The decade of the 2000s was a thrilling one for animated movies but many movies are underrated because they didn’t receive the attention they deserved. The quality and strength animation style gave way to computer-generated animation. It was also when some excellent movies from other studios questioned Disney’s hegemony over the genre.
While the decade produced several recognizable animated films, such as Finding Nemo and Shrek, there were also several films that audiences either needed to remember or were unaware of. Even die-hard animation enthusiasts may need help recalling these forgotten 2000s films. Able to look back on the animated films of the 2000s, a handful of them have solidified their status as true classics in the genre.
Those unique films were overlooked when they were first released, only for their notoriety to develop in the years since. Unfortunately, even though the decade produced many notable animated films, many have yet to gain a following and remain mysterious submissions. So, let’s take a look at the list of underrated animated movies from the 2000s.
10 Underrated 2000s Animated Movies:
1. Everyone’s Hero
- Director: Christopher Reeve, Daniel St. Pierre, and Colin Brady.
- Writer: Robert Kurtz and Jeff Hand.
- Characters: Jake T Austin, Rob Reiner, William H Macy, Brian Dennehy, Raven Symone, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, Joe Torre, Dana Reeve, Mandy Patinkin, Forest Whitaker, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams.
- IMDb: 5.7/10
- Genre: Sports comedy drama.
- Release: 15 September 2006
- Platform: Prime Video.
About Everyone’s Hero:
Yankee Irving is a 10-year-old baseball fan of his father, Stanley, who performs as a custodian at Yankee Stadium in 1932 New York City. However, during Great Depression, a thief camouflaged as a security guard snatches Babe Ruth’s renowned bat, Darlin, while the two are present on the premises. Stanley is accused and is momentarily fired until Darlin is discovered.
Stanley holds Yankee responsible for leaving him utterly alone in the locker room but instead setting him up. And Stanley accuses him by earthing him and transferring him to his room. The actual thief, however, is Lefty Maginnis, an unfaithful pitcher again for Chicago Cubs.
Yankee travels to Chicago, where the next Championship Game will be held, ascertained to recapture the bat but save his family from becoming evicted but instead living on the streets. Yankee decides to give the bat to Babe Ruth upon placing it back on the train, clearing his father’s name but instead saving his job.
I recognize it was a child’s movie, but couldn’t they have chosen another team to play the villains? LOL, OK, but aside from that, I started to watch Everyone’s Hero last night. I was unsure about what it was about when I witnessed it.
2. Dinosaur King
- Director: Katsuyoshi Yatabe
- Writer: Yasushi Hirano
- Characters: Zoe Drake, Rex Owen, Ryuuta Kodai, Dr. Spike Taylor, Dr. Reese Drake, Seth, Max Taylor.
- IMDb: 5.7/10
- Genre: Card game anime.
- Release: 4 February 2007
- Platform: Netflix
About Dinosaur King:
Dr. Spike Taylor was in Africa on a paleontology mission with his son Max but, instead, his friend Rex. Max reveals stone slabs but instead explores dinosaurs calling for help. The evil “Alpha Gang,” led by the nefarious Dr. Z, traveled through time to hunt down dinosaurs but instead employed them to dominate the world. Max and Rex must traverse the globe, trouncing Dr. Z and the Alpha Gang while searching for relics.
The Alpha Gang intends to recover the Dinosaur Cards that have been lost because once their time machine erupted, leaving them stranded in the present. Rex stimulated the Carnotaurus card Ace, and Zoe activated the Parasaurolophus card Paris.
Because once their cards are activated, the D-Team and, instead, Alpha Gang frequently clash for control of dinosaurs. Seth switches on his comrades in the finale with his Black Tyrannosaurus, which is eventually defeated. Seth attempts to return Chomp to the past but fails, and Seth is sent back in time alone.
This animation inspired me to pursue a career as a paleontologist. With the fantastic CGI, the dinosaurs have been super cool on occasion (at the time). The interactive Chiba dinosaurs were simply adorable! Max and Chomp’s companionship is cute, like a man and a puppy.
3. Treasure Planet
- Director: John Musker and Ron Clements.
- Writer: John Musker, Ron Clements, and Rob Edwards.
- Characters: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Brian Murray, Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Michael Wincott, Laurie Metcalf, Roscoe Lee Browne, Patrick McGoohan.
- IMDb: 7.2/10
- Genre: Drama, Adventure, and Mystery.
- Release: 6 November 2002
- Platform: Disney Classic.
About Treasure Planet:
Young Jim Hawkins is mesmerized by narratives of space pirate Captain Flint but instead, his power to strike unexpectedly and vanish without such a trace, concealing his loot on the fabled “Treasure Planet” on the planet Montressor. Because his father abandoned him twelve years ago, Jim has become an aloof troublemaker.
He reluctantly assists his mother, Sarah, in running the Benbow Inn and is apprehended by police upon skysurfing with a rocket-powered sailboard. A spaceship collides near the inn, and the dying pilot, Billy Bones, provides Jim with a sphere but instead cautions him to “beware the cyborg.” When pirates attack and burn down the inn, Jim flees with his mother and their canine companion, Dr. Delbert Doppler.
Doppler requests the RLS Legacy, which will be instructed by feline Captain Amelia but instead rock the first mate, Mr. Arrow. Jim speculates the cyborg he was alerted about is the motley crew’s secret leader, half-robot cook John Silver. Jim is assigned to work in the galley and is monitored by Silver and his shape-shifting pet, Morph, with whom he forms a tense father-son relationship.
Treasure Planet is among the first films in Disney’s new vision. The film is one of the movie’s first to have concurrent showy, DLP, and IMAX discharges. As a result, they used the digital master to create a virtual transfer for the DVD. The results are outstanding.
4. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
- Director: Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook.
- Writer: John Fusco
- Characters: Matt Damon, James Cromwell, Daniel Studi, Chopper Bernet, Jeff LeBeau, Richard McGonagle, Matt Levin, Robert Cait, Charles Napier, Zahn McClarnon, Michael Horse, Donald Fullilove.
- IMDb: 7.2/10
- Genre: Animal Drama
- Release: 21 May 2002
- Platform: Netflix
About Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
A bald eagle soars over the Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon in the nineteenth century. Spirit, a Kiger mustang colt, is birthed to a wild herd of horses there. Spirit matures into a stallion and takes over herd leadership.
Then Spirit discovers horses in chains and their wranglers sleeping together around a campfire one night after following a strange light near his herd. They awaken and seize him, seeing him as a majestic specimen, and transport him to a US cavalry fort. Spirit meets “The Colonel” in captivity, who commands the mustang to be pacified; however, Spirit defies all efforts to tame him.
Little Creek returns to the Lakota village and tries to domesticate Spirit with compassion, but Spirit is resistant. Finally, little Creek binds Spirit rather than Rain together in the hopes of disciplining him. In the process, Spirit becomes obsessed with rain. The Colonel, but instead, his men suddenly attack the village. The Colonel tries to shoot Little Creek during the battle, but Spirit handles the Colonel rather than his horse, diverting attention from the shot.
It is debatable whether this is the best Dreamworks film, but it is far from their worst. Though underrated Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron from 2000s, in addition to The Prince of Egypt, is arguably one of the most powerful, expressive, and stirring animated movies I’ve seen, and Watership Down, has to be Dreamworks’ most ambitious film to date.
It’s also visually stunning, and is it underappreciated? I do, indeed. I will try something I haven’t done before in my previous reviews: I will talk about each aspect of the film in sufficient detail.
5. Fly Me to the Moon
- Director: Hiroshi Ikehata
- Writer: Kazuho Hyodo
- Characters: Nasa Yuzaki, Tsukasa Yuzaki, Kaname Arisugawa, Aya Arisugawa, Chitose kaginoji, Charlotte, Aurora.
- IMDb: 7.8/10
- Genre: Romantic Comedy and Scientific Fiction.
- Release: 3 October 2020
- Platform: Prime Video
About Fly Me to the Moon:
Nasa Yuzaki, a boy teased as a child because of his unusual name, meets a beautiful girl after receiving his high school practice exam grades on a snowy winter night. While he starts trying to encounter her, he is hit by a truck because he is not paying attention. Nevertheless, the girl ends up saving him, but instead, Nasa suddenly magically follows her to a bus stop, where he confesses his feelings for her.
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, the girl, concurs to become his girlfriend if they first marry. Nasa speedily agrees to her demand before collapsing and awakening in a hospital. Nasa is devastated when he cannot find her again till his 18th birthday when Tsukasa unexpectedly appears on his doorstep. Tsukasa enters with a marriage form, initiating their relationship but instead marriage.
The beginning of this animation would be awkward. It begins with the MC confessing to and marrying a girl he has just met for the first time. And the artwork could be more appealing. Apart from that, there was nothing else I didn’t like. The problem begins after the first ten chapters, lol.
The issue is that it is too cute as well as wholesome. It just makes me curious about their relationship. It has over 100 chapters, and some parts have yet to be revealed, which I am looking forward to.
6. Home on the Range
- Director: Will Finn and John Sanford.
- Writer: Will Finn and John Sanford.
- Characters: Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Cuba Gooding Jr., Randy Quaid, Steve Buscemi.
- IMDb: 5.4/10
- Genre: Animal comedy Drama.
- Release: 21 March 2004
- Platform: Disney+
About Home on the Range:
Maggie is the last cow left upon that Dixon Ranch in 1889, ever since a desirable cattle rustler decided to name Alameda Slim stole all of Mr. Dixon’s cattle. Dixon has no alternative but to sell Maggie to Pearl Gesner, a very kind, older woman who runs the Patch of Heaven farm. The local Sheriff, Sam Brown, informs Pearl that her bank is clamping down on debtors.
Pearl does have three days to pay the $750 to the bank, or her agriculture will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. When Alameda Slim would seem that night, they conceal across a large herd of steers. Slim starts a yodeling song before they can do anything, sending all the cattle into a trance that induces them to dance wildly and follow Slim wherever he goes.
Grace can reawaken Maggie and Mrs. Calloway just as slim closes the path ahead of him with a rockslide to keep Rico and his men from pursuing him. Buck begins conversing with Maggie and Grace, but instead, Mrs. Calloway, an old friend, mimes’ actions as Rico tries to address his next move with his men.
It’s unusual for a Disney animated feature film to be released on Blu-ray with less than a first-rate, flawlessly encoded demonstration. (The most underwhelming exception is The Fox and the Hound.) And, while Home on the Range appears to be the component at first glance — crisp and colorful — it has far too many flaws to use words like “perfect” or “stunning.”
7. The Road To El Dorado
- Director: Eric “Bibo” Bergeron and Don Paul.
- Writer: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.
- Characters: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez, Armand Assante, Edward James Olmos.
- IMDb: 6.9/10
- Genre: Comedy, Action, and Romance.
- Release: 31 March 2000
- Platform: Netflix
About The Road To El Dorado:
Con-artists Miguel but instead Tulio won a chart to the influential Global of Gold, El Dorado, in a gamed dice gamble in 1519 Spain. After their ruse is discovered, the two elude the guards and stow away on one of the ships led by conqueror Hernán Cortés to the New World.
They are apprehended and imprisoned at sea but escape and thieve a rowboat with the assistance of Cortés’ victimized horse, Altivo. When their boat arrives on land, Miguel begins to recognize landmarks from the map, which leads them to a totem marker close to a waterfall that Tulio thinks is a dead end.
As they are about to leave, they come across a native woman, Chel, who the guards are pursuing. When the security officers see Tulio and Miguel cruising Altivo as illustrated on the totem, they accompany them and Chel to a hidden entrance behind falls that leads to El Dorado. They are delivered to the city’s elders, the good-hearted Chief Tannabok and the evil high priest Tzekel-Kan.
You may believe the one-line synopsis of this remark is strange, given that The Road to El Dorado might not be that old; however, I meant that feature films like this are no longer made. Occasionally, a remarkable animated film revitalizes the Adventure genre of film production, but that’s about it. So, you should see this film if you’re an adventure junkie like me and enjoy Indiana Jones, Stargate, or The Mummy for whatever reason.
8. Space Chimps
- Director: Kirk DiMicco
- Writer: Kirk DiMicco
- Characters: Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Warburton, Kristin Chenoweth, Stanley Tucci.
- IMDb: 4.5/10
- Genre: Scientific Fiction
- Release: 18 July 2008
- Platform: Hulu
About Space Chimps:
An autonomous, complex civilization NASA space probe, Singularity, is pulled into an interplanetary wormhole and crashes lands on another side of the galaxy. It arrives on the Earth-like alien planet Malgor, inhabited by colorful alien beings. Hartog (Jeff Daniels), an evil denizen, discovers by accident how and when to take control of the onboard equipment and utilizes it to subjugate the population.
When Ham, Luna, and Titan access the wormhole,… the second two pass out through the pressure, deciding to leave Ham to get the ship out again and land it. Hartog’s supporters seize the vessel and Titan, and Titan wants to teach Zartog well about the probe’s features. Ham and Luna set out for Zartog’s palace.
Ham uncovers that he thinks Space Chimps is a joke, which enrages Luna. However, Kilowatt, an inhabitant, is advising them. They travel to a valley of alien food, meet several globe hoppers, then proceed to the cave of the Flesh-Devouring Beast, within which Kilowatt sacrifices himself by being eaten by the monster so that Ham and Luna can avoid it.
Space Chimps arrives on Blu-ray with an impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This background music has a fantastic feeling of spacing but instead depth; at the commencement of the film, a broadcaster at a circus introduces Ham, but rather, his voice resonates all across the rear channels, but then so does ambient crowd noise and indeed, the film’s sound, exhilarating music.
9. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
- Director: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise.
- Writer: Tab Murphy
- Characters: Michael J Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Don Novello, Phil Morris, Claudia Christian, Jacqueline Obradors, Florence Stanley, David Ogden Stiers, John Mahoney, Jim Varney, Corey Burton, Leonard Nimoy.
- IMDb: 6.9/10
- Genre: Scientific Fiction Drama.
- Release: 3 June 2001
- Platform: Disney+
About Atlantis: The Lost Empire
A detonation transmits a tsunami toward the town of Atlantis in 6,800 BC. Princess Kida is raised into a hanging crystal, which merges with the Queen and forms a safeguarding dome over the city’s most profound and darkest district that drowns underneath the waves.
Milo Thatch, a Smithsonian Establishment linguist, mocked for his dream of discovering Atlantis, is presented by Helga Sinclair to idiosyncratic millionaire Preston B. Whitmore, an old friend of Milo’s grandfather, 8,714 years later, in 1914.
Whitmore uncovers that he made a wager with Milo’s grandfather to finance an excursion to Atlantis and hands Milo the Shepherd’s Journal, a novel explaining the history but instead the path to Atlantis, as well as an invitation to join the expedition.
Milo and his companions rally the Atlanteans to resurrect their flying machines and hunt down the mercenaries. Rourke’s men are quickly defeated, but he and Helga almost flee with Kida. Instead, Rourke betrays Helga and abandons her to die.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire may be Disney’s most aspirational interactive film. This movie comes equipped with intense, merciless battle and peril scenes illustrated by some of the stunning and innovative animations of the 2000s decade but unfortunately it is one of the underrated animated films. The film’s bravery but instead thought process are nevertheless detailed, engaged, and intricate, but the payoff was disappointing.
- Director: Gary Chapman
- Writer: Jordan Katz, George Webster, and George Melrod.
- Characters: Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, John Hurt, Pip Torrens, Rik Mayall, Olivia Williams.
- IMDb: 5.5/10
- Genre: Action, Comedy, and Drama.
- Release: 25 March 2005
- Platform: Disney+
This animation starts with three Aristocratic Echolocation Pigeon Service war pigeons flying throughout the English Channel only with White Cliffs of Dover in sight in May 1944, five years just after the proclamation of World War II. Despite the bad weather, the pigeons had nearly arrived at their desired location.
Unfortunately, they are accosted and confronted by a Nazi German adversary, a peregrine falcon going to name General Von Talon; pair of the pigeons are fatally wounded, while the third, Mercury, is chosen to take as a prisoner of war. In West Nestington, a wood-burning pigeon going to name Valiant is going to watch an Allied forces film in his tavern.
Valiant falls for Victoria, the camp’s registered nurse dove. Gutsy eventually arrives and informs the Sergeant that perhaps the recruits must leave the following day, notwithstanding their training needing to be more adequate. On the other hand, Bugsy refuses to go on the “hazardous” mission and tries to escape the camp that night.
Oh, Disney has their work cut out for them with this one, a British interactive but instead voiced film regarding World War II, complete with death, ruination, and crude jokes. Oh, please don’t chop the absolute nightmare out of this thing.
This is the narrative of Valiant, a comparatively tiny pigeon who wishes to join the Royal Snail Mail Service. Instead, he handles to hoodwink his way into service with Bugsy, a scam artist pigeon he unintentionally saves.