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Monday, July 18, 2005

Top 10 Animated Films of All Time - “According To Jim”

Animation continues to push the edge on the big screen. Movies such as Shrek, Toy Story and Finding Nemo are breaking box office records. Though most of these are no brainers, I have decided to make my own list of my top 10 animated films of all time.

The first list is based on my own opinion and experience with watching most of these films at least 50 times each. There are some obvious big time movies not on this list, such as Shrek, because I really did not like the movie much when I saw the film. There is some of the list (i.e. Treasure Planet) that probably would never show up on an actual top 10 list, but I enjoyed them. I have explained a little of why I have selected these films for my top list.

10. Madagascar – This film is not the best and might be pushing it to be in the top 10 at all. Overall, the story is fun and Chris Rock and the Smith’s are awesome. The film is very funny and carries such grand comedic timing. The ideas are amusing and the overall film concept is clever. Though I agree this film is probably overrated in this list, I feel it is defiantly underrated overall.

9. Ice Age – Ice Age tells a great story and is extremely creative in how it is told. From the concept to the actual storyline, this movie is fun. The movie flows well and also is a good adventure tail, with the characters facing some fun and interesting hurdles.

8. Finding Nemo – Nemo is probably the lowest rated on my list compared to the national top 10 list of animated films. Finding Nemo is funny, creative, and well written. The visual effects are also great. I agree, and have the film in my top 10. The reason it is an 8, rather than higher, is the story is one dimensional. This film gets boring as you watch it over and over. Unlike many of the other Pixar or DreamWorks films, this story is great, but can become boring more quickly. Additionally, the film is too much of a relationship story and (unlike Ice Age) the characters are faced with challenges that are too drawn out. Again, the movie is great; I just can’t put it higher than the top 5.

7. Lion King – The Lion King is an amazing film. The story is amazing, the music is ground breaking, and the characters are wonderful. The animation is good, but does not have the same wonderment as others in the same league.

6. Monsters Inc – This film is groundbreaking. The story and characters carry the film. The concept is also innovative and not predictable. It is easy to watch this film many times, as the complexity of the story continues to develop every time you watch this movie.

5. Treasure Planet – This film is probably the biggest surprise for most people reading this list. The reason Treasure Planet is so high on the top 10 list is because of the wonderment of the animation and storyline. The characters developed in this film are charismatic and the animation is breathless. The music in Treasure Planet is also wonderful.

4. Toy Story 2 – The story is outstanding. This film could stand on its own and would probably be the top ranked film if the first was not released. The animation is amazing, the characters continue to become more complex, and the story flows so well, it flies by in the matter of minutes. This film and the remaining top three are films that you can watch over and over and over and continue to learn and enjoy, without ever losing interest in the film. Toy Story 2 fits this description to a tee. Our copy of this DVD is so scratched from play; we are going to purchase the new release of both when they come out this fall.

3. Shrek 2 – Though Shrek is not on this list, Shrek 2 is ranked as 3rd. I felt that Shrek 2 could stand on it’s own as a story without ever having to see Shrek. The personally did not find Shrek to be as great a film as everyone else in the world. I found the story slow, not creative and the dialog boring. I felt the characters were forced. The exact opposite situation exists with Shrek 2. The story is astounding, the characters are superb, and the movie is one of the best ever. Shrek 2 was not only funny, but one of the most creative films of the decade. The music and animation where also remarkable.

2. Polar Express – This film is the best animation I have ever seen, and will probably ever see in the next 5+ years. The visuals in this film are so astounding that you feel like you are watching an actual movie. In some points of the film, you feel like you are there live. The characters are well done, and the twists put in the film as it was translated from the book are very well done. The fact that this movie was made out of a book that is 12 pages long is also unbelievable. The only reason this film is not the top film is because the story is one dimensional. This is a function of the book, but it does cause problems as repeat viewing will become less enjoyable over time.

1. Toy Story – Easily the best animated (and one of the best overall) films of all time. The story, animation, character development, comedy, creativity and innovation are all number one. There is no question this film, one of the first of its kind, is a film that will stay with us, and our grandchildren, for ages. The gap between this film and #2 is so wide, there is no chance it would ever lose this position to any other film out today or in the near future.

When talking to some friends, they felt that a real list of top movies should be based on more than just my favorite top 10. So we have decided to create an additional list based on the following criteria:

- Animation
- Storyline
- Box Office Success
- Awards
- Groundbreaking

These criteria are not in any given order, but all are equally important. Each of the criteria also takes into account when the film was released and any external factors associated with the film. As you will see, the list is similar to my top 10 list, though there are some distinct differences.

The top 10 animated films of all time, based on the five point ranking criteria:

10. Bambi
9. Shrek 2
8. Polar Express
7. Jungle Book
6. Monsters Inc
5. Fantasia
4. The Lion King
3. Finding Nemo
2. Shrek
1. Toy Story

Note - Shrek was the top selling DVD introduciton of all time. It broke all records. Finding Nemo won more awards than any other animated film in history.

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