For the latest entry in our ongoing weekly film series, where we typically recommend movies to watch “if you liked” a particular new release, we decided to prepare you for the upcoming release of Finding Dory by highlighting some of our favorite animated kids movies of all-time.
The sequel to 2003’s wildly successful Finding Nemo, Finding Dory takes place six months after the events of Finding Nemo and is set off the coast of California. Dory is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species.
With Finding Doryhitting theaters on June 17, that gives you the rest of the week to watch some of the best films in the genre. Here are some of our favorites:
In a mythical city, street-smart Aladdin and Princess Jasmine join forces to save the kingdom from the evil sorcerer Jafar. Along the way, Aladdin learns to believe in himself with help from a hilarious Genie and three wishes that change everything.
Z the worker ant strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony. He falls in love with ant-Princess Bala, Z strives to make social inroads, and then must save the ant colony from the treacherous scheming of the evil General Mandible that threaten to wipe out the entire worker population.
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Robotics prodigy Hiro lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro’s closest companion is Baymax, a robot whose sole purpose is to take care of people. When a devastating turn of events throws Hiro into the middle of a dangerous plot, he transforms Baymax and his friends into a band of high-tech heroes.
While traveling to California to race against The King and Chick Hicks for the Piston Cup Championship, Lightning McQueen becomes lost after falling out of his trailer in a run down town called Radiator Springs. While there he slowly befriends the town’s odd residents, including Sally, Doc Hudson and Mater. When it comes time for him to leave it becomes clear the championship is no longer his top priority.
Chicken Run (2000)
This engaging stop-motion, claymation adventure tells the story of an American rooster who falls in love with a gorgeous hen on a British farm. The couple decides to run away from the farm, but they must first contend with the evil farmer who is intent on keeping them under her control. The chickens decide to attempt an escape so they don’t get turned into chicken pot pies.
Flushed Away (2006)
After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent enlists the help of a sewer scavenger in finding his way back to his posh London flat. Getting home is not the only problem, however; a rodent-hating toad wants his notorious cousin, Le Frog, to exterminate the pair.
Happy Feet (2006)
Mumble, a young emperor penguin, lives in Antarctica. Like others of his kind, he needs to be able to sing to attract a mate, but he has a terrible voice. Instead, Mumble must express himself, and lure a female through his amazing talent for tap-dancing.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Hiccup is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. His progressive views and weird sense of humor make him a misfit, despite the fact that his father is chief of the clan. Tossed into dragon-fighting school, he endeavors to prove himself as a true Viking, but when he befriends an injured dragon he names Toothless, he has the chance to plot a new course for his people’s future.
Ice Age (2002)
Twenty-thousand years ago, Earth is a wondrous, prehistoric world filled with great danger, not the least of which is the beginning of the Ice Age. To avoid a really bad frostbite, the planet’s majestic creatures begin migrating south. The story revolves around sub-zero heroes: a woolly mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger, a sloth and a prehistoric combination of a squirrel and rat, known as Scrat.
The Incredibles (2004)
Married superheroes Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl are forced to assume mundane lives as Bob and Helen Parr after all super-powered activities have been banned by the government. While Mr. Incredible loves his wife and kids, he longs to return to a life of adventure, and he gets a chance when summoned to an island to battle an out-of-control robot. Soon, Mr. Incredible is in trouble, and it’s up to his family to save him.
Inside Out (2015)
Riley is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents move to San Francisco.
The film is set in Riley’s mind, where five personified emotions—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust—try to lead her through life as her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco and she has to adjust to her new life.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Po the panda works in his family’s noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream becomes a reality when, unexpectedly, he must fulfill an ancient prophecy and study the skills with his idols, the Furious Five. Po needs all the wisdom, strength and ability he can muster to protect his people from an evil snow leopard.
The Lion King (1994)
This classic follows the adventures of the young lion Simba, the heir of his father, Mufasa. Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, plots to usurp Mufasa’s throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. Simba returns as an adult to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon and Pumbaa.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.
Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends — Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo — have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape — with the help of some prodigious penguins — to explore the world.
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Boy genius Lewis gives up hope of retrieving his latest invention, which was stolen by Bowler Hat Guy, then a young time-traveler named Wilbur Robinson arrives on the scene to whisk Lewis away in his time machine. The boys spend a day in the future with Wilbur’s eccentric family and uncover an amazing secret at the same time.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan is one of its top scarers. Sullivan is a huge, intimidating monster with blue fur, large purple spots and horns. His scare assistant, best friend and roommate is Mike Wazowski, a green, opinionated, feisty little one-eyed monster. Visiting from the human world is Boo, a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before.
Over the Hedge (2006)
When Verne and fellow woodland friends awake from winter’s hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans, and RJ, an opportunistic raccoon who shows the others how to exploit the suburban bounty laid out before them.
Remy, a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to become a chef so he can create and enjoy culinary masterpieces to his heart’s delight. The only problem is, Remy is a rat. When he winds up in the sewer beneath one of Paris’ finest restaurants, the rodent gourmet finds himself ideally placed to realize his dream.
Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. They were all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad. Determined to save their home, Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue Princess Fiona to be Farquaad’s bride. Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret.
Space Jam (1996)
Swackhammer, an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the Nerdlucks, heads to Earth to kidnap Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes, Bugs challenges them to a basketball game to determine their fate. The aliens agree, but they steal the powers of NBA basketball players, including Larry Bird and Charles Barkley — so Bugs gets some help from superstar Michael Jordan.
Surf’s Up (2007)
Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick. Followed by a documentary film crew, he leaves his home in Antarctica for Pen Gu Island, site of the the Big Z Memorial Surf Off. Cody wants to be respected and admired, and he believes that winning the competition will bring him what he craves. However, an encounter with washed-up surfer Geek teaches Cody about what is truly important.
Toy Story (1995)
Woody, a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy, sees his position as Andy’s favorite toy jeopardized when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Even worse, the arrogant Buzz thinks he’s a real spaceman on a mission to return to his home planet. When Andy’s family moves to a new house, Woody and Buzz must escape the clutches of maladjusted neighbor Sid Phillips and reunite with their boy.
Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he flies away to the South American wilderness. But curmudgeonly Carl’s worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a little boy named Russell is a stowaway aboard the balloon-powered house.
WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying up the planet, one piece of garbage at a time. But during 700 years, WALL-E has developed a personality, and he’s more than a little lonely. Then he spots EVE, a sleek and shapely probe sent back to Earth on a scanning mission. Smitten WALL-E embarks on his greatest adventure yet when he follows EVE across the galaxy.
Be sure to also check out 10 Movies to Get You Through The Holiday Season and 20 Slasher Films Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know.