Top 10 Animated Features of the 2000s
When we humans look back over a ten-year span, we are compelled to do two things -- make and/or read lists. They give us a chance to reminisce and complain -- two of our most beloved pastimes. AWN has looked over the 2000s and compiled what we believe are the most significant animated features. We encourage debate and your suggestions on why we're right and why we have no clue what we're talking about. So without further ado, here is your top ten.
Special Jury Prize: Fantasia/2000 (2000)
Festivals always award a special jury prize and we felt Fantasia/2000 deserved some recognition. Walt Disney always wanted to add on to the original Fantasia on a regular basis. Championed by his nephew Roy Disney, that vision finally came true in 2000 with the landmark IMAX presentation of Fantasia/2000. In segments like Eric Goldberg's "Rhapsody in Blue" to Gaëtan and Paul Brizzi's "The Firebird Suite," the film captures much of the spirit of the 1940 masterpiece.
Sylvain Chomet's visual stylish and inventive tale of a determined grandmother who sets out to save her kidnapped grandson has universal appeal. Through is infectious music timed brilliantly to the animation, the film crosses cultural boundaries while skewering American and French stereotypes in the process. For it's success the Academy Awards nominated it for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for "Belleville Rendez-Vous."
Aardman Animations' Chicken Run was one of the best animated features of the 1990s. In 2005, with the help of co-director Steve Box, Nick Park brought his enormously charming duo of hapless inventor Wallace and his brilliant pooch Gromit into a feature length adventure, which has fun with the horror genre. Filled with the series's signature wit, the plasticine pair made their jump to the big screen with ease, earning an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in the process and leading the 2000s' stop-motion charge for other remarkable productions like Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
2009 was a watershed year for animated features. There were more quality productions than ever before. Pixar, of course, provided one of the premiere editions. Daring to put a 70-year-old man at the center of a family film, director/writer Peter Docter and co-director/writer Bob Peterson once again pushed the expectations of American animation. The famed "Married Life" montage is one of the most emotionally effective pieces of moviemaking you might ever see. Pixar takes its precisely defined characters and places them into one of their funniest films for the adventure of an old man, a young scout and a house tied to balloons floating to South America. They're visuals that have already become classic.