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The list isn´t in any particular order, and it is NOT complete. Note: In case you are wondering why some hated titles (Like for example, The Problem Solverz) weren´t included on this list, is because I haven´t seem them yet.
Anyway, like I said before the list is not complete and probably would be subject to changes in the future.
Amazing short. Definitely not your typical Hollywood love story
Pretty much like "Memento"(Though it predates it by two years) "T.R.A.N.S.I.T." does a pretty clever use of reverse chronology, following a sordid story of love and revenge from its bitter conclusion to its seemingly innocent beginning.
And while romance its a very common theme for many, many animated short films, this short does not shy away from showing some of the least pleasant sides of romance which are often ignored in more idealistic and family-friendly tales...But the story is told in such a beautiful manner than even the darkest aspects of the plot can be easily ignored in favor of the stylish animation and the poetic imagery , evoking many different kinds of emotion during all its length without needing to use any word.
"T.R.A.N.S.I.T." is a small, undiscovered gem that deserves much more appreciation. Too bad Piet Kroon didn't direct anything else after this. I honestly think he had enough vision to eventually become one of the brightest luminaries in the history of indie animation.
Den kæmpestore bjørn (2011)
Could have been a much better family film
When I saw the first trailer of "The Great Bear", I thought that the plot seemed interesting and way more original than the usual premises of many other CGI flicks from the recent years.
Now that I finally saw it, I think that this movie was a missed opportunity to create a more interesting kind of family film. The premise was good and had a lot of potential to be something much better but the final result isn't particularly good nor memorable. From a technical standpoint, "The Great Bear" has some glaring flaws: Most of the time it looks more like a low-budget video game cutscene rather than a proper film. On the positive side, the characters designs, despite being quite unremarkable, at least are not hideously unappealing (A very common recurrence in many low- budget CGI movies)
The only character with a horrible design was the villain, and I know this is going to sound like a petty nitpick, but his ridiculously hairy arms managed to be distracting at certain points of the movie, killing the mood of some serious scenes Imagine a human character with orangutan arms and the face of the Rasputin version from Don Bluth's Anastasia, and you will have an idea of how grotesque and unappealing his design was.
With all that being said, I have to admit that the movie had a neat atmosphere which would have been perfect for a more mature kind of adventure film. I also like the fact that the movie (despite being aimed at kids) didn't shy away to include a certain level of violence and isn't afraid to mention death in the same condescending manner of many other mainstream animated movies.
I guess the noticeable lack of gags is one of the reasons some viewers may consider this movie to be "joyless", but I personally think that "The Great Bear" would have been much worse if it tried to shoehorn some forced gags to the story. There are, however, a couple of awkward "cutesy" moments that didn't add very much to the plot but weren't particularly annoying either.
The main two kids character were okay. The girl had a somewhat generic "girly" personality, but the boy, despite not being very likable, behaved in a more realistic manner than the stereotypical portrayal of children that is so common to see in media. His characterization wasn't entirely perfect, but it had potential. On the other hand, I found the villain to be generic and forgettable, despite the cruelty and unpleasantness of his actions. Not only his design was awful, his personality was also totally flat, without any interesting element that could differentiate him from the bunch, besides of his horribly hairy arms. And the titular great bear All I can say that maybe the first trailers gave me the wrong impression, but I was expecting a completely different kind of character. Something a bit less generic, instead of the average "friendly-bear" archetype so common in cartoons. Well, at least he didn't talk and wasn't voiced by some over-hyped celebrity.
The whole movie feels like a missed opportunity. Even when the CGI wasn't great, this aspect could have been compensated with a better story and a more solid characterization. Also a better villain without awful orangutan arms would have helped a lot.
The Congress (2013)
A criminally underrated film
After reading so many complaints posted on the web about the lack of originality in modern movies, one would think there would be a lot of support and praise towards a film that tries to do something different and unique, but it seems that complex (or merely unconventional) narratives are loathed here on IMDb. But then again, this is the same website that gives extremely inflated ratings to a lot of generic superhero flicks. It is also the only website where a show like "Mr. Pickles" could be rated so high.
Anyway, "The Congress" is a wonderful film. Of all the movies that combined live-action with animation through the history of cinema, this might be my favorite. Plot-wise, "The Congress" might be closer to movies like "Inland Empire" rather than "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". And the balance between the live-action parts with the animation is simply excellent.
Some people say that it would have been better if the "Hallucination" parts were done in live-action, but I disagree: The animation sequences (Which make a marvelous combination of psychedelia with an art style reminiscent of the work of Max Fleischer) not only gives the story a proper dream-like feel to the story (Opposed to a dry and forgettable portrayal of a dreams as it was seen in movies like "Inception") but also serve as a subtle commentary about modern-day obsession with escapism: It's something and subtle the way the thin line between fantasy and reality fades away as the plot of the film progresses, until the bitter reality is finally showed in a rather heartbreaking manner. Like at the end of "Waltz with Bashir", when the animation changes into live-action, we as viewers are forced to confront a harsh reality that cannot be ignored, and that reality is that living with our backs turned to the realities of today only will have dire consequences in the future, and we will have to deal with those consequences in one way or another. I guess that a message like that could be hard to swallow for many viewers, but I personally think that in this day and age, a message like that it's more necessary than ever.
I hope "The Congress" gets eventually vindicated by history. Maybe in the future, people will be able to appreciate more its daring qualities. For now at least, the future of cinema seems bleak, with all the same generic stuff making billions at the box office while the actually challenging movies are perpetually ignored. A shame, really.
The Boss Baby (2017)
Awful beyond belief. Even Bee Movie was better.
For those viewers that think that movies like "Minions" or "Sing" appeal to the lowest common denominator, I only have to say that "The Boss Baby" somehow managed to lower the bar for mainstream animation to unthinkable levels.
I miss the days when DreamWorks made great films like "The Prince of Egypt." And while some of their CGI films are definitely fun and very enjoyable to watch, "The Boss Baby" is definitely not one of them.
Since the very first trailer, this movie seemed like a cringe-worthy experience beyond belief. The only reason of why I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt (Big mistake) was because many other animated movies tend to have awful trailers but most of them turn out to be not so bad. Some of them turn out to be actually good, but "The Boss Baby" turned out to be just as bad as it seemed to be in every trailer.
The only positive aspect of this film was the animation style (Despite some rather questionable character designs) which was cute and reasonably well made, but sadly the visual aspect of this film wasn't enough to distract me from the awfulness of the script and its terrible jokes.
Compared with this, a show like "Rugrats" is Shakespeare-worthy material. This might be the worst effort done by DreamWorks Animation to date, and the fact that is getting a sequel should be enough indication to explain why stuff like "The Emoji Movie" ends being made.
A nice season finale
This was a very nice conclusion for the first season of "Camp Camp".
I personally liked a lot the interesting character development both Max and David received in this episode and the final scene was surprisingly sweet, showing that there is a place for genuine heartwarming moments even in a wacky black comedy series like this one. I just hope the end of the second season (Which has been pretty entertaining so far) manages to be just as good as this chapter!
Okay, I'm sold
The first episode of "Camp Camp" caused a very good impression on me. This seems to be a fun series with interesting characters. I liked a lot the art of the series. It is simple, but is also appealing and well made...And even when this looks like something you would see on Disney XD (and despite the fact the main characters are kids) this is definitely not a children's show (But who I am kidding, kids will probably would want to watch it anyway, exactly in the same way it happened with South Park)
This is a web-series with lots of potential. I cannot wait to see more episodes!
The Flying Man (1962)
A weird 60s animation
There isn't very much that can be said about this small piece of animation: My main interest of seeing it was because it was directed by George Dunning, the same director of "Yellow Submarine".
I guess that this short must be seen as a product of its time, as an indie project with zero budget behind it: The plot is almost nonexistent, feeling more like a vague dream without any kind of particular meaning.
The animation is extremely simple (And by that I mean there are no backgrounds or details of any kinds, only sketchy shapes of color moving on screen)
From my point of view, this short has a certain charm but I can see why most viewers would hate this short and consider it a waste of time since it feels like a a weird experiment rather than follow any form of conventional (or unconventional, for that matter) narrative.
I didn't hate this as the other reviewer, but I didn't care very much about this either.
A cute short animation
This was a neat short film, directed by Jacob Streilein, who also made the very interesting and suspenseful "There's a Man in the Woods".
In sharp contrast with "There's a Man in the Woods", "Punctuwool" is a very lighthearted gag animation, being clearly aimed at a younger audience. The final result is quite cute and enjoyable, mostly thanks to the very pleasant animation style which has simple but appealing designs.
There's a Man in the Woods (2014)
The boy who cried wolf
I liked a lot this short animation, where a seemingly innocent beginning eventually leads to a darker turn of events. In many ways the plot feels like an updated version of some archetypes commonly found in fables and cautionary tales (A feeling certainly helped by the narration in rhymes) with a suspenseful touch.
The animation was pretty neat, with a nice use of colors and stylish character designs. Like in "The Northern Incident" by Max Gilardi, there was an interesting effect in seeing cartoonish characters being involved in a serious story (However, it must be said that the key difference between the two shorts is that in "There's a Man in the Woods" the seriousness is played entirely straight, while in "The Northern Incident"the thriller elements lead to a parodical conclusion)
About the voice acting, I think I will have to agree with the point made by another reviewer about the narrator not sounding the age of the character he is playing, but this detail can be overlooked in favor of the very interesting plot.
Also, Sid has to be one of the most detestable kids in any animated work from the recent years...It says a lot that his implied death at the end almost feels like a moment of justice being served rather than a tragedy.
Daria: Psycho Therapy (2000)
A fun and heartwarming episode
Most mothers in media (and specially in animated sitcoms) tend to be portrayed in a very clichéd manner, being either flawless or evil, constantly repeating the same usual archetypes in a way that made them feel like completely flat and uninteresting characters.
Fortunately, "Daria" managed to avoid such kind of predictable clichés by giving a good and interesting character development to the main cast, and this episode did a pretty good job examining the role of Helen Morgendorffer: She is a flawed character, far from the usual "perfect super mom" archetype, but she is portrayed in a sympathetic manner that makes her a believable and endearing (just like her husband Jake) and who despite her personal faults, can be still considered a good mom.
Her dialogue with Daria at the end of the episode was cleverly written and managed to be heartwarming without any kind of schmaltzy nonsense.
A pretty satisfying episode, which sheds some light about the Morgendorffer's usual traits and dysfunctions, perfectly encapsulated by Daria in her own therapy session, resulting in one of the main highlights of the fourth season of the series.