Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. The romance genre is undeniably the most mainstream among the world of animated movies. It can epitomise countless things like depicting a modest first love between young people or a developed and dependable love between grown-ups. Seeing two characters fall in love makes the audiences squeal, laugh, and sometimes cry tears of joy. A great number of romantic animated films release every year but we are here to take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane by making you revisit the good old ones.
Here’s a list of movies that include sad, happy and dramatic elements which wonderfully capture the essence of love. These films are not all over-the-top romances and the stories are diverse, so even love cynics can enjoy them as there’s something for everyone!
1) WALL-E (2008)
Pixar has a lot of great movies that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day but none focus on love more than the 2008 Academy Award-winning animated film, WALL-E. Pixar took a chance by creating a movie with little dialogue but the risk certainly paid off and gave us one of the most romantic stories in the modern age.
The movie centres on Wall-E, a trash-collecting robot who has been tasked with cleaning up Earth so that humans can one day return. Wall-E appears to be the only robot still working in his area so when he encounters Eve, a robot sent from space to detect life on Earth, he is immediately smitten. After showing Eve that he has found a plant, Eve takes it and is sent back into space. Not understanding, Wall-E clings on to the ship carrying Eve and enters the world of space. Smitten Wall-E embarks on his greatest adventure as he follows Eve across the galaxy.
2) Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Sleeping Beauty is one of Disney’s earliest works and has somewhat been forgotten nowadays with the popularity of other princesses. Still, it’s a pretty good movie and a great watch, especially considering that its live-action remake Maleficent has been attracting a lot of attention recently. The story revolves around an evil fairy who is snubbed by the royal family, so she curses princess Aurora in revenge. The curse can only be lifted by a prince who is aided by three good fairies. Thanks to Aurora’s guardian fairies, she only falls into a deep sleep that can be ended with a kiss from prince Philip (her true love). Though it seems like an easy solution, the journey to awaken Aurora wasn’t. And that’s what makes this fairytale an interesting watch.
It is a film that will charm the young and tickle adults. Sleeping Beauty is a magnificent movie that offers suspense, action and happy humour in a giant-sized package.
3) The Princess And The Frog (2009)
When it comes to Disney princess movies, The Princess and the Frog is often overlooked. However, it’s undeniably one of the most romantic Disney princess movies of all time. Released in 2009, the movie centres on Tiana, a young woman living in New Orleans who dreams of opening up her own restaurant. Tiana’s dreams are threatened when she is accidentally turned into a frog when Prince Naveen, who is also a frog, kisses Tiana. Now these two human turned frogs must figure out how to transform back into humans all the while getting to know each other’s true selves.
Watching the film is like revisiting the princess movie world that kicked off the modern age of Disney princesses. From true love’s kiss and a lovestruck firefly bug to a crazy jazz-playing alligator and a sinister Disney villain, The Princess and the Frog is yet another movie in the list that has something for everyone.
4) Lady And The Tramp (1955)
When it comes to classic Disney animated movies, Lady and the Tramp is one of the best romance dramas of its time. The 1955 classic follows Lady, a young Cocker Spaniel, who has trouble adjusting to her new life when her humans bring home a new baby. After an accident that wasn’t her fault leaves her outside at night, Lady runs away and is quickly befriended and protected by a stray. A romance begins to blossom between the two dogs, but their many differences, along with more drama at Lady’s household, threaten to keep them apart.
Not only are Lady and Tramp two of the most adorable Disney dogs of all time, but they also have one of the best Disney romantic moments of all time. And even though the movie really is a classic love story, there’s still a lot of action for those family members who aren’t too fond of mushy love scenes.
5) Aladdin (1992)
Mostly remembered for Robin Williams’ performance as Genie, Aladdin is one of the most entertaining Disney animated movies because of its grand adventures, iconic songs, and unforgettable characters. Loosely based on the Arabic folktale of the same name from the One Thousand and One Nights, it tells the story of a street urchin named Aladdin who finds a magic lamp with a genie inside.
Aladdin teaches us that love knows no boundaries when Princess Jasmine falls for the street-rat, Aladdin. Together, they push back the things that try to keep them apart and end up getting their happily ever after. The film is as fun as a magic carpet ride, so sit back and enjoy the unbelievable sights the big musical spectacle includes.
6) Tangled (2010)
One of Disney’s recent releases when compared to the others mentioned in the list, Tangled has become a beloved movie among fans and casual viewers alike because of its lighthearted atmosphere, lots of absolutely hilarious jokes, and extremely memorable songs. Loosely following the story of the German fairy tale Rapunzel.
This heart-warming adventure soars as roguish thief Flynn Ryder crosses paths with Rapunzel, a curious and kind teen with 70 feet of magical hair, locked in a far-off tower. Eventually, Rapunzel convinces Ryder to take her to see the lights in the kingdom of Corona. There’s beautiful ballads, hilarious action, and a whole crew of memorable characters in Tangled that makes watching the duo’s escapades one of the best Valentine’s Day choices.
Tangled is a feel-good film that is very enjoyable throughout. A modern favourite, it sees the princess take matters into her own hands when it comes to her own life and love.
7) The Little Mermaid (1989)
The Little Mermaid is often considered to be the first movie of the Disney Renaissance era which brought back success to the studio and helped it to start making popular animated movies again. Based on the 1837 fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, it follows a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel who is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. However, when things do not go as planned for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.
Audiences of all ages are bound to fall in love with this bubbly, thoroughly enchanting fish story. It is a flawless blend of heart-wrenching drama, witty dialogues, and beautiful songs. All together, The Little Mermaid makes for an incredibly entertaining and empowering film; a classic that you’d never be tired of watching.
8) Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in its traditional sense, is definitely not a family-friendly story. But the story of two people being forbidden to love each other is easy enough to adapt and make into something all ages of audiences can understand. And that’s exactly what Touchstone Pictures did when they released Gnomeo and Juliet in 2011.
The movie centres on two gnome families who live next door to each other. The gnomes learned to hate each other thanks to their human owner’s neverending feud. During a night of seeking revenge, Gnomeo enters the Red Gnome backyard, but instead of carrying through with his prank, he meets Juliet and is instantly smitten. Just like the real Romeo and Juliet, the movie has tons of romance and antics as these two families try to keep Gnomeo and Juliet apart.
9) Beauty And The Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast is, without a doubt, one of Walt Disney’s most successful films of all time. The movie centres on a young prince who has been transformed into a hideous beast to teach him a lesson. In order to break the curse, he must fall in love before the last petal falls on the enchanted rose. Here’s when his lady-love Belle enters the plot. The spirited headstrong girl begins to draw the cold-hearted beast out of his isolation with the help of his enchanted servants whom she befriended. There’s also a romantic dance sequence between the two that is sure to melt your hearts.
Beauty and the Beast truly has something for everyone. There is Belle and the Beast’s slow-burn romance that makes it the perfect film for Valentine’s Day, but then there are also evil curses, a sketchy villain, and a few epic battle scenes that are sure to get kids’ attention. The film also has some of the best Disney original songs of all time.
10) Hercules (1997)
An underrated movie from the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s, Hercules is not the most accurate adaptation of Greek mythology, but it’s definitely a fun ride with loads of memorable songs, hilarious jokes and captures the essence of romance well. The story follows the legendary hero Hercules, the son of Zeus, who finds himself in the mortal world and must now prove that he is worthy of being with the gods.
Hercules meets Meg, a damsel in distress, whom he saves. Love blossoms between the two and the audience witnesses multiple sequences where the duo sacrifice for each other. In the end, love wins as they are successful in saving each other while still being together. Is this all? Well, no. Hercules gives up his special powers so that he can stay with Meg on Earth.
Both adults and kids will love Hercules. It’s fast-paced, funny, and gives a very positive message. The animated artistry and sly wit is ahead of its age considering the year of release. The story is cleverly told and wonderfully voiced.
~ Hope you enjoyed the list!