in the 1988 animated film.

RELATED: Great Western Shows Inspired by Anime

Made in the 1980s before computers became the dominant means of animating, every frame of Akira was hand-drawn, with a technique known as cel animation. With 24 frames in a second and the movie’s two-hour runtime, there are over 172,000 hand-drawn frames in Akira. This painstaking process resulted in a smooth animation style that brings every detail of the world of the film to life.

‘Waking Life’ (2001)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (8)

An experimental animated film written and directed by Richard Linklater, Waking Life makes the most of developments in technology by creating a rotoscoped film. Rotoscoping is the process of animating over pre-recorded video footage one frame at a time.

Waking Life was animated by numerous artists, resulting in the film’s aesthetic changing scene to scene and creating a surreal and shifting dreamscape. With its uncanny style, Waking Life uses animation to embellish live-action cinema by making the realistic appear unrealistic.

(Video) The Oscars Treated Animation Horribly

‘Shrek’ (2001)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (9)

While many animated movies are targeted directly at children, that doesn’t stop the creators from cleverly hiding adult jokes. Putting a modern twist on wholesome childhood fairytales such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, DreamWorks’ Shrek is full of references and dirty jokes that definitely went over kids’ heads.

Whether it’s the vulgar allusion to the name “Lord Farquaad,” or Shrek’s (Mike Myers) comment about Farquaad “compensating for something” with his larger-than-life castle, Shrek is full of adult humor. Shrek’s creative wit imbues the film with a more mature comedy that can be relished by older viewers who are left to fill in the blanks. Shrek acknowledges the intelligence of its audience and uses its adult humor to add a layer of enjoyment to the film that stands the test of time, seeing adults returning to the film with a newfound appreciation.

‘Sausage Party’ (2016)

10 Animated Movies That Prove Animation Isn’t “Just For Kids” (10)

While the thought of inanimate objects coming to life sounds like the perfect kids' movie echoing the themes of Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast, Sausage Party is definitely not suitable for children.

Created by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill, Sausage Party is an adult animated film set in a world where products inside the supermarket are alive. Featuring characters such as a sausage named Frank (Seth Rogen), an attractive hotdog bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig), and a Jewish bagel played by Edward Norton, Sausage Party is creative in directing the film toward an adult audience. Being the first 3D computer-animated film to be rated R, Sausage Party thrives off of innuendos and puns geared toward an adult-only audience and emphasizes that animation is a medium that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

KEEP READING: 10 Kids Movies That Were Actually Terrifying

(Video) Why Cartoons AREN'T Just for Kids | A Video Essay


Why animation is not just for kids? ›

Animation can help you explore different worlds

Invented in the 1920s as a response to other forms of abstract art, these films aim to induce in the viewers' an emotional reaction solely through rhythm, motion, shapes and light. There is no plot line and no characters to distract you from fantastical sensations.

Do you think cartoons are only meant for kids why or why not? ›

Animation is a limitless art style, not a genre for just kids. Over the years, animation has grown only more popular as technology has evolved; despite this, there are still many people who believe animation is only for kids.

What movie has the best animation ever? ›

Best Animated Movies of All Time
  • The Lion King (1994) ...
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988) ...
  • The Incredibles (2004) ...
  • Ratatouille (2007) ...
  • WALL-E (2008) ...
  • Up! ...
  • The Little Mermaid (1989) ...
  • Inside Out (2015)
Jan 10, 2023

Are animations for adults? ›

For starters, most animation is aimed at children, because big studios don't think that adults are interested in so-called “cartoons.” However, when it's done right, animation can be a great genre for adult audiences.

What cartoons are not for kids? ›

Cartoons that are not for kids
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991–1996) TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy. ...
  • Rocko's Modern Life (1993–1996) ...
  • Invader ZIM (2001–2006) ...
  • The Angry Beavers (1997–2001) ...
  • CatDog (1998–2005) ...
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999–2002) ...
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998–2004) ...
  • Johnny Bravo (1997–2004)

Were cartoons originally meant for adults? ›

Animated films in their early days back in the 1920s to 1930s were actually invented and produced mainly for adult audiences. The concept of an animated film made for children didn't even exist at the time.

Are animated movies good for kids or not? ›

Animated movies are appropriate for all ages

Unlike live-action movies, which can often be too intense or violent for younger viewers, animated movies are suitable for kids of all ages. This means that parents can enjoy them along with their kids, making for a fun family activity.

Why do kids like cartoons but not adults? ›

“Cartoons are characterized by vibrant colors, varied degrees of movements, simple themes or messages for children to understand, shorter duration, varied sounds, and other stimuli that interest children,” Mann says. She also notes that, like adults, children gravitate towards shows they can relate to.

Can adults enjoy Disney movies? ›

While Disney+ has gained a reputation as a hub for family-friendly fare (or for adults looking to relive their childhood favorites), it has plenty of movies geared toward adult audiences. From documentaries to darker entries into long-running franchises, Disney+ definitely isn't just for kids.

Why do adults love cartoons? ›

There are many reasons why so many people love cartoons.

They're funny, the artwork is beautiful, and the stories can be surprisingly deep. But perhaps the best reason of all is that they bring people together. So next time you're feeling down, or you just need a good laugh, make sure to watch your favorite cartoon.

Why animation should be taken seriously? ›

Animation is important because it makes us be able to tell stories and communicate emotions and ideas in a unique, easy-to-perceive way that both small children and adults can understand. Animation has helped connect people throughout the world in a way that sometimes writing and live-action films cannot.

What is the funniest animation ever? ›

The Funniest Animated Cartoon Movies of All Time, Ranked
  • 8 South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999)
  • 7 Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009)
  • 6 Ice Age (2002)
  • 5 Sausage Party (2016)
  • 4 Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
  • 3 Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  • 2 The Simpsons Movie (2007)
  • 1 Shrek (2001)
Jan 3, 2023

Which is the No 1 animation movie? ›

1. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

What is the number 1 animation? ›

Frozen II

What is the dark age of animation? ›

From the mid-1950s to the late 1980s, the world of animation in the United States experienced a severe quality drought. Television animation was cheaply and quickly produced and loaded with errors.

Is animation good for mental health? ›

Using animation can raise learners' moods, which leads to their willingness to engage. With proper usage, mental health knowledge can be more accessible while remaining important.

What is Netflix code 11881? ›

For example, if you're looking for the adult animation genre, with the Netflix secret code “11881,” you'd enter https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/11881 in your browser. You can then add movies or shows to your queue to have them available wherever you want to stream them.

Are there R rated cartoons? ›

Many animated movies have mature content that warrants an R rating, from the psychological thriller Perfect Blue to A Scanner Darkly. In late 2022, Disney CEO Bob Chapek claimed that adults don't like animated movies.

Is Spongebob a kid cartoon? ›

Designed for children between the ages of 6 and 11, the show is rated TV-Y. While that rating indicates it is suitable for all children, there are some aspects parents should be aware of before they let their kids watch.

What are cartoons for adults called? ›

Adult animation, also known as mature animation, and infrequently as adult-oriented animation, is any type of animated motion work that is catered specifically to adult interests, and is mainly targeted and marketed towards adults and adolescents, as opposed to children or all-ages audiences.

Was Tom and Jerry made for adults? ›

Between 1940 and 1957, Hanna and Barbera made 114 Tom and Jerry shorts, all around six to eight minutes long. They were not aimed at children – they were serious works of cinema art, meant to entertain adults waiting to watch the main movie of their choice.

Was the Flintstones meant for adults? ›

But when it initially aired 60 years ago, the adventures of Fred and Wilma, the titular Stone Age family, were aimed at adults. They are the direct ancestors of the golden age of adult-oriented animation we enjoy today.

Are cartoons okay for adults? ›

If you are an adult and like toons, you have nothing to worry about as you are not alone. Even if you are a die-hard fan of kids' cartoons, there is nothing wrong with you!

Is Shrek an animated movie? ›

Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film loosely based on the 1990 children's picture book of the same name by William Steig. Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson (in their feature directorial debuts) and written by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, and Roger S. H.

Should a 1 year old watch cartoons? ›

Good evidence suggests that screen viewing before age 18 months has lasting negative effects on children's language development, reading skills, and short term memory. It also contributes to problems with sleep and attention.

Can adults watch SpongeBob? ›

While SpongeBob SquarePants is intended for children, it has lots of adult humor as well. Millennial fans that have grown up with the show can look back and relate to their favorite characters differently than they did as children. Fans can also enjoy some of their favorite episodes as adults.

Why do adults watch Bluey? ›

Bluey reminds adult viewers that playing is still okay and fun, no matter what other people think. Over several episodes, the Heeler family has dragged others into their wild games, and their neighbors and friends often join in.

Why do kids like Cocomelon? ›

Why do babies get addicted to Cocomelon? "Cocomelon is so hyper-stimulating that it actually acts as a drug, as a stimulant," she says. "The brain gets a hit of dopamine from screen-time and it seems that the stronger the 'drug,' aka the level of stimulation a show delivers, the stronger the 'hit. '

Does Disney have +18 content? ›

Easy-to-use settings

For adults, simply set your age rating to R18+ by entering your account password and enjoy all the thrilling new TV series, movies and originals coming to Disney+ with Star.

Has Disney ever done an R-rated movie? ›

Films containing an R (restricted under 17) rating by the MPA. Disney never releases R-rated films under the "Disney" brand; all of these films are published by subsidiaries and thus only indirectly Disney-related, and will generally not receive in-depth coverage here beyond pages on the films themselves.

Does Disney have 18+ content? ›

There are seven in total: 0+, 6+, 9+, 12+, 14+, 16+, and 18+. Each limits viewing to shows and movies rated that certification and below. - The default rating is 14+. The PIN holder can change it at any time by visiting settings.

What is it called when Ur attracted to cartoons? ›

schediaphilia (uncountable) A paraphilia in which a person is sexually attracted to cartoon characters.

Is it normal to have a crush on a cartoon? ›

What is this? Crushes on fictional characters are common, especially in animation. Cartoons are one of the first things to inform our cultural perception, and to a young mind the characters that populate those cartoons are as real as family and friends.

Do adults like anime? ›

Anime Is For Everyone!

So keep watching what you love, keep collecting those figures, and never stop making those fanworks! Anime is for adults, as well as children and teenagers, and anyone else who adores the medium.

How does animation impact society? ›

The animation has influenced the viewer's visual attention through the integration of the different stimuli and the highly organized presentation. Furthermore, the animation has also aided the viewer in attaining greater conceptual understanding, thereby facilitating their cognitive response.

Why are animated movies better than live action? ›

They are overflowing with imaginative storylines. While animated films have more visual freedom than live-action movies, they also have more narrative freedom. As mentioned, not every animated film had to be animated, but there are many times it wouldn't make sense any other way.

What are the 3 advantages of animation? ›

Animated video is a rich, engaging medium, that is cost-effective, easy to manage, and will help your key points pop. It offers all the benefits of a visual medium with much smaller resource requirements than you might expect.

What is hardest to animate? ›

According to Designbuzz: 'liquids are one of the most difficult things to animate, as the designers must consider texture, movement, and how it reacts with other objects. '

What is the oldest animated cartoon? ›

Fantasmagorie is considered to be the oldest cartoon in the world. The very short animation is one of the earliest examples of traditional hand-drawn animation. It was created in 1908 by French cartoonist Émile Cohl.

What is the scariest animation ever? ›

Best Animated Horror Films
  • Belladonna of Sadness (1973) An anime from Japan that is both violent and beautiful, erotic and evil. ...
  • Watership Down (1978) ...
  • Heavy Metal (1981) ...
  • Plague Dogs (1982) ...
  • Perfect Blue (1997) ...
  • Corpse Bride (2005) ...
  • Blood Tea and Red String (2006) ...
  • Tales of the Black Freighter (2009)
Dec 9, 2022

What was the first R rated animated film? ›

The Nine Lives Of Fritz The Cat (1974)

This 1974 movie was the one that made history, being the first animated film to get an R-rating.

What is the longest movie ever? ›

Guinness World Records says the longest film ever made is "The Cure for Insomnia" released in 1987. The 85-hour experimental film was directed by John Henry Timmis IV.

What is Disney's biggest hit movie? ›

As of September 2022, "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" (2015) remained the highest-grossing Disney movie of all time in Canada and the United States, having grossed almost 934 million U.S. dollars across the two countries - collectively known as the North American box office market.

What's the oldest Disney character? ›

Before Mickey Mouse, there was his predecessor: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. For the first time, we're seeing footage of the first Disney character. The silent film in black and white dates back to 1928, when a young Walt Disney created Oswald.

What is the most beautiful animation? ›

From traditional Japanese art to cyberpunk goodness, here are the most visually stunning anime, ranked:
  1. 1 Kimetsu no Yaiba/Demon Slayer (2019)
  2. 2 Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011) ...
  3. 3 Vampire Hunter D (1985) ...
  4. 4 Mononoke (2007) ...
  5. 5 Jujutsu Kaisen (2020) ...
  6. 6 Natsume Yuujinchou (2008-2017) ...
  7. 7 Promare (2019) ...
  8. 8 Fate/Zero (2011) ...
Jun 20, 2022

What is the coolest animation? ›

1. Pinocchio (1940)
  • Pinocchio (1940) Film. Animation. ...
  • Photograph: Studio Ghibli. Spirited Away (2001) Film. ...
  • Photograph: Studio Ghibli. My Neighbor Totoro. ...
  • Photograph: Disney Pixar. Toy Story (1995) ...
  • Photograph: Disney Pixar. The Incredibles (2004) ...
  • Dumbo. Film. ...
  • The Iron Giant (1999) Film. ...
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Film.
Jun 30, 2022

Are animated movies for kids only? ›

Most animated films are aimed at children, but one can still enjoy them as an adult. Example: The Incredibles is one of my favorite films, as it includes lots of humour only an adult would get. Away from cinema, animation more regularly targets adults.

Why is animation for everyone? ›

Animation is important because it makes us be able to tell stories and communicate emotions and ideas in a unique, easy-to-perceive way that both small children and adults can understand.

Do adults watch cartoons? ›

According to Statista, adults between the ages of 18 to 49 years contributed to more than 60% of people who watch Cartoon Network.

What age is OK to watch cartoons? ›

There is no age limit for entertainment. No one can tell others what to like and what's the best age to like it. We can't determine when shows come out, so there's no reason not to appreciate a show that wasn't produced in 'your time. ' Simply enjoy.

Is every animation an anime? ›

Anime refers to a specific style of cartoon produced or inspired by Japanese animation. Think of it this way: all anime shows are cartoons, but not all cartoons are anime. The art style associated with anime is very unique and recognizable.

How does animation help society? ›

Key benefits of animation

It allows you to communicate ideas quickly and sharply. Animation is a cost-saving communication strategy. It educates & engages the audience through entertainment. It also provides real to life scenarios faced in daily life during learning, and so many other activities.

What are the 5 types of animation? ›

  • 1# Traditional animation. Traditional animation, also known as cel animation, is the oldest form of animation. ...
  • 2# 2D animation. 2D animation, also known as vector-based animation, is all about creating movement in a 2-dimensional space. ...
  • 3# 3D animation. ...
  • 4# Stop motion. ...
  • 5# Motion graphics.
Dec 9, 2021


1. Proof That Bluey Isn’t Just For Kids
(Entertain The Elk)
2. Animation Isn´t Just For Kids / PERTURBATOR - Disco Inferno AMV
(Benjamín A)
3. Why are Adults Watching This Kids Show? (Bluey)
4. "Avatar is a kids show"
(The Grand Lotus)
5. Top 10 Times Bluey Tackled Serious Issues
6. 15 Reasons Anime Is Definitely Not Just For Kids
(Screen Rant)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 03/07/2023

Views: 6343

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.