Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Animated Movies


Thursday is here. And today is Animated Movies week over at Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks.

Animated cinema has never been my thing. Even when I was a kid, I thought Animated Movies were for kids. I wanted to hang out with the grown-ups. Oh, you wanna watch The Lion King? Nah. Let's just go rent Pulp Fiction.

It's funny. I was talking to my wife yesterday about how when we hang out with our friends with kids, she turns into The Child Whisperer. They like flock to her. They never come around me unless they want something. I finally realized that I didn't want to be a kid, even when I was a kid.

But I do have a favorite animated movie from childhood...a Disney classic. I have loved pretty much every Pixar movie that is not Cars or A Bug's Life. And I mean like really loved them. And there's a certain American Auteur who made an Animated Movie that I just adore...it's of the stop-motion sort.


Here are my Thursday Movie Picks:

The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1963)


I pretty much watched this Disney flick on repeat as a kid. In Medieval England, a young boy called Wart, an aspiring knight's squire, happens upon the old wizard, Merlin, and begins an adventure that will one day make him King Arthur. There is just enough of a blend of good old Arthurian Lore to keep the budding English major in me interested and enough fun kid stuff (Merlin enchanting young Wart's dishwashing duty) to keep what was left of the kid in me happy. I recently bought this on Blu-ray for my future children. It looks great.

Ratatouille (Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava, 2007)


If you haven't been over to A Fistful of Films for our conversation about the 2007 Oscar winers, then do so. I had a blast talking about this one as part of the Four Ways a Best Picture Blogger Roundtable. Brad Bird has yet to wrong for me. His movies are vibrant and action-packed and gorgeous. This one, especially. A French rat with a refined palate named Remy (Patton Oswalt) gets lost from his pack and ends up in Paris, where he lands a job of sorts in a failing, once-famed restaurant. Everything about this movie is pretty much perfect, and it has the best-looking animated food ever put on film.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)


Even being a Wes Anderson junkie wasn't enough to get me to a theater for this one when it dropped back in 2009. What the cuss!? When I finally saw it on Blu-ray a couple years ago, I regretted that decision. This is a Wes Anderson movie, plain and simple. It has the humor, the soundtrack, the fun production design, the perfectly symmetrical shots we've come to love from such a genius. And it also features voice work from George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray, just to name a few. Such a fun animated movie, a labor of love from Wes and Co., adapted from the children's book by Roald Dahl.

20 comments:

  1. Great picks, loved all of your choices!

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  2. From your list I've only seen Fantastic Mr Fox (yes, I haven't seen Ratatouille but I do mean to change that) which I liked very much. Used to love Roald Dahl as a kid, James and the Giant Peach was probably my favourite

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    1. Dahl's books are great. And I've never seen a bad movie adaptation of his work. Wes Anderson really worked wonders with it. Get on Ratatouille. It's brilliant! I only saw it for the first time about a month ago.

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  3. Love all these. Ratatouille is perfection. Mr. Fox has such a great sense of humor.

    But The Sword in the Stone. I ADORE this one. I was always really into Arthuran legend, and I think that obsession started here. Merlin and Madam Mim are two of my all-time favorite Disney characters. Their final showdown just makes me do seal claps of joy every damn time. As does Merlin cleaning his house. And the way Merlin speaks to the female squirrel ("Madam. MA.DUM!!"). And the cleaning brushes and mops cleaning Kay and Ector. And Archimedes the Owl. OMG I just spent like half an hour watching clips on YouTube. And I'm supposed to working. CURSE YOU!

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    1. The Sword in the Stone is one of the first movies I truly loved as a kid. I watched it all the time. All the things you said about it I highly agree with. And now I want to watch it!

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  4. I fucking LOVE Fantastic Mr. Fox! Took my eldest to see that for a daddy/daughter date.

    You know how I feel about the rat movie.

    Honestly...I've never seen The Sword in the Stone...but I will.

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    1. That's a good daddy/daughter date, man. And, yes!, see The Sword in the Stone. It's so great.

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  5. I LOVE RATATOUILLE! I always feel like I had visited Paris everytime I watch the movie, haha. But I think I put Ratatouille for Oscar theme or something.

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    1. Me Too!! I love the Paris setting. So good.

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  6. I have not seen the other two but I love The Sword in the Stone! I haven't thought of it years though which surprises me because I had to wrack my brain to come up with three this week, not being an animation fan it was very difficult to do.

    Now I'm kicking myself I didn't think of this one, it has a lot of charm. Two of the ones I ultimately came up with are older Disney too, The Rescuers and 101 Dalmatians. The other was Pink Floyd's The Wall.

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    1. I don't remember The Rescuers too well, but I liked 101 Dalmatians a lot when I was a kid. Haven't seen it in years.

      Pink Floyd's The Wall is a great film. So strange and cool. Love that album, so it really works for me. Crazy head trip, that one. My Mom showed it to me when I was probably way too young. She said she remembered when it came out in theaters, she went to see it with a friend and then went back the next night by herself. It's one of her favorites.

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  7. Gosh, it's been years since I thought about The Sword in the Stone. In fact, as much as I used to watch it when I was younger, I can barely remember it now. That's definitely worth a re-watch, thanks for reminding me of it :) Great choices!
    - Allie

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    1. It's a great one. I haven't actually watched it in years. Just got the Blu-ray and put it on for a minute just to see the quality of it. Really need to give it another go soon myself.

      Thanks!

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  8. Sword in the Stone is amazing. I still love that one, I actually just watched it recently as it is on Instant Netflix. Ratatouille is okay (as you know from our discussion, ha) and I never saw Fantastic Mr. Fox

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    1. I don't know how you feel about Wes Anderson. I adore all of his work. Fantastic Mr. Fox is no exception. It plays as well as any of his movies. Love it.

      The Sword in the Stone is so memorable to me. One of my first movie loves.

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  9. I love Fantastic Mr. Fox! So unique!! There are so many animated movies I really like once I started to think about it. Of the the Dinsey and Pixar classics are great! Ok, here are my picks ... The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beauty and the Beast. They both hold so many good childhood memories for me. My other is Monsters Inc. that movies just makes me smile!

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    1. The Nightmare Before Christmas, as you know, is just not for me. But your other picks are most definitely. I love Beauty and the Beast and Monsters Inc.

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  10. All excellent picks! Merlin and his educated owl, Archimedes were such a great, hilarious team. Highlight is of course the wizard's duel. Ratatouille, I always saw at he film really meant for adults, as it didn't make a big impression on children, thought the rats were strangely adorable and great story. Absolutely love Fantastic Mr Fox - brilliant adaptation of a classic - adding more it to was a great idea and the fact that all the voiceovers (except Streep) were recorded in the locations in the film, jst made it better, plus i love Wes, can't go wrong.

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah. I think Ratatouille works better for older audiences. That's probably why I like it so much, as I'm not a huge animation fan to begin with. Alas, Brad Bird's movies have more of a human edge to them and the action sequences are shot to look like live-action. Wes definitely does no wrong.

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