Last Updated: November 19th
It’s easy for animation buffs to get discouraged flipping through Netflix’s animated offerings, which skew heavily toward mass-produced kiddie TV programs and dire-looking CGI direct-to-video sequels. But a little digging turns up quite a few unexpected animated gems — and what Netflix’s animated offerings lack in depth, they make up for in breadth. The range of techniques and narrative approaches on display here highlights what makes the animation medium so exciting and fruitful. So here are the 15 best animated movies on Netflix right now.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Run Time: 78 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Here’s an over-reaching statement that we will defend until the end of time: The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the greatest animated films of our generation. The film follows a spoiled king (voiced by David Spade), who is accidentally turned into a llama and goes on the run from his evil adviser Yzma (Eartha freaking Kitt people). He’s befriended by a lovable llama herder named Pacha (John Goodman) who helps him take back his thrown. Llamas don’t get enough screen time, to be honest, and they make for hilarious heroes, but the real star of this show is Kronk (Partick Warburton), Yzma’s dim-witted, kind-hearted sidekick who can talk to squirrels and was so entertaining, he got his own spin-off.
Run Time: 81 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
When Pocahontas first hit theaters in 1995, it marked a turning point for Disney. For the first time, a woman of color led a Disney film and Pocahontas became the first Native American Disney princess to grace the big screen. Sure, there are some historical inaccuracies in the movie, but at its core, the film is about the strength of one woman to buck the status quo and to fight for what she believes to be right. She became the model for the Disney heroines that came after her.