From IADT Nashville:
What makes a good animated movie? While beautiful art is certainly important, it takes an engaging story and memorable characters to help an animated film truly stand out. Here’s IADT Nashville's list of the 10 best animated films since 2000. What do you think? Did we leave anyone out?
10. Monsters, Inc (2001)
No animation studio has more consistently produced great movies this decade like Pixar. In their first film of the new millennium, Pixar uses computer animation to create an alternate world where the monsters are scared of children. With jokes and sight gags packed into almost every frame, the team at Pixar makes the monster world seem almost more fun than our own.
9. Shrek (2001)
DreamWorks Animation used Shrek to poke fun at traditional fairy tales in a way no animated movie had up to that point. Pinocchio, the three little pigs and Prince Charming are all fair game for the big green ogre and his talking donkey sidekick. “Shrek” went on to win the first-ever Academy Award for an Animated Feature, and has spawned two sequels (with another on the way) that have made almost $2.2 billion to date.
8. Persepolis (2007)
This French film follows a young girl’s struggles through the social culture in Iran. “Persepolis” is based on the graphic novel of the same name and uses flat black-and-white animation to communicate its message more poignantly than a traditionally acted movie could. Its PG-13 rating and serious themes go against the traditional notion that animated films should just be for children. It made many critics’ Top 10 lists in 2007.
7. The Incredibles (2004)
Families looking for just another fun superhero movie got more than they bargained for when they went to see “The Incredibles.” This movie deals with serious themes like society’s emphasis on self-esteem and the difficulties that come with middle age. Of course, it also has plenty of fireballs, giant robots and exploding ships to keep even the most hyperactive kid happy.
6. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
After their three popular shorts in the 1990s, this clay duo was ready to finally make their feature film debut in 2005. Because the crew at Aardman Studios used claymation to animate the entire movie, they were able to film only three seconds per day and needed five years to finish the full movie.
5. Chicken Run (2000)
Another fantastic claymation film from Aardman Studios. This one’s about hundreds of chickens trying to make their escape from a POW-style chicken coop. Through all the action, the filmmakers also manage to sprinkle in references to movies like “Stalag 17,” “The Great Escape” and “Indiana Jones.”
4. Ratatouille (2007)
This film gives us one of the great animated duos since Buzz and Woody hit the screen when Remy the rat teams up with Linguini, an aspiring chef. “Ratatouille’s” message is that great art can come from anywhere, and its animators seem to have found it in beautiful shots of Paris through a rat’s perspective.
3. Spirited Away (2001)
This anime movie by famed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki became the highest-grossing film in Japanese history and is currently the only foreign language film to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Film. This coming of age story follows a young girl who gets trapped in a world of animals and monsters and must find her way out.
2. Finding Nemo (2004)
While “Finding Nemo” is filled with breathtaking coral reefs, its most memorable moments come from its colorful characters. This film about a clown fish trying to find his son is populated by hippie sea turtles, sharks that don’t eat fish and one very forgetful Blue Tang. “Finding Nemo” became the highest-grossing Pixar movie ever and helped put thousands of clown fish into the fishbowls of children around the world.
1. WALL-E (2008)
Pixar shows once again why they are the masters of animation through the beautiful “WALL-E.” Using little more than a series of beeps and bloops, they are able to communicate a touching love story between two robots. And with almost no dialogue through the first 40 minutes of the movie, “WALL-E” almost has more in common with Charlie Chaplin’s silent comedies of the 1910s than the hyperkinetic computer-animated films of today.
Honorable Mention: Coraline (2009), Bolt (2008), Kung Fu Panda (2008), The Simpsons Movie (2007), Happy Feet (2006), Cars (2006), The Emperor’s New Groove (2000).
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