We’re back this week, and it’s time to get in touch with your inner child now and join me and my friend William Ingram (who can be found here https://twitter.com/Will_Ingram_F1) as we run down our top 5 animated films of all time. This was such a hard category for me; there are some incredible films that haven’t quite made it into my top 5 including; Fantastic Mr Fox, Howl’s Moving Castle, South Park the Movie, or The Iron Giant. But here is our top 5.
- Shuggie: How To Train Your Dragon 2 – I loved the first How To Train Your Dragon film, it may not have stuck too closely to the books, but it brought a great moving story. I was slightly skeptical of the sequel but it managed to top the original. Toothless remains one of my favourite new characters and the voice cast is all fantastic. This series was a surprise hit for me, but I’m very excited about the prospect of the finale of the trilogy.
- Will: Ice Age – A film I haven’t seen for a while, but one which I loved to pieces as a kid Will. In a similar vein to a film higher in the list, too many sequels have perhaps weakened Ice Age’s enjoyability, but this should not detract from the fun of the original. Ice Age follows the story of Manny, Diego and Sid as they try to return a human baby back to his tribe, and the inevitable hilarious situations they find themselves in. The film is wonderfully interspersed with the journey of Scrat as he attempts to be with the love of his life, an acorn.
- Shuggie: Jungle Book – Its fairly obvious that sentimentality has a big part to play in my decisions and the Jungle Book has to be amongst the first animated films that I ever saw. It brings a brilliant children’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s book, with hilarious jokes, loveable characters like Baloo, and what I believe is the best selection of songs in any Disney musical. The Bare Necessities is probably the catchiest song that they’ve ever produced, and there are other classics like ‘I Wan’na Be Like You’ and ‘That’s What Friends Are For’.
- Will: The Simpsons Movie – As a huge fan of the TV series, there was no way this film wasn’t making the cut. Although it doesn’t compare to some of the shorter episodes, the Simpsons movie still delivers and holds up each time I re-watch it. With a plot just about sustainable for a full length film, and a rich cast of supporting characters to call upon, the film ultimately focuses on what the Simpsons does best – family. Homer successfully wins back Marge and Bart with a lovable oafishness that defined his character in the Golden Age of the Simpsons and this film therefore warrants a place in this top 5. The film is brilliantly bookended with two different attempts at Homer trying, and failing, to fix the roof of the Simpson family home.
- Shuggie: Shrek – This is probably the animated film that I’ve watched most in my life, it’s incredibly rewatchable and is probably the funniest film on this list. Shrek as a sensational voice cast including Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy at their best for me. Shrek is such a fantastically quotable film and spawned one of the strongest animated sequels as well. But in this case, nothing beats the original.
- Will: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit – Wallace and Gromit is just so magically British, and the shorts seemed to be the perfect length for their understated humour, and yet Curse of the Were-Rabbit managed to maintain their unique charm over the longer format. As per all their adventures, the mute Gromit is the real star and you I’m ever impressed by the amount of emotion the animators can give him with just his eyebrows. It would be amiss not to mention my favourite pun, seeing as all Wallace and Gromit have them, and as such “Grated Expectations” takes the prize.
- Shuggie: Finding Nemo – I’ve said previously in my favourite Pixar characters post (https://shuggiesays.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/my-top-15-pixar-characters/) as well as in my Inside Out review (https://shuggiesays.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/summer-animation-blockbusters/) that Finding Nemo is my favourite Pixar film. It perfectly blends brilliant humour and a brilliant heartfelt story. With great characters galore, from Marlin and Dory to Bruce and Crush. Despite some other really strong films from them no other Pixar film comes close to the Finding Nemo and its complete rewatchability for me.
- Will: Shrek – The start of an ever-deteriorating franchise, the first Shrek film remains a very entertaining and watchable film. Subverting the fairy tale genre by having an ogre as its star, Shrek is everything a prince shouldn’t be on the surface, but underneath his oniony layers lies a true hero. Eddie Murphy nails the role his voice was born for as the annoying sidekick Donkey and all the fairy tale characters that cameo are amazing, special mention to Gingie (“not my gumdrop buttons!”). Shrek even manages to sneak in a good moral ending, that no matter what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that’s important.
- Shuggie: Spirited Away – Spirited Away is unquestionably my favourite animated film ever. When I first saw it as a kid I didn’t really understand what was going on, but the beauty and weirdness made me love it. Watching it now that I’m older I really appreciate it far more. The eclectic and bizarre cast of characters is absolutely fantastic and so intriguing to watch. Spirited Away is not just my favourite animated film ever, but also one of my absolute favourite films of all time.
- Will: The Incredibles – One of my favourite films of all time and arguably the best superhero film ever made, the Incredibles perfectly balances action-driven superhero awesomeness with a clever plot and believable interesting characters. Although the main family are all fantastic, it’s the supporting cast who really stand out. Samuel L Jackson’s Frozone and his wife (“Where is my super suit?!”) are hilarious and Edna Mode (“No capes”) is perfect in every scene she’s in. On top of that, the music is brilliant, the jokes are well crafted and the visuals, as with every Pixar film, are immaculate. As this is arbitrarily my only Pixar film I shall also mention my other favourites – Monsters Inc, Wall-E and Toy Story.
Thank you for reading, let me know what you think of our Top 5s or what your favourite animated films are. Or if you have a suggestion for a future Top 5 then please let me know.
I’d love to know what your thoughts were on Anomalisa; I had mixed feelings about it and wonder if I have been too harsh in my assessment.
I haven’t managed to see it yet, I’m going to have to catch it when I comes out on dvd. Heard some great things from some critics though