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.
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.