Filmmakers never know whether their newest film will be a hit or not. However, sometimes a film comes along that touches people across the board. While animated movies are mostly known for being either for children or families, some animated movies have that special touch that reaches everyone.
A great movie like this sends studios and filmmakers scrambling to create a whole franchise behind their hit. Sometimes the sequels are better than the original, and sometimes the first movie just can’t be beat. No matter the franchise, there is always one movie that stands out among the rest.
8 How To Train Your Dragon Was Surprisingly Tender-Hearted
The first movie of the animated franchise based on Cressida Cowell’s books, How To Train Your Dragon caught audiences by surprise with its depth and emotion. Advertised as more of an action than a drama, the story of Hiccup and Toothless made viewers crave more of their story.
While the films are not similar to the books at all besides character names and settings, the films have taken on a life of their own with a second and third movie along with several Netflix and Hulu series. However, nothing can beat the original movie about a boy and a dragon who didn’t fit in anywhere until they met one another.
7 Shrek 2 Made Everyone Love Themselves A Bit More
Shrek always stands by the idea that the true you is the most beautiful and important you there is. When Shrek 2 was released, it emphasized this idea even further when both Shrek and Fiona find themselves human for the sake of their love.
In the end, Shrek and Fiona embrace their true ogre selves and love one another for them. The film also has a great villain in Fairy Godmother and a surprising but awesome appearance by Simon Cowell. Shrek 2 has a great message about the power and confidence behind loving yourself as well as an incredible story that had audiences entertained.
6 Toy Story 3 Had Adults Sobbing
While the first two Toy Story films lead to the birth of Pixar as an animation giant, a plethora of toys and action figures, and even a ride at Walt Disney World, it was the third installment of this animated franchise that really hit home for audiences.
Growing up is inevitable. When Andy grows up and heads off to college, it’s time for him to give up his toys. While Andy eventually gives the toys to Bonnie down the street, Woody, Buzz, and the gang go through everything from battling an evil teddy bear to almost being incinerated. Audiences who grew up with these characters felt like this film found a good finale.
5 Frozen Encouraged Everyone To Let It Go
The 2013 Disney animated hit Frozen had plenty of unexpected twists and turns, but perhaps the best turn of events is when Elsa decides early on in the film to let go of the image people expect her to be and be who she truly is.
With a spectacular musical number and a legendary dress, Elsa encouraged audience members to do the same. Letting go of expectations of others and embracing her true self, Elsa makes a bold statement that helped Frozen’spopularity and start the franchise. While there has been a sequel, short films, and an attraction at Walt Disney World, Frozen stands out as the leader of the pack.
4 The Incredibles Made Families Come Together
No two families are alike. They come from different places, have different backgrounds, and deal with different challenges. However, The Incredibles made audiences connect with Bob, Helen, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack not for their powers but for each of their roles within the Parr Family.
While this film spurred on a sequel in 2018, the 2004 original film made parents feel seen by their children and vice versa. Families could understand one another better through the actions of The Incredibles. Audiences didn’t have to be a Super with powers to feel like The Parr Family was their family. The first Incredibles movie stands the test of time and remains the better film of the two.
3 Finding Nemo Tugged On Heart Strings
Pixar has a way of telling stories that audiences can connect to, no matter who is at the center of the story. When Marlin, a clownfish, watches his son Nemo get kidnapped by scuba divers, he stops at nothing to find him and bring him home.
Putting his bravery to the test, Marlin encounters sharks, jellyfish, and sea turtles, teaming up with a forgetful fish named Dory to find Nemo. The lengths Marlin would go for the ones he loved, had viewers clutching their loved ones tighter and relating to a fish. While Finding Nemo has spurred a sequel and an attraction at Walt Disney World, the original film remains the superior story.
2 Lilo And Stitch Made Everyone Feel Like They Belong
An outcast little girl makes friends with an exiled alien. The premise of Lilo And Stitch seems far-fetched at first, but the heart of the story lies with finding the family and the place you belong. Lilo and Stitch found a home with each other despite their differences.
Lilo and Stitch became a Disney classic that started a multi-movie and series franchise because of the heart behind the aliens. Lilo, Nani, David, and Stitch all had to fight to keep and be with their family, and it was worth it for them in the end. The original 2002 film remains an iconic animated movie that makes audiences believe that there is a place for everyone to belong.
1 The Lion King Taught The True Meaning Of Home
The 1994 Disney animated movie The Lion King became an international sensation that would later spawn several movie sequels, a television series, and a Broadway musical that would win six Tonys.
The story of Simba and his struggles hit home with audiences with the themes of family, friends, and belonging. Simba comes into the role he was always meant to play as he saves his home from his Uncle Scar and reclaims his birthright. The story, mixed with the amazing soundtrack and timeless messages proves why the original film remains the best of the franchise.