The ten best animated films of 2009

True, the once neglected art of animation has undergone a rebirth in both artistry and popularity. Yet having escaped one blind alley, it seems headed into another one: The dumbing-down of stories out of preference for meaningless nonstop action. Classic animated features were models of three-act stories: Recall "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" or "The Lion King." The characters were embedded in stories that made sense and involved making decisions based on values. Now too many stories end in brain-numbing battles, often starring heroes the age of the younger audience members. Here is no food for growth and for the imagination, just brainless kinetic behavior.

The year saw more animated films intended instead for adults, and a film like "Waltz with Bashir" used the freedom of the form to show matters unthinkable in a live action feature. Several of these films were true crossovers, truly freed from the demographic vise.
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

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