It is finally that time of the year. Festivities have begun. We thought this is the right time to look back on some of the top 10 animation films of the 21st century. Some made us laugh, some made us cry, some made us go back home & hug our family & friends. But all of them made us fall in love with animation all over again. These are our absolute favourites.
#10 Finding Nemo (2003)
We can never forget this father-son story from the underwater world. Pixar had already become a hit with its Toy Story franchise about friendship & love. And everyone thought that Finding Nemo would be an extension. But the studio surprised everyone with the throat-chocking, coming of age story. Finding Nemo remains our favourite because of the loving but neurotic father & the adventurous but vulnerable son. And of course, the forgetful Dory!
#9 The Incredibles (2004)
A family that fights together; lives together! This was the base theme of The Incredibles. More popular because of the Hindi dubbing done by Shahrukh Khan & his son Aryan, this Pixar production, brought together comic book mythology, family melodrama & computer animation. And we all rooted for this family.
#8 Coraline (2009)
Popular animation maybe ruled by the likes of Disney & Pixar. But other studios can no longer be ignored. Laika’s stop-motion animation about a young girl caught between her real family & her alternate family took the animation world by storm. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, the smart, soulful, funny, exciting & strange world of Coraline will make you believe in ‘be careful what you wish for.’
#7 Ratatouille (2007)
Set in the world of fine dining, Ratatouille made us believe in the power of dreams & hard work. A longer version of a previous Pixar short film, the Remy goes the whole nine yard to achieve his dream, when everyone believes otherwise. The final restaurant scene of the film emphasises on team work & working from the heart. And didn’t we all look up the recipe of ratatouille, at least once!
#6 Chicken Run (2000)
Aardman Animation had brought British animation to the forefront with Wallace & Gromit. It followed the success with Chicken Run. The story of a group of hens trying to escape from the farm, and in turn, escape their fate to be pies, keeps us at the edge of our seats.
#5 Wall-E (2008)
Love can be found in all places. And we believed it even more when we saw Wall-E & Eve. Placed against the backdrop of environment issues, the Disney/Pixar production relied on the filmmaking rule of ‘show, don’t tell’. With minimum dialogues, the movie touched upon some important issues about longing & belonging.
#4 Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
This adaptation of Roald Dahl book in stop-motion is Wes Anderson’s funniest film to date. A family film to the core, the story looked at ambitions versus social expectations. And we all could relate to it because, let’s face it, we’ve all been there.
#3 Waltz with Bashir (2008)
Bringing the 1982 Lebanon War to screen, this was an example of using animation for not just fun, but hard-hitting messages. A mixture of essay, documentary & imagination, Waltz with Bashir follows a young soldier during the troubled times. Its’ effective, educational & emotive because it’s entertaining.
#2 Persepolis (2007)
The global success & mass acceptance of this movie proved that the audience was willing to look at animation as a form of storytelling, rather than just a thing for entertaining children. The heart-touching, occasionally horrifying biopic of Marjane Satrapi made people around the globe sit up & take notice of the real implications of Tehran & the conditions in many Islamic states.
#1 Up (2009)
The list will be incomplete without Carl & Ellie’s love story, and Russell’s search for adventure. C’mon, admit it! You cried during the first 15 minutes of the movie & then gave your loved one a tight hug. We did too. And that is why, Up tops the list.