My 8 Favourite Animated Films

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.

Batman : Mask of The Phantasm (1993)

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.

Aladdin (1992)

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 (2008)

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.


10 responses to “My 8 Favourite Animated Films

  1. Wonderful list with a varied and eclectic mix of films. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is an unusual choice simply because I don’t see too much love for it around. Great to see Animal Farm up there – classic! I’m going to have to check out Waltz with Bashir.

  2. I’m really conflicted about Aladdin. Granted on its surface it’s a happy-go-lucky Disney movie in the same vein as the classics of the era, such as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. But underneath the surface I have real issues with it. Aside from the fact that everyone looks pretty white, and not really ethnic at all (except Jafar, who for some reason looks more ethnic than the others – and go figure, he’s the villain), and aside from the fact that Agrabah is like a bad amalgamation of every middle-eastern culture thrown into one with no respect to when and where they’re from, there are two things that I just can’t get over.

    The first is how completely the movie depends on Robin Williams. I’ll be the first to admit my love of his performance here, which was mostly ad-libbed and is quite brilliant. But I remember when I lived in France a while back, I watched practically all the 90s Disney musicals, in French… And animation, not having real actors, is most conducive to the transition to other languages. Whereas many of the other movies I watched worked outside of English, without Robin Williams Aladdin just fell apart for me. I was disappointed to say the least. I just wish the movie weren’t so dependent on him to be good.

    The other thing is that there’s a clear difference in tone musically between Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Ashman died before production wrapped on the movie. The opening song “Arabian Nights”, for instance, seems so out of place when you look back on it. It doesn’t really seem to work in this happy-go-lucky Disney world. Then there’s there high-energy “Friend Like Me”, another of Ashman’s songs. This, too, just feels out of place, even as great a song as it is, when compared to snoozers like “A Whole New World”. Essentially, it’s just very musically inconsistent, and although I used to be able to put up with it as a kid because I (of course) didn’t know any better, it’s hard to just ignore it these days.

    Regardless, I like your list. It’s actually a very original, and in some ways esoteric, list of animated films. On the flip-side of my Aladdin hate, I think Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is amazing. I love that movie,and until Christopher Nolan started making Batman movies, it was by far my favorite Batman movie.

  3. Great choices, even though I haven’t seen half of these :D But they are still films I’d like to see.

    Thumbs up especially for The Iron Giant, I love it and cry my eyes out every time I watch it..

  4. Nice choices! The Iron Giant is marvelous, A Scanner Darkly so cool and Ghost In The Shell one of my fave movies ever. Aladdin is actually one of the first movies I’ve seen in a movie theatre. Yeah, I was 11 or so, but at countryside going to movies was a big deal…

    Have you seen Amazing Mr. Fox? We watched it recently and it was pretty darn great.

  5. Ooh, this is a great list. Some unconventional choices. Waltz with Bashir has been on to-see list for ages, but I wasn’t that impressed with A Scanner Darkly. The main thing I remember about Aladdin was my best friend telling me I look the genie. :-)

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