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AVS › AVS Articles › Fifteen Animated Blu Ray Titles That Will Shine On Your Hd Display

Fifteen Animated Blu Ray Titles That Will Shine On Your Hd Display

In last month’s feature I recommended 20 live action Blu-ray Discs to show off your HD display. This month I decided to take a look at 15 animated Blu-ray titles that I like to use for demonstration material. I will reiterate some of the pertinent comments from my original article as they are applicable here as well. Since the advent of high definition media, we as enthusiasts have strived to seek out the titles that would satisfy our insatiable thirst for the type of high quality presentations that give us that special thrill when we see them on our displays at home. When I pop in a Blu-ray disc that sparkles with enriching clarity, vivid color fidelity, emboldened dynamic range and inky blacks I must admit to getting a little giddy. With that in mind, I decided to offer those who might be looking for a few titles to bring out the best in their displays these animated Blu-ray titles that I have found to be exceptional. This following list isn’t meant to be a “top” fifteen compilation -- these titles got high marks from me for video quality when I reviewed them, however there are many on the list that scored pretty well on the audio front too. I have included a few comments from my reviews for frame of reference. If you want to read my full reviews, simply click on the film title.

How to Train Your Dragon


The film’s low level sequences (there are many) look just as stunning as the dark and shadow filled backgrounds exhibit a near infinite level of dimension, with superb contrast and visible shading that draws out lots of detail.

Legends of the Guardians: The owls of the Ga'Hoole


This is a reference quality high definition video presentation that among the best that I have seen. Images are painted with incredible three dimensional perspective that imparts a near infinite sense of depth. Intricate details such as the separation of individual strands of hair or the flowing of feathers as they blow in the breeze are incredibly lifelike.

Kung Fu Panda


This is a reference quality presentation that has garnered the first perfect overall technical score that I have given. The video quality was nothing short of mesmerizing in its depiction of the film’s animated images.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs


This is a pristine quality digital transfer that looks stunning.



Colors are breathtaking as they leap of off the screen with exuberant depth and a dazzling array that stimulates the senses.

Fantastic Mr. Fox


Fantastic Mr. Fox on Blu-ray offers beautifully crafted stop motion animation that exhibits eye catching resolution and refined clarity.

Beauty and the Beast


Images have excellent visual depth with deep, rich, color fidelity and stable contrast that enhances dimension. I can fully appreciate the attention to detail that went into design of each of the animated characters.

Monsters Inc.


This is a reference quality high definition presentation that delivers superlative imagery. When it was first released the DVD it was the go to for reference/demonstration purposes as it exhibited incredible depth, lush color and clear delineation. This high definition presentation literally takes it to another level entirely. The quality of the images onscreen can be visually arresting.



Detail and definition is impeccably rendered as images have a luminous and sparkling clarity that is appreciably three dimensional. It never left me wanting for fine degrees of subtle delineation and texture.

Despicable me


Detail is superlative as the video has definitive three dimensional quality with crisp texture and excellent fine articulation. Contrast is strong and well balanced so that whites are crisp and colors pop without distortion or loss of detail.

Puss in Boots


Contrast is exemplary and blacks are inky with extended dynamic range and deep gradational highlights. The film’s low level sequences look terrific as the dark and shadow filled backgrounds exhibit a near infinite level of dimension, with superb contrast and visible shading that draws out lots of detail.

The Incredibles


The attention to detail in the construction of the animated characters features and objects within each frame is fascinating. Looking at Bob’s Mr. Incredible costume I could easily make out the pattern of the fabric in the blue “mega mesh” material or the textures on walls and cloth covered furniture in E’s house. The scenes that take place on the island look amazing. I could see the subtle shades of green in the jungle foliage, the uneven and rough surfaces on rock formations and the suppleness of standing water.

Toy Story 3


couldn't get over the depth of the beautifully rendered colors. Colors are deeply saturated with lustrous vibrancy and succulent textures that literally leap off of the screen. Primaries are particularly striking and exhibit visible gradational stages that bring out subtle degrees of separation.

Lady and the Tramp


On several occasions I found myself marveling at just how good this 50 plus year old animated feature looked. Fidelity is intact and images have excellent visual depth with deep, rich, color fidelity and stable contrast that enhances dimension.



There is a pristine quality to the video that brings out the small intricacies inherent, in the film's animated design. Images are razor sharp with defining clarity and lucid resolution that is notably discerning.

Now Let's Hear Yours

There you have it -- 15 Blu-ray discs that come highly recommended for your HD display. But this list is by no means supposed to be definitive. I'd love to hear from you what you consider are great showpieces. Please post some suggestions in the comments below, or feel free to create your own list on AVS!

Ralph Potts has been a member of AVS for ten years and has been reviewing audio/video hardware and digital home media for even longer. He has been AVS’ official Blu-ray reviewer for the last four years and has provided over nine hundred Blu-ray reviews for the AVS Community. You can follow Ralph along with AVS’ other official Blu-ray reviewer Lee Weber HERE).

Comments (63)

Dragon Hunters. Fine detail, vivid colors and stunning sets...the sound is decent as well.
A couple of these choices I would not put on this list:
Monsters Inc
Toy Story 3
Lady and the Tramp

If you are watching 1080P on a 55" screen, it's easy to look sharp and good. I watch my movies at 150" and those movies do not "wow" with the sharp/detail factor at that size - and to me that's a huge part of what makes HD awesome.

Here's my replacement picks that definitely look stunning enough to be on that list:
Monsters vs Aliens

Especially WALL-E. That movie should have been tied for 1st place with How To Train Your Dragon and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Of the top of m,y head I'm not sure how you can leave out Ratatouille, Rio, Christmas Carol or Bugs Life just to name a few.

And can't argue against Wall-E either.

I guess we really have a feast of choices and squeezing them all into a top ten is not easy.


Blairy, those are all great choices and are deserving as well. As I stated mine is not a comprehensive list. Just some options..

below90hz, I like your choices also but don't agree regarding removal of those on my list. BTW - the list isn't in any particular order.


Finding Nemo would be on my list...
I have to agree with Tangled, Rio, and WALL-E being up there. The colors on both are amazing. With an 18 month old at the house now we are watching more animated movies then ever before and I am really enjoying most of them.
pretty soon, brave should be added here
+1 for Tangled it looks stellar. My buddy and I watched it one time even though my 4 year old wasn't in the room.

The Adventures of Tintin also looks great.

Still waiting for Finding Nemo and Howl's Moving Castle on BD.

And if anyone was wondering Brave looked really great in the theater. I'm sure the BD will be superb.
aidoroboo - i don't even have any kids, i love animated titles cuz typically they look the best and sound the best (many have awesome bass for my subs), and the stories are usually funny, clever and well-written (i imagine to give adults a reason to wanna watch with their kids). and the movies dont contain gratuitous sex, violence and language, which to me is a plus because i like to fill my brain with positive things.

Ralph P - ha, i didn't mean your picks were baseless, i just meant I'd rank them lower and others higher which would bump them from being in a "Top 15" list. They do look good though!

also i haven't seen Brave yet, but my job calls for quite a bit of work in CGI and just the stills from the movie alone have got me drooling to throw it up on the big screen to admire the CGI artists' work. can't wait for that one to get released!

below90hz, thanks for the clarification however as noted in my comments this list isn't meant to be a "top" fifteen but is just the mention of a few titles that I have found to look great on Blu-ray. All of those mentioned by yourself and others are equally deserving of praise which is all food for thought when looking for ways to show off your big screen HD display.

i demand you change it to a "top 15" list so that I don't look foolish! ^_^
The great thing about animated films is that they pretty much look good on any TV as apposed to live-action film where you can tell that colors look bad and can be distracting.

Just watched Rango the other day and they movie is great.

You have to check out Brave, it's a great movie and looks great too.

aidoroboo, I intend to go see Brave and look forward to checking out what promises to be a great film experience.


I say "Tangled" and "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole"

ifixitBIG, thanks for bringing up Legends of the Guardians! It was part of the 15 but a glitch in the code prevented it from being visible (no one including me caught that there were only 14 on the list) It has been restored.


speaking of glitches...the still of Kung Fu Panda is actually from Kung Fu Panda 2 O.o
Hoped to find one of the Ice age sequels in this list - waiting for continental drift
Also How To Train Your Dragon has a great soundtrack with some really deep bass. So the movie as a whole will show off your entire HT.
Am I the only one that thinks The Ant Bully has phenominal, reference quality high definition video?

gumby1976, I haven't seen The ant Bully but I would have to think that you can't be the only one that feels that way. Anyone else??


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