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Life, Law & Libros

Top 10 Underrated Animated Movies

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's theme is "Top 10 Underrated Authors or Books in X Genre." I blanked on "underrated"...and "genres"...so instead, I return to my old obsession with animated movies. I LOVED them as a kid, and I still love watching them now. To narrow the field, I'm limiting myself to traditional/2-D animation, non-Disney/Pixar/Studio Ghibli only. :)

Top 10 Underrated Animated Movies:

Cats Don't Dance - One of my favorite animated films and an homage to the days of song and dance in Hollywood. I don't know many people who remember this one, but the animation, music and story are so fun!
The Iron Giant - Okay, let's face it. It's essentially E.T. meets Wall-E, but it released too late for the one craze and too early for the second. Still, it will probably hold young boys' interest better than Cinderella and manages to poke fun at artists all at once. (My Art major cousin loves that second part.)
Titan A.E. - Joss Whedon had a hand in the story (reminiscent in tone and setting of Firefly). What went wrong? Timing was probably a big thing. This film came out in 2000, during the decline of traditional animation and the rise of CG. It tried to do both (with spaceships and aliens reminiscent of early computer games). But if you can ignore some of the graphics, the voice casting is good and the story is perfect for sci-fi fans. (Fair warning: one or two scenes may be a bit "old" for younger kids.)

The Swan Princess - Unlike Fox's Anastasia, this film lacked the big-name voice cast, but it made up for it with witty lines and rhymes as well as songs and helpful animal friends worthy of Disney. The sequels are, for the most part, rightly avoided, but this first film is worth a watch. Seriously, you have to check out something that sings, "What if Odette doesn't go for the merger? Urge her!"
Quest for Camelot - Having caught this on TV recently, I can't really say it's underrated...but Anastasia was too well known to make the list, and it has a few good moments. Just be prepared for a few laughable songs, a few laughably serious songs, and a few lines that will crack you up. Also, if you've read Graceling, there's a song in here that perfectly fits Po at book's end. And now you are curious!

Balto - Despite boasting a big name cast and spawning several sequels, Balto seems to have been left behind in the '90's. Maybe it's the lack of heartwarming musical numbers? Regardless, it's about a dog and based on a true story. And not like Hachi where the dog dies at the end and makes you cry. There, it's safe to watch.
Bartok the Magnificent - Everyone knows Anastasia, but few remember this direct-to-video sequel starring the minion with a heart. It's completely different in story and tone from its predecessor- which may be why it's so underrated- but it's a fun fantasy adventure with a moral to the story. :)
Once Upon a Forest - It was a financial failure, but this is the younger, less "humans are totally evil" distant cousin of FernGully: The Last Rainforest. The characters are younger and not magic, so there is no fairy/shrunken human romance...which is probably why it's underrated.


Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and The Road to El Dorado - I don't know if these last two films are underrated so much as unknown. Dreamworks is famous for its CG epics, HTTYD and Kung Fu Panda, but its last round of traditionally animated films fell flat. They tried to recreate the mass appeal of Shrek with some similar humor; no cigar. But don't let that stop you. While it may not be wholly appropriate for the younger kiddies, the animation, scores and casting are good; and Sinbad has an amazing villain!


That's it for this round of 10! Thanks for stopping by and check back in tomorrow for this week's Updates! In which I'm back in the saddle and prepping for an eventful weekend. :)

14 comments :

  1. Wait! I thought only Disney made animated movies, what is all this?

    =) Honestly, not seen a single one of those. Heard of most of them, but never watched. I do remember when Titan AE came out and the commercials blasted Creed over and over

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    1. I know! The sacrilege! The blasphemy! (Didn't stop my sister from being Anastasia in her kindergarten Disney play.)

      You haven't seen any of these? That does surprise me a little, but I guess that's why they wind up in the $5 bin at Walmart. ;) I don't remember the commercials, but Nathan Lane does have a very distinctive voice. Maybe they were counting on that?

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  2. BALTO is soooo totally underrated! That was one of my favorites as a kid - still love it, in fact.

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    1. And it got two sequels, didn't it? Imagine the numbers if it had Disney's name on it instead.

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    2. It did get two sequels. I didn't like those nearly as much as the first one. It's funny; it actually wasn't until recently that I found out Disney didn't make BALTO.

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  3. Okay yeah. I don't think I've seen any of these. Totally proving your point here LOL

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Haha, true! Though I'm a little surprised. Granted, some of these are fringe films, but Dreamworks is a major studio and those last two are from 2000 and later. Oh well, now you have plenty of silly, fun movies to choose from when you need a study break. ;)

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  4. YES! Kel, I could hug you. I love, love, love how you twisted this around. I'm such a pro-animated movie person. Pixar and Disney are my thing. It was a complete blast from the past when you mentioned The Swan Princess and Balto (wolves are my thaaaaang). Quest for Camelot is one I need to rewatch asap as well as The Road to El Dorado. But Sinbad, say what? I didn't even know about that one!

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    1. Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only animation nerd out there. ;) You've never heard of DreamWorks' Sinbad? Forget college! Go watch it now!

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  5. Gah, Balto used to make me cry as a kid.

    And my sister was obsessed with The Swan Princess. I watched it recently on Netflix and got a few laughs out of it. Definitely underrated!

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    1. An inspirational true story about a dog risking his life to save a town and becoming a hero made you cry as a kid? Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. ;)

      If you want a few more laughs, try the Swan Princess sequels. The quality drop is very noticeable, but there are some interesting villain songs.

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  6. Yes! Great list! Swan Princess was a fave when I was younger.
    I think the only 2 movies I haven't heard of here are Bartok amd Titan AE!

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    1. Thank you! Bartok was a direct-to-video release, but Titan A.E. got a decent amount of press. Hmm...

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  7. This is a good read i have done today so far, I am delighted to came across it. I'll be back again to check out other posts as well. BestAnimeQuotes

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