The 47 best DARK ANIMATION MOVIES you need to watch before you DIE

ADULT THEMED / NON-DISNEY / NON-ANIME / NON-3D ANIMATED. The animated movies were not intended to focus towards kids but were another method of artistic storytelling.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
American Pop (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century. (96 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
 
2.
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
To save her ill son, a field mouse must seek the aid of a colony of rats, with whom she has a deeper link than she ever suspected. (82 mins.)
Director: Don Bluth
 
3.
Watership Down (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A group of rabbits flee their doomed warren and face many dangers to find and protect their new home. (91 mins.)
Director: Martin Rosen
 
4.
The Iron Giant (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy. (86 mins.)
Director: Brad Bird
 
5.
Æon Flux (1991 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Æon Flux is a mysterious and amoral secret agent from the country of Monica. Her motives or background are left unexplained... (30 mins.)
 
6.
When the Wind Blows (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war. (80 mins.)
 
7.
Felidae (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A cat must investigate brutal murders of other cats in a neighborhood he has moved into with his owner. (82 mins.)
Director: Michael Schaack
 
8.
The Maxx (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Confused hulking homeless superhero The Maxx tries to protect his social worker and friend Julie from an omniscient serial killer Mr. Gone both in the real world, which may or may not actually be real, and the subconscious fantasy world. (154 mins.)
 
9.
Fantastic Planet (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
This futuristic story takes place on a faraway planet where blue giants rule, and oppressed humanoids rebel against the machine-like leaders. (72 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
10.
The Plague Dogs (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two dogs escape from a laboratory and are hunted as possible carriers of the bubonic plague. (103 mins.)
Director: Martin Rosen
 
11.
The Last Unicorn (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A brave unicorn and a magician fight an evil king who is obsessed with attempting to capture the world's unicorns. (92 mins.)
 
12.
A Cat in Paris (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In Paris, a cat who lives a secret life as a cat burglar's aide must come to the rescue of Zoe, the little girl he lives with, after she falls into a gangster's clutches. (70 mins.)
 
13.
The Land Before Time (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An orphaned brontosaurus teams up with other young dinosaurs in order to reunite with their families in a valley. (69 mins.)
Director: Don Bluth
 
14.
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
 
15.
Gandahar (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An evil force from a 1000 years in the future begins to destroy an idyllic paradise, where the citizens are in perfect harmony with nature. (78 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
16.
Fire and Ice (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In this animated tale, a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord... (81 mins.)
 
17.
Chico & Rita (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey - in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero - brings heartache and torment. (94 mins.)
 
18.
Broken Saints (2003 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Centered on philosophical, religious, political and spiritual themes, it tells the story of four strangers... (720 mins.)
Director: Brooke Burgess
 
19.
Waltz with Bashir (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict. (90 mins.)
Director: Ari Folman
 
20.
An American Tail (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
While emigrating to the United States, a young Russian mouse gets separated from his family and must relocate them while trying to survive in a new country. (80 mins.)
Director: Don Bluth
 
21.
The Secret of Kells (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. (75 mins.)
 
22.
How Wang-Fo Was Saved (1987 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Wang Fo, the greatest master of medieval China, aided by his assistant who has given up everything to follow him... (15 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
23.
Persepolis (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. (96 mins.)
 
24.
Time Masters (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Piel, a 7 or 8 year old boy, is alone on the desert planet Perdide, only survivor of an attack by giant hornets... (78 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
25.
The Captive (1988 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Two kids travel to a city where silence is kept sacred. (7 mins.)
 
26.
Renaissance (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In 2054, Paris is a labyrinth where all movement is monitored and recorded. Casting a shadow over everything is the city's largest company, Avalon, which insinuates itself into every aspect of contemporary life to sell its primary export -- youth and beauty. In this world of stark contrasts and rigid laws the populace is kept in line and accounted for. (105 mins.)
 
27.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A handsome prince rides a flying horse to far-away lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess. (81 mins.)
Director: Lotte Reiniger
 
28.
Heavy Metal (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror. (86 mins.)
 
29.
Wizards (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest. (80 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
 
30.
Rock & Rule (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A malevolent rock star kidnaps a female singer to force her to participate in the summoning of a demon and her band must help her stop him. (77 mins.)
Director: Clive A. Smith
 
31.
Coonskin (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Rabbit, a country-born trickster, takes over the organized crime racket in Harlem, facing opposition from the institutionalized racism of the Mafia and corrupt police. (100 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
 
32.
The Lord of the Rings (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
The Fellowship of the Ring embark on a journey to destroy the One Ring and end Sauron's reign over Middle-earth. (132 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
 
33.
Anastasia (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death. (94 mins.)
 
34.
Waking Life (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe. (99 mins.)
 
35.
It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Bill struggles to put together his shattered psyche, in this new feature film version of Don Hertzfeldt's animated short film trilogy. (62 mins.)
 
36.
The Story of the Fox (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the kingdom of animals, Master Fox is used to trick and fool everyone. So the King, the Lion, receives more and more complaints about him... (65 mins.)
 
37.
Animal Farm (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A successful farmyard revolution by the resident animals vs. the farmer goes horribly wrong as the victors create a new tyranny among themselves. (72 mins.)
 
38.
The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him. (78 mins.)
Director: Sylvain Chomet
 
39.
Heavy Traffic (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork. (77 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
 
40.
Alice in Wonderland (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
This exceptional theatrical version of Lewis Carroll's 1865 classic features a combination of live characters and puppets. (76 mins.)
Director: Dallas Bower
 
41.
Arzak Rhapsody (2003 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Arzak Rhapsody is based on comics by artist/author Jean 'Moebius' Giraud. This compilation of 14 short stories follow the adventures of Arzach, a silent warrior who rides a pterodactyl-like creature through strange, desolate landscapes. (4 mins.)
Director: Moebius
 
42.
The Great Heep (1986 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
The Galactic Empire dispatches a gigantic droid to take control of a planet. R2-D2 and C-3PO arrive to find their new master captured and must work with locals to defeat the Great Heep. (48 mins.)
Director: Clive A. Smith
 
43.
The Snails (1966 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A gardener tries his best to make his salad plants grow. It is only when he cries that his tears finally water the field and the salads grow huge... (10 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
44.
Sita Sings the Blues (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. (82 mins.)
Director: Nina Paley
 
45.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A washed-up luchador and a super-spy investigate Nazi zombies, a nefarious scientist, and a stripper with a Satanic birthmark. (77 mins.)
Director: Rob Zombie
 
46.
Dead Times (1965 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
What is man ? Man makes war, man kills man, man hunts, man is executed. A montage mixing original drawings by Topor, original shots and stock shots that ironically analyze what man is. (10 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
47.
City of Rott (2006 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
Desperately losing his mind while searching for a new pair of shoes, an old man and his trusty Walker wander the City of Rott, saturated with thousands of rotting zombies, driven to feed the blood-hungry worms residing in their skulls. (78 mins.)
Director: Frank Sudol