What are Sundays, if not spent with your family, bonding over favourite meals and watching a film together. As winter peaks in many parts of the country, this is the ideal weekend to plan a movie night at home the whole family can enjoy. And if you have little ones at home, movie nights can also be an exciting way to introduce children to fascinating storytelling.
To make sure viewers have the best options, streaming platforms are a host to a virtual library of family-friendly animated films ranging from classics old and new. We’ve rounded up the best superior animated entertainment that has come out in the past year to help you make your next streaming selection.
Here are the five best animated movies to release in the recent past that are currently available to stream.
Encanto (Disney+ Hotstar)
Encanto is about a family who has special magic powers to make this world a better place. The film is also graced with a foot-thumping soundtrack courtesy of Lin Manuel-Miranda. Touching on themes of family acceptance, inter-sibling rivalry, and growing up, it is extremely relatable. At its heart there’s Mirabel – a girl who, unlike the rest of her family has no special gifts, just a moral compass wanting the best for everyone.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)
Directors Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson’s stop-motion fable handily outpaces the many recently released but at last forgotten films based on Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio. This version — in the works for nearly 15 years — is a dark fantasy that reflects on morality and mortality within the backdrop of Mussolini’s Italy.
The Sea Beast (Netflix)
The Sea Beast has been hailed for its action-packed, almost-live-action-feeling sense of adventure, but its best scenes are the quiet ones. Director Chris Williams uses the timing, scale, and other tools of the visual-language tool kit to put the audience in suspense before ultimately rewarding them — just as all the best action films do, whether they’re live-action or not.
Turning Red (Disney+ Hotstar)
Directed by Domee Shi, an animator who’d previously worked on seven of the animation studio’s features and made the brilliant short film Bao, Turning Red doubles as both a strikingly fresh coming-of-age story about a mother and daughter and one of Pixar’s tightest plays yet for the millennial-audience set.
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (Netflix)
Beautifully made through rotoscoping, a century-old animation technique that nearly disrupted the film’s eligibility for the Oscars last year, Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood is a fantasy about what it might be like to send a child to the moon. Steeped in ’60s nostalgia, director Richard Linklater walks us through protagonist Stanley’s life in Houston in the heat of the space race, linking the city’s growth to the expansion of NASA and the larger cultural changes of the period.