Rachel’s Top 50 Animation Countdown (50-41)

So I have a fun series I am going to be doing over the next 5 few weeks.  I have meticulously came up with my top 50 animated films.  This isn’t the most impactful or the best made.  It is just my favorite.  For example, I know Pinocchio is a masterpiece and I do appreciate it.  It’s just not a favorite of mine.  So you will disagree with many of these but you can make your own list ;)!

Nevertheless, love to hear your feedback.  It was very tough to do.  I also am still working through anime so there may be some of your favorites I haven’t seen.  Pretty much any movie on this 50 I would give an A too so I love them all even if it is 50th place.

I tried to keep this list in general order of my Disney Ranking but there may be a few things I’ve changed so don’t hold me to that.

50. Watership Down- dark, disturbing, violent and has a lot to say about political systems, social structures and how we rationalize away the dignity of others.

watership down2

49. Ponyo- Gorgeous take on Little Mermaid by Studio Ghibli is weird, different and incredibly creative.  A movie I could watch with the sound turned off and still love.  It is also cute and Ghibli’s most child-friendly film outside of Totoro (which is coming later). You know me- I love anything to do with the ocean.

artistic648. Lady and the Tramp– An underrated Disney gem.  A sweet and simple story of the dogs from different sides of the track falling in love.  I love the Norman Rockwell artistry and the jazz Peggy Lee soundtrack. And spaghetti is my favorite food so cant go wrong with that!

Lady-and-the-Tramp-247. Wallace and Gromit:  The Curse of the Were Rabbit- Based on the characters from Nick Park’s animated shorts, we get a witty, sweet claymation story of crazy inventor Wallace and his wise dog Gromit as they try to rid the town of a mutant rabbit eating all their vegetables.

wallace and gromit46. How to Train Your Dragon 2- A rare sequel that is better than the original.  The flying sequences are gorgeous, real heart with the family drama and an epic quality that is tough to pull off in animated films.  For kids that are too young for Lord of the Rings this is a great option.

How-to-Train-Your-Dragon-2-Hiccup-Toothless45. Charlotte’s Web- EB White’s story of the plucky pig and his spider friend comes alive with songs from the Sherman Brothers and great voice casting including Debbie Reynolds and Paul Lynde.

charlotte web44. Atlantis: The Lost Empire– I know I’m in the minority on this one but I love Atlantis.  I love the diversity of the team and how hilarious they all are.  I love the fight sequences and the steampunk look to everything.  I think the culture and language they created is great.

atlantis243. Paranoman- An underrated movie that is legitimately scary yet sweet and full of good laughs.  Made more for teenagers than little children (especially the humor) but not too grown up.  It’s hard to believe it is stop motion it is so seamless. The message at the end is a unique take on bullying with the bullied girl becoming the bully and how they can talk her down.

paranorman42. Land Before Time-   Beautifully animated tail of dinosaurs little one’s making it to the promised land of sorts.  Sweet, sad with nice music.

land before time41. Toy Story 2– I know woefully low for this movie but what can I say this is where it landed. Toy Story 2 is a great movie.  With great humor, camaraderie and an interesting dilemma for Woody about how he wants to live his life.

toy story2-4Get ready next week for the 40-31!

Here’s my youtube video on it.

36 thoughts on “Rachel’s Top 50 Animation Countdown (50-41)

  1. Haven’t seen Watership Down, How to Train Your Dragon 2, or Paranorman.

    I don’t like Ponyo. The story makes little sense, the parts that are taken from The Little Mermaid don’t work, and it’s just too childish. I know I don’t like anime in general (except Puella Magi Madoka Magica), but other people I met who like Studio Ghibli films were quick to groan “Ugh, we didn’t like Ponyo at all”.

    You know how I feel about Atlantis.

    Lady and the Tramp and The Land Before Time are good choices.

    1. Like I said this is just my favorites. I love Ponyo and dont think it is too childish. It is very cute but it is also wildly creative and surprising. Plenty to entertain at least this adult ;).
      Glad you agree with me on those 2. They are great! I figure if everyone doesnt walk away agreeing on some and disagree on others on this list I havent done my job (and maybe get introduced to a few along the way).

      1. I dont know just the way it combines nature, storms, the ocean, magic and the different personalities of Ponyo, Suskoo, her father and mother was unpredictable and surprising. I think it is exciting without being as dark as some Ghibli and it takes a familiar story and does it in a totally new way. I like that. The scenes with Ponyo transforming and running on the water are amazing and it has a visual style that continually surprises and dazzles me while still being child friendly.

      2. I understand what you mean. I agree that the animation is great. I just don’t personally care about that unless there is a strong story behind it, and I wasn’t that compelled.

      3. Fair enough. I like the story so it made my list. Thanks for commenting. What about any of the other choices?

      4. It’s really different and unique so I get it not being everyone’s cup of tea. I dig it.

    2. You should check out Dragon 2 and Paranorman. Not sure what you’d think of Watership Down. People either love it or hate it

    3. I agree, I don’t like Ponyo either. Some nice animation but the story…..
      You should watch Watership Down. It is one of the must-see animated movies.

      1. Ha! Love the story! I think it’s really creative and sweet. Funny my whole family loves Ponyo.

      2. Ha! Love the story! I think it’s really creative, engaging and sweet. Funny my whole family loves Ponyo.

      3. But yes Watership Down is a must-see. First animation to get criterion release and it’s great. So different

      4. Thank you for agreeing about Ponyo.

        In regards to other things on the list, I’m surprised Watership Down is here because you seem to have a habit of disliking anything aimed at kids that is dark or disturbing, and most of what I’ve heard of it that it’s one of the most grim stories ever aimed at children.

        I just saw Return to Oz yesterday and I agree with both of you: awful junk with no purpose or direction that adds nothing to the original. All I can really say about it is it’s one of those films you have to see to believe. I was born after Return to Oz came out but I discovered a children’s picture book adaption of it. when I was around 8 in the library and I was just in shock at how bizarre it was I didn’t know who would be able to come up with things like Dorothy getting electro-shock treatment to forget her time in Oz. It seemed like a joke or a sick demented parody of the film.

      5. Eh…no. Actually, quite the opposite, I think that most animated movies sugercoat too much nowadays. I have a dislike for Pinocchio specifically because I dislike the message behind it, and I have a dislike for movies and TV-Shows which seem to violence and/or sex without any purpose behind, no matter if they are aimed towards children or adults. In the case of Watership Down, I really like the message behind it and none of the violence feels in any way gracious. And the movie is not really aimed at children. Weather the studio intended it or not, it is one of the few animated western movies which doesn’t feel like a children movie at all.

      6. I like Pinocchio. It’s just not a favorite of mine. It’s a morality tale meant to teach children to not sin (particularly lying) and I like that. There are just 50 movies I like better.
        I agree with you Watership Down is not a children’s movie. It was always made more for teens and up as was the book which is when I read it for my English class and saw the movie. It would definitely be categorized in YA if it came out today not childrens lit. The violence plus the political symbolism put it clearly in that camp. Return to Oz and Hunchback of Notre Dame have elements clearly made for little children ruining the tone anf making it very unpleasant for me. Watership Down is very consistent in tone.

      7. That comment was directed to Rachel. I don’t know anything about your preferences.

        I love Pinocchio, but I do agree with you about your general preferences. Django Unchained is one of my favorite movies, but Hell on Wheels is worthless meandering junk and uses graphic violence to no end other than to disgust the viewer. This might surprise people but Tarantino actually reshot the scene with the dogs tearing apart the slave because he thought he was traumatizing the audience. He also knew just how much to show in the mandingo fight without going too far as well.

        That shows skill and talent in a filmmaker. And more restraint than the Hell on Wheels creators have ever exhibited.

      8. Never seen Django so cant say anything on that. I knew you were talking to me. It can get a little confusing because you started thanking her for agreeing on Ponyo and then changed to me.
        Always fun to hear different opinions

      9. We agreed that R-rated Tarantino slaveowner murder fest is not fit for sensitive little Mormon eyes multiple times, remember?

      10. Like I said in comment to swanpride Watership Down is not made for children. More teens which is when I read the book and could understand the political commentary it was making (I’ve always been very interested in politics).

        It’s a simplification to say I don’t like darkness. I like Pans Labyrinth and that is very dark fantasy with an R rating made for adults. It just depends on tone and presentation.
        I completely agree on Return to Oz. It took all the magic and wonder out of Wizard of Oz and leaves you with a bleak mean world (a dark world can be quite wonderful such as in Labyrinth or Over the Garden Wall). Even at home they are giving her electo shock therapy.
        WD is worth a watch. It’s so different you will either love it or hate it.
        Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts. I didnt think in a million years Ponyo would be a controversial one on this last. Go figure! Ha! 🙂

      11. It makes sense Watership Down isn’t actually intended for children.

        I’m sorry if I simplified your tastes, which I mostly did because you did the same for me. It’s a simplification to say I never like slapstick comedy. That depends on tone and presentation. Frankly I can’t make sense of Doug Walker saying Matilda will mess kids up while being quick to yell (word-for-word) “I love Return to Oz… but it’s good and it has a good message!” I didn’t find next to any powerful message in the film, or any heart, or soul to the characters.

        Matilda has a message about standing up for yourself and believing in yourself even when people don’t appreciate you. It gives children hope in a world where they feel oppressed and powerless. It used slapstick comedy and it was sincere. That attribute is what I felt Home Alone lacked.

      12. That’s fair. I did say that. I can see what you mean. We’ve hashed out Home Alone to death. To me Kevin being able to think of everything on his own was empowering and funny but I can see your point.
        Anyway messaging can be a tricky thing. Like recently I was so moved by When Marnie was There and another blogger friend thought it was contrived. Takes all types as they say

      13. Plus rabbit on rabbit violence is just never going to be as upsetting to me as something like Medusa abusing and berating a little girl and making her go down a little hole into a dark cave. It’s way more upsetting in my book. Same with Return to Oz. Dorthy is a little girl not a rabbit.

      14. BUT SILLY RABBIT, TRICKS ARE FOR KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEN WILL THEY LEARN?

  2. Nice attempt at a top 50 series! I have a hard time making my top 13 lists, much less top 50!

    I too am not a fan of Ponyo. It was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever saw, as well as the first anime-related thing I’ve ever seen, and throughout the movie, I was just like, “What…the…heck?…”

    1. Thanks. It’s going to be fun! I thought I would get the most flack for Toy story 2 being so low. Ponyo is weird but that’s partly why I like it 🙂

    2. I think I watched Cat Returns long before Ponyo but that was nothing memorable. I still recommend you check out Puella Magi Madoka Magica, finest anime I have ever seen.

      And that’s the same thing I keep saying to myself right now because I’m watching The Big Lebowski. But it is weird and hilarious in THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!

  3. Reblogged this on Smilingldsgirl's Weblog and commented:

    I’ve started a new series on the movie blog of My Top 50 Animated films. I am going to release them over 5 weeks. I’ve worked very hard on the list so please check out 50-41. All of these are movies I love very much and would love your feedback on.

  4. I watched The Land before Time as an adult recently, years and years after the first time. It did have a slow pace. Funny to think I experienced dinosaurs before Jurassic Park.

    1. It’s true. It is slower paced but I didnt mind it. Kind of suited the gentle story. It’s certainly a whole different kind of dinosaur than Jurassic Park! 🙂 I think I will review Land Before Time before Good Dinosaur comes out. That should be fun

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