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11 Best Animated Movies On Amazon Prime

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. 

Updated on April 3, 2023: Here are the most exceptional animated movies currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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%

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.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Based on the fantastical classic children's book by Judi and Ron Barrett about food that randomly falls from the sky, the minds behind the "The Lego Movie" made a ridiculously silly sci-fi comedy out of the concept. In the dystopian town of Swallow Falls, the only available food is gross sardines, but local wacky scientist Flint Lockwood builds a miraculous invention that can convert water into food. It's then blasted into the sky, and Swallow Falls is beset by storms of delicious treats. But because Flint's inventions never quite work out, his food-maker doesn't either, and before long, the town will be covered in giant edible precipitation if the scientist can't figure out how to reverse his actions.

Ghost in the Shell

There are many dark, dystopian films in the anime tradition that take place in a future where technology has run wild, allowing for the rise of an overreaching police state and blurred lines between man and machine. Most, if not all, of those movies made post-1995 owe a debt to "Ghost in the Shell," Mamoru Oshii's masterful, transfixing version of Masamune Shirow's comic. The film available on Amazon Prime Video is "Ghost in the Shell 2.0," a careful remastering personally led by Oshii and made from the original mid-'80s prints. "Ghost in the Shell" is set in the once far off year of 2029, where cyborgs live among people and both forms of life can connect their brains to the internet. Motoko Kusanagi, an officer in a secret cyber-crime police force, desperately tries to hunt down a mysterious criminal known only as the Puppet Master, a hacker who taps into cyborg brains' so as to carry out his nefarious bidding.

  • Starring: Mimi Woods, Abe Lasser, Richard George
  • Director: Mamoru Oshii
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania

In addition to his many silly live-action comedies with a decidedly adult bent, Adam Sandler helped create and popularize a franchise of movies just as wacky as his usual stuff, only brightly animated, made with a family-friendly audience in mind, and about familiar monsters and supernatural beings. 

In the first "Hotel Transylvania," Count Dracula welcomes friends like the Mummy and the Invisible Man to his spooky resort, only for a human named Johnny to accidentally show up and fall in love with the vampire's daughter, Mavis. After a couple more adventures, the "Hotel Transylvania" monster gang is back (albeit without Sandler in the lead role) in the direct-to-Prime feature "Transformania," once again dealing with the uneasy relationship between humans and monsters. Legendary monster hunter Van Helsing devises an invention that turns Dracula and the other monsters into humans and regular guy Johnny into a monster, making for a wild switcheroo and a scramble to undo the effects, lest the transformation permanently take effect.

  • Starring: Brian Hull, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg
  • Director: Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

The Lorax

A little bit of sweetness helps the medicine go down, and so the film adaptation of "The Lorax," Dr. Seuss' poignant fable about environmental responsibility, is a brightly-colored, action-packed, and somewhat ridiculous romp. In the barren and manufactured city of Thneedville, a kid named Ted gets a crush on a kid named Audrey. To win her love, he must obtain a rare and special tree. That puts him into contact with the greedy and decidedly non-green businessman who made Thneedville so bleak in the first place. It also teams him up with an adorably blunt and mustachioed guardian of the forest known as the Lorax.

  • Starring: Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift
  • Director: Chris Renaud
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants

"Valley of the Lost Ants" is a feature-length spinoff of "Minuscule," a popular, lighthearted French TV series about the daily lives of insects. Like the show, the film is dialogue-free. This makes it a physical comedy that washes over the viewer, engrossing them in the fascinating realm of bugs. These creepy-crawlies are CGI-animated against footage of real nature settings, which makes for splendid visuals. The plot is just as good: A ladybug teams up with ants to procure a box of sugar cubes, only to engage in a war with a squadron of mean red ants, who also want the sweet stuff.

Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown and his band of "Peanuts" frenemies travel a long way from their quiet, small-town neighborhood in "Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown." This feature-length adventure movie is as exciting as it is gentle. Charlie Brown's contingent all go to the same summer camp in the mountains, and hurriedly prepare for an annual river rapids race against the undefeated bad kids who will do whatever it takes to win. To lead his friends to victory — and safety — good ol' Charlie Brown will have to dig deep and find confidence, as well as evade the bullies' many dangerous acts of sabotage.

  • Starring: Duncan Watson, Greg Felton, Stuart Brotman
  • Directors: Bill Melendez and Phil Roman
  • Year: 1977
  • Runtime: 72 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

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%

Shark Tale

It was a tall order, but the makers of "Shark Tale" somehow created a mob movie for kids, one that's way more fun than its Rotten Tomatoes score would indicate. Set in an underwater society where fish and sea creatures talk, interact, and commit unspeakable crimes, "Shark Tale" uses a lot of big-name celebrity voices and fish puns to present a harrowing, ridiculously "Goodfellas"-esque story. 

A criminal underling of a shark named Frankie accidentally dies, inspiring a tiny fish named Oscar to shoot his shot and act like the tough guy he's always wanted to be. Oscar teams up with Frankie's scaredy-fish brother and convinces their community that he bravely killed Frankie. The story takes off, Oscar becomes much more highly regarded, but Frankie's father, crime boss Don Lino, hears it too, prompting him to order a hit on the suddenly much more fearful Oscar.

  • Starring: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zewllweger
  • Director: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The first "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie adapted one of history's most popular video game series into a fun sci-fi adventure built around a wisecracking rodent from space. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" picks up where the first one left off, delivering more comedy, eye-popping action, and a state-of-the-art CGI-live action blend, which makes everything look and feel like an outrageous cartoon. After being banished to a mushroom planet, Dr. Robotnik comes into possession of a huge emerald boasting enormous power. He's going to use it, and a wicked echidna named Knuckles, against Sonic and his sidekick, Tails. Will our heroes win the day — or will Dr. Robotnik reign supreme?

  • Starring: Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden
  • Director: Jeff Fowler
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%