It just ain't right. I love animated movies, y'all. So, I just couldn't let that slide.
Just take a look at this jacked-up list...
1. Finding Nemo - It's good, but it's not all that.
2. The Lion King
3. The Incredibles
6. Toy Story
7. Beauty and the Beast
9. Spirited Away
10. Monsters, Inc.
11. Cars - NOOOOO.
12. Shrek 2
13. Enchanted - If we're going with animated mixed with live-action MARY POPPINS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PROPER CHOICE, PEOPLE!!
14. The Little Mermaid
16. Princess Mononoke
17. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
18. Lady and the Tramp
19. Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who - WHAT???!!!
20. Peter Pan
22. Howl's Moving Castle
23. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
24. Ice Age
25: Ice Age: The Meltdown } -Both of these get a big NO.
26. The Simpsons Movie - I love The Simpsons, but no.
27. Over the Hedge - Yahoo users, no. Just... No.
28. Sleeping Beauty
29. The Jungle Book - Niet.
See what I mean??
So, here's my proper Top 30 Animated Films list, thank-you-very-much:
30. THE SECRET OF NIMH
Yes, this is a lighter-weight Plague Dogs, but it's still a damn good cartoon.
Don Bluth just doesn't get enough props for his animated movies. From All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Balto to this is my favorite of his, despite the annoying bird, his movies rule.
How many movies, period, have you seen where the single mom is the protagonist on the adventure??
This is sadly, the only major animated movie I know of where Asians actually have folds on their eyelids. And it happens to be made by the corporation that blazed the trail for non-p.c. kiddie entertainment, Disney. Crazy, Right?
Just try not to sing along to "I'll Make a Man Out of You." And Mulan is easily the strongest Disney "princess" of them all.
28. KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS *
I've mentioned this movie a couple of times on the blog and yes, I'm mentioning it again. It warrants it. It's the only series of movies with a mythological base set in Africa. It's a unique style and the tale is a good one. Before The Frog Princess finally blesses American audiences with our first black animated princess, I suggest you check it out.
...And so should Angelina Jolie.
27. THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE ***
This is the anime film for people who don't like anime. It's a wonderfully mature space opera tale.
It runs a bit long, but it's that kind of patiently told story that could have been just as well-told in non-animated form, but only in the right hands. Yes, it's a 'grownfolks' movie, but without all the stereotypical trappings you'd expect in this genre.
If you think you don't like anime, RENT THIS. NOW.
26. MONSTERS INC
Boo has the distinction of being the only CGI human character who has managed to be cute and not creepy to me. And Boo + Sully, forever. The relationship between her and Sulley is this main reason why I love this film, so.
25. NAUSICAA OF VALLEY OF THE WIND/HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE *
In a country known for it's sexist treatment of women in animation, Miyazaki shines. His films are chock full of strong young female leads, who use their wits (and not their tits) to save the day. Before you stock up on Disney's princess-in-distress flicks, I strongly urge you to make sure your daughter's cartoon collection includes his movies.
24. THE LAST UNICORN/THE FLIGHT OF THE DRAGONS
Bass and Rankin are two other animation legends, who don't get nearly enough accolades for their memorable work. It's fantastic fantasy work done during the height of the 80's fantasy trend. And oh boy, have they been quietly influential.
Seriously y'all, I'm surprised nobody's said anything about Jackson's borrowing of their set-pieces for his Lord of the Rings movies.
23.THE PLAGUE DOGS **
Remember when I said The Secret of Nimh was a softer version of this?? I wasn't kidding. Here's yet another animation director, he gets no props, Micheal Rosen.
Between this and Watership Down, I think he was trying to make children commit mass suicide. He made a pair of the most depressingly, sad, anthropomorphic tales, ever.
22. ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Alice in Wonderland doesn't get nearly enough props. The fact that when you envision Alice in Wonderland now, that movie's imagery pops in your head, really seals it for me. It was sweet and subversive and a tad chilling (hello, Cheshire Cat!).
It was everything an animated druggie-dream for kids, should be.
The reason this isn't higher, is because beyond the mommy murder, the story isn't particularly memorable to me.
Gorgeous and sweet? Yes.
Memorable?...Enough to be semi-remade as The Lion King, some fifty years later, sure. But it's base is the same for many coming of age tales. Still, it earns it's place for the beautiful animation.
20. WATERSHIP DOWN **
This movie messed up as many kids' minds as Poltergeist and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Forget Night of the Lepus. Scariest. Bunnies. EVER.
And I'm not EVEN talking about the General. I'm talking about
Love it or hate it, it's the archetype for every young girl's Prince fantasies.
18. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
The #1 animation for the goth/emo set. Though you really don't have to be either to appreciate it. Dazzlingly seductive vocals, beautiful/ugly details all wrapped-up in a quirky sweet holiday tale, make this a true classic.
17. WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? *
This video brings the LOLS
Bob Hoskins was ROBBED of an Oscar win for this, y'all. Between nailing an American accent, doing physical comedy (which is HARD), and acting against NOTHING for the majority of the film, this dude pulled a DeNiro in Taxi Driver, here. If not better. Just crazy. acting. skills.
I hope he gets proper credit for this eventually, because he so deserves it.
16. THE INCREDIBLES
This is the movie The Fantastic Four wishes it were. With a underrated score, that should have at least been nominated, a great retro family dynamic and style, and just plain great action set-pieces...This film really is just that, incredible.
I dare you to not feel the exileration Dash feels, as he discovers the full breath of his powers.
15. THE IRON GIANT
This movie is slowly gaining a larger and larger cult audience, with each passing year and that makes me happy. Before The Incredibles, this was Brad Bird's masterpiece. Sadly, nobody went to see it because CGI had just killed American animation in popular culture. There are no wise-cracking CGI donkeys in this so...There was no room for proper promotion.
Still, this is the best work Vin Diesel ever has and probably ever will be part of.
14&13. PRINCESS MONONOKE */ SPIRITED AWAY
And back to Miyazaki. The man rules!! I flip-flop between which of these I like better, but they're both amazing. The former is an eco-myth without the overly-simplistic black-and-white message of "polluters bad, nature good!". While Spirited Away is quite simply the youngest acid-trip of a film, ever. Very few visuals can compete with a child's imagination, but this is one of them.
It's a dream to watch.
This movie should have been included in that other list just for containing the signature Disney song. Beyond that, this is the kind of movie-making (along with Snow White) that just isn't done anymore.
11. AKIRA ***!!
The fact that this was not included, was one of the biggest fails on that other list. Akira is so influential in look and style that many anime and live-action film that followed would not exist, right now, but for it. The detailed animation, especially in the mutation scenes, alone warrants it's inclusion in this list.
10. MARY POPPINS
And we're to the correct live-action/animated mix movie. Hello? Julie Andrews? Dick Van Dyke? Feed the Birds? Chim-chim-chi-roo?? Supercala...Yeah, you get the point. You can't deny a classic.
9. SLEEPING BEAUTY
Yes, this movie is BETTER than Cinderella. Aurora is easily the best of the two blond Disney princesses. This movie has the better and more frightening villian and the cooler Prince. Prince Charming did not fight a dragon, for Cindy and his horse is the shiznit, y'all.
Forgetting the black crows for a bit, Dumbo is the most efficiently told (I think it's just under 80 minutes) heart-tugger ever. If you don't cry when Dumbo's mom is rocking her baby through the cage, you have NO HEART and we simply cannot be friends.
7. TOY STORY
This movie was just the beginning of Pixar's reign and what a beginning it was. It was back to the basics of what a good animated movie is all about. It's not the hip, wacky, and annoying sidekick formula that has become so exhausted these days, but the good timeless tale.
In case other studios were wondering, that's their secret, folks.
6. THE LION KING
FYI: Naaaaaants!!!! ingonyama bagithi baba!!!!!! = Here comes the lion.
It's not "Look at this beautiful sunrise over the land of the dawn of humanity." as I had imagined.
That opening alone pushed this mighty far up my list. I swear that yell as the sun crests on the horizon STILL gives me chills. The only reason this isn't higher, is because I wonder what could have been. If only this had been about people instead of animals.
I guess the Broadway musical is as close as we're gonna get on that one.
I really hope The Frog Princess will be good.
5. THE LITTLE MERMAID
This is the movie that resurrected Disney animation studios. If it hadn't been the rightful hit it was, we would not have had any of the greats that followed. That alone warrants this position.
Plus, I just plain like Ariel and Eric. Ariel is the realest of the bunch and that cartoon prince is fine, y'all.
4. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
The O.G. Disney movie, y'all. It's often imitated but never duplicated. I defy you to find any evil Disney character that's as frightastic as The Queen B, here...Cruella De Vil? Close, but NO.
3. GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES **
If you don't cry for this movie, then you have an empty black space where your heart should be.
1&2. TOY STORY II/BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
This really was a toss-up. Beautiful music, great characters, involving story, beautiful animation. They have it all. I just can't decide.
They both rule in my book.
All the * indicate movies the require adult discretion. They are not for the wee-tikes.