Happily Ever After Animated 90s Cartoon

"Dive into Nostalgia: 10 Retro Animated Films You Should See

 This post contains affiliate links. That means I earn a commission when you click the links and place an order.

Whether it's the immersive tales spun by full-length features or the enchanting allure of animated shorts, this captivating medium never fails to grab my attention. Over the years, my journey has unfolded a vivid tapestry of animated experiences, weaving together timeless films that continue to resonate with an enduring magic. The tradition of sharing my animated finds with family and friends has become a favorite pastime of mine. Now, with brimming enthusiasm and a touch of nostalgia, I extend this personal tradition to all of you in this blog post about 10 retro animated films you should see. Join me on an intimate animated odyssey as I carefully curate a list of 10 classic cartoons from the 80s and 90s (and 1 from the 70s) that you should see! 

1. Rock and Rule - Immerse in Rock and Roll Magic with this 80s Cartoon Classic (1983)

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

Discovering Rock and Rule in the early 2000s was a love-at-first-sight moment for me. Set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world, the film chronicles the endeavors of a band striving for success in the cutthroat music industry, only to face the ominous threat of Mok, a rapacious and power-hungry rock star. While the storyline may be predictable, the film elevates itself with some of the most exquisite animation sequences ever crafted.

"Rock and Rule," a Canadian production directed by Clive A. Smith in 1983, stands as a testament to resilience and creative brilliance in the realm of 80s animation. Overcoming production challenges, it remains a hidden gem cherished by aficionados. Beyond its narrative, the film's visual splendor transcends expectations, "Rock and Rule" mesmerizes with visuals and an energetic 80s soundtrack, an essential journey for fans of music and animation.The "Rock and Rule" soundtrack showcases diverse talents including Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Debbie Harry as the character Angel. For enthusiasts of 80s music, "Rock and Rule" is an absolute must-watch, as its soundtrack seamlessly captures the pulsating energy and iconic sounds of the era.

Rock and Rule is currently available on DVD

2. An American Tale: Fievel Goes West - Embark on an Adventure in the Wild West with this Beloved 90s Cartoon (1991)

IMDB Rating: 6.5/10

The second film in the "American Tail" series happens to be my favorite one; "Fievel Goes West". This animated classic follows the Mousekewitz family's perilous journey to the western frontier, driven by the dream of a utopian society where cats and mice coexist harmoniously. Its enchantment lies in the delicate balance of poignant charm, breathing life into a narrative that resonates deeply within my cinematic journey.

A highlight is the "Girl You Left Behind" scene—a touching moment with memorable lyrics and an enchanting musical score. This sequence ranks among the most captivating animated musical numbers in my film journey, deepening the emotional impact of the story. Deviating from its predecessor's tone, the film cleverly brings a refreshing shift, balancing heartwarming moments with a compelling narrative. Despite a lukewarm reception in theaters, "Fievel Goes West" found a lasting place as a cherished gem in our household, proving its enduring appeal. Directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells, known for their work on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "The Prince of Egypt," respectively, the film remains a timeless classic, showcasing the lasting charm of its beloved characters and the visionary skills of its directors.

Fievel Goes West is currently available on Bluray, DVD, and VHS on Amazon. You can also purchase a digital download

3. Happily Ever After - Step into a Fairy-Tale World with the Enchanting 90s Animated Sequel (1993)

IMDB Rating: 5.5/10

During the Blockbuster era, "Happily Ever After" became my go-to VHS rental, especially since Snow White was my favorite Disney Princess at the time. Delighted to discover a supposed sequel to the classic fairy tale, I later learned that this gem was crafted by Filmation Associates, showcasing a fresh narrative and characters. Despite the unexpected twists, my younger self reveled in every enchanting second of the 90s animation. I vividly recall transforming the living room into a stage, eager to perform the ending song for my family—an act met with less enthusiasm than I had anticipated. Despite its theatrical struggles, "Happily Ever After" remains a personal classic, and Irene Cara's portrayal of Snow White stands as a highlight in her illustrious career.

Released in 1993, "Happily Ever After," directed by John Howley, weaves a unique sequel to Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Snow White, voiced by the talented Irene Cara, lives blissfully in a castle with Prince Charming until their peace is shattered by the evil Queen's brother, Lord Maliss. Transforming into a dragon, he kidnaps Prince Charming, prompting Snow White to embark on a perilous quest. Joined by a cast of quirky new characters, including the Seven Dwarfelles with elemental powers, Snow White strives to rescue her prince and restore harmony to the kingdom. Despite challenges in production and a modest theatrical release, the film has cultivated a devoted following, praised for its distinctive animation style and its place as one of the first sequels to a Disney classic produced by a different animation studio. Irene Cara's musical prowess as Snow White adds a unique layer to the film, ensuring its enduring appeal and securing its status as a standout chapter in the animated fairy tale genre.

Unfortunately, the film is not available in most stores but it can be found on eBay. 



4. The Chipmunk Adventure - Join Alvin and the Chipmunks in an Animated Musical (1987)

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

"The Chipmunk Adventure," a captivating 80s animated musical film, showcases the beloved characters Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, alongside their female counterparts, the Chipettes—Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor. Directed by Janice Karman, who also lent her voice to numerous characters, the film takes the audience on an unintentional adventure involving diamond smuggling.

 This animated gem unfolds with a perfect blend of humor and heart, offering a delightful experience for viewers of all ages. Notable for its memorable musical numbers (like the energetic "The Boys of Rock and Roll"), fluid animation featuring exaggerated character movements, and a clever infusion of humor into the narrative, the film stands out amongst other films at the time. The soundtrack plays a pivotal role, enhancing emotional moments and adding depth to the plot, while the voice performances contribute authenticity to the animated world.
"The Chipmunk Adventure" is a great addition to any 80s fans' collection. 

The Chipmunk Adventure is hard to find but it can be purchased on eBay and Mercari

5.Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer - Experience Colorful Magic with the 80s Classic (1985)

IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

Even though Rainbow Brite wasn't a big part of my childhood, the 1985 movie managed to captivate me. In this colorful adventure, Rainbow Brite and Brian unite to rescue Earth from an endless winter, facing challenges from Stormy, who controls winter, and The Dark Princess. What amazed me about "Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer" is its power to turn my disinterest into fascination. The film's vibrant scenes and catchy music create a dreamy experience, reminiscent of an 80s kid's fantasy. It transports us into a whimsical world where Rainbow Brite engages in a visually stunning battle against darkness.


Beyond its entertainment value, the movie holds historical significance as a positive symbol of 1980s culture. As The Dark Princess plots to steal the stars and cast the world into eternal darkness, Rainbow Brite, Brian, and their colorful friends embark on a mission to preserve light, color, and happiness throughout the universe. This timeless narrative, marked by the struggle between good and evil, elevates the film beyond mere nostalgia. "Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer" remains a cherished cinematic journey, reflecting the enduring charm of the 80s era and the universal theme of preserving brightness in the face of darkness.

Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer is available on DVD and VHS on eBay.

6. Lollipop Dragon - Whimsical Adventures for Everyone (1986)

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

"The Lollipop Dragon," an 80s cartoon cult classic, envelops me in waves of nostalgia with its enchanting tale of the titular dragon confronting the villainous Baron Badblood. Characterized by straightforward animation and a heartwarming storyline, this animated classic was a cherished staple in my upbringing. Today, its enduring charm beckons me back to savor the timeless adventures, relishing the magical essence that defined my childhood. The familiar hum of the VCR and the opening chords of the theme song marked the commencement of these family traditions, immersing us in the captivating escapades of the Lollipop Dragon. 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. 


 Lollipop Dragon is available on VHS on Amazon and eBay

7. We’re Back! A Dinosaur's Story - Travel Back in Time with This Animated Classic (1993)

IMDB Rating: 6.0/10

"We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story," a hidden gem from the early '90s, may not have soared at the box office during the dinosaur craze, but its enduring charm makes it a cherished memory for those in the know. Released in 1993, the film follows the adventures of four dinosaurs—Rex, Woog, Elsa, and Dweeb—who gain intelligence after consuming a potion-infused cereal. The movie captivated audiences with its unique storyline and vibrant animation.

A standout feature is the stellar voice cast, led by the talented John Goodman. Their performances breathe life into the lovable characters, elevating the film's energy and viewer experience. The rich and colorful animation enhances the imaginative narrative, showcasing the animators' dedication to bringing the dinosaurs to life.

Despite its underappreciated status, "We're Back!" boasts memorable scenes like the "Roll Back the Rock" parade that still holds up to this day. While it has been years since my last viewing, the memories of captivating animation, stellar voice acting, and the infectious energy of the parade scene remain. Revisiting such hidden gems can be a nostalgic journey back to the enchantment of childhood, and "We're Back!" is a testament to the enduring power of animated classics that deserve a second look.

We're Back! A Dinosaur Story is available on Bluray, DVD, VHS, and Prime Video

8.The Great Mouse Detective - Uncover Mysteries in Victorian London with Disney's Classic 80s Animated Tale (1986)

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

"The Great Mouse Detective," a hidden gem in Disney's animated film repertoire, takes audiences on a thrilling and whimsical journey through the mysterious world of Victorian London – but with a mouse-sized twist. Released in 1986, this lesser-known classic combines elements of mystery, adventure, and humor, offering a unique and entertaining experience for audiences of all ages. At the heart of the story is Basil of Baker Street, a mouse detective with Sherlock Holmes-like brilliance, and his trusty companion, Dr. Dawson. Together, they embark on a daring quest to solve the kidnapping of a toymaker by the villainous Ratigan, a rodent mastermind voiced by Vincent Price. (His theme song is without a doubt one of the best villain songs of all time.)

The film's engaging plot, endearing characters, and memorable musical score contribute to its timeless appeal. While it may not have gained the same recognition as some of Disney's more prominent titles, "The Great Mouse Detective" remains a delightful and underrated adventure that deserves a special place in the hearts of Disney enthusiasts.

The Great Mouse Detective is available on Bluray, DVD, VHS, and digital download on Amazon. You can also stream it on Disney+.

9. American Pop - Immerse Yourself in the Artistry of 80s Animation (1981)

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

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. 

American Pop is available on Bluray, DVD, and digital download on Amazon. You can also stream the movie on the Roku Channel and Pluto TV for free. 

10.Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown - Embark on a Thrilling Animated Adventure (1977)

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

"Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown" is an animated film featuring the beloved Peanuts characters, directed by Bill Melendez and released in 1977. The story follows Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang as they embark on a wilderness adventure at a summer camp, Camp Remote. The friends face various challenges, including river rafting and a fierce competition against a rival camp. Amidst the humor and camaraderie, the film explores themes of friendship, courage, and teamwork. As the Peanuts gang navigates the wild terrain, audiences are treated to a heartwarming tale that captures the essence of Charles Schulz's iconic comic strip characters. 

The film brims with memorable moments, but the captivating opening sequence, showcasing artistic prowess, evokes tranquility. Its charming visuals and mood set the tone, drawing viewers into a delightful storytelling world. Listen for yourself.

 Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown is available on DVD. You can also stream it on Paramount Plus or on YouTube for free

Recognize any cherished '80s or '90s animated gems on this list? Curious about your favorites or any must-add cartoons from that era. Drop your recommendations in the comments!
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.