Animated movies have long had the reputation of being only kiddie fare. Yet with the rise of studios such as Pixar and Dreamworks, animated movies have been moving more towards appeasing parents who are dragged to the theater by their children. Animated movies have always had a special place in my heart, they have the ability to tug at the heart strings, make the kid inside and the adult laugh, make us look at our own lives through a new lens, and simply delight us for ninety or so minutes. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
1. "Persepolis" (2007)--This is an unbelievable autobiography of a young girl growing up in Iran during the rise of Khomeini in the late seventies. The black and white movie is both full of fantastic and heart breaking images. You follow Marji from idealistic kid who loves Michael Jackson and dreams of being like Bruce Lee, to young adult artist who has not quite let the hard times spent in Europe and an oppressive regime destroy her rebellious spirit. This movie was originally in French, but there is an option to watch with either English subtitles or in English. MPAA rating: PG-13
2. "Wall-E" (2008)--It is almost impossible to choose only one of the movies Pixar has made to recommend. This film represents Pixar's story telling ability, appeal for all ages, and simply magnificent animation. "Wall-E" is the story of a trash compacting robot, abandoned Earth. In his solitude he has developed both a personality and an immense collection of odds and ends. His solitary life is broken by Eve, a robot sent by the last of Earth's inhabitants, and his infatuation leads him on an incredible journey into space. Most of the movie has no spoken dialogue, which leaves the viewer to admire the rich images, fall in love with the characters, and stay on the edge of their seat through the stories hilarious and emotional turns. MPAA rating: G
3. "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (2009)--I know that this one seems like it veers off too far into kid's only territory, but hear me out. This movie was utterly surprising in quality. It is witty, fantastical, over-the-top, speaks to the kid inside, and is even topical (a town in trouble due to an economic downturn). It even has a talking monkey played by Neil Patrick Harris. We are brought along on the misadventures and bad-experiments-gone-right of Flint Lockwood, inventor and scientist. His masterpiece is a machine to turns weather into food, in hopes of helping his down and out town of Swallow Falls. He falls for a secretly brainy weather girl named Sam Sparks, with whom he embarks on many a hair brained scheme.You will fall in love with this wacky movie and all its crazy denizens. MPAA rating: PG.
If you enjoy these movies, I highly suggest you try these other films: "Iron Giant," "Naussicaa of the Valley of the Wind," "How to Train Your Dragon," "Megamind" and basically any movie the Pixar studio has made ("Toy Story" series, "Finding Nemo," "Up," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," "Monster's Inc," etc.). All of which are available from SLCL!
--Devon C., Thornhill Branch