Making any sort of “Top 10” list is always a tricky and dangerous thing. As I always say, all film is subjective, and that means no one on the planet will 100% agree with my list (and believe it or not, you’ll have a hard time finding people who 100% agree with your list too), and the real beauty of it is that neither of us is objectively wrong. That’s the best thing about film.
So why have these lists? Because they’re great for discussion and debate and give us as film fans yet another excuse just to think about, talk about and celebrate some of the greatest movies ever made. So why not?
Exactly 3 years ago today, I put up my first Top 10 Animated Films list, so I thought it would be an interesting exercise to do another list, and then see how it has changed from the original one I did. I’d also like to repeat something I said back in 2005:
“I should also mention that I’m NOT ranking these by technical merit. If I was, then Final Fantasy The Spirits Within would be #1. I’m ranking these by how well they performed as movies. Did they make me FEEL something, laugh, get choked up and most importantly get interested in the characters and their story.”
So with that said, I now present to you The Movie Blog’s Top 10 Best Animated Films of All Time:
|#10 – SPIRITED AWAY
Perhaps more than any other film on this list, Spirited Away has the magical ability to envelop you in the wonder of fantasy. I remarkably solid story, beautiful style and re-watchability. It just barely failed to make my list last time, but I seem to appreciate it more and more each year
|#9 – CHARLOTTE’S WEB (1973)
That’s one fine Pig. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind the 2006 version at all… but it lacked the pure heart of the original. I also think it was the first movie that actually scared me as a kid. It took me a little while to eat pork again. Clearly I got over it. I LOVE this movie.
|#8 – TOY STORY
I’m actually a bit surprised this movie comes in this low on my list. The first legitimate hit 3d animated film was far more than just novelty. It set the standard for Pixar to make movies, not cartoons. To tell tales with wonderful characters and meaningful stories rather than just the regular tripe you can get away with easily in the name of making “kids movies”
|#7 – THE INCREDIBLES
Without exaggeration I think I’ve watched this movie from start to finish about 15 times… and I haven’t yet started to get bored with it. Funny and exciting, the film is also surprisingly deep in terms of dealing with issues like aging, family, priorities and marriage. Not just your average kids movie.
|#6 – RATATOUILLE
The #1 critically rated movie (not just animated movie) of 2007, and yet was not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars… pretty much delegitimizing the entire “animated feature” category they have at the annual awards. This was (in my opinion) one of the best films of the year and it didn’t get its due because of the medium it used. Pure rubbish if you ask me (funny how no one did).
|#5 – IRON GIANT
One of those rare movies that I remember not even enjoying the very first time I saw it… but then I watched it again for some reason and liked it more. Then again and I liked it even more. 10 times in now and my enjoyment of it seems to continue to grow with each and every viewing. Funny how some random and heavily digitized tone talking is Vin Diesel’s best performance ever.
|#4 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
This movie is nothing short of beautiful. In my opinion the best music of any animated film, and the only animated film in history to actually be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards (well deserved too). This movie is a masterpiece that makes me look forward to being a parent someday so I can share it with my kids.
|#3 – TOY STORY 2
One of the greatest sequels of all time and one of the very rare ones that actually out does the original. As the story goes, Toy Story 2 was meant to be direct to video… but as development progressed the powers that be recognized they had something pretty special on their hands and decided to make it a wide theatrical release. Good thing they did. One of the only wide release films in history to hold a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
|#2 – WALL-E
I don’t know why I doubted Pixar… but for some reason going into Wall-E I had my doubts it was even going to be any good. My dear sweet heavens it was far beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined. A magnificent story told with movement and drama communicated with setting. Breathtaking in its scope yet endearing in its simplicity. I’m going to blow a gasket if this movie doesn’t at least get nominated for Best Picture this year.
|#1 – THE LION KING
No matter how many times I watch it, when the movie starts with the sun peaking over the African horizon and those voices start to sing the opening to “The Circle Of Life”, something in me stirs… and it doesn’t stop until the film ends. The first time I saw it 14 year ago I knew I had just seen a movie that would stay with me forever. Still today, in my opinion, the best animated movie ever made.
HONORABLE MENTION (In no particular order)
– The Triplets of Belleville
– Princess Mononoke
– Sleeping Beauty
So there you go folks. Now I’m certain you have lots to say about this list, both yays and nays. So what do you think of the list in general? Which films do you feel I’ve unfairly snubbed? Which films would you remove? Have your say and start the discussion.