The year 2014 proved to be the year of animation. A total of 100+ animated films were released around the world this year. As the year comes to an end, we take a look at the top 14 heart warming & entertaining animation films of the year.
Note: The list is based on our interests. This is not a ranking. It includes movies made by both big production houses & independent studios.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
DreamWorks Animation’s 3D film, this was the sequel to the hit How to Train Your Dragon (2010), an action fantasy movie about the friendship between a dragon & a boy. The animation was inspired by the scenic beauty of Norway & Svalbad. Everything about the movie was of epic proportion, yet looked simple & inspiring.
Source: DreamWorks TV
The Lego Movie
Based on the Lego line of construction toys, this animation movie took a long time in coming. This was an adventure comedy that was both a critical & commercial success. It was an American-Australian-Danish venture & was produced by Warner Animation group.
Source: Warner Bros. Picture
The much-awaited sequel to Rio (2011), the movie captured the beauty of the Amazon forest. No doubt, the story took inspiration from its prequel but it displayed exotic locations in beautiful styles, making the movie more entertaining & full of adventure. It was an American 3D computer animated film produced by Blue Sky Studios. The highlight of the movie was the use of music as a way of expression. It was an immediate hit with children & adults alike even though it got mixed reviews from critics.
Source: Fox Star India
The Book of Life
This was a story of love, life, bet, emotions, morals & everything that need be taught to children at a young age. The story was beautifully narrated. Produced by Reel FX Creative Studios & distributed by 20th Century Fox, this was a musical comedy & adventure film. Though created on a small budget, it provided effective returns, thereby re-enforcing the view that an excellent story & animation go hand-in-hand to make it a success.
Source: Fox Family Entertainment UK
Penguins of Madagascar
Since Madagascar first released in 2005, besides Alex, Marty, Melman & Gloria, the penguins have been a hit. Cashing in on the popularity of the penguins – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico & Private – DreamWorks Animation gave them their own spy thriller.
Source: Fox Family Entertainment UK
Big Hero 6
One of the less publicised movies from Disney Animation Studios, this was a superhero action comedy. The film tells the story of a young boy with a flair for robotics. He is slowly admitted to a university & the events unfold. The movie displays the boy’s relationship with his family, friends & his robot. The film was a commercial success.
Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios
In the era of 3D animation films, this was a stop-motion animation film. A fantasy comedy film, it showcased the adventure of trolls who live underneath the city & come out at night to collect trash & make inventions. They save a boy named Eggs & raise him as one of their own. As all stories go, he tries to find out about his kind & save the ones who raised him. A conflict to depict the story, brilliantly animated on a cheap budget, went on to become a huge commercial success.
Source: MOVIECLIPS Trailer
Postman Pat: The Movie
A comedy film based on the popular character, Postman Pat, from the long running BBC children’s series of the same name. It was a British production that received mixed reviews from critics owing to the loyalty for the TV series. However, it was made on a relatively small budget but became a major money spinner.
Planes: Fire & Rescue
A Walt Disney franchise of movies based on Planes, this rivalled Pixar’s hit franchise, Cars. Most of the story is always imagined however the nuances are well taken care of since it involved details related to aeronautics. Being a Walt Disney production, one can expect the animation to be brilliant & guarantee monetary success. And this movie definitely was both.
Source: Disney Movie Trailers
Mr Peabody & Sherman
Another one by DreamWorks Animation, this movie brought two popular characters from the 1960s to the big screen. It is the first time DreamWorks depicted characters the Classic Media library since its acquisition in 2012. The movie was a mega hit with an average budget & was appreciated critically for its animation & storyline.
The Nut Job
A joint venture between Canadian-South Korean-American animation companies, this was a 3D computer animated movie, which involved comedy & heist genres. Produced on a budget of $42 million, it is the most expensive film co-produced in South Korea. Critics were not very happy with the story line, yet it went on to become a major hit, raking in close to $113 million. One must watch it for the animation, colour combinations & the effective use of technology.
Source: MOVIECLIPS Trailers
Song of the Sea
Directed by Academy Award-nominated director, Tomm Moore, it is a traditionally animated movie. It was an Irish animated fantasy about the adventures of a brother-sister duo. The movie was critically acclaimed & proved that traditional animation can never go out of fashion.
Source: Film Festivals and Indie Films
Henry & Me
Another traditionally animated film, this was an American drama that highlighted numerous issues a child faces while growing up & the impact these can have at a later age. Although the movie had a DVD release, it boasted of some of the biggest names in Hollywood as voice actors, including Richard Gere, Chazz Palminteri & Danny Aiello.
Source: Henry & Me
Kochadaiiyaan: The Legend
The list would be incomplete without the mention of India’s first motion-capture feature film. Kochadaiiyaan was released in multiple languages in 2D & 3D.
Source: Eros Now