A couple of weeks back, Time Out magazine published its list of 100 best animated movies, as voted on by a gaggle (or should that be a goggle?) of pundits. Film-makers and animators including Koji Yamamura, H. R. Giger and Wes Anderson, a scholarly element led by Darren-Jon Ashmore and Marco Pelliteri, industry figures such as Steve Alpert and Jerry Beck, website and event organisers like Joe Curzon of Otaku News and Niels Viveen of the J-Pop Foundation. Oh, and ten Disney and Pixar creatives, who asked that their choices remain anonymous but who, naturally, tended to favour their colleagues’ works. (You can have fun guessing who were the Brit-lovers who nominated Yellow Submarine and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.)
I was one of those pundits, and believe me, it was hard to choose. There’s a lot of great animation out there, and picking one’s favourites at any given time depends on so many variables, not least what you’ve seen most recently and how nostalgic you’re feeling. You can see my choices, with an edited snippet of my comments about them, here.
The late, great Carl Macek would approve of the new number one, Pinocchio, which he once described to me as “Disney’s perfect film.” I preferred the number one from Time Out‘s last, Terry Gilliam-chosen Top 50, My Neighbour Totoro, in my opinion Hayao Miyazaki’s perfect film.
I was sorry, though not surprised, to see that this time around more people voted for the hugely successful but largely inferior Spirited Away as Ghibli’s top entry in the list. One fan commented it wouldn’t even make his top 5 Ghibli movies, and, charming as it is, I agree. But that’s the joy and frustration of lists such as this one.
Try comparing your own top ten animated movies to this list and you’ll see what I mean. Hopefully you’ll also discover one or two new movies to enjoy.