Top 10 Most Beautiful Animated Movies of All Time

Top 10 Most Beautiful Animated Movies of All Time

> Speaker 1: On our last list, we showed you ten beautiful films that were all live action. And you asked, where are all the animated movies? Well, they’re right here. These are the top ten most beautiful animated films of all time. >> [MUSIC] >> Speaker 1: Right from the top, kicking us off at number ten, let’s shake things up and get it out of the way, Disney animation. Maybe it’s because we’re rebels or cinema snobs or big old hipsters, but we figure most of you watching already know about Disney’s work. So we wanna set the bar there and see how much higher we can get. But which one to set it with? Maybe it’s the modern graphic stylings of 101 Dalmatians or the classic forest scapes of Bambi.

The sharp medieval architecture of Sleeping Beauty. The underrated 2D, 3D hybrid constellations and hieroglyphics of Treasure Planet or The Prince of Egypt. The watercolor nature of Pocahontas. We could go on. Now we really wish we had a spot for Fantasia or Fantasia 2000, films that focus more on sound and sight than anything else, but they’re just barely edged out by our number 10 spot, The Lion King. >> [MUSIC] >> Speaker 1: From the opening shot to Mufasa’s celestial lecture, the lion king astounds. And while you’d think that Disney threw their best hands at the massive hit, the movie was mostly made by their B team. Disney’s hot shots threw their cards in with Pocahontas, figuring that the Lion King would be a massive flop, leaving the benchwarmers to lead the charge.

And see where it got them? On our list. And that’s, I mean, it’s not an Oscar. They also got a couple Oscars, but still, it’s pretty impressive, right? Now animation isn’t all hand drawn. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t consider some of the beautiful 3D animated films that have graced our screens in the past 20 years. And much like our number 10, we think the biggest players deserve some credit.

But we don’t wanna pretend they’re the end all be all. So if we’re talking big players in CGI, there’s Disney Pixar and Dreamworks. And they’ve made some pretty good looking stuff. Rattatouille is beautiful if only for the food alone. The How to Train Your Dragon series has some gorgeous aerials. We prefer number two. And Tangled serves up some seriously some awesome eye candy. But for our number 9 pick, we think Wall-E takes the cake. Wall-E. >> Speaker 2: Eve. >> Speaker 1: There’s a reason the vast, bleak, post apocalyptic expanse of Earth looks so incredible to the eye. Pixar producers brought in people like Roger Deakins, yes, that Roger Deakins, to consult on the lighting. Per his recommendations, the visual team took extra special care to emulate the imperfections of filming through a physical camera. The depth of field, barrel distortions, lens aberration and character that make cinema look, well cinematic. It obviously worked because you put images like this on our screens.

[SOUND] So for animation, we’ve got traditionally shaded CGI and of course stop motion. And for our number 8, we love the eerie beauty of The Nightmare Before Christmas and handsome simplicity of Mary and Max. But our pick comes from Laika studios. And that could be Paranorman’s 3D printed beauty, or Coraline’s awe inspiring stereoscopic innovation. But for our pick, we actually the lesser known Boxtrolls. >> Speaker 2: Box trolls. >> Speaker 1: The film looks like the stop motion version of the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari meets Der Golum meets Gumby.

The props and sets are expressionistic instead of realistic, culminating in gorgeously conceived, disorienting frames that practically suck you into them. 330 team members built over 20 thousand props and shot over a period of 72 weeks to create this film. What we love most about animation and why this list is so important, is that the artists create everything. There’s no photographing, no gathering, no relying on nature. The entire world is conceived from scratch. And it allows artist to try something truly unique, like this. Now cinema stands on a foundation of history and animation is no different.

So for beautiful stop motion, that might be the Tale of the Fox. And for CGI, that might be, well actually, CGI doesn’t stand on the back of much history yet, but we’re kind of in the middle of building it right now. And finally. for 2D animation, it’s our number 7 pick, The Adventures Of Prince Achmed. Filmed frame by frame with cut out silhouettes much like Shadow Puppet Theater on camera, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the oldest surviving animation film ever. And for something so old, you’d expect some rough, immature imagery. But it’s just the opposite. Some of the monochromatic tableaus are astonishingly gorgeous. The detail of the silhouettes is intricate and the backgrounds are lushly tinted foreign landscapes. And for that, it more than earns a spot on our list. [SOUND] Following up at number 6, believe it or not, we’re giving it to the Lego Movie. >> Speaker 3: Awesome! >> Speaker 1: I know, I know, call us crazy but hear us out. Sure we like Lord and Miller’s earlier Cloudy with a Chance Meatballs and especially, its uber colorful follow up Cloudy II.

But animators put a ton of work into this film to create a photorealistic take on Legos while still managing to turn a tiny world into an epic one. They did this with dramatic yet purposeful;y imperfect camera work. Moody, stylish, dynamic lighting and heavy atmospheric effects from individual floating dust moats to thick virtual smoke. A technique borrowed from Douglas Trumble from 2001 slit scan fame, which helped to create depth by fogging out elements as they got further from the camera. Combine that with some really awesome staging, massive framing, and a pinch of nostalgia, and you end up with a surprisingly gorgeous movie about tiny plastic anthropomorphized spiky living room landmines.

[SOUND] Next up at number 5, we wanna honor some more animated flicks with less traditional art styles than your typical Disney film. And for that, we ought to turn our eyes away from American shores to see what kind of beautiful new imagery we can find. Over in Ireland, they’re making picturesque storybook films with a traditional twist, like Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells. And in France, they’re painting surreal tableaus with a witty eye for detail in films like The Illusionist and The Triplets of Belleville. Or gentle watercolor intimacies like in Ernest and Celestine.

And we love looking at all those films. But our pick for number 5 goes to the moody cutout war scenes from Israel’s Waltz With Bashir. >> Speaker 4: They stand there, barking, 26 dogs. And they tell my boxx Bertold. Give us boaz Rein, or we’ll eat your customers. In 1 minute! >> Speaker 1: You could easily mistake this one for rotoscope but it’s actually animated with hand drawn objects in flash. Remember flash from the internet circa 2005? Each image is cut up into thousands of individual parts and animated separately in a unique style invented by Yoni Goodman, the Animation Director of the film.

And while the images themselves may be hauntingly composed, their beauty stands in stark contrast to the grim trauma of the subject matter, and they’re all the better for it. [SOUND] Okay, you caught us. We said we were going to look abroad and check out some fresh styles, and we skipped Japan. Our bad, we were saving it for a later slot. So of course, we wanna talk about Studio Ghibli, because we can hardly make an animation list without mentioning it.

And of course, the first director that comes to mind is Miyazaki. Everybody loves Miyazaki. So don’t get mad at us when we tell you that Spirited Away, The Wind Rises, Princess Mononoke, or any of his gorgeous films, didn’t quite make our list. Don’t get us wrong, his films are beautiful, but its a more than skin-deep kind of beauty. An inner, emotional kind of beauty. And here on this list, we’re talking purely aeshetics, shallow Hal, hey baby, what you doing kinda beauty. We don’t care if the movie is a really great person to hang out with. We want bomb shells or nothing at all. But Miyazaki isn’t Ghibli’s only director making beautiful anime. Let’s not forget the heart-wrenching beauty of Grave of the Fireflies or our number 4 pick, The Tale of Princess Kaguya. >> [MUSIC] >> Speaker 5: Once upon a time, long, long ago now, there lived an old bamboo cutter. He would make his way into the mountain forest and cut wild bamboo from which he made all sorts of useful things.

>> Speaker 1: Richly textured and drawn with water color minimalism, Princess Kaguya’s simple pastel composition reminds us of an updated take on traditional Japanese painting. And for that, we love it. [SOUND] Next up at #3, we’re not quite done with stop motion. And we almost gave this spot to 999, the Australian/Israeli slice of life that finds beauty in a realistic puppet world. However, we think that there’s something just a little bit better looking at Wes Anderson’s foray into far more stylized puppets with Fantastic Mr. Fox. >> Speaker 6: I understand what you’re saying and your comments are valuable. But I’m gonna ignore your advice. >> Speaker 1: Animated at only 12 frames per second, the compositions themselves have all the trappings of an Anderson classic. The color palette is distinct the frames are plain ometric, the mini wardrobes are apoplectic. Hell Mr. Fox’s mini suit fabric, actually came from Wes’s Tailor. With over 500 different puppets at six different sizes, there’s something absolutely wonderful about bringing a meticulous director’s vision to the animation world and giving him the unlimited ability to bring his imagination to life.

[NOISE] Closing in at number two, we’ve room for one last CGI pick. And it doesn’t go to Rango, the Book of Life, Oblivion Island, or Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart, as much as we love them and they deserve the honorable list of mentions. No, our number 2 pick goes to, and bear with us here, Legend of the the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. >> Speaker 7: It was the battle of the ice claws.

The guardians were out numbered. Things looked dark. [SOUND] But then O’Kelle struck down the leader of the evil owls. >> Speaker 7: [SOUND] The Guardians were victorious. The owl kingdoms were free once more. And then they returned home, to the Great Tree of Ga’Hoole. >> Speaker 1: Sure maybe that sounds absolutely absurd. Who would guess that a silly 3D fantasy film about battling owls that mostly no one saw would be one of the most beautifully animated films of all time. But If you’re looking at your screen right now instead of staring at your navel, you’ve probably realized that your first inclination was wrong. This is another film that Roger Deakins, or the Deak as we like to call him, consulted on.

And sure he probably played a pretty big part, as did director Zach Snyder who had already proven himself as a visually oriented director in the live action world. But we don’t wanna miss this opportunity to talk about the production designer and the art director. In this case, Simon Whitely and Grant Freckleton. These two creators developed the look of the film before a single pixel was rendered by working with the director to create hundreds and thousands of sketches, illustrations, paintings and renderings that establish the look and the feel of the world, and intended cinematography. With landscapes inspired by the beautifully moonlit Tasmanian wilderness, incredibly detailed atmospheric effects, from rain to fire, and dramatically rendered we think they did a hell of a job.

[SOUND] And finally, for our number 1 spot, we wanna take one last round trip to Japan for some more jaw dropping anime. There’s the hard edged pop aesthetic of red line, the post apocalyptic cyber punk neon of Akira, Metropolis, and Cowboy Bebop. And the odd ball eye candy of Tekkonkinkreet. There’s even Satoshi Kon’s beautiful works like Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika. And they’re all unbelievably wonderful. Seriously, each and every one of them is beautiful in its own way. But the anime that makes our jaws drop the widest is Makoto Shinkai’s Garden of Words. >> Speaker 9: When I was little the sky was closer.

So much closer. That’s why I like the rain, as with it comes the smell of the sky. >> Speaker 1: It’s almost too beautiful to believe it’s animated. It’s utterly cinematic in a way unlike any other animations we’ve ever seen. Well, apart from Shinkai’s other work, especially 5 Centimeters Per Second and The Children Who Chase Lost Voices. The beautiful atmospheric renderings, macros, rain reflections, and lens flares are unparalleled. Shinkai mixes hand-drawn characters with CGI elements with rotoscoped backgrounds to masterful effect. It’s hyper-real, lovingly detailed, and beyond stunning, which is why it’s our pick for the most beautiful animated movie of all time. So what do you think? Do you disagree with any of our choices? Did we leave out one of your favorite animated films? Do you have any ideas for future top ten lists? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe for more Cinefix movie lists.

 

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Top 10 Most Beautiful Animated Movies of All Time