Honor roll: Animation films

Each of these Animation films has received at least one award nomination. They are ranked by honors received.

Film:Aladdin

Aladdin

John Musker, Ron Clements

Disney’s 1992 animated feature is a triumph of wit and skill. The high-tech artwork and graphics look great, the characters are strong, the familiar story is nicely augmented with an interesting villain (Jafar, voiced by Jonathan Freeman), and there’s an incredible hook atop the whole thing: Robin Williams’s frantically hilarious vocal performance as Aladdin’s genie. Even if one isn’t particularly moved by the love story between the title character (Scott Weinger) and his girlfriend Jasmine (Linda Larkin), you can easily get lost in Williams’s improvisational…

Film:Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

The film that officially signaled Disney’s animation renaissance (following The Little Mermaid) and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Beauty and the Beast remains the yardstick by which all other animated films should be measured. It relates the story of Belle, a bookworm with a dotty inventor for a father; when he inadvertently offends the Beast (a prince whose heart is too hard to love anyone besides himself), Belle boldly takes her father’s place, imprisoned in the Beast’s gloomy mansion. Naturally, Belle…

Film:Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Robert Zemeckis

It’s 1947 Hollywood, and Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a down-on-his-luck detective, is hired to find proof that Marvin Acme, gag factory mogul and owner of Toontown, is playing hanky-panky with femme fatale Jessica Rabbit, wife of Maroon Cartoon superstar Roger Rabbit. When Acme is found murdered, all fingers point to Roger, and the sinister, power-hungry Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) is on a mission to bring Roger to justice. Roger begs the Toon-hating Valiant to find the real evildoer and the plot thickens as Eddie uncovers scandal after scandal and realizes the very existence of Toontown is at stake! Who Framed Roger Rabbit is deliciously outrageous fun the whole family will enjoy.

Film:Toy Story

Toy Story

John Lasseter

There is greatness in film that can be discussed, dissected, and talked about late into the night. Then there is genius that is right in front of our faces—you smile at the spell it puts you into and are refreshed, and not a word needs to be spoken. This kind of entertainment is what they used to call “movie magic” and there is loads of it in this irresistible computer animation feature. Just a picture of these bright toys on the cover of Toy Story looks intriguing as it reawakens the kid in us. Filmmaker John Lasseter’s shorts (namely Knickknack

Film:The Lion King

The Lion King

Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

Not an ideal choice for younger kids, this hip and violent animated feature from Disney was nevertheless a huge smash in theaters and on video, and it continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed Broadway production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is sabotaged by a rivalrous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking, and the music is more palatable than in many Disney features. But be cautious: this is too intense for the Rugrat crowd. --Tom Keogh

How good-looking is the DVD restoration of Disney's popular animated film? Take a look at the serviceable but dull film…[more]

Film:The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Henry Selick

For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is! The full title is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the…

Film:A Bug's Life

A Bug's Life

John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

There was a rare magic on the big screen in 1995, when the people at Pixar came up with the first fully computer-animated film, Toy Story, and their second feature film, A Bug’s Life, may miss the bull’s-eye but Pixar’s target is so lofty that it’s hard to find the film anything less than irresistible. Brighter and more colourful than the other animated insect movie of 1998 (Antz), A Bug’s Life is the sweetly told story of Flik (voiced by David Foley), an ant searching for better ways to be a bug. His colony unfortunately revolves…

Film:The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt

Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells, Steve Hickner

Nearly every biblical film is ambitious, creating pictures to go with some of the most famous and sacred stories in the Western world. DreamWorks' first animated film was the vision of executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg after his ugly split from Disney, where he had been acknowledged as a key architect in that studio's rebirth (The Little Mermaid, etc.). His first film for the company he helped create was a huge, challenging project without a single toy or merchandising tie-in, the backbone du jour of family entertainment in the 1990s.

Three…

Film:The Rugrats Movie

The Rugrats Movie

Norton Virgien, Igor Kovalyov

The first theatrical film from the popular Nickelodeon TV series became the surprise hit of the 1998 holiday box-office crunch, trouncing the highly competitive kids market. The key ingredient to the Rugrats’ success is the writing. Venturing into their first theatrical movie, the pals—including the intrepid diaper-wearing Tommy Pickles, the nervous Chuckie, the twins Lil and Phil, and the wonderfully prissy Angelica—garble English into funny prose (“I want those fugitives back in custard-y!”) and use movie references in their fantasy life. The opening here is a…

Film:Hercules

Hercules

John Musker, Ron Clements

Not the egregious foul it seemed to be in theaters, Hercules stands up as an entertaining spritzer of an animated feature. The continual peppering of in-jokes and cultural references becomes less irksome on video. That there’s no majesty or awe invested in the beloved Greek legends also seems less of an error. Also on the plus side is the bounciest Alan Menken music since Little Shop of Horrors. With Zeus’s blood in his veins, young Hercules’s amazing strength makes him an outcast (sorry, that still doesn’t fly), so he trains with a satyr named Phil…

Views: 7,273 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.019 sec