Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Not to be confused with Tim Burton’s unmagical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the original Wonka is the ultimate trip, a feast for imaginations young and old: For kids, the concept of a candy kingdom induced some form of intoxication; for their parents, the sights and songs transported them to a state of jolly surrealism -- not unlike what they experienced the decade before the movie’s 1971 release.
Peak Trippiness: Those dancing Oompa-Loompas -- they still haunt our dreams!
The Wizard of Oz: Even before it emerged that Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon could sync up with Oz for an ultra-trippy experience, the 1939 classic was otherworldly beyond its time. That’s thanks mostly to Technicolor’s trademark color-spectrum saturation, but also the sight of a walking, talking Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion. And the Munchkins!
Peak Trippiness: When the Wicked Witch of the West is “meeeeelting.”
Labyrinth: Labyrinths in and of themselves are inherently trippy. But throw together a villainous, never-freakier David Bowie, the imagination of director Jim Henson and the ambition of producer George Lucas into a movie about a labyrinth, and … voila: one strange, colorful trip that keeps getting better as it distances itself from the ‘80s.
Peak Trippiness: Pretty much every time Bowie is shown juggling those crystal orbs.
The Neverending Story: It was the 1984 equivalent of Where the Wild Things Are: expensive, risky and based on a well-known children’s novel. Wild Things might wind up as the superior movie, but Neverending Story created an amazing mysterious-creature-filled world of its own and did a great job of transporting us there. It’s both exciting and upsetting to imagine what the rumored 2012 remake remake will look like.
Peak Trippiness: All of the larger-than-life creatures were trippy, but the Nighthob’s narcoleptic bat and Teeny Weeny’s racing snail were on a whole different level.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: If Tim Burton exclusively made PG-rated movies, virtually his entire body of work would be suitable for this list (well, except for the aforementioned Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). The prolific director is seemingly uninterested in movies that don’t exist in their own world, one usually fraught with his patented gothic psychedelia. Enter Nightmare -- which he co-wrote, produced and might as well have directed -- a masterpiece whose painstaking stop-motion animation rendered it more breathtaking and visually dazzling than all the modern special effects money could buy.
Peak Trippiness: So much comes to mind … How about the random cat that howls when its tail is cranked?
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure: And then there’s Burton’s (feature) directorial debut -- probably the most out-there film of what would become a very out-there career. Pee-Wee had all the Burton trademarks, but it was also the product of Paul Reubens’ crazy, kooky (and perhaps slightly sick?) vision. The result was a twisted, kaleidoscopic-funhouse roller coaster -- how else can you describe it?
Peak Trippiness: Perhaps more iconic than flat-out trippy, Pee-Wee’s “Tequila”-dancing scene stands out.
Every Pixar Movie: Just because almost every Pixar pic to date has been a critically beloved masterpiece doesn’t mean they’re not trippy in the process. In fact, part of what makes all of the studio’s movies special -- the unparalleled visuals -- also makes them borderline hallucinatory. The fact that every other aspect of Pixar movies is flawless only enhances the trip.
Peak Trippiness: All of Finding Nemo -- a sight to behold, the likes of which have only since been matched, aquatically speaking, by Planet Earth’s underwater segment.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Noirish movies always have a trippy quality, but Roger Rabbit was a then-groundbreaking blend of animation and live-action, which added to the experience. At the time, the seamless technology was mind-blowing -- as was the body on that Jessica Rabbit!
Peak Trippiness: Without a doubt, the scene in which Doom (Christopher Lloyd) is flattened by a road roller, only to spring back to life and reveal himself to be a Toon.