Saturday, 4 May 2013

Top 10 Non-Disney Cartoon Movies

First of all, I think I've missed at least the last 2 weeks, possibly 3, so I'm just gonna have to go ahead and apologize for the 2 of you who actually care about these lists. I spent the last week with a 3 year old so I guess I can say I was inspired for this weeks list. I'm even going to attempt a second list as well so, fingers crossed on that one. So, here it is, 3 weeks late, Top 10 Non-Disney Cartoon Movies.

10.) My Neighbour Totoro
I honestly don't even know how to explain this movie but I'll try. Its a movie from Japan and its incredibly quirky. Its about two young girls who move to a new home. They go exploring in the woods near their house and discover Totoro, a monsterish thing who, with the help of his friends, bring them both on amazing adventures while they try to cope with their mother being in the hospital trying to recover from an illness. I think thats just about as best as I can figure to describe it. Its SO much fun and I always enjoyed it growing up. No worries, there are english versions, no one is expecting you to learn Japanese to enjoy this movie. 

9.) All Dogs Go To Heaven
If you are over the age of 18 and have never seen this movie, shame on you. Its just so good! After a dog, Charlie, is killed, he is given a chance to return from the dead to seek revenge on his killer. He uses a young orphan girl who is able to speak to animals, and some of his friends to help him in his task. I haven't seen this movie in an incredibly long time so I honestly can't remember much more then that. Some of the actors who lend their voices to this film include Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise. Really great, enjoyable movie all-around. This is one of a long list of fabulous movies from a genius named Don Bluth.

8.) An American Tail
I really adore this movie. Its so sweet, but also a little sad for the majority of the movie. After cats take over Europe, a group of mice from Russia decide to flee to America when they hear that "there are no cats in America!" Along the journey Fievel, a young mouse, gets separated from his family. He spends the rest of the film on an adventure meeting many people along the way while he desperately searches for his family. Of course once he arrives he discovers that there are, in fact, many cats in America, and therefore many dangerous situations being a young mouse in a big country. There are some great voices lended to this film from people such as Christopher Plummer and Dom DeLuise. It was even nominated for  an Oscar for Best Original Song for Somewhere Out There. Great movie, I feel like all kids would enjoy this, I sure did! Another great film from Don Bluth

7.) Pebble and the Penguin
Not many movies on this list envolve much romance but this one is definitely an exception. Such a sweet film about a goofy penguin named Hubie who falls in love with the most beautiful penguin around, Marina. He decides that he needs to find a very special pebble to ask her to be his partner, unfortunately there is another larger, more handsome, and more powerful penguin named Drake who is also interested in Marina. When he discovers he might have some competition in Hubie, he decides to feed him to a killer whale, and although he believes he succeeds Hubie manages to escape, however, he gets caught on an iceberg and is brought very far away and spends the rest of the film desperately trying to get back to Marina before time runs out with the help of his new friend Rocko who he meets along the way. SUCH a great movie a definite must-see for all children. I re-watched a little while ago and still loved it. Some great voices in this one again from Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Tim Curry, and Annie Golden. Unsurprisingly Don Bluth had a hand in this one as well.
6.) Thumbelina
Thumbelina is a story of a tiny girl who appears after a lonely woman prays for a child. She ends up meeting a fairy prince whom she falls in love with almost instantly. She finds some troubles when she's kidnapped by multiple animals and people after they discover she could be used as a bargaining chip against the fairy king. Tons of great characters and more importantly a bunch of great songs. Really enjoyable film overall. Great for all kids but I think little girls especially will love this one. Who doesn't love some fairies? I didn't know this until now, but its actually originally a story by famous storyteller Hans Christian Andersen and then adapted by the incredibly talented Don Bluth.

5.) Fern Gully
I've loved this movie since the first time I saw it, but I watched it more recently and enjoyed it even more. Its a great movie to plant the seed of being environmentally friendly for kids at an early age. Its all about deforestation and polution and the effects it has on the forrest. Obviously its more then that, and I promise kids will adore it. It follows a man named Zak who's job it is to mark the trees that will be cut down, one day he is accidentally shrunk and is found by Crysta a fairy. There are a bunch of fun characters including Batty, voiced by Robin Williams, and Pips voiced by Christian Slater, and of course a great villain Hexxus, who is voiced by the always amazingly terrifying Tim Curry. Its a great movie for any kid, but if you're interested in getting your kids thinking about the environment, this one is fantastic!
4.) The Chipmunk Adventure
Although I enjoy many of them, this one is by far my favorite Chipmunk movie. The newest animated ones don't hold a candle to this one in my opinion. Without going into too much detail, the Chipmunks and the Chipettes compete in a race around the world in hot air balloons collecting dolls and are promised a big prize to whoever wins. They travel all over the world experiencing new cultures and meeting friends, enemies, and penguins along the way. Of course, a chipmunk movie would be nothing without a little music, and this one does not disappoint. I absolutely adore this movie. Its so much fun!

3.) Anastasia
Before I realized that this was not a Disney movie I always called Anastasia my favorite Disney Princess. I think that its so interesting how they decided to turn this story into a kids movie. Obviously looking back there are some pretty big discrepancies, and it is definitely historically accurate, but for kids its totally fine. If you don't know the story, it follows a young princess, Anastasia, voiced by Meg Ryan,  who's family is run out one night during a siege on their palace, she is saved by a young boy working in the palace, Dimitri, voiced by John Cusack. We next see her when she is a fully grown 18 year old girl who doesn't remember who she is. The rest of the story is them trying to get her memory back and prove that it really is her. Obviously there are some people who do not want this to happen Such as Rasputin, voiced by Christopher Lloyd, and Bartok and bat, voiced by Hank Azaria. We hear a few other famous voices including Kelsey Grammer, Kirsten Dunst, Bernadette Peters, and Angela Lansbury. It was nominated for 2 oscars for Best Music and Best Original Song for Journey To The Past.

2.) A Troll in Central Park
I've heard of a few people lately not liking this movie and that makes me completely flabbergasted because I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I could watch it right now and still adore it, its just so good! I guess the basic plot line is that in general, Trolls are bad, with the exception of Stanley, who literally has a green thumb and absolutely loves flowers, however, Queen Gnorga does not enjoy them and kicks him out of the Troll kingdom and is exiled to the world of concrete, Manhattan. However, he actually lands in Central Park and feels right at home. While there he meets a bratty kid Gus, and his little sister Rosie who are at the park on their own because their parents are too busy to take them. Stanley shows the the magic and beauty of flowers, and plants but ends up having to protect them from Gnorga who comes to end Stanley once and for all with her purple thumb which turns everything to stone. Some great songs in this one, including my absolute favorite, Absolutely Green. Another great one for an environmentally conscious kid. Some great voices in this one as well including Dom DeLuise and Cloris LeachmanDon Bluth does it again with this gem.

1.) The Land Before Time
This list would be absolutely bare without my favorite kids movie of all time, The Land Before Time. It is just 100% perfect. It follows a young Long-neck named Littlefoot and his family who must travel to the "Great Valley" where they have heard there is plenty of vegetation and water because there is neither where they currently reside. Granted, there is a briefly incredibly sad scene where Littlefoot's Mom dies, but it does get better. Littlefoot picks up a bunch of other orphaned dinosaurs along his way including a Three-horn, Cera, a Big Mouth, Ducky, a Flyer, Petrie, and a Spiketail, Spike. They run into a T-Rex along the way and have many other adventures along their journey. Such a heartwarming, fun, and exciting movie for kids. I watched it a few weeks ago for the 100th time and its still magical. Don Bluth's finest achievement I'd say.

Honourable Mentions: Fievel Goes West, The Secret of NIMH, Rock-A-Doodle, Kiki's Delivery Service, Balto, The Last Unicorn, The Road to El Dorado, The Swan Princess, The Pagemaster, The Prince of Egypt, Charlotte's Web.