It’s Time To Stop Making Lists of Top Animated Films

Yoinked from Animated Review’s Top 100 Aniamted Movies post

Let’s be honest, animation is not a genre. It is, as Richard O’Connor calls it, a technique, and a marvelous one at that. It encompasses as wide a range of genres as live-action, so why do we keep seeing lists of top animated films and not much else?

OK, sure, we see lists of top films all the time, but lists of live-action genres seems to be much more prevalent than animated ones. Granted, there haven’t been as many animated films made over the years, but that in no way precludes people from making them.

For the record, I’m not against general top/favourite lists, it’s just that when it comes to animation, people can rattle off their favourites but when it comes to being a bit more specific, classifying films as Disney or non-Disney is about as specific as you’ll get from most folks.

A potential theory is that animated films tend to be classified as just that. You rarely see an animated film being described as a comedy or a horror, etc, etc. Yes, this is much to do with who makes them but there is no reason for an animated film to be confined to “animation” and not much more.

Let’s see more lists that get into specifics. Like a top 10 of action animated films, or a top 20 of romatic/love stories.

Animated films are squeezed into one category all to often, by both studios and the public alike. Let’s try and separate them out so that we can hopefully see them for what they really are.

One thought on “It’s Time To Stop Making Lists of Top Animated Films

  1. This is a very good point. The lack of films that have been produced has made it easier for me to comprehend animation history, so it has the small library advantage. There’s sort of a Catch 22 here, I think. Most popular animated films fall into the action genre, and listing films by genre may backfire by proving animation’s narrowness.

    Personally, I think that animation could perhaps better be defined another way, by sectors. Different traditions are radically diverse just on how they create their reality, and I think that separating animation by different basic concepts underlying it would represent it better, rather than focusing on genres which work better for live action. Genres simply don’t represent animation’s potential adequately, in my opinion. In an artform that needn’t be so glued to reality, there’s no need to have genres based on such moods and familiar concepts. I think that defining films beyond storytelling into how they represent reality would be better

    Near-reality-The animated works that aim towards realistic settings
    Cartoon-Works with exaggerated forms and an emphasis on humor
    Folk-Fairy-Tales to folk legends
    Topological-Works which are especially interested in Shapes and Forms
    Typographical-Uses text and symbols in motion order to create a more symbolic reality

    Those are my attempts at a couple categories. I think categories like those do more to express what the medium really can and can’t do than terms like sci fi, horror, crime, or fantasy. While my approach doesn’t say much about the movies in theaters, I think it’s better for an overall understanding of what animation allows.

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