Top 10 Animated Features of the 2000s
Andrew Stanton's WALL·E is another bold production from Pixar. The first third is virtually a silent film in that it has no dialog. A testament to the Pixar artists' skill, they made a trash compactor loveable through pitch-perfect character acting. They also created one of the great screen love stories of all time. The romance between WALL·E and EVE is innocent and effortlessly charming, and drives this satire of modern consumerism. Visually, Pixar pushed its photorealism to the furthest extent it had ever gone. From the mountains of trash on Earth to the wonders of outerspace, this Oscar-winner for Best Animated Feature takes viewers to a spectacle of imagery. Legend has it that one lunch formed the inspiration for post-Toy Story films A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and WALL·E. Pixar saved the best for last.
DreamWorks' Shrek changed feature animation period. The mega-hit helped usher in the modern animation boom by appealing to the whole family through the mix of irreverent humor and pop culture references. The first edition in the popular franchise was also a hilarious send up of fairy tales and its rival Disney. Shrek was an antihero set on a hero's mission to rescue the fair princess Fiona. Eddie Murphy proved that star casting is not always a bad thing, making Donkey one of the funniest sidekicks. The landmark production was awarded the first Oscar in the Animated Feature category. No sacred cow was left un-slaughtered in this animated comedy that taught us that looks don't mean everything.
With The Incredibles, Brad Bird began moving Pixar and feature animation in a new direction. With Ratatouille, he took a huge leap forward. The story of a rat that wanted to be a chef was the most daring production from Pixar to date. The main character wasn't a mouse, but a rat. The central theme dealt with complex adult issues of work vs. family that went far beyond spending more time together. Pixar overcame many difficulties by stepping forward the subtlety and timing of its character animation. In the food critic Anton Ego, the story team created a classic film villain. The production not only won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but was also a darling of critics. Marking a significant step forward for feature animation in America, Ratatouille's success made it possible for WALL·E and Up to follow.