By Noelle Buffam · March 26, 2011

Animated film is a collection of illustrations that are photographed frame-by-frame and then played in a quick succession. Since its inception, animation has had a creative and imaginative tendency. Being able to bring animals and objects to life, this genre has catered towards fairy tales and children’s stories. However, animation has long been a genre enjoyed by all ages. As of recent, there has even been an influx of animation geared towards adults. Animation is commonly thought of as a technique, thus it’s ability to span over many different genres.

Examples of Animated Film:

The Emperor's New Groove When a selfish emperor is turned into a llama, he must find a way to regain his throne and help his new found friends.

Finding Nemo A clownfish father goes on an underwater adventure to find his son, Nemo, after he is taken from his coral reef home.

Coraline A little girl discovers an alternate world that seems to be a perfect version of her home life, but it isn’t long until she finds out the truth.

Animated sub-genres:


Anime is a form of animation originating from Japan. Anime gained popularity in East and Southeast Asia, before becoming popular throughout the world. This sub-genre can consist of both hand drawn or computer generated animation. These films are usually based on a successful television series or video games. Many fans consider Anime an art form, as it emphasizes stylized visual cues. The influence of Japanese painting and calligraphy can often be throughout these films.

Examples: Ponyo, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky.

Adult Animation

Adult Animation is a sub-genre that uses animation to appeal to an older audience. The storyline of the film may be more sophisticated than a traditional animated film. It may be considered an Adult Animated film because of the portrayal of adult topics- such as drugs, sex, and violence. Adult Animation is usually considered cutting edge and risqué. Many of the more famous Adult Animated films are part animated and part live-action.

Examples: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.

Animated Children

Animated Children film is a sub-genre that caters to a young and specific age demographic. This sub-genre usually explores a fantastical world with vivid animation. The tone of these films is light and fun, and musical numbers are often incorporated into the plot. The story usually centers on a protagonist who must battle in a “good-over-evil” scenario.

Examples: Aladdin, Fern Gully, Beauty and the Beast.

Animated Musical

Animated Musicals are animated films that incorporate large musical numbers into the narrative. These films usually appeal to children and families. This sub-genre has been dominated by Disney productions, especially with the surge of Animated Disney Musicals in the 1950s and 1990s. Like children’s animation, these stories usually show the battle of good defeating evil with likable protagonists of moral fiber.

Examples: Snow White, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast.

Animated Family

Animated Family film is a sub-genre that has a large target audience. Many classic Animated Family films incorporate musical numbers to engage younger audiences, but more contemporary Animated Family films have developed a dual sided form of humor – appealing to children and adults.

Examples: Toy Story, Despicable Me, Cars.