I was lucky enough to see Gabriella yesterday. We met in middle school and were very close throughout high school- and we’re still close even tough we see each other only over the summer and breaks.
Naturally we got around to talking about movies because going to see them was always a favorite pastime of ours (and we’re always those people who are too loud in the theater and I can’t stop making sarcastic comments). But she’s seen Kubo and the Two Strings! Not enough people have seen Kubo and it’s such a lovely, magical, wonderful animation.
And then she asked if I had seen The Book of Life! Which yes, I have, but it was so awesome to hear that she had as well because if few people have seen Kubo then even fewer have seen The Book of Life.
So I’ve gotten to thinking about the underrated and unmentioned animations in the world (omitting Disney and anime, and going light on Dreamworks). It’s a post that’s been nesting in my brain for a long time and talking to Gabriella really galvanized me. The main reason I hadn’t written it yet? I haven’t watched all of the animations in the world and I worry about omitting something.
But I suppose I have to give in: no one knows everything about anything and so that’s no good reason not to list and list and list and list.
This is one of the most beautifully imagined fantasies about love, friendship, death, family, and loyalty. Plus a seriously star-studded line up including Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna (he’s in Rogue One at your nearest theater), and Channing Tatum. Ughhh, I got so wrapped up in it when I watched it. Super recommended to children and adults alike.
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
This is maybe one of the best weird movies I’ve ever seen. And if you’re not going to watch it at least take a peek at the equally bizarre soundtrack. Exposition short: Jack’s heart was frozen when he was born so it was replaced with a clock to keep it ‘ticking’. To protect his health he has to be sheltered from strong emotions- but of course he goes and falls in love. Eccentricity at its best.
Ernest and Celestine
A heartwarming movie based on an equally heartwarming (oops, almost wrote heartworming) but not exactly plot-identical children’s picture book series. The plot is pretty simple but the characters and circumstances that get set up are adorable and intricate. The Ernest and Celestine theme is gorgeous and quirky and Viennese Waltz.
This may be slightly too dark a movie for the youngest of us- it’s, um, dark, both literally and figuratively. Orphan Tim is afraid of the dark and, through a series of fantastic circumstances, finds himself in the night world of Nocturna, where the stars have been going out. This movie shines on essentially all levels- but my favorite part may have been the secondary characters (I’m mad for secondary characters). The lamp lights, the night-prowling cats, the women who give people bed head- the best.
Rise of the Guardians
I’m going to try to keep this one short because I’ve been talking about Rise of the Guardians a lot recently. Above, we see Jack Frost, North/Santa Claus, Tooth/The Tooth Fairy, Bunny/Easter Bunny, and the Sandman (AKA The Guardians). Together they must protect the innocence of children around the world against the threat of Pitch, the Bogeyman. Guys, it’s pretty awesome.
A Monster in Paris
A Monster in Paris has an excellent soundtrack (especially La Seine!) and an absolutely topsy turvy but wonderful plot. And it’s so many surprises that I don’t want to go into it at all- you’ll just have to watch. A fantasy that deserves to be much better known than it is.
Alright, I’m going to end there this time around! But I have another post in the works with further unfairly forgotten animations. Now that Christmas is over I’m getting back on track with non-festive movies (I’ve been watching Spartacus today and Kirk Douglas’ chin is ridiculous).
Maybe you’ve seen these before and have other suggestions that I should include on post II?