10 Fun Animated Crime Movies Ranked

Ranking the best Animated Crime Movies of all time

Animation, often associated with family-friendly content, seldom ventures into the crime genre. While the nature of animation may not always align with darker themes, there are noteworthy exceptions that defy convention. In this exploration, we delve into the realm of animated crime movies, ranking them based on their narrative depth, unique styles, and overall impact. From lighthearted family options to intense documentaries, these films demonstrate the versatility of animation when tackling crime-related narratives.

10. ‘Hoodwinked!’ (2005)

An Innocuous Take on Little Red Riding Hood

Release Date: December 16, 2005
Directors: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
Rating: PG
Runtime: 81 minutes

Overview: Hoodwinked! takes a Shrek-lite approach to the classic Little Red Riding Hood story, turning it into a mystery/police procedural. While its animation may seem dated, the film offers a modern spin on an old-fashioned fairytale. Despite its simplicity, it serves as a kid-friendly introduction to the animated crime genre.

9. ‘Have a Nice Day’ (2017)

A Unique and Darkly Comedic Tale

Release Date: (Not specified)
Overview: Have a Nice Day stands out with its darkly comedic narrative centered around a stolen sum of cash and the ensuing competition among various characters to claim it. Despite primitive animation, the film’s uniqueness and distinct style make it an interesting watch. The chaotic plot and atmosphere may appeal more to some viewers than others.

8. ‘The Bad Guys’ (2022)

Stylish Animation Meets Kid-Friendly Plot

Overview: The Bad Guys captivates with technically proficient and stylish animation, immersing viewers in a world of skilled and endearing thieves. While its opening nods to Pulp Fiction might go over young viewers’ heads, the plot takes a softer turn, making it more kid-centered. Despite predictable twists, the film offers an enjoyable experience for both older and younger audiences.

7. ‘Tekkonkinkreet’ (2006)

A Visually Dazzling Anime

Release Date: (Not specified)
Overview: Tekkonkinkreet stands as an underrated anime movie, exploring the clash between Yakuza, assassins, and street kids in a vibrant urban setting. The film, based on a manga series, impresses with its visuals and style. While its narrative may feel sprawling, certain emotional beats shine through, making it a visually impressive watch.

6. ‘Cyber City Oedo 808’ (1990)

An Underrated Cyberpunk Gem

Release Date: (Not specified)
Overview: As an OVA, Cyber City Oedo 808 blurs the line between a movie and a miniseries. Set in a cyberpunk future, it follows three prisoners offered reduced sentences in exchange for dangerous tasks. With a blend of old-school anime aesthetics and a cyberpunk narrative, the film offers a fun and cool experience for enthusiasts of the genre.

5. ‘Ruben Brandt, Collector’ (2018)

Compelling Animated Heist Film

Release Date: (Not specified)
Overview: Ruben Brandt, Collector presents an action-packed animated heist film with a mature edge. The title character, a psychotherapist and criminal, assembles a crew of patients for art thefts. The film’s odd animation style becomes quickly immersive, contributing to a bold and fast-paced narrative. It stands as a unique diamond among modern animated movies.

4. ‘Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro’ (1979)

Miyazaki’s Early Masterpiece

Release Date: December 15, 1979
Overview: Hayao Miyazaki’s feature film debut, The Castle of Cagliostro, distinguishes itself with its broad comedy and lack of fantastical elements. The film follows a charismatic thief on a grand adventure, showcasing Miyazaki’s early brilliance. Despite being over 40 years old, its visuals remain impressive, offering an enjoyable and breezy narrative.

3. ‘Tower’ (2016)

Intense and Emotional Animated Documentary

Release Date: (Not specified)
Overview: Tower stands as a rare blend of animated crime and documentary. It explores the 1966 University of Texas murder spree, delivering an intense and emotional experience. The film’s simple yet effective animation style, combined with survivor testimonies, creates a unique and heartbreaking narrative that challenges viewers with its heavy subject matter.

2. ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ (1993)

A Classic Batman Film

Release Date: December 25, 1993
Directors: Eric Radomski, Bruce W. Timm
Rating: PG
Runtime: 76 minutes

Overview: Considered the best animated Batman film, Mask of the Phantasm rivals live-action counterparts. The film introduces a compelling narrative where Bruce Wayne/Batman faces challenges from an old love and a vigilante mistaken for him. Balancing crime, mystery, and superhero elements, the film excels in its action and storytelling, offering a complete experience in under 80 minutes.

1. ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ (1988)

A Creative Masterpiece of Animation and Crime

Release Date: June 21, 1988
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Rating: PG
Runtime: 103 minutes

Overview: Who Framed Roger Rabbit stands as a creative pinnacle, seamlessly blending live-action and animation in a groundbreaking manner. Beyond being one of the best animated crime films, it’s hailed as one of the best crime movies overall. The film’s humor, dazzling visuals, and compelling story make it a timeless masterpiece, showcasing the immense possibilities of animated storytelling.

In exploring the diverse landscape of animated crime movies, these 10 films showcase the genre’s versatility and ability to captivate audiences across different themes and styles. From family-friendly adventures to intense documentaries, animated crime movies continue to push boundaries and offer unique viewing experiences.

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