Top 10 Underrated Animated Movies

These are some of the most underrated animated movies ever. Sometimes The House of Mouse eclipses these movies, which definitely deserve more recognition. Movies like Thumbelina, Balto, The Pagemaster, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, The Prince of Egypt, The Secret of NIMH, The Road to El Dorado, The Iron Giant, Anastasia are often forgotten about but we are some of the best animated movies!
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Top 10 Underrated Animated Movies


The House of Mouse may reign supreme, but some of these lesser-known childhood favorites still hold a place in our hearts. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Underrated Animated Movies.

For this list, we’re sharing our favorite unappreciated animated movies. We’re excluding anything from Disney like “The Great Mouse Detective.”



#10: "Thumbelina" (1994)


This movie tells the story of a girl who is born in a flower and is – you guessed it – the size of a thumb. This was actually a pretty anxiety-inducing movie for kids considering the main character is always falling into holes, getting kidnapped, and almost getting baked into pies because of her diminutive stature. But we’re definitely not the only ones who found the idea of falling asleep in a walnut shell to be strangely calming. The film wasn’t a big hit upon release. If Thumbelina taught us anything, though, it’s that size doesn’t matter. It’s about what you’re made of.



#9: "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" (1993)


The same year “Jurassic Park” came out, Steven Spielberg's Amblimation produced another movie about dinosaurs. Of course this animated adventure was a little less intense for younger viewers, but still fun for the whole family. “We’re Back” follows a similar narrative to “Jurassic Park,” as it involves dinosaurs in the modern world. The dinosaurs use time travel to arrive in 20th century New York and mayhem inevitably ensues. Complete with colorful animation and charming characters, “We’re Back” also includes some strong voiceover work from John Goodman, Walter Cronkite, and even Julia Child.



#8: "Balto" (1995)


Balto is 50% wolf, 50% dog, and 100% hero. When the children of his small Alaskan town are plagued with a deadly disease, Balto steps up to go get the cure. He has to travel through treacherous terrain with a villainous foe at his heels, but in the end he manages to save the town by safely delivering the antitoxin. This movie is actually based on a true story and visitors to New York City can visit the statue of Balto in Central Park, just like they do in the movie.



#7: "The Pagemaster" (1994)

This 1994 live-action/animation hybrid is a favorite for all the bookworms out there. Is there any greater fantasy than going into a library, getting knocked out, and waking up in a world where all your favorite characters from fiction are real? This movie tells the story of a cowardly boy, played by Macaulay Culkin, who takes his first steps into an adventure that gets him reading. With a killer cast that includes Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, and Leonard Nimoy, “The Pagemaster” is a great intro to classic literature for any budding bibliophile.



#6: "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" (1992)


This movie was probably the reason you got into the environmental movement. Every kid who watched this remembers the horror of the FernGully rainforest being threatened by development and pollution. Set in a pristine natural area of Australia where fairies abound, the region is in danger of being overtaken by humans. “FernGully” has a strong moral message that stuck with us even if we didn’t fully understand it at the time. But there’s also a healthy amount of singing and dancing to offset the guilt you have for throwing that yogurt container in the trash instead of recycling it.



#5: "The Prince of Egypt" (1998)


This biblical tale follows the story outlined in the Book of Exodus and puts Moses in the starring role. It takes a familiar story and develops it into an exciting adventure that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. At the time of its release, “The Prince of Egypt” was actually the most successful non-Disney animated feature of all time. The original song, “When You Believe,” even won an Academy Award. For some reason, though, the film has seemingly fallen through the cracks in recent years. That’s truly a shame, as it remains one of DreamWorks’ most stunning and well-acted animated features.



#4: "The Secret of NIMH" (1982)


Don Bluth was a former Disney employee who decided to open his own studio. His first project was “The Secret of NIMH,” a dark fantasy that treated its young audience like mature adults. He favored the classic style of Disney animation, which is why this movie is reminiscent of the original Disney classics. The story is about a group of lab rats that are injected with a drug that gives them hyper intelligence, making them just as smart as humans. At the center of everything is Mrs. Brisby, a mouse and a dedicated mother who will face untold danger to save her son. The film was a breakthrough for Bluth, who went on to direct “The Land Before Time” and “An American Tail.”




#3: "The Road to El Dorado" (2000)


Tulio and Miguel are Spanish con artists who fandangle their way into winning a map to the mythical city of El Dorado in the 16th century. When they stow away on a ship headed to the new world, the adventure really gets started. Upon arriving in El Dorado, they are mistaken by for gods and decide to play along. “The Road to El Dorado” is a comedy above all, and is full of gags that will delight both children and adults alike. With a wonderful sense of humor and adventure, the film is simply fun from start to finish.




#2: "The Iron Giant" (1999)


In this big-hearted story of unlikely friendship, a boy forms a relationship with a huge alien robot during the Cold War era. This film was tragically unappreciated upon its release, but a generation of ‘90s kids will always remember the huge feels it gave them. Who knew that Vin Diesel could actually make us cry? While the film is often remembered for its more emotional moments, it also works in a fair deal of comedy and action. All the while, it avoids many of the tropes that were associated with animated features at the time, such as musical numbers and princesses.




Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.



“Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem” (2003)






“Titan: A.E.” (2000)




“All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989)






#1: "Anastasia" (1997)


Probably the best thing about this movie is its titular heroine. Anastasia is the complete antithesis to the trope of a damsel in distress. Even so, she also had a collection of sick outfits that made our inner princesses so jealous. The film’s soundtrack is amazing and memorable, with some of the songs staying stuck in our heads even decades later. Also, the cast list is insane, including actors like Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Hank Azaria, and many more. The film even works in some interesting Russian history, although it’s not exactly accurate.
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