Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Moviefone’s top 25 animated films

posted by Nell Minow

Movie maven Glenn Kenny has put together a list of the 25 top animated films for Moviefone. Lots of Disney classics, of course, like “Lady and the Tramp,” “Dumbo,” “Fantasia,” “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Little Mermaid,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” I was glad to see “Triplets of Belleville,” “Wallace and Gromit,” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on the list. I could quibble about the high positioning of “The Lion King” and “Ratatouille” and complain for the omission of “Yellow Submarine” and “A Bug’s Life.” But I can’t argue with #1 (hint: it’s about a cowboy and an astronaut), and I am so fond of every one of the films I won’t waste time complaining. I’ll just dig out some of my favorites from the list and watch them again.
Thanks so much to loyal reader jestrfyl for suggesting this list!

  • jestrfyl

    Thanks for the nod.
    Though I agree these do not earn the top 25, there are some honorable mentions. For one, I think Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, for uniting the cartoon universe in a creative and explosive way – Roger is the uniter, not the divider. Also “Fritz the Cat” for showing that animation is more than mere kids Saturday morning cartoons, an art form for adults. Another is “Fantasia 2000″, if for no other reason than casting Donald Duck as Noah – and for an incredibly artful interrpetation of “Rhapsody in Blue”. “Steamboat Willie” deserves attention for inaugurating the form. To that I would add “Alice in Wonderland”, the earliest version, for integrating animation and real life actors.
    Of course, all of these a “full length” and there is no mention of the multitude of “shorts”. Among the longest lasting in my personal history is the Canadian “The Man Who had to Sing” – nominated if for no other reason than having the most annoying song. There is a whole collection of Czech shorts using LEGO pieces that continue to stun me for their invention and creativity (I am an “Adult Fan of LEGO”, another addiction and distraction)
    Now how about a list of the best animated series or characters. Be sure to include “Pinky & the Brain”. I still have my “Elect a brain for President” (something we haven’t tried in a while!).

  • iorek

    Was there supposed to be a link to this list?
    Every list is subjective, and while it was great fun to see what Glenn came up with, and read his reasons, I find it unfathomable that the Lion King (no. 2!!!) Beauty and the Beast, and the Simpsons were on this list. Glenn must be a very young guy, or he must have children of a particular age. Also, Princess Mononoke is really not of the same caliber as most of the others. If Glenn was going by significance for the medium (rather than recent ticket sales) Steamboat Willie or even Gertie the Dinosaur should probably have been on the list. For groundbreaking impact, I agree with jestrfyl that Roger Rabbit should be on, just as I agree with you that Yellow Submarine deserves a place. There is so much work out there that explores the rich potential of the medium, I think it is a mistake to elevate work like the Simpsons, where the script is certainly funny and the movie is popular but the visuals– the feature that makes these “animated”– are crude and uninspired.

  • jestrfyl

    This is off the point —
    Check out the Our Lady of Weight Loss section of B’net. She has posted a great question about the best food scene in a film.

  • Paul

    I don’t know what upsets me the most: The leaving “Ice Age” and “Gay Puree” off the list or the placing “The Simpson Movie” and “South Park” on it.
    Disney had a wonderful habit of changing the fairy tales to have happy endings but sometimes his liberties went to extremes. What he did to “Jungle Book” was a literary sin and I won’t ever forgive Eisner for “Pocahontas”. Pocahontas was a Christian and she was not in love with John Smith. She is buried in England under her Christian name.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, iorek, I fixed the link. And thanks for another good suggestion, jestrfyl — I’ve put up a post about OLWL’s food movie scene contest.
    Paul, thanks to you, too! I love the song “Everybody Wants to be a Cat” in “Gay Puree.” Paul, do you think there are better versions of the Jungle Book and Pocahontas stories on film?

  • jestrfyl

    Ms Minow, you will need to present your Fans of Animation credentials for review! The song you mention is from “The Aristocats”, and is sung by Thomas O’Malley (“O’Malley of the Alley”) a.f.a. Ed Harris (also the voice of Ballou). To redeem yourself you must list the mother’s name and the names of her kittens.

  • jestrfyl

    Pocahontas was ill conceived, poorly thought through and missed the ball entirely. The original drawings for Miss P. were quite excellent and on the mark – a younger girl, not some over made up, anorexic Princess in a mini-skin (a poor attempt at multi-cultural sensitivity that plays more like a way to craft one more princess for the harem). Even the soundtrack was a waste of great talent. The only character of any value is the villain voiced by David Ogden Steirs. I like “Atlantis” better than this – and it had no catchy tunes.

  • Nell Minow

    Jestrfyl, you are right and I salute your superior knowledge of lesser Disney musical scores from movies featuring cats. (But it’s Phil Harris, not Ed.) As noted elsewhere, anyone who finds ten mistakes on the site gets a free copy of my book, so you’re on your way! P.S. I also think “Atlantis” is not as bad as its reputation.

  • jestrfyl

    Nuts on me – I should know better! The ED Harris / Johnny Carson tomahawk film still cracks me up – and I was a “Daniel Boone” fan, too. I had a niggling itch that the name was not quite right.

  • Nell Minow

    Jestrfyl, Ed Harris is the actor/director (“Pollack,” “A Beautiful Mind”). Ed Ames did the tomahawk throw on “The Tonight Show.”
    But you’re still right about “Everybody Wants to be a Cat!”

  • jestrfyl

    Oh NUTS! That’s what I get for messing about your site instead of doing my homework/sermon!

  • earl

    my kids love cartoons

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Earl! I do, too.

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