Monday, 4 November 2019

My Favourite Animation Movies

Hello & Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you are all having an awesome start to the first week of November... where has this year gone!? Only two months left! What's something that you're looking forward to for the rest of 2019? For me, I can't wait for all of the yummy foods that pop up around Christmas Time, especially lebkuchen (a traditional spiced German Christmas biscuit - I've eaten some already and it's only the 4th of November!). Before I get carried away with myself talking about food XD... Did you guys know that a week ago today, it was International Animation Day? I obviously had to show my love for the wonderful world of animation art and decided talking about my favourite animated movies would be a fun way to celebrate the occasion (albeit seven days late!). I've decided to discuss my top non-Disney movies, because as much as I adore Disney's multitude of amazing flicks, I wanted to show appreciation for some of other superb animated classics out there! I hope you all enjoy reading and that my post sparks a lovely trip down memory lane! I know it did for me, writing about the masterpieces that captivated me in my childhood. 

A photo showing two VHS tapes: Ferngully and Pokemon 2000, a Studio Ghibli image on a phone and postcard, a pikachu pokemon card and colourful paper stars

Princess Mononoke (1997) 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will probably already know that Princess Mononoke is one of my all-time favourite movies, or at least that I'm a huge fan of Studio Ghibli- an iconic Japanese production company that have created the most outstanding animation movies since the 1980's. I have been a lover of these epic movies since I was around fourteen, and to be honest it is very tough to rank them! They are all so good!! However, Princess Mononoke is just one that I cannot help but feel a pull towards. The nature/wildlife theme appeals to me because I'm a nature nerd through and through. Plus it is, in my opinion, the one Studio Ghibli film that is aimed at more mature audiences, although Japanese movies always tend to include more serious subject matters and content (even those who's primary target audience is children) VS western movies. Princess Mononoke includes weaponry, fighting and some mild gore, and it's just phenomenal. 

Also if you love mythology and folklore then you should totally check out this movie. Almost all of Ghibli's productions have an element of folklore because it is an integral part of Japanese culture & history, but for Princess Mononoke it is the main focus of the movie. And oh my gosh, the animation is so stunning!!

Pokemon: The First Movie (1998)

It will also come as no surprise to my returning readers that this has made it to my list of top animation movies. Pokemon has been a part of my life since I was six years old, so it has had an influence on the development of my interests for most of my life. Pokemon: The First Movie is one of the first movies that I can recall having such a big emotional impact on me (anyone who's seen this gem will know which scene in particular I'm referring to). Broke my little otaku heart :'). 

It is such a heart-warming story of friendship and doing what's right to help others. Mew & Mewtwo are fabulous, as well! Ever since watching this movie, Mew has been one of my favourite Pokemon. It's so cute!! I'm trying to keep spoilers to a minimum in this post, but I'll need to reveal some content details to tell you guys why I love each of the movies. There's a short scene in Pokemon (1998) where Mew is playing on a windmill and it's too cute, I'm gonna die!! Pokemon, the entire franchise in general, is a masterpiece and so is this movie! Fight me if you disagree :D 

FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

It feels even more special that this beautiful movie was released the year I was born :) When I was quite young, maybe around six, my grandma bought me the VHS tape for this movie that my parents had never heard of before, and it was spectacular! I might be biased because I've forever been a nature lover, but the storyline of this movie resonated with mini me so much and still does to this day. FernGully: The Last Rainforest seems to be one of those films that either someone has never heard of before OR anyone who has seen it, adores it. It's lesser-known and I want to do my part to fix that! It is surprising since two superb actors voiced characters in this movie; Robin Williams and Tim Curry. I grew up loving the sound of Tim Curry's voice before I ever discovered it was the fabulous actor who played Dr Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I have such a thing for voices though, which my best friend likes to refer to as my 'voice fetish' XD... although I can't argue with that definition, haha! Is anyone else the same? Tell me a voice in the comments that you find super attractive.

So yeah, even as a little kid, I loved the sound of Tim Curry's voice and I couldn't help but enjoy this movie... he has a song it in that is excellent! But aside from that, the movie itself is stunning! The animation, the fantasy theme (which surrounds fairies) and the message are what make it a firm favourite of mine, even as an adult. It's got a charm about it, and this is in many ways thanks to Robin William and his character Batty. Again, I don't want to say too much, but to those who've watched FernGully, I used to feel so cool that I knew all the words to a certain musical piece by Batty XD I wouldn't stop reciting it to everyone who would listen! *insert sunglasses emoji here*. 

The Pagemaster (1994) 

This movie came on TV one Sunday evening (if my memory is correct, after all this time) when I was eight or nine, and I thought it was one of the most incredible things I'd ever set eyes on. I know this post is very much nostalgia-fuelled but that shows just how good these movies are. They are timeless classics to me and will forever be treasured, never losing their magic no matter how many times I watch them. Do you have any favourite movies like that? 

So anyhow, The Pagemaster has such a unique story that is executed in a way that I've never seen in any other movie. Sure, I've seen similar concepts, but none quite like The Pagemaster. If you hadn't gathered yet from the title, this movie has a bookish theme, which as someone who has enjoyed reading and also writing their own stories since childhood, found it to be very much my cup of tea. The story incorporates so many literary classics and *spoiler alert* the Jekyll & Hyde scene really freaked me out way back when :O 

Like for most fantasy fans, there's just something so captivating (when done well) about the idea of being an ordinary sort of person living a typical, mundane existence, and then suddenly being immersed in a magical world, that is so appealing! And the events of The Pagemaster were delightful food for the imagination for kid me, so I fell in love with the movie. The characters were so loveable, too. And dragons were always my thing!  

The Pebble and the Penguin (1995) 

This is definitely an underrated animation movie, but with so many awesome 90's movies, there's lots of fantastic ones that got loss in the cracks, or however that saying goes. It's such a shame! The Pebble and the Penguin is so lovely; the main character is the sweetest! It's another movie that appealed to me because of the nature theme, especially because the intro has a documentary feel to it and I watched many of those from being old enough to talk. I like that the premise of the Pebble and the Penguin is somewhat rooted in reality, and is based on the behaviour of Adelie Penguins, of which the male of the species searches for the perfect stone to present to a female in an attempt to wow her with his rock-finding abilities :D 

The movie is about a penguin who is desperate to impress the girl of his dreams, who's also being pursued by this huge bully of a penguin (voiced by the legend Tim Curry) - there I go again, subconsciously lovin' all movies featuring Tim Curry's voice XD It is another tale of friendship, love and finding your inner strength, no matter how small or insignificant you feel. The protagonist risks everything to get the most precious pebble for his sweetheart, and even though he's the misfit of his colony, he ends up on top in the end :) 'Never give up' is the key lesson of The Pebble and the Penguin, and I can't recommend it enough. 

The Land Before Time (1988) 

Not gonna lie, it was a challenge to settle on a sixth favourite because there were a few contenders. Eventually, I chose the marvellous 80's movie, The Land Before Time because of the amount of times I watched when I was younger. I have always been a fan of dinosaurs, I mean who isn't? They are amazing! So it's impossible for me not to love this movie, which is set in prehistoric times and follows a group of little dinosaurs that are separated from their loved ones and must embark on a journey writhe with dangers to be reunited with them. It is beautiful and compelling, and so heart-breaking in parts. The five dinosaurs whose journeys we follow in The Land Before Time are brilliant and we get to see their species differences and unique personalities clash as they struggle to get along but through the hardships they face, their friendships blossom and it's wonderful to see. My favourite character has always been Petrie, a tiny Pterodactyl. I didn't know that I had anxiety when I was a young child, but Petrie's character is the one I most related too and he's a little ball of nerves so I can now understand why I liked him so much! This first movie was so well-received that it lead to there being thirteen others made!! And although I haven't seen them all, the ones I have have been great! I remember having a PlayStation game based on the 9th movie, Journey to Big Water (2002), with the game being called 'Big Water Adventure'. Does anyone else remember playing it? 

So those are six of my absolute favourite non-Disney animation movies! I hope you all enjoyed reading what I had to say about them. I have two honourable mentions that I can't not list, as well. One being The Road to El Dorado, a Dreamworks production from 2000 that is so good, with two hilarious lead characters and a wonderful sound track, performed mostly by Elton John. The second being a very short but sweet movie released in 1995 by Jetlag Productions, many of whose movies were animated in Japan, including this one, so are visually beautiful, especially when it comes to the attention to detail in depictions of nature. Heidi is a classic tale that has been retold and adapted time and time again because it is so well-loved, and this version made me feel so uplifted whenever I watched it. There's a song at the beginning of the movie called 'Start with a Smile' that still makes me instantly happy when I listen to it :) I think both of these movies deserve more credit and you need to give them a watch. If my post inspires you to watch any of the movies I've mentioned, then please let me know :) I'd love to hear your opinions on them. I'm going to finish up my post here because I've already written too much! 

Thankyou for reading! 


What are your favourite animation movies?

I'd love some recommendations! 

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