R2D2's Ultimate Top 10 Countdown Of The 2000s #3 - Animated Films.

[For the last 10 days of the decade, I'm doing a Top 10 list a day, all culminating into an ultimate post of Top 10 lists. We have previously seen Top 10 Comedies and Dramas. Now we're moving on.]

Top 10 Animated Films of the 2000s

It's Christmas Eve, a day children everywhere want to wish upon a star and believe in magic and the fantastic. So what a better genre to discuss on this most wishful of days than animated films? Sure, animation can span many genres and many languages. But no matter if it was sci-fi, fantasy, foreign, or whatever, if it's animated, it's on this particular list. That being said, let's get to it (as a note, it was surprisingly easy to list these in 'countdown' order... until the top 3).

10. Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children (2005)

I place this in the #10 spot for one simple reason: it's geared only towards those who've played the video game. If you've never played FF7, you probably wouldn't understand (nor would you be watching) Advent Children. But I wanted to include it on this list. Why? First, because it was a long-time coming, highly anticipated story. Second, because regardless of whether or not you understand the movie, the animation is freakin' amazing. Advancing on the technology used in Spirits Within, Advent Children takes it to a whole new level, making it much more realistic. And for those who have played the game, the movie is a real treat. The action is stunning, the music is great... the story itself is so-so, but who cares? It's an FF7 movie with amazing animation.

9. The Incredibles (2004)

I know this movie would probably make a bunch of a lists. It's a good one. Families of superheroes and the drama around them keeping quiet. Jason Lee as a villain. Jokes about capes. It's all here, and it's a wonderful film.

8. Shrek (2001)

Can you make this list without including Shrek? Of the series thus far, I've really only cared for the first one. It's your classic fairy tale turned on its head, making the monster a hero, the 'hero' an idiot, the sidekick a donkey, and the princess... well, you know. And you gotta love all the fairy tales walking around. If you're any kind of fairy tale fan, this movie is great just for that aspect. But what's really at the heart of the film is the friendship between Shrek and Donkey. I think if they hadn't made it as heartwarming as it was, the film would not have worked like it did.

7. Titan A.E. (2000)

This is probably one of the 'earliest' films on any of my lists. It'll probably not show up on anybody else's either (I seem to have a knack for picking those kinds of films). But it's one I really enjoy. I love the sci-fi aspect of it, trying to create a new world after the old one was destroyed. There's action, comedy, romance... it's all there. The animation is really good, too. And the voice cast is excellent: Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, Drew Barrymore, Ron Pearlman... hell, even Tone Loc is in this (remember him?). Not to mention Jim Cummings, who has a voice role in another film on this list, as well. It's just an all-around fun film with great animation. Completely underrated, in my opinion.

6. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

This was one of the first movies I rented through Netflix. Now usually, I watch a movie once and send it back. I think by the time I sent this film back, I had watched it at least 3-4 times. This is the first anime film on my list, as well. The story is, apparently, a well-known one in Japan. It's the story of a girl who, after having an incredibly bad day ending with almost dying, finds she has the ability to throw herself back in time. At first, she keeps redoing the same day over and over until she likes where she's at. Then she gets to the point where she just does it with important things. There are funny little moments where she tries to stop certain things from happening (like a friend telling her he loves her). But, of course, there are consequences to her actions that she must face. And there is so much more to the story I'm not saying. It sounds like a sci-fi movie, but it's really a drama. The film's main focus is on the relationship between the girl and her friends (and a bit on her family). The first time I saw it, I was a little confused toward one character (the 'aunt'), but I later found out this is kind of a sequel to the actual story, while being the same story anyway, but the 'aunt' character was the original girl. That made parts of the film make much more sense. Still, it's an amazing film with gorgeous animation... and I dare you not to feel emotional at the end.

5. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

I remember when this movie came out, I thought it was going to be one of the stupidest movies ever. But I was bored one day after it had been out for many weeks and decided to check it out. Boy, was I surprised. I totally loved the movie. The action was surprisingly fun, much like any other kung fu film. And while some of the secondary characters weren't very developed, their interactions were funny. I also remember sitting through this movie going "I recognize some of these voices..." and not being able to figure them out (besides the obvious Jack Black and Seth Rogen). And then when the closing credits started, I sat in awe at the star cast of vocals this movie had. Very fitting for such a good movie.

4. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

I didn't want to do this list until I had seen this movie. But now that I have, I went ahead and did this list. Similar to the previous film, I wasn't exactly hopping (no pun intended) out of my seat to go see this. But, yet again, I was wrong. The movie had some surprisingly adult moments, some incredibly sad moments, some really fun/funny moments, and some amazingly creepy/scary moments. The animation is classic. The songs are great. The villain is both fun and scary. The movie was a throwback to some of the more classic Disney films, but it made itself a new classic in the process.

3. Up (2009)

This is a film that would probably be on many people's lists, if not #1 spots. They took a risk with this film... centering a movie around a geriatric and a young, overweight Asian kid? But they somehow pulled it off. The film is highly emotional, and the first 10 or so minutes is incredibly sad and moving... probably more moving than some entire films as of late. The film is bursting with imagination, but more importantly, it's bursting with heart. And I think that's why it's so good.

2. WALL-E (2008)

Another film that's gonna end up on a lot of lists, possibly some #1 spots. In fact, it almost made my #1 spot, and it was tough trying to decide some order here. Similar to Up, they took some risks here. A children's movie with virtually no dialogue, especially in the first 20 or so minutes? A children's movie centering around a robot love story? A children's movie with a strong environmental message (I mean, we all remember Fern Gully)? But it worked. It all worked. Children and adults alike sat enthralled, completely taken in by WALL-E's naivety and childish wonderment. And then when EVE shows up, our hearts jump with glee to see WALL-E trying to impress this female robot. And in an age of sex and violence, we sit on the edge of our seats, just waiting for these two lovable robots to hold hands. Oh, not to mention the animation is astounding.

1. Spirited Away (2001)

It was tough trying to decide whether I should put this over WALL-E or not, but in the end, I think it deserved it. This is one influential little film... the first, if I recall correctly, anime to not only be nominated for an Academy Award, but win. Miyazaki is a genius at what he does, and it really all culminated together in this film. The animation is great and fills you with wonderment. The story is fantastic. The characters are complex. The morals aren't shoved down your throat, but are present. Even if you don't like anime, you should check out this film. If there was any anime film to see before you die, it's this one. And even if you don't like reading subtitles, I would actually go so far as to say that, for once, the dubbing isn't bad. They actually did pretty well with it, and I'll watch this movie either way. It's just full of imagination and completely inspiring. An all-around great film.

End Note: Please don't kill me for not including the likes of Finding Nemo or Ratatouille. Nemo's good, but doesn't really stick with me, and I've only seen Ratatouille once... a while back.


  1. OMGZERS! How could you not include Nemo!?!?


    I've only seen half your list! Haven't seen 10, 7, 6, 4, or 1.

    Were I to make a top 10 of animated flicks, methinks Persepolis, Waltz with Bashir, and A Scanner Darkly (animated?) would make the list, though.

  2. I figured people'd comment about Persepolis, as well. But I haven't seen it or Waltz. I have seen A Scanner Darkly, though, but I'm not sure if I'd include that as Animated. Even if I did, I wouldn't put it on my list. That's actually the one one Philip K. Dick movie I don't care for.

    But out of the ones you haven't seen, I definitely think you should see 4 and 1. I know you're trying to avoid anime (which is why I didn't say 6), but everybody at least needs to see Spirited Away once.

  3. I can see making a point to see Spirited Away, but do you really think I'd be missing anything by avoiding Princess and the Frog? Even if it's really well-done, is there anything remotely fresh or new about it?

  4. It takes more energy to actively avoid stuff than it does to just give in :P .

    I dunno, really. Besides the New Orleans culture and a black female lead, it's just classic Disney.


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