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?
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.