A quick look at the highest-rated animated movies on IMDb reveals that no one in the world has defined the genre as well as Japanese auteur Hayao Miyazaki. Indeed, at least three of the top 15 films are either directed by him or made by his acclaimed animation house Studio Ghibli. But there are a whole bunch of others, too, that have contributed to the art form in ways that have helped make it increasingly popular — and widely acceptable — among cinema lovers.

Animated movies have been enthralling audiences at cinemas since the early 20th century. The first feature-length movie in this genre was the Argentine film El Apóstol, released in 1917. Walt Disney popularised the art form soon after, making it one of the most essential genres in cinema through the rest of the 20th century.

Major production houses and top animators have since been at the forefront of presenting splendid, though sometimes complex, stories through this medium, and their efforts have led to constant innovations in the genre. From hand-drawn animation of early Disney films to computer animation in more recent movies, each animated movie may appear different from the other because of the wide range of styles and their executions present in the genre.

Further, the uniqueness of the art forms of culture also influences the animation industry. This is why a Miyazaki film or most Japanese animation films, better known as anime, are distinctively different from the animation styles seen in other parts of the world.

Interestingly, the best animated movies on IMDb include most of the styles within the genre that are present today. Perhaps the best example which proves that this medium has not only come a long way but has established itself as a mainstream genre in direct competition with live-action is the humongous success of the 2023 animated film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The computer-animated film, which hit the screens on 2 June, collected over USD 500 million in global box office revenue in 25 days and landed at the top of the IMDb charts in its genre.

As more animated movies hit the screens over the years, the highest-rated status on IMDb will certainly witness changes. What will, however, remain unchanged is the influence animation films have had on their beloved fans.

The top animated films on IMDb loved by fans worldwide

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Release date: 2 June 2023

Voice cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Daniel Kaluuya, Oscar Isaac

IMDb rating: 8.9

Synopsis: Miles Morales/Spider-Man (Moore) goes on a multiversal journey with Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman in which they encounter multiple versions of Spider-People, all of whom must band together to prevent the collapse of the multiverse. But all of them are not on the same page even as the threat becomes truly dangerous.


Spirited Away
Spirited Away

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Release date: 20 July 2001 (Japan)

Voice cast: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Bunta Sugawara

IMDb rating: 8.6

Synopsis: Chihiro Ogino (Hiiragi) is a 10-year-old girl who accidentally enters a mystical world through a forest in the Japanese countryside with her parents, who turn into pigs. Chihiro must find a way to get her parents back and leave the supernatural world where gods, spirits and strange creatures reside.

Key award won: Oscar for the best animated film

Image credit: IMDb

The Lion King
The Lion King

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Release date: 24 June 1994

Voice cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Moira Kelly

IMDb rating: 8.5

Synopsis: Simba (Thomas), a young lion cub, is exiled after his father, Mufasa (Jones), is killed by his uncle, Scar (Irons), for the throne. Years later, an adult Simba (Broderick) returns with friends Timon (Lane) and Pumbaa (Sabella), and his love, Nala (Kelly), to retake the throne.

Key awards won: Oscar and Golden Globe for best original score and original song; Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Image credit: © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved./IMDb

Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies

Director: Isao Takahata

Release date: 16 April 1988 (Japan)

Voice cast: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

IMDb rating: 8.5

Synopsis: Seita (Tatsumi) is a young boy who is forced to take care of his toddler sister, Setsuko (Shiraishi), when the two are separated from their parents because of the American bombing of their village in World War II. As the days progress, Seita and Setsuko find it hard to survive.

Image credit: © 1988 – Toho Company/IMDb


Director: Andrew Stanton

Release date: 27 June 2008

Voice cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver

IMDb rating: 8.4

Synopsis: Earth has become a wasteland and a very large group of humans have left on a space journey in the far future. A small robot named WALL·E has spent several centuries on the planet performing his programmed waste-collecting task. One day, he encounters an advanced probe named EVE (Knight), who has been sent back to Earth to test if humans can return. Then begins WALL·E’s space adventure which can shape the future of mankind.

Key awards won: Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for the best animated film

Image credit: © Disney/PIXAR. All Rights Reserved./IMDb

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Release date: 14 December 2018

Voice cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Vélez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Liev Schreiber

IMDb rating: 8.4

Synopsis: Miles Morales (Moore) becomes Spider-Man and takes on Kingpin (Schreiber). But the crime lord has opened portals that have brought five uniquely powered Spider-People to Morales’ universe, including Peter B. Parker (Johnson).

Key awards won: Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for the best animated film



Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

Release date: 22 November 2017

Voice cast: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Edward James Olmos

IMDb rating: 8.4

Synopsis: Miguel (Gonzalez) is a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician like his long-deceased idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Bratt), but his family has had a ban on music for generations. In desperation, Miguel enters the Land of the Dead where he meets a trickster named Héctor (Bernal), who promises to help him find out his late great-great-grandfather.

Key awards won: Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for the best animated film; Oscar for best original song

Image credit: © 2017 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved./IMDb

Your Name
Your Name

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Release date: 26 August 2016 (Japan)

Voice cast: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi

IMDb rating: 8.4

Synopsis: Mitsuha Miyamizu is a teenage girl in a rural Japanese town, and Taki Tachibana is a teenage boy in Tokyo. One day, a magical event results in the swapping of their bodies. With time, the swapping begins to happen more frequently and their relationship deepens. Finally, they decide to meet each other in person, but they are also separated by time.

Image credit: IMDb

Toy Story 
Toy Story 

Director: John Lasseter

Release date: 25 November 1995

Voice cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten

IMDb rating: 8.3

Synopsis: Woody (Hanks) is a cowboy doll who grows jealous when his owner, a young boy named Andy (Morris), gets a new toy, Buzz Lightyear (Allen). Despite their dislike for each other, the two must cooperate to escape a sadistic Sid Phillips (Von Detten) after they accidentally land in his clutches.

Image credit: IMDb

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3

Director: Lee Unkrich

Release date: 18 June 2010

Voice cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Morris, Michael Keaton, Timothy Dalton

IMDb rating: 8.3

Synopsis: Woody (Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Allen) and Jessie (Cusack) plan for their own ‘great escape’ from a daycare centre where they mistakenly landed when Andy (Morris) was preparing to move to college. But before that, they must convince the other toys that they were not abandoned by Andy.

Key awards won: Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for the best animated film; Oscar for best song

Image credit: © Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved./IMDb

Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Release date: 29 May 2009

Voice cast: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson

IMDb rating: 8.3

Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Asner) is a 78-year-old balloon salesman who ties thousands of balloons to his house to make them fly to a beautiful South American place called Paradise Falls. But a young kid named Russell (Nagai) stows away in his house, and the grumpy Fredricksen must adjust to his presence.

Key awards won: Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe for the best animated film; Oscar, Golden Globe for best original score

Image credit: © Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved./IMDb

Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Release date: 12 July 1997 (Japan)

Voice cast: Yōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka

IMDb rating: 8.3

Synopsis: Ashitaka (Matsuda) is a prince who needs to find a cure for a lethal curse he has been infected with. In the process, he finds himself in the middle of a war between a mining colony led by Lady Eboshi (Tanaka) and the gods of the forests led by a princess named San (Ishida).

Image credit: © 1997 Studio Ghibli/IMDb

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Release date: 30 May 2003

Voice cast: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush

IMDb rating: 8.2

Synopsis: Marlin (Brooks) is a timid clownfish who sets out on an adventure of a lifetime to rescue his son, Nemo (Gould), who has been caught by a diver at the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney. Marlin is joined by blue reef fish named Dory (DeGeneres) who has a short memory. Will the two be able to find Nemo?

Key awards won: Oscar for the best animated film

Image credit: © 2003 – Buena Vista Pictures/IMDb

Howl's Moving Castle
Howl's Moving Castle

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Release date: 20 November 2004 (Japan)

Voice cast: Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura

IMDb rating: 8.2

Synopsis: A curse turns a young Sophie (Baisho) into a very old woman. To break it, she travels to find a young wizard named Howl (Kimura) who lives in a castle that moves on its own.

Image credit: © 2004 – Studio Ghibli/IMDb


Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

Release date: 27 June 2007

Voice cast: Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Ian Holm, Peter O’Toole

IMDb rating: 8.1

Synopsis: Remy (Oswalt) is a rat who lives in the sewers running below one of Paris’ most acclaimed restaurants. His gift of cooking and desire to become a chef brings him into contact with a young kitchen worker named Alfredo Linguini (Romano), with whom he starts preparing dishes. Their ultimate test would be to get the approval of renowned food critic Anton Ego (O’Toole), but they must stay hidden from the rat-hating owner Jonah Robert Skinner (Holm) until then.

Key awards won: Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for the best animated film

Image credit: tzohr – © Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios. All Rights Reserved./IMDb

(Hero image: IMDb; Featured image: © 2001 – Studio Ghibli/IMDb)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Which animated movie has the highest IMDb rating?

Answer: ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ has the highest rating on IMDb with 8.9 stars, as of 26 June 2023.

Question: What is the IMDb rating for ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’?

Answer: ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ has a rating of 8.9 on IMDb.

Question: Which R-rated animated movie has the highest IMDb rating?

Answer: 'Akira' (1988) and 'Waltz with Bashir' (2008) are two of the highest-rated animated films with an 'R' rating.

written by.

Manas Sen Gupta

Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.
‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ And Other Highest-Rated Animated Movies On IMDb
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