Yes, it is the season and coming tomorrow is a list of Six Traditional Pieces of Christmas Animation, but today’s post is about four, non-Traditional pieces of Christmas animation.
What could that possibly mean?
Well, on TV around Christmas, the normal programming schedules get scrapped in favour of showing films, and lots of them. Less so in recent years, but still quite prevalent (at least in Ireland and the UK), these films are a great mix of family fare and films that you wouldn’t normally see at other times of the year, such as Spinal Tap and pretty much any Mel Brooks film. I once tried to explain to the fiancée that Irish people’s favourite Christmas film was almost consistently polled to be Back to the Future for the very reason that’s it’s a Christmas staple. She called me weird.
So, without further adieu, here’s the top four non-Traditional Christmas films:
The original Shrek was a breath of fresh air in the otherwise rather rarefied world of feature animation. Besides Disney (and by extension, Pixar), no-one company seemed to be able to crack the whip when it came to attracting audiences. Enter Dreamworks with their debut CGI film about an big green ogre. Fairytales have, in this blogger’s opinion, been done to death in the animation world, but that is not what made Shrek bring in as much dough as he did.
Back in 2001 when Shrek first appeared, it was lauded as being every movie that Disney wasn’t. No song-and-dance numbers, no perfect princes and no sugar-coating on every corner of the screen. That was then, when such a thing was new and in style. Today, such films are commonplace, even expected. When was the last time you saw a CGI flick with some songs in it? Probably never.
Since the first movie was such a runaway success, we’ve had three more films and with each installment, the whole idea has gotten a little staler. The reason? Well, we’ve seen it all before haven’t we? The first film broke new ground in that it took a swipe at what was considered acceptable for a family film.
Since then the series has tried to outdo itself. I dare say that Shrek is somewhat of an over-saturated market.