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The Top 5 Animated Films of 2014

All month long, you’ve been bombarded by recommendations for Christmas films to watch, and that’s all well and good, but now Christmas is here and soon you’ll be turning to the best films of the year to cram in that best-of, year-end goodness. Well, these are my Top 5 animated films released in (America) in 2014. I have a kid, which means I’ll be watching these over and over and over and over again in 2015, but at least with these 5 films, I’ll be happy about it.

Wind 1
1. The Wind Rises
An incredibly moving swan song from Hayao Miyazaki about Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, the creator of the A-6M World War II fighter plane. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s performance as Horikoshi is pitch perfect, and the sound design – using human sounds for machines — adds a level of soul to the film that is undeniable. Read our full review.

Ernest & Celestine

2. Ernest & Celestine
An Academy Award-nominated English dub of this charming French film about the unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse. Despite her size, Celestine takes no guff, stands up for herself and speaks her mind. Great movie for people raising “mighty girls.”
Book of Life
3. The Book of Life

This movie, produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge Gutierrez, is simply a banquet for your eyes. It’s so beautiful, I felt as though I had to hold my hand over my heart to protect it. Desperately waiting for the Blu-Ray release so I can watch it over and over again and catch every granule of gorgeous detail.


4. The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
An incredible fairy tale from Isao Takahata — the art on this is so vibrant and rough and lovely. I mean, for that alone, I loved this picture. I wish it had been in wide release, especially since it’s one of Studio Ghibli’s last releases for a while.
Arendelle Travel Poster
5. Frozen Sing-A-Long
Look, I can’t explain why I seem to be the only parent who is NOT tired of this movie. And I get it, it seems like this release is just another way for us to spend more money on this juggernaut, but here in Los Angeles, the El Capitan (our Disney movie theatre) did these sing-a-longs, and it was, dare I say it… magical to hear a full movie theatre sing “Arendelle’s in deep, deep deep deep… snow…” (I can’t tell you what it sounded like when everyone sang “Let It Go” because I was too busy sounding just like Idina Menzel… I bet.)
Those are our favorites of 2014 – what were yours?

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  1. KamikazePlatypus says:

    Oh for fuck’s sake, how can you pick Frozen over HTTYD2, The Lego Movie, and Big Hero 6. Frozen came out in 2013. Putting the Sing-a-long as a separate movie just so you can add it to the list is cheating. Leave that open for more worthy movies…

  2. Garik Loran says:

    Your title is misleading.  It should say,  “My top 5 animated movies of 2014.” 

    • JimJIMjam says:

      ^this. I feel the same way. I thought this was gonna be based on something besides the personal opinions of the staff.

  3. Haley says:

    The Wind Rises was so good! Princess Kaguya is on my list but was so limited in release around my area, I think I missed it

  4. Irene says:

    I nominate The Boxtrolls!

  5. samsam says:

    Forgot Rocks In My Pockets.

  6. Allyson says:

    Is this list supposed to be a joke? Because the fact that “Frozen Sing Along” was listed over The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2, or Big Hero Six is absolutely ridiculous. I look forward to never reading any articles by Kristen again.

  7. Matt Rzepka says:

    You’re missing Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea, which is in limited release at the moment so technically it’s in 2014 🙂 His first movie, the Secret of Kells, was fantastic and this looks to be just as good 🙂

  8. Ulysses says:

    How do you not have the Lego Movie or Big Hero 6?

  9. Dreamer says:

    I can’t read the titles?

  10. Erin says:

    Frozen came out in 2013 actually! although its popularity sure has continued into 2014 so it’s not really that out of place in this list haha. 

    • Jim says:

      With the exception of the Book of Life, all of the films on this list came out before 2013. Ernest and Celestistine was actually out in 2012. Perhaps this refers to home release.

  11. Taelus says:

    Just a heads up that movie titles and links are showing up as white text on a white background.  Not sure which was meant to be different.