When the malicious comments, lies, and sleaze of the U.S. elections (and that’s just on the part of the average citizen) become too much to bear, the escapist benefits of film seem especially appealing. And nowhere is more lovely to escape to than an animated world. If you’re looking for something to warm your heart and ease your eyes between now and November, look no further than our suggestions for some of the best animated films of all time.
Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin will always evoke the most wonderful fairytale daydreams, but one of the most enchanting and amazing things about animated films has been the evolution of both their animation and storylines. Technological advances have yielded some of the most beautiful imagery, and imaginative stories like those of Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, and Up are just as magical for adults as children. It was so difficult to chose a favourite among such beautiful stories and animation, but thought WALL•E deserved special recognition for being brave as well as beautiful.
When I was young and would see people litter, I would sassily, and I thought at the time, quite cleverly, tell them, ‘When the whole world is a landfill, I hope you’re buried under it!’ For poor WALL•E, that world became a reality. In the year 2805, humans have had to evacuate planet Earth after it became too filled with rubbish as an effect of overconsumption. The robot WALL•E is left to clean up human’s waste as they travel space inert and morbidly obese. A direct commentary on consumerism and its repercussions, WALL•E was a risky movie to produce for a world of over-consumers, a likely startlingly mirror for human behavior. The nuances of emotion and language created by Pixar Animation Studios were an awing triumph and the story one that showed both the beauty of human emotions and the pitfalls of human greed.
There may not be enough words in the English language to describe all the complex feelings I experience whenever I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charles Schultz’s Peanuts strip portrays an American I know so well yet never lived in. His characters are strangely part of my life, and like certain relatives I look forward to seeing them every holiday season. Reading the comic strip is one thing, while seeing these classic characters move rigidly on television, complete with odd little voices, makes the Peanuts experience even more festive and special to me. And of course, I can always count on that existential, possibly clinically depressed little boy to remind me that Christmas isn’t just about gifts, toys, and money, but about love, happiness, and spirit. Thanks, Charlie Brown, for enduring those tough ponderings so I don’t have to!
My favourite cartoons are the ones with happy endings – aka the kind where I get a puppy. That’s right. When I was a wee one, I loved 1961 Disney classic so much I decorated my room and wardrobe in spots, pictures of Penny, Patch, and Rolly, and finally, one day I got a 6-week old dalmatian puppy. I wish that happened every time I like a movie… 101 Dalmatians was created back when Disney knew how to get it right. You put a boatload of spotted puppies on the screen and let them run amok. How could you go wrong?