There’s something about animated films, they not only look beautiful but also leave us with a smile and some tears. I’ve grown up watching animated fantasy dramas, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to stop, anytime soon – no matter how much of a kid they make me look like. Mostly, these films have themes that have a deeper meaning, without being preachy.
And with time, animations have evolved into being more inclusive and sensible with their stories and portrayals. Which is just another reason to love them more.
Here are some animated films from the recent years that will definitely make your heart happy:
1. Turning Red
The film addresses everything from intergenerational trauma and the constant need to seek validation from our parents to well, the chaotic time of puberty. Turning Red does so, while bringing in elements that are too relatable – like a boy band that’s every teenager’s favourite. It aims at viewing parenting from a different angle and also focuses on the need to find oneself.
2. Ron’s Gone Wrong
This good-natured, heartfelt film is a take on the modern-digital world we live in. It revolves around the time in kids’ lives where they struggle with being the best among the lot – while also addressing the repercussions of social media. It doesn’t dismiss the need to rely on social media and tech, but puts emphasis on appreciating the people and things that make us happy.
Pixar’s Soul looks at the meaning of life, with deeper thought. It tries to prove that life is more than just a competition that we win or lose. The film stresses on the need to enjoy the little moments in life, because they’re what actually matters ‘in the end’. Soul also talks about dreams and how it’s never too soon or too late to realize what we want.
Encanto not only finely depicts the Columbian roots, but also does so with utmost beauty – while bringing in the fantasy of magical realism. The major theme of the film revolves around ‘fitting in’ and the pressure of being a certain image of oneself, because that’s how our families or society perceive us. Without being preachy, the film teaches us to love ourselves and keep finding what we want.
5. The Mitchells VS The Machines
The film shows us realistic dysfunctional families, exactly the kind we wish to see, because we can relate to them. It also addresses emotions like wanting to grow out of a space, as we grow up. Not only that, the film is a sweet and salty take on parenting which leaves us with a thought that love and care can be flawed but, they only come from a sweet spot.
Luca is about more than just Luca, the character – it’s also about friendship, overcoming one’s fears and acceptance. All of these themes are not only infused in the titular character, but also among other characters, whom we fall in love with. The film focuses on the need to learn and gather knowledge – the kind that not only comes from books but also while exploring oneself.
7. Raya and the Last Dragon
Raya and the Last Dragon is a typical new-age Disney adventure that you cannot not fall in love with. This animated fantasy drama is about grief and everything that comes while we learn to grow around it. The film also revolves around betrayal and what it takes to build trust, all over again. And, the journey that focuses on finding our inner happiness.
8. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
If you love SpongeBob, you already love the film. It’s full of quirks and the kind of comic relief, you’d expect from it. But, the film is also about friendship and the need to have the people that we love, by our sides. It is full of adventures and the vibe definitely matches our favourite cartoon. And, all of this, while reminding us to keep reminding our people that we love them.
Onward is another Pixar creation, that will leave you with a sense of happiness. As soon as the film ends, you cannot really tone down the smile or the emotions because that’s what it is full of. It is about the void that comes with grief and how it’s only us who can choose to ‘move on’ from it. The film also focuses on bonds within the family, that we might take for granted.
I’ll go, bawl like a baby.