Pop-Off: Top 10 animated films: a unique genre
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 23:09
I love all types of film. But like everybody, I have my biases. For me, one genre stands out and that’s animation. It’s a style that is creatively unlimited and that adds new dimensions to familiar forms of storytelling. Rather than giving just a list of animated movies you should see, I’m going to do something much more personal, because animation has had an enormous impact on me. Here are my Top 10 Favorite Animated Movies.
Alright, ten just isn’t enough. Here are some runners up: “Mary and Max,” “The Secret of Kells,” “Robin Hood,” “The Plague Dogs,” “Castle In The Sky,” “Fantasia” and “Vuk.”
10. “Finding Nemo.” Really, this slot on the list goes to almost everything by Pixar, with “Finding Nemo” just edging out the pack. It’s simply a wonderfully charming road movie with unforgettable characters. What makes it rare amongst animated movies is that it’s performance-driven. This film would have not been nearly as funny or sweet if it wasn’t Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres in the booth. I think we’ve all seen this one so little else needs to be said.
9. “Grave of the Fireflies.” The story of two orphaned children trying to survive in the firebombings of World War II in Japan is one of the most emotionally involved and devastating things one will ever see. From beginning to end it wraps you in the bond between a brother and sister: their struggle, their desperation and ultimately, their demise. This is a shining example of the visual power that just isn’t found in live action. And I honestly feel a little sick putting it on a list of my favorites.
8. “Waltz with Bashir.” This film brilliantly utilizes animation to tells surrealistic and fantastical war stories, the twist being that they’re all true, at least in the minds of those who tell them. The story is so bizarre it can only be presented in a style taken as fantasy. The film shows the effects of war on the battlefield as well as inside the human subconscious. It also goes deeply into psychological ethics regarding total war, sadism and posttraumatic stress disorder, all while keeping your jaw to the floor with its stunning visuals. This, I feel, is what the movie “Apocalypse Now” wanted to be.
7. “Spirited Away.” This is a movie that pushes the boundaries of fantasy itself. I have never, nor will I ever, see something this creative, imaginative and wondrous. Every single character, scene, motion and tiny piece of the background is memorable. It takes us on a journey into a world so marvelous we can’t think. All we can do is sit and let it wash over us. I dare not describe in detail any fraction of its story or setting, as no set of words can do it justice.
Next week, I’ll have the upper half of the list.