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Best Animated Films of the 1990s

Updated on February 14, 2015
The Best Animated Movies of the 1990s
The Best Animated Movies of the 1990s


Going to an animated movie is fun for both children and adults. From the first animated movies and the classics made by Disney, animated movies are a cornerstone of American movie history. The 1990s saw a resurgence of this film genre that included not just great animation using new technology but included great mainstream music soundtracks and the use of Hollywood's biggest stars as the voices of our favorite cartoon characters. Disney remade the animated movie to a major force in the movie market in the 1990s. The following is a short list of some of the best animated movies of the 1990s.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Best was released in 1991 by Disney. Beauty and the Beast was the third film of what was known as the “Disney Renaissance” which was an attempt by Disney to resurrect its animated films. Beauty and the Best tells a “tale as old as time” where a handsome prince is transformed into beast as punishment for being selfish. The only way that the beast can become human again he must earn the love of a woman. Luckily, a beautiful woman shows up at his castle and they fall in love.

Beauty and the Beast was a critical and box office success. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. Beauty and the Beast was also the first animated to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It also received five other nominations. Beauty and the Beast, along with the Little Mermaid, triggered the great animation boom that lasted throughout the decade and is historically considered one of the most important animated movies ever made.

Toy Story
Toy Story

Toy Story

Toy Story was released in 1995 by Pixar and was distributed by Disney. Toy Story was the first feature length computer animated film. Toy Story tells the story of a group of toys who are lifeless around humans and then come to life when nobody is around. Toy Story starred Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles among others.

Toy Story was a huge commercial success. It is considered by many critics as one of the best animated films ever made. It has produced two sequels and numerous other spinoffs.

The Lion King
The Lion King

The Lion King

The Lion King was released in 1994 by Disney Pictures. The Lion King tells the story of Simba, the son of the Lion King. After Simba's uncle Scar tricks Simba to believe that he was responsible for the death of his father, Simba disappears. Simba later returns to avenge his father and take his rightful place on his father's throne. The story itself was adapted from Hamlet and Macbeth as well as stories from the bible. The cast included Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and many others.

The Lion King was a huge commercial success and was praised by critics. It is the highest grossing hand drawn film in history and received two academy awards. The Soundtrack was also a huge commercial success.



Aladdin was released in 1992 by Disney Pictures and was the follow up to Beauty and the Beast. The film tells the story of Aladdin, a common street guy who finds a magic lamp who produces a Genie. After having a chance meeting with Princess Jasmine, Aladdin decides he wants to use the Genie’s powers to become a Prince. The story is based on an Arab folktale. Aladdin starred Scott Weinger, Jonathan Freeman, Linda Larkin, and Gilbert Gottfried and included an unforgettable performance by Robin Williams as the Genie.

Aladdin received both critical and commercial success after its release. It was the most successful film of 1992. The Soundtrack won several awards. Aladdin also produced many straight to video successes which inspired production companies to utilize this formerly untapped market.

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