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The 10 Best Disney Animated Films of the 2010s According to Critics

The acclaimed renaissance era of the 2010s saw the release of some of the most iconic and beloved animated films in Disney history. While Disney and Pixar told a lot of stories with mature themes, the 2010s really started to show issues like grief and trauma while still keeping the family story going.


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The 2010s were unprecedented for the film industry, with Disney giving fans some critically acclaimed animated films. As a result, several animated films from the 2010s stand out for their visuals, stories, and characters.

ten Big Hero 6 was one of the first Disney films to discuss grief (2014)

With a variety of characters and beautiful animation, this is not surprising. Big hero 6 was a critical success. With this film, Disney went to something new by bringing grief to the forefront of children’s animation. Tadashi dies at the beginning Big hero 6and the film follows Hiro’s emotional journey.

With great music Big hero 6 captured fans. Teens could see themselves in the characters, and adults could relate to Aunt Cass, who went out of her way to be a good guardian. Everyone could relate to someone in Big hero 6which really makes it stand out. Many critics agreed that there is something for everyone in the film; a lot of heart, emotion and action.

9 Frozen had a hit soundtrack that fans still sing to this day (2013)

Arguably one of the most iconic films of the 2010s. frozen holds a special place in many hearts. frozen was a first for Disney princess films because it focused more on family love than romance. The brilliant characters won hearts and the award-winning soundtrack still has everyone singing along almost a decade later. From cheeky princess to prince turned villain frozen was a refreshing look at the typical Disney movie.

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The film discussed the sisters’ love in a whole new light. Bye Lilo and Stitch showed her sister, who became a mentor, Elsa and Anna broke up, but learned to forgive. Critics praised the catchy soundtrack, beautiful animation and smart storyline. The Writers Guild Association even stated that frozen was one of the best movie scripts of 2010.

eight Finding Dory Was Touching (2016)

Finding Dory follows the titular oblivious fish across the ocean, the zoo, and beyond. Interesting and dynamic characters paired with the same beautiful animation that fans remember from Finding Nemo really makes this movie stand out.

After waiting for a sequel for over a decade, fans have been excited about the return of their favorite aquatic characters. Plus, with the addition of new characters, the sequel delivers even more value than its predecessor. The film has a 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics praising the poignant story and great animation.

7 Moana Didn’t Have a Real Villain (2016)

According to one critic, the titular Princess of Moana is “a princess who really breaks stereotypes.” With great animation and beautiful dynamic characters, Moana pulled the audience from the first moment to the last. For a Disney movie moana was unique because the villain of the story was not really the villain, but the victim who ends up getting a chance to heal.

Maui, the hero, was the one who caused the trouble, but he eventually learned from his mistakes. Despite every twist and turn, fans continued to wait for the classics happily ever after, and Moana did not disappoint. Even though it was released in 2016, Moana was the second most popular title of 2021, which speaks to its popularity and quality.

6 Zootopia shattered all expectations and discussed the failings of society (2016)

Racism, corrupt government and toxic stereotypes are just some of the topics that Zootopia discusses. Along with adorable characters and hilarious animation, this animated film shatters all expectations. One New York Post columnist called Zootopia, “Best Film of the Year”

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Taking a cute character and making him the chief cop, Zootopia showed that people are more than they seem. In fact, the sly fox conman becomes one of the most trustworthy characters by the end of the film. At every turn Zootopia taught many life lessons. In addition, Michael Giacchino and Shakira helped create a fun and catchy soundtrack.

5 Incredibles 2 was just as good as its predecessor (2018)

While the first movie followed Bob Parr, Incredibles 2 follows his wife Helen as she finds her footing as a superhero. She knows who she is as a person, but is given the opportunity to rediscover herself as a superhero and see her children grow up as teenage heroes.

While Helen is saving the world, Bob is at home raising his children. Violet and Dash even learn to work together to protect Jack-Jack and finally realize that teamwork is important, which makes the film a fun and moving picture. In the words of one Mint critic, “…the main attraction Incredibles 2 it’s focused storytelling, crisp and concise animation, and pure fun.”

four Koko showed the importance of support (2017)

Disney has never shied away from heavy topics like death and loss, but the 2017 film Coco took it to another level. Along with a great cast of characters, Miguel learns what’s really important in life: remembering those who came before, leading the way for those who come after, and protecting what’s important to each other.

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As one of the few Pixar musicals Coco really stands out. Disney has never been shy about bringing family themes into their stories, but by showing family tension and learning how to overcome it, the studio made a great movie. Coco marked a Metacritic Must-See for its inclusion of other cultures, elaborate characters, and great animation.

3 Toy Story 4 Tied the Series in the Best Way (2019)

Discussing the topics of the found family and defending the interests of others, Toy Story 4 does not hesitate to touch on more sensitive topics than previous films. This film shows Woody on a journey of self-discovery as he discovers his place in the world now that he is no longer his favorite toy.

Like other films toy story franchise, Toy Story 4 shows change for what it is: a scary but important part of life. Plus, by bringing back Bo Peep as the leader of the rescue team, the movie shows that heroes can appear from the most unexpected places. The critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes determined that the film was “soulful, funny, and beautifully animated.”

2 Toy Story 3 reminded fans that change doesn’t have to be the end (2010)

Nine years before the final part of the series, Toy Story 3 was released. The audience grew with Andy, which made him even more emotional when he was going to college.

Toy Story 3 triggered a wave of nostalgia for youth and teenagers everywhere. In the final scene, Andy is playing with Bonnie. toy story 3 told a touching story about growing up and accepting change. Reviewers loved the film, with one critic even calling it “dazzling, scary and sentimental”. TIME even called Toy Story 3 “Instant Classic”.

one Inside Out Taught Everyone That Emotions Are Real (2015)

personifying emotions, Inside out Helps children learn to deal with their feelings. School psychologists across the country have begun using the film as a tool to communicate with children about emotions. Inside out showed a different perspective compared to other Disney films as the film was about a young girl named Riley and all her emotions.

Starting a new wave of mental health awareness with unique animations and interesting characters, Inside out received critical acclaim. With a whopping score of 98 reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes, Inside out impressed critics and fans alike, with one critic calling it “an extraordinary and unprecedented film”.

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