Hell, I still like animated films. I know most people do. They convey the human condition as well as anything, even the ones that are (purportedly) made for kids. So, here are some of the ones that have had the most effect on me. I chose five instead of three (rebel!)- three are kids movies, one… not so much. But I hope you enjoy my picks. Thanks as always to Wandering Through the Shelves, who kindly hosted this Blogathan.
Okay, I know this pick seems very safe and predictable, but seriously, who DOESN’T love “Up?” It’s so touching and emotional and don’t pretend you weren’t one of the multitude of people to fall apart in the middle of the theater when Carl’s wife died. Plus it’s got a terrific cast of side characters such as Kevin the bird and Dug the eager (if ever so slightly dim-witted) golden retriever gifted with the power of speech. “Up” pretty much makes you feel like a kid again with a big old goofy smile on your face, while not being blind to the deeper intricacies of adult life. I picked out a GIF of Dug because he’s fricking adorable, mmm-kay?
#2. The Fox and the Hound
Oh my Gosh. The… fucking… feels. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this movie, because it never fails to make me cry. It takes me back to baser stage of childhood, where foxes and hound dogs can talk and oh-my-god everything’s got to turn out all right hasn’t it? Why can’t they be friends for ever? Why does the mean old world have to conspire against them? It’s funny that I feel this way because I didn’t see this movie all the way through until my preteens. This, like many of the classic animated films, is kind of a hard watch at times, due to the darkness imbued within it’s subject matter.
#3. Paprika Warning. This brilliantly creative Anime film is not for kids. Instead, it is for free-thinking adults that are tired of mediocre films such as “Inception” being considered weird and innovative to the general public (not to sound too damn pretentious, ha-ha) 🙂 The plot is kind of hard to describe, a hallucinatory fever dream involving an obese, careless scientist creating a machine that records events occurring within in the subconscious realm. A pretty yet cold workaholic with a playful, perky alter ego who loves the fat lug but daren’t say so must travel into the dream realm and put an end to the chaos. This visually sumptuous feast for the senses deals with philosophically sound themes while making you use your noggin and feeling a little like a dream itself- wild, erratic, sometimes unexplainable, but unnerving and haunting.
When I saw the adverts for this, I wasn’t impressed. It looked like just another fractured fairy tale along the lines of the countless “Shrek” sequels. Boy was I wrong! “Tangled” is a wondrous movie that proves to be delightful for all ages, sporting a genuinely dark and psychologically manipulative villain and an amazing soundtrack. Among a cast of amazing characters, the horse steals the show. I loved it, and I’m living proof that you don’t have to be a seven-year-old girl with a pink princess-themed room and a pony obsession to fall for this highly enjoyable fairy tale.
#5. My Neighbor Totoro
How could I make a list of affecting animated films without including the wonderful Hayao Miyazaki? “My Neighbor Totoro” is a joyful, innocent and pure film about two sisters who are benignly haunted by childlike forest spirits. It’s a beautiful modern fairy tale about the wonders of childhood. This lovely little film can even be watched by the very young, as it contains little to no objectionable content. I also highly recommend “Spirited Way” by this filmmaker, though for older children because it can get a bit darker and scarier at times- regardless, it is a similarly important work.