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24th March 2014

Contrary Corner: animated gems you missed

Suraj thinks that instead of watching The Lion King for the umpteenth time, you should try one of the many lesser-known animated films you’ve likely overlooked

I have expressed this before and I’m sure to express it again, I love animated films. They’re brilliant. But at the risk of sounding like an anti-mainstream, hipster arse, I have to say that the real gems aren’t the obvious Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin or Lion King. Granted, these films are popular for a reason, but they can be too ‘same-y’ and I have always felt that there are less mainstream animations that are cut of a much better quality cloth; you could say I’m biased because I really enjoy these films, but there’s a reason I choose to watch them over and over, they’re bloody good!

Two films I particularly enjoy are Treasure Planet and Atlantis. If any animated film has a much more exciting adventure in it, I would much like to see it! I remember watching both of these films when I was in my early teens, and I have to say, I have seen them both numerous times since. For Treasure Planet I love the way that Disney has been able to take a classic novel, Treasure Island (go figure), and give it a bit of a futuristic spin, but not too much. I think the result is pretty fantastic and the ending, although a bit corny, is still pretty great.

Atlantis is definitely something else as well. Taking some of the most popular Atlantean myths and then weaving them into a story, which can be pretty stark for a children’s animation especially during the depiction of a “Great Cataclysm”, just seems to exude brilliance to me. With the voice acting of Michael J. Fox, Leonard Nimoy and even Jim Varney, I can’t help but feel a little sentimental about this film.

That’s only two films I hear you say, well there’s more! Lilo and Stitch 1 and 2 are both great productions, which I feel get overlooked quite often. They are great little films, with some good jokes, some great action, and I defy you not to fall in love with Stitch’s mischievous antics.

Other films like Meet the Robinsons, Monsters vs. Aliens, and a cool little gem I found in the 20th Century Fox cannon from 2000, Titan A.E, deviate from the cheesy romance of your typical Disney films and offer a more intelligent narrative to the audience. Titan A.E is definitely a film worth watching, it’s more cynical than your typical animation and is a pioneer in the creation of more serious animation. Warner Brothers has adopted the same style in the creation of multitudes of comic book heroes who just couldn’t get the budget for a live action feature film; and FYI the Superman vs. Batman is already in cartoon form!

These films and many alike are simply fantastic, and I would certainly choose to re-watch them over Disney’s ‘cheese’ collection; they deserve more of a chance. The frustrating thing is that all of these films are very easily overlooked in lieu of the glossier ‘Disney Classics’, and so I don’t just want to express my contrary opinion, I IMPLORE you to give these films a chance!

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