Last week the A.V. Club ran a top 50 films of the 90s series of posts that criminally neglected animation until it got to number 3. Even then they went with Toy Story 2, an admittedly good film that was cranked out with numerous injuries to the production team but which ultimately relied on far too much of the original to be eligible for any top film list in my book.
Nonetheless, after the list was concluded, the favourites emerged and among them was the film that many consider the pinnacle of pre-2000 feature animation, Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant. That thankfully set off a discussion in the comments that included some fairly insightful discussion about 90s animation. You can read the original thread by clicking here.
What made the discussion stand out for me was that there were plenty of animated films that had been left off the main list but that were substantial and superb films on their own. Think Beauty and the Beast, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko, Princess Mononoke. And they’re only the very best, pretty much anything Disney turned out during that decade was good, and there are plenty more films like Ghost in the Shell that could be eligible too.
So what do you think? Is the Iron Giant the best animated film of the 90s or do you agree with the A.V. Club and canvas for Toy Story 2?
There’s no picture for the simple reason that I couldn’t find any! So instead, here’s the theme tune, courtesy of the composer, Mark Pringle.
[audio:http://animationanomaly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/tv_stay_tooned_theme.mp3|titles=BBC Stay Tooned Theme]
It was called Tooned In and I watched this series when it was originally broadcast way back in the day on the BBC. It was a good thing I did because it would seem that with all the usual copyright nonsense that seems to lie around these kind of shows like a pair of concrete shoes, the series will never see the light of day again. It hasn’t been re-run at any point and even the internet is turning up a blank. It would appear that ripping a VHS tape takes a bit more work than a DVD.
Which is a tremendous shame because I certainly remember, as do others on the internet, that it was a fantastic little retrospective show that was broadcast on Saturday evenings. I particularly remember the Hanna-Barbera episode but there were others on Tom and Jerry, Tex Avery, Betty Boop and of course, the Looney Tunes.
If you think about it, the fact that the show even exists is spectacular. Now, granted, it was produced by a public broadcaster with a remit and all that, but I cannot imagine one of the major TV networks or even one of the cable networks over here in the States deciding to produce a documentary series on animation, and broadcast it during primetime on a Saturday evening!
Sadly, extremely little info seems to exist out there so it is a shame that I cannot share more with you on this apparently great show.