Even in this day and age the term “animated film” is likely to bring to mind kiddie fare, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that section of it. But even some of the most innocently-conceived animated films have become enduring classics for their triumphs of technical innovation and storytelling. What follows are some highlights of this ever-expanding art form’s most memorable achievements.
It is a list that is by no means complete, but will certainly give those who want to revisit animation’s potential a great place to start!
15. Steamboat Willie (1928)
Mickey Mouse is the family-friendly face of good ol’ family-friendly Disney. But his origins were a lot rougher around the edges. The first and best known of his earlier, less tame adventures was 1928’s Steamboat Willie.
The animation and sound engineering on this venerable short were revolutionary for its time. Not to mention it’s just downright fun to see what Mickey got into before he succumbed to the pressures of being a corporate icon.
14. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut (1999)
When South Park hit the big screen in 1999 it was big news and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut more than lived up to the promise implied in its single entendre title. In addition to being a brilliant send up of musical feature length cartoons it also greatly expanded the canon of the South Park universe, with Canadians fully acknowledged as practically a different species with their “flapping heads and beady eyes” and Satan as an insecure gay man who makes poor relationship choices.
It also marks the first appearance of recurring arch-villain Saddam Hussein! Clever cameos from celebrities like George Clooney and Monty Python’s Eric Idle don’t hurt either, and where Bigger, Longer, and Uncut is concerned you want things to hurt as little as possible…