My Favourite Movies EVER Part 3: Animated Fun

by GregFahlgren

My top five favourite animated films of all time! (Non-Disney for now)

Hello my fellow movie lovers! For this edition of MY FAVOURITE MOVIES EVER, I’ve decided to go the animated route, and tell you all about my favourite animated films of all time. Now, up front I will say there aren’t any Disney films on this list, they are in a category by themselves, but fear not! The movies I have listed here are the cream of the crop, and definitely worth raving about.

We're Back! A Dinosaur Story

Dinosaurs in the City

Based on a book of the same name, We’re Back is the story of a group of dinosaurs brought to the future and given human level intelligence before striking out into the world to find their place! Seriously, that’s the premise of the entire story, and as silly as it sounds, it worked out to become one of the best animated features of its time.

Even the mention of this film brings back some wonderful childhood memories for me, watching it with my brother obsessively. The animation is top-notch for it’s time, but more than that, the story the movie tells it hilarious, fun, and hear-warming. In short, it is everything you would want out of a movie like this. Yeah, there was that part where the villain got eaten by crows, but he was a jerk, so he deserved it. Don’t believe me, watch the movie, you’ll agree.

Sadly, I haven’t watched We’re Back  in years, but I would relish the chance to take the journey again. Bottom line, this is a great movie for the whole family, an instant classic that should be counted among the greatest efforts of its genre.

Titan AE

A Dark Future

A little known movie that came out in 2000, Titan AE depicts a space-faring future for the human race, after Earth was destroyed by a mysterious aliens that exist only a pure energy (no really, that’s what the movie’s about). It wasn’t hugely successful for various reasons, but it since has become a bit of cult classic among animation and science fiction fans. Featuring a fun story about a young man destined for greatness (cliché I realize, but it works), the story takes the viewer on a galaxy spanning journey in a race against time to stop the evil aliens from an ancient ship that might be the key to finding a new home for humanity.

On the technical side, the animation was mind-blowing for its time, way beyond anything anyone other than Disney was putting out. On the story side, the characters, none of whom were the typical heroes, were intriguing in the utmost, making the viewer love them despite of all their flaws as we follow their adventure, which had enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what would happen right up until the end.

I’ve watched this movie a handful of times, but each time I’m amazed that it didn’t get a bigger following. But that’s entertainment as the old saying goes, and that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it for the fun movie that it was.

Kung Fu Panda

Behold! The Dragon Warrior!

The most recent movies on the list, Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2 are two of the best animated films I have ever seen. Originally watching them with my nephew Logan (watching may be a strong word for having a movie on with a three year old), I soon took to watching them on my own time, loving both movies equally as funny escapes for my sometimes complicated life (I don’t like adulting).

Jack Black was perfect as the loveable and clumsy Po, Dustin Hoffman doubly so as the strict and ornery Master Shifu. The rest of the cast, including Angelina Jolie as the badass Tigress, was beyond stellar, each actor and actress filling their roles perfectly as we are taken on a pair of kung fu fighting adventures. On top of that, the animation is phenomenal, among the best you will ever see.

All this is great, but the main reason I come back to these movies over and over again is that the story is much more than a bunch of martial arts gags. There is a heart to these films, telling a story of finding one’s place n the world when you’ve been dealt a strange hand. There needs to be more movies like Kung Fu Panda, and fortunately, we’ll get another this year as the 3rd installment is soon to come out. I for one am excited for a third outing with Po, Shifu, and the Furious Five, and it may be the first animated film I’ve seen in theatres in well over a decade.

Transformers the Movie

You've Got the Touch! YOU'VE GOT THE POWER! YEAH!!!

Another fond memory from my childhood, Transformers the Movie is one of the greatest achievements in 80s animation. Featuring the reveal of the uber-powerful Unicron, the psychotic Galvatron, and the death of many of the TV series’ most popular characters (IRONHIDE!! WHYYYYY!), the movie was an outstanding adventure from start to finish. I’ve watched this movie more times than I care to admit, but it is worth the trip every time. This movie is the definition of the word, ‘timeless.’

The animation in this film was top notch, way beyond what even the best animators were doing at the time. To add to it, there was a tremendous score to back it up, some of it a little corny, but most of it was stellar, including Lion’s cover of the original Transformers theme song. The voice acting was the best the franchise would ever produce, including Leonard Nimoy as the slightly off-balance Galvatron (he was amazing by the way).

What’s unique about this film is that unlike many kid’s programs, they actually killed off a fair amount of characters. Now, this was done as an excuse to make new characters, and thus sell new toys, but it was a huge risk considering how popular some of them were. The risk paid off, Transformers easily becoming one of the most successful and popular animated films of all time, and one of my favourite movies, animated or not.

Space Jam

The Greatest Basketball Game Ever Played

The last movie on this list is by FAR my all-time favourite Looney Tunes story. Though not just a straight animated film, there is a fair amount of live action to go along with our favourite WB characters, Space Jam is a marvel of movie magic. Featuring Michael Jordan, who at the time was probably the most revered athlete in the world, joining forces with Bugs Bunny and company to battle evil aliens bent on using the Looney Tunes for their evil theme park (seriously, it’s true!).

The movie is a laugh riot from start to finish, featuring some of the best gags in Looney Tunes history. All the silliness, hilarity, and ACME related explosions culminates in the GREATEST BASKETBALL GAME EVER PLAYED, where the whole Looney Tunes cast gets in on the fun. Michael Jordan actually did a good job in this movie, which is surprising considering how bad of actors many athletes seem to be.

The story was really heartfelt as well, as MJ deals with everything any athlete has to eventually: getting old. He feels that his career is done, and that he has nothing left to give to basketball, but this game forces him to realize that his is still who everyone says he is, and that his career isn’t over yet. Touching message, and one that still has meaning after all these years.

Space Jam is a movie that EVERYONE should have in their collection, no matter your age or attitude. A feel good movie with a ton of laughs, it will always hold a special place in my heart. And plus, it has Bill Murray, and every movie is better with Bill Murray in it.


Give Me Silly

Animated films are a wonderful medium of entertainment, a medium that is too often shunted aside by many “adults” as “kids stuff”. This is ridiculous in my view. These films, as well as a host of others, can be enjoyed by everyone no matter the age. Yes, they’re not live action, yes they’re silly, but sometimes, we need a silly in our lives. Do I appreciate the grim, gritty, and realistic films that are everywhere? Yes, of course I do. But sometimes, I need silly, I need a laugh, and that’s what a lot of these movies are for. So if you’re in need of some silliness, click on the links I’ve provided, and get some silliness. The world could use some in my opinion.

That’s it for me today movie goers, until next time.

A short list of some of my favourite movies and movie series.
Listing my favourite films from Star Trek from worst to best.
Updated: 02/12/2016, GregFahlgren
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