Table of Contents
25 retro cartoons that made the 80s & 90s awesome
9. The Real Ghostbusters
First up, shout out to the recently deceased Harold Ramis who played Dr Egon Spengler, one of the four ghostbusters from the movie of the same name – may his soul rest in peace. The Real Ghostbusters, like many cartoons during its time like Robocop , Police Academy, Karate Kid, etc, was based on a popular movie franchise. Only difference was that the bad guys the Ghostbusters were hunting down with their proton guns were mostly already dead and in the spirit world. Same as the movie, the cartoon had one of the coolest theme songs ever, and we’re sure you boogied to it at some awkward school dance event. But what’s really worth remembering is some of the fun but spooky toys this series produced, especially those monster figurines that oozed ectoplasm.
They had “wings of silver and nerves of steel”, as the campy theme song goes. Well, whatever the creator of this series was high on, we’d like some. The story basically revolves around a team of space heroes with bionic bodies cased in full-body metal armor with a retractible protective mask, retractible wings, and laser-weapons to fight organized crime in the Galaxy of Limbo. You would probably remember playing with Silverhawks figurines where you pressed their legs together to make their silver wings pop out from the sides.
BraveStarr was a “space western” cartoon, combining both sci-fi and western genres and maybe a predecessor of sci-fi westerns like Wild Wild West and Cowboys & Aliens. The story’s title character, BraveStarr, is a Galactic Marshall stationed on the planet “New Texas”. He is also a Native American who can call upon “spirit animal” powers such as “Eyes of the Hawk” (super- vision), “Ears of the Wolf” (super-hearing) , “Strength of the Bear (super-strength ) and “Speed of the Puma” (super-speed). Together with his trusty horse, Thirty Thirty, who can transform to walk on two legs and wield a giant energy rifle, Bravestarr and his friends fight against evil villain Tex Hex who has his own formidable powers, including teleportation, energy bolts, and shape-shifting. Despite the rather original and creative story, the toys that were marketed in line with this cartoon weren’t too exciting.
12. Bionic Six
Bionic Six are a “super future family” of machine-enhanced humans, each given unique powers after being physically enhanced with bionic technology, similar to The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Each member of the family not only has a unique power, but a distinctive though somewhat stereotypical personality to go with it. For example, Jack Bennet aka Bionic-1, the overachieving alpha male team leader and father, is an engineer and energy test pilot who enjoys gourmet cooking, even taking part in the Paris Food Conference while the team’s real children consist of the typical athletic jock Eric Bennet aka Sport-1 and ditzy teen Meg Bennet aka Rock-1(who looks like Meg Ryan). The family is also interestingly multiracial, with team leader Jack having both an adopted African-American son, who’s empowered with super strength and a Japanese foster son, who is a super-skilled martial arts expert. The powers they’re given also fit with their individual persona, for example, daughter Meg Bennet who loves music, can emit sonic beams. The show has one of our favorite theme songs, but the toys were not very memorable.
13. Care Bears
Furry, friendly and adorable, the Care Bears are a group of multi-coloured bears, who guide small children and protect them from evil, sort of like guardian angels. They live in a caring kingdom called Care-a-lot. Instead of death rays, the Care Bears are armed with the “Care Bear Stare” in which the Bears can stand together and emit light from their cute tummy symbols, which form a ray of love that brings joy and “caring” into their target’s heart. The Care Bear characters were originally created by American Greetings in 1981 for use on greeting cards. But they soon spawned not just a cartoon but a line of cute cuddly plush toys still sold today that are not just great for children but can be also be a sweet Valentine’s day gift for that special someone.
14. My Little Pony
This was another franchise that produced cute toys, mainly marketed to girls. The ponies have colorful bodies, manes and a unique symbol on one or both sides of their bodies called “cutie marks”. The interesting thing about this cartoon was it had a second segment unrelated to the ponies that featured The Glo Friends, MoonDreamers and the Potato Head Kids. As for the cartoon’s main characters, the Little Ponies live a peaceful life of song and games in Ponyland, which is a mystical place that’s home to all manner of magical creatures. The Ponies find themselves often fighting against the not so peaceful beings in their kingdom including witches, goblins and trolls that try to harm, enslave or destroy them. But why would any one want to destroy these cute beings with colourful sparkly hair that you could comb all day?
Today, when you hear the name Jem, you probably would think of the faltering shopping mall in Jurong East. But in the 80s, Jem was the lead singer of girl group, the Holograms, in a cartoon simply titled Jem. The alter-ego of Jerrica Benton, owner of Starlight Music and a foster home for girls known as “Starlight House”, Jem transforms into her rockstar self by touching her special “Jemstar earrings”, which are powered by Synergy, a powerful computer with holographic capabilities. Most of the series centres around Jerrica hiding her Jem identity from others, especially her long-time boyfriend, Rio Pacheco. Like many young aspiring stars in the real world, Jerrica keeps her life compartmentalized and even gets jealous of Jem, her own self-created alter ego. Jem also has to compete with rival girl rock band The Misfits, whose lead singer Pizzazz is also trying to steal Jem’s boyfriend. Due to the rising success and popularity of MTV during this era, the Jem series also contained 187 music videos with 151 unique songs, propelling it to become the #1 Nielsen rated syndicated cartoon show in November 1986. By 1987, it became the third most watched syndicated children’s program with 2.5 million viewers a week.
16. Alvin and The Chipmunks
There are some great retro cartoons out there that were made into awesome live action movies in recent years. We’re not sure if Alvin and The Chipmunks was one of them. But just like Jem, we loved this show for its singing characters. The storyline was also pretty straightforward and likable, following the musical exploits of the rambunctious singing Chipmunk trio led by the mischievous Alvin, in contrast to his taller, brainy brother Simon and his chubby, gluttonous brother Theodore. You probably would also remember their long-suffering, manager-father figure, David Seville, who always screams “ALVIN!!!!!!!”, whenever things go wrong with the Chipmunks. The cartoon also introduced a female version of the Chipmunks, called the Chipettes. The Chipmunks did covers of many popular songs during that time, and some of you might even recall buying some Chipmunk cassette tapes to play on your stereo.
17. Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers
This cartoon is about another set of very popular Chipmunks, Disney’s Chip ‘N’ Dale who were already famous since the 1940s playing antagonists to two other well-loved Disney characters in Pluto and Donald Duck. However, the 80s saw them getting revamped and made the title characters of a new show called Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, where the two chipmunks start a detective agency, Rescue Rangers, along with their friends Gadget, Monterey Jack, and Zipper. The pint-sized sleuths deal with crimes that are deemed “too small” for the regular police, taking on other animals as their clients, and going against villains like the Mafia-style tabby cat Fat Cat and mad scientist Norton Nimnul. The show’s conception was prompted by the success of Disney’s popular DuckTales series, which is the next cartoon on our list
The one thing we felt most like doing after watching Ducktales was take a dive into a giant vault filled with money and gold, the way the cartoon’s lead character Uncle Scrooge did in many episodes of this show. The show follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck, the richest duck in the world, and his three grandnephews, Huey, Dewey and Louise (who are also the nephews of Donald Duck), as they protect their granduncle’s fortune from being robbed by villains like Magica De Spell and the Beagle Boys. Scrooge is also constantly worried that his rival, industrialist Flintheart Glomgold, will unseat his position as richest duck in the world. Other memorable characters that play supporting roles in the show include Donald Duck, pilot Launchpad McQuack and inventor Gyro Gearloose.
19. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Cowabunga dude! This was probably one of the most popular cartoon series conceived in the 80s, running 10 seasons until 1996. Some of you might also remember the long queues outside cinemas islandwide to buy tickets to the franchise’s first feature film in 1990.
Operating from their hideout in the sewer, the Ninja Turtles are a team of four wise-cracking, pizza-chomping mutant heroes named after renaissance artists – Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo – who are trained to fight by their master Hamato Yoshi, who himself has mutated into a giant rat named Splinter.The shows main antagonists are Shredder and Krang, who’s this weird alien brain thingy living inside the abdomen of a humanoid host. One memorable characteristic of the show was the turtles’ heavy use of surfer lingo, which was popular at the time, with phrases like “bummer”, “dude”, “bogus”, “radical”, “far-out”, “tubuloso”, “bodacious”, and of course “cowabunga!” whenever they crashed in on the bad guys. Apart from fun toys, there were also video games and even snack foods produced based on the popular series, which ruled the world of children’s television before the rise of the Power Rangers era.
20. G.I Joe: A Real American Hero
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero was an animated cartoon series based on the successful toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. According to the show’s opening sequence, “G.I. Joe is the code name for America’s daring, highly-trained, Special Mission force. Its purpose: To defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world”. Each episode tended to focus on one individual G.I Joe Character, probably because the cartoon was a vehicle to market the over 500 action figures produced by Hasbro. Like many cartoons during that era, every episode ended with a public education segment that imparted tips to children about health, safety and good social behaviour, signing off with the tagline: “And knowing is half the battle”. Like Transformers, another successful Hasbro toyline, G.I. Joe was made into a hit movie for the big screen after the millennium.
This is probably the Mecca of all 80s cartoons, and the most successful translation of an 80s animated TV series into blockbuster feature films. “More than Meets the Eye” and “Robots in Disguise” are catchphrases that have become immortalised by this franchise’s continuing success some 30 years after it was first launched. The good robots were the Autobots led by Optimus Prime who battled the evil Decepticons led by Megatron. The best thing that came out of this cartoon series, apart from the movies, was the very awesome transforming robot toys, especially the special robot teams that could combine to form an even bigger more powerful robot – like the Constructicons (Devastator), the Combaticons (Bruticus), the Protectobots (Defensor) and the Aerialbots (Superion).
22. Challenge of the Gobots
Somewhere in the recesses of your mind, you probably might have stored some faint memories of this other transforming robot cartoon called Challenge of the Gobots. This cartoon was based on the Gobots toy-line released by Tonka. Similar to the Transformers, the Gobots consisted of two opposing forces of transforming robots from the planet GoBotron (like the Transformers’ Cybertron): the heroic Guardians and the evil Renegades. The funny thing about these robots is that they rarely used guns, instead shooting out blasts of energy through their fists. Although the Gobots hit store shelves five months before the Transformers did, the Gobots lost the war for children’s hearts and minds to the Transformers, which you can read about here. The retail war ended in 1991 with Hasbro, which produced the Transformers toyline, buying over Tonka, effectively ending the battle between the two robot franchises.
23. Spiderman and his Amazing Friends
We all know who Spiderman is thanks to the popular Marvel comics and movies, but only 80s kids will remember that he teamed up with the subzero ice blasting Iceman (who was an original X-man) and the microwave heat energy generating Firestar (another member of the X-men). Best part of this show was watching Iceman transform by encasing himself in a wall of ice before breaking out to complete his transformation, and then blasting these ice highways that he could skate on to go wherever he wanted to go. Spiderman’s amazing friends were so amazing that they probably stole the show from our web-slinging hero in this cartoon series.
24. The Smurfs
La la la la la la… was like an alarm clock every Sunday morning that told you it was time to get out of bed and watch The Smurfs! Created in Belgium, these cute blue creatures lived in mushrooms, wore white trousers with a hole for their short tails as well as a white hat. Most of the over 100 different smurfs looked similar, except for some that were dressed differently to emphasize unique personality traits such as Handy Smurf who wore overalls and a brimmed hat instead of the standard Smurf get-up. Most of the smurfs, led by Papa Smurf, were males, with a few exceptions like Smurfette and Nanny Smurf who were female. Some of the more memorable smurfs are Brainy Smurf, Baker Smurf and Jokey Smurf. Their biggest enemy was the evil wizard Gargamel who was always trying to find some way to locate the Smurf village and capture the Smurfs for use in his magic.
25. Captain Planet and the Planeteers
As environmental concerns came to the forefront at the end of the 80s, Captain Planet and the Planeteers was created as a form of edutainment advocating environmentalism.
Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, sends five magic rings, four with the power to control nature’s elements (earth, wind, fire and water) and one controlling the element of Heart (which allows the wearer to communicate telepathically with people and animals, instilling empathy in them) to five youths (dubbed the Planeteers) chosen from major continents and countries from around the world: Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from North America, Linka from the Soviet Union , Gi from Asia, and Ma-Ti from South America.
The Planeteers are assigned to defend the Earth from great disasters which they are alerted to by Gaia, who uses her “Planet Vision” to see where the destruction is the most devastating. When they’re unable to handle some of villains behind the devastation, they can combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, who possesses a magnified version of all their powers, to clean out the bad guys and set things right on our planet.
Top photo from Collider.
Watch Cartoons Online in HD on all Devices
Watch Cartoons Online Without Limits
Welcome, cartoon lovers! If you were looking for a reliable provider of cartoons online, you are on the right web-site where you can watch anime and toons online for free. This web-site is the best place to watch your favorite cartoons online, whenever and wherever, on your demand.
Is there really a need for waiting for your favorite cartoon on the television, when you can easily find it on the Internet and watch it in your free time? The only answer is no! It is the 21st century and the benefits of using the Internet are countless, including watching animation online. The kids have always loved to tune in front of the television and wait for their favorite cartoons. However, the kids today do not have to impatiently wait for their favorite cartoons and seize the benefits of the Internet to watch cartoon online for free.
Wide Collection Of Free Cartoons & Anime Online For Watching
Here you can find old and new, Disney and Hanna Barbera, short and long free toons and animated movies online. Get involved in the new adventures of your favorite cartoon characters and visit us regularly to stay updated about what happens next in your favorite show. In addition, you can save a lot of money for other stuff if you watch cartoons online for free on our web-site.
Our wide collection of free cartoons and anime online is constantly being updated, so you may want to visit us regularly to check for new cartoons. Whenever you want to watch your favorite cartoon without downloading and exposing your computer to numerous risks, just visit our web-site and enjoy. If you like us, feel free to invite your friends and look for their favorite cartoons in our extensive collection. We are your free ticket to watch any cartoon online!
Willing to see free toons on the internet? Thanks to video sharing sites, there are hundreds of free online cartoons available. From Yahoo Screen, YouTube, to Daily Motion and other video sharing sites, you can easily find free moving drawings animation on the internet. Gone are those days when people use to sit with their breakfast to watch Saturday and Sunday morning cartoons. Thanks to websites that offer free online cartoons, you can easily watch your favorite shows whenever you find some free time. Besides video sharing sites, there are several websites that offer unlimited access to all the popular cartoons online. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, The Jetsons, and Scooby Doo are just few clicks away.
All of these animations can be seen through any PC browser or any mobile device. None of the videos/images belong to CartoonsOn.com All these videos are streamed from different sources which are considered as opensource sites. Read more about Legal Disclaimer and DMCA on the link below.
This site is easy to navigate, select your favorite brand of cartoons and the video will start automatically, you just sit back and enjoy. Our goal is to entertain all ages and generations of people, children, youth and even the elderly. To watch online cartoons is nothing but a moment of relaxation for the elderly and education for young people. Didn’t find your favorite cartoon? Feel free to contact us at this email: watchcartoonsonlinehere(at)gmail(dot)com and your cartoon will be online as soon as possible. If you liked our site do not forget to share it on social networks or any of your friends, and we will continue to work and care more about your pleasure.
Top 10 movies starring toys that come alive
The Toy Story triumvirate will reign supreme among stories of toys coming to life and it’s hard to imagine any single film or series that uses the premise of living playthings ever besting the perfect trio of movies.
But having given the hat trick fair praise, the toys in Andy’s room weren’t the first to walk and talk under their own control, and other stories feature toys springing to life when their owners aren’t around or by the power of dreams and wishes, the magic of midnight or, in one case, the might of military grade munitions chips.
So, if you still have room for more childhood toy fantasies and adventures beyond Woody, Buzz and their crew, we offer these additional movie choices old and new…
Babes In Toyland (aka March Of The Wooden Soldiers) (1934)
This is only the first among four titles here that feature soldiers as the main animated childhood objects of attention. They’re a popular theme, the tin type being the action figures of their era, and perhaps allowing their adventures to be a bit more daring than the average toy.
This is one of the oldest of our film examples. It’s a version of Victor Herbert’s 1903 musical (Babes In Toyland), well known to Americans, as it airs annually in almost every state either on Thanksgiving or during the Christmas holidays.
Its greatest draw is in the starring roles of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee, employees of Santa’s workshop. Their hopes of raising the mortgage money for Mother Widow Peep are dashed when their boss finds out they’ve made a mistake and instead of making 600 wooden soldiers at one foot tall, they’ve made 100 soldiers at six feet tall.
Although these soldiers don’t technically come to life, they do come to the rescue when the Bogeymen attack Toyland and Stannie and Ollie are redeemed. And any soldiers who can fight the gnarly bogeymen deserve to be here.
The few songs may be a bit saccharine, but there’s so much charm, plus Laurel and Hardy, that the film has remained a favourite all these years. It also has the ingenious casting of a real monkey in a mouse suit (who looks remarkably similar to a mouse named Mickey), and an impressive for its time stop-motion animation sequence as the soldiers head out to do battle with the Bogeys.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier Fantasia/2000 (1999)
Our second soldier entry, this is the tale of a solider with only one leg who falls in love with a ballerina who’s posed en pointe, leaving the soldier to believe she too has just one leg.
The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, first published in 1838, has been interpreted many times in films and a ballet and each handles what is a quite poignant ending a little differently.
In the original story, the soldier falls from a table and goes on adventures before returning to the playroom where he’s thrown by a young boy into a fire, melting into the shape of a heart. And the ballerina, made of paper, gets blown to his side and perishes with him, with only her metal spangle remaining.
It’s quite a bleak, romantic ending for small children, and a 1934 Ub Iwerks cartoon short version even has the soldier facing a firing squad before burning in the flames. (As if simply frying wasn’t enough!)
An alternate and happier ending features in Fantasia 2000, where the tin soldier defeats the evil, lecherous Jack-in-the-box and he and the ballerina live happily ever after. Of course.
The story uses a motif we’ll see again, as the toys in the playroom come to life at the stroke of midnight.
The nutcracker’s story, written by ETA Hoffman (The Nutcracker And The Mouse King) in 1816, was adapted into a ballet with a score by Tchaikovsky and first danced in 1892. Since that time there have been numerous adaptations on the story of toys (again, mostly soldiers) coming to life to defend young Clara from an army of mice on Christmas Eve.
Dancers including Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov have performed the story of the Nutcracker. So have Macaulay Culkin and Barbie.
Our favourite is the 1986 version because of its costume, creature and set designs by children’s book author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, probably best known for Where The Wild Things Are.
Additional to the familiar theme of animated soldiers, the production also employs the stroke of midnight to kick off the action, and even if you’re not a fan of ballet, each set looks like a scene that’s danced off the pages of a Sendak picture book.
A very brief bit of narration by Julie Harris makes this version more accessible to the younger fans in the family.
Small Soldiers (1998)
Unlike our hero soldiers above, half of the toys in Small Soldiers pose the biggest threat to their owners, when ordinary action figures are given X-1000 microprocessors, making them capable of thought and violence as The Commando Elite fight the peaceful monster Gorgonites and any humans who get in their way.
Despite a raging war scene, this film may be one of the least frightening here, as the action is always infused with humour and the combination of live actors and animated toys lessens the threat to manageable proportions. It also makes this film as much fun for adults as for the kids.
When the two leagues of action figures are imbued with critical thinking skills, the Commando Elite go A-Team on the Gorgonites, who prefer hiding to fighting.
Highlights of the Joe Dante-directed film are when the soldiers arm themselves with whatever they can get their hands on, with everyday objects in the garage becoming warring weapons, and the Frankensteinesque scenes where Gwendy fashion dolls are mutilated and brought to life, all to a Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack, with a great use of War, and a Spice Girls track used as psychological torture.
The animatronic design and effects (no doubt made more complicated by human beings and animals also in the scenes) are by the late, great Stan Winston, which all adds up to a very worthy romp and inclusion here.
The Mouse And His Child (1977)
Based on a 1967 Russell Hoban novel for children, The Mouse And His Child is an animated adventure of father and son wind-up toys, attached at the hands and built to dance in circles.
The story uses the enchanted midnight hour to bring the pair and the rest of the toyshop to life, where they meet other clockwork characters and learn the strict rules of their existence, including ‘no crying’.
When they’re knocked to the floor and discarded, the Mouse and his Child try to reunite with the seal and elephant. All they want is to become self-winding, and not rely on someone turning their key to advance in the world, and to form a little family of their friends.
On their travels they meet a villainous rat, Manny, who abducts broken clockwork creatures and makes them slavishly forage for food for him. They have miserable lives and, what’s worse, if they complain or shirk their work, Manny has them ripped apart and dismantled into spare parts.
This is quite an upsetting situation for children and, at one point, the father and son face the same fate, although they enjoy a happy ending with the help of a psychic frog and mechanically inclined muskrat, defeating the rats, finding their friends, and becoming self-winding individuals.
Although the slightly awkward animation makes the film appear directed at young children, the story touches on philosophical themes that are explored further in the book. But the movie features a great cast of actors (Peter Ustinov, Cloris Leachman, Sally Kellerman, Andy Devine, John Carradine and Bob Holt) voicing the characters, which are all quite cute.
Unfortunately, this may be a hard film to track down as it was only available on VHS.
The Indian In The Cupboard (1995)
Another film based on a much loved children’s book, The Indian In The Cupboard is the first in a series by Lynne Reid Banks. The film, directed by Frank Oz, is all live-action and tells the story of Omri, who’s given an old cabinet and key for his birthday and discovers that the combination breathes life into anything put into the cabinet.
Being a modestly-sized cabinet, he tries the small toy figures in his closet. The first, Little Bear (played by Litefoot), a Native American, is a much better live companion than other attempts, including RoboCop, Darth Vader and a dinosaur.
Through a series of events in which he also makes a plastic cowboy live (David Keith as Boo-hoo Boone), injuries occur and it’s here where the first real worry is visited amongst the adventures. It’s also the entrance of Steve Coogan in his first film appearance, playing a British medic toy soldier who renders aid to the wounded.
Omri becomes aware that actions have consequences, no matter how much fun you’re having, especially when he learns that the act of Little Bear becoming real has wrenched him from his own world where he was hunting with a nephew, who’s now left on his own, and there are a few moments of genuine peril in the film to drive the cautionary message home.
In the end, Omri remedies most of his mistakes with his new friends and returns them to their worlds and plastic state.
Now, here’s the film that’s probably best known and loved of this collection by readers of this site. And what’s not to love? With a nuanced performance by then-ingénue, Jennifer Connelly, original songs written and performed by David Bowie, a screenplay by Terry Jones, costume and creature designs by Brian Froud, the riddles, optical illusions and conundrums, and of course, the whole shebang under the leadership of the incomparable Jim Henson, it’s a favourite of many.
On Sarah’s unforgettable journey to rescue her baby brother, Toby, from the Golbin King, Jareth, she’s aided by allies made up of the toys in her room, who come to life and help her on her journey. In the opening scenes, you can see the stuffed animals, bookend, Escher poster and toy maze as the camera pans her room, ending at a likeness of the conjuror himself, standing right by her bedroom mirror (also seen in the junkyard scene), before the live versions join the toy-filled room for a celebration at the film’s end.
Labyrinth is a brilliant collaboration of some of the finest talents in filmmaking, with timeless themes and humour. While it’s probably, at first, most popular among those who can relate to Sarah and her age, and the youngest of this generation may not recognise David Bowie or realise the coup in casting that was achieved at the time, it will always be an excellent example of its genre, Henson puppetry, and great storytelling.
Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)
Raggedy Ann and her brother Andy may be the most US-centric of the characters named here. Created by author Johnny Gruelle in the early 1900s, the siblings’ adventures were the stuff of a series of books and, even today, are popular rag dolls still manufactured with their trademark on their cloth chests: the words “I Love You” printed in a heart.
The film captures all the characteristic charisma and spirited determination of the pair as they set out from Marcella’s playroom to rescue her newest toy, a French doll named Babette, stolen by The Captain, who’s hopelessly smitten with her. Along the way they befriend the forlorn Camel with the Wrinkled Knees and outwit King Koo Koo, whose body parts expand when he laughs at other people’s expense.
The Raggedy story follows the same conventions as the Toy Story films, by having the toys come to life as soon as no humans are around, and the film is bookended by live-action scenes that dissolve into and out of the animated frames.
Sophisticated hand-drawn animation techniques are used, with a very flowing style that was necessary to properly represent the movement of rag dolls. As if to reinforce the fact that the animators succeeded admirably in that task, two other scenes in the storyline feature constantly moving, flowing creatures, The Greedy and Gadzooks.
The songs, while they may not sound brilliant at first, stick with you through the years and the film has all the heart and soul that you’d want from the story of Raggedy Ann and Andy. It’s a real delight and well worth seeking out, if you can find or import a copy.
The Christmas Toy (1986)
Another film that shares the Toy Story and Raggedy Ann And Andy rules of life, this Jim Henson Company film tightens the conditions of being to include the proviso that, if any toy is caught out of position from when a human last saw them, it’s frozen and lifeless forever.
And that does happen to one of the toy room pals, with a brief funeral ride to the closet in a very sad scene.
Unless you’ve seen The Christmas Toy before, all of the Muppet-like character puppets are new, except for an introduction by Kermit, who appears again at the film’s end.
The story is also similar to the rivalry of top toy favourites’ Woody and Buzz, except that last year’s Christmas present, Rugby the Tiger Cub, has no idea that the holiday comes more than once and is not prepared to welcome new toy, Meteora, into the family. Also, even the cat’s toy, a wheeled catnip mouse named Mew, gets to join the toys, although they constantly complain about his smell.
Like all Henson productions, the movie has some great songs and excellent puppetry in a story to charm all ages.
The Christmas Toy is a brilliant film that was shown as a holiday special on TV in the States and then bundled with A Muppet Family Christmas. Finally, just this year it became available on its own on DVD (in the UK, 2009 in the US) and should be a part of any Christmas, toy lover, or Henson fan’s collection.
We’ve saved the wooden prince of toys till last, but his is one of the oldest and most frequently adapted tales of all.
The Adventures Of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, began in 1881 in serialised and book forms. Of all the live-action and animated versions that followed, most of us are likely to picture the 1940 Disney version when Pinocchio’s name is mentioned.
This is one of the few films where, by becoming real, the toy becomes a danger to himself, as Pinocchio is exploited by strangers and corrupted by bad boys and makes all the wrong decisions when left to his own devices.
Telling the story of the marionette that’s brought to life by The Blue Fairy in answer to carver/father Geppetto’s wish upon a star, Pinocchio is a classic cautionary tale. While some of the allegorical elements and fates of characters from the original story were changed for the times and youngest viewers, it’s still a story of longing and wish fulfilment, provided you follow the rules.
This is old school hand-drawn animation wherein each background scene is richly rendered, shadowed and shaded and still makes much of modern animation drab and sketchy in comparison. Pinocchio is a wonder to watch, and in that final scene where he becomes a real boy, we can share Geppetto’s joy, but will miss the unlucky, plucky wooden one.
Toys don’t feature heavily in this animated treat, but any excuse to mention the excellent Henry Selick-directed take on Neil Gaiman’s story is a fair excuse. Coraline’s toys in the Other Mother/ Beldam world are full of life, flying and moving about her prettier room, where she eats better food and has more attentive parents, but at a terrible price.
Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Another Christmas staple in the States, the stop-motion antics of Rudolph and his pals take him to the Island of Misfit Toys, home to Charlie-In-The-Box, the spotted Elephant, the Choo-choo with square wheels, the Water Pistol that shoots jelly, a Bird that swims, a Cowboy who rides an ostrich, and a Boat that can’t float. They’re all misfits. Though there’s no explanation for the toys’ actions, they sing and dance, and that, to us, is life.
Winnie The Pooh
The Winnie-The-Pooh books by AA Milne, first published in 1926, have lead to feature films and TV series starring the pudgy stuffed bear and his buddies, and although there is no life generation story, the fact that Pooh is based on the author’s son’s own toy, Edward Bear, who’s since been seen, heard and loved by millions of children is, to our minds, proof that his is a true story of a toy brought to life.
Follow Den Of Geek on Twitter right here.
Last Updated January 6th
The phrase “best animated movie” means different things to different people. Some will automatically think of classic Disney movies or similar family-friendly feature-length cartoons from their childhood, while others will automatically gravitate toward adaptations of their favorite comic-book stories. Others still may consider the exotic appeal of anime or the avant-garde style of artists outside of the mainstream as the “best” animation has to offer. The only thing these disparate features have in common is that they’re devoid of live-action components; anything else goes.
With this broad range of animated movies in mind, we’ve combed through the available features streaming on Netflix to bring you the best of the best. There’s something here for everyone, including Disney features, Oscar-nominated animations, classics and contemporary movies alike, all representing a stunning variety of animation styles. Whether you’re a casual fan or a longtime devotee of animation, there’s something for everyone here.
We’ll be updating this list on a monthly basis as new titles become available. In the meantime, be sure to visit these other related articles linked below:
- Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now
- Best Movies on Netflix Right Now
- Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now
- Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now
- Best Animated Series on Netflix Right Now
- The Best Anime Movies on Netflix Right Now
- The Best Anime TV Series on Netflix Right Now
- Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now
- Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now