The Most Visually Beautiful Animated Films: 36-32

Most of the films in this next list I have not seen for one reason or another. May we both learn something new from this post! 


36. Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville), 2003 

One of two films directed by Slyvain Chomet I will mention on this list, this is one of the hidden gems from the French Cinéma. Released the same year as Finding Nemo, it was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Animated Film and Best Original Song. I do not know much more about this movie and I have never seen it. I avoided it partially because I believed it would be crude. Now, I think I will give it a try despite my predetermined notions. 


To the visuals. I love the colors. The various autumn shades of brown, green, red and blue give it a antiqueish look. It is kind of like looking at illustrations from an old newspaper. There is only one thing I do not like about the visuals. The character animation. I know that usually is not a factor, but the ugly, gritty designs really distracted me when I looked through its pictures. 


You (and I), if you have never seen this film should give it a try if only to see the background art. I wish there was more I could tell you about this film but that will have to wait until I watch it myself. I promise his other film will have some more useful information. 




35. Ratatouille, 2006 

This is another film with autumn like colors. That probably explains why its visuals caught my attention at all. Directed by Brad Bird, this is my favorite Pixar film. Once again, one may wonder why it is not in my other list. Well, though I like the overall atmosphere of the movie, visually it is simple. It actually has a similar color scheme as The Triplets of Belleville, but in 3D animation. This makes sense, because they both take place in France.

I think the focus of this film is on its story rather than immaculate imagery. Though it takes pauses in its story to showcase a beautiful countryside or the Eiffel Tower, the imagery is simply calming. It is interesting watching this movie because I have been to Paris and recognize many of the places shown. I believe Ratatouille highlights the lovely Parisian atmosphere subtly. I think that was best. 


Again, this is a film everyone should go out of their way to see. It is not your everyday animated film, having complex characters and a brilliant ending. My favorite still from the film would the ship sailing steadily down the River Seine. 




34. Persepolis, 2007 

This film is based on Marjane Satrapi‘s autobiographical graphic novel. Set during the Iranian revolution, it was co-directed by Satrapi and fellow comic artist Vincent Parounnand. Obviously modeled after her graphic novel, it feels like the world told through the eyes of an artist. Though such horrible things happen, there is an obvious disconnection from reality. But then again, many of the subjects she addresses could not be adapted well or accepted without animation. 

I have never see this film and do not plan to. I have a hard time seeing movies with main characters who forsake morality for personal reasons. But, this film’s style does have a strange beauty to it. Reminiscent of old black and white cartoons, it reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s poetry books. Like his poetry, Persepolis had the look of a children’s story but at its heart was told from an adult’s perspective . 


I can neither recommend nor condemn this film. It is not my place. In its own way, it is beautiful as it is told personally by the author. But, it does not appeal to me as much as it would others. 





33. ואלס עם באשיר‎, Vals Im Bashir (Waltz With Bashir), 2008

This a unique addition to the list. The only Israeli animated film I have ever heard of, it tells the story of a young man Ari Folman suffering from amnesia. Autobiographocal and visually jarring, this is not a film for children. Well, at least not unless they are learning about wars in the Middle East and Lebanon. Yet another film I will never see, I do want to acknowledge Ari Folman‘s contribution to the annals of animation.  


It is not, as I supposed, rotoscope animation but a combination of Adobe Flash cutouts and traditional hand drawn animation. How did this work? Well all the drawings were cut into hundreds of pieces in order to create an illusion of movement. The result was a comic style atmosphere  with gritty imagery. Do I like it? Well….


The process is incredible but the final product feels disjointed. Some of the scenes actually made me feel sick to my stomach at times. That is not conducive to an aesthetic experience. But this film is yet incredible and thought provoking. 



32. サマーウォーズ, Samā Wōzu (Summer Wars), 2009

Here is the first Japanese classic directed by Momoru Hosoda to appear. It was animated by Madhouse, an incredible animation studio which has released classic series like Hunter X Hunter (2011-?), Death Note (2006-2007) and Monster (2004-2005). I tried to watch this film. Really. I did. But it just was not my thing. For one, I have little interest with social networking and video games. Plus, Hosoda’s style is not up to par with masters like Miyazaki, Otomo or Takahata. 

Most of the beautiful animation comes from the social networking site OZ featured in the movie. I never got that far when I tried to watch the movie. Believe me. I tried, but I found the plot’s execution dull. Plus, the animation for the every day world was equally boring to me. Do not worry. I appreciate the work put into this film and for many of its creative scenes. However, compared to movies like Up (2009) it is not particuarily brilliant. Just average. 


I hope no one hates me after reading this. Oh well. Despite what I have said, if you are interested in the movie look forward to some colorful and unique visuals, especially during some of the battles. May it be a better experience than mine. 






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