The best animated movies of 2022 included sci-fi, romantic comedies, action-packed adventures, and thrilling journeys of self-discovery. At a time when the cinematic experience was put to the test after the pandemic, the place of animated films in the industry was also rethought. While it might be disappointing that some of the best anime movies of 2022 haven’t hit theaters, the sheer number of anime movies streaming has helped tell a plethora of stories.
For example, Pixar saw Lightyear as its very first IMAX release, while Turning Red was released straight to Disney+. 2022 also saw iconic anime series hit the big screen with Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and One Piece Film: Red. From a Toy Story spin-off to Guillermo del Toro’s unique Pinocchio, there have been a variety of great animated movies in 2022.
10. Light Year
When Pixar first announced a Buzz Lightyear movie based on the fictional movie character Andy from Toy Story fell in love with, it took some time before such an unusual rhetoric developed with audiences. Despite the confusing selling point, Lightyear delivered what it promised, a sci-fi adventure that just happened to star Buzz Lightyear and didn’t try to emulate Toy Story. While Lightyear’s reviews were mixed, the film was a solid sci-fi story that stood on its own. The Toy Story comparisons made Lightyear’s job harder, but the Chris Evans-directed film still worked.
9. One Piece Movie: Red
The latest One Piece story, One Piece Film: Red continued the franchise’s tradition of “arguably canon” films. While not every One Piece Film: Red event had a manga equivalent, the film referenced significant elements from the One Piece anime and One Piece manga in a largely self-contained adventure. One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda had a significant role in One Piece Film: Red, which means elements from the film may be incorporated into the anime at some point. While One Piece Film: Red might not have been too appealing to those who haven’t watched One Piece before, it was still a daring animated experience.
8. Bob’s Burgers Movie
Bob’s Burgers’ very first theatrical film, The Bob’s Burgers Movie translated everything that made the show so popular while adding a different, more cinematic feel. The Bob’s Burgers movie took place between seasons 12 and 13 of Bob’s Burgers, and it saw most of the actors reprise their roles. As Bob and Linda tried to sort out their finances after a sinkhole opened up right outside their restaurant, Gene, Louise and Tina encountered a murder mystery. A slightly darker story of Bob’s Burgers while still being hilarious, The Bob’s Burgers Movie wasn’t an extended episode of Bob’s Burgers but rather a well-crafted movie.
7. Sea Beast
Pirates battled sea monsters in The Sea Beast, an animated Netflix movie starring Karl Urban and Zaris-Angel Hator. Famous sea beast hunter, Jacob Holland had to face his toughest mission yet and protect a young girl named Maisie. Set in a world where pirates clashed with giant sea creatures on a daily basis, The Sea Beast’s likeable cast of characters formed an intimate, nuanced film with deeper meaning than just sea monster fights. That said, The Sea Beast’s brilliant action sequences were a highlight of the film.
6. Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes
The first Dragon Ball film to be made primarily with CG animation, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero was the final entry in the Dragon Ball franchise. Similar to Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Super Hero was a canon adventure that took place after the more recent events of the Dragon Ball Super anime. For the first time since Dragon Ball Z’s Cell Saga, audiences saw a Gohan-centric adventure as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero put Goku’s firstborn in the spotlight. Super Hero also focused a lot on Piccolo, another Dragon Ball character that had been overlooked in recent years.
Arguably one of the best Dragon Ball movies of all time, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero made the most of the big screen and delivered an action-packed third act. The CG-animated Dragon Ball movie brought back the iconic villains of Dragon Ball Z Red Ribbon Army and featured the android-like creatures Gamma #1 and Gamma #2 as key characters. From Gohan’s new form to an all-new Goku vs. Vegeta fight, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero was more than just a tie-in movie.
A 90-minute story divided into chapters, Entergalactic combined 2D and 3D elements in a gorgeous animation style that audiences may have recognized from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse or the colorful characters of Arcane. Entergalactic was produced by Kid Cudi, who also voiced Entergalactic’s main character, Jabari, and it was inspired by one of the artist’s very first songs, “Enter Galactic.” A love story set in New York, Entergalactic was conceived as an extended experience of Kid Cudi’s latest album. While Entergalactic might not have the pace of a movie given that it was originally envisioned as a TV show, it was a visually stunning romantic comedy with plenty of heart.
4. Return home
A Studio Colorido Studio 2D animation, Drifting Home followed a group of children as their childhood memories took them on a mysterious journey through worlds. The influence of Studio Ghibli films has continued to inspire filmmakers across all media, as evidenced by Drifting Home. A Spirited Away-like adventure, Drifting Home was a visually stunning experience that showed just how strong a person’s connection to their home and the people around them could be. Drifting Home didn’t have all the answers at first, but the film’s ending was worth the wait. With endearing characters and an exciting plot, Drifting Home can be an instant classic.
3. Apollo 10 1/2: A Childhood in the Space Age
A coming-of-age story set during the space race, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood brought audiences back to just before the moon landing through Stan’s eyes. There was no secret Apollo space mission with a child, so Apollo 10 ½ wasn’t entirely based on a true story, but the specific family moments added by director Richard Linklater were genuine. The beauty of Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood was how it depicted the daily life of Stan and his family. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood used rotoscoped animation to capture a sense of realism to the point that it almost looked like a documentary based on a 1960s suburban family.
Apollo 10 1/2 also slowly combined these snapshots of suburban banality with the wonder of a childhood dream. The rotoscoped animation technique contributed to this wonderful feeling, and it deliberately blurred the line for the audience between what was real and what was a dream. From recreating classic sci-fi movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey to the actual moon landing, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood was one of the most more originals of 2022.
2. Turn red
While Lightyear might have been a disappointment to some, Turning Red was Pixar at the studio’s best. Unfortunately, the instant classic Turning Red missed the big screen. Yet audiences met Mei Lee, an engaging lead character whose coming-of-age journey made for a captivating, funny, and heartwarming film. Turning Red may have looked familiar to other Pixar classics at first. However, the 3D animated film quickly established itself by offering a unique look into the heart and soul of its title character in a way that even Pixar’s box office success Inside Out failed to achieve. to reach.
1. Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro
Not only was Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio the best Pinocchio movie of 2022, but it was also the best animated movie of 2022 overall. A stunning achievement in stop-motion animation, Pinocchio del Toro took a tale audiences were very familiar with and made it into a unique film that combines drama, comedy, and music. While Disney’s live-action Pinocchio ended up being a simple adaptation of the 1940 classic but without the same magic, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio didn’t focus on recreating familiar moments. Instead, del Toro borrowed more from the original Pinocchio story than from the Disney adaptation.
By dealing with the concepts of life and death as well as war and fascism, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio stands out from all other Pinocchio films. However, del Toro’s Pinocchio still managed to have its sense of wonder, something that didn’t copy Disney’s Pinocchio but felt as magical as the 1940 classic. did not include “I’ve Got No Strings” or “When You Wish Upon A Star” and instead featured an entirely original list of catchy themes. From performances to visuals, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a strong contender for the 2023 awards season as the best animated film of 2022.