So the Oscars 2014 have finally come and gone. There were some surprises (‘Mr Hublot’ took home the Best Animated Short Film award) and some not so unexpected ones (we always knew ‘Frozen’ would win hands down!)
And while all the glitter, excitement, anticipation of the Academy Awards were heating up, we took a look back at the best of 2013 and casted our votes for our favourite animated movies in the year that’s gone by!
Here goes our list!
No.10: The Smurfs 2
Sequels are tricky! Sony Picture’s “The Smurfs 2” attempts to continue where the earlier movie “The Smurfs” ended. The storyline is thin but the 3D animation effects in it still make it a decently fun experience for young audience. Little details like the narrator’s opening story using a pop up fairy tale book 3D effect enriches the story telling experience. The movie might not have won brownie points for story, but its animation works well.
No.9: Walking with Dinosaurs
This big screen version of BBC’s international series makes it to our list more for its good animation than for the story telling. The visual effects manage to entice audience as it takes viewers on a journey into the life of dinosaurs, with the 3D version adding to the larger than life. Now which kid would not love that?! But adults might find the lack of a good storyline boring. The computer animation is impressive with 3D effects building up the atmosphere.
A Disney spin off of Pixar’s Cars, what Planes lacks in originality for story it covers up with some amusing animation effects. An underdog story, a predictable trail of challenges and a not so surprising victory – the elements of the story remain clichéd but charming. But where it does surprise us is with its detailing and excellent 3D animation. At the end of the day, a 5 year will still love this feel good movie.
DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo is a high velocity animation comedy with an endearing character – Turbo, an ambitious garden snail who aspires to be the greatest racer in the world! The story line is all about Turbo’s adventure and his predictable happy ending. What makes this movie fun to watch though are its hilarious one liners, and its amazing visual effects. In fact it is said that the Dream Animation team watched hours of open heart surgery just to get the effects right for one sequence!
Trivia: Turbo has the largest number of people ever in an animated film – a 6,00,000 crowd!
No.6: The Croods
The story of the world’s first family road trip, this 3D computer animation prehistoric adventure comedy shows ample visual imagination! The flawless 3D work and beautiful animation background makes it colourful and vibrant to watch. The realistic animation is the result of extensive research by the team with a lot of effort spent on techniques like 3D modelling, crowd duplication, character effects, matter painting and more! The witty script and captivating characters have been so well acclaimed that DreamWorks Animation has planned its TV spin off already! It even made it to the Oscar nominations!
No.5: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Dazzling visual effects saves the day for this sequel movie. The story continues the same “high on spirits” theme of its predecessor and yet is not quite as witty. The movie is dense with images, ideas and creative visualization, but the story could have been more engaging! The bizarre story of food raining from sky takes a new twist in this movie with inventions of “foodimals”. What keeps it interesting though is the pace and its quirky food puns combined with some adorable animation effects from the team at Sony Pictures Animation.
No.4: Monsters University
2013 saw the adorable Monsters back in action a prequel! Monsters University goes back in time to tell the story of a much younger Sulley & Mike, before they met Boo. And though a prequel, it stands on its own with all new characters with new challenges in a new world – together forming a wonderful new story. Pixar Movies knows just how to tell a story well and to make it look good! The animation is better, the story tight and well-paced, and the visual effects continue to amaze.
The battle of the Good vs the Bad. Epic is a beautifully crafted adventure comedy with some brilliant 3D computer graphics. A fantasy forest is a fabulous setting for animation with its colourful shapes and visual treats, and the movie does not disappoint with its stunning special effects of swooping birds, flying arrows and more. The art design and animation are worth a mention. However what is actually a simple story is built with complicated sequences, making the narrative a tad incohesive. If only the focus was on the art of storytelling and not just on the technology!
No.2: Despicable Me 2
A sequel that’s better than its original is a rarity! But Despicable Me2 pulls it off effortlessly. This was the second highest grossing 2013 film but what we loved about it is its humour, warmth and charm. Cartoonish imagination with surreal detailing creates an excellent visual treat. The narration is well paced, keeps you on the edge and has enough naughtiness to make you chuckle through the movie. 3D adds to the overall impact of this story telling experience.
Disney saved the best for the last! The Thanksgiving week in 2013 saw the release of this musical comedy. A well-paced story, beautifully crafted characters and the sight of a stunning world covered world was just what the holiday season needed. Now imagine all that in 3D! The animation is crisply detailed making the fantasy world look so much real! It’s enjoyable and magical – just the way an animation movie should be! No wonder it won the Best Animation Feature of 2014 Oscars.