2015 Animation So Far Ranked

So 2015 hasn’t been the year in animation 2014 was (still in my Oscar reviews 2014 is one of my favorites).  The thing that made 2014 cool was even the silly comedies were solid.  But that’s a post for another day.  Let’s talk about the films of 2015 so far.  Song of the Sea (still best film I’ve seen in 2014) doesn’t count because it is technically a 2014 release.

Going bottom to top…

Strange Magic-

Not a good movie by any stretch but not as bad as any of last years bad animated films. It’s the script and the uncreative song choices that sink this magical fairytale

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Terrible voice performances and characters that don’t really make sense with a tired plot spoil decent animation from a book I’m told is quite clever. Basically ends up being a lame road trip movie.  A real letdown.


Maya the Bee-

For the smallest kids.  Good animation, a nice message but a lame villain and unoriginal story. Still I enjoyed it.

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A big letdown.  All good parts were in trailer. The animation is fine and there are cute moments but it didn’t make me laugh which is a problem in a comedy. Also the adult humor I could do without


un Gallo con Muchos Huevos-

A pleasant surprise, pretty good animation for 5 mil budget, creative, some decent laughs. Some strange characters but I think a lot of that comes with my unfamiliarity with the series.  Didn’t like the PG-13 elements and the story is predictable but overall entertaining.

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Hotel Transylvania 2-

Kind of forgettable but entertaining comedy for kids. The animation is pretty good and I did laugh a fair amount.  A nice message about accepting people for who they are, not who you hope they’d be.


The Prophet-

The 8 amazing shorts are great enough to overcome the thoroughly lame framing device.


Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water-

Completely nuts but I kind of liked that.  If you’ve seen as many animated films as I have it is cool to see something weird and insane every now and then.   The ad campaign was so deceiving because  out of water segment is extremely brief.  A lot of laughs and I loved the 2D animation. It’s not for everyone but I liked it.


Shaun the Sheep-

Aardman is back with a lovely dialogue free offering about Shaun, a sheep, wanting a day off from the farm.  It is funny and sweet with great stop motion animation.  There were a few sections where the laughs are too spread out but over all a fun film for the entire family.   Wish Aardman could figure out their distribution problems so more people would see their films.



An animated film for adults but not gratuitous about love, marriage, infidelity, honesty and heartbreak.  It also has little to no dialogue but the Bill Plympton visuals are so absorbing.  You feel like you know the couple and neither Jake or Ella is a villain but 2 people who failed to communicate their hearts.


When Marnie was There-

A movie about a young girl’s journey through depression and self-loathing through her friendship with a mysterious girl named Marnie.  It is beautiful, lush, vivid, and absorbing with an amazing soundtrack.  It’s really a story about a family saving a little girl even when they have seemingly abandoned her through death.  You have to accept a little magical realism for the story to work but I was willing to take that leap.

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Inside Out-

What can I say that I haven’t already said about this film?  I’ve seen it 4 times in theaters and each time I am more in awe of the richness of the storytelling.  What a bold film from Pete Docter and Pixar that captures the emptiness of  depression and how important being sad can be.  The story arc that we get from Joy is astonishing for a character that should be one note and predictable.  Bing Bong is so original and heartfelt.  And yet it still is really funny in segments.  Just about a perfect movie IMO

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10 thoughts on “2015 Animation So Far Ranked

    1. But I agree this is like 2004 one of those years where there is a clear frontrunner for best animated film. Inside Out is amazing

    1. I would be stunned if it didnt. In fact I think it has a shot at a best picture nomination. I think Good Dinosaur is only thing that could possibly topple it but I doubt it. What I’m really curious to see if there are only 3 nominees who will get the 3rd spot- When Marnie was There is last Ghibli film, Shaun the Sheep was beloved by critics, Peanuts could be good, Minions was a huge hit…Will be interesting!

    1. That looks so good! I hadn’t heard of that one but thank you for bringing it to my attention. Do we know when it is going to be released? That Fantastic Fest looks like an amazing festival because they have April and the Extraordinary World which looks great. It’s funny I feel like I have a handle on the 2015 animated films and then I hear about another. And getting 2 Pixar films this year. Heaven!

    2. Your comment gave me an idea to make up a complimentary post on the upcoming animated films for rest of 2015. It’s a very eclectic year!

  1. Realized I forgot to include Tinker Bell and the Neverbeast and Batman vs Robin which were both very good. Probably put them both ahead of The Prophet

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