Ten Films That Prove Animation's Not Just for Kids
|Chico & Rita: required viewing for all South Floridians.|
Next weekend in Miami we'll have four different animated films on the screen to choose from. Pixar's latest, Brave, introduces the company's first contribution to the world of princesses, a badass Scottish one named Merida who's tough enough for the boys who want action and tender enough for girls seeking the newest Ariel or Jasmine. Meanwhile, two of the most successful recent animated franchises return with new offerings: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Ice Age: Continental Drift. Lastly, the Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris opens at O Cinema.
Disney princesses and kiddie franchise reboots are all well and good. But for die-hard animation lovers, nothing competes with a true classic. So while you're waiting for the next big release, here's a list of animated films every grown-up film buff should see. Now stop being a fuddy duddy and go see some cartoons!
If you're going to talk about animated films, you have to talk about Disney. While many of Disney's animated features are considered classics, Fantasia stands out on many fronts. Released in 1940, Fantasia was only the third feature Walt Disney released, but in many ways it was his most visionary. Using iconic pieces of classical music composed by the likes of Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Schubert, and Beethoven, Fantasia is a non-linear film of animated vignettes. The film is largely dialogue-free, allowing the music and the fanciful animation to do all the story telling. The result is a film that is truly more artistic than commercial and remains a breathless beauty over 70 years later, elevating both the music and the art through its collaboration.
While Japanese Anime may be hard for western palettes reared on Tex Avery and Hanna-Barbera to digest, there have been some remarkable films out of Japan, and Akira was probably the game-changer for the sub-genre. Set in a futuristic dystopian version of Tokyo, this sci-fi epic is an adaptation of the popular manga, but unlike most other animation, Akira's distinction is that it really is an grown-up film about a psychopath with psychic powers set on destroying the city and the efforts to stop him. Violence and bloodshed abound in what is an animated film unlike any other you've seen. See also: Spirited Away or anything else by Hayao Miyazaki.)