10 Underappreciated Animated Films You Haven't Heard Enough About

10 Underappreciated Animated Films You Haven't Heard Enough About
Image credit: StudioCanal, Legion-Media

You should definitely watch these movies with your kids, or even on your own if you've still got that inner child in you.

In the big world of animated movies, there are the ones that get all the attention in the spotlight, and then there are the hidden gems, just waiting for you to discover them. Here are the best of them.

The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective is like Sherlock Holmes, but with mice. This Disney classic from the '80s is an absolute gem that didn't get the limelight it deserved.

Basil, the mouse detective, and his trusty sidekick Dawson, crack cases in a world brimming with Victorian charm. It's a thrilling ride filled with suspense and wit that will make you wonder why it isn't mentioned among Disney's greatest hits.

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West isn't just another animated movie; it's a journey. Fievel, a little mouse hero, heads west for a new life, facing wild adventures and hilarious antics along the way. The animation is stunning, and the story is heart-touching.

It's a sequel that stands on its own, a true masterpiece that didn't quite catch the spotlight it deserved. This film is a must-watch for its charm and the way it tugs at your heartstrings.

The Plague Dogs

The Plague Dogs is a bit darker but incredibly impactful. Imagine two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, escaping a research lab and braving the harsh realities of the world. This movie is a rollercoaster of emotions, tackling themes of friendship, survival, and the human-animal bond.

It's a film that stays with you, challenging the norms of typical animated films. Definitely an underappreciated gem that deserves more recognition.

Gauche the Cellist

Ever heard of Gauche the Cellist? This little-known masterpiece is a heartwarming Japanese animation that tells the story of Gauche, a young cellist, and his enchanting encounters with talking animals.

Each animal, from a cat to a cuckoo, helps Gauche improve his music skills. This film is a beautiful blend of whimsy and music, showing how art can transcend language and species. It's a soothing watch, especially for those who appreciate a good melody and a sprinkle of magic in their storytelling.

Watership Down

Watership Down is an adaptation of Richard Adams' novel, and it's about a group of rabbits who embark on a perilous journey to find a new home, facing countless dangers along the way.

This film is a raw, sometimes dark, exploration of themes like freedom, survival, and leadership. It's a thought-provoking watch that stays with you long after the credits roll.

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

This one's a real treat for music and sci-fi lovers. A collaboration between the legendary electronic duo Daft Punk and Japanese anime creator Leiji Matsumoto, this film is a visual and auditory spectacle.

It tells the story of a group of alien musicians who are kidnapped and brought to Earth. What's cool is that the entire story is told without dialogue, solely through Daft Punk's music and stunning anime visuals. It's an epic space opera that's both a feast for the eyes and the ears.

Once Upon a Forest

This isn't just any animated movie; it's a vibrant journey into the lives of three adorable woodland creatures — Abigail the woodmouse, Edgar the mole, and Russell the hedgehog. They embark on a mission to save their friend who's fallen ill due to toxic gas from a human chemical spill.

The animation brings the forest to life with rich, colorful scenes. It's a beautiful blend of adventure and environmental activism, teaching kids (and reminding adults) about the importance of taking care of our planet. Plus, the characters are so darn lovable.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest

It’s a dazzling, eco-conscious fairy tale with a dash of humor and a whole lot of heart. The animation captures the lushness of the rainforest with an almost magical quality.

The film tackles themes like deforestation and pollution without being preachy, making its message both accessible and impactful. And the catchy music and Robin Williams’ unforgettable performance as Batty Koda only adds to the awesomeness of the film.

The Secret of Kells

This film is like stepping into a different era, one filled with mystical lore and ancient traditions. The story revolves around a young boy, Brendan, who lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids.

The animation is inspired by Irish medieval art, and it's absolutely stunning — every frame could be a piece of art in a gallery.

Song of the Sea

This film takes the rich tapestry of Irish folklore and weaves it into a modern-day family story. It follows the journey of Ben and his little sister Saoirse, who turns out to be a selkie — a mythical being able to turn from a seal into a human.

The animation is breathtaking, with a fluid, dreamlike quality that perfectly captures the mystical and emotional essence of the story. The way it intertwines folklore with contemporary themes is just innovative.