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Top 15 Most Underrated Animated Movies Ever


In the vast landscape of animated cinema, where blockbusters often steal the spotlight, there exists a treasure trove of "Underrated Animated Movies Ever."

These hidden gems possess a unique charm, captivating storytelling, and artistic brilliance that may have gone unnoticed by the mainstream audience.

This article embarks on a journey through the realm of animation's unsung heroes, shedding light on the films that deserve far more recognition than they have received.

From heartwarming tales to thought-provoking narratives, we explore the underrated animated movies that have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema and deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Mind Game

Mind Game US Release Trailer (2018) | Movieclips Indie

The animated feature film Mind Game is a mind-boggling and exciting experience that takes the audience on a trip through the ins and outs of the human psyche. The protagonist of the novel is a young man who, after having a brush with death, finds himself on a voyage of self-discovery that takes him through a number of fantastical and ever-changing universes.

The unique and experimental animation style of the film, when coupled with the film's intricate and thought-provoking subject matter, creates an experience that is both profoundly immersive and indelible. It is a known fact that the development of the plot and the wild detours may not be worth it for certain viewers.

However, Yuasa's most well-known picture, which is now considered a cult classic, is an audacious and visionary piece of artwork that pushes the limits of animation and narrative.

Sword Of The Stranger

Sword of the Stranger || English Trailer - HD

Sword of the Stranger is a powerful, dramatic, and at times gory movie that does a good job of depicting the ronin's journey to redemption. The film delivers on the promise made by its title, which promises spectacular sword-fighting scenes from the mysterious stranger known only as Nanashi (which translates to "no name" in Japanese).

His battles with Ming Chinese soldiers as well as the Caucasian Luo-Lang are so elegant, but at times, so savage, that it ends with damaged structures, profuse blood, and (on occasion) severed limbs. His opponent's buildings and limbs are often destroyed. On the other hand, the blood and guts aren't what make these battle scenes so effective.

The film is driven by Nanashi's desire to maintain his honor and maintain his own self-determination. It is because of this that his battle against these invaders is so intriguing to watch. It is because of this that he watches for the abandoned child Kotaro and the adorable shiba inu that he has. And when it is ultimately revealed in the movie what caused him to have that will, it is impossible not to cheer for him.


Tekkonkinkreet Trailer

Tekkonkinkreet is a film that is both visually spectacular and full of energy. It follows two orphaned brothers as they navigate a world of crime and self-discovery. The film takes you on a wild trip through the gritty streets of a crumbling city. The animation is a work of art in every sense of the word; it combines brilliant hues with a one-of-a-kind visual style to transport you to a fantastical cityscape.

But what really makes this film stand out is its touching narrative and its well-developed characters, who delve into topics such as companionship, tenacity, and the conflict between purity and depravity. The visually stunning and emotionally moving investigation of the human connection that is Tekkonkinkreet is a feast for the eyes.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale

Marona's Fantastic Tale Trailer #1 (2020) | Movieclips Indie

The whole tale of Marona's Fantastic Tale is presented from the perspective of a dog, and it covers a wide range of topics, from birth to death and all in between. The movie inspires us to consider what our canine and feline companions could consider to be joyful and upsetting experiences by providing us with stunning images and an unrivaled capacity for empathy.

If the tale were told regularly and in any other manner, we probably wouldn't care as much about it, but when it's told in a way that's both artistic and sympathetic, we can't help but listen. Marona's Fantastic Tale is not a cutesy movie like some others that have been made depicting animals as pets; instead, the art in this movie is bewildering, difficult, but nonetheless stunning.

And isn't hesitant to deal with tragedy; in fact, that's where the story starts. However, it balances the realism with surrealist art passages and even manages to maintain a sense of comedy throughout. Overall, it's an adult movie that asks some weighty philosophical concerns and will fascinate both older audiences and younger audiences alike.

Arthur Christmas

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS - Official Trailer in HD

In Arthur Christmas, a current holiday favorite that you most likely haven't seen, the notion of the North Pole being a vast espionage agency is used to discuss how consumerism drives people away from one another.

It is a surprisingly intelligent picture with a fascinating dynamic among its family of Santas, and it has an exceptionally humorous screenplay full of dry British wit. The film is a Christmas comedy.

And despite the fact that the animation may already have a dated appearance at first sight, Arthur Christmas more than makes up for its appearances with extremely inventive art direction and Sarah Smith's fast-paced set pieces.

This is that uncommon Christmas movie that doesn't simply cave to schmaltz; the lessons that are taught by the characters here are original, deep, and applicable to a wide variety of situations.

Kubo And The Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings - Trailer

Travis Knight's feature directorial debut is a stop-motion animated short whose protagonist is equipped with a shamisen, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. The catch? The mystical qualities of the instrument make Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) a fantastical adventure with nonstop action. A 97% acceptance rating on the critical consensus website Rotten Tomatoes may not make film look undervalued at first glance.

That's the highest level of praise you'll find mentioned anywhere on this list. But Kubo's box office performance was disappointing, with just $77.5 million made on an estimated $60 million budget. These aren't the worst stats, either. Kubo and the Two Strings still deserves a position on our list, even if its brand recognition hasn't grown much since its premiere.

Isle Of Dogs

Isle of Dogs Official Trailer #1 (2018) Wes Anderson, Bryan Cranston Animated Movie HD

Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated feature follows a pack of dogs that find themselves on Trash Island, the massive landfill where the citizens of Megasaki City dump their garbage. After the government orders all dogs to be sent to Trash Island, a young man called Atari sets out to get his dog Spots back to safety from the island's dangerous environment.

Isle of Dogs (2018) features excellent performances from A-list actors Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and others, but despite strong reviews, it lacks the brand recognition of similar films. If audiences had seen this film when it first came out, they could still be talking about it now. Yet, it's better to do it now than later.

Meet The Robinsons

Meet the Robinsons (2007) - Trailer

Meet the Robinsons (2007), one of the most undervalued animated adventures ever produced by Walt Disney Studios, is one of the most heartfelt and powerful entries on the list. The story of Lewis, an orphaned 12-year-old inventor, and his encounter with Wilbur Robinson, a time traveler from the future.

The latter shows up in 2037 to prevent the villainous Bowler Hat Guy from altering Lewis's and, by extension, humanity's destiny. The dynamics of the Robinson family in Meet the Robinsons contribute to the film's ability to evoke strong emotions in viewers.

The story flows effortlessly, and so does the witty banter between these people. Not only did it fail to make back its $150 million budget at the box office, but it also failed to impress reviewers. Because of this, Meet the Robinsons is our sixteenth most popular all-time movie.

Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron

Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron trailer

This film by DreamWorks Animation was a commercial and critical flop when it was first released. The lack of success in any area left the cast and crew wondering what they had done wrong with the story of a free-spirited mustang horse who travels the American frontier and meets people for the first time.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), however, with Matt Damon in the lead role, strikes the mark in almost every conceivable way. Despite being one of the shortest movies on our list, the writing is very well-paced.

Despite the success of the film and the subsequent media empire it inspired, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is still mostly forgotten twenty years after its first release. It's impossible to say why.

The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective - Modern Trailer

This story follows a gang of rodents around Victorian London in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. The Great Mouse Detective (1986) may not have a particularly well-known cast, but its unique premise helps it earn a spot among Hollywood's underappreciated animated films.

In The Great Mouse Detective, the title character, a mouse named Basil, investigates the kidnapping of a well-known toy designer. This endeavor was well-received by both reviewers and audiences during its first release, but it has since fallen by the wayside in today's society, therefore it has made our list.

The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant Trailer 2 (1999)

The Iron Giant (1999), directed by Brad Bird and produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation, was met with widespread praise from film reviewers but ultimately bombed at the box office. In reality, it tanked in theaters and only gained a cult following after being released on home video and in television syndication.

The basic premise, which involves a huge extraterrestrial robot befriending a kid called Hogarth, is pretty well-known among fans of animated films. The ensemble character of its voice cast, however, appears to have fallen by the wayside in recent years. While Jennifer Aniston pops up as Hogarth's mom, the lead vocals are provided by Eli Marienthal, a relatively obscure singer.

The cast also includes Christopher McDonald, Vin Diesel, and Harry Connick Jr. And every one of them does an outstanding job. It's in your best interest to make amends with The Iron Giant right away if you haven't seen it in a while.

Ernest Et Celestine

ERNEST & CELESTINE - Official Trailer - A Cesar-Winning Animated Picture

Ernest et Celestine, a French-Belgian animated feature film based on a children's book series of the same name by Gabrielle Vincent, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2014. The video is a hand-drawn, 2D animation set against watercolor painted backdrops, with a music that is both lighthearted and calming, serving to perfectly complement the visuals.

In a world where bears and mice are natural enemies, Ernest and Celestine form an odd relationship in this gorgeously animated film. This delightful tale is filled with the most endearing and likeable characters, and it has some of the most endearing and heartwarming acts of generosity and camaraderie. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see what it's like to love someone and have them love you back.

Max And Mary

Mary and Max (2009) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Adam Elliot, the film's writer and director, recounts a narrative that is emotionally and psychologically complex in one of the most straightforward ways possible. The film, which is animated in clay, follows a young Australian girl as she chooses to reach out to a total stranger whose number she found in a phone directory.

Her pen friend is a New York City-based guy in his forties. Their story gives us insight into the lives of two very different people: a lonely young woman from a dysfunctional family who is fighting her way through life in pursuit of happiness, and a lonely, morbidly obese middle-aged man whose mental health makes it difficult for him to engage with the world and form meaningful relationships with others.

This wistful tale is just another demonstration of an excellent relationship, and it illuminates many aspects of daily living that are sometimes overlooked.

Song Of The Sea

Song Of The Sea | Official Trailer | Featuring Brendan Gleeson

Song of the Sea is a lovely, captivating story based on an Irish legend of the selkie about two brothers who travel through a mystical realm and struggle to uncover its secrets. The tale of parental and sibling love is intertwined in this fantastical journey set in a magical realm.

This 2D animated film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2015 because to its stunning animation, wonderfully lovely and loveable characters, and touching musical composition.

The Secret Of Kells

The Secret of Kells (2009) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

The Secret of Kells, which is set around the period when the Vikings ravaged the Irish territories, is an example of how 2D animation can effectively blend the aesthetic of the ancient times with current animation while telling a narrative with historical roots.

The film centers on a little Irish town that receives The Book of Kells from a skilled illuminator, and it is rife with allusions to Irish mythology, traditions, and religion.

One of the most visually stunning, emotionally powerful, and critically acclaimed animated films of all time is based on this historical and mythical narrative. In 2010, Tomm Moore's first internationally acclaimed, magnificent effort was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Final Thoughts

The journey through underrated animated movies ever is a testament to the diversity and richness of cinematic storytelling.

From the heartfelt tales that tug at our emotions to the imaginative narratives that challenge our perspectives, these hidden masterpieces have the power to resonate deeply with audiences of all ages.

As we celebrate these unsung heroes of animation, we recognize the tireless efforts of creators who pour their passion and creativity into projects that might have been overlooked.

These films remind us that greatness exists beyond the boundaries of mainstream recognition and that within the realm of animation, there's a treasure trove of stories waiting to capture our hearts and minds.

Ultimately, the world of animation is vast and dynamic, and exploring underrated animated movies is a journey of discovery and appreciation for the countless voices that contribute to the magic of storytelling through visuals.

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About The Authors

Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones- Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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