Welcome to the Rotoscopers Roundtable, a new feature where, each week, the Rotoscopers crew takes one question and gives their answers to it. If you have a question you’d like us to answer, ask in the comments below!
This week’s question: What’s your favorite animated movie, and why?
Mine is ‘Toy Story 3‘. It came out 6 months before I graduated high school, so I was already struggling with change and letting go. Plus, I grew up absolutely adoring the other two ‘Toy Story’ movies and my obsession with Pixar and animation was starting; I was reading every book I could about those topics and I simply couldn’t be more excited.
I went to see it the day it came out and I just remember laughing so much and being really engaged by the characters’ dilemmas (they were my own, after all). And then, when the toys hold hands in the incinerator I started crying and it just got worse and worse afterwards. I swear, the lady next to me must still have nightmares about how much I was crying.
But I couldn’t help it. I saw myself in Woody and I was struggling with the same things. I was going to stop seeing my friends, a new chapter of my life was about to start, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was very scared and seeing Woody go through the same thing helped a lot. I used to cling onto people and things in fear of losing them, but ‘Toy Story 3′ genuinely changed me in a big way. Not only did my relationships become healthier (just as Woody and Andy’s), but it made me realize that I wanted to work in film, because that movie rocked me to my very core and, ever since that day, my goal has been to touch someone’s life that way.
I have so many favorite movies that it is almost impossible for me to narrow it down to just one. The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, How to Train Your Dragon, Spirited Away, and The Incredibles are just a few that I would call my favorites. To pick just one is almost impossible, but when asked, the first one that always jumps to mind is ‘Wall-E‘.
‘Wall-E’ is such a unique film, in that it’s almost a silent film for at least half of it, but it makes you fall completely in love with the main character, even though he doesn’t say much more than his own name. The story just pulls you in without almost no verbal exposition, and it does it so well.
The fact that they managed to make these characters so lovable, even though they are just machines, speaks volumes about the talent that went into designing and animating them. There is just so much to love about ‘Wall-E’, that it would probably be my favorite animated film, if it weren’t for…
‘Fantasia‘. Wall-E is always the first to jump to mind when someone asks me what my favorite movie is, but when I really start thinking about favorite films, ‘Fantasia’ is always right there, waiting for me to remember it.
‘Fantasia’ has been a favorite since I was a little kid. It was the only animated movie my grandparents owned, so I would watch it at least once a year as a little kid when we went to visit them. I would eagerly await the scenes with the dinosaurs, as well as the zebra centaurs, which I thought were so cool.
Now, as an adult, I still love it, but have a deeper appreciation for everything in the film. The animation is amazing, and the music is timeless. I can never hear the music anywhere else without thinking of the scenes from ‘Fantasia’ that go along with them.
‘Fantasia’ is one of the few films from my childhood that I would still rank as a favorite. I had plenty of movies I loved as a kid, but upon watching as an adult, probably wouldn’t hold up. Unlike so many others, Fantasia has stood the test of time.
This is a tough question, since I have a lot of favorite movies, but my top favorite would be ‘Ratatouille‘, with ‘Big Hero 6‘ coming in second.
I was enchanted by ‘Ratatouille’ when I first saw the movie. I love Paris, good food, and an original story line that sticks with you long after you watch the film. Throw in gorgeous animation, fantastic voice acting, comedy, and a great message that resounds across all age groups, and you get one delicious, memorable movie.
Even though ‘Big Hero 6′ is a recent movie, I connected with the film in unexpected ways. I’ve recently started college, so I can understand the anxiety and pressure Hiro had to face, but I can also relate to the wonderful opportunities that college has to offer: avenues to sharpen your talents and interests, friendships to be made and cherished, and the potential to expand yourself into a better person. The biggest connection I took away from ‘Big Hero 6’ was the close relationship between Tadashi and Hiro. I have an older brother and younger brother, and I’m close with both of them. On one hand, I can understand how Tadashi worries and looks out for his younger sibling (I do that plenty!), but I can also relate to Hiro’s love, respect, and dependence for his older brother. Tadashi’s death nearly made me cry as it reminded me of the importance of family, the frailty of life, and the memories we carry of those we love the most.
I struggled to come up with the right movie to single out as my favorite. However, as I thought, my mind kept going back to one film. Eventually, I realized that my favorite animated movie of all time is Brad Bird’s ‘The Iron Giant‘.
One of the things I love most about ‘The Iron Giant’ is the sense of period that fills the film. I love all the tiny ’50s details that Bird and his crew pepper throughout the film, from “I want my Maypo!” and cheesy monster movies of the period to duck-and-cover drills in school. Most importantly, though, the film does a great job of portraying the paranoia that gripped the world at the time, symbolized by Sputnik moving across the sky.
I think the animation is a perfect blend between 2D and 3D animation. I love 2D animation, and I think it gives the movie a sense of warmth and familiarity. I also like how the computer animation helps give the characters a fluid, natural motion. Speaking of the characters, I think that all the voice acting is top-notch. I don’t think Vin Diesel has ever done better work than he has here. My other favorites include Christopher McDonald as Mansley and Eli Marienthal as Hogarth.
The thing that I love most about the film, though, is the powerful theme that lies at its core. That theme, in my opinion, is that we choose our destinies. We all have huge potential inside of us, and it’s up to us to decide if we’re going to use it for good or for evil. ‘The Iron Giant’ gives us two moving examples of two characters who used their power for good: Hogarth in helping the Giant, and the Giant as he makes a huge sacrifice at the end of the film.
For me, it’s a close call between ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ and ‘Aladdin‘, but I think I’ll go with the former. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of film that few animated films have been able to surpass. The movie came out the year I was born (an awesome fact I will tell everyone I meet), although I didn’t really watch it till I was a few years older. Every single element is pristine and perfect: the animation, the music, the characters and, of course, the story. That epic ballroom scene still gives me chills.
My love for this film hit a peak on my 19th birthday, because that very same day, I got to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D (for the first time in a theatre, no less!). Needless to say, that was one of my best birthdays ever.
I particularly love the theme of true beauty being found within. During my insecure teenage years, this was a message that really reminded me that it doesn’t matter what people look like, what matters is who they are.
There are a lot of animated movies that I adore, but ‘Beauty and the Beast’ stands out as being one that I can never truly forget. It’s a special kind of film – classy, stately and soaringly romantic. In my opinion, nothing can ever top this classic.
(PS: Sky-high expectations for the live action remake!)
I’m going to agree with Pablo and say ‘Toy Story 3‘. Like many audience members, ‘Toy Story’ was my JAM when I was little. Woody and Buzz were my most prized toys and adorned everything from my bedspread to my pajamas. As I grew older, ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Toy Story 2′ transitioned from becoming my favorite babysitters to being legitimate lessons of friendship and examples of wonderful narrative storytelling. ‘Toy Story 3′ was appropriately a capstone of that collective transition. I grew up with this series, and now it was time for it to grow up with me.
Even when disregarding any personal attachment, the film still stands as a beacon of excellence. As a sequel, it challenges its own norms in a way that adds depth to the characters’ personalities and struggles. As a story, it mixes the element of surprise with an unexpected level of intensity. With each new turn, whether the reveal of Lotso’s true colors or the descent into the inferno, we are surprised at how much we feel emotionally invested in the story’s outcome. A remarkable script laced with reverence for the legacy that continues (one that it knows means a lot to the audience) makes ‘Toy Story 3′ my favorite animated film.
‘Aladdin‘. The main reason is because the plot, characters and songs are so charming. Aladdin, as a male protagonist, is expertly animated (thank you, Glen Keane!) and interesting. The other characters, such as Jafar the villain and Iago the parrot, are also interesting foils to our main hero. Then, of course, there’s the Genie in what I believe is one of Robin Williams’ best roles. This movie is funny. Yes, some references are dated (even then they were dated to some), but the overall humor and tone is what makes this film so fun.
However, I do completely realize that nostalgia plays a big factor in why this is my favorite film (I fell asleep to this film ever night in high school, leading to me having seen it over 500 films). When ‘Aladdin’ was released, this film really started my conscious obsession with Disney animated films. From this point on, I have always looked forward to the newest WDAS releases.
Max den Hartog:
My favorite animated movies of all time? ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ and ‘Ratatouille‘. If I had to choose the best film out of these two, though, I would definitely go with ‘Ratatouille’. It’s amazing how Pixar managed to make this fun, touching, inspiring movie out of a rather silly premise; who’d ever thought a film about a rat who wants to be a chef in Paris could be this good? The film is beautiful to look at, has a wonderful story, and one of the best scores ever made for an animated movie, but what makes Ratatouille special to me is that the film has always inspired me to continue dreaming. A great artist can come from anywhere, after all.
I have to go with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ because of the nostalgia. I think we all have that one animated movie that we watched over and over while growing up. For me, that movie was ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It was a fun and colorful film that I literally watched every day up until the moment we replaced our VHS player with a DVD player. I didn’t watch the film for years, and then, a few years back I finally re-watched it after not having seen it for years. Only then I truly realized what a masterpiece it is. It was not just the fun and colorful film that I watched as a kid, but it also had groundbreaking animation, amazing music, and, above all, a wonderful message about love.
Both ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Ratatouille’ are amazing films that have inspired me and will hopefully continue to inspire me. They are both really special to me, and that’s why they’re my favorite animated movies.
As others have mentioned, there are plenty of films that could qualify. But for simplicity, I’ll go for a more recent one: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2‘. I’ll never forget being in the movie theater and having a big, dumb smile across my face as an animated film dared to go epic and succeeded.