Via: Cartoon Brew
With an upcoming hiatus over Christmas (because there’s not internet where I’m heading for the week), this may well be the last post of 2010, so it seems appropriate to have a glance over the past year and to list some of the best films that were released.
I’m pleased to say that 2010 was a great year for animated films in general. There were some rock-solid performers from the big guns, but also plenty of excitement to be had from the indie releases too. There are some who say that this year will be the year of the animated film gaining widespread acceptance among adults and Hollywood, but that’s a bit like the “year of the Linux desktop”. It’ll happen but not in a big bang kind of way.
The good news is that we are well on the way to achieving that goal. This past year saw a great release from DreamWorks that was highly regarded as a great film for both kids and adults, and there wasn’t a fart joke in sight! Toy Story 3 made it socially acceptable for adults to cry openly at the cinema in droves and Despicable Me (once considered an outsider) brought new life the market with an almost sleeper-like performance with lots of word of mouth helping it to become the success that it is.
Besides those high points of the year, there was much excitement in the indie sector. Bill Plympton released his much-awaited feature film, Idiots and Angels and is currently in the race for an Oscar with both it and the accompanying short, The Cow Who Wanted to Be A Hamburger.
Other indie films that got a lot of attention include My Dog Tulip and The Illusionist. Unfortunately I have yet to see either, but from what I have read, they are both extremely good films that just happen to be animated.
Naturally there were some stinkers in 2010 that shall go unnamed out of kindness, but you may well be able to guess which ones they are. It is heartening to know, however, that people are much more aware of the differences between what is a good film and what is not. The quality of the animation is not something that people/parents may have considered in years past, but with the bar set so high by the likes of Pixar, people/parents are much more aware that they too can enjoy a good, animated film. So while we may be seeing horrible movies for years to come, we can at least look forward to many more great ones.
So after that super quick review of the year, what is my favourite film of 2010. Well, that would happen to be the one I wrote about way back in April and what also happened to be my first daily post on the blog. It is of course, How To Train Your Dragon, which I will admit left me pretty gobsmacked in the cinema. It was such a breakthrough from DreamWorks to see that they could pull off a serious film in the Pixar vein and succeed. The film’s fantastic success was almost certainly due to the people spreading the word of mouth, which is proof that if you make a great film, you don’t necessarily need all the advertising you think you do.
As for the rest, there is not much point to making a list as there are so few, suffice to say that I enjoyed every (animated) film I saw this year. Here’s to next year and the hope that the best is yet to come.