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Top 15 Animated Films of The Last 10 Years

Written by , on March 26, 2009 at 8:17 pm 

In honor of the Dreamworks Animation Monsters Vs. Aliens hitting theaters this weekend here is a list of my 15 favorite animated films of the last 10 years:

15. Coraline 3-D (Selick, 2009)

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Henry Selick uses 3-D technology to perfection in order to create a massively immersive fantasy. With a story based on a Neil Gaman book, we are led into a variety of environments with a world of intriguing characters.

14. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)

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I can’t stand the TV show, but somehow this movie clicked for me. It was raunchy and smart enough to excel beyond the subpar Comedy Central show. The musical numbers were wildly entertaining and the jokes were near-brilliant.

13. Chicken Run (Lord, Park, 2000)

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Directed by the man behind Wallace and Gromit, Nick Park, this impressive claymation adventure was pure entertainment. While most of my list is made up of computer animation it is astounding to think every frame of this film was handmade. The action sequences are particularly spectacular.

12. Persepolis (Paronnaud, Satrapi, 2007)

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While this isn’t like the feel-good films that make up the rest of my list, this black and white animation uses unique techniques to create a powerful and gripping narrative about Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

11. Ratatouille (Bird, 2007)

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I fell in love with this movie during the first cooking scene. The colors are so vivid, the camera movement so magical, and the story is simply a joy to watch. Pixar took a chance with this film and to say they succeeded would be a understatement.

10. Shrek (Adamson, Jenson, 2001)

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Blending an original fairytale while poking fun at past ones, this film manages to provide jokes that appeal to all ages. It’s thoroughly entertaining and technically extraordinary.

9. Monster’s Inc. (Doctor, 2001)

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Another film that speaks to adults, as well as children, while delivering a mix of emotions. The amount of creativity, energy, and imagination in this film is awe-inspiring.

8. Spirited Away (Miyazaki, 2001)

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I’m not the biggest fan of Eastern animation but it is impossible to deny the greatness of Miyazaki’s classic. The inventive characters help add to the story that perpetually pulls the viewer in until one never wants to escape the world that has been magically built around them.

7. The Emperor’s New Groove (Dindal, 2000)

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This animation is just downright hilarious. When I first watched it I was surprised how many laughs were contained throughout the film. While the story and animation are pretty standard, the buddy comedy relationship is what elevates this film. It is just a pure joy to watch.

6. Toy Story 2 (Lasseter, 1999)

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Rarely does a sequel live up to its predecessor. It’s even rarer when a sequel outshines the original. This animation manages to improve in nearly every aspect and become an instant masterpiece. I’m weary of other potential Pixar sequels (see: Cars 2) but if they can do something this good, I’m looking forward to it.

5. Titan A.E. (Bluth, Goldman, 2000)

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Most people will not agree with this decision but I love, love, love this movie. It’s a satisfying sci-fi adventure with slick animation and intriguing characters. It proves sci-fi can be fun while expertly mixing CGI and hand drawn elements.

4. The Incredibles (Bird, 2004)

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With top-notch animation, characters, story, direction, and sound, there is little this movie does wrong. The actions scenes are fantastic and this new look at super hero life fresh and always fun.

3. The Iron Giant (Bird, 1999)

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What a powerhouse of a film. The relationships one sees here are complex and completely affecting. Full of adventure, life, and tragedy this is one of the smartest animations ever.

2. Finding Nemo (Stanton, 2003)

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Full of rich, luscious visuals with hilarious and endearing characters, this film hits on all notes. Features some of the best voice work to date and memorable scene after memorable scene. Simply another masterpiece.

1. Wall-E (Stanton, 2008)

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When an animated film with no dialogue or humans for the majority of its running time can convey more emotion than most live-action films you know it is something special. Wall-E broke new boundaries in sound design, storytelling, and animation. The film is not only another addition to the fantastic Pixar library, but a classic across all genres.

What do you think of this list? Would you add or take anything away?

- Jordan Raup


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