10 Best French Animated Movies

Thursday, March 10 by Annette Smith

Wondering where to find a listing for ten best French animated movies? Stop looking, because here’s the list. Arranged alphabetically by film title, here are ten notable French films that feature various types of animation.

The first French animated film appeared at the turn of the last century, a cartoon of simple stick figures, moving and morphing onscreen. Over time, French animation evolved into colorful feature films, voiced by talented actors. Here’s a look at ten of the best films.

  1. “Asterix The Gaul.” “Asterix the Gaul,” originally titled “Astérix le Gaulois,” is a 1967 French-Belgian animated film. The action-adventure story follows Asterix and his friends as they battle against the Roman legions with help from a magic potion. Roger Carel, Jacques Morel, and Pierre Tornade lend their voices to the film.
  2. “Fantastic Planet.” “Fantastic Planet,” originally titled “La planète sauvage,” is a 1973 animated sci-fi movie based on a Stefan Wul novel. A collaboration between France and Czechoslovakia, the award-winning film tells the story of a faraway world called Ygam. It features the voices of Jennifer Drake, Eric Baugin, and Jean Topart.
  3. “Gandahar.” “Gandahar,” also known as “Light Years,” is an animated science-fiction film based on a Jean-Pierre Andrevon novel. This futuristic film from 1988 tells of an evil force threatening the people of an idyllic paradise. The film’s ensemble cast includes Glenn Close, Christopher Plummer, and Pierre-Marie Escourrou.
  4. “The Girl And The Cellist.” “The Girl And The Cellist,” originally titled “La Demoiselle et le violoncelliste,” is a 1965 French animated movie. The award-winning short film tells of a cellist battles a number of sea creatures as he attempts to rescue a girl lost as sea.
  5. “Kaena: The Prophecy.” “Kaena: The Prophecy,” originally titled “Kaena: La prophétie,” is a computer-generated sci-fi film. In this 2003 French-Canadian animation, an alien ship crash lands on a desert planet. The planet’s inhabitants kill the survivors, but their ship sprouts a massive tree reaching into space. Centuries later, tree-dwellers evolve and begin to explore their new world. The film features the voices of Kirstin Dunst, Angelica Huston, and Richard Harris.
  6. “The King And The Mockingbird.” “The King And The Mockingbird,” originally titled “Le roi et l'oiseau,” is a 1980 French animated movie. It is loosely based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Featuring traditional animation, the film stars Jean Martin, Pascal Mazzotti, and Raymond Bussières.
  7. “Kirikou And The Sorceress.” “Kirikou and the Sorceress,” originally titled “Kirikou et la sorcière,” is a 1998 French-Belgian animation drawn from West African folk tales. The film tells of a special boy named Kirikou. Doudou Gueye Thiaw, Maimouna N'Diaye, and Awa Sene Sarr star in the film.
  8. “Persepolis.” “Persepolis” is a 2007 French animated movie based on a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. It’s a coming-of-age story about a young Iranian girl living during the Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s. The film features Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, and Gena Rowlands.
  9. “The Story Of The Fox.” “The Story Of The Fox,” originally titled “Le roman de Renard,” is a 1930 French movie. The stop-motion animated film is based on Renard the Fox tales as told by the German writer, Goethe. One of the first feature films to use puppet animation, it was released in the German and French languages. 
  10. “The Triplets of Belleville.” “The Triplets of Belleville,” originally titled “Les triplettes de Belleville,” is a French animated movie, a surreal adventure story about an elderly woman raising her young grandson. The award-winning 2003 film features retro animation and the voice talents of Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, and Michel Robin.