Fantastic animated studio films are released every year, like those from Marvel and DC. It’s hard for you to watch every movie that sounds like it would be a good fit for your tastes.
Most animated films are based on fairy tales or comic books that we have all known since childhood. Whether Avatar or Despicable Me, animated movies have made billions at the box office.
However, not all of them get their due. Many films go unnoticed in the eyes of the audiences. So, here I bring you a compelling list of the most underrated animated movies you may have missed.
Without wasting any time, let’s dive in.
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This Fox Animation Studios film, sometimes mistaken for a Disney classic princess movie, portrays the recreated narrative of Anastasia, the Grand Duchess of Russia.
The movie, which is set in the aftermath of the Russian revolution, takes certain liberties with historical accuracy. Nevertheless, given the context of the film, this does not appear to be a significant flaw in the production.
In fact, its young admirers have gone to great lengths to find out the real narrative behind the mythology.
Anastasia follows a pattern similar to those of her Disney equivalents. It is the right combination of humor, drama, romance, and action. There is a great deal of depth to the aesthetic approach of this picture.
It takes you back in time and breathes new life into the characters. An unusual female heroine in a decade dominated by stereotyped ‘damsel in distress’ Disney Princesses, the character of Anya was a breath of fresh air. A brilliant storyline and a terrific soundtrack have secured the resurgence of this movie.
A new Broadway musical based on the film is currently under development.
Mulan is the narrative of a young Chinese woman. She comes of age in a nation where females are viewed as second-class citizens to males. To show her worth to everyone, she disguises herself as a male soldier in the Chinese army.
The army is dispatched to combat the Huns who have invaded the land. Fa Mulan is accompanied by Mushu, her guardian dragon, and Crikey, her good-luck cricket. She infiltrates the army and demonstrates that girls can be just as capable as boys in many situations.
Fa Mulan is voiced by the lovely and gifted Ming-Na Wen, while Mushu, Mulan’s guardian dragon, is voiced by Eddie Murphy. A Disney animated feature film, Mulan is unquestionably among the most underappreciated of the studio’s animated features.
The animated film, which is full of humor, action, & life lessons, is a breath of new air for the defenseless ladies portrayed in most of Disney’s animated features. Even though Mulan has a sequel, it has garnered far less publicity than other more popular Disney films.
Mulan is a magnificent Disney classic. It will be remembered for its catchy and iconic musical compositions, gripping action, funny comedic relief, and a wonderful storyline.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
“Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” is directed by the legendary Yoshiaki Kawajiri (“Nina Scroll,” “Wicked City”). It is not only a superb sequel to the first “Vampire Hunter D” film but is also a breathtaking tribute to the legendary westerns and anti-hero stories of the past.
Charlotte, a young woman who has now been kidnapped by Meier Link, a prominent vampire, is the film’s focus. It follows D, a half-human-half-vampire bounty hunter, on the trail of her kidnappers.
However, when the romantic relationship between Charlotte and Meier is uncovered, D finds himself at a moral crossroads, which further complicates the situation.
This depiction of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s novel has outstanding art direction and amazing character designs by Yutaka Minowa. It continues to wow audiences more than two decades after its release.
Apart from being the gold standard of “Vampire Hunter D” movies, it also flawlessly demonstrates Kawajiri’s mastery of both action and horror genres.
The animated picture “Bloodlust,” which includes some narrative and visual tributes to Clint Eastwood flicks and some highly memorable on-screen confrontations, is a tribute to the films that came before it. Moreover, it also sets a new benchmark for the heights that anime can accomplish.
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Open Season is one of the funniest animated films out there. Unfortunately, it failed to gather mass attention. Probably because the audience had already seen many animated films about furry buddies. Hence, it seemed monotonous.
Generally, positive reviews were received for Sony Animation’s first theatrical feature release. I found it like a burst of cleverness and eye-popping imagery. It is yet another movie full of jaw-dropping computer-animated living creatures and is amusing from the beginning till the end.
The Adventures of Tintin by Disney
A lot of effort was put into The Adventures of Tintin. Yet, the picture did not receive the attention you would anticipate from a film of this caliber and importance.
It was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy co-produced it with Edgar Wright serving as co-writer.
Tintin, a cartoon character created by Belgian artist Herge, is the narrative’s protagonist. Spielberg and Herge were admirers of one another’s work; hence, the filmmaker decided to develop an adaptation.
Jackson proposed to Spielberg that motion capture would be the most faithful representation of the original material. And that’s exactly how things went.
It is inspired by the comics we used to read back in the ’90s and has a great storyline. A good character development furthers its excellence.
Disney’s Treasure Planet
This sci-fi recreation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic novel Treasure Island seemed like a weird notion to grasp at first. Especially when you consider the presence of monsters such as cyborg pirates and extraterrestrial cat-women.
Emma Thompson is the voice behind it, resulting in a positive impact. Jim Hawkins, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, portrays a young boy. He embarks on a quest to escape the unpleasant memories of his father, who abandoned him without even saying goodbye.
The entire adventure is thrilling, and I bet that every animated movie lover will find it interesting.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is one of the most underrated hidden gems among DC Animated films. It serves as both a breath of fresh air and a somber warning of what is obviously not to come.
It has a distinct and colorful storyline making it stand out as something unique and exciting. Although the title refers to the “Justice League,” and the famous heroes do make cameo appearances, the film is a Flash adventure.
Apart from being a showcase with one of the many underappreciated potential DCU heavy hitters, the film is an entertaining action thriller that keeps you hooked from beginning to end. Barry Allen triggers a paradox when he changes something in the timeline and transports to another timeline having a different earth.
On this Earth, things are quite different, like Superman is not the strongest man in the world, Bruce Wayne is not the Batman, and for other things, you need to watch it by yourself.
Justice League Dark
When super-powered enemies threaten the Earth’s population, the warriors of the Justice League are dispatched to save the day and put things back to normal.
But, problems pertain to magic. So, the members of the Justice League are not prepared enough to deal with them. Magic is one of Superman’s few vulnerabilities; therefore, the Big Blue Boy Scout is out. The other troop members also run into difficulties when confronted with great magicians.
In those rare instances, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of more supernatural heroes like Constantine. In the movie, people begin to see terrible demons in the place of their beloved friends and family. Citizens turn on one another and rebel against the government.
Some extremely dark and terrible events occur as a result of this, and Superman (Jerry O’Connell), Batman (Jason O’Mara), and Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson) attempt to patch things up but quickly realize the challenges.
In response to Deadman’s (Nicholas Turturro) supernatural intervention, Batman assembles a team of magical experts. John Constantine (Matt Ryan), Jason Blood as well as his evil spirits side Etrigan (Ray Chase), and Zatanna (Camilla Luddington) assemble to use their magical expertise and sort things out.
Some surprises await the crew (as well as comic book fans) on both the heroic and evil sides of the equation; however, what follows is an unexpected and all-out thrilling trip to bring back sanity to the residents of the planet once more.
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Batman: The Killing Joke
For most of its 75-minute running length, The Killing Joke is a basic adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name. It examines the twisted relationship between Batman (Kevin Conroy) and the Joker, who is about to go on one of his most heinous crime sprees ever in this comic book film adaptation.
Joker’s ultimate purpose is “to prove a point,” as he puts it. In order to establish that anybody may become like him – that anyone can be led to madness and lunacy under the appropriate circumstances – the Joker must first prove that he is not alone.
His primary targets are two of Batman’s closest allies: Commissioner Gordon (Ray Wise) as well as his daughter, Barbara (Julia Roberts).
Although it depicts the Clown Prince of Crime in a rare moment of weakness, the movie also reminds viewers of how lethal and twisted he is. It effectively uses the R-rating without being overly gratuitous in terms of sex and violent depictions.
And then there’s the delightfully confusing conclusion, which, in my opinion, works much better with Conroy’s and Hamill’s voices bringing it to life. This is still a fantastic Batman/Joker tale to this day.
Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron
Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron includes a new member of the Secret Warriors squad, Riri Williams, who previously appeared in Secret Warriors (Sofia Wylie).
She created her own Iron Man outfit at the age of 15, and is presently starring in her own independent comic book series, Ironheart. Image Comics is publishing the same.
Riri is a lonely college student mourning the loss of her family by pouring her heart and soul into creating her own Iron Man suit and Artificial Intelligence, which she names AMI.
To save the planet from Hala the Accuser (Ming-Na Wen), the Kree villain from Secret Warriors, Riri must band together with the Secret Warriors and possibly learn that she isn’t as alone as she believes.
There is a common idea of friendship and remaining true to oneself that unites the characters in Marvel Rising. Heart of Iron is a continuation of this pattern.
Superman: The Red Son
As opposed to landing in the cornfields of Kansas in the good old United States of America, the Last Son of Krypton ended up in a communal field behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union.
In the course of his development, Superman becomes the symbol of the people’s optimism, becoming an integral member of the communist dictatorship until he discovers the truth of the persecution he has endured while combating the influence of the capitalist west.
For as long as he is in charge, Superman proves to be a strong advocate for international peace. Upon returning to his home country, he finds himself up against opponents who disagree with his political views.
He also encounters terrorists hiding in the shadows — a modern-day Batman of Russia — who is out to shatter his trust in the country.
Lex Luthor had the most influence on this film, although the two characters do not even meet until the very end of the movie. As an illustration of how perception shapes so much of our ideas as opposed to fact, it leads to a fascinating competition that lasts for decades in Red Son, which is a must-see film.
However, just as I would not consider Superman a hero, I would also not consider Lex a villain in my eyes.
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Bonus: Injustice (DC)
In the modern DC universe, the notion of injustice has emerged as one of the more intriguing themes. It all began with a video game where the DC heroes and villains were up against one another.
As it grew in popularity, DC felt justified in producing a comic book series to further the universe. Finally, now we have a live-action animated movie with the same concept.
When the Joker tricked Superman into murdering Lois Lane, he used the opportunity to explode a nuclear warhead. With that, he destroyed the whole city of Metropolis. It set him on an even more dangerous path.
In the aftermath of Lois’ death, things swiftly spiral out of control as Supes turns to the evil side. Although we got a taste of how terrible the Big Blue Scout can be in Superman vs. Batman back in 2012, nothing can prepare you for the level of savagery we witness here.
The Son of Krypton has transformed into a heartless ruler who has no regard for human life. It is heartbreaking and plain terrifying but exciting to watch. However, this does not sit well with Batman and certain members of the Justice League.
Ultimately, though, it is Bat’s greater intelligence that triumphs over his better strength. Using the former, he takes down the Man of Steel in surprising ways.
Well, this was a list of a few underrated animated movies that I wanted to share with you. I really hope you find the most fantastic film as per your preference from this list.
Stay tuned with us as I plan to bring some of the other masterpieces in the future.