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This is a guest post by Catherine Ross.

For most of us, the first childhood movie we watch is a colorful, exuberant animated movie, rich in heart and important life lessons. Animated movies are our gateway to the magic of film; they tell some gripping stories and they appeal to all ages and interests. So even if you aren’t a hardcore anime fan, here are seven animation movies you simply must have on your bucket list.

  1. The Lion King

Walt Disney came up with a winner with this coming-of-age musical adventure featuring Simba, the lion cub and future king of his clan. The movie garnered a couple of Academy Awards for its musical score and a Golden Globe as best musical, among other accolades. 2014, the twentieth anniversary of this beloved movie, is a good time to watch or re-watch The Lion King.

  1. The Toy Story Series

Another emotional buddy adventure series where Buzz, Rex and Woody deal with all the growing-up issues that every child faces at some point. The Toy Story gang comprises anthropomorphic toys that pretend to be inanimate whenever there are humans around. Considered to be one of the best animated series ever, Pixar’sToy Story has inspired countless video games, theme park rides and bestselling merchandise.

  1. How to Train your Dragon

DreamWorks’ Animation has produced some pretty good animated movies over the years, and How to Train your Dragon Parts 1 and 2 are some of their finest films. Featuring the adventures of a convention-defying teenage Viking and his pet dragon, HTTYD is comic, epic and heart-warming by turns and is guaranteed to leave you moist-eyed at the end. A must-watch for kids AND adults.

  1. Finding Nemo

A regal tang with short memory loss, an overprotective clownfish and his kidnapped only child battle the odds to succeed in an elaborate and seemingly impossible escape plan. The main characters traverse all the way from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Harbor and encounter a variety of sinister and sympathetic sea creatures and eventually outwit the human captors. And, before you know it, you find yourself in love with Marlin, Dory and Nemo!

  1. Ratatouille

    A deceased master chef believes anyone can cook and he is proved to be right when an ambitious young rat who loves to cook befriends a garbage boy and leads him to the heights of culinary glory in Paris. The multi-lingual movie won critical acclamation, grossed millions at the box office and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2007. Remy the rat and Linguini the young garbage boy are the unlikely lead couple of this scrumptious adventure.

  2. Akira

Tokyo 2019 is not a very healthy place to be in if you happen to be a telekinetic teenage biker on the run from the authorities and rival gangs. Akira,the 1988 cult Japanese anime movie, is based on the comic book (manga) by Katsuhiro Otomo, and has become a popular animation flick in the United States. The movie is technically outstanding but its violence makes it an unsuitable watch for young children.

  1. Despicable Me

A criminal mastermind adopts three boisterous young girls in order to infiltrate his rival’s fortress and steal a ray that will shrink the moon. Despicable Me has an impossibly hilarious plot where super-villains hatch dastardly plots to get the better of each other, only to find that being a good parent is more important than being top dog in the world of crime.

Author Bio:

Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at http://kidslearninggames.weebly.com/