From classic animation by hand to 3D computerised digital animation, the art of animated film gives room to explore worlds that never existed in the minds of the average moviegoer. Even though animation is an explotio of colour, depth and fantasy, at the core lies a great, heartfelt story like no other, or an intense social commentary, hiding behind the ease of animated character enriching the minds of even those that don’t realize what hit them. Here are 8 of my animated favourites, in no particular order.
A lot of people still consider this to be the best Batman film ever made. A classic, dark take on the classic hero-antihero scenario with one of the best villains in animated history, The Joker. The mixture of genre’s from comedy to action, romance to thriller is great and remains as one of the best comic book adaptations, done the traditional way, that at least I keep going back to.
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
A sci-fi explotion of philosphy, artificial intelligence, future society and politics, Ghost In The Shell tells the story of a female cyborg cop facing the benefits and problems of the interconnected communication society in 2029. Up there among the best both in animated and sci-fi films. Intelligent dialogue and great voice acting brings it to another level.
Animal Farm (1954)
Based on George Orwell’s classic dystopia novel of the same name, the story acts as a commentary on the Stalin era, through animal characters on a farm. Widely influenced by the Disney style this British project remains as one of the best animations done in Europe after almost 60 years.
TBH this space could’ve been filled with many a Disney film that came out before the year 2000 (when classic Disney died / was murdered by Pixar), but I’m choosing Aladdin because it’s to this date a beautiful, funny and fantastic tale that hasn’t lost it’s charm. Besides it’s Robin Williams’ best role ever.
Waltz With Bashir (2008)
One of the most amazing looking films made in the 21st century, Waltz with Bashir is gripping and powerful. The first animated feature released in Israeli theatres in over 40 years, it depicts the story of Ari a 19-year old infantry soldier who goes on a journey to reflect on his haunting past. Interesting conversations and stories emerge from what really happened in Beirut and how it affected the people in the film.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Even though I despise Keanu Reeves as an actor (mainly because his lack of talent doesn’t really classify him as that) I thought he was a great choice for the movie adaption of Philip K. Dick’s amazing story. A great exploration of drug use and identity, created through an innovative method of design and cinema, this was a very pleasing experience both visually and story-wise.
The Iron Giant (1999)
This is probably the most ‘intended for a child audience’ film on this list, but whether you’re a child or an adult this story of a boy who finds a robot in the woods, befriends him and then has to see him suffer in the alienation of his difference. A story of sacrifice and unconditional love in a sci-fi setting, the Iron Giant has become an animated classic.
Wall-E captured the hearts of people of all ages all over the world. The story of an alone robot in the world that people themselves destroyed found the essence of longing and loneliness, of regret and guilt. The Disney-Pixar collaboration has created some of the highlights of the history of visual arts, and a lot of them deserve to be named as the best films of all time, not just in the category of animation.
P.S. In no way am I claiming that these 8 animated features are the best in the genre, I’m just expressing as to if I had to choose 8 animated films that were they only eight that I could ever watch again, these would be them.