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RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:01:06 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
124. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs



1937
Director: David Hand, William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen

Woman moves in with seven midgets who have been dehumanised to the extent that they are only identified by a personality trait. They work all day in the mine while she naps, when the lazy bugger finally gets her arse out of bed, she ditches them for a guy with money.. I like to think Freaks was a response to this film.

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Post #: 121
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:05:18 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
123. Sleeping Beauty



1959
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman

Public Information Film about the dangers of using a spinning wheel.

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Post #: 122
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:08:41 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
122. The Borrower Arrietty



2010
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Ghibli takes on Mary Norton's classic children's novel about a family of tiny people who live beneath the floorboards in a human house and creates the kind of inspired fantasy that few other animation studios can come close to.

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Post #: 123
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:13:33 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
121. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm



1993
Director: Eric Radomski, Bruce W. Timm

Batman chucks in the cape and cowl and makes a new life for himself teaching underprivileged children to do the Batusi.

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Post #: 124
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:21:00 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
120. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time



2006
Director: Mamoru Hosoda

So there's this girl and she totally leaps through time. Nothing to do with Quantum Leap's Evil Leaper, sadly.

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Post #: 125
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:24:08 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
119. Feed the Kitty



1952
Director: Chuck Jones

Fierce looking mutt adopts adorable little kitten. His mistress has already warned him he's not to bring home any new toys, so he goes to great lengths to conceal the kitty. Should have been in the top 100. Monsters Inc is one long homage to this short.

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Post #: 126
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:29:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
118. The Simpsons: Deep Space Homer



1994
Director: Carlos Baeza

These classic Simpsons episodes appearing in the list make me a bit sad because the show is nowhere near this inspired these days.

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Post #: 127
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:46:48 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
117. Fantasia 2000



1999
Director: Many

Sequel to Fantasia, more mixes of classic musical and cartoons.

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Post #: 128
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:47:47 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
116. It's Such a Beautiful Day



2012
Director: Don Hertzfeldt

Final chapter of Hertzfeldt's astonishing Bill trilogy.

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Post #: 129
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:48:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
115. Going! Going! Gosh!



1951
Director: Chuck Jones

Road Runner: Accelerati Incredibilis
Coyote: Carnivorous Vulgaris

Orders from ACME
- Street Cleaners' Wagon
-
A lot of people, understandably, think this is where Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner hit their stride. 3rd cartoon in. We know them and we know the score – let hilarity ensure. In the order for this list you'll notice the backdrops look pretty different in this one – more colour, more detail – more like an actual desert. It was only later that the lines became broader and the features more abstract.

The worst moments are always when Wile E thinks he might actually be able to catch him – and then the cocky little bugger turns round and flicks his tongue at him before hitting top speed. It includes a traditional Looney Tunes cross-dressing attempt (although somewhat rarer in these cartoons) fails – as usual. Here we get the first instance of Wile E painting the false backdrop and the laws of physics that are broken as a result – I particularly like the slight hesitation when viewing his masterpiece and the decision to add a couple of clouds. The wonderful visual of the dusty 'Oh No!'. some great tension is built up with rock and bird but, really, we know the true suspense is how the rock will get back to Wile E. The care in the direction is there – we don't just see the rock crush Wile E, we flash back to his face instead as the shadow of the rock grows.

This also gives the lie early on to the supposed 'roadrunner will do no harm' rule – he regularly does. He is evil. And he is driving the truck. QED.

Elab49

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Post #: 130
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:51:21 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
114. Peter and the Wolf



2006
Director: Suzie Templeton

Peter and the Wolf as a recording has a pretty amazing pedigree – some of the best actors and best voices from film and TV have narrated versions including Ustinov, Guinness – Boris Karloff, John Gielgud and even David Attenborough (it's also the reason Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev have Grammys!). It's turned up on Muppet Babies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkqqtdIx6CA, it was one of the last things Chuck Jones did with a short in 1996 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQfgxDVbopo. It's a pretty popular work. And, IMO, this short is the best representation of it of any I've seen or heard, and amongst the darkest takes on the tale.

Suzie Templeton's adaptation of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf is probably what started me looking out short films. I mean, I saw cartoons aplenty, and Wallace and Gromit, etc. But other shorts – the ones nominated for Oscars, the live-action – were either too difficult to find or you didn't know where to start. I'd loved catching Six-Shooter on Channel 4 a couple of years before but it was this, also a Channel 4 transmission that had me absolutely transfixed.

Young Peter defies his grandfather and gets through a locked gate into the forest, to help a damaged crow fly, accompanied by his friend the duck. The wolf his grandfather warned him about appears, being tracked by local hunters. But Peter tries to catch it by himself.

The story has changed some from the original, particularly in deepening some of the connections and expanding Peter's life – we see him bullied in town by the hunters who turn up later and, as a result, we see the close bond between him and his only friend, the duck, creating a stronger emotional connection to make what follows more difficult (this is not the Disneyfied version!). This combines to make the world the other side of the fence some kind of special place, all the more for it being denied him – glimpsing through the fence the light shines on the pond at the edge of the forest, brightening it like an icy wonderland, and being denied it just turns it into forbidden fruit. The crow, with its anthropomorphic mannerisms brings a great deal of unexpected humour to the story, and the cat nearly loses out deservedly through hubris. But what we really get a feel for with Templeton's very expressive stop-motion animation is the feeling Peter has for capturing this wild creature after the shock of his loss, a sense of Peter's own wildness and empathy with this outsider creature particularly when the bully pulls the same tricks on the captured animal. So when Templeton's film departs completely from the original ending it is wholly in keeping with the distinct world she has created.

The film is chock full of wonderful moments – the crow's desperation to get back in the air; the cat pretending its jump didn't happen, stalking nonchalantly off the ice, nose in air. And the face-offs between Peter and the wolf. This is amazingly powerful filmmaking – the character of Peter is just so well put together, and his motivations, fears and hopes, his moment of fun and coming alive are so beautifully drawn that it draws you in to watch again and again, each viewing even more satisfying than the last. A particular nod to the superb lighting in the film – like Doggy Poo earlier, it is brilliantly and realistically shot.

- Elab 49

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Post #: 131
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:53:36 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
113. The Big Snit



1985
Director: Richard Condie

Another gem from the National Film Board of Canada. A couple get so engrossed while arguing over a Scrabble game that they don't notice the world is ending.

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Post #: 132
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 26/2/2013 6:56:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
112. To Beep or not To Beep



1963
Director: Chuck Jones

Sadistic bird trolls Coyote.

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Post #: 133
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 4:57:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
111. 5 Centimetres Per Second



2007
Director: Makoto Shinkai

A tale of two friends separated by fate but maintain contact.


< Message edited by rawlinson -- 27/2/2013 4:58:09 PM >

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Post #: 134
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:01:14 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
110. The Tell-Tale Heart



1953
Director: Art Babbitt, Ted Parmalee

Unsettling adaptation of the Poe classic, voiced by James Mason.

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Post #: 135
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:04:21 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
109. Goshu the Cellist



1982
Director: Isao Takahata

A gorgeous pre-Ghibli animation from Takahata, Goshu is a simple but heartfelt tale. When Goshu struggles to keep up with the orchestra he plays for, he finds himself helped along by a series of visits from woodland animals. A slight plot that's made magical by the detail and joy Takahata finds in each encounter.

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Post #: 136
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:11:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
108. The Mouse and His Child



1977
Director: Charles Swenson, Fred Wolf

File this with Watership Down, The Plague Dogs and The Secret Of NIMH as one of a select bunch of animated films that parents in the 80s seemed to think were for children. They'd pop their little ones down in front of these films, not dreaming of the lasting trauma they were causing.

Bizarrely attacked by critics on its initial release, The Mouse And His Child seems to have become forgotten by everyone except by those who had their fragile young minds twisted by it. The main characters, two clockwork mice, who hold hands and can only walk in a circle befriend a toy elephant and seal before they're thrown away from the toyshop. The two mice long to find their way back to this odd but loving family, and to become 'self-winding' along the way. The outside world is depicted as a terrifying, unsafe, place where characters like Manny The Rat (Peter Ustinov, brilliant as ever in his voice work) enslaves toys he can use for slave labour and destroys those who are too old to work any longer.

The Mouse And His Child could have gone for the easy option, there is a very sweet-natured streak running through the film and it would have been all too easy to embrace that and make the film sickly sentimental. Instead, it focuses on darker, more thoughtful, and more philosophical issues. The film can be incredibly distressing for children. Manny's destruction of some of the animals pushes the film well beyond the territory of Bambi's Mother. Although many claim the more insightful aspects have been blunted from the original novel, it certainly still gives you plenty to think about. In particular, the mices' journey to become self-winding reflects a child's journey to adulthood and independent thought, where you no longer are ruled by those who turn the key in your back. A brilliant, sadly forgotten film

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Post #: 137
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:15:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
107. Northwest Hounded Police



1946
Director: Tex Avery

Tex Avery's Wolf character is imprisoned in Alka-Fizz. He draws a door in his prison cell and escapes through it, quickly fleeing America for Canada. The Mounties are assigned to aid in the wolf-hunt, one of whom is Sgt McPoodle, played by Droopy. He's the hero. He gets the task of catching the criminal and goes off in pursuit. Droopy catches up to the Wolf with ease, and no matter what he does, he can't lose Droopy. Droopy is under the smallest stone, on the remotest island, at the top of the highest mountain. Even when the Wolf gets plastic surgery he ends up looking like Droopy. A lot of the comedy in Avery's animation comes from jokes that are repeated and turned up a notch every time. Think of the increasing sizes in King-Size Canary or the objects that fall on the bulldog in Bad Luck Blackie. Here the repetition comes through the Wolf's reactions, growing more startled and more extreme each time Droopy turns up in an unexpected place. Droopy and the Wolf are one of animation's great double-acts, and Northwest Hounded Police is their best film together.

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Post #: 138
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:17:10 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
106. Tangled



2010
Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

And Swords didn't even vote.

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Post #: 139
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:19:54 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
105. Ninja Scroll



1993
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Ninja vs demons. I haven't seen this film in a long time. Bet you couldn't tell.

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Post #: 140
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:21:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

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



2009
Director: Eddie White, Ari Gibson

A cat poet tells the tale of a tragic event that befell his cat city. The narrator cat was happy, he'd fallen in love with a beautiful cat jazz-singer, but then all the cat singers in town began to disappear. Human footprints were found at the crime scenes and the narrator discovered the legend of the cat piano, a human invention where cats are tortured with nails through the tail in order to produce every note on the scale from a giant organ. The hero falls into a suicidal despair before assembling an army of cats to find the human responsible. A remarkable film noir-ish animated short that while never reaching the heights of Felidae, provides an interesting new entry in the tiny sub-genre of kitty-noir. The narration is read as a beat-esque poem and our narrator is none other than the icon himself, Nick Cave.

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Post #: 141
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:26:46 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
103. Kung Fu Panda



2008
Director: Mark Osbourne, John Stevenson

Bumbling panda becomes a kung-fu master. From Dreamworks, who today announced they'd be laying off 350 staff members because their films weren't making enough of a profit. Maybe if they hired voice actors rather than highly paid movie stars that the film's target audience don't give a shit about then their films could be made for a little less money.

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Post #: 142
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:28:15 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
102. The Simpsons Movie



2007
Director: David Silverman

Imagine a couple of weaker episodes pasted together to make a feature.

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Post #: 143
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:29:43 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
101. Fast and Furry-ous



1949
Director: Chuck Jones

The first appearance of Wile. E and Road Runner.

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Post #: 144
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:38:19 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
100. For The Birds



2000
Director: Ralph Eggleston

As with most of Pixar’s work, For the Birds’ brilliance lies in its simplicity. The plot is simple – a gang of bickering birds are sitting on a telephone wire when they spy a larger, gangly bird. His attempts at making friends are cruelly mocked, but soon the little birds get their comeuppance. A simple morality tale, you may think, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a work of comic genius. The animation is fantastic with the expressions and mannerisms of the little birds being absolutely perfect – the look of pure maliciousness in their eyes is so well captured. Pixar prove just how good they are by not using dialogue; the angry squeaks and squawks of the small birds and the goofy honk of the larger bird tell the story perfectly, as well as providing a lot of laughs. It’s funny to the very end (the bird crap “The End” card always makes me chuckle) and the background music is great too. It’s a short I can come back to again and again, with the jokes never getting old.
Best moment: the moment of realisation as the telephone wire reaches the ground. Perfect.

- MovieAddict247

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Post #: 145
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:44:48 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
99. Tale of Tales



1979
Director: Yuri Norstein

Often acclaimed as the greatest animated film of all time, Tale of Tales is a tender and poetic meditation on the history of Russia. It's about how the history of Russia as a nation becomes intertwined with the memories and history of the individual. In many ways it's an animated companion to Tarkovsky's Mirror in its examination of memory and childhood. It attempts to capture the structure of human memory, so the film feels fragmented instead of running in chronological order. Associations are made between thoughts and images until we have a series of connected imagery that's difficult to penetrate.

One of the film's main concerns is war, especially Russian losses on the Eastern Front. While there's no on-screen combat, the film is very focused on the effects of war. We are shown dancing couples who are split apart as the men disappear and are replaced by grim reapers and notifications of death coming back to the waiting wives and mothers.

The other main thread is Norstein's memories and fantasies of childhood. A boy watches crows in a tree and he dreams of sitting with them and sharing his apple. We hear a lullaby of a little grey wolf and we see the wolf and how the lullaby misunderstands him. The wolf is the highlight of the short, clever, inquisitive and one of the sweetest animated characters. Norstein contrasts this innocence with the effects of war and leaves us with a poignant and whimsical masterpiece.

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Post #: 146
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:53:28 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
98. Jumping



1984
Director: Osamu Tezuka

Brilliantly inventive short. The viewer is in the pov of the lead character, someone jumping down the street, with the jumps getting progressively higher and landing in odder and odder places.

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Post #: 147
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 5:58:50 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
97. A Bug's Life



1998
Director: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

Seven Samurai - Pixar style.

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Post #: 148
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 6:02:24 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
96. Yellow Submarine



1968
Director: George Dunning

Inventive animated fantasy based on The Beatles' song.

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Post #: 149
RE: The Empire Animation Countdown - 27/2/2013 6:05:47 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
95. Rango



2011
Director: Gore Verbinski

A chameleon ends up sheriff of a drought-ridden small western town. What happened to Johnny Depp's career that he's more convincing as an animated chameleon than in his live-action roles?

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Post #: 150
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