Everyone in the weed world knows that cannabis and animated films go together like beaches and piña colada. Weed has the power to take childhood favorites and elevate them to new levels of hilarity, and to help you notice elements that went over your head when you were a kid. With the new animation renaissance, where animated features are no longer just geared towards children, but are made with depth and sophistication suitable for adults, there’s no better time to blaze and watch cartoons than the present.

The following films can be enjoyed with a group of friends and some snacks, though they’re also a great time for the solo stoner. Once you’ve made your pick, sit back, blaze, and let the curtains roll!

SPIRITED AWAY, (2001)

In Spirited Away, a young girl travels with her family to a new neighbourhood, which ends up being in the spirit world. After her parents get transformed into pigs by an evil witch, she takes a job at a local bathhouse as she searches for a way to restore their humanity and return to the human world.

Created by celebrated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, the film features breathtakingly intricate animation executed with astonishing creativity, offering images that’ll stick in your mind long after you’ve forgotten the details of the plot. These include the subtle expressions of the mysterious No-Face, the majestic dragon-boy Haku, and the horrifyingly compelling transformation of the river spirit. These images are gripping enough on their own, but when combined with the added wonder of a stoned perspective, they can provide an almost religious experience.


On top of all this, the story is deeply moving. It offers a richly textured coming-of-age narrative where the transformation between child and adult bridges the domain of the spirit world. Drawing from Japanese Shinto and Buddhist traditions, with a subtle commentary on European influence in Japan, Spirited Away offers plenty of fodder for your most visionary and cerebral weed strains.

Spirited Away

YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968)

Made in 1968, Yellow Submarine was perhaps the world’s first psychedelic animated film, and in 2019, it still stands strong.

The film begins in Pepperland, a fictional land where Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band act as protectors. After the land is attacked by the devious Blue Meanies, the mayor sends Old Fred, an aging sailor, to Liverpool to find help. There, he persuades Ringo, John, Paul and George to travel to Pepperland in a yellow submarine to save the day.

Over the course of the film, the Beatles perform many of their best songs to psychedelic animations: When I’m Sixty-Four showcases the fabulous foursome growing long white beards while bouncing around the inside of the submarine. If you have a strain which enhances great music, Yellow Submarine is the way to go.

The film’s surrealistic style, with its bright colours, bubble letters, and flexible proportions, has entered deep into the cultural zeitgeist, influencing generations of psychedelic artists. The film represents an early case of animation geared towards adults, with modern favourites like Miyazaki films and Adventure Time owing a debt to the classic. Further, the film is highly entertaining, with its trippy story, distinctive animation, and world-changing music, it’s sure to delight any and all serious potheads.

Yellow Submarine

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951)

In Alice in Wonderland, a young girl named Alice sings longingly for adventure, when she spots a white rabbit in a waistcoat. She follows him down a rabbit hole, and embarks on an incredible journey, where she grows and shrinks in size, meets the enigmatic Cheshire Cat, and confronts the tyrannical Queen of Hearts.

Alice in Wonderland is based on the Alice books by Lewis Carroll, and stays close to the subject matter of the original. The film uses a classical Disney “golden age” animation style, but applies it to such trippy content that the effect is even more bizarre and surreal. This is why the film saw a resurgence of popularity during the psychedelic 1960s. The film is full of clever humour, surreal sequences, and subtle social commentary, a combination which is sure to please any stoner, no matter how cerebral or spaced out.

Alice in Wonderland

PAPRIKA (2006)

Paprika takes place in a future where psychotherapists carry out a new form of therapy with the help of devices allowing them to enter into their patients’ dreams. Doctor Atsuko Chiba, lead researcher on the projects, uses her dream alter-ego Paprika, to illegally treat patients at a nearby psychiatric facility. As the film progresses, the boundary between dreams and reality blurs, as do the psychological boundaries between Paprika and her patients.

The film draws on intricately detailed anime, setting an adult tone for this complex story. It uses colour and motion to move through the different thematic layers of the story, contrasting darkness, muted tones and stillness with riotous colour, explosive visuals, and rapid zooms and pans. Paprika is a landmark achievement in adult animation, blending a moving story with spectacular visuals. If you’re looking for a film to pair with a cerebral strain, sure to spark long conversations after it’s finished, you can’t go wrong with Paprika.

Paprika

FANTASIA (1940)

Fantasia was Disney’s third animated film, and on this one, they outdid themselves. Consisting of eight animated segments set to classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, the film features frolicking fairy-tail creatures, a trip back to the earth’s beginning, and, most famously, the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence, where Mickey Mouse transforms a broomstick into his personal servant, with disastrous results.

At the time of its release, Fantasia was acclaimed by critics and viewers alike. Little did they know, the famous musical sequences can be brought to a whole new level with the help of weed. If you choose a visionary strain, the joyful and fantastical cartoons take on a whole new life, allowing you to lose yourself in the story of Mickey and the broom people. Watching Fantasia while stoned is practically a rite of passage for any burgeoning pothead, and is an experience not to be missed.

Walt Disney - Fantasia

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