2009 is coming to a close, the Academy Awards are upon us and I thought it would be a good time to talk about my favorite animated films of the year since I have seen them all. I love the art of animation, and there were a decent amount of animated films that were released in 2009, several of them are trying to make it in to the Best Animated Feature category at the awards. There were a lot of amazing animated features that I saw this year, but I have listed my favorite films below in no particular order.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Director: Wes Anderson
Angry farmers, tired of sharing their chickens with a sly fox, look to get rid of their opponent and his family. The Fantastic Mr. Fox turned out to be my favorite Wes Anderson film so far. I absolutely loved it. This was the perfect story for Wes Anderson to tell, I honestly don’t see how anyone else could have pulled it off and made it that good. The story, dialogue, and design were its strongest attributes. Each one of the characters had their certain charms that made this movie the hilarious film gem that it was. This is the movie I would like to see win best animated feature.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
An animated adventure centered on a 5-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become human. Ponyo was an absolute pleasure to watch. Miyazaki has the magic touch with his animated movies and he makes them like know one else. There is absolutely no CGI animation in this, it is 100% traditional and the art is incredibly breathtaking. I also love the story he tells and the awesomely odd details that he throws in to make this film a one of a kind.
Director: Pete Doctor
By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn't alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip. You just can’t lose with Pixar. Up was not only beautifully animated, but Pixar told such a heart warming wonderful story. The characters they developed for this story, Carl and Russell, were incredibly rich and full of life. These characters had a soul. Not only that but this was such a fun adventure story which had a positive message to it. Many people have said UP is their favorite Pixar film but I still like The Incredibles and Ratatouille more. This will most likely win best animated picture.
Director: Henry Selick
An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets. I love films like this! The kind where the story and characters just wrap me in the creator's world. It is incredibly enjoyable and strange. Seeing Henry Selick bring to life a Neil Gaiman story was a real treat. The best way to describe it is, joyfully nightmarish.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
The most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the beloved children's book, the film focuses on a town where food falls from the sky like rain. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs surprised the hell out of me. I seriously didn’t think I was going to like or enjoy the movie, but it ended up being one of the funniest movies I’ve seen this year. This movie was down right awesome. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this movie.
Director: Shane Acker
When 9 first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they'll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them. I really had a great time watching this movie. The visuals and designs were fantastic! I loved the world that was created and the characters that were created for the story. The cgi animation was done very well, there was nothing really groundbreaking but it still looked very cool. The action was pretty freakin' awesome, it was that best part of the movie. I'm looking forward to seeing what director Shane Acker will end up doing next.
9 Days of “9” Brought to you by “9”, a film from visionary filmmakers Tim Burton (The Night Before Christmas) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted). Own it on Blu-ray™, DVD, & Digital Download. For more “9” click here.
What were your favorite animated movies of the year?