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Sagacious_Tien Blog

Back in Oz!

Hail all,

Category: Travel

So, my trip overseas went well. We based ourselves in Mae Sot, Thailand, but also got to stay overnight in both Umpiem Mai and Nu Po refugee camps. We were very impressed with the people and their unwavering spirit - even under the most dire of circumstances. Our charity went over there with a specific purpose but we came away wanting to do more. However, events today have put into jeopardy my charity and Im now looking at what else I can do to help. I may have to step up to the mantle - we'll see. Within a week or so Ill start posting some images online, and Ill link to them.

So anyway - my first ever charity mission overseas went really well and its put me in the mood for much, much more.

Cheers,

Saga.

Latest updates and whats been happening:

Hail all,

Category: News

I chose Category News as this is something of an update on my news - just to keep you smiling people in the loop about what's been happening. Mostly the interesting stuff.

Below in bullet form:

1. I'm no longer at Uni. I wasn't sure if I've made that clear, so Ill be clear now. I got rather sick during the second semester last year, and was away from Uni for several weeks. I missed several important deadlines and was failing one of my subjects anyway. I decided to defer, but have since dropped out completely.

2. I've updated my RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol), and am looking for work in that field.

3. I work for Aldi (and yes, I require an RSA for it as the sell alcohol), and it's just over 20 hours a week. It's not the most enjoyable job, but its something.

4. Doing plenty of volunteer work. I am doing guided tours of my local city and of the tram depot and tram tours. The local historical society takes care of the trams and runs talking tram tours, and as such I've gone on a lot of trams the past few months. It's fun, and I enjoy it.

5. Im still working with a community garden, and right now we're getting heaps of quail eggs and kale. I'm also creating a herb and veggie garden at home, and have succesfful cultivated cabbage, kale and coriander. Looking to expand it, but as Im renting, Im using veggie boxes.

6. In addition, Im doing work for P.E.A.C.E (formally Renew The Spirit), and have my first overseas trip with them to Burma leaving Saturday. Ill be working amongst children in several refugee camps. Im very much looking forward to it, I have never been to Burma before and I love working with kids.

7. I have a lovely girlfriend. Also a member of P.E.A.C.E - she is continuing a dental and oral health course at Uni. I'm pretty smitten with her, it's very exciting. The only problem is that she is 19, whereas I'm 29. Normally that age gap is too large for me to consider, but she is very mature, and doesn't look that age. Something about asians - they just get me going...

8. I'm still writing. I've printed out some stuff and put it somewhere safe. I'm writing poems and short stories now - as I tend to run out of steam when writing anything big. I was working on a love story, surprisingly an older man and a younger woman (which I started on well before I met my gf), though that has been placed aside. I might share a poem or two in time.

9. Im watching a lot of movies and playing a lot of games. Latest movies I've seen include The Avengers and American Reunion. Latest games Ive purchased and played include Skyrim, Arkham City, RAGE, Diablo 3 and Alan Wake. I have a 3DS which isn't getting used, a Wii that barely gets turned on - and a PC that gets a heck of a lot of use. Im also still playing World of Warcraft, and if you wish to meet up with me, befriend Senno on Caelestrasz.

10. And finally, you may have noticed my output on GS has diminished a lot of late. That is due to a number of factors (and will in all likeliness be completely gone in the next week while in Burma), such as gf, job, gaming etc - but due to a major exhibition I am organising. It is the first exhibition that I am completely doing myself, I am in control of. I will be hosting a movie premiere and art exhibition, along with a raffle and some food stalls. This is quite an undertaking, and all of the proceeds are going to the charity. We hope to raise at least $1000 for the evening (its a small community theatre).

Because of all this (and other things with charity) I've been working incredibly hard trying to gather support for the evening. When Im done with that I might chuck on an episode of Dexter (been chain watching that lately), or do something in Skyrim or Diablo 3. And as such my output on GS has greatly diminished. Rest assured, Im still here - just not as much.

Cheers,

Saga.

The games that deserve sequels (in no particular order)

1. Oddworld.

We've been hearing bits and pieces for a while now that it's in the works. But there is still no solid info. All 4 games are now on Steam and are pretty cheap, so if you haven't played them you have no excuse. The original 2 (Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exxodus) titles came out in 1997 and 1998 and comprised Part 1 of a 5 part story that never got fully told. Oddworld introduced Abe, a new breed of hero who was completely at odds with just about everything we'd been told about gaming at the time. On top of his unusual looks and demeanour (and let us not forget the fact that he could actually use mind possession on his own farts and then blow up the stench ball at will where-ever in the environment), he was decidedly old-school 2D. It introduced slick gameplay and a wonderful atmosphere. The third game brought the series into 3D, and continued the series bent for making heroes out of the most unlikely of characters. The 4th title was a major departure, it didn't feature Abe or any familiar elements from the series, but was unmistakably Oddworld and a great game to boot. But that released in 2005 to little attention and since then there's been nothing. We need to hear the end of the series, and we need more Oddworld, dammit!

2. Colony Wars

Now here's another Playstation classic that is surely missed. There were three games developed in fairly quick succession, all for the original Playstation. And then... nothing. What happened there? It was a toss up between including this series and G-Police, after all, it's been roughly the same amount of time between games, the games are fairly similar, and they are even developed by the same studio. But for some reason, I just enjoyed the Colony Wars games more. Number 2, Vengeance, is still my favourite – but the original and third title (Red Sun) are still worth mentioning. It featured full 3d space shooter and a pretty engaging plot that led to 5 different endings, and was just a joy to play. The third game deviated somewhat and allowed you to create your own weapon sets, and that unbalanced the game, but seriously – if Sony can resurrect Warhawk, they can resurrect Colony Wars.

Beyond Good and Evil

Ok, so it's not as old as most of the other titles. But its still worth mentioning. For such a wonderful game that had such charm and great balance it was sadly overlooked. Essentially a platformer, it was unique in that it had action fighting, speedboat racing, photography and stealth sections as well. It was somewhat open world, allowing you to partake in side missions such as gambling and racing, but the main storyline was really passionate and beautifully done. The art design is incredibly memorable as well. There were rumours some years ago that a sequel was being made, and some promo videos have been shown, but the game is far from confirmed, let alone knowing when it will release. Beyond Good and Evil needs a sequel – now.

Bully

Easily the most recent title in my list, but definitely the most controversial. And for a game that was shrouded in so much controversy, the actual title was really pretty tame. Think GTA but made rated T for teen and then set it in a 1960's era boarding school. There's an open world waiting to be explored here. The original PS2 game received a special edition Xbox 360 and Wii release which added several side pursuits and some new missions, but there's no talk yet of a sequel. Apparently the game did ok sales wise, and while it won't ever catch the sales hype of titles like Red Dead Redemption or GTA 4, Rockstar would be silly to let such an iconic character and such a fun game stop at one.

Pretty much every Tim Schafer game ever

Its hard to say with Tim Schafer. He makes awesome games, hates doing sequels, and just never sells enough copies, yet he keeps cranking out quality. How, I don't know. We need sequels to everything from Maniac Mansion to Brutal Legend to Grim Fandango to Psychonauts – even Costume Quest and Stacking. And I think even the new titles he's working on like Sesame Street and Trenched might be worth a look too.

The new Starhawk game that was recently announced sounds quite good. Warhawk was an unexpeted surprise so if it can keep that level of quality it should be a fun game. I have no idea why Namco's Aces Team (the team that makes the Ace Combat titles) haven't considered making a space based off-shoot, but I have hopes that one day they will. A remake of Stranger's Wrath sounds interesting, but again, this is something I played upon release (and it was awesome!). A new tale would be good, and it might be an idea to give the game to the Telltale games. Episodic releases digitally distributed and remaining relatively faithful to the original style might do wonders for the series. Bully is/was an interesting take on the GTA formula. It was back when Rockstar was doing something different all the time, with the era also bringing out some unusual titles like The Warriors and Manhunt. Bully is very different, and a very fun diversion. Perhaps it would work best as a Arcade/PSN title for a sequel. Or maybe they could retool the formula. With the massive success of Red Dead Redemption and GTA 4, and the huge cashflow generated at the company at the moment, they can afford to do something a little out of the ordinary. They still have LA Noire and Max Payne 3 to fall back on. With Beyond Good and Evil 2, I'm just hoping that we'll see something soon. I was considering putting Rayman in there too, but that would probably be too much Michel Ancel love. And lets face it, there's plenty of Rayman to play, just not good Rayman. Apparently Rayman Origins will fill that gap (I hope so), but seriously, how long until we wait to find out what happened to Jade? And finally, Every Tim Schafer game ever made. I'm a massive fan of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend (fantastic soundtrack!). But even the older games, like Grim Fandango, hold up very well. Any of these games are ripe for sequels. And the creative juice hasn't been lost either - Costume Quest and Stacking are really very good, and could easily have a sequel.

Its evident to me that the games industry is moving into an era of franchises and less risk. We need sequels to these games and heaps more, and we need more originality. I'm seriously over so much this generation has conjured, and we need something new to play.

Keeping it busy.

Hail all,

Category: General

As most of you know, I have accepted an offer to begin University. It starts Monday week actually, and Orientation Week (or O Week) begins on Monday. In the time since I last posted I have moved home 3 times, set up new bank account details, bought a bike, enrolled and a few other things. This is the first time I've been on Gamespot since I last posted. And while my output on Gamespot has lessened, it won't diminish completely. I've been here for years and intend to do so for many years more. Things are busy now, but I'll be around more once things settle down.

Cheers,

Saga.

So much is happening, so little time...

Hail all,

Category: General

So.... big things been happening. I'll list them in point form.

1. Shiny Moderator Badge Get!

Yes, Sagacious_Tien - grizzled veteran, is now a Gamespot moderator. It's exciting, thrilling and a little boorish. We see the worst of the worst on this site. Stuff like spoilers (thanks to Gamespot, I've already had the endings to several games I've yet to play spoilt), advertising and the like. There are many moderations out there which are non-moderations - I don't want to come across as harsh, but I am no pushover either. Gamespot takes the policing of it's forums seriously - and so do I. So, keep filing those abuse reports, and Ask the Mods when necessary. We're here to help!

2. University Application Accepted Get!

Just today actually. I checked with VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre), who made available the Round 2 offers. My second choice was made available to me. I accepted. I'm now going to be a Uni Student!

3. Moving Home.

If you read Point 2, you'll see that I have just been accepted into University. What you made not know is that the University is in Bendigo, Victoria. I live in Burnie, Tasmania. So, naturally, I need to move. I put in an application for the Residences, but because I got my application accepted so late, they are all full. Instead, I need to find some student accomodation off-campus. The Student Association has been helpful with that. I'm waiting to hear back from a few prospects - should hopefully secure a place to stay by tomorrow.

4. The Quick Push.

Because Round 2 offers were made so late in the process, I literally have to move from Tasmania to Victoria in just 4 days. It's really not enough time. I still had a niggling feeling that I wouldn't get in. Now that I know I have, it's terrifyingly real - and I have to make some quick decisions. Everything of mine that I want to come with me, has to be packed and ready to go - in 4 days! Talk about your short notice!

5. Top 100 Animated Films

I think it's safe to say that I've done all the films I can. I couldn't think of any more and so I've decided to make my top 100 a top 90. Still, 90 films to enjoy, from the obvious to the hard to find. I hope you enjoyed the series of blogs, and found a few films that you hadn't known about.

Cheers,

Saga.

My Kinectimals review that I couldn't post...

Hail all,

Category: Writing

I was initally going to make this a category gaming post, but this is more about writing - anyway. This is the first proper game review I have done in almost 3 years. I was wondering if I still had it. I wrote this in about an hour, having just completed the game this evening. For reasons I don't understand I was unable to post it here on Gamespot, so I decided to do so here in the blog. Enjoy! Oh - and if you are wondering, the game would have got a 7.5 from me.

---

Frontier and Microsoft have taken a stab at the pet simulator market with the new Kinect hardware, and while Kinectimals is certainly endearing, this isn't the slam-dunk that Nintendogs released to 4 years ago. As one of the launch games for Kinect, it is pleasantly easy to enjoy - the new controller-less gameplay easily keeping you focussed on the screen and on your adorable Kinectimal - who will become your pet and lead you to a lovingly rendered world clearly designed for the younger gamer.

The charm of the game is plain to see from the second you boot up. An anthropomorphic creature named Bumble will become your guide - easing you into the gameplay by showing how to interact with your lovable Kinectimal and educating you on where to go and what to do next. Each moment of discovery leads to new toys for you to engage with, from throwing disks to RC cars. This level of discovery continues throughout, and while Kinectimals throws quite a lot of content at you – you're never overwhelmed. Its unfortunate then, that with all this content, Kinectimals feels quite shallow. With over 2 dozen competitions to play and numerous toys to interact with, it is a shame that many bare too close a similarity. While it isn't deep, Kinectimals is a pleasing title that has buckets of allure and may just enamour you to continue to play.

After picking your Kinectimal from a small selection which gradually grows over the course of the game, you get to name it (by calling it's name aloud) and having the Kinect hardware take a photo of you, which allows the software to recognise the player and have your cat become attached to you. It won't take long until you fall in love with your little one – the cats are incredibly expressive, exquisitely detailed and lovingly animated. They purr as they get close, love to have their tummies tickled and their ears scratched, and while the expressions are slightly exaggerated, it doesn't feel over-done and just adds to the charm.

The world the cats inhabit is just as attractive, lush meadows with dapples of sunlight, cherry blossom trees silently waving in the wind, water lapping at the beach – the environment is as inviting as the cats themselves. On top of this, it is quite well populated – hermit crabs fight it out on the sand, deer jump through the mountain clearing, and even other cats will show up on occasion, playing with your pet and eventually becoming a part of your growing brood. The environment plays a part in your adventures as well, with snow fights on the mountain pass giving way to coconut tosses on the beachside and obstacle courses in forest clearings. While the store that allows you to purchase new toys and furniture has a lemur for a proprietor, the background animals act like the real thing and add a touch of realism to the various settings.

By interacting with your chosen cub, you can take part in a variety of mini-games, which are key to unlocking new areas and learning the secrets of the island. Kinectimals is equal halves pet simulator and mini-game compilation, with a dash of home design. Each part leans on the other. Mini-games are unlocked by playing with your pet, such as simulating jump ropes or batting a ball back and forth. Successfully completing mini-games awards you with new objects, which leads back to caring for your pet and so on. The back and forth gameplay ensures that you won't get bored quickly, with your cub able to look after their basic needs and even suggest new items to play with regularly. In addition, there are hidden secrets requiring a magnifying glass and you can also collect butterflies with your butterfly net. Neither of these changes the gameplay drastically, but offers another diversion to try out whenever you reach a new area.

All this is fine except that the mini-games tend to repeat often. And while throwing a disc at dominoes is slightly different than squirting a water gun into a frog statue, you evidently feel that Kinectimals shows its full hand a little early, and within an hour you've seen just about everything it has to offer. After this, it's just new variations on the same mini-games and changes in scenery. The game can be at its best when it throws something different at you, such as the increasingly taxing obstacle courses and driving the RC cars through stunts.

The obstacle courses are one of the games real highlights, and the best opportunity for multiplayer. Your adopted cub will need to race around increasingly varied and challenging courses, ducking through tunnels, jumping over barriers and balancing on beams. You play along with the challenge, and after a little getting used to, it becomes second nature. Of course, your cub looks adorable while scrambling up a wall and weaving through slaloms and it is the only time you really exercise. Kinectimals seems happy to run at a sedate pace, and unusually for a mini-game collection, plays best as a single-player game.

The serene music background is subtle, leaving the player feeling calm and relaxed, while inviting images of butterflies and nature. The interface is slickly designed, and flicks between categories give a twinkle of sound. The only auditory annoyance is Bumble, who as a necessary nuisance can be occasionally grating, but never unbearable. The gameworld is gorgeously sweet but not saccharine, with the graphics hitting the sweet spot between authenticity and charming.

Overall, Kinectimals is the most charming game of the Kinect launch. As part of the jump to bring the Xbox 360 to a wider market, Kinectimals succeeds in creating a wonderful atmosphere and adding enough playability for the gamer to keep returning. While the mini-games are a little weak, your adopted companion is the main star and Kinectimals is a solid addition to the Kinect launch and one of the better titles to embrace controller-free hardware.

My top 100 animated films (PART 9)

Hail all,

Category: Movies

So - been watching a lot of animated films lately. Some I'd seen before, others - not so much. Surprisingly, all the movies I inform are my top 100 below are films I've seen within the past year. Some are old - some older than myself, though most come from within the past 25 years as well. There is a rule to this list though. All films must have had a theatre release, must contain at least 50% animation, and must be a singular story - no collections of short stories here. Without further ado...

PART 1 here.

PART 2 here.

PART 3 here.

PART 4 here.

PART 5 here.

PART 6 here.

PART 7 here.

PART 8 here.

81. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

What I most liked about this film is how well it blended traditional animation with CGI. On top of that, it did away with anthropomorphic characters and instead created some very real animals. The only animal to really have a voice in this film, the title character, doesn't actually speak - and we only hear his thoughts. The gorgeous animation is a great throwback to the great outdoors, and the storyline has a deep message of respecting the land. A great film.

82. Over the Hedge

I'm a little biased here - it was the first film I saw overseas. And I only watched it to pass some time while I was waiting to watch the film I had really gone to the cinema for - The Da Vinci Code. Still, the film more than holds its own. Some truly hilarious dialogue and sequences, especially the scene where the main characters battle it out while a large dog who only wants to play is in the mix. Shows a lighter side to suburbia. And it's just plain funny.

83. Happy Feet

I hadn't seen this film when I first started this list, sadly. If I had, I may have put it in the 50's somewhere. Still, better late then never. Happy Feet is one of the most infectious films I have ever seen. You watch it and you wonder - why hasn't anyone thought about a tap dancing penguin before? It's a genius concept, and it certainly goes the extra mile in wonderful music numbers. A fun film to watch and enjoy.

84. The Triplets of Belleville

I heard about this film from a French family I once lived with - they loved it. Knowing that I enjoyed french animation (Tintin and Asterix, among others) they recommended it to me. I'm glad they did, and in 2006, when I first saw it - I was a little puzzled. For such a recent film (came out in 2003), it looked like it had animation from 1940's. Yet after watching the film, I saw the charm. It uses music to convey a message. Theres some themes of depression and loneliness, and the story is a little strange - yet it's pretty compelling.

85. Corpse Bride

While the film sounds a little off - it's actually rather sweet. And while it can't hold a candle to the amazing Nightmare Before Christmas, it does an excellent job. The sweet tale (using some of the best stop-motion animation I've ever seen) is well told when a young male, desperate to get his vows right, accidentally proposes to a dead bride - who promptly accepts. What continues is a well polished and hilarious story that spoofs death and embraces it as well. Great viewing.

86. Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

I really love this movie poster. It's a lovechild between the later released Aladdin film (which also made it to this list) and the earlier Indiana Jones films. Add in a dash of the disneytoon series Ducktales and you get this film. I first saw this as a young child, waiting to get onto stage to perform a school play. I was enchanted then, and I saw it again recently via some... unusual methods. While it remains a great film, it's hard to find and I wanted to see if it had aged well. Surprisingly, it has. A good film.

87. Polar Express


I should mention that I'm not really into Christmas based films. So the fact that this one makes the list is quite special. Perhaps it has something to do with Tom Hanks playing the lead role. Perhaps not. Perhaps I just really like trains. Or perhaps it is the animation - a splendid mix of motion capture and CGI. Maybe it's Robert Zemeckis, who made another film to hit this list (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and is set to remake another film on this list (Yellow Submarine)? I can't quite put my finger on it. Yet the film is one of the few Christmas based that I can really enjoy.

88. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Yet another Syudio Ghibli/ Hayao Miyazaki film. Nausicaa is a strong willed young woman - skilled as a windrider, using her personal glider to float over the toxic forests to search for a cure for her ailing father. Taking place in a post apocolyptic future, Nausicaa is quite subtle with it's threat - though its strong environmental message couldn't be plainer. My personal favourite scene is when the God Warrior attacks - truly incredible animation. Must-watch.

89. The Fox and the Hound


Like it says on the poster "A story of two friends who didn't know they were supposed to be enemies". And like Nausicaa, it features a strong environmental message - one that I can relate to. Both Fox and Hound grow up together, but are divided over things they cannot control. Another Disney film for the ages, Fox and the Hound is the kind of animated treasure that anyone can enjoy.

90. Ninja Scroll

I first saw this film when I was in Year 8 at High School and learning Japanese. I was terrible at the language and my teacher wasn't too enthused about the subject himself. That said, he did enjoy Japanese pop-culture and we got to see this movie. I wasn't expecting much - returning to the film so longer after first seeing it (hindsight is sometimes more generous than we would normally allow) - yet the film still retains some ass-kicking ninja action. And sometimes - that's all you need. Amirite?

This was PART 9 of my ongoing series of my personal top 100 animated films. The final chapter will be out soon. May contain surprises.

Cheers,

Saga.

My top 100 animated films (PART 8)

Hail all,

Category: Movies

So - been watching a lot of animated films lately. Some I'd seen before, others - not so much. Surprisingly, all the movies I inform are my top 100 below are films I've seen within the past year. Some are old - some older than myself, though most come from within the past 25 years as well. There is a rule to this list though. All films must have had a theatre release, must contain at least 50% animation, and must be a singular story - no collections of short stories here. Without further ado...

PART 1 here.

PART 2 here.

PART 3 here.

PART 4 here.

PART 5 here.

PART 6 here.

PART 7 here.

SIDE NOTE: Sorry that I haven't been more vigilant in writing these up. Writing all this and getting the right pictures generally takes several hours. And I have been busy with Christmas and all. I will have the list complete by the end of the year however.

71. Shrek Forever After

Yet another Shrek film. After being not so pleased with Shrek The Third (which still makes this list, only it's lower) I was surprised to see Shrek: The Final Chapter get back to doing what the Shrek series does best. Essentially a what-if title, Shrek Forever After poses the question about what would happen if we could do it all over again. A great question for life, I think. And still an enjoyable film.

72. Shrek The Third

Yet again a laughingly rendered film that pokes fun at Fairy Tales, only Shrek The Third also uses a lot more pop culture to create it's jokes, which I feel is at the series expense. For that - it's my personal worst film in the series - yet its still an enjoyable film that will appeal to those that enjoyed the earlier movies, and so I still think it's worthy of entry in my top 100.

73. Antz

The film is far more serious than that of the released in the same time-frame A Bug's Life. Though this was the worse of the two, the film is still enjoyable, with some great laughs. My personal favourite scene "you could get in trouble for even listening to someone talking about impersonating a soldier!" whereby many nearby antz eavesdropping immediately fall asleep. The film is a bit more adult than A Bug's Life, but there are many great cameos and the animation is quite good for such an early repesentation for CGI.

74. Lilo and Stitch

Is there ever a character as unusual as Stitch? Coming from the Walt Disney Studios, who have the uncanny ability to turn anything into marketability, Lilo and Stitch has that distinctly nostalgia value to it. It looks like it could have been made in the early 80's - the animation is fun and fresh, without feeling hurried or have over-copious use of CGI. And finally, the film has a lot of heart and some fantastic Elvis music. A great combination.

75. Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Ok, so it's not as memorable as many of the other Disney films in this list, but so what? I liked it - and that's what matters here. For the first time, Disney really tried something radically different. The animation ****was clearly based on comics - you can see influences of early Dark Horse comics, and Hellboy. The characters were fun, and the story was quite good too. Disney tried something new here - Science Fiction, and the end result is a good film that is fun to watch. Cant ask for much more.

76. Fantastic Planet

Imagine if you could, a planet far larger than our own, which features an advanced race called Dragg which number in the millions and are hundreds of feet tall. Oh yeah, and they keep humans as pets. Yeah - thats what happens here. Some truly psychadelic imagery here too, such as dinosaur heads being sown onto chests in order to duel to solve tribal concerns. When I saw this I immediately thought of Watership Down, (a good thing), but where that film is ominous and depressing, Fantastic Planet is psychadlic and wonderous.

77. Barefoot Gen

The film was apparently released to cinemas, though I cannot find a movie poster to show this. Obviously, I first saw it on DVD - and after witnessing it, I was like... wow. Reading up on it, I found out about Grave of the Fireflies, which is obviously better, but Barefoot Gen still tugs at the heartstrings. What is most impressive about the film is how it can do so much with visuals alone - you see hundreds of deaths, people burning alive, dying babies, people vomiting blood and losing hair - it's quite violent and very visceral. The main character is probably the bravest boy I've ever seen in film. A beautiful achievement.

78. A Goofy Movie

Coming out in the same year as The Lion King probably didn't help so much at the box office, but A Goofy Movie is far more than a cash-in on the Disney cartoon Goof Troop. Goofy is appropriately Goofy, while his son Max is trying to get out from under his shadow and be seen as the cool kid. This culminates in a ridiculously over-done road trip (with appropriate songs) and some truly great father/son bonding. A great film, and many great laughs.

79. Heavy Traffic

Like it says on the poster - made by the guys who did Fritz the Cat. And while that film was provocative - Heavy Traffic trumps it. The large use of Pinball as a mataphor for life is overdone, yet it is quite tasteful. The main character appears to be working through what he is aiming for in life, and the background characters appear to be more than pin-ups, with a lot more personality than you would expect. It feels like a disparate set of stories set in the same universe, and so it's lower than Fritz the Cat, even though I think it is better in parts.

80. Starchasers: The Legend of Orin

A friend pointed me towards this film and said it was the best riff on Star Wars ever. After watching it - I tend to agree. Another hard-to-find film, Starchaser tells the story of Orin, who is in over his head. His people are slaves on a planet and are driven hard by merciless robots, who assure them that life outside of the caves is far more dangerous than anything inside. Yet Orin manages to find a sacred sword, and through that, manages to find his way. A great film for the 80's, it still ends up being a little formulative, but enjoyable.

This is PART 8 in my quest to share my top 100 animated films. Other parts can be found above. I will compile the entire list after I share them all. If you haven't seen one of these films, I urge you to give them a try. I was surprised myself to find a whole lot more animated films outside of the Disney and Dreamworks stables.

Cheers,

Saga.

My top 100 animated films (PART 7)

Hail all,

Category: Movies

So - been watching a lot of animated films lately. Some I'd seen before, others - not so much. Surprisingly, all the movies I inform are my top 100 below are films I've seen within the past year. Some are old - some older than myself, though most come from within the past 25 years as well. There is a rule to this list though. All films must have had a theatre release, must contain at least 50% animation, and must be a singular story - no collections of short stories here. Without further ado...

PART 1 here.

PART 2 here.

PART 3 here.

PART 4 here.

PART 5 here.

PART 6 here.

61. Appleseed

Ok, so the plot is a little cliched. But it's told well and the action sequences are excellent. And on top of that - the animation is mind-blowing. So Appleseed, while a good film, has it's faults. I enjoy it for what it is - mindless action, and "been there, done that" exposition. A good film, and a fun one that's more enjoyable to watch due to whats on screen rather than what it represents.

62. The Princess and the Frog

Now this was a return to the Disney animated films of yore. The Princess and the Frog represents everything I enjoy about Disney animation and is a return to form for the studio. Before they started pumping out rubbish like Home on the Range and Chicken Little, they made truly great films. The Princess and the Frog is just a wonderful throwback to the nostalgic Disney films I remember growing up. Look at that poster. The crocodile reminds me of the one from Peter Pan and the Frog looks like that dancing one from the WB cartoons. Both very good things. A lovely film.

63. Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!

Ok, not so well known around parts. And technically and reception wise - it wasn't highly regarded. In fact, I was never really a fan of Yogi Bear in his cartoons or otherwise. I enjoyed Hanna Barbera cartoons when I was younger, but Yogi Bear wasn't really my thing. It was very American. Yet I enjoyed this film for some reason, and when I saw it recently, I questioned myself why. I'm still trying to figure that out. But I saw the trailer for the new Yogi Bear film and I think - wow, that's bad. This is just... less bad.

64. Shrek 2

While it is inferior to the original, there's no denying that the Shrek magic is still in this film - and a lot of that is due to Puss in Boots. This lovable character and would be assassin is the saviour in the film - which treads very closely to the original story. Yet again, Shrek and Donkey are on an adventure and again every fairytale story is up for parody. It features far more pop culture than the original film, with things such as American Idol, Cops and Hollywood up for airing. Still, a wonderfully funny film and almost as good as the original.

65. The Road to El Dorado

What I most like about this film (other than a return to beautiful hand-drawn animation) is the two main characters. They are con-artists and best friends, and we see that relationship change over both money and love - two very big evils. Their relationship changes, but so does their mindset. This was the first time I really heard about the El Dorado legend, and as such the film was a bit of an eye-opener to me. A beautifully well drawn film that has heart and warmth, even if it's not particularly memorable.

66. Pocahontas

The film is special to me because as a young High School student, I sang several of the songs from the film as part of the school's choir. So I got to know them fairly well. I got to know the film fairly well and as part of social studies, we learnt about animism and in science, we learnt more about how every rock, every life form has a purpose, has an identity. I guess this kind of led me to Taoism, but I remember at the time falling out of Christianity. Another great Walt Disney film.

67. Cars

The first time I saw this film was in The Netherlands. And I didn't like it. I thought it was a step back from Pixar, who had dazzled me with films like Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. But over time, I found myself enjoying it, and now I find myself liking it. The brash Lightning McQueen isn't cery likeable, at least initially, but his temperance is equalled by the brilliance of character Mater. Others, like Red, Sally and especially Doc make this memorable. A definitely love letter to automobiles and Route 66.

68. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

Now here is a rare film. It's the sequel to the original film which was based on a long running children's cartoon. What's even rarer is the fact that it was better than the original film - no small feat. The film almost usurps the always main character of Tommy as Chucky becomes the lead - looking for a replacement mother. Some incredibly humourous scenes, including the children taking control of a giant "Gozilla-like" dinosaur and running rampant around Paris are highlights. A delight to watch.

69. TMNT

I'm a bit of an old-school Ninja Turtles fan. I had a bunch of the toys growing up and religiously watched the original series. While it was apparently a parody of other superheroes, it never felt as much as me. Each of the turtles had their own ****- Leonardo was calm and collected, Michealangelo was the comic relief, Raphael was the brooding member and Donatello was the intelligence. The film picks up where the original series left off - yet it brings the Turtles back to New York and back to fighting the foot clan and more. Great to see the Turtles doing what they do best.

70. Bambi

The Circle of Life. This film is essentially about the circle of life. A truly great film which showed an unnatural vision for Disney - the characters were very real. It also came out in the middle of WW2 and had a huge backlash by hunters, who are the main "enemy" in the film. Whats great about this film is that it clearly shows how life is in the forest - and how Man has set it's domination of the creatures within making them a threat. Beautiful animation and some amazing backgrounds culminate in a film that shows the wonders of the forest edens.

This is the 7th such part in my animation countdown of my top 100 animated films. I hope you've missed at least a few of the above titles and seek them out. I can recommend them all.

Cheers,

Saga.