Sunday, 27 June 2010


Time magazine named three animated features as the best three films of 2009. Not surprisingly, Pixar's Up, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature as well as landing among the 10 Best Picture nominees, was one of the three. That it wasn't the #1 choice was a surprise.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Fantastic Mr Fox, Wes Anderson's idiosyncratic take on the Roald Dahl classic, was Time's #3 choice (and an Animated Feature Oscar nominee) and it's easy to see why. As charming as its eponymous hero (voiced by who else but George Clooney), who takes up the straight life when his wife (Meryl Streep) becomes pregnant but then falls back into old ways just as his son (Jason Schwartzman) discovers teenage angst, Fantastic Mr Fox is a delightful caper film that is as faithful to its source material as need be while being every inch a Wes Anderson film, from character neuroses to wardrobe choices. The old fashioned stop motion makes it even more, dare I say it, charming.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Time's #1 choice as the best film of the year was even more of a surprise, not that The Princess and the Frog, Disney first 2D (non CG) animated film in seven years, is an unworthy selection. In going back to 2D, Disney seemed to have rediscovered the magic that made their animated features of the early '90s – Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King – such delights. There are musical numbers in keeping with the story's setting – New Orleans – which wouldn't be out of place on Broadway but not necessarily as showtune-y as late '90s Disney efforts (Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan). There's also a sense of fun that was missing from those films.

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