It's time to recognize just how darn good animated movies can be

I hate it when people reduce animated films to being nothing more than "cute."

Many are cute. And some are just cute. But we don't stick a single watered-down word on movies that aren't marketed toward kids, do we? We don't finish a Marvel movie and leave it at "that was fun" or watch a thought-provoking indie flick and say, "that was good." No. We obsess over the movies we love. We dissect them — we figure out how they apply to our own lives — and then we tell all our friends (and probably the internet) that they should watch them, too. And while it's become less taboo for adults to appreciate animated films even when they're targeted toward family audiences, I know plenty of people — acquaintances, relatives, critics — who still act as if enjoying an animated movie is enjoying a lower level of entertainment.

I, for one, love a good animated movie perhaps even more than I love most live-action films. Sure, there are bad animation movies features, just like there are bad live-action ones. But when an animated film is made well, it gives off a magical, comforting sort of quality. Watching a solid animated feature for the first time feels like finding something I didn't know I'd lost. Going back to it feels like holding a pet or drinking a warm cup of tea. And while I have many personal reasons to be so fond of animated films, there are also plenty of objective advantages they have over the average live-action picture. Let's look at a few of these now, shall we?

This is why animated features deserve your full respect.