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17 Animated Films That Had Amazing Messages For Adults

"My Neighbor Totoro deals with some heavier subject matter in a way that feels light, but doesn't belittle it."

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the animated movies they appreciated more as adults. Here is what they had to say.

1. A Goofy Movie (1995)

Disney

"When I watched this as a teenager, I related to Max more than Goofy. When I watched it as a soon-to-be parent, the scene where Goofy sadly starts the car to drive away from Lester's Possum Park just about killed me. He was just trying to show you something from his past, Max." —Rhonda Blair Emerson, Facebook

2. The Iron Giant (1999)

Warner Bros.

"I'm a teacher so for me it's The Iron Giant. I recently finished the topic with my kids and they pointed out how it relates to the current issue of migrants and refugees. It's a beautiful story of how we should accept the difference in others and how it can help our community." —j4a5984efd

3. Mulan (1998)

Disney

"I used to take the 'Be yourself!' messages in kids movies for granted. But as an adult I have even more respect for Mulan adhering to her values despite everyone telling her to do otherwise and fall in line. I didn't cry during Mulan at all as a child. Now, admittedly I tear up when the city bows down to Mulan, realizing it was her willingness to be different that saved them. It's hard to stand up to your family or your country and speak your mind. Mulan did that and more." —Kathleen Hong, Facebook

4. Shark Tale (2004)

DreamWorks Pictures

"Shark Tale! It discreetly addresses important issues that wouldn't make sense to me as a child. Like the fact that Lenny disguises himself as a dolphin to escape the wrath of his father and deals with being a vegetarian shark." —laurenmarissam

5. Brave (2012)

Disney

"I didn’t really get it when I was a kid, but when I got older it really resonated with me how true the mother/daughter storyline was. I think all teenage girls go through something like that with their moms. To this day, Merida is by far my favorite princess." —addiethedino

6. FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

20th Century Fox

"FernGully: The Last Rainforest. It's beautifully animated, touches on the themes of pollution and deforestation, and has memorable characters. It was one of my favorites as a child and is still one of my favorites as an adult." —r46143bf89

7. The Incredibles (2004)

Buena Vista Pictures

"After I have dealt with the stresses of the present being overtaken by the glories of the past, I can really appreciate Mr. Incredible's struggle more than when I was younger." — alexanderandtheverybademail

8. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Buena Vista Pictures

"As an adult, I love the theme of ohana (which not only means 'family' but an extended family of choice), which starts between Nani and Lilo and their 'dog' Stitch, but eventually extends to Cobra Bubbles, Jumba, and Pleakly. Added bonus: Jumba and Pleakley are the least offensive and most fun coded queer characters in Disney history. Plus, the soundtrack rocks and the simple watercolor backgrounds are beautiful." —C Paul Keller, Facebook

9. Megamind (2010)

Paramount Pictures

"It's a movie about a villain who isn't truly evil, but is rather a product of his upbringing. And that even bad guys can be good given the chance." —katw46e15b743

10. The Prince of Egypt (1998)

DreamWorks Pictures

"This movie is a goddamned masterpiece. It is visually STUNNING. Go watch the big opening scene and tell me you didn't get goosebumps. As a kid I never really wanted to watch it, it made me uncomfortable. But now, as an agnostic adult who loves movies and knows how to separate religion from art, I am now able to fully acknowledge the majesty of this movie. It is a masterpiece." —Gia Reneé Williams, Facebook

11. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Buena Vista Pictures

"Meet the Robinsons has become my favorite animated movie as I've gotten older. The whole theme of the movie is to 'keep moving forward.' Just because you fail at something the first time (or first few times) doesn't mean you should quit trying. Keep your head up and keep trying and you will get better. I also love the theme of accepting and loving people for who they are." —meemoo

12. The Secret of NIMH (1982)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios

"I always dug The Secret of NIMH when I was a kid because it was animated and there were animals in it and it was kinda spooky. Now I'm like, how many kids movies are centered around a grieving single mom just trying to get by? When she loses Timmy's medicine and she just starts crying, I start crying. And I don't even have kids. Also, Auntie Shrew is my new favorite character because she doesn't care if you like her, she's still putting her ass on the line for her community." —Marguerite Jacobs, Facebook

13. Inside Out (2015)

Disney

"Inside Out started a discussion about emotions and how everyone's emotions might be different. I hate the idea that 'happiness is a choice.' That idea teaches that happiness or joy is the most important and 'good' emotion to have, while other emotions are 'bad' and unimportant. Inside Out shows us that all our emotions are equally as important." —Holli D Kellogg, Facebook

14. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Toho

"My Neighbor Totoro deals with some heavier subject matter in a way that feels light, but doesn't belittle it. I also love that the children actually behave like real children — they are weird, loud, mysterious, and capable of amazing sweetness at times." —Claire Elyce Wiedman, Facebook

15. Brother Bear (2003)

Buena Vista Pictures

"In my opinion Brother Bear is the most underrated Disney movie. When I was younger I was mostly entertained by the talking animals and wonderful Phil Collins songs. Now that I'm older I really appreciate the message that love is so much more important than hate and that we should put ourselves in each other's shoes before making judgments." —kfoley18

16. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Toho

"The animation style of Studio Ghibli is beautiful, and it shows what happens when people try to intervene with nature. I also don't know how it didn't scar me as a kid, because some of the scenes are downright terrifying, but I guess my younger self just didn't comprehend what was happening in those scenes." —lexis4bca61e1d

17. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Buena Vista Pictures

"I wasn't a huge fan as a kid, but now it's my favorite Disney movie because of its music, animation, and the undertones of minorities rising up against their oppressors. Being a gay man, I watched this movie again and instantly loved Esmeralda's character more than before and saw myself in her, especially during 'God Help the Outcasts.'" —Anthony Helfrich, Facebook

Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.

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