Harvard University's Suggested Film Viewing List: Animated Films (2011)

List source

This list is "an educational resource that offers guidance and encouragement as students seek to find points of orientation within the vast history of film and video." It is not a list of the best films of all time. Rather, it reflects a variety of criteria.

The list is divided into 6 sections:
I. Narrative Films
Hollywood Genres (with an emphasis on the classical studio era)
II. Non-Fiction Films
III. Animated Films
IV. Experimental/Avant-garde/Underground Films
V. Videos
VI. Video Installations (this section can't be added to IMDb because IMDb doesn't list video installations)

According to the list source, this section is incomplete (i.e. they're planning to expand it in the future). This section focuses mostly on short films. Only 7 of them are feature-length.

3 of the list items are "A ___ cartoon" (Roadrunner, Tom and Jerry, Woody Woodpecker). This means you have to watch at least one, but it's not important which one. On this list I included only the most acclaimed cartoon from each series.

The list includes only the "Mirror People" segment of Fantastic Animation Festival.
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1.
The Hasher's Delirium (1910 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Four customers are having a peaceful game of cards in a quiet café. The atmosphere bring heavy, the... (5 mins.)
Director: Émile Cohl
 
2.
A Fantasy (1908 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The first all-animated film in history, a series of scenes without much narrative structure, but morphing into each other. (2 mins.)
Director: Émile Cohl
 
3.
A Set of Teeth (1909 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
Mother-in-law has been presented with a new set of false teeth, the gift of her son-in-law. The teeth are much admired by the family... (3 mins.)
Director: Émile Cohl
Stars: Max Linder
 
4.
Gertie the Dinosaur (1914 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The cartoonist, Winsor McCay, brings the Dinosaurus back to life in the figure of his latest creation, Gertie the Dinosaur. (12 mins.)
Director: Winsor McCay
 
5.
A Bad Case (1909 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
This subject will give rise to unrestrained laughter and will infect your entire audience with the jovial microbe... (5 mins.)
Director: Émile Cohl
 
6.
The Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman (1912 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema... (12 mins.)
 
7.
The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An animated dramatization of the notorious World War I German torpedoing of the ocean liner, Lusitania. (12 mins.)
Director: Winsor McCay
 
8.
Rhythmus 21 (1923 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Black and white rectangular images fade in and out of the screen. Their movement make them sometimes look like they're panning from side to side... (3 mins.)
Director: Hans Richter
 
9.
Steamboat Willie (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Mickey Mouse, piloting a steamboat, delights his passenger, Minnie, by making musical instruments out of the menagerie on deck. (8 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
10.
Jack and the Beanstalk (1931 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Bimbo climbs a beanstalk to find Betty Boop enslaved by the giant. (7 mins.)
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
11.
Three Little Pigs (1933 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When a hungry wolf starts blowing down some pigs' houses, they take refuge in their sensible brother's brick house. (9 mins.)
 
12.
Une nuit sur le mont chauve (1933 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Mussorgsky's composition is the soundtrack for this pin-screen animated take on night and wild things... (8 mins.)
 
13.
Betty Boop's Rise to Fame (1934 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A reporter interviews Max Fleischer about his creation, and Betty illustrates with excerpts from three prior cartoons. (9 mins.)
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
14.
A Colour Box (1935 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Animated shapes dance to Cuban music. This was one of the first animations to be painted directly onto the film. (3 mins.)
Director: Len Lye
 
15.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen soon learns of this and prepares to feed her a poison apple. (83 mins.)
 
16.
Fast and Furry-ous (1949 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The Coyote is chasing the Roadrunner using a rather ingenious invention combining a fridge, a meat grinder, ice cubes, and skis. (7 mins.)
 
17.
The Cat Concerto (1947 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Jerry is determined to disrupt Tom's concert while Tom fights him with the piano without missing a single note. (8 mins.)
 
18.
The Barber of Seville (1944 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An opera-singing Woody Woodpecker takes over a barbershop and harasses the customers. (7 mins.)
Director: James Culhane
 
19.
Motion Painting No. 1 (1947 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A short painted film by Oskar Fishchinger which films images to the music of Johann Bach. (11 mins.)
 
20.
Begone Dull Care (1949 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Abstract images drawn directly onto the film are accompanied by three pieces of jazz performed by the Oscar Peterson trio. (8 mins.)
 
21.
Neighbours (1952 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A surreal story of two neighbours' destructive feud over a flower. (8 mins.)
Director: Norman McLaren
 
22.
Jazz Dance (1954 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Roger Tilton wrote (what little there is in this mostly unrehearsed short), directed and produced this... (22 mins.)
Director: Roger Tilton
 
23.
A Man and His Dog Out for Air (1957 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
While birds can be heard singing a shrill song, lines crisscross wildly as if they aimed to form shapes... (3 mins.)
Director: Robert Breer
 
24.
The Deadly Invention (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An evil millionaire named Artigas plans to use a super-explosive device to conquer the world from his headquarters inside an enormous volcano. (78 mins.)
Director: Karel Zeman
 
25.
Color Rhapsodie (1948 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
(6 mins.)
 
26.
Moonbird (1959 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Two boys go outside at night to capture a bird. (10 mins.)
Director: John Hubley
 
27.
Yantra (1957 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(8 mins.)
Director: James Whitney
 
28.
Lapis (1966 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Mathematically precise early computer-aided animated piece based around the meditative-like inward and outward flow of images of the mandala. (10 mins.)
Director: James Whitney
 
29.
Permutations (1968 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An experimental short film by John Whitney Sr. which combines animated shapes and colors. (8 mins.)
Director: John Whitney
 
30.
Allures (1961 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An experimental short film by Jordan Belson which combines various colors and shapes. (8 mins.)
Director: Jordan Belson
 
31.
The Flying Man (1962 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
A short animated film in which a man and his dog witness another man take off in flight. (2 mins.)
Director: George Dunning
 
32.
The Hole (1962 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Two men discuss the nature of accidents and the possibility of nuclear war. (15 mins.)
Director: John Hubley
 
33.
Mothlight (1963 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A "found foliage" film composed of insects, leaves, and other detritus sandwiched between two strips of perforated tape. (4 mins.)
Director: Stan Brakhage
 
34.
Die Nashörner (1964 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(10 mins.)
Director: Jan Lenica
 
35.
Love (1964 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
A lovelorn woman obsessively pursues a man wherever he goes. (4 mins.)
 
36.
The Games of Angels (1964 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A bizarre, semi-abstract animated film, based around the theme of angels being processed by a nightmarish factory... (13 mins.)
 
37.
Ruka (1965 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A happy little potter is approached by a huge hand which wants him to sculpt its statue. The potter refuses... (18 mins.)
Director: Jirí Trnka
 
38.
Water and Power (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
By using a series of visually and aurally dense tableaux created with advanced motion control, optical printing and animation techniques... (57 mins.)
Director: Pat O'Neill
 
39.
Fritz the Cat (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s. (78 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
 
40.
Fantastic Animation Festival (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A collection of fourteen award winning animated short films including "Moonshadow," "The Last Cartoon Man," "Closed Mondays," and "Cosmic Cartoon". (91 mins.)
 
41.
The Street (1976 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
This film deals with a Jewish family in Montreal, Canada as they care for a dying grandmother and the... (10 mins.)
Director: Caroline Leaf
 
42.
Rowing Across the Atlantic (1978 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A short film about a couple who leave their home in New York City and spend the rest of their lives in a boat in the Atlantic Ocean. (24 mins.)
 
43.
Asparagus (1979 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An an animated candy colored nightmare from indie artist Suzan Pitt. (20 mins.)
Director: Suzan Pitt
 
44.
Tale of Tales (1979 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A reflection of Russian history and memory. Norstein creates a visual emotional response to a changing Russia... (29 mins.)
Director: Yu. Norshteyn
 
45.
Tango (1981 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Subsequent characters appear in a poorly-decorated room, intertwining but never colliding, all possessed by never-ending rituals. (8 mins.)
 
46.
Dimensions of Dialogue (1983 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A three-part depiction of various forms of communication. 'Factual Discussion' depicts three heads (made up of fruit... (12 mins.)
Director: Jan Svankmajer
 
47.
L'ange (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(64 mins.)
 
48.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet. (117 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
49.
Luxo Jr. (1986 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A larger lamp watches while a smaller, younger lamp plays exuberantly with a ball but doesn't pick up the knack of correct handling. (2 mins.)
Director: John Lasseter
 
50.
Street of Crocodiles (1986 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man closes up a lecture hall; he reaches into a box and snips the string holding a gaunt puppet. Released... (20 mins.)
 
51.
The Dante Quartet (1987 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A visual representation, in four parts, of one man's internalization of "The Divine Comedy." Hell is... (6 mins.)
Director: Stan Brakhage
 
52.
Steps (1987 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
(25 mins.)
 
53.
Early Abstractions (1987 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An anthology of Harry Smith's films 1-5, 7, and 10, unfortunately without the divisions clearly marked. (23 mins.)
Director: Harry Smith
 
54.
Feet of Song (1988 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Joyful, androgynous forms shimmy across the screen to the sound of world-beat music. (6 mins.)
Director: Erica Russell
 
55.
Alternative Fringe (1993 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A woman heads down to Vera Lassoo's hair salon in the belief that a nice new haircut will give her a change and cheer her up... (5 mins.)
Director: Candy Guard
 
56.
The Public Voice (1988 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A short animated film that starts with a close up on a Paul Delvaux painting then pulls back the shot while continually changing the picture. (10 mins.)
Director: Lejf Marcussen
 
57.
Repete (1995 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An animated short film in which life changing moments are repeated over and over. (8 mins.)
 
58.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime. (134 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki