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RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 12:15:53 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
154. The Little Mermaid



1989
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker

Thom Tuck singing Part of Your World in his stand-up set about Disney dvds is awesome. I have nothing else to say.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 20/2/2013 4:23:42 PM >

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Post #: 91
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 12:17:33 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
153. Basil The Great Mouse Detective



1986
Director: Ron Clements, Dave Michener, John Musker, Burny Mattinson

Sherlock Holmes with mice? Vincent Price voicing the villain? This is what you call a great Disney film. More low-key than the more highly praised films that came in its wake, I think this is one of the true classics from the studio.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 20/2/2013 4:23:21 PM >

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Post #: 92
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 12:21:52 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
152. Shrek 2



2004
Director: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury

After Shrek was such a success, it was inevitable that a sequel would follow. This time a fairy godmother does some plot. Worth watching for the pussy.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 20/2/2013 4:23:02 PM >

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Post #: 93
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 12:28:52 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
151. Everything Will Be Ok



2006
Director: Don Hertzfeldt

When dropping his keys on the counter one day, Bill is suddenly struck by how meaningless life is. As the narration tells us, he'd dropped those keys in that same spot time and time before and that starts him thinking of all the time wasted repeating the same tasks in his life. Then he wonders if that is life and the time spent doing different things are the oddities. The film builds along these thoughtful lines. When Bill discovers he's going to die, his despair and anger is reflected in the world around him. The mundane becomes nightmarish and his environment begins to crumble.

It's an oddly profound and melancholy little film, as hilarious as the likes of Billy's Balloon and Rejected are, Everything Will Be OK has the same kind of depth that Hertzfeldt invested in The Meaning of Life, but working more on a personal scale than the global one that cartoon envoked. Hertzfeldt's style is too often dismissed as simplistic, but if there is a running theme through his work it's been his constant desire to push the boundaries of what's possible with his style and that's exactly what he does here. When Bill's world begins to crumble Hertzfeldt mixes live action into the animation, helping to present a world where we're never sure if what we're seeing is real or hallucination.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 20/2/2013 4:22:43 PM >

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Post #: 94
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 3:26:36 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
150. Robin Hood Daffy



1958
Director: Chuck Jones

Based on the classic adaptation of the Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn, Daffy Duck plays a rather hapless Robin Hood. We first meet him singing a ballad of his own fame, before unexpectedly falling into a river. When Friar Tuck (Porky Pig) laughs at him, Daffy decides to seek revenge and takes out his trusty buck and a quarter staff and challenges Porky to a duel. But everytime he attempts to show off he ends up hurting himself. Tuck is looking for Robin Hood and refuses to believe Daffy when he tells him that he actually is Robin Hood. Daffy tries to prove himself to Porky by robbing a wealthy man but ends up hurting himself on every attempt, while the nobleman remains oblivious. The combination of Chuck Jones and Daffy Duck is usually a recipe for hilarity, but Robin Hood Daffy is one of their greatest accomplishments.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 20/2/2013 4:22:15 PM >

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Post #: 95
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 3:28:42 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
149. Antz



1998
Director: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

Woody Allen and Sylvester Stallone play ants. Funny how a career low for Allen is also one of the best decisions Stallone ever made.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 20/2/2013 4:21:46 PM >

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Post #: 96
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 4:21:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
148. Tom Waits for No One



1979
Director: John Lamb

Essentially a music video for The One That Got Away, Tom Waits for No One uses a similar kind of rotoscoping as Bakshi in his feature films. The short won a special technical Oscar for its innovations but then seemed to be largely forgotten for several years. Tom is alone under a streetlight, a seductive woman passes by and he serenades her with the song. As cool as Waits himself, the rotoscoping brings an incredible sense of movement and flow to the piece, perfectly capturing the jazzy rhythms of the song.

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Post #: 97
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 6:53:25 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
147. The Adventures of Prince Achmed



1926
Director: Lotte Reiniger

One of the earliest feature length animated films, this gorgeous piece of silhoutte animation takes its inspiration from the stories of the Arabian nights.

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Post #: 98
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 7:23:08 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
146. Coonskin



1975
Director: Ralph Bakshi

Unfairly labelled as racist on its initial release, Coonskin is one of the most misunderstood films that will appear on this list. The title probably didn't help, Bakshi used the working title of Harlem Nights, that was turned into the more strident 'Coonskin No More' in writing, before being shortened by producer Albert S. Ruddy to Coonskin, against Bakshi's protests.

Bakshi was trying to say something about American society and Coonskin is a satire on racial attitudes. The black characters are stereotypes, but they're stereotypes in order to mock the stereotypes that society places on people and on the lack of racial awareness in the world. All the characters are stereotypes, gays, Italians, the Jewish, it's a theme Bakshi, like Robert Crumb, returned to over and over. They both tried to confront the audience with the most grotesque racial stereotypes imaginable, in an attempt to challenge their own perceptions.

The plot plays out like an animated Blaxploitation take on Uncle Remus as a rabbit, fox and bear become kings of the Harlem crime scene. Sampson (Barry White) and the Preacherman (Charles Gordone) try to help their friend Randy (Philip Michael Thomas) break out of prison. When they are stopped by a police roadblock, Randy is stuck listening to his fellow escapee Pappy (Scatman Crothers) as he tells him stories about friends he used to know. We then go into animation scenes, Thomas, Gordone and White are recast as Brother Rabbit, Brother Bear and Preacher Fox. When their home is sold and turned into a brothel, they leave for Harlem. They meet a conman called Saviour who claims to be a revolutionary and cousin of Black Jesus, who aims to give people the strength to kill whitey. Attending one of his stage shows, Rabbit tries to turn the crowd against him, but they attempt to kill Rabbit instead, leading to Rabbit and Bear killing Saviour and Rabbit takes over Saviour's business. Rabbit looks to become the crime kingpin, but first he has to take down a few enemies, including Madigan, a hated, bigoted cop who loathes African-Americans and works for the Mafia.

The Congress of Racial Equality condemned the film before anyone had even seen it and the controversy meant that it got a very limited release. Its premiere, at the Museum of Modern Art, was protested by CORE, led by Al Sharpton. True to form, Sharpton was more interested in furthering his own reputation than in debating the work on its own merits. It's an audacious film and it's easy to see why it could be troubling, but anyone with integrity would take the time to view the film (and Bakshi did invite Sharpton to see it) before condemning it. The NAACP recognised it was a difficult film, but they understood it and supported it.

Bakshi's aims were to create something incendiary, something that stood up for oppressed African-Americans. How else can you interpret the way the film personifies America as an attractive woman who screams rape when a black man approaches her? Bakshi used blackface iconography, but he used it to confront racism, not celebrate it. It's still a troubling, but brilliant, piece of cinema and it's a film that deserves a wide audience and some critical re-evaluation.

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Post #: 99
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 7:33:23 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
145. The Old Mill



1937
Director: Wilfred Jackson

Incredible animation in this Disney short about a storm that nearly destroys the old mill of the title.

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Post #: 100
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 20/2/2013 7:45:02 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
144. The Simpsons: A Fish Called Selma



1996
Director: Mark Kirkland

Troy McClure plans to revive his career by marrying a beard in the shape of Selma. The Planet of the Apes musical alone means this is better than most other things on the list.

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Post #: 101
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 22/2/2013 7:52:56 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
143. Pinocchio



1940
Director: Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen

Gepetto carves a boy out of wood, who is then animated by the Blue Fairy who promises him he can be a real live boy. The Pleasure Island sequence makes this one of Disney's darkest works.

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Post #: 102
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 22/2/2013 7:59:13 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
142. Felidae



1994
Director: Michael Schaak

Like a kitty-snuff take on The Aristocats, Felidae is a German animated film noir. With cats. Francis, and his can-opener move into a new neighbourhood, where he soon discovers other cats have been turning up murdered. Assisted by local cat, Bluebeard, Francis begins to investigate the attacks and finds himself caught up in a strange conspiracy that takes in seduction, bigotry, and even cat religion. It doesn't try to make the cats cute, one of the most interesting aspects of the film is that treats cats as cats, which actually makes them the perfect animal for noir. Also, the film doesn't just rely on a gimmicky presence, it creates a fascinating mystery, interesting characters, and it also has something to say about man's cruelty to species that are thought of as inferior. A brutal piece of animation, that's most definitely not for children, but that should be seen by anyone with a love of the hidden corners of animated cinema.

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Post #: 103
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 22/2/2013 8:05:34 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
141. Futurama: Parasites Lost



2001
Director: Peter Avanzino

Fantastic Voyage, Futurama style, as the team shrink themselves down and enter Fry's body to destroy worms.

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Post #: 104
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 8:55:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
140. Futurama: Luck of the Fryrish



2001
Director: Chris Louden

Another Futurama favourite, this one focusing on the relationship between Fry and his brother.

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Post #: 105
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 8:59:54 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
139. Chico & Rita



2010
Director: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando

Beautifully animated film charts the relationship and dreams of success between a Cuban songwriter and singer.

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Post #: 106
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:02:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
138. The Castle of Cagliostro



1979
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Gentleman thief Arsene Lupin III plans to save a princess from a forced marriage in this pre-Ghibli Miyazaki feature.

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Post #: 107
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:06:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
137. Pom Poko



1994
Director: Isao Takahata

Taking its inspiration from Japanese folklore, Pom Poko sees tanuki (shape-shifting Raccoons) fighting back against a property development that encroaches on their space.

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Post #: 108
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:08:50 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
136. Creature Comforts



1989
Director: Nick Park

Aardman short feauring animals in a zoo talking about their living conditions.

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Post #: 109
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:11:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
135. The Adventures Of TinTin: Secret Of The Unicorn



2011
Director: Steven Spielberg

Young reporter Tintin buys a model of a boat and finds himself caught up in the mystery of the Unicorn. Spielberg taking on one of my childhood icons should have been a disaster, instead it was not only Spielberg's best film since Raiders, it's also a really great piece of animation.

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Post #: 110
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:16:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
134. Waltz with Bashir



2008
Director: Ari Folman

Autobiographical film about the director's experiences as part of the Israeli army. Amazingly snubbed in the animated feature category at the Oscars in favour of Bolt.

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Post #: 111
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:20:20 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
133. The Zoot Cat



1944
Director: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

Tom wants to impress a female cat so makes himself a zoot suit, my personal favourite T&J.

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Post #: 112
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:21:15 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
132. The Band Concert



1935
Director: Wilfred Jackson

Mickey Mouse is conducting an outdoor concert, the orchestra populated by the likes of Clarabelle Cow, Goofy, Peter Pig and Horace Horsecollar. Mickey's attempts to play the William Tell overture are thwarted by Donald Duck. He arrives selling ice cream, but soon diverts the orchestra when he starts to play Turkey in the Straw on his flute. As the music changes from the overture to The Storm, a tornado sweeps its way through the town, sending the musicians whirling through the air. Professionalism will out though, and the piece comes to an end with Donald applauding the performers. This was the first Mickey Mouse film in colour, and the animation is rich, vibrant and incredibly detailed. The final sequences, once the storm has arrived, needs to be seen over and over to pick up in all the details. It's also incredibly funny, for me so not so much in a "ha ha” way, but a kind of "I can't believe what I'm seeing” way, similar to Buster Keaton. Few characters in any film have ever risen above the troubles presented to them in such a manner of the folk in this short and watching them do is incredibly joyous.

- Gimli the Dwarf

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Post #: 113
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 24/2/2013 9:26:03 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
131. The Simpsons: Marge vs The Monorail



1993
Director: Rich Moore

A con-artist (voiced by the God that was Phil Hartman and based on The Music Man) persuades the citizens of Springfield to build a monorail, with Homer as the conductor. Written by Coco and directed by the creator of Wreck-It Ralph, this legendary episode had its twentieth birthday last month. I feel so old.

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Post #: 114
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 5:32:25 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
130. Lady and The Tramp



1955
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

Free-spirit hooks up with an uptight and upclass girl and ditches his old pals.

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Post #: 115
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 5:33:56 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
129. Street of Crocodiles



1986
Director: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay

Adapted from a short novel by Bruno Schulz, The Quays took his dream-logic writing and used it to create this wonderous short animation. An ancient kinetoscope machine stands on display in a museum. Deep within the kinetoscope lies the Street Of Crocodiles, a street of abberations that lies just beneath normal reality. The museum keeper spits into the eye of the machine and brings life to the dirt covered mechanism, setting it into motion. We then meet the main puppet, first tethered by a string that the museum keeper cuts through. The puppet can now roam free and the explores the world of the street of crocodiles, a world both unsettling and unfriendly. Normal laws no longer apply and bizarre machines and inanimate objects come to life to perform pointless and repetitive actions. The puppets journey comes to an end in a makeshift tailoring establishment, where figures with hollowed out heads glide around and in a shop filled with disturbing imagery such as pinned organs and a bizarre obsession with screws.

While it may not make much sense from the synopsis, the entire short is both a metaphor for the creative process and for life itself. The machine being brought to life by the old man represents the Quays creating a new world through cinema. Some mysterious form of alchemy changes everything, ordinary objects are transformed into something mythical. But while the film represents life, it takes a very bleak view of it. Everything is mechanical and meaningless, life clings on but there's no passion, it's all empty. Street Of Crocodiles is a desolate and haunting experience, one that is reflected in the isolation of the hero in a world he doesn't understand.

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Post #: 116
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 5:37:25 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
128. Arthur Christmas



2011
Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook

Aardman take on Christmas and lose.

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Post #: 117
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 5:40:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
127. The Illusionist



2010
Director: Sylvain Chomet

Beautiful, Tati-inspired animated feature about the relationship between an elderly stage magician and a young girl.

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Post #: 118
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 5:45:12 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
126. Futurama: Roswell That Ends Well



2001
Director: Rich Moore

The team crash-land in Roswell and Fry... well, watch it and see.

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Post #: 119
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 5:49:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
125. The Meaning of Life



2005
Director: Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt is one of those rare film-makers whose work is constantly evolving and improving. His films are immediately distinctive, even if someone tries a cheap knock-off, the cynicism and wit behind the stick figures is pure Hertzfeldt. For an animator whose work is constantly evolving, it's fitting that one of his greatest cartoons to date is one all about evolution.

The Meaning Of Life is a 12 minute epic that took nearly four years to create, involving thousands of drawings, each animated by hand by Hertzfeldt. He traces the evolution of the human race from mere blobs, through today, where we have become a mess of people making demands while ignoring the rest of humanity, and far into the future where we have evolved into new forms. Some things remain constant, mankind is selfish, thoughtless and lost.

The Meaning Of Life has been compared to 2001 by more than one critic, and while that may seem a bold claim, it's a fitting one. Hertzfeldt brings the same mixture of ambition and insanity to this twelve minute cartoon as Kubrick brought to his film. The Meaning Of Life is so much more complex and has such depth that it seems almost incredible to think that it is such a short cartoon and that the characters are just stick figures. It's inspiring, bold and fucking beautiful, even if it is one of the most cynical films I've ever seen.

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