Edgy Fantasy Animation

by lunarvision | created - 13 Jan 2014 | updated - 25 Nov 2016 | Public

There's a certain style/feel to the movies I've added on this list... Mainly, darker fantasy animation of the late 70's - mid 80's. Misunderstood & often maligned, these movies were a bit too edgy (bizarre, trippy or creepy) to be popular family fare - but eventually gained cult status. Leave suggestions in your comments. (I didn't focus on anime, since there's an abundance of fan lists devoted to that).

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1. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney

Votes: 77,435 | Gross: $76.41M

2. Fantastic Planet (1973)

PG | 72 min | Animation, Sci-Fi

7.8
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On a faraway planet where blue giants rule, oppressed humanoids rebel against their machine-like leaders.

Director: René Laloux | Stars: Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Drake, Eric Baugin, Jean Topart

Votes: 16,797

3. Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)

G | 84 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

6.7
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Raggedy Ann and Andy leave their playroom to rescue Babette, a beautiful French doll kidnapped by pirates.

Director: Richard Williams | Stars: Claire Williams, Didi Conn, Mark Baker, Fred Stuthman

Votes: 587

4. Wizards (1977)

PG | 80 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

6.5
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    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.

Director: Ralph Bakshi | Stars: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval

Votes: 8,364 | Gross: $9.00M

5. The Hobbit (1977 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A homebody hobbit in Middle Earth gets talked into joining a quest with a group of dwarves to recover their treasure from a dragon.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Orson Bean, John Huston, Brother Theodore, Cyril Ritchard

Votes: 10,744

6. The Lord of the Rings (1978)

PG | 132 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

6.2
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    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.

Director: Ralph Bakshi | Stars: Christopher Guard, William Squire, Michael Scholes, John Hurt

Votes: 26,023 | Gross: $0.92M

7. Watership Down (1978)

PG | 91 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.7
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A group of rabbits flee their doomed warren and face many dangers to find and protect their new home.

Director: Martin Rosen | Stars: John Hurt, Richard Briers, Ralph Richardson, Michael Graham Cox

Votes: 27,926

8. The Return of the King (1980 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 98 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

5.7
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Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Orson Bean, John Huston, Theodore Bikel, William Conrad

Votes: 3,023

9. Faeries (1981 TV Short)

30 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

7.7
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The king of the faeries sends for a young hunter after his shadow escapes and threatens his kingdom.

Director: Lee Mishkin | Stars: Hans Conried, Craig Schaefer, Morgan Brittany, Frank Welker

Votes: 113

10. Heavy Metal (1981)

R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

6.7
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    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.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, Harold Whitaker | Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks

Votes: 26,161

11. Les maîtres du temps (1982)

78 min | Animation, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.5
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Piel, a 7 or 8 year old boy, is alone on the desert planet Perdide, only survivor of an attack by giant hornets. Calling for help, Piel's father's friend Jaffar keeps contact with the kid ... See full summary »

Director: René Laloux | Stars: Jean Valmont, Michel Elias, Frédéric Legros, Yves-Marie Maurin

Votes: 4,241

12. The Secret of NIMH (1982)

G | 82 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.6
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    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.

Director: Don Bluth | Stars: Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi, Dom DeLuise, Arthur Malet

Votes: 30,439 | Gross: $10.14M

13. The Last Unicorn (1982)

G | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.5
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A brave unicorn and a magician fight an evil king who is obsessed with attempting to capture the world's unicorns.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin

Votes: 20,900 | Gross: $6.46M

14. Rock & Rule (1983)

PG | 77 min | Animation, Fantasy, Music

6.7
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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.

Director: Clive A. Smith | Stars: Don Francks, Gregory Salata, Susan Roman, Samantha Langevin

Votes: 2,565 | Gross: $0.03M

15. Fire and Ice (1983)

PG | 81 min | Animation, Fantasy, Adventure

6.6
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    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, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Ralph Bakshi, Tom Tataranowicz | Stars: Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor, Sean Hannon

Votes: 7,423 | Gross: $0.76M

16. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

8.1
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Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda, Gorô Naya

Votes: 112,172

17. Dragon's Lair (1984–1985)

TV-Y7 | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The legendary video game Dragon's Lair was a blockbuster (and quarter guzzling) sensation when it first debuted, spawning sequels, imitators, and a beloved Saturday morning cartoon series. ... See full summary »

Stars: Arthur Burghardt, Michael Mish, Fred Travalena, Ellen Gerstell

Votes: 115

18. The Black Cauldron (1985)

PG | 80 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

6.5
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A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich | Stars: Grant Bardsley, Freddie Jones, Susan Sheridan, Nigel Hawthorne

Votes: 24,939 | Gross: $21.29M

19. The Sword in the Stone (1963)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in English history.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Rickie Sorensen, Sebastian Cabot, Karl Swenson, Junius Matthews

Votes: 73,213 | Gross: $22.18M

20. Gwen, le livre de sable (1985)

67 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

6.8
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Gwen is a young girl adopted by a nomad tribe in a desert post-apocalyptic world. When Gwen's friend is kidnapped, she and an old woman called Roseline embark on a trip to bring him back.

Director: Jean-François Laguionie | Stars: Michel Robin, Lorella Di Cicco, Armand Babel, Raymond Jourdan

Votes: 244

21. Dungeons & Dragons (1983–1985)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A group of kids are thrown into a fantasy world where they must search for a way home, armed with magic weapons that an evil tyrant wants.

Stars: Willie Aames, Don Most, Katie Leigh, Adam Rich

Votes: 3,437

22. Gandahar (1988)

PG | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

7.1
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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.

Director: René Laloux | Stars: Glenn Close, Christopher Plummer, Pierre-Marie Escourrou, Catherine Chevallier

Votes: 3,306 | Gross: $0.37M

23. The Secret of Kells (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

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.

Directors: Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey | Stars: Evan McGuire, Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, Christen Mooney

Votes: 25,966 | Gross: $0.69M

24. Space Adventure Cobra (1982)

99 min | Animation, Action, Fantasy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Cobra, a famous space pirate with a psycho-gun hidden in his left arm, supposed dead for two years, is back in action. He falls for bounty huntress Jane Flower, whom crime lord Necron wants dead, and tries to help her save her world.

Director: Osamu Dezaki | Stars: Shigeru Matsuzaki, Akiko Nakamura, Toshiko Fujita, Yoshiko Sakakibara

Votes: 1,365

25. The Flight of Dragons (1982 Video)

Passed | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.8
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A young Boston writer goes back in time into an era where wizards and dragon reign and science is just barely known.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Victor Buono, James Gregory, James Earl Jones, Harry Morgan

Votes: 4,673