I don’t know about you, but for me, summer is a time of movies…and usually the animated kind. I have a dear friend with whom I have a very special pact: when animated movies come out, we go together to see them.

I confess I’ve developed some favorites over the years (beyond all of the Disney classics). Here they are, in no particular order.


Despicable Me (Illumination) 2010
I simply love this series. What a great “villain” Gru is. And who doesn’t love those little yellow Twinkie-like minions? They are totally adorbs! Did you know that “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is coming in 2020, and a Despicable Me 4 is in the works? Can’t wait!

Inside Out (Pixar) 2015
This is a great take on the conflicted emotions and angst that take place in a burgeoning teenager’s brain. I love the point it makes about how important it is to feel sadness and not just happiness all the time. The most hilarious part of this movie for me personally is at the end, where they go into dog brains and cat brains to see what they’re “thinking.” A total riot.

Toy Story (Pixar) 1995
It’s hard to believe this series has been around for nearly a quarter century. I really admire whomever came up with the concept of toys coming to life when their owner isn’t around. Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the whole gang are such great personalities. It’s so sweet that they live just to make Andy happy and will go to any lengths to serve and protect him. And Toy Story 4 just came out recently, with the toys being passed to a new owner and now having new adventures. I hope this series continues.

Shrek (DreamWorks) 2001
Another one where I can’t believe how much time has passed since the first movie. One of the most clever and original animated movies ever! I just adore the whole fairytale world conjured up in this series. I’ve read that there is a Shrek 5 in the works. Yay! Hopefully there will be plenty of Puss in Boots in it. I love that adorable little cat.

Up (Pixar) 2009
Such a sweet and moving story about a widower who ends up on a buddy-adventure with a young boy who is a stowaway aboard his balloon-powered house. The sequence with Carl looking at the scrapbook of his beloved wife always moves me to tears.

The Incredibles (Pixar) 2004
I wish there were fewer than 14 years between installments of this series about a superhero family. And the superhero uniform designer, Edna Mode, is just awesome. More please!

Megamind (DreamWorks) 2010
This movie didn’t do as well as the box-office as it deserved to do. Will Ferrell is wonderful as the totally insecure evil villain who secretly longs for the news reporter (Tina Fey). And who thought up a piranha in a fishbowl as an evil sidekick? It’s not often that you’re rooting for the bad guy in a movie, but this villain is just a good guy painted blue.

Honorable mentions for me would be The Secret Life of Pets, How to Train Your Dragon, and Chicken Run.

For the record, I’ve never seen Frozen. I know, I know, I must be the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen it. I have no idea how I missed that one.

Do you have any favorites in this list? Am I missing any really fabulous animated movies?

Just a reminder

I will be appearing at the one-day Murder As You Like It Conference in Mechanicsburg, PA, on August 10, 2019. There will be various panels and a book signing in an intimate environment. It’s a great way to get to know some new authors while also reconnecting with your favorites. And if you want to talk about your favorite animated movie, I’d love to chat with you!

Murder as You Like it Mystery Conference
Sponsored by the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop
Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church (about 10 minutes from the bookstore)
5000 Simpson Ferry Road
Mechanicsburg, PA
My panel: “There’s a Mystery for Everyone”