Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Animated Films

Welcome to the second Top 5 list that we've done on Inglorious Blogsters. In honor of the upcoming film Cars 2, we decided that it would be appropriate to list our Top 5 favorite animated films.

This is a genre of film that has been pretty much dominated by Disney since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out in 1937. But other studios have seen the kind of money that animated films pull in and have decided to tap into the animated market for themselves. So is this list going to be pure Disney greatness or are we going to have some other studios represented?

As always, we want you to comment below and tell us how we did on our lists. Tell us what we got right and which films we wrongfully snubbed. Feel free to write up your own list too. If you have any future suggestions for Top 5 lists, please comment below or e-mail us at ingloriousblogsters@gmail.com


5. Shrek (2001) - I really like the film's concept that story book characters are all living together in a place called Far Far Away. The first Shrek is the best. It's funny, the animation is great, the voice work is really good and it has a stellar storyline. It also introduced us to memorable characters that have become pop culture icons and it spawned a musical. I'd say that's a good film.

4. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) - This is going to be the film on my list that the fewest number of people have seen. But if you haven't seen it, you really should. It's directed by Wes Anderson and features the voices of George Clooney, Maryl Streep and Bill Murray to name a few. The humor and voice work are both amazing. It's quirky, fun and really upbeat.

3. The Lion King (1994) - My first Disney film and the only hand-drawn animated film on my list. I don't really know if I need to explain my choice. It has great animation, an amazing story and good music. I think what really sets it apart is the emotion in the film. Who didn't get sad when Mufasa dies in the stampede. This film is great from the opening scene to the end.

2. The Incredibles (2004) - This is one of those animated films that is marketed to adults. Sure you can take your kids to see it but it's an adult film. It's about a family of super heros that struggle to deal with their everyday lives like regular people do. It's a story that everyone watching can relate to. The film is super entertaining, great musical score, really cool action sequences that are better than most live action films. Just a great film.

1. Toy Story (1995) - This film change animation forever. Hand-Drawn animation has become a thing of the past because of this film. Animated films no longer had to be for children to enjoy only. You can now see the emotion on animated character's faces. You could feel a real connection to the characters like you could in live action films. Honestly, I decided to pick only one Toy Story movie because my top 3 would be the Toy Story films if I didn't. This film's characters are some of the most memorable in film history. Tom Hanks' voice work as the cowboy Woody is fantastic. The concept is so fun and original. Who hasn't on one point wondered if your toys come to life when you leave the room? I personally grew attached to these characters to the point that the third film's ending gets you choked up. I love this movie and there was no hesitation to put this as number one.


5. Beauty and the Beast (1991) - The only animated film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, Beauty and the Beast is one the greatest Disney films. While most of animated films are being dominated by computer animation today, hand drawn films once ruled the silver screen. I might have lost my man card for this choice but its music and story are unforgettable.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Tim Burton was once one of my favorite directors when he was directing and producing original quirky films. Then he fell in love with remaking older films and now I don't follow him nearly as much. During his peak years of the 90's, Burton produced this animated film that is loved my adults and kids alike. A frequent Burton collaborator, Elfman created one of the best original soundtracks for an animated film. The Nightmare Before Christmas is truly a unique original film that is both creepy and heartfelt.

3. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) - Like Chris, I feel this is one of the more underrated animated films. Wes Anderson's humor translated nicely to animation. I have always had immense respect for films that use stop motion animation and Anderson handled it like a master. The voice cast is probably one of the better ensembles in history with George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. The look of the film is just another aspect that helps Anderson's film stand out from other animated films. Fantastic Mr. Fox is definitely the funniest animated film I've ever seen.

2. The Lion King (1994) - "Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba..." Who cant help but scream that out when babies are born?! All kidding aside, this was my favorite animated film growing up. The story is great, the animation is beautiful, and the music is brilliant. Scar, voiced by Jeremy Irons, is probably the greatest animated villain of all time. I watched the film again recently and it hasnt aged even being nearly 20 years old. The Lion King will be cherished by generations to come.

1. Wall-E (2008) - This film might be in my top ten favorite films of all time. The story is unique, thematic, and spoke volumes by doing so little with dialogue. At it's core, it is a love story of two robots designed for a specific purpose that yearn to both do their jobs and be together. The story is much more with themes of the dangers of human's lethargic tendencies, relying too much on technology, and protecting our environment. Wall-E is one of the few films I've truly connected with in my lifetime. I believe many people misunderstand this film; to me it is much more than just an animated film. Wall-E is an underdog story that is imaginative, sweet, and funny. These reasons make Wall-E my top animated film of all time.


5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - I'll be honest, the first time I saw this movie, I didn't like it. But then, it grew on me. Next thing you know, I'm humming the very addictive songs all day at work. This movie is quite unique too, in the sense that it can be watched around Halloween as well as Christmas (although most people watch it for Halloween). This movie also looks fantastic even by today's standards. To give you an idea of how amazing it looks -- this movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. It lost to Jurassic Park.

5. Shrek (2001) - While I am not a fan of the copious amount of sequels this movie produced, I will say that the original is downright hilarious and fun. I love how they poke fun at Disney and various fairytales. The "Muffin Man" interrogation scene still cracks me up to this day. Hell even Eddie Murphy made me laugh in this one...and that hasn't happened since 1988.

3. An American Tail (1986) - It was a tossup between this one and Land Before Time (which had the same team working on it, and shares a lot of the same plot), but ultimately I prefer An American Tail. I felt this movie had more heart to it. It's an amazing story of perseverance, family, and dreams. OK that sounds cheesy, but you can't tell me that your heart doesn't fill up with emotion when you watch this movie. This is another movie that also looks great -- the drawings of old New York display a land that is the exact opposite of what the mice had in their heads on the boat ride over from Russia. And now that I think about it, this movie is pretty dark for a kids movie.

2. The Incredibles (2004) - This one is a bit too young to be considered a classic, but I love it anyway. I genuinely enjoy this movie -- the action (yes, it actually has some great action scenes), the story is actually original, and the characters are hilarious. The scene were Mr Incredible, now an insurance salesman, is a slave to his cubicle and his middle-class laugh -- the entire observation is so absurd it's hilarious. And like I said, this movie has one of the more original ideas I've seen recently.

And my #1 favorite animated film of all time is: Toy Story (1995) - This is my favorite Disney movie of all time. And the fact that it was the first full-length all computer-generated feature film is just an added bonus. As with The Incredibles, and extremely original idea that grabs you right from the beginning -- what if our toys came to life when we weren't around? This movie still cracks me up, especially since it has some humor that would go over the heads of younger audiences. Whenever I get done watching this movie, I get a sense of, "Aw it's over?" It probably doesn't help that I have almost the entire movie memorized does it. This movie -- with major emphasis on the story and especially the characters -- were so wonderful that it spawned two sequels that, in my opinion, makes up one of the best movie trilogies I've ever seen.

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