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Underrated Cartoon Films... Thoughts?
itsjustaar at 3:25PM, Dec. 3, 2010
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I dunno, whenever a new animated film comes out, it doesn't excite me as much as it used. Not that I'm older now and wiser; but the same energy doesn't seem to kick in whenever I see a trailer for it on a movie theater. I will admit, I enjoy seeing the new wave of Disney/Pixar films like ‘Toy Story 3’, or Dreamwork's ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’, along those lines. But I suppose it was the kind of awe and wonder of a traditionally animated film, with an original concept and a story with heart, as opposed to keeping up with the modern trends. I suppose I'm old fashioned…? xD

A year ago I used to hang out with some folks who enjoyed films that were underrated, or deserved a bit more attention than they should have gotten. Take, for example, 'Cats Don't Dance'.

As one of the last films with Gene Kelly assisting, it's a movie I rarely ever saw advertised. At least, say, once in a blue moon - but I don't remember much hype for it. The song ‘Tell Me Lies’ is wonderfully song, and the caricature of making it out in Hollywood during the film's setting is unique and cheerful. It's probably mostly forgettable, but there's something to like about Scott Bakula's voice as Danny. Energetic, optimistic, and fun.

Dig a little further back, and then there's Don Bluth's much-criticized 'Rock-a-Doodle'. While my friends would say ‘An American Tail’ was the better film, and in a way, it is, this one seems like an experimental piece. Most of the characters are forgettable, save for Edmond's child-like speech impediment, and while the story seems interesting, it looks sloppy. I haven't seen a very good DVD quality transfer of this movie, but the one I had on VHS looked like a mess of splattered paint colors of orange, blue, and brown to where I couldn't see anything. xD

I dunno. Traditional animation seems dead, even with ‘Princess and the Frog’ out, but who knows - think it may ever be brought again? Do you support it, and have any memories of stuff like this? There's more to just Disney too; Filmation did a pretty decent job on a stark Snow White ‘sequel’, and I haven't seen ‘Swan Princess.’
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
isukun at 7:08PM, Dec. 3, 2010
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There is definitely interest Hollywood to revive 2D animation. The problem is getting the funding in a market that heavily favors 3D and low budget live action films. You really can't slash costs as effectively on a 2D feature without sacrificing quality. Plus follow-ups on 3D features tend to be a bit easier to produce than they are for 2D features. Character models and sets are already made, so studios can simply re-use a number of their existing assets. You see that sort of approach quite frequently out of studios like Blue Sky and Dreamworks.

It's basically the same reasoning used to justify the switch from scripted shows to reality TV. Unfortunately, we're also starting to see the same trend in TV animation, as well. We're getting more 3D and Flash animated shows and less shows that actually rely on drawing skills. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of artists in Hollywood out of work these days. If you have an interest in traditional animation, just about the only job out there for you is Storyboard Artist. Even those jobs tend to get taken by Illustrators, though.

I'm off on a bit of a tangent, though. As far as underrated films go, I think some of the later 2D Disney films really didn't get the attention they deserved. It just seems like after Tarzan, Disney couldn't pay people to go see their movies, even if they were good. Treasure Planet was their first real flop since the Black Cauldron, and it wasn't even a bad movie. It just seems like the whole 2D industry flushed down the drain with it, too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Hawk at 8:31PM, Dec. 3, 2010
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I think a lot of the people in charge who got suckered into thinking 3D CGI was the easy ticket to box office profits have begun learning otherwise. Yesterday I was just watching “Waking Sleeping Beauty”, which is a documentary that follows Disney's animation history from about the 70's to late 90's when Katzenburg left the company for Dreamworks' animation studio. The documentary seemed to indicate that people have come to realize that it's not the CGI visuals, but the story that carries a movie. People lost sight of that somewhere along the way.

When Disney bought Pixar, they put Pixar in charge of all of Disney's animation, and the revival of 2D animation was a goal they established right away. We'll see it come back, hopefully not just through Disney/Pixar.

By the way, my favorite thing about Cats Don't Dance was Darla Dimples as a villain. There was such a stark difference between her looks and her character, so it was fun watching the evil come out through her actions. I loved it when she brought Danny into her dressing room to talk, and all of her evil was suppressed but still barely visible as she stifled looks of disgust and bit the heads off of animal crackers.

I know this is just about the most obvious choice, but I really think Iron Giant deserved more attention.

The Secret of Kells hit DVD/Blu-Ray just a little while ago, and most people never noticed. But it had such a unique style and magical soundtrack that I think all fans of animation should give it a watch.

I was in Japan when The Road to El Dorado was in theaters and put on DVD, so I missed any sort of attention or promotion it got. And when I got back and asked people what movies I should catch up on, nobody brought it up. I wish they had, because it was six years before I found out what a great film it was. Its only real crime was not being ground-breaking… but it pretty much did everything right. I really enjoyed the characters and art.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
isukun at 9:23PM, Dec. 3, 2010
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People place too much confidence in Pixar. Disney has no major 2D projects in the pipeline at this point. The Princess and the Frog came and went and now the only thing they keep any 2D animators around for is the occasional short. Disney hasn't hired any 2D animators in over a year, not even for the Talent Development program, but they're hiring new 3D people ALL THE TIME. The new Pooh movie hitting this Summer will be the last 2D film out of Disney for the foreseeable future. With nothing in the pipeline right now and very few 2D animators left on staff, I don't anticipate seeing another out of them for at least another five years. Pixar hasn't changed anything. In fact, Disney's been laying off their 2D TV animators as of late, too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
itsjustaar at 1:25AM, Dec. 4, 2010
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I'll always miss the days when traditional animation was still around. I think the last 3D film I actually enjoyed as of late was probably… :/ …gosh, at least one of the early Shrek films. The second one's pretty decent, and I forget which one held the ‘you gotta freeze frame to see it’ Robin Hood/Lethal Weapon spoof poster hidden in the background. It wasn't so much the artistic level behind it, but I think what sold that movie was the energetic casting of Eddie Murphy and Michael Myers. Without that, the movie might've been a bit sub-par. The idea of a silly parody of Disneyland and most of the fairy tale universe is pretty amusing, though, and it's happened before. As far as anything else though, I can't say I've ran into something in the recent years that's tickled my fancy.

Ir's a shame that Disney's laying off most of the 2D animators now. An old friend of mine recently made the jump in after much rooting and support from many; I dunno if she had a hand in working on Tangled or if she's doing the new Pooh flick, but I feel bad if she's going to be doing 3D stuff now. She hated that quite a bit, as far as I know.

'El Dorado' is something I haven't seen. D: And I feel bad! xD It's always checked out at the rental shack whenever I visit there in town locally, but I did see the ‘Sinbad’ film with Brad Pitt as the titular character. I honestly couldn't think of a better animated film that can rival the live-action take on Disney's Pirates series of films. It was well done, very adventurous, not to mention the chemistry. <3 Epic.

Anyone remember Little Nemo in Slumberland? The whole movie is on Youtube now, but you can also get it on DVD for extremely cheap online (I got mine at Target for at least nine bucks tops; nothing special beyond a few 3D cartoon Christmas ads, some games, bios, and a little information), but it's worth mentioning because of it's soundtrack. If one's familiar with Winsor McCay's comics of what it's based on - I can definitely say this is worth looking into.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Faliat at 7:01AM, Dec. 4, 2010
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I watched a lot of obscure and semi-unknown 2D animated movies when I was younger.

Managed to find some of them second hand and get them but I've still to watch them again. About the only one I've managed to has been “The Brave Little Toaster”.

… And I noticed that there's only one happy song in the whole thing.



As for more modern animated films, I think the biggest issue regarding them is their pacing.
A lot of them are fast paced with not much character or setting development since a lot of people think kids, the typical target demographic, don't have much of an attention span to follow anything more sophisicated.

One of the best things about Pixar minus “Cars” in my opinion is the pacing. You get a feel for the characters and worlds as well as well as brought intothe plot. It gives more soul to the film as a whole.
But a lot of animation companies think “Just throw stuff at them from all angles. They're not going to care.”


I think that's also something that makes people gravitate slightly more towards anime nowadays. How often do you see the slow panning establishing shot and silent scenes to build the atmosphere…
And how many times do dubbing companies throw in internal monologues during those scenes? Quite a lot from what I've seen.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Hawk at 10:56AM, Dec. 4, 2010
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itsjustaar
Ir's a shame that Disney's laying off most of the 2D animators now. An old friend of mine recently made the jump in after much rooting and support from many; I dunno if she had a hand in working on Tangled or if she's doing the new Pooh flick, but I feel bad if she's going to be doing 3D stuff now. She hated that quite a bit, as far as I know.

Take what isukun said with a grain of salt. Movie work is contractual. People hire you to make a movie, and at the end of the movie you're out of a job, after which you're allow to apply for other movies being created. At the end of a movie tons of people are “laid off”. This applies to animators in both the 2D and 3D field. Some studios keep a certain core staff employed constantly, but those jobs are usually on the technical level (because those people are such an integral part of out the studio's software/hardware work) or because the person is skilled enough that they can't afford to let them go.

Really, two 2D animated films from Disney in three years bodes much better for the medium than we should have expected seven years ago. Attitudes have changed regarding 2D and 3D animation, and that should give you hope for seeing 2D return. And there are other studios still making the stuff, even outside of Japan. The French studio that made The Triplets of Bellville has just released The Illusionist, and it's getting fantastic reviews.

That being said, 3D is here to stay as well. It's cost-effective in the long run, meshes nicely with the current 3D cinema boom, and can be just as visually stunning as the 2D movies we've enjoyed growing up.

itsjustaar
Anyone remember Little Nemo in Slumberland? The whole movie is on Youtube now, but you can also get it on DVD for extremely cheap online (I got mine at Target for at least nine bucks tops; nothing special beyond a few 3D cartoon Christmas ads, some games, bios, and a little information), but it's worth mentioning because of it's soundtrack. If one's familiar with Winsor McCay's comics of what it's based on - I can definitely say this is worth looking into.

I do remember that movie and I liked it as a kid. In fact, these past couple of years I've been waiting for some sort of Blu-ray release of it. I haven't seen it in such a long time, so I'm not sure how well it holds up. But I actually own several animation cels from the movie.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
itsjustaar at 1:44PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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Faliat
I watched a lot of obscure and semi-unknown 2D animated movies when I was younger.

Managed to find some of them second hand and get them but I've still to watch them again. About the only one I've managed to has been “The Brave Little Toaster”.

… And I noticed that there's only one happy song in the whole thing.

Oh man, I remember that! I had that too! I remember also getting one or two of the sequels in, but like most, if not all, of some films out there - the original stands out on it's own above them. Some tell me the that killer air-conditioner scene was scary, but I didn't think so; I thought it was pretty cute. Plus, especially with only needing one song, I think that too is a plus. xD I honestly can't stand much of sing-a-longs in a cartoon, but I get by.

Faliat
As for more modern animated films, I think the biggest issue regarding them is their pacing.
A lot of them are fast paced with not much character or setting development since a lot of people think kids, the typical target demographic, don't have much of an attention span to follow anything more sophisicated.

One of the best things about Pixar minus “Cars” in my opinion is the pacing. You get a feel for the characters and worlds as well as well as brought intothe plot. It gives more soul to the film as a whole.
But a lot of animation companies think “Just throw stuff at them from all angles. They're not going to care.”

I agree too. Looking again at the Shrek films for example, one thing I've noticed that for every few jokes for adults to enjoy, and maybe a little bit for the kids (at least withing the seven to eleven demographic), there's a lot of pop-culture references tossed in. If it happened on TV at some point, or in the news, another movie they remember, it's gonna be tossed in there soon after. Street Fighter, Joan Crawford, I mean… :/ …well, at least they're being new, I suppose. But it does litter most of the film. Not so much the first and third films, but the second one contains a lot of digs in there. “Singing furniture? Oh yeah, Beauty and the Beast, huh…?”

Faliat
I think that's also something that makes people gravitate slightly more towards anime nowadays. How often do you see the slow panning establishing shot and silent scenes to build the atmosphere…
And how many times do dubbing companies throw in internal monologues during those scenes? Quite a lot from what I've seen.

Very true. With anime being common along what's on television now, aside from a few other series done on Flash like Butch Hartman and the like, it's being a big influence than it's been before, I'd imagine. Even shows relative to the design, not including re-dubbed and re-tooled stuff that 4Kids churns out, is on most programming blocks in some form.

Hawk
The French studio that made “The Triplets of Belleville” just released “The Illusionist” and it's getting fantastic reviews.

The moment I googled up the former, I recall hearing about that someplace. Can't recall when, but I knew for a moment that the second one wasn't going to be the 2006 film. xD This does look pretty neat, I'm checking out the Youtube stuff about it now. :D

Oh man, a Blu-Ray release of that would be fantastic. Or at least ‘An American Tail’; my friends always kid around about how it made a big sell, but it's getting bargain bin-packaging at Rite-Aid with it's sequel ‘Fievel Goes West’ for at least a few bucks. xD The Youtube copy up right now (if it's around) contains a few extra material, if not by much, like on the DVD I got. :D
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Abt_Nihil at 4:40PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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My one big gripe with Western animation (movies) is that it has to be “family friendly”. I have no problem with the occasional “family friendly” movie, but my main interest lies in something that can be deep and serious.

Then there's the occasional edgier animated movie. I enjoyed The Triplets of Belleville very much. But at its core, it's still “just” an accumulation of lot of quirky ideas.

I wish there was just one movie which wasn't Japanese and which would break the mold. Something with depth and maturity; without any talking animals whatsoever, completely devoid of anything remotely cute, but not slipping into some caricature-like style either…

I love 2D and am sad that there aren't more 2D films right now. But in the end, it just doesn't make any difference to me whether the next “family friendly” film is gonna be in 2D or 3D. It'll be the same talking animals and lame old jokes all over again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
isukun at 4:52PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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Movie work is contractual. People hire you to make a movie, and at the end of the movie you're out of a job, after which you're allow to apply for other movies being created. At the end of a movie tons of people are “laid off”.

Disney's union. Most of their animators are brought on as staff. The only reason they let go large numbers of animators is because they don't plan on making use of them. Most of the team that worked on the Princess and the Frog moved on to the new Pooh movie. The fact that they haven't been hiring 2D people AT ALL since then is not a good sign. Like I said, they have nothing in the pipeline. Studios like Disney which produce large scale projects on a regular basis don't just hire animators temporarily, let them all go and then start from scratch on the next project. It costs money to bring in new people and retrain them. Look at the resume of any Disney animator and you'll see consistent work over several films even for the more menial jobs.

The fact that there are no other projects in the pipeline means that for the company, the format isn't worth investing in at this point. If it were, they would be working on something and hiring new people, not letting their staff go. You're right that some studios do work that way, but usually that is only on short term, independent, and lower budget projects.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
ayesinback at 5:00PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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I agree with many of the criticisms: much animation relies too heavily on fast-paced story lines and “family-friendly” scripts, although I think the real deficit is in the area of character development. Instead of developing a character so that the audience can anticipate the funny response, or be surprised by an irony, recent animation seems to just load dialogue with periodic hardy-har-har's regardless of which character has the dialogue. Why don't they just go on to the next step and add a laugh track? And frankly, I'm thinking of Don Bluth's work when I write this.

The last 2d that I was really impressed by was IRON GIANT. The art work and story were solid, but I still think it came down to character development. And it's why I enjoyed UP and BOLT: character development.

What the 3Ds lack are beauty. The old Disney backgrounds were true paintings, and I've only seen the like recently in Miyazaki's work (which is awesome). 3D's (like UP) just seem clever to me, but I like them because of the characters.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
KomradeDave at 5:14PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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Something can be ‘family friendly’ and still be good art. Something being cute or not true to life does not indicate a lack of depth, the real lack of depth comes from judging these films on their style rather than the total combination of the animation, dialog, backgrounds, etc. Two great examples from the literary world are Watership Down and the Redwall series. They are for youths and feature anthropomorphic casts but are solid works nonetheless.

The Disney company has churned out plenty of filler material that it has marketed as groundbreaking art. On the other hand it has also done some fantastic adaptations (even if those properties were eventually also ruined to squeeze out every cent).

The history of animation has shown it geared toward an adult audience anyway. The notion that cartoons are for kids is fairly recent. The perception that all western cartoons must be family friendly has more to do with the Hayes code than anyone marketing cartoons to kids.

As for particular cartoons I think are underrated I think The Great Mouse Detective was fantastic, though it remains relatively obscure compared to the other Disney films. Waking Life was trippy, but still solid. And Heavy Metal doesn't get a fair shake, I think mainly due to all the awesome bewbs in it, but it had some well executed stories.
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ayesinback at 5:22PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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I never did answer the question re: underrated. I don't think it's underrated, I just never hear my most favorite mentioned, which is Raymond Briggs' THE SNOWMAN. Family-friendly, no dialogue. just beautiful.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
mlai at 7:20PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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Anyone remember the movie Light Years? It was in the same vein/style as Heavy Metal, but 1 continuous movie-length story.

Definitely not family-friendly. Definitely not caricatures-style. A serious sci-fi story. I was young when I watched it and it blew my mind… and unlike most other times in my youth, I didn't get interrupted halfway through by my fahter wanting me to drop everything to be lectured to, or to do some household chore, or to tell me to go do some schoolwork, or whatever he always did to ruin my childhood artistic soul.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
itsjustaar at 7:44PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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I've seen bit parts of ‘Heavy Metal’ late one night on public station TV once, but I remember it mostly due to the soundtrack that made it's way into it. The whole thing to me was like one long acid trip from story to story. D: The animation is fluid, maybe too fluid, which isn't a bad thing. Much better than the second one, though. It took a few chances and went for it.

Don Bluth is a good example of making an animated film that isn't ‘kid-friendly’ and focusing on story development, the worlds, and characters. Not his later work, but his take on the film based on ‘Secret of NIMH’ would be a good example, again with ‘An American Tail’, and recent works ‘Titan A.E.’ and ‘Anastasia.’ He had a long period of delivering a few clunkers, but the early chapters of his start and finish prove you can still provide a good cartoon with impressive visuals, and make it entertaining.

Oh man, ‘The Snowman.’ D: Now that takes me back! I had that stashed next to some old TMNT cartoon Family Home Entertainment tapes back in the day. xD
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isukun at 10:36PM, Dec. 4, 2010
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Apart from Titan A.E., the Don Bluth movies were always aimed at the younger audiences. The difference was they didn't talk down to kids. Most of the kiddie elements are still there, though, cutsey talking animals, musical numbers (mostly pretty awful ones, too), an emphasis on children and family, and a lot of exaggerated physical comedy. Story-wise, though, he took the best elements from the classic Disney formula and added a darker perspective and a greater sense of drama, which made his earlier films, at the very least, a bit more memorable than the contemporary Disney features.

I just wish Don Bluth was a bit better at playing the game. While Disney was pulling themselves out of the mud, Bluth was burning his bridges at Universal. He moved on to Fox after that, and after three strikes, they shut down his studio. It's kind of sad that the only things they've done in the last decade are an obscure Saudi Arabian film that he didn't even want his name attached to, a music video and some game cut scenes. They haven't even been able to get the funding for the Dragon's Lair movie.

Edit: Ugh, and now it appears even Miyazaki is jumping on the sequel bandwagon. Even the last bastions of hope in this industry are selling out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Abt_Nihil at 5:09AM, Dec. 5, 2010
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ayesinback
The last 2d that I was really impressed by was IRON GIANT. The art work and story were solid, but I still think it came down to character development. And it's why I enjoyed UP and BOLT: character development.

What the 3Ds lack are beauty. The old Disney backgrounds were true paintings, and I've only seen the like recently in Miyazaki's work (which is awesome). 3D's (like UP) just seem clever to me, but I like them because of the characters.
I agree a 100% on your first paragraph here. I'd just like to add that BOLT succeeded beautifully in making 3D backgrounds look like old-school painted animation backgrounds, which was another reason I enjoyed it. The absurd thing is: 3D seems at its best when it mimics 2D!

KomradeDave
Something can be ‘family friendly’ and still be good art. Something being cute or not true to life does not indicate a lack of depth, the real lack of depth comes from judging these films on their style rather than the total combination of the animation, dialog, backgrounds, etc.
I was being a bit unfair, but only a bit :D I explicitly said that I didn't mean to criticize family friendly films, but rather the fact that there seems to be hardly anything else! Of course, being family friendly doesn't exclude being deep. It's just that the way these movies have been made ever since Snow White correlates with their being not very deep (even if that doesn't apply to every family friendly movie… see Miyazaki's films for glorious exceptions).

mlai
Anyone remember the movie Light Years? (…) Definitely not family-friendly. Definitely not caricatures-style. A serious sci-fi story. I was young when I watched it and it blew my mind…
Never heard of it. Guess I should check it out ^_^
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
Faliat at 5:41AM, Dec. 5, 2010
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Abt_Nihil
I wish there was just one movie which wasn't Japanese and which would break the mold. Something with depth and maturity; without any talking animals whatsoever, completely devoid of anything remotely cute, but not slipping into some caricature-like style either…

I love 2D and am sad that there aren't more 2D films right now. But in the end, it just doesn't make any difference to me whether the next “family friendly” film is gonna be in 2D or 3D. It'll be the same talking animals and lame old jokes all over again.
I could bring up a few. But I've yet to find copies of said movies so I can watch them and give a verdict on what I think of them.
Watched the trailer for “Princess” in 2006 and I still don't know where I could get it. Reviews have been positive but I wanna see the Danish crazyfest for myself.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Product Placement at 6:38AM, Dec. 5, 2010
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“Cats Don't Dance”, “Rock-a-Doodle”, “Little Nemo”, “The Brave Little Toaster”, “The Iron Giant”.
Seen all of these, including bits of “The Triplets of Belleville”, along with most of the Disney/Pixar/Dreamwork titles that have been brought up in this thread. Haven't seen “Bolt” or “The Princess and the Frog” though.

It was pretty inevitable that 3D cartooning would become the dominant animation technique for the very simple reason of it being more cost efficient, once they'd developed computers that could render good enough graphics of course. I remember hearing as a kid how “The Ballad of the Daltons”, a French cartoon about Lucky Luke took several years, requiring hundreds of cell animators and it didn't look like a very complex looking cartoon (no offence meant towards the animators who worked on it). Granted it was made in the late 70's.

Not long ago, DC and Marvel started flooding the market with feature length “Direct to video” cartoons about their various heroes, all using traditional 2D art. Marvel focused mostly on the avengers while DC focused more on spotlighting a various hero. Out of those, I liked DC's “Green Lantern: First Flight” and Marvel's “Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme” the most. I kinda liked the DC contributions more because they weren't cushioning the story at all. People were actually dying in them. I kinda respected that.

Unfortunately this phase passed, once it became apparent that not enough people were buying the DVD's and allot of interesting titles were abandoned, like “Teen Titans: Judas Contract” and a Green Lantern sequel.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
ozoneocean at 7:24AM, Dec. 5, 2010
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Product Placement
“The Triplets of Belleville”
Loved that one!

The Magic Pudding
was underrated. The major problem as far as I'm concerned was the animation style, which was the same as that used in a lot of Australian features all the way back from Dot The Kangaroo, to Fern Gully and all the rest: extremely clearly outlined characters painted in flat tones over blurry, gradient rich backgrounds- makes it look like cut outs moving across photos.

The story was great though, based as it was on an Australian classic of the same name by artist Norman Lindsey, the characters were drawn well and the voice talent was superb- with the likes of John Clease and Sam Neil among others. I felt they really bought it to the screen nicely and the musical numbers were good too.

———

A Dog's Tale (Tail) is underrated too I feel. More people should know about it. It's an animated feature based on the New Zealand comic strip Footrot Flats by Murray Ball. It has a nice little multiplot story that ties up fantastically in the climax. The movie both resolved and expanded on a lot of themes that were on going in the comic strip without compromising or cheapening the source material. The animation style matched Murray Ball's illustration style PERFECTLY.

And it had a fantastic theme song by New Zealand singer Dave Dobbyn, which became a hit in its own right in Australia and New Zealand:



Scary looking Maori backup musicians pretending to play funny wind instruments…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
ayesinback at 7:52AM, Dec. 5, 2010
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Remembered an awesome 2007 2D animation - although it's not really “family-friendly” and isn't underrated (just not brought up often): Satrapi's PERSEPOLIS.

It's a fantastic example of 1/c art with an excellent story line (both characters and plot are thoroughly realized) which adds up to a compelling story aimed for adults.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 7:59AM, Dec. 5, 2010
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ayesinback
Remembered an awesome 2007 2D animation - although it's not really “family-friendly” and isn't underrated (just not brought up often): Satrapi's PERSEPOLIS.
Yup, that was good!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Product Placement at 12:00PM, Dec. 5, 2010
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ozoneocean
Dot and The Kangaroo
>

Made me think about Blinky Bill as well. I've also seen Fern Gully, which was an interesting watch to say the least.
ayesinback
PERSEPOLIS.
Jesus! How did you… Gah!

I was just thinking about that movie and you posted that post while I was doing just that.

I was planing on bringing up that hilarious scene when she's talking about her wonderfully charming boyfriend Marcus and how ridiculously wonderful everything was as they floated about in his car. Then, when she discovered that he was cheating on her, she recollected all the previous events except that now Markus was this revolting, inconsiderate creep.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
itsjustaar at 12:17PM, Dec. 5, 2010
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Hmm, my view on some of the comic-based animated productions is that they don't feel too… ‘underrated’ or in the vein as being overshadowed by what's out there. Before the Video Cottage shop in my town closed down, they had the recent two cartoons out based on Batman (Under the Red Hood) and the Justice League vs. their evil counterparts set as well. Before then was Marvel's ‘Hulk versus’ series. I mean - some of these are animated re-tellings of already happened comicbook plot arcs and situations. Anyone who might be in the company's characters already, or at least with some knowledge would probably know the constant Superman/Batman team-ups and Hulk's crossover fighting. That's probably just me, though.

Heheh, ‘Ferngully’ - too environmental for me. xD Out of Sheena Easton's song, I thought it was cute. It's message on nature seemed to carry it's weight throughout the whole thing. Same with ‘Once Upon a Forest’. My favorite part's mostly been Michael Crawford's singing. x3 *yes, the girls got me into ‘Phantom of the Opera’, and even I got into it! Hah~!*
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Product Placement at 12:58PM, Dec. 5, 2010
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Well, like I said. The Marvel contributions were a little bit subpar, compared with some of the better DC movies. In that sense, I'm talking about the movies that were directed by Lauren Montgomery. I mean, I didn't expect much of these comic book movies but the ones she worked on impressed me allot.

And regarding whether or not they were underrated or not, I can say that these films passed completely under the radar, where I lived and it was only by pure chance that I discovered them. That's why they felt relevant for me.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
Faliat at 3:45PM, Dec. 5, 2010
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I watched “Dot and the Whale”, “Dot and the Smugglers” and “Dot and Keeto” when I was little. Didn't know what they were called at the time, though. They were taped off the TV.

And I was saying about The Brave Little Toaster that there was one HAPPY song, not just one song. The rest of them are all about feeling obsolete, worthless and being taken apart and tinkered with.

It was basically a 13 year precursor to Toy Story. Complete with depression factor. And John Lasseter worked on it, too!

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
itsjustaar at 2:32AM, Dec. 6, 2010
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Animalympics, anyone? :D
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
DAJB at 9:07AM, Dec. 6, 2010
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I'm afraid these days I tend to like bits of most animated movies but I usually feel let down by the overall film.

I thought Bolt was very average for the most part, but I absolutely adored the sarky cat (Mittens?)!

I hated just about all of Up, except for the opening montage which is a true work of art.

Enjoyed the art style of Waltz With Bashir for about ten minutes and then began to find it tedious in the extreme. No good making a film with an important message if it's so laboured that no one will want to watch it. I just felt I was being lectured to.

Loved Persepolis, both the graphic novel and the film. When it comes to making a politically relevant movie, Bashir could learn a lot from that.

Really enjoyed the opening backstory sequence and the technology at work in the later tree-surfing parts of Tarzan, but I hated the awful kiddie-apes and the elephant which Disney has done God knows how many times before.

I suppose in terms of under-rated movies, I'd have to give my vote to Hoodwinked! It seemed to get lost among a lot of other so-so 3D animated movies that got released at around the same time, but I thought the script was genuinely witty. Most of the characters have distinct personalities and many of them have a dry, deadpan delivery that appeals to my jaded sense of humour!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
itsjustaar at 2:46AM, Dec. 7, 2010
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Derp, my bad. D: Forgot to post an example of the movie I mentioned. xD The edit button stalled and didn't seem to work for me for some reason. o.x; Sorry about that.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
bravo1102 at 6:11PM, Dec. 7, 2010
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DAJB
I suppose in terms of under-rated movies, I'd have to give my vote to Hoodwinked! It seemed to get lost among a lot of other so-so 3D animated movies that got released at around the same time, but I thought the script was genuinely witty. Most of the characters have distinct personalities and many of them have a dry, deadpan delivery that appeals to my jaded sense of humour!

I agree. It was truly witty and funny.

Heavy Metal is best remembered for an awesome voice cast and soundtrack. However today it is dated because so much of what came after borrowed from it. It's like trying to watch an old 1930's detective movie where all the cliches are trotted out and then you find out that this was the film where they all first appeared. As far as an animated movie there was nothing else like it back then.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM

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