Hello, Spongey here
We are currently in a new golden age of animation, where every film or show is trying something new with the medium, pushing the boundaries and doing creative and wild stories
Anyone who says cartoons are getting worse is a moron. I am not kidding. Disney, DreamWorks, blue sky and others are stepping it up with their animated films and TV is no different.
With all this animated magic around us today, I thought it’d take a trip back to the animated films of the past decade. I will tell you my 5 fave animated films of each year since 2002
Why 2002? 2001 had like 8. not exactly a fair top 5. 2001 being the year the “best animated feature” category at the Oscars came about
Thus, at the end of every list I’ll look at what was nominated, what I think of them, and what I think should have won if I did not agree.
I’ll do this for each year up until 2012. Though knowing me, I may get to it by the time 2015 has come to a close
This, is Top 5 animated films of 2002
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
I never got to go on with DreamWorks-a thon, but now I get to talk about this movie! This is at the bottom of the list, cuz…it has a crippling problem, but I put it on cuz overall, it’s better than the other contender for this spot
The plot is pretty basic: A horse is taken from his family and sold off to some bad guys. Then he makes friends with an captured Indian boy, and while they at first hate each other, they have to team up to help each other find their homes.
The movie is interesting for one reason: The animals don’t talk. At all. It’s all realistic, dark and it’s mostly quiet telling the story through the animation on the horses.
…Except for Narration by former gay krill, Matt Damon. And yeah…that’s one of my problems with it. At points the narration (from spirit’s POV) makes sense. At points…it’s like this.
(bad thing happens)
“I feel this way!”
Yep, it’s the movie pointing out the obvious. And for a movie that is trying to take it’s audience seriously by being QUIET, that’s a bad thing. And that’s why I like the movie: It doesn’t talk down to kid’s. But that narration gets in the way of that!
As do the songs. They also explain the obvious. They are…80’s style songs by bryan adams. Not only are they mostly FORGETTABLE as hell, but there are WAY too many of them. It’s like it can’t go 5 minutes without one.
However, “Get off my back” and “Don’t take me” are awesome, so there’s that. Once the plot kicks in both of those things die down and the movie becomes better
But even THOSE THINGS are really minor problems, and don’t get in the way of the overall good-ness. But it does stop me from loving it as much as it’s rabid online fanbase. Seriously for a quiet movie, it has tons of fangirls and such. Who knew a work could get people crazy over horses?
Okay, even though the film can be quite boring at the start, it ends up being a pretty decent film by the end. Yeah, the main problem is the pacing. In the first half, it can go from dull, to engaging. But when the real plot shows up, the film is good from there
The main reason being that it takes a lot of chances. It’s rare to see a realistic animated film where the horses don’t talk. It some ways, it’s one of DW’s most adult films, in that it gits gritty and shows how rough this horse has it.
Mostly cuz the horse is shown to be untamble, and thus the union soldiers are not happy with him. So the fact that the indian gets to him through what they have in common, is awesome.
That’s why this movie works. It explores some very good themes, and a simple horse is made into a complex character, with a very well done
The animation is amazing. It has a lot pretty scenery, and has great atmposphere and a nice score. All of it is great to watch in the right moments, and when it happens ALONG with the plot, it’s good. When it’s just there to be there..it’s boring.
But they make up for that with the characters interact, and how exciting is gets in the end. It has some nail biting scenes in it, and by the end, I was glad I saw it
I admit, it’s a love it or hate it movie. Those who love it love it for the reasons I mentioned, and those who hate it…hate It for the reasons I mention. So I was the exact WRONG audience for this movie.
So the fact that I at least LIKE IT means they did something right. But I don’t see why the people who love it, like it at the force they do…but I mostly find it on youtube, where I find many dubs of that awful song from Treasure planet, so there.
It bombed, what a shock, as did Sinbad, which means they went back to CG with shrek 2. The rest is history. I see why it bombed, but I still like
Yes, I bitched about it, but overall, it could have been worse. It took chances, got adult, didn’t talk down to kids, and showcased complex themes, and great animation
<span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;"Nnot even matt damon can stop me from saying Spirit was a decent movie. And really, that's all the explanation you need for why it's number 5
- The Powerpuff Girls Movie
…Okay, I know this seems like an odd choice, especially ahead of spirit but…i have bad taste in movies. You know that by now!
Anyway, this is likely one of my fave movies based on a cartoon, as it expands on the show, brings it to the big screen, without feeling like an extended episode.
For those who don’t remember the show, the movie follows it the same. Townsville is a hive of evil guys doing bad shit, with no one to stop them, Professor canneverspellhisname is especially sad as he has a crazy monkey running around.
One day, he is trying to create something using sugar, spice, and everything nice. But then that damn monkey- well…i’ll let tom Kenny explains
“but. He added an extra ingredient to the connection…chemical x!”
<span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif;"Thus, we have three short big eyed little girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and buttercup
“Because that also begins with a B”
Blossom is the leader, Bubbles is the …bubbly one, and buttercup is the tough one. She’s also my favorite.
Anyway, they have superpowers, and they form a strong bond with their…well, father. They go to school but after an epic game of tag, they trash the city. So thus, the town hates them, and they can’t use their powers. Then they run into Mojo jojo, a monkey with a large brain that is also a mutant freak, hated by people. So he offers them a chance to make the town a better place..
But if you’ve seen the show, you know Mojo is actually evil and is using them to help, you guessed it, take over the world. …oh, why not?
Anyway, he’s the monkey I mentioned earlier, mutated from the chemical X. Now, this wasn’t known at the start of the show,. Infact, it was found out in a later episode.
In that episode, Mojo realizes he can use this fact to make the professor see him as his..well, son! The girls are shocked there to learn Mojo was mutated from the X too.
But at the end, the Professor remembers that mojo was an awful assistant, and that he made the girls. This shocks not only the girls but mojo, as he had no idea that he ended up making his enemies. So now we get expansion on that in the movie.
But wait, with all the shit mojo is doing, the Professor didn’t put 2 and 2 together already? And if mojo is so smart, why didn’t he remember crashing the chemical x? I mean-
Just repeat to yourself “it’s just a show, I should really just relax”
…Fine. My point is, I like how they expanded on this by making Mojo a threat. I mean, he even mutates a bunch of monkey’s in order to make rise of the planet apes 9 years early! I never thought I could take him seriously as a villain, but…damn
I admit, I was skeptical about the idea of a film PREQUEL as the intro told us everything. But like Batman begins, they EXPAND on it, and make it well worth watching.
It has a decent plot, filled with badass action scenes and great emotional moments. When Mojo takes over, and it seems like the girls helped him, the professor has no idea who he should believe: the girls or the townspeople. If that isn’t bad enough, the girls leave earth and hang out on an asteroid , lamenting that they will have to stay here forever to avoid being outcasts . Damn.
The moral here… well, just cuz someone is different doesn’t mean they are bad,. But it ALSO means to watch your own strength, and don’t horse around too much or you might alienate your peers. It’s a well written plot where you can sort of see the point on both sides.
Though I do wonder why the Professor didn’t snap at them for DESTROYING HALF THE CITY and just saying the town is crazy. ..he’s kind of an idiot in hindsight
But either way, it’s sweet and when the girls do realize mojo’s plan, the fight ends up being BAD. ASS. or…whoopass. …yeah i’m not explaining the joke
The movie moves at a brisk pace, it’s funny, It captures everything the show has, and even though it has its flaws, it’s very sweet and serves as a perfect intro to the show
This is how you do a movie based on a show. It keeps everything the original series add, makes it even bigger, and it feels like a movie on its own. Hell, I think it’s a good way to get someone into the series.
It’s fun, funny, action packed, and full of badass moments. It has good themes, sweet moments, and likeable/memorable characters. It’s not as epic as spirit, or my next 3 films, but to me, it’s every bit as good
And so, the cinema has been saved, thanks to…The power puff girls! …Tom Kenny does it better
3. Ice age
You just saw me tear into part 4, so let’s talk about the first one…
After all the sequels, it’s easy to forget how good the original really is. This was Blue sky’s first feature, in my opinion, their best.
For all one of you who haven’t seen it, here’s the premise: A mammoth, a sloth, and a tiger walk into a bar-I mean a frozen landscape. See, In the Ice Age, a clumsy sloth named Sid, a depressed woolly mammoth named Manny, a saber-toothed cat named Diego and an acorn-obsessed saber-toothed squirrel named Scrat are forced to become unlikely heroes. The first three reluctantly come together and brave the deadly elements of the impending big freeze.
Sid’s family ditches him, and , he meets Manfred, a mammoth who is travelling to the north, and decides to follow him. When a human camp is attacked by a pack of sabers, a woman takes her baby and jumps in a river. Before she dies, Manny and Sid rescue the baby. The two animals decide to search for the father and return the baby to him. Diego, one of the tigers that attacked the humans, comes also claiming the baby. Diego starts to work as a double agent, but along the journey he is befriended by Manny and Sid.
So yeah, there’s a lot of plot, but I think you can tell why I like it. Unlike some of the sequels, it moves slowly but surely, as it shows how these characters are learning to get along under these circumstances. Every character is great, and the camaraderie between them is great. Before Flanderiztion set in, Sid was a fun, likable guy who had basically been ditched by his family.
And so the whole “screw-up” cliché works in this case, as we do see how good a guy he is, and how he fits within this crazy herd. On top of that, you gotta love Manny. He’s a stubborn guy who just wants his space, but all that crashes down when he has to work with these losers.
He’s actually my favorite, as in all 3 movies he manages to relatable in every way. It’s fun to see him grow as character, and get used to having people around, and even become protective of those people.
It’s some wonderful character development, and it’s done with great effect in this 1st film. Also, diego is cool too, as he at first, sticks to his pack that wants the baby to…well, you can infer what. Yeah, you forgot how dark these movies used to be
He mostly works as a double agent, working for his pack while also trying to get the baby from the others. But of course, he grows to like not only his friends, but also the baby. The baby really changes their lives, and the tike affects all of them.’
And after this movie he never shows up again. Fail.
On of that, the film has some real tear jerkers near the end. I won’t spoil it for those who somehow avoided this film so far. But trust me, I got emotionally invested in the story in characters.
Sure, the animation is…primitive. (BOOO) and at times, not very good, but at other points, it’s decent so it’s not unwatchable. It’s very funny, has great characters, an interesting story, and rises above others CG films thanks to it’s immense heart
Oh, and the subplot with scrat is hilarious. In every movie, he’s the best part, and he is just the best. Please, no ice age 5. Do more scrat shorts, and put them in front on every blue sky movie, and i’ll be happy forever.
While on the outside, ice age looks like a typical family film, especially with the sequels, but check it out, it’s funny, sweet, and great.
Ice age is pretty….good. Haw, you thought I was gonna make a pun, didn’t ya?
- Spirited Away
Believe it or not, I had never seen this movie, until I had to do this list. And of course, I loved it.
I’m sure you all know the plot, but hey, I;ll throw you a bone. Chihiro, a sullen young girl unwillingly moving to a new town, is stranded in the spirit world after her parents stop by what appears to be an abandoned amusement park and eat food that turns them into pigs. At first, her only aid is Haku, a mysterious boy who finds her shelter and a job in a bathhouse that caters to these spirits; eventually, Chihiro makes more friends as she searches for a way to make her parents human again and escape the spirit world before she forgets her real identity.
Oh, and that’s just the first half-hour — which doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the odd denizens of the spirit world, ranging from the villainous bathhouse manager Yubaba to arachnid worker Kamajii to the enigmatic, voiceless spirit No Face.
Oh, and Chiro is voiced by Lilo, which was very distracting for me. Also, the foreman of the bathhouse is Squidward.
So anyway, this movie is pretty different from I’m used to, in terms of story. Mostly with the pacing. It reminds me of Up and Paranorman. What I mean is, it’s not the usual slam bam plot point after another stuff I usually see. Instead, it starts with a big plot, and then the pacing is rather deliberate, focusing on what the characters doing and going through rather than big plot points.
It’s rather slower than the aforementioned films, but it’s also more creative in doing so. Hell, it’s almost 2 hours, unheard of for a kid’s movie. While many may find it slow or boring, I still liked it.
Okay, at times, I was wondering where the plot was, but trust me, about an hour in, it hits hard and it’s awesome. It’s one long game of HOW MUCH SHIT CAN WE PUT THE MAIN CHARACTER THROUGH. It’s animations favorite game. I hear Pixar is the reigning champion!
Which would explain why John lasster helped produce the dub AND why john ratzenburger voices the Forman’s assistant.
By the way, the dub is what I saw, cuz I’m a dumb American. It’s great, as it there is no annoying lull destruction. Trust me; if you watch as much bad animated movies as I do, you’ll grow to love movies like this.
Most of it is nice and quiet, and many scenes with no one talkng. It’s great, and at helps a lot.
The characters are also really likable, and as the plot goes along, I grew to love them more. At first Chiro seems dull, but as she forgets her name and goes through this shit, you will feel bad for her. Some say what happens is bad cuz she didn’t do anything bad, but it was more to punish the parents , and just cuz you did nothing bad doesn’t mean bad shit can’t teach you a lesson.
Besides, she does grow, starting as a scared little girl, but becoming pretty competent and ready for life at the end. I also like Haku, though why would be a spoiler. Also, max goof.
The plot gets very interesting, and it offers us tons of creative scenarios. There are movies with more creative plot points, but this has some of the most creative imagery and even some neat plot points.
We have a witch that steals a girl’s name, a dude who eats people and uses their voice, and a river dragon spirit thingy. It may seem off putting to young kids. Hell, I avoided it as kid cuz I was a dumb American even back then.
But now I’ve seen it and like it. Everyone has praised it enough, so I’ll cut this short. Spirited Away is creative, fun, scary, and goes by fast despite it’s running time. That’s enough to put it at number 2.
1. Lilo and Stitch
Yeah, you all saw this coming. Honestly, I’ve already said why I love this movie in my tribute…so we’re done here. But, for you, i’l copypasta stuff from the tribute
“See, all this is amazing. It is true heart, and the writing is very strong and the characters are very well written and it all comes together perfectly.”
“How is it Disney? It has that magic most of their films do The characters are interesting, and well fleshed out. The animation is great, and it capture the essence of it’;s location. The tone is magical, but isn’t afraid to have balls”
Go Read my Tribute to it, as I go into why it’s perfect on all counts, and proves why Chris sanders is a genius. Here’s hoping the croods is good too.
So there you go! Not a shocker of a list.
So, the nominees for Best Animated Feature were: Ice Age, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure planet, Spirited away, and Spirit Stallion of the cimmarron. Wow,, they got like…4 of my 5! Hell, Treasure planet was the other contender I mention earlier. Great set. The winner is Spirited away. Yeah, my pick was lilo, and damn it,. Spirited away deserved it more, as a testament to the anime film, proving to people that all anime isn’t pokemon.
Good job, academy. You got one right.
Now, my grades for the rest of the animated films
Return to neverland: haven’t seen it, couldn’t find it
Treasure planet: B+
The wild thornberrys movie: B+
Jonah: A Veggietales movie: B-
Hey Arnold the movie: B
Eight Crazy Nights: C-
So there you go. See ya next time for 2005~ …2003/2004 were not the best animation years, sadly. But I will tell you the best for those years AND the Oscar nominations.
2003=Finding Nemo, obviously. The nominees were Nemo, brother bear, and The Triplets of Belleville. Haven’t the last, and while I like brother bear, nemo won, of course
2004=The incredibles, duh. The Oscar nominees were shrek 2, incredibles, and shark tale. …wait, what?
They nominated fucking SHARK TALE?! That movie SUCKS! Come on, 2004 had SOME others you could nominate! Hell, even the spongebob movie was more deserving! This is by far, the worst animated film nominated for an Oscar.
Thankfully, pixar won. I hate that I have to skip 2 years…but if it means I can keep avoiding home on the range, I’m game!
2005 didn’t have that much, but enough for a top 5…besides, I haven’t seen ANY of the ones nominated for the Oscar.