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11 Best Animated Movies On Amazon Prime [December 2021]

Everyone can agree that an animated feature-length film is something special. Just imagine all the work that goes into producing a film roughly 90 minutes long or more in which every setting, character, and detail had to be created from scratch. Debuting and developing almost in tandem with live-action filmmaking, animation has impressed and thrilled for decades, be it a movie made with hand-drawn cel-style animation, stop-motion and manipulation of physical objects, or the uncannily realistic tools of CGI.

Long and widely thought of as kid stuff, animation transcends labeling and pigeonholing, and films made with ink, pen, paint, clay, and computers can be for everyone. Amazon's Prime Video service offers a large catalog of animated movies of various styles, tastes, and audience levels, with cartoon tales just waiting to delight viewers raging in age from toddlerhood to advanced adulthood. Here are the most exceptional animated movies currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Updated on December 6, 2021: Amazon often adds and removes offerings from Prime Video, so we'll update this list regularly to account for the comings and goings. Make sure to check back next month for more animated treasures.

The Adventures of Mark Twain

In the 1980s, Will Vinton and Will Vinton Studios popularized claymation, a style of animation in which plasticine figures are posed and photographed thousands of times to create the illusion of movement. After foisting the California Raisins on the world, Vinton created a full-length, fantastical — and darkly surreal — tale about the existential journey of 19th-century American author, humorist, and celebrity Mark Twain. 

"The Adventures of Mark Twain" finds a clay version of Twain fed up with humanity's cruelty and bad behavior, and he decides to take a hot air balloon into space and crash into Halley's Comet. Preventing his death are stowaways from Twain's most famous books, among them Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, who take the author through time and space on a series of enlightening and troubling adventures to reconnect him with the inspirations for his writings. It's a trip for Twain and the viewer.

  • Starring: James Whitmore, Chris Ritchie, Michele Mariana
  • Director: Will Vinton
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Astro Boy

"Astro Boy" was so fondly remembered as a black-and-white 1960s cartoon — one imported to the U.S. from Japan — that it received a big-screen remake and some sprucing up with CGI. The movie maintains the fun and energy of the TV series while ramping up the excitement and effects in a superhero movie the whole family can enjoy. 

Set in the future in the technological utopia of Metro City, a Geppetto-like scientist named Tenma builds a Pinocchio-like robot kid named Astro Boy, outfitting him with the powers of flight, X-ray vision, and ultra-strength. He's also far more thoughtful and empathetic than the many other robots who keep Metro City humming, and Astro Boy — a conscious link between man and machine — must grapple with the nature of existence in addition to helping save his hometown from ruin.

  • Starring: Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Eugene Levy
  • Director: David Bowers
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Bebe's Kids

Probably the most famous routine from stand-up comedian Robin Harris was a bit about trying to romance a woman. He offers to take her and her son to an amusement park, only for the hilariously ill-mannered children of a woman named Bebe to tag along and bring chaos on Harris, his date, and everyone else in the vicinity. In 1992, the routine was expanded and adapted into a full-length, R-rated cartoon, which does justice to Harris' evocative comedy and really makes the unbelievable story come alive. Harris (voiced by Faizon Love) escorts his lady friend, Jamika, her kid, and the four hellacious, borderline evil children of Bebe to the Disneyland-like Fun World, where they tear up the place, wrecking rides and putting the public in danger.

  • Starring: Faizon Love, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Wayne Collins
  • Director: Bruce W. Smith
  • Year: 1992
  • Runtime: 72 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36%

Clifford's Really Big Movie

Norman Bridwell's many storybooks about Clifford the Big Red Dog have proven irresistible to millions of children, their attention captured by the image of a house-sized canine colored a deep shade of scarlet and the promise of the adventure and awkward situations he finds himself in. Clifford also happens to be very friendly and absolutely adoring of his human family, particularly young Emily Elizabeth. 

A spinoff and finale to PBS Kids' "Clifford the Big Red Dog" series, "Clifford's Really Big Movie" allows the pooch to speak, but in this adventure, the stakes are high. After overhearing a conversation about the presumably staggering cost of feeding such a giant dog, Clifford feels guilty and joins a carnival, intending to win a contest where the prize is free food for life. The dog runs away and joins this circus, where he easily becomes the star, but then that sweetheart gets homesick and will do anything to get back to Emily Elizabeth.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson always brings a distinctive style, panache, and vibe to his movies, and he doesn't even have to use in-the-flesh actors to get the look, feel, and sound he's after. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is elegant and playful, warm on plot and cool in execution, and it's Anderson's first foray into strikingly lush stop-motion animation. It's an interpretation of Roald Dahl's classic tale of the crafty and nattily dressed Mr. Fox, who returns to the wily fox ways he abandoned when he started a family in order to raid, heist-style, the food-rich farms of some encroaching humans. He's unsuccessful, and his plots affect his standing in the animal community, forcing Mr. Fox to act even more fox-like to save himself, his family, and critter friends from starvation and homelessness.

  • Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Gnomeo and Juliet

"Romeo and Juliet" — William Shakespeare's iconic play about star-crossed, ill-fated teenage romance — has been adapted into other media dozens of times, but it's never been done quite like "Gnomeo and Juliet." What's that, you ask? Well, it's a CGI-animated movie about forbidden love among magical, mythical creatures that, unlike its inspiration, is quite silly and has a happy ending. 

Wryly set in Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon, neighbors Mr. Montague and Miss Capulet constantly bicker about who boasts the superior flower garden. This rivalry extends to the garden gnome statues in both yards, which, "Toy Story"-style, come to life when people aren't around. That's all challenged when Gnomeo and Juliet, representing rival gnome factions, strike up a romance.

  • Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine
  • Director: Kelly Asbury
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" was first published in the 1720s, and it was praised as a wry satire of human behavior. The centuries smoothed out the harder edges by the 1900s, when the book was perceived as a children's story, a literal tall tale about Lemuel Gulliver, an academic and explorer who travels to many odd and magical lands. The most notable of these places is Lilliput, a medieval-type kingdom where the residents are tiny, while Gulliver is a giant. He comes to be the champion of the Lilliputians and to protect them against the aggressive, invading (also tiny) residents of the rival kingdom of Blefuscu. When the classic, well-known story became a full-length film with sound for the first time in 1939, it also made history as one of the first animated features ever made. This "Gulliver's Travels," lushly animated with now-primitive technology, has stood the test of time, with especially fluid character movements, expressive faces, and beautifully drawn backgrounds.

  • Starring: Sam Parker, Lanny Ross, Jessica Dragonette
  • Director: Dave Fleischer
  • Year: 1939
  • Runtime: 76 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Henry and Me

"Henry and Me" is an independently produced and distributed animated feature that not only looks like it could've come from the heralded Walt Disney animation houses of the mid-20th century, but it celebrates that period of history too, particularly because it was a golden age of baseball. This was when the New York Yankees dominated the sport with legends who are still household names, and those athletes of yore factor prominently in "Henry and Me."

Jack, a Yankees superfan, is diagnosed with cancer, and his condition rapidly deteriorates. Convinced he's dying, he goes under surgical anesthesia, where he's escorted by a guardian angel in the guise of Henry, a Yankees executive, who takes him to an idealized realm where all the Yankees greats are alive and actively playing. Jack gets to meet and compete with the likes of Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Thurman Munson, all of which seems to help improve his health back in the real world.

  • Starring: Richard Gere, Austin Williams, Chazz Palminteri
  • Director: Barrett Esposito
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 67 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

The Little Prince

"Le Petit Prince," or "The Little Prince," is one of the most widely read books in history. Written by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery, it's an inspiring yet heartbreaking novella — a collection of stories about a painfully lonely little boy who lives on a tiny planet all by himself and travels through space, trying to connect with others. In the book, the Prince has crashed on Earth and conveys his stories to an aviator, and that framing device is given another layer in animator Mark Osborne's beautiful, lyrical, delicate adaptation. In this "The Little Prince," the aviator tells his stories to a young woman who lives next door, and her childhood sense of wonder returns the more she hears and the more she imagines, all as reality and fanciful storytelling blur and blend on-screen.

  • Starring: Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Benicio del Toro
  • Director: Mark Osborne
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Megamind

With all the overpowered beings saving lowly humans from destruction at the hands of equally overcharged mega-villains, superhero stories are like a non-religious, modern-day American mythology. Like any other thoroughly ingrained cultural or literary tradition, those superhero stories need to be deconstructed, analyzed, parodied, and looked at from another point of view sometimes, and that's where "Megamind" enters the picture. 

It's a tale of superhero vs. supervillain, but it's told from the point of view — and sympathetically at that — of the bad guy. Megamind is a genius archvillain (as his name would imply), but he's no match for the physical heroics of city-saving Metro Man. Well, at least until he actually does beat him, sending our antihero into a real funk of an existential crisis, so much so that he devises a new adversary ... one who quickly veers out of Megamind's control.

  • Starring: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey
  • Director: Tom McGrath
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

The Secret of NIMH

"The Secret of Nimh," based on Robert C. O'Brien's popular kids novel "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH," is a tale of adventure and an intense struggle for survival, told through the eyes of mice and rats and brought to life by longtime Disney animator turned competitor Don Bluth. In the movie, Mrs. Brisby lives on a farm with her children, including Timothy, a mouse too ill to move even as plows threaten their home. Looking for help, Mrs. Brisby gets wrapped up with a secret society of wise rats, who tell her that her late husband had been part of a scientific experiment that made him — and this coterie of rodents — supernaturally intelligent. The group now resides in a utopian society on the farm and plot a move to a place where they won't have to rely on human handouts — but not if a violent rogue element has anything to say about it.

  • Starring: Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi, Dom DeLuise
  • Director: Don Bluth
  • Year: 1982
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%