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10 Best Animated Movies About Time Travel, Ranked

Summary Animated movies offer more creative freedom for exploring time travel concepts and expanding on them in unique ways.
Animated movies, including those about time travel, are not just for kids. They contain valuable life lessons for both children and adults.
Time travel movies in animation can touch on important themes like family and empathy, providing heartwarming and emotional experiences.
Many movies have taken advantage of animation to make some of the best time travel movies. As animation isn’t hindered by what an actor is able to do on set, there is a lot more freedom when making an animated movie. It makes time travel an excellent plot device for animated movies to use, as they can really expand on the concept in unique ways.
A common belief is that animated movies are meant purely for kids. While there are a lot of kid-friendly animated movies, there are plenty of animated movies for adults, too, including Grave of the Fireflies, Loving Vincent, and even South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Animated movies tend to contain life lessons that are beneficial to kids and adults alike, and the ones about time travel are no exception, seeing as some of the best touch on subjects such as family and the importance of empathy.
Related 10 Time Travel Movie Rules, Ranked Worst To Best Time travel movies are often riddled with plot holes, but some of them, like Interstellar, manage to stick to their own rules from beginning to end.
10 Regular Show: The Movie (2015)
A time travel flick based on the Cartoon Network show
Regular Show: The Movie takes place between the first two episodes of the Cartoon Network show’s seventh season. It follows Mordecai, Rigby, and their friends as they try to fix a mistake the duo made in their past. Mordecai and Rigby had made a time machine in high school that is now being used by their former volleyball coach for evil. Regular Show: The Movie maintains the wacky comedy that makes the TV series so popular. Its message on the importance of friendship and communication is surprisingly heartwarming as Mordecai and Rigby come to understand how past actions have hurt each other.
9 Steins;Gate: The Movie – Load Region Of Déjà Vu (2013)
A follow-up to the popular anime
Taking place one year after the events of the anime series, Steins;Gate: The Movie – Load Region of Déjà Vu discusses a popular issue with time travel, what happens when one goes too far with it. The film takes it in an interesting direction as Rintaro Okabe’s consistent time travel causes him to disappear from reality with only Kurisa Mikase remembering him. Steins;Gate succeeded at making a good anime sequel movie, which is a feat in itself. The movie is surprisingly emotional, as Kurisa’s love for Rintaro is constantly tested by failures to rescue him. The movie does well at balancing the drama with a unique time travel story.
8 Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
A dog and his human son have to fix time
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a DreamWorks movie about a young boy whose antics rip a hole in time. Sherman and his dog adoptive father, Mr. Peabody, have to undo the damage while dealing with child protective services. The relationship between Mr. Peabody and Sherman is sweet and provides a lot of the movie’s humor. Mr. Peabody & Sherman has a lot of heart and contains a lot of commentary on family and how families can be different. The overall message, that just because a family looks different doesn’t mean it’s bad, is one that will stand the test of time. Although parts of the movie were slow, the heart behind Mr. Peabody & Sherman makes up for it.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on characters from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends. Mr. Peabody and Sherman were in the segments titled Peabody’s Improbable History.
7 Quantum Cowboys (2022)
A live-action/animated sci-fi Western
The ever-changing style of Quantum Cowboys makes it one of the most interesting animated movies. A sci-fi Western following two drifters who decide to help a woman get her land back, Quantum Cowboys is a unique mix of live-action and animation. The constant stylistic switches can make it difficult to understand, but once the plot gets moving and the idea of reality is thrown out of the window, the movie becomes engaging and philosophical. The ambition behind Quantum Cowboys is what makes it such a good time travel movie. As a lot of time travel movies focus on action, it’s refreshing to see a time travel film take a more philosophical route.
6 Godzilla: The Planet Of The Monsters (2017)
Humans must flee Earth after Godzilla attacks
After a Godzilla attack nearly makes humans extinct, the survivors are forced to flee Earth with two alien races on the ship Aratrum. 20 years later, Captain Haruo Sakaki convinces everyone to take the Aratrum back to Earth after finding Godzilla’s weakness. When the Aratrum returns, 20,000 years have passed on Earth, and the planet has been drastically altered by Godzilla’s presence. Like the best Godzilla franchise movies, Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters has incredible visuals and engaging action scenes. Although the characters are not fleshed out well, the beauty of the film overshadows that. The visuals, especially those of Godzilla, are magnificent and capture the essence of the kaiju genre wonderfully.
Two sequels were made in 2018, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle and Godzilla: The Planet Eater.
5 The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
A girl’s time travel exploits begin to have consequences
In The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, teenager Makoto Konno discovers a device that allows her to jump through time. She uses it to avoid being late, get perfect grades, and avoid awkward situations. As she continues to use this new power, Makoto realizes that not only does she have a limited number of time jumps, but her actions have affected those around her. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a fun coming-of-age movie that feels like a Studio Ghibli movie. The imagery and softness of the film, juxtaposed with the real danger Makoto puts herself and others in, add a lot of weight to the film. The movie drives its message of understanding the consequences of one’s actions home perfectly.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is loosely based on a novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui.
Related Every Hayao Miyazaki Movie Ranked, Including The Boy And The Heron Hayao Miyazaki is one of the biggest names in animation, and here’s how all of his movies, including The Boy and the Heron, compare to each other.
4 Mirai (2018)
A young boy time travels to learn about his family
In Mirai, 6-year-old Kun is distraught by the arrival of his baby sister, Mirai, as he is jealous of the attention she gets. Throughout the movie, Kun goes into the garden and travels through time. Every time he does so, Kun meets various people, and each one turns out to be a member of Kun’s family, including a version of Mirai from the future and Kun’s great-grandfather. Like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Mirai ‘s imagery and plot make it feel like a Studio Ghibli film. It’s interesting to see time traveling affect the present in such an intimate way. The biggest change to come from Kun’s time traveling in Mirai is within Kun himself as he learns to be more understanding of his family.
3 Meet The Robinsons (2007)
Kid-friendly time travel adventure
Disney’s Meet the Robinsons is a fun and heartwarming time travel adventure movie. Young inventor Lewis is taken to the future by a boy named Wilbur, who needs his help. Lewis bonds with Wilbur’s family, the Robinsons, and soon becomes entangled in a conflict with the mysterious Bowler Hat Guy. Meet the Robinsons is full of emotion and humor as it tackles topics such as family and guilt. It’s the perfect movie to watch again as an adult to catch hidden details about Meet the Robinsons’ characters, who are the ones who truly make the movie spectacular. Each one brings something different, and they are so complex that it makes Meet the Robinsons feel real, even if the setting and plot are fantastical.
2 Your Name (2016)
An emotionally charged anime movie about body-switching
After wishing to be a boy in her next life, Mitsuha Miyamizu switches bodies with Taki Tachibana, a boy living in Tokyo. The two continue to switch bodies on certain days and help each other in their personal lives. When Taki tries to find Mitsuha, however, he learns that they’ve been time traveling as well, as Mitsuha died three years earlier when a comet destroyed her village. Your Name’s subversion of a classic trope makes it feel new and exciting. Despite the sci-fi aspects of it, Your Name stays incredibly grounded and focuses on everyday life. The intimacy of the film is what makes it so special, and every emotion that it invokes is genuine.
Related Your Name Ending Explained (In Detail) Your Name, a 2016 animated film, combines an emotional love story with a sci-fi time travel element in a plot that can be hard to follow.
1 A Christmas Carol (2009)
An animated retelling of the classic novel
Disney’s version of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol, was shot using motion capture and follows the original tale closely. Wealthy miser Ebenezer Scrooge is taken throughout his past, present, and future by three ghosts to show him the error of his ways. Many versions of A Christmas Carol have been made with varying degrees of accuracy. A Christmas Carol is one of the most prominent time travel stories, and the 2009 film did it brilliantly. The animation never takes away from the heart of the story and actually helps to enhance it at times. It maintains the fantastic nature of Dickens’ novel while still maintaining the reality of the story.



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