9 Animated Films You Forgot About
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9 Animated Films You Forgot About

If you're in the mood for a break, these hidden gems are sure to help you unwind.

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9 Animated Films You Forgot About
Wikimedia Commons

If you're at all like me, you're in need of a little levity after everything which has happened in the past few weeks. Here are nine animated movies you might have forgotten about to help you take a break and ease your mind

1. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

While this may not be the most lighthearted of movies (in fact it's been called one of Disney's darkest films), the animation is incredible. From the stained windows of Notre Dame to the haunting "Hellfire" sequence, "Hunchback" provides a visually stunning movie to partner with the fabulous soundtrack. Aside from being one of Disney's darkest films, "Hunchback" is also one of Disney's more socially relevant films, as it touches lightly on the persecution and genocide of Romani travelers and corruption among authority figures. In other words, if you'd forgotten about "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," it might be time for a refresher.

2. "The Emperor's New Groove"

All Disney movies have a little something for their older viewers here and there, but it's almost as though "The Emperor's New Groove" was written with sarcastic teenage babysitters specifically in mind. This movie is full to the gills of scathing humor and rapid fire jokes, and it features the hilarious David Spade as the emperor-turned-llama. In the end, "The Emperor's New Groove" is a story about learning to put others first and what it means to be a friend, but it strays from the conventional Disney route to get there. It should be on your list if for no other reason than the talking squirrel scene (you'll thank me later). This movie is sure to make you laugh until you cry and is a definite favorite for taking time to unwind.

3. "Anastasia"

You may not have forgotten "Anastasia" with much of the hype surrounding its recent stage adaptation. Nevertheless, it should go high on your list of under appreciated animation. The incredibly lifelike characters and stunning animation in "Anastasia" (that part where the train explodes? Come on!) are some of the best parts of the movie, along with the incredible soundtrack (how about Aaliyah on that closing number?) and plot loosely inspired by the story of the real Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. Few people know that many of the sequences in "Anastasia" used an animating technique similar to motion-capture techniques used in modern computer animation, meaning Anastasia and her cohorts were drawn over real people. This coming of age story is as heartwarming as it is side-splitting, and absolutely deserves its spot among the best forgotten movies for regaining sanity.

4. "Prince of Egypt"

Come on now. This movie was easily the best Bible story-turned-movie of all time (That's right, "Veggie Tales," I'm looking at you). The awe-inspiring animation (if the pillars of fire didn't scare the pants off you, you're lying), a cast featuring the likes of Sandra Bullock, Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell, an Oscar-winning closing song performed by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, the Egyptians and Hebrews actually being drawn as brown people; "Prince of Egypt" had it all. The plot takes considerable liberties with the original story of Moses from the Bible, but the added detail and twists make the movie all the more engaging. Dreamworks did humanity a favor with "Prince of Egypt."

5. "Hercules"

Now, "Hercules" may not exactly be under appreciated or forgotten, but it's on this list for no other reason than it is an excellent movie. The Muses are perhaps the best narrators in the Disney universe and it's worth the watch if only for Danny Devito's voice as the hero training seder, Phil. The fabulous characters are matched only by the incredible score. "Zero to Hero" will be stuck in your head for a solid week, "Gospel Truth" and all its reprises will have you dancing in your seat, and "Go the Distance" is a triumphant tear jerker perfect for when you're in need of a little motivation. "Hercules" may be the least under appreciated or forgotten movie on this list, but it's certainly one of the best.

6. "Oliver and Company"

"Oliver and Company" is precious. An updated take on characters from Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist," the movie follows a stray kitten in New York City as he meets a gang of strays and their owner, pick-pocketing Fagin, and gets tangled in Fagin's debt to the loan shark Mr. Sykes. Along the way Oliver meets the street smart terrier Dodger, the overly macho chihuahua Tito, the stuck up poodle Georgette, and Jenny, the little girl who adopts him. With music by Huey Lewis, Barry Manilow and Ruben Blades, and the vocal talents of Cheech Marin, Bette Middler and Billy Joel, the movie and it's soundtrack are a hidden gem in Disney's plethora of animated films. And at just under an hour, "Oliver and Company" is a perfect pick-me-up on day when you just need to see some talking animals.

7. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire"

"Atlantis" is another of Disney's highly underrated films, due largely to its status as one of Disney's early attempts at a non-musical, animated adventure movie. While the movie may skimp on character development and plot details, it more than makes up for it with the film's colorful band of explorers and its bright, clean animation in the visual style of animator Mike Mignola. The film's exciting journey to a new underwater world is one of Disney's most simple and most enjoyable, and the score by James Newton Howard is haunting and beautiful. Watch if for no other reason than the incredibly badass princess-ing of Kidagakash and the late Leonard Nimoy's voicing of her father Kashekim Nedakh.

8. "Wall-E"

It's incredibly difficult to pull of a movie with almost no dialogue, but Pixar managed the impossible with "Wall-E." The tiny robot programmed to clean up an earth destroyed by humans will steal your heart in his first five minutes onscreen, and his love for EVE and their quest to bring humanity to earth again is one of the most touching stories ever to be communicated with no words. We get to watch two unintentionally sentient robots try to figure out their purpose and find one another in the process. While the social commentary on American consumerism can seem a bit forced at times, the film also creates a sense of nostalgia toward the inhabitable earth and an urge to protect it. Overall, "Wall-E" does an excellent job and is certainly one of Pixar's best and most underscore coated films.

9. "Sword in the Stone"

Last, but certainly not least, "Sword in the Stone" is perhaps one of Disney's best animated films. It tells the story of a young King Arthur and his training with Merlin the wizard. Merlin's knowledge of the future, while sometimes causing confusion, prompts him to train Arthur to be a king worthy of pulling Excalibur from the stone, creating one of Disney's most complex and philosophical plots and teaching the importance of foresight and knowledge over physical strength. The animation in "Sword in the Stone" is also some of the best of the sixties and is stunning even in 2016. Highly underrated and often forgotten, "Sword in the Stone" will leave you feeling better than when you started and deserves a place high on your list of excellent animation.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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