Time has changed. Animated movies are not just cartoons anymore; they are aimed towards a matured audience too. Animators today throw in maximum effort to the details in their animations, making it seem as realistic as possible. Also, the filmmakers don’t hesitate to come up with deeper, more insightful topics. The animation studios have nurtured over time, but out of these the ones which have cemented their place on top are Disney and Pixar. Any movie with the tag of Disney or Pixar attracts audience and is already deemed to be a crowd-pleaser. In recent years there has been a monopoly in the awards and box office collection charts. Such has been the impact of Disney and Pixar. In spite of this there are other studios which have come up with their own quality content. Here is a list of ten animated movies that prove Disney and Pixar are not the only giants.
01. Minions (2015)
Who doesn’t love the minions! They are cute, they are fun and they are loyal. They are the official mascots for Illumination Entertainment. Decades from now, Minions would be one of those movies which would be an important part of the movie culture. You know the characters are special when they are not just limited to your screen. Minions have a separate fan base and its merchandises have reached our homes. Minions is one of those film which stands strong in the list of top grossing animated films where most of the list is filled by Disney and Pixar films. The magic of Minions has extended to Despicable Me series as well. Do you know that Minions have their own language called Minionese with each word translating to an actual word? And do you know all 899 different Minions are voiced by a single person?
02. Shrek (2001)
Dreamworks animation family has many great characters and movies as a part of its family. Shrek is one of those loved characters. One of those fairy-tale movies with fun filled adventure and a happy ending you would remember watching in your childhood. Shrek was the recipient of the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Memorable characters and some good performances by the voice actors make this movie a classic. Further Shrek cemented its place in our memories with sequels like Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After and a spin off Puss in Boots. In the middle of all this Shrek gives a message of unconditional love and being comfortable in your own skin.
03. Rango (2011)
Johnny Depp starrer Rango gives us a taste of western in an animated feature film. The movie is a fun piece of cinema and gives equal competition to Disney and Pixar. It is about a lonely yet funny chameleon who finds himself in an unfamiliar western town which has a scarcity of water. Johnny Depp along with the direction of Gore Verbinski (who also directed the first three of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga) has made the character memorable with his performance. Other characters are also inspired by western characters. Watch this movie if you want something different than fantasy but want something in the middle of fantasy and reality. Rango won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
04. Anomalisa (2015)
One of the most heart touching movies you could find in the animated genre, unlike a majority of Disney and Pixar movies Anomalisa involves real humans in regular world with regular problems. This is a story of a man who lives a monotonous life whose life changes when he meets a stranger. What appeals most about Anomalisa is that it gives us a break from the fantasies of other animated movies and allows us to relate to the character and provokes some much needed thoughts. One of those movies which leaves you with thoughts and stays with you as you leave your seats and walk out of the theatre, this movie lets you feel the warmth of sharing your pain in this fast paced world. Anomalisa won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
05. The Polar Express (2004)
One of those movies which would take you on a dreamy journey, ‘The Polar Express’ is more than just a Christmas story. A story about a young boy who boards a train to North Pole in the search of Santa Claus and meets special people who change him as a person is based on the book by the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The story beautifully spreads the message to believe and never stop dreaming. As the Polar Express heads to the North Pole it takes you with it and makes you revisit your carefree but curious childhood. Starring Tom Hanks in the lead role not many movies are made with the same vibe as ‘The Polar Express’. Underlying a deep theme, this is a must watch if you like to get deeply engrossed in an adventure and ride along with a movie.
06. Wallace & Gromit (2005)
One of the best Claymation movies out there, Wallace and Gormit: The curse of the Were-Rabbit won the Oscar for best animated feature film. The movie follows the story of Wallace and Gormit who are here to save the day after a beast is known to destroy the plots right before the Giant Vegetable Competition. Quite funny to see a human- dog relationship in this way, this is one of those movies you could watch again and again. The duo of Wallace and Gormit would go down as one of the most memorable duos of the animated genre. And if you love this one then do explore the other movies in the franchise.
07. The Iron Giant (1999)
The movie is based on the 1968 story ‘Iron Man’ by Ted Hughes. It is surprising that this Vin Deisel and Jennifer Aniston starrer was a box office disappointment. Poor marketing was to be blamed for this. Years later its worth is being realized. Directed by Brad Bird it is a story set in the times of Cold War about a boy who befriends a gigantic robot and helps to prevent him from being found and destroyed by the government officials. One of those animated movies with a serious underlying issue, the film captures the innocence of a child against the politics of government while highlighting the complex human relationships.
08. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Released in 2009 Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is achieved by stop-motion style of animation. The story involves a fox who goes back to his old ways of stealing and then finds himself and his family endangered when three farmers unite to put an end to him. The movie is a refresher after seeing a series of digitally animated movies. If that is not enough, the movie is visually captivating, has some good songs and has your favourite voice actors. The movie is heart-warming and is a family entertainer. The movie failed to bag an Oscar but proved that audience needs to look out for other studios as well in the animated genre.
09. Waltz with Bashir (2008)
Waltz with Bashir is a proof that animated movies are not just limited to fairy tales. With the animation style being a combination of Adobe Flash cut-outs and classical animations, it extends the genre to stories involving more realism and doesn’t feel shy to tell a dark and haunting tale of war. Waltz with Bashir follows the story of Ari Folman, an Israeli soldier on one night of September 2008 when Christian militia members massacred more than 3,000 Palestinian refugees in the heart of Beirut. This tragic and breath taking movie about the recollection of lost memories about a tragic night will move you to your core. Written and directed by Ari Folman, Waltz with Bashir won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film among other awards.
10. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
This one is a treat for Marvel fans. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse gave us the other Spiderman, Miles Morales. But it doesn’t feel dependent upon its already huge fan base. The movie boasts spectacular and enchanting visuals which make it look like a comic book with the pages being flipped for us. Such kind of visuals attracts audience to the theatres instead of watching it on small screen. This is something which seems refreshing and engaging. About the story arc, the movie is disheartening but at the same time amusing. The story has its twists and turns. Marvel’s dedication of adding details and careful crafting of each character adds to making it a complete family entertainer. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse bagged the Oscar for the best animated feature film 2018.