As the son of an artist and an illustrator myself, I have been deeply interested in animation as far back as I can remember. Chances are, if you are reading this, you are a nerd and you love animated films like I do. With the rise of Disney+ and Apple TV, there are more places to watch animated films than ever before. But let’s face it, Netflix still provides more options than any other streaming service—so many options in fact, that it can be difficult to sort through them all and Netflix makes it hard to find what they actually have, much less find what’s actually worth your time. So here’s a list of 20 animated movies on Netflix you might have missed, each of which is worthy of the necessary time commitment. This list features films with gorgeous art that tackle all sides of the human experience from the glorious to the profane.
It should be noted that a few of these, while thematically profound, are not for the faint of heart. Additionally, it should be said that not all of these films are family friendly—I recommend parents read reviews on Common Sense Media before determining whether to watch any particular film on this list with their children.
Made of Ghibli alumni, Studio Ponoc’s first film struggles under the weight of Ghibli’s influence and from a critical vantage looks like a pastiche jumble of What We’ve Seen Before – but for kids, it’s still pretty wonderful.
While I’m still upset by how shabbily they treated Peni Parker, Spider-Verse is pretty handily the greatest superhero movie out there. Animation makes this everything the MCU movies could never have been.
A very short film, both dodgy and sweet (in its depiction of a 16yo boy who falls in love with a 20-something unemployed teacher), but mostly about how pretty Tokyo can be when it rains. 100% stay away from the terrifically awful English dub.
Cartoon Saloon’s second film follows a boy and his younger sister and their journey through worlds of faeries, giants, and selkies. While I slightly prefer Secret Of Kells, Song Of The Sea is very good and CS’s second best film.
This is a hard movie because the four-year rule of the Khmer Rouge was marked by unbelievable atrocities, resulting in ~2 million murders. Funan is about a family and the struggles they face throughout. Grim.
Sublimely directed adaptation of Daisuke Igarashi’s world-class comic, the story of a girl who discovers a world layered under our own rather quickly dives into the cosmic. Maybe the most beautiful animated film I’ve seen.
Gorgeously directed adaptation of Yoshitoki Oima’s comic, A Silent Voice explores a suicidal former bully years later seeking to make amends with the deaf girl he once bullied before ending his own life.
Lovingly adapting Fumiyo Kono’s comic, Katabuchi brings to quiet life the story of a young Hiroshima woman recently moved to Kure for an arranged marriage in the war years, spanning the late ’30s through the war’s end. A film of daily life in a warring nation.
Since joining Love Thy Nerd, Radio Matt & Mo have been exploring the depths of their nerdiness. But they have also come to realize that there are several areas where their nerdiness comes up… shallow. Of course, not all nerds like all nerd things, but it's never a bad time to try to expand our knowledge on subject we don’t understand. This week, Radio Matt & Mo will be taking a deeper look into parts of nerd culture they are less familiar with and see if there is something there that interests them.