This year in animated cinema was no different than any other year. You had Pixar release a film that everyone loved. Dreamworks came out with a couple that people mostly liked. Disney released one that returned it to its “classic Disney” storytelling days. And there were a couple more artsy flicks that the population didn’t see, but critics adored. Despite the similarities with other years, it was an enjoyable year (hopefully next year will follow suit as Pixar is releasing Cars 2 a film I am not looking forward to).
I saw eight animated films this year. I will list them in order of which I liked them and will write about the top 3.
8. Despicable Me
7. Shrek Forever After
5. The Illusionist
4. The Secret of Kells
And now time for the top three animated films of 2010:
3. How To Train Your Dragon-HTTYD gave us an excellent underdog hero in its main character Hiccup. The way that Hiccup forms a bond with his lifelong enemy and figures out a way to subdue his enemy other than the sword is truly inspiring. It is a fantasy tale that is definitely worth checking out.
2. Toy Story 3-The year’s most popular animated film (and the most critically acclaimed of all time?) was certainly great. The toys were faced with questions of what to do when their purpose in life has been served. Do they stay true to their master whom they’ve served all their lives even if that means spending the rest of their lives in an attic? Or should they look out for themselves and spend their days in a place that seems like a toy paradise? Only this series could get me questioning the ethics surrounding toys as the whole thing seemed like a lesson in theology (which I loved). But, there were a couple of things that I didn’t like and I couldn’t really let go of (I thought the whole spanish Buzz Lightyear gag was dumb and slightly racist) and that keeps it out of the number one spot.
1. Megamind-Yes, this was a movie that received just okay reviews, and is probably my most controversial pick of the awards season. I think that the problem is that nobody really took this film seriously. When I saw it however, I was blown away at the risks that it took and I felt as if the film really had stakes behind it. Whereas in most animated films characters may face the risk of danger or death, but we secretly know that nothing will happen to them because after all most animated films are geared towards children. Megamind was not like this. The development of the villain was one of the most interesting story lines of the year. There were many twists and turns and each one was truly surprising and unique. Even the love story that is twisted in it was something I could cheer for. There were many problems with it, but overall Megamind brings a freshness to it and that propels it to the number one animated film of the year.