VIDEO: Animated Heroine’s Top 25 Animated Films (#15 to #11)

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The Animated Heroine continues to count down her favorite animated films! If you missed the previous videos in the series, here are #25 to #21 and #20 to #16!

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Tag: Animated Heroine's Top 25 Animated Films

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  • Sofie Liv

    Ahh, the illusionist, lovely movie, glad you had that one there.

    Do you know it’s actually a tribute to the directors daughter? he wrote and directed it for his daughter that he had to leave behind at a very young age because he was so poor. And he wishes he could have given her nice stuff at least.

    It’s also based on this famouse french comedian called “Tati.” whom was known for his tall odd figure, and subtle silent comedy style. his movies were largely without dialouge and based itself around this absurd atmopshere instead.. a very unique artist from the sixties.

    You do have some good, and some very interesting movie choices, it’s funny, I all-ready know that my list would look very different, even though thus far on this list, there is only one movie I hadn’t seen before, which was. “Return of the cat.”
    I have checked it out now though, it was really cute I really liked it :)

    • TheAnimatedHeroine

      I did know that. :) Glad you like it and glad you enjoyed The Cat Returns :)

  • Muthsarah

    15. I feel like this was my Nightmare Before Christmas. Maybe it’s the more relateable characters, or the way it felt like the kinds of Dahl novels I grew up on. It’s spooky, it looks fantastic. A shame it didn’t come out when I was still a kid.

    14. I loved this movie, but yeah, I’m pretty sure I was wrecked for the rest of that very day. But the simple tale simply told, the loving homage to an actor whose films I’ve liked for years, the drab yet actually rather pretty visuals, the added realism as compared with Triplets gave it a very strong sepia-ish nostalgia tale, like you were watching a story about your grandfather….having his heart broken…and feeling useless while his old friends…try to kill themselves. I’m……….*sigh*….


    13. Never got into this one. I loved the production values and the old-school references, but…it just never clicked with me. But it’s been over a decade, I suppose it’s worth another shot. It’s short. Short’s good.

    12. That original pitch sounds a little much like Drop Dead Fred. Or Heart and Souls. Maybe that’s why it was canned. Oh well. Not a bad movie it ended up being but….I think the Pixar formula was starting to wear by this point. It didn’t feel fresh or even interesting, the gags, how the villain(s) fit into the story, and the ultra-predictable ending. Woulda been nice to have it be just about Sully, Mike, and Boo, as the film only truly works when they’re on-screen, alone. But we hafta have a villain, we hafta have side characters just there to set up a joke, hafta have a huge problem for the good guys to solve, save the world as we know it, so that everyone who counts is happier than ever with no tragic repercussions. Arcs, plots, climaxes. Even though the movie works best when it’s just characters and characterizations. It could have worked with a far more benign story structure, which, of course, you can’t have at Pixar’s level (let alone Disney’s). Same reason Brave couldn’t just have been about an adolescent girl and her mother, or Finding Nemo be about two fish looking for a third one; for some reason, Hollywood is obsessed with having multiple plots. It seems weird to say Monsters Inc has too much plot, but it does. A simple little fairy tale about two monsters and the little girl they’re afraid of. Or a gentle horror parody about a dangerous little girl accidentally let loose in the world of monsters. Fuzzy monsters for the kids, Alien references for the adults! One of the lesser Pixars, below Nemo or Ratatouille, but ahead of Bug’s Life.

    11. Oh, I have a lot to say about this one too. Umm….yeah. I’ll be right back, I’m…going…to get something….from….my video store.

    • TheAnimatedHeroine

      15. This would have been an AMAZING film to watch as a kid. I would have been all over that.

      14. Yeahhhhh. When I originally got it off of Netflix they had it marked as a comedy so I wasn’t prepared to feel so crummy afterwards. The whole reason I looked up the history behind the film was because I couldn’t get over it too. I had to know what the motivation was.

      13. I think I just hit the perfect age. This is one of those movies that I’ve seen so many times, so that I can’t even remember what it was about it that grabbed me in the first place.

      12. While I do love this movie, I also agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. That was my big complaint about Frankenweenie. I didn’t understand why it couldn’t have just been about a boy and his dog. Sort of a fun twist on Frankenstein, without all of the other plot lines.
      11. Lol

  • JD

    its amazing 2 of my favorite movies were written by Neil Gaiman.
    Coraline and Stardust

  • DreadfulKata

    I enjoy all your videos, but you might want to check out some pronunciations out before you commit them to video. The most egregious example is Edinburgh: the capital city of Scotland is NOT called Ee-den-burg (it’s pronounced Eh-din-buh-ruh for future reference).

    On another video you mispronounce an Irish name: It’s Ash-ling, not Ayes-ling in The Book Of Kells (I know the spelling is misleading but they do say the name several times in the film). The other one I caught was Jacques Tati: the French name is pronounced like the English ‘Jack’ but with a the J sound halfway towards an ‘sh’ sound (basically how you pronounced it but without the ‘ees’ sound you put on the end).

    I find your videos insightful, intelligent and well-informed, and I love that you’re interested in European animation as well as American and Canadian. It’s a shame to be let down by something like not getting Edinburgh’s name right!

    Keep up the good work!

  • danbreunig

    For 15, 13, and 12, I ‘ve seen them (in whole or part) and I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed them more if I were a kid when they came out. Watching them much later made me see them more with analytical adult eyes than just allow me to simply sit back and enjoy them. Poor timing.

    For Illusionist (#14): this is the one on the current list that I actually want to jump on. Maybe just because I’m tired of the churned out animated films lately and this looks like a big breath of fresh air, French, U.S., or otherwise. It’s definitely the most unique tone I’ve seen in so long that an animated film can actually capture and hold, and all the more impressive because it’s autobiographical. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t watch it alone on a rainy cold twilight in mid autumn when depressive movies hit me hardest. So, maybe no time soon.

    As for 11, you made a nice point about how this film tries steering away from the formulaic animated film feel. I’m not thinking about the movie itself, but the avoidable formula. This is why I don’t bother watching too many animated movies anymore, especially recent theatre hits, because this is how it breaks down:

    Ads keep saying “it’s funny, enjoyable, a great fun time, you’ll love it, it’s so funny! etc.” And the movie naturally is funny and enjoyable…until the dreaded 2/3 point. When it gets about 2/3 of the way in, then it completely turns into an overly sad drama that came nearly out of nowhere. It’s a total 180 on what was promised from the start. And no matter how happy and funny the remainder of the movie is when all problems are laughably solved and there’s the regular happy ending…I just can’t enjoy the movie anymore because I’m still stuck back at the dreaded 2/3 mark when the sudden change in tone punched me in my film-watching gut. A remedy for this is A: stop presenting comedies as comedies when they’re not consistently comedic in tone all the way through, and B: balance multiple tones by weaving them throughout the movie, instead of using this overused formula. Excuse me for the sudden unfocused rant; I think I just needed to get my theatrical annoyances out of my system. So, there you go.

    • Muthsarah

      “When it gets about 2/3 of the way in, then it completely turns into an overly sad drama that came nearly out of nowhere. It’s a total 180 on what was promised from the start. And no matter how happy and funny the remainder of the movie is when all problems are laughably solved and there’s the regular happy ending…I just can’t enjoy the movie anymore because I’m still stuck back at the dreaded 2/3 mark when the sudden change in tone punched me in my film-watching gut.”

      Wow, I’m totally seeing this Tomorrow! No spoilers, please, though it sounds more interesting than ever.

      EDIT: Wait, were you talking about this movie, or JUST the general formula? Does Arthur Christmas fit the formula as well?

      The ads that always promise “fun for the whole family”, “a laugh riot”, “the funniest movie you’ve seen in years”, “[one hit movie] meets [another hit movie]”, and “a rock-em-sock-em roller coaster with thrills, chills, and spills!” are the ones that tend to drive me AWAY from movies, since they are clearly promising way too much and were probably lines either purchased by the studios or pitched by a hack critic (whose name is either too small to make out on-screen, or Harry Knowles). As for the 2/3rd point, I’m used to that being when films abandon character and originality and click into the action movie, race-against-the-clock plot that always ends the same way: the movie spending twenty minutes trying to convince you the heroes are doomed (when you know they wouldn’t make a movie without a happy ending), the villain gets vanquished and falls down a bottomless pit or trapped in an inescapable box (and is never, EVER pushed there by a good guy), and the most vulnerable character is rescued from a cliff, mincing machine, or falling roof by the same tiniest margin possible.

      Dark and depressing punch-in-the-gut overly sad drama sounds great. At least in that it implies the characters remain the focus on the story, and not the stunt reel.

      P.S. Also, every problem, including this one, can be solved by My Neighbor Totoro.

      • danbreunig

        Actually, that whole last bit I was talking about was about the formula itself and not Arthur Christmas. I haven’t seen that one, but I’m going on Animated’s word that it veers away from said formula. It’s that formula I’m sick of seeing in the great majority of animated movies of late, and live comedies too. I’m told of enjoyment and comedy, and a movie starts out fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, and BAM! suddenly sad drama, sometimes even with a sappy song to boot. And no amount of fun after that makes up for the sudden grinding of the gears usually about two-thirds of the way into the movie. So it wasn’t more soul-crushing depression-inducing dark tones I’d want to see more, just far less bait-and-switch. If there’s meant to be dark or sad elements in a comedy, introduce them at the start and blend them, rather than drift into mediocrity by following the same retreaded path.

        Um, I haven’t seen any My Neighbor Totoro, but if it’s anything like Moomins I’ll give it a shot.

  • I watched “The Illusionist” under the pretense that it would be a silly romp, only to find the message of the movie is that love is a lie we tell ourselves to be happy, like magic trick… Happiness is also a lie.
    I was so depressed.

    Who has nightmares after “A Nightmare Before Christmas”? It is so silly. It has the Easter Bunny hiding is a bag from a guy rendered retarded by an ax wound to the… You know I guess I can see it. I caught it along with “The Addams Family” so I was softened to darker humor perhaps.

  • Muthsarah

    11. OK, seen it now. Verdict: Pretty good. Not nine-places-over-Totoro good, but certainly a cut above the rest. And better than three out of four Shreks.

    With a voice cast like this, there’s no way I couldn’t at least like it somewhat. I’ve seen Broadbent, Laurie, Staunton, and Nighy in like a billion things (that’s the British billion too). Nighy’s character made the entire movie for me; his Grampa Claus has to be one of the best-written comedic characters in any animated children’s film, better than any I can remember; I can’t imagine the film without him. He was a perfect counterweight to Arthur, which I hate to say was probably the film’s weak link. All of his dialogue could be reduced to: “But it’s Christmas! A little girl won’t get her present! Her Christmas present! And she’s a little girl! Without a Christmas present! We have to get her the Christmas present while it’s still Christmas! Because it’s Christmas!”, and a bunch of screaming. But there’s probably nothing rarer than a compelling lead, today or ever. The UN subplot seemed dreadfully tacked-on as well. It made no sense. We don’t even see any repercussions for Arthur’s misdeeds, they just blew up a red sled, declared victory, and forgot about it, I guess.

    I realize now (that I re-watched the AC part of the review) that, yeah, there weren’t any bathroom jokes. How rare. I guess I just stopped looking for…the absence of those long ago. A good 7/10 overall, I guess. Well worth the watch. Just wish the movie had avoided the standard “young man must find the courage to do the whimsically impossible to prove himself worthy of whatever” plot and instead made it about a possibly demented retired Santa trying to do what his good-for-nothing Santa grandson doesn’t want to bother with. It worked in Up, it worked (sorta) in Belleville, it woulda worked here. Just a crotchety, tough ol’ kook with a rickety sled, poor direction sense, and a obsessive-compulsive elf sidekick saving Christmas for one little girl.

  • Torgeaux

    I watched the Illusionist today for the first time. Thanks for letting me know about it. I recognized so many streets and views of old town Edinburgh from a trip I took by myself while my wife was doing research on a book she was writing at the P.R.O. in Kew. It was hard to watch because I am in the same spot the Illusionist is in. Skills that are no longer relevant to today’s needs and too old to start over, What do you do? It’s a miserable state of affairs.

    • danbreunig

      This is one I haven’t seen yet and want to; yet even without seeing it the premise hits a little too close to home for me as well. Less about age and more about relevance, as far as skillsets go.

      That’s pretty cool you got to see some old stomping grounds in a film. For me it was Public Enemies–not much to it, but the best part was that I recognized many locations because a lot of it was filmed in the town neighboring mine.

      • Muthsarah

        It’s a plenty enjoyable film. Just don’t drink while you watch.

  • Muthsarah

    I so, so, SOOOOOOOOOO[size=80bazillion]OOOOOOOO[/size] hope you somehow, find some way to put Kiki’s Delivery Service on your list. Totoro is my favorite Miyazaki, but only by like THIS much…..I’m holding my index finger and thumb like right next to each other right now……they are both so beautiful. And ONE at least deserves a Top Ten. On any list with class, I mean. And you got class. I hope. I wait. For Kiki’s.