Top 10 Animated Movies

Because I am a child, and am sitting here watching cartoons right now, gave me a thought for an easy list blog. Needed after the last few days.

10) Disney’s Aladdin- I love music and this film a great soundtrack. It has become a bit of a cliche, but with characters like Iago, the film goes that extra mile. As a kid, this film made me really happy, and to date I still know every word to One Step Ahead. It is one where the straight-to-video sequels (Return of Jafar and Prince of Thieves) are rather fun too.

9)The Care Bear Movie- looking back on it, the animation is shoddy and the audio synching is out, but I still like it. I think it is pure nostalgia that gets this one on the list, as the story was something that resonated with me when I was little. But… I liked animals, and this having the Care Bear Cousins was great for me. The whole idea that the world has stopped caring enough that, the Care Bear’s skyward home of Care-A-Lot is falling apart. So Funshine Bear and Secret Bear set out on a mission. They don’t do kiddy adventure like this anymore. Seriously.

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8)Disney’s Lilo & Stitch- poor Lilo no pals finds a fugitive alien, and keeps him as a pet dog. This is a typical Disney film, in the sense it has fun, with the right amount of tragedy. It also has an Elvis Presley soundtrack, which marks it out as a bit different as a Disney film. Also doing that, is the whole alien and space theme, which hasn’t really taken off in Disney’s animated movies, despite previous attempts. This is another one where the home released sequels are also fun. Check out Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch and Leroy & Stitch.

7)Pokémon: The First Movie- Like most people my age in Scotland, Pokémon was the first anime most of us watched as kids. I always remember the buzz of the movie, as it ran along with the original series. Mewtwo was a pretty exciting concept, a super Pokémon. It is in a near identical tone to the original series. Team Rocket, Pikachu, Ash, Misty and Brock are all there, and it’s fun. As with much of the series, Team Rocket steal large parts of the show, with their one liners and bickering.

6)Daria: Is It College Yet?- I loved Daria, and whilst people may not include a TV movie-episode as a real movie, I do. This serves as the end of the entire series of Daria. Now, as a teenager, I don’t there was any other TV character I could resonate more with, than Daria Morgendorfer. This movie sees Daria and their classmates preparing to leave High School and head to college. This film pretty much nails that ‘end of High School’ feeling. The fear, the worry, and then realising that nothing really changes. The earlier TV movie, Is It Summer Yet, is also available and greatly entertaining.

5)Disney’s The Fox And The Hound- I have mentioned before on here that I wanted a pet fox as a kid. That was the main reason I looked at this film when I was younger. But it is great, if not tinged with sadness. A fox and a hound dog become friends, without realising they are natural enemies. This is one of the Disney films, that starts sad and ends up at an almighty climax. Talking animal movies have always been a weakness, and this is one of the best. Give the home released sequel a miss though, not a great addition at all.

4) Spirited Away- this Studio Ghibli production is just breathtaking. Little Chihiro is transported into the Spirit world, where she works for a witch to try and get home. It is a beautiful looking movie, with a fantastic storyline that sucks you in. Like, this is one of those movies, where people who ‘don’t watch cartoons’ could watch. It started to change how animated films were thought of, and really pushed anime into a bigger limelight in all corners of the world. This is just a great film to watch.

3) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut- This film is fantastic. It, like many others on this list, runs along side the still running series. It ridicules so much, and it does it flawlessly. It is focused around the release of The Terrance & Phillip movie, and Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny, need to see it. It, of course, has lots of swearing and lots of fantastic songs, especially Satan’s solo effort. It is guilty of sending lots of kids to schools singing ‘Shut your f**king face, Uncle f**ker’, which was hilarious as a 14 year old. But it was a lot of fun. Still is, the series is still running after 20 seasons, and is still as cutting as ever.

2) Disney’ The Lion King- this is going to shock a lot of people who know me, cause I adore the Lion King. It is one movie that I know word for word, and it’s talking animals, again. The songs, by Elton John and Tim Rice were spot on, as were double act, Timon and Pumba. It is one of those movies that simply comes together. This film just captivates me every time i watch it, no matter how often that is. Both sequels: Simba’s Pride and Lion King 1 1/2 are also really great.

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1) Akira- this film is one that captivates people. I remember buying it on DVD, after watching it online a LOT, and my brother coming in and just getting pulled in, even though he had no idea what was happening. It is THAT kind of film. It starts, with a bike crash, and ends up scaring the living crap out of you, or it did me. It is hard to explain why this film is so good, but it is. It has a very harsh look to the animation, which along with the fantastically dark sound track, helps build an atmosphere I have never seen another animated movie do. The pain and suffering that Tetsou goes through can actually become hard to watch, but it helps build this unbelievable tension.

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Have I got it right? When thinking of this list, I assumed it would be a lot more Disney. And when I stared thinking about what an animated film can do… well, Akira had to be number 1. Is there any films any readers would add? Please let me know.

Kopa Real? (The Lion King Controversy )

So, after another immense and long discussion on the nature of Kopa, I decided I needed to say a few things about it. Kopa is a character who has become connect with Disney’s The Lion King.

Why? Well in November 1994 Grolier Enterprises, Inc. released a series of books which were a spin off from the original Lion King movie, called Six New Adventures. As you can probably gather, they were six picture/ story books which had new stories, taken from the Lion King universe. All sounds very happy. But these books conclude that the cub born at the end of the first movie, was a boy called Kopa. And Kopa is at the centre of many of the stories in the books. However, when the second movie (Simba’s Pride) kicks off, the cub born, Simba and Nala’s ONLY cub is a girl called Kiara.

These inconsistances has lead to some conspiracy theories that Kopa was killed or he went rogue and left the Pride. The inconsistances which occured with the crossover in animation between TLK and SP, has also broken any sense of continuance that was intended. For example, the end of TLK the cub is ‘shown’ at dusk, at the start of SP the cub is ‘shown’ at dawn. These inconsistances, are what have lead people to believe that there was a passing of considerable time between TLK and SP. So another cub could exist.

Why the controversy? Well a lot of Pride Landers (including myself) do not accept Kopa as part of TLK saga. Mostly because these additional characters (Kopa) were created by individual authors and were not actually produced by Walt Disney. Also, the Six New Adventures series WAS NOT sold outside of America. The reasoning behind this, is because the company that made the books were not believed to sell the trademarks outside the USA.

This is where it gets complicated.

The suspected process of the books were this, some stories were outlined by a group of authors. Grolier, the company making the books, contacted Disney to get permission to use a variety of trademarks, including characters, logos, etc. Disney would have green-lighted that Grolier could use so many trademarks. And because of this, and the rules, to get a character they could fully shape, Grolier and the authors decided to create an original character, called Kopa. They had more freedom of the stories including Kopa, and could get the storylines the wanted, whereas there would have been stricter regulations if it was cub Simba the stories where about. One of the rules on allowing a company to use some trademarks is that the agreement would be purely domestic, which means that the books could not be marketed anywhere outside the US.

This means that whilst Disney gave Grolier permission to use a number of trademarks, the actual stories were not authorised by Disney. It sounds strange, and more than a little muddy. But the stories themselves were not created by Disney, and have been denied as part of the saga by the makers of both TLK and SP movies. This leads you to believe that Kopa is not a recognised character, and therefore is non-canon, as he has no direct relation to the original material.

The inconsistency in animation are still there between TLK and SP, but this is more because of the change in budget and the people working on the films. To say that another cub had been born, had all these adventures, and just vanished makes no sense. So sorry. Kopa is a non-starter as far as I’m concerned.