When the weather is colder and the days are shorter, nothing feels better than curling up with a good book—or a good animated movie! Even if your holiday season is too hectic to spend the whole time kicking back, you can always put a movie on while you’re wrapping or cooking or whatever you’re doing!
It’s the time of the year to treat yo’ self! And we’ve got a great list of 5 ways to do that—all available via Netflix. As an added bonus, all of these movies were worked on by Animation Mentor alumni and/or mentors! Just grab some popcorn and enjoy.
-The Animation Mentor Crew
1. Minions (2015)
Did you know Minions is the first Non-Disney or Pixar animated film to take $1 billion worldwide at the box office? Pretty impressive for three little guys who look like twinkies. (Just kidding, Kevin, Stuart, and Bob. We love you!)
We’re glad the little guys got their own spin-off, especially since some were worried they couldn’t hold their own without Gru. Illumination proved them wrong and created a fun and feel-good film full of laugh-out-loud moments.
And we’re proud to say that our own Animation Mentor alumnus Hichem Arfaoui snagged an Annie Award nomination for his work on Minions!
2. Zootopia (2016)
What? Zootopia is on Netflix too? It’s like they never want us to leave the couch—and we’re totally fine with that.
Zootopia has everything—heart, laughs, and thought-provoking messages about discrimination and social stereotypes. This means you can feel great about sharing it with your loved ones, especially if your loved ones are little ones! No matter who’s watching with you, Zootopia is great for everyone. You really can’t go wrong.
3. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
In DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda 3, Po reunites with his rather large family—it’s just like your family’s chaotic yearly holiday gathering! Most importantly, though, the tiny pandas are super adorable. You’ll spend the whole movie squee-ing about them.
There’s been talk of the Kung Fu Panda franchise possibly reaching six total films, and we couldn’t be happier to hear that. You keep makin’ em, and we’ll keep watchin’ em.
Read more about the making of the movie from DreamWorks animator and Animation Mentor alumnus, Frank Abney!
4. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
Need a laugh? How about a hundred? DreamWorks Penguins of Madagascar is just the ticket, as the Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico foursome will have you in stitches. Another example of side characters completely holding their own, we’re glad to see the penguins striking out on their own cheezy-dibbles-fueled adventure!
Can’t get enough of the penguins? Check out this great video detailing the Pipeline of DreamWorks Animation Studios, hosted by Skipper himself.
5. Fantasia 2000 (1999)
The sequel to the 1940 original Fantasia—Walt Disney’s third feature film—Fantasia 2000 is a fascinating combination of traditional animation and CG imagery. The film premiered in December 1999 in Carnegie Hall and then continued on to shows in Pasadena, California as well as London, Paris, and Tokyo. Fantasia 2000 was also released in IMAX theaters around the world, making it the first animated feature-length film to be shown in the IMAX format.
With seven segments, including the original “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” short from the 1940 original, it’s like a collection of short animated films that are a treat for the eyes and the ears but that don’t require a lot of thought or attention to enjoy. Fantasia 2000 might be good one to watch while you’re wrapping gifts or baking cookies, although the segments are so spellbinding you might find yourself getting lost in them.
Need more to watch? Check out last year’s post on animated films to watch on Netflix—most of them are still available!