That’s right sports fans! Top 7 Tuesdays is back. Originally a feature over at Paper Spaceships, we have given it a new home over here at cineAWESOME! This is the first of the Top 7 Tuesday and we decided (well I decided) to choose favorite animated films. Now like most of my top 7 lists these are just how I feel at the moment and are subject to change. If you are interested in any of the films the images are links to the Amazon pages of the items. As always feel free to disagree in the comments (keep it civil!) or let us know what kind of lists you, the readers, want to see us tackle!
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Mamoru Hosoda, 2006) is amazing. It is sweet and fun and beautiful to look at. Makoto is a wonderful character who grows up just enough in the story. Recently I got this on blu-ray and it was worth the wait. Hosoda is a director who is doing big things, and his recent Summer Wars (2009) was another hit with me. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time wins out by an inch for placement in this list just because I saw it first.
5 Centimeters Per Second (Makoto Shinkai, 2007) is a slow contemplative film. Made up of three short stories centering around characters named Takaki, the film explores issues of time, love and space. There is beauty here in the small moments that most of us ignore in our everyday lives. I cannot recommend this film enough. Shinkai’s work is consistently interesting and gets better with each project.
The Illusionist (Sylvain Chomet, 2010) is based off of an unproduced script by Jacques Tati and is a story told largely without sound. The only dialogue is unintelligible. However it is a strong story about the father-daughter relationship shared with an aging magician and a young girl desperate for the world. When I saw this I had recently lost my grandfather, and this film really affected me. The hand drawn animation is beautiful and a breath of fresh air.
Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008) is unlike the other films in my list as it is really a documentary. An animated documentary about the horrors of war and memory. Controversial, harrowing, and haunting the film is a must see for people interested in what animation can do when set free in other forms of narrative. The atrocity at the center of this is heartbreaking, and a far better article than I could write on this very film can be found here written by Hillel Halkin.
Tekkonkinkreet (Michael Arias, 2006) is a story about two orphans (named Black and White) who terrorize Treasure Town but then try to save it from yakuza who wish to turn it into an amusement park. It is as weird and wonderful as that sounds.
How To Train Your Dragon (Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois 2010) was my favorite film of last year. I loved everything about this film. See my review over at Paper Spaceships. This movie had heart in spades, an amazing voice cast, and a great score. If you have a blu-ray player you need this film.
The Iron Giant (Brad Bird, 1999) is one of my favorite films of all time. I once worked at Animation Magazine for a brief internship and one of my assignments was to compile a list of the animation industry’s favorite movies. This won hands down. Yes I made it through a whole list without mentioning Pixar but Bird has made my favorite Pixar movies too. However there is something about the retro design to this film, and the connection I have to Hogarth, the sci-fi loving nerdy kid, is strong. It is about dreams and fear and growing up and about the point in a boys life where everything around you is larger than you could imagine and you are almost able to understand. Most of all it is about friendship. If you haven’t seen this film yet, stop reading this blog go find a copy and watch it. You owe it to yourself.