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As you all know, I’ve been an animation fan all of my life. If it’s animated, I’ll sit and watch. Over the years, I’ve seen a fair amount of animated films and shorts. Many of those films still resonate with me today. I often find myself showing these films to family and friends and now I would like to share them with you all. Here are 10 retro animated films that you must see.
1.Rock and Rule (1983)- I first discovered this film in the early 2000s and I’ve been a fan ever since. The film tells the story of a band in a post-apocalyptic world that is trying to make it in the industry. Unfortunately for them, a greedy, power-hungry rock star named Mok may tear them apart. The story is predictable but it has some of the most beautiful animation sequences I have ever seen. If you enjoy 80s music, this is the film for you.
2.Fievel Goes West (1991)- This tale is the 2nd film in the “American Tale” series and it is by far my favorite. It once again tells the story of Mousekewitz family’s move to the west after hearing that cats and mice live in harmony there. The film is filled with memorable lines and good music. The “Girl You Left Behind” scene is probably one of my favorite animated musical numbers to date. This movie has a different vibe from the first film but in a good way. It didn’t fare too well in theaters but it was a hit on home-video. It was definitely a hit in our household.3.Happily Ever After (1990)- I rented this movie so many times from Blockbuster. At the time, Snow White was my favorite Disney Princess so I was happy to a see a “sequel” to that film. Little did I know, “Happily Ever After” was made by a totally different company and featured very different characters. However, little me loved every single second of this film. I specifically remember playing the film in the living room because I wanted to perform the ending song for my family. They were not amused. The film bombed in theaters but it’s a classic in my eyes. Superstar Irene Cara plays Snow White and it is without a doubt my favorite moment of her career. Unfortunately, the film is not available in most stores but it can be found on eBay.
4.The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)- I love every animated incarnation of the Chipmunks and this film is my favorite one. The film follows the Chipmunks and the Chipettes after they accidentally get wrapped up in a diamond smuggling scheme. All of the musical numbers are memorable and the animation is fluid. I love the exaggerated movements of the characters. This movie is hard to find for a reasonable price. There are a few copies on eBay though.
5.Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985) - I wasn't a huge Rainbow Brite fan back in the day but I really loved this movie. The film follows Rainbow Brite and a boy named Brian as they try to save Earth from an endless winter. Multiple forces including Stormy, a girl who controls winter, and The Dark princess threaten their efforts. It's a cute film bursting with color and cute songs. It's 100% an 80's kid's dream.
6.Lollipop Dragon (1986) - This TV film is actually a set of two stories about the eponymous Lollipop Dragon and his fight against the main villain, Baron Badblood. The animation is simple and the storyline is too. This film was a staple in my household and I still like to watch it from time to time. I lost my childhood copy but I was able to find one on Amazon years ago. I recently bought another copy from eBay so that I could have a nice box.
7. We’re Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)- This a film that I don't hear about it often. It tells the story of 4 dinosaurs who become intelligent after eating potion-infused cereal. Although it was released during the dinosaur craze of the early 90's, it was a flop at the box office. I haven't watched it in years but I remember loving the animation and the voice acting. John Goodman and the rest of the cast do a great job in their roles. My favorite part in the movie was the Roll Back the Rock parade scene. It's a gem!
8.The Great Mouse Detective (1986) - This Sherlock Holmes-inspired tale tells the story of Basil of Baker Street, an anthropomorphic mouse, who must use his skills to solve the mystery of a kidnapped toymaker. Along for the ride are Basil's right hand man, Dawson, and the toy maker's daughter, Olivia. But the most memorable part of the movie is Basil's arch-nemesis played by the legendary Vincent Price: Ratigan. His theme song is without a doubt one of the best villain songs of all time. I still quote it to this day.
9.American Pop (1981)- I had always known about this film but I never got around to watching it until I got older. I was truly missing out. As a music lover, it was, for lack of a better term, music to my eyes and ears. Directed by the acclaimed Ralph Bakshi, the film spans several decades to tell the story of a Jewish-American family. What sets this film apart is the mixed media approach for the animation. There is a mixture of rotoscope, water color, live action, and more. Also, the film contains music by many popular artists including Sam Cooke, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Peter Paul & Mary, and the Doors. However, the music isn't just background music. The marriage between the music and the animation tell the Belinskys story in a unique way. I may have shed a tear or two. You can watch the trailer here.
10.Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)- Out of all of the Charlie Brown movies and specials, this one will always be my favorite one. This film follows Charlie Brown and the gang at summer camp. There are a lot of funny moments but one of my favorite things about this movie is the opening song. Listen for yourself.
Do you see some of your favorite films on this list? Let me know below!