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Animations for Anyone
Top Ten Animated Movies
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Top Ten Animated Movies
Advantages: Stories, Characters, Soundtracks, Dialogue, Settings
Disadvantages: Ratings, Translation, Dubs & Subs
Pretty much everyone grows up watching animated films, be it from Disney, a subsidiary or an independent studio. These films capture the imagination as a child and remain in your memory as you reminisce about your youth, when you stayed in on rainy days and watched your favourite movie.. and in England, that means you'll know all the words and songs. Everyone already knows the true classics: Toy Story, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Bambi, Dumbo.. the list is vast and mostly consists of Walt Disney features.. So what we have here is a short list of the films that you might have missed, ignored or simply never heard of or considered. These aren't chosen on sales or historical sales figures but as personal choices that have managed to hold my attention throughout the years since the early 90s. You'll find films that are soley for children, adults and even all audiences, from the massive conglomerates, whimsical asian studios and relatively unknown names.
10) Fantasia (1940)
To start it has to be a classic oldie that everyone knows - Fantasia, the richest animation concerning music - it combines fantastic visuals for the younger generations whilst providing legendary orchestral symphonies. This film always had me gawking at the tele for the good 2 hours it was on, getting engrossed in the sparkly floral dances, in suspense as the dinosaurs evolved - right to their extinction, mystified by the mythical creatures living in harmony and terrified by a demonic ending sequence. Tyrannosaurus Rex's, Waltzing Mushrooms and Micky Mouse - Tchaikovsky, Bach and Ludwig Van - Educational Art with Classical Music, Lovely.
9) Princess Mononoke (1997)
Studio Ghibli may be the most well known animation studio from Japan, but while its films are notoriously magical and creative, the makers and majority of releases remain in obscurity. Princess Mononoke is a classic tale about the spirit of the forest, with humans in civil war and contesting land against wild animals too, it revolves around a young girl in a wolf pack and a tribesman searching for a cure for his evil curse dwelling within him. It may bore a PG rating, but there is some gore (albeit comedic) and the odd swear word but its certainly a film to sweep away a child's mind rather than be blatantly obvious or silly.
8) Atlantis: Lost Empire (2001)
For me, this one was released during the summer of my first year of secondary school and has some significant nostalgia because of it. The first thing to note about it is the fantastic voice cast of Michael J. Fox, James Garner, John Mahoney and Leonard Nimoy. A group of obscure professionals team up to find the lost city of Atlantis, encountering vivid landscapes and troubles along the way. It may not be spectacularly delivered but it has a good plot, cast and quality soundtrack.
7) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
No doubt a reason for my rather warped sense of humor, South Park 'The Movie' is a fantastically foulmouthed musical - the ONLY real musical in this list - As a child I would always sigh and tsk whenever a character would awkwardly burst into inappropriate song. However when its a song about being a 'B*ner biting B*stard' or as twisted as a homosexual Suddam Hussein serenading the Satan himself, it peaked a demented interest. Certainly not for anyone under 15, its rating I ignored at 10 years old, its a hilarious plot with that twisted humor the series provides, all the way through.
6) Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
A film that 80's kids may know, Fern Gully is a little gem in the animation genre. With Robin Williams voicing a bat who suffered human experimentation, it sounds rather insane, but the overall message is the preservation of the rainforest's - playing on children's sympathies through the use of fairies. It has 3 or 4 songs to sing along too - the Batty Rap - and gloriously green, natural environments are a spellbinder. Fairly difficult to come by as it was made by an Australia based studio and for some reason - remains a lesser known title. James Cameron blatantly ripped this for Avatar!
5) Ninja Scroll (1993)
The goriest film on the list at a solid 18, the Manga release is a superb showing of ninjas and mythical beings in feudal Japan. The plot - Jubei Kibagami (a historical name) is a freelance sword for hire, drawn into several fights that inevitably protect his country. The 8 devils of Kimon are what makes this especially memorable as each one has hugely original powers and abilities to make life hard on our sleepy hero. Reincarnation, Stone-skin, Shadow-sinking, wasp hive backed... what? It has it all in stylish violence - explosions, samurai fights, poison immunities, electric shocks, decapitations, rape, bad language and blood spraying dismemberments. Ok its out of place, but in a good way.
4) Treasure Planet (2002)
This one may disappoint readers of the classic tale 'Treasure Island' on which the film is loosely based, but to hell with them, book people tend to be incredibly stuck up when it comes to film adaptions. Its the same story but in a futuristic setting with classy throwbacks to the original - pirate ships that traverse space - a bit whacky but it this is an original take on a fan favourite that warms the heart with genuine emotion and relationships and a solid musical score to boot - check out John Rzeznik.
3) Spirited Away (2001)
If ever there was a film that highlights the efforts of Studio Ghibli, its this. Spirited Away is hands down one of the weirdest films but somehow manages to whisk you away with its magical characters and setting. The plot trundles along as Chihiro (or 'Sen') and her parents move home, get lost on the way and end up crossing a void into a new world of spirits - that reside at a bath house - mental. In many ways, the title is incredibly apt, on purpose or ironic, this is a captivating one that can be watched by all.. even if you have no idea whats going on.
2) Akira (1988)
The fourth and final 'anime/manga' on the list is the king of them all. It has to be the most ambitious and stylish film ever animated with use of hundreds of detailed illustrated backgrounds and an intriguing cast of characters. The plot is super heavy and would most likely take up an disproportionate amount of space here, so I'll say its about scientific testing, super human abilities and camaraderie. The voice acting, both version of the English dub are satisfactory and the music is astonishing with its highly original sounds, instruments and effects used. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT big on anime - I hate the majority of it and have a great disdain for those who obsess and dress up over it. A 2 hour long 15, its tough to take all at once, with violence, bad language and troubling themes - but remains a class act that sets the standard for truly epic filmmaking.
1) Basil The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
My all time favourite animation is one that is a bit obscure and sadly overlooked. I love everything about this one, each character, the odd song & soundtrack, setting, story and look. It may be because I am English that I hold this one dear as its based in London, full of different accents and showcasing stunning surroundings. Based on a standard kidnapping mystery, by a dastardly villain, Ratigan! and his moronic sidekick peg-leg bat, Fidget. Clearly its the nostalgia of my childhood that edges it to a no.1 spot but I still think its decent today and has stood the test of time.
- Rugrats: The Movie
- The Sword In The Stone
- The Rescuers
- Reccess: Schools Out
- The Fox & The Hound
Summary: A list of Lesser Known Animated (not CGI) films for Everyone