Animation Films Perfect for Both Adults and Kids

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One of the best parts about having children is legitimately having an excuse to relive your childhood by playing endless board games and running around parks with reckless abandon. However, there is one children’s activity that needs no excuse for adults to indulge in – animated cinema.

Of course, some films are purely designed for critters, with inane storylines, over-the-top acting and slapstick comedy. On the other hand, there are a whole host of animation films whose plots actually hold water, capable of producing a genuine emotional reaction and of having an adult audience in stitches with multi-layered jokes which fly over the little ones’ heads.

Here are ten of the best animated efforts guaranteed to have parent and child equally enraptured from start to finish.

Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995)

Arguably where it all began, ‘Toy Story’ is one of the first examples of a modern animation film done to perfection. Of course, Disney has almost a century’s worth of material which it can point to prior to the release of ‘Toy Story’, but its inaugural collaboration with Pixar paved the way for a whole new way of making animated films that would delight audiences of all ages for years to come.

Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003)

‘Finding Nemo’ is surely high on everyone’s list of favourite kids’ films, and it’s easy to see why with this adorable tale of the tiny fish who could. Separated from an overly-doting father, gammy-finned Nemo must use all of his infant intelligence to make friends with a whole host of wacky characters and find his way home.

Monsters, Inc. (Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich, 2001)

Taking the ingenuous idea of a scare factory, where children’s screams are harvested by monsters to create energy, ‘Monsters, Inc.’ is laced with adult jokes throughout. Not to mention, of course, the thinly-veiled comparison with today’s growing energy crisis, either.

Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, 2009)

If you can watch the first ten minutes of ‘Up’ without a frog forming in your throat, you have no heart. Luckily, the film gets better after that – much better. Talking dogs? Crazy eccentric explorers? Colourful exotic birds? A house that flies via the force of balloons? And, most importantly, a crotchety and curmudgeonly old man? Don’t mind if I do!

Despicable Me (Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, 2010)

The idea of an inept super-villain is endearing enough in itself, and Steve Carell brings Gru to life his with his trademark charm. But of course, what really makes this film stand out is the incomprehensible babble and mischievous antics of the little yellow people which do his bidding.

Minions (Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, 2015)

Speaking of which, the loveable little rogues are so enchanting that they’ve earned themselves a spin-off of their own, which you can watch at Cineworld this June. Who doesn’t love a minion? Watch them scrabble over a banana without breaking a smile – it’s literally impossible!

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Steve Box, Nick Park) 2005

Claymation is so hot right now. Fans of the ‘Wallace and Gromit’ series will remember earlier efforts involving the hapless pair in 30 minutes-long shorts. As of 2005, they were given their own feature film, but unlike Wallace’s beloved Wensleydale, this is one plot which isn’t full of holes.

Shaun the Sheep (Mark Burton, Richard Starzak, 2015)

Another claymation series which made the leap to the big screen, ‘Shaun the Sheep’ premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA, as well as cinemas around the globe. Like Gromit, Shaun never deigns to utter his thoughts to the camera, but expressive eye-work and madcap capers allow him to forge a bond with viewers both young and old.

Ice Age (Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha, 2002)

The droll voice of Ray Romano’s Manny combines expertly with the twitchy zaniness of John Leguizamo’s Sid and the fierce loyalty of Denis Leary’s Diego to create unlikely chemistry between three of the cuddliest prehistoric beasts you could imagine. Once again, however, the show is stolen by an accident-prone mute, Scrat, as he scrambles to bury his nuts in the snow (mind out of the gutter, you).

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993)

Perhaps more honestly classified as an adult’s film which kids can enjoy too, Christmas is given the Tim Burton treatment in this weirdly mesmerising tale of a rogue Halloween ghoul who decides to kidnap Santa Claus. Expect breath-taking visuals and excellent dialogue in among all the juvenile jokes.

There are plenty of grown-up-friendly kid films these days, thankfully. But which is your favourite?

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This post was sponsored and in partnership with *Cineworld