This week's topic for the Monday Movie Meme with the Bumbles is all about animation. This seems to be top of mind these days with Toy Story 3 enchanting viewing audiences everywhere. My family saw this movie in 3D IMAX about a month ago, and I was initially skeptical. A sequel? How could it touch the first two? But we laughed, cried, and agreed it was worth every bit of the hype. (I think it is the best of the three movies.) So what other animated films have rocked our world over the years? Here are some of mine:
1. Spirited Away - Haha! It is a challenge now to figure out how many weeks in a row I can fit this amazing movie into the weekly parameters! What is this, the fourth week in a row I've mentioned it? Of all Miyazaki movies, this one is my favorite. But I think it is worth mentioning that I could easily put ALL of his films on the animated list.
2. The Wall - This is a little blast from my college years, but I still pull out this movie and watch it. Not only is this the music that defined my youth, but the blending of reality and animated fantasy are graphic and a bit of a mind trip. It is truly a full-sensory experience.
3. The Fantastic Mr. Fox - In the category of stop motion animation (a quick nod to our beloved Bumble), this movie was more fun than an adult would ever expect to have with the children's genre. It is clever and quippy, and while the kiddies will no doubt be entertained, it has just as much to offer the grown ups. I laugh until my stomach hurts every time I watch it.
4. Beauty and the Beast (also known as the token Disney selection) - You can't list animated movies without recognizing something from Disney, who wrote the book. I struggled a little with this, because some of the older movies (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella) are sentimental favorites. There are the more recent movies that provide inspirational, strong female characters (Mulan, Hercules, Aladdin). Then there are the movies where the animation is unparallelled with its sweeping scenes and vivid texture (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast). At the end of the day, I chose Beauty and the Beast. The animators outdid themselves (I still get chills when I see the ballroom scene), it is a classic story with a good lesson, and Belle loves her books. You can't argue with any of that.
5. Waltz with Bashir - This one is way off the animation radar, but deserves your attention (and the Academy thought so too when it was nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2009). This animated autobiographical documentary on The Lebanon War is haunting and informative, and not something you will soon forget.