Image of A Cat in Paris in an article about animated films. (Image via Google Images)
Take a break from finals season and watch a heartwarming animated movie. (Image via Google Images)

5 Wholesome Animated Films To Watch When Feeling Stressed This Winter

Don’t let school or the cold weather get you down. Here are five feel-good films to perk you up during finals season.

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Image of A Cat in Paris in an article about animated films. (Image via Google Images)

Don’t let school or the cold weather get you down. Here are five feel-good films to perk you up during finals season.

Winter is just around the corner, and with it comes the looming stress of the holiday season and finals week. The air is growing colder, the nights are coming earlier and an obstacle course of assignments lays ahead of students before they can finally take a moment to breathe over break. The beginning of winter can be a hectic time, and there’s no better way to relax than by sitting down with snacks and some animated films.

If you’re craving escapism but don’t want to watch a film that’s too sad or serious, look no further than these movies. The following animated films are perfect for melting away the winter blues.

1. “My Life as a Zucchini”

A bittersweet French film, “My Life as a Zucchini” follows a young boy who goes by the nickname Zucchini. At the beginning of the film, his mother passes away and Zucchini is sent to live at a foster home.

The premise may sound sad, but the movie is surprisingly cheerful. Friendships between Zucchini and the other children at the foster home blossom over the course of the film’s 70-minute runtime. The children at the home form their own little family, learning how to love and trust one another.

The stop motion animation is bright, colorful and pleasing to the eyes. The visuals beautifully accentuate the film’s hopeful tone, and anyone who chooses to watch “My Life as a Zucchini” is sure to end the movie with a smile on their face. It’s a heartwarming masterpiece, and it’s perfect to watch while cuddled up under a blanket on a cold winter night.

2. “A Cat in Paris”

Another animated French film, “A Cat in Paris” is a dazzling tale about Zoe, a young girl who lives in Paris. Zoe’s cat, Dino, lives a quiet life by day and works with a notorious cat burglar named Nico by night. In a dramatic twist, Zoe is kidnapped by a group of gangsters, and it’s up to Dino and Nico to save the day.

“A Cat in Paris” is an unbelievably fun film. The distinct animation style and action-packed plot lead to a whirlwind of a viewing experience. There is never a dull moment, as there is always something to be intrigued by in the film.

“A Cat in Paris” is only a little over an hour-long, so if you feel too busy to relax this winter and you only have about an hour to spare, you can slip into the bizarre animated world where cats have the ability to be both criminals and heroes.

3. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Released in 2018, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” became a favorite of animated films for many people. It’s such a well-made and well-respected movie that it won the 2018 Oscar Best Animated Feature award.

It combines the perfect amount of action and adventure. The soundtrack is full of upbeat songs, and the main character, Miles, is endearing and relatable. The movie provides a new take on the classic Spider-Man story, so it’s perfect for viewers who already love the superhero and for those who don’t.

If you haven’t seen “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” it’s worth making time for. And for anyone who already adores the movie, revisiting it this winter is a must. 2020 has been a long year, and completing finals online is bound to be stressful for many students, so now is the perfect time to sit back and slip into the spider-verse if you need a break from reality.

4. “Rango”

“Rango” is a delightful animated western film. It follows Rango, a pet chameleon who has lived with humans all his life. On a road trip, Rango accidentally gets stranded in the middle of the desert and eventually makes his way to a small town named Dirt.

In Dirt, Rango is appointed the new town sheriff. This new role leads him down a path of endless adventure as he begins to investigate a case of stolen water from the town’s drinking reserves. The film never has a boring moment, and it effortlessly captures the energy of the Wild West.

With high-stakes and high-action, “Rango” is pure escapism. It’s another movie with a creative animation style; the heat from the desert practically wafts off the screen as viewers are transported to the town of Dirt. If you need to distract yourself from work for two hours, or maybe if you’re feeling a little chilly, this animated film is a perfect one for you.

5. “Isle of Dogs”

Lastly, in the animated film “Isle of Dogs,” every single dog in Megasaki City is exiled to a place called Trash Island. The site is as desolate and gloomy as it sounds, and the dogs have to form packs and fight to stay alive.

One day, a 12-year-old boy named Atari flies a small plane across the ocean to Trash Island. He’s searching for his dog, Spots, and discovers a dog-pack which aids him in his quest. The animation in “Isle of Dogs” is so breathtaking, it’ll be impossible to tear your eyes away from the screen.

Every scene in the movie is filled with excitement and action, and the grim setting perfectly reflects the gloomy atmosphere present in the winter months. “Isle of Dogs” is a phenomenally crafted film that is sure to capture the attention of any viewer. Plus, it provides the much-needed distraction from the frigid weather and piles of assignments that early December brings.

The winter months can be a rough time for plenty of people, especially students struggling with the stress of finals week. Between the hours of homework and studying that you plan to do this season, make sure to take some time to recharge. Set aside an hour or two for yourself, and sit down to enjoy a wholesome night with these animated films. You deserve it.

Writer Profile

Emma Watts

University of Arizona
English and Political Science

My name is Emma Watts and I go to school at the University of Arizona. My majors are political science and English, so I spend about 80% of my time writing and reading.

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