First post of the year on New Years. Hello everyone. I have decided to do the Best Film of 2013 for a while and to be honest, I am disappointed that I did not start the blog last year because it was such a great year for animation, which I cannot say the same for this year. It was not bad, but just eh. So the format is going to be me discussing the 5th Worst, then 5th Best, then 4th Worst, then 4th Best and so on until I get to the Worst and Best of the year. There are 10 theatrical films (and I am only doing the theatrical ones), and this is the list:
– Escape from Planet Earth ( Rainmaker Entertainment. Released February 15, 2013
– The Croods (DreamWorks Animation. Released March 22, 2013)
– Epic (Blue Sky Studio. Released May 24th, 2013)
– Monsters University (Pixar. Released June 21, 2013)
– Despicable Me 2 (Illumination Studios. Released July 3rd, 2013)
– Turbo (DreamWorks Animation. Released July 15, 2013.)
– Planes (Disneytoons. Released August 2, 2013)
– Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony Studios. Released September 27, 2013)
– Free Birds (Reel FX Creative Studios. Released November 1st, 2013)
– Frozen (Walt Disney Animation Studios. Released November 27, 2013)
5th Worst (6th Place): Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
My overall opinion of this film is that it is boring and generic. The story wonders at times, the pop culture references take up too much of the film, and it does not have any charm. While the characters are themselves, and everything is like the first film, that is kind of the problem. As a sequel, it does not add anything and to take things from its predecessor. The overall story and characters hold up well, but not well enough. It is mediocre at best.
So the story starts off at where the first film ends, and Flint is offered a job with his idol Chester V to find his machine and to destroy it, since it is not broken and forming alive food. Chester V is “cleaning the island” but really wants the machine to…..update his food line with the foodimans “food animals”. Anyways, Flint takes Sam and the rest of his crew (except his father who stays behind and does NOTHING). So Flint is spending more and more time on his journey to find the machine in the fd up Swallow Falls and isolating his friends. His friends eventually abandon him and once he finds the machine, he realizes what they are doing are wrong (after he found the alive marshmallows cute). His friends are kidnapped by Chester V, and he saves them from being turned to bar food, learning about appreciating friends I guess.
The plot is not that bad, but the issue is that they stick it with a bunch of dumb filler and bad jokes, making it really thin. It takes a lot of elements from the first movie, which makes it repetitive, and it does not really develop and grow from the first one. It does not screw it over, but it is a repeat.
Okay, Flint is exactly the same and does not develop in the film. He is the same over the top, brainiac guy, who has to choose between working with his inspiration and his friends. Nothing new to learn about him, which is another reason as to why this fails as a sequel. Chester V comes off as a villain stu to a good amount of the film. It is like he is supposed to be a big joke, but also taken very seriously. His goal has a few holes in it and does not make much sense. All of the other characters are useless and for the most part, ends up DIDs for Flint to save from being turned into food. They are all so over the top and not funny. There is no reason for us to care for them.
The score for this film is pretty good. It sounds like those jungle adventure scores, and it captures the emotions of the characters and the scene really well. It is not extremely memorable, but it does its job.
The animation in this film is all over the place. There are some times where it is good (the food animals), but a lot of the time, it is bad. The designs of the humans are unappealing, and the textures of the humans and the buildings and trees are REALLY bad. No light is even reflecting off of it. The water has some decent textures. The biggest issues are the textures and the designs.
5th Best (5th Place): Epic
My overall opinion of this film is that it is boring and generic. It is not epic as it should be, the main characters are generic, while the animation is STUNNING. Probably the most beautifully animated film of the year. While the story does have some details and stuff, more needed to happen, and it is hard to invest in something when the characters are hard to invest into.
The story is about a girl named Mary Katherine who moved in with her father Professor Bomba (his wife dumped him, and he got fired from doing his research about leafmen. He has no life and no income. How did he make his money?) as her mother recently passed away. Things do not go too well and as she is about to move out, she is turned small as a leafman. Queen Beyonce is the queen of the leaf people and was about to have a ceremony to give her powers to the next heir, but the Boggans (symbolism for toxic waste) arrive and kill Beyonce. Beyonce accidentally made Mary Katherine small and told her to take the heir (who is a flower) to some worm thingy. Beyonce’s helper Mandrake finds her and he takes her to look for the worm. He finds Nod (who he looks over, and who escaped from the village to do his own thing). The three of them are on a quest to take the egg to the knowledgeable worm, and Nod and Mary Katherine begin a dalliance. They need to make sure that the flower blooms, but the Boggans block the light so it will not bloom and so the forest could die and turn into a bunch of waste. Mary Katherine gets her father to come and to help defeat the Boggans. She turns into a human, and she begins a relationship with Nod when she is 100% bigger than him. WTF. Anyways, her bond with her father is repaired, and they visit the leaf people regularly.
The fact that I typed so much more for the plot of this film than CWACOM2 shows that this film has A LOT more detail and effort into it. While there are details, there are a few things that make no sense or logic whatsoever. Epic usually means a lot of adventure, but there is not much adventure and action that it needs to be, which makes it an issue. Also, the pacing is really off.
Some of the characters here are interesting, while others are completely bland. Mary Katherine is bland as hell, and is kind of a Mary-Sue. She has no flaws, is seen as everything she does is perfect, and is not engaging at all. We are supposed to relate to her since she is from our world, but she always comes off as better in some way. Nod is EXTREMELY arrogant and selfish. He only starts to call down because he wants Mary Margaret. If he was more down to earth. It would be easier to like him. Mandrake is interesting because it is his duty to protect his lover Beyonce and Nod, and has to go through so many emotions over the course of the film. He is not bland, and not over the top. Mary Katherine’s father is kind of annoying and a goofball. I HATE those snails because they just slow down the film and I HATE their pop culture references.
The music is great. It has that spiritual, naturalistic feel to it, which works perfectly for it. The soundtrack makes the film SEEM epic. They have some really good scores.
Their animation is probably the most beautiful. The human characters have the perfect realistic design, with the lighting hitting them perfectly, textured hair, textures backgrounds and clothes, and it really takes you to that world. The motion makes you feel like you are there and seeing everything from the small people’s perspective.
4th Worst (7th Place): Turbo
My opinion of the movie right after watching it is that it is predictable, a ripoff of Ratatouille, and to a smaller extent Cars, and a lot of things in the movie are stupid and make no sense. (And yes, I used the same overall opinion on my DreamWorks Review of it.)
I already went deep into this in my DreamWorks Review, so don’t expect a long explanation. The film starts with Turbo wanting to be a snail, and finding his life as a tomato catcher boring. After an incident, he turns into a car in a snail’s body -_- . Him and his brother is kicked out of the group and found by a loser named Tito. Tito and his brother are running a failed Taco shop and to revive it, they enter Turbo into the Indy 5000. He is doubted at first, then let in, then his biggest inspiration Guy ends up being the villain of the film, and then he wins after all the trials and tribulations, and the Taco Shop gets revamped.
Not much made sense about it, there was no characters to relate to, since most of them are bad jokes and flat, AND I saw a bunch of similarities to Ratatouille and Cars, but at least the explanations on those make sense. Anyways, I guess this follows the underdog story formula well enough, and there are not a bunch of glaring plot holes.
I am gonna sum it up quickly. None of these characters have depth to them. Most; if not all of them are trying to be comic relief, but it fails, most of them are useless and there to be an excuse to have celebrities like Snoop Dog in the movie, and just plain annoying. Turbo is the best character in the film, though…. that is not saying much. He is like Oscar from Shark Tale in the way that half of their dialogue is jokes, and they are only defined as being the underdogs. Chet is the opposite of Theo. Serious and realistic He is the thorn to Turbo’s plans, and we are supposed to disagree with him, but I don’t. Still not interesting though. Tito is the human form of Turbo, but dumber……and more annoying, also a loser. His plays the role of Chet to Tito; nothing more, nothing else. Guy MIGHT be the most developed character in the movie. He is constantly breaking his own records, so he can get more attention and to stay relevant, and is initially Turbo’s role model, until he wants to crush the snail. He is very dirty, ruthless, and is self-centered. He is alright. Also, those snails………… fucking annoying and irritating.
The music is supposed to be street, hip-hopp-ish, to make it sound cool and what-not, but it is forgettable. The theme of it makes sense though.
The animation in this film is okay to bad. What is okay about it are the designs of the snails and some of the background designs. They are cartoony and a bit overly so, but they work. What is bad about the animation are the human characters. Their designs are extremely unappealing to look at. also feel that the textures on some objects are off.
4th Best (4th Place): Despicable Me 2
My overall opinion of this film is that it is decent. The story could have used a bit more work and detail, some of the characters could have been developed more, the humor detracted a bit from what we should have been focusing on, but the film still has a lot of heart, Gru developed as a character, it added as a sequel (where Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 fails), and there are no huge issues with the story. It is entertaining, but still needed more detail.
Gru now works for the Anti Villain club and is a happy father to his adopted kids. He is commissioned to find out who stole a secret lab in Antarctica. Gru initially rejects, but after his assistant leaves, he joins Lucy Wilde on the mission. Also, his kids and neighbors make it clear that he needs to date and the children need a mother. Him and Lucy are given a bakery store in a mall to be their headquarters, and they investigate Eduardo Perez’s Mexican restaurant and accuses him of being a super-villain called “El Macho”. Gru is forced into a date with a random girl and after the date turns bad, he ends up spending the night with Lucy falling in love with her (extremely rushed). The case is closed when the agency found mutagen jar in a shop, and Lucy is relocated to Australia. Margo falls in love with a kid (who is Eduardo’s son), and she invites her family to meet him. Here, Gru finds out that Eduardo was the culprit all along. Lucy escapes her plane to go to Gru, but to be the typical Damsel in Distress. Gru saves the day, and they get married in 147 dates.
The story is…. pretty good. It is not as deep as it looks from the description (thanks to the Minions coming in and stalling the movie every few minutes). The two plots combine perfectly into one, but the biggest issue is that it does not develop the characters as much as it SHOULD.
Gru has grown in this movie. It is great that he has issues with women and this is a part of his arc. He has become a great parent and more of an anti-villain. He just grows and grows. His children don’t though. Margo gets a guy. But we don’t see what it does for her character and the other two girls don’t do anything significant. Lucy is not that developed. Not much is known about her, and she is only reduced to his love interest, but she is extremely over the top. The villain is kind of expected and just really angry and bland.
The music is equivalent to a spy movie score, and it does the job done I guess. Despicable Me is not really remembered but it’s score.
What I will say so that the animation in this film is good. It has the perfect of thing and detail to what needs detail. The movements of the characters are so fast and is for perfect comic relief. The only issue I have with it is the designs of the humans. They look so ugly.
3rd Worst (8th Place): Free Birds
My overall opinion of this film is that it is bad. The story has quite a few holes, not much makes sense about it, the plot is weak, the characters (though do have a personality), don’t really develop as well as they could have, the animation is BAD, and it has bad humor and has little to no effort put into it.
So the story is about Reggie the outcast turkey tries to warn his farm that they are being killed to be eaten. When they finally find out, they push him to save themselves. For some weird reason, he is taken by the president, and lies there to eat a bunch of pizza. I can imagine the WTF look on your faces. He then gets kidnapped by Jake, who is the president and only member of Turkeys Liberation Front. They escape a bunch of things (aka an excuse to have gags) and travels 400 years into the past to stop the hunter for catching the first turkey, which will stop Thanksgiving. So Reggie fall sin love with a native turkey named Jenny, and they plan to attack the settlers. Reggie eventually goes back home to be confronted by 3 future selves of him, and he realizes he is the Great Turkey (cough for God). WTF. They finally do by…. bringing Pizza to the past for the settlers to eat. WTF. THIS MAKES NO DAMN SENSE. Anyways, he decides to stay with Jenny, and while Jake leaves. Jake soon returns to say that they fucked up the present, which is an excuse to make a sequel but since the film is a flop, it won’t happen.
Do I even need to explain the issues. Dumb premise, dumb plot points, A LOT of WTF moments, bad jokes, simple plot, weak character development, and lack of effort. This would be a quantity over a quality, but even the quantity sucks.
The sad thing is that the characters are kind of developed. Reggie has been isolated and is a lot smarter than the others, so he is always doing something logical and he is very practical. Jake has a backstory of not being able to save some eggs, which is why he is trying so hard in the mission. He is tough but also lively. Jenny is just the love interest, but she is also very passionate about her people and actually has responsibilities as the chief’s daughter (unlike CouchPocahontasCough), but she still is not more than a love interest, and not that engaging. The villain (the settlers) is kind of just there, flat, and boring. There are also a bunch of other characters that are jokes and only seen for a few minutes and never seen again.
The soundtrack is………uh……… from what I can remember it, it was silly and light. I don’t know, this film frustrated me so much that the soundtrack was the last thing on my mind.
The animation in this is not good. The lighting does not hit the humans or the turkeys, a lot of the characters look odd and their movements are a bit weird. You could tell that the studio did not have the most updated system to animate the movie. It looks really odd, and looks like the animation from Chicken Little. The colors were kind of dull as well.
3rd Best (3rd Place): The Croods
My opinion right after watching the movie is that I am not that big of a fan. While the story is pretty nice and a lot of the characters are defined and developed, there are a bit too much cliches and jokes that weaken every aspect of it for me. (and I reused the same explanation from the review too).
So the story of the movie is about a girl named Eep who is tired of doing the same old and being stuck in the cage, while her entire family (especially Gurg) hates new things. She leaves the cave for a bit and bumps into Guy, who is all about moving forward and trying new things. He tells her that the world is gonna end and he gives her a horn to signal him. After he leaves, her father finds her and they get into an argument. The cave gets destroyed, and they start their journey with a returned guy. After that, it is your normal road trip movie, where they learn new things about one another, and the family learns to adapt and to try new things, and that you cannot hide forever. Gurg continues to hate Gurg by turning his family against him and for screwing up everything. They make it to the mountain that they were destination to, but the floor starts collapsing and the family gets thrown across to safety, where Gurg almost dies, but he joins his family. They are now new people and all of that.
When the story is being focused on, it is good and the characters do have some nice moments, but the typical DreamWorks thing with trying too hard to be funny, a bunch of filler, unoriginality, and contrived development of some hold it back from being anything but good. Another issue is that the story is usually supposed to be carried by the main character, but Eep gets tossed aside, and it is carried by Gurg and Guy.
The characters in the film are all likable, but most of them are archetypes and nothing more. Like I said, there is nothing original about Eep, the adventurous free-spirit, which is in almost every single heroine today. She becomes less focused on in the film, as she is tossed aside for the Guy-Gurg dynamic. She is developed with backstory and personality, but we have seen ALL of her before. Gurg is the overprotective dad, and I think he is kind of annoying. The way he does things is way too over the top, extra, and ridiculous. You can tell DreamWorks was trying to make him funny at the same time. His development is beyond rushed. Guy is actually a good character. His parents told him before they died to live and to enjoy life, which he follows by. He is adventurous, sensible, smart, and fun. He could have been the typical pretty boy, but they made him use his smarts to get through. The rest of the family never do anything in the film, and are either just there or a bad running gag.
The music is actually very creative. There are a lot of tropical-like scores, and there is not much traditional caveman like music that are in stuff like the Flinstones. It weirdly works for the movie.
The animation in this film is STUNNUNG, especially the animals and the background designs. There are so many colors and details that are in each background and animal, and they look so vibrant and it feels like they are real because of all the characters. While the character designs are not really my type, they were going for the caveman thing, so it is understandable.
2nd Worst (9th Place): Planes
My overall opinion of this film is boring and dry. It has no substance whatsoever, the plot has more than horrible execution, the characters are 20 times as flat than the ones in Cars, and while the animation is good, this brings embarrassment to the already less than stellar Cars series. Treacherous.
The story is about Dusty the Cropduster, who wants to be a racer and spends his spare time racing. Everyone tells him that he cannot do it except for Chug. He is not capable to fly in a race, but he goes to qualifiers and barely makes it (6th), but you need to be in the top 5 to make it past qualifiers. After another plane gets disqualified, he is recruited into the race. He asks a navy war plane named Skipper to train him, but he eventually does. So 3 minutes after the training, he enters the race. This takes place midway through the film, so they barely skip though the training to go to the extremely long (they have to fly through New York, Iceland, India, Shanghai, Pacific Ocean, Mexico, and back to New York) race. He falls in love with Ishani to get betrayed by her, almost drops out of the race after getting mashed up in the pacific, but he ends up winning and everything is all good.
There are more than a few issues here. You cannot skip most of the training part so he can fail and get off in the ACTUAL race. There is supposed to be a bond with the trainer and the student, which is not there with Skippy and Dusty. The actual race tries to throw a bunch of subplots that don’t lead to much, like him falling in love with Ishani, his friend El Chubacabra falling in love with Rochelle, and the race just drags and drags and drag and drags and drags on. It is easy to tune out to the film, there are a lot of ridiculous moments in the film, and; oh I forgot, HE ENTERS THE RACE AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. He only gets over that at the end of the film. The underdog structure is done really badly here. Extremely thin story executed badly.
Okay, the characters here are criminally one-note. Dusty is just the underdog protagonist who is doubted. There is nothing else known about him except he is a cropduster. He does not develop any personality, and his so-called development is extremely rushed. Skipper has a nice backstory about only racing once in a traumatic war experience, but he is not in the film too much. El Chubacabra is an Italian stereotype, Ishani is the Indian stereotype, and all the others are completely unmemorable and flat. Such an underwhelming cast.
Here is where things get better. While the music is unmemorable, it is not really bad. When they travel to a different place, it switches to that type of music, like playing Indian music in India, and so on. It is soothing when it is just calm flying, and intense music when the flying scenes are getting crazy. Decent, but you wont remember it much.
The animation is pretty good. The planes and stuff look like planes, the lighting hits them nicely, the backgrounds are decent, and the motion is good (though could be better). The one issue I have with it is that it could have used A LOT more detail. Just because this area is good, does not account for everything else to suck.
2nd Best (2nd Place): Frozen
Yes, I put Frozen at 2nd; bite me. My overall opinion of this film is that it is EXTREMELY overrated. It is good, as the characters are nice, and the songs, the story needs some work. There are some plotholes that are jarring, and the fact that most of this takes place in 24 hours is a bit problematic for me. Even the character development and the relationship building could have been better.
So a young Anna and Elsa sneak out of their room to create a Snow Wonderland in one of the empty rooms. Anna ends up getting struck by ice on her head, causing her parents to take her to the Trolls to heal Anna and to remove her memories of Elsa’s magic and their good moments (which mostly involved Elsa’s ice powers). Elsa is told to stay away from Anna and to conceal her powers from then on. So 4 years after their parents are dead, it is Elsa’s coronation and Anna is very excited. Elsa is trying to conceal her ice powers, but after her and Anna get into an argument about her always shutting Anna out, she pulls off Elsa’s glove, causing her to accidentally reveal her powers to the kingdoms. She runs off and Anna hands the kingdom to the fiance she just met Hans. WHAT? First off, she does not have the power to decide who rules, and what about the person who was ruling for the past 4 years? So Elsa creates Olaf and her castle, and Anna bumps into an ice man Kristoff. They end up pairing up to return Elsa and so he can get his business running. After they bump into Olaf, he takes them to Elsa’s palace, where she kicks them out to protect them, and accidentally strikes Anna’s heart with Ice. Anna and Kristoff form a rushed relationship thanks to the trolls who raised him, and when she is taken to Hans, he reveals that he used her to get to the kingdom. He gets Elsa and is about to kiss her, but Anna freezes over her, and blocks him. Elsa hugs Anna, thawing her heart out. Hans gets punished, and everyone gets their happy ever after.
While I do not think this film is bad, it is certainly not great. Plotholes, like where Elsa’s powers originated, Kristoff’s entire backstory, Anna handing over her kingdom when she was NEVER in the position to hand it over, and it is not as complex as it should be. It gets the message off really well though, but the story needs some work.
While she is very….very…..very unoriginal, and she has nothing new personality wise over the other princesses, she feels organic (Anna). She is not the “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I could tell” type of girl, but she is fearless, and adventurous, free-spirited, curious, and has the exact same traits that over half of the franchise has.
Elsa is honestly a mixed bag for me. She struggles with being herself because she is very cautious, elegant, and has to remain closeted for the safety of others. Her entire arc is to learn to embrace from herself and to grow out of her fear (as it would be her downfall if she does not change), but the main issue is that she is barely in the film; not getting the chance to know her well, and she needed to appear more for the story. Kristoff is okay I guess. He is a loner, having trust issues (though it is never known WHY he has trust issues), and he is an ice man, since it is one of the few things he knows how to do. He has the company of a reindeer named Sven who he talks over, and he was raised with the Trolls apparently. His backstory does have quite a few holes, so it makes sense why he is the tritagonist and not the deuteragonist.
Hans is an interesting villain. He is very charismatic (to come off as good) and uses his charm to get a head. While he is smart, a lot of the things that goes his way is more out of luck, like Anna handing him the kingdom, Elsa falling leading them to capture her, Anna being struck leading her to be weak. His suffering and being shut out as a child only made him extremely dark, but we don’t see to much of his dark was because things happen in his favour without him doing anything.He is one of the least annoying sidekicks in the canon, even less so than Genie and Mrs.Potts. Though he is useless, he is entertaining. His dream to experience summer (and he had this for a whole) though existed for about 12 hours up to that point. Nothing else to say.
The music is actually very good for the most part. Most of the songs (For the First Time in Forever, Oscar bait Let it Go, Love is an Open Door, Snowman) really move the plot and helps us define the characters well enough. An issue though is that since it is a musical, the formatting is not really good. Most of the songs take place in the first 30 minutes, and 3 songs (one of then being 50 seconds) take place after. This is an issue because in the first half, it is song after song; literally. The best musical in years though.
You can tell that WDAS has learned a lot from Pixar since their acquisition. The textures in this film on the castles, objects, and characters are perfect, the character movements are great, and the way they animated the snow and ice are breathtaking. One issue I do have is that when the characters move their facial features, it looks a bit too stiff (the directors still wanted them to look pretty). They accomplished this in other movies, so I don’t know why they could not accomplish it in this one.
Worst (Last Place): Escape from Planet Earth
My overall opinion of this film is that it is horrible and the worst animated film this year. The characters are flat and dull as fuck, the animation is mediocre to bad at times, the story is super THIN and kind of dumb to be honest, makes little to no sense, and the humor is more painful than in CWACOF2 and Free Birds (and it is hard to have worse humor than those 2 movies.
So the obnoxious Scorch just accomplishes a mission and returns to his alien planet being considered a hero for rescuing babies. Him and his brother Gary get a message saying that Scorch needs to go to the Dark Planet aka Earth for…… it is a set-up anyways. The two brothers argue as Scorch says he is the one doing all of the work when Gary says that he is sick of being treated like crap, and he quits. He returns home to his wife and son Kip (who adores his uncle and thinks he is a man unlike his father). The entire planet watches Scorch go to Earth and get captured. Kip then goes to save his uncle (I don’t know a child this dumb), so his mother Kira and Gary follow him. As soon as he saves Kip, Gary decides to go after his brother and takes off to Earth. He is soon captured and brought to Area 51 where his brother is, and they meet a bunch of annoying side characters. Apparently, the humans stole technology from the aliens, and one of the aliens Lena is dating the military guy Shanker, They met online. WTF. Apparently he is trying to get blutonium to kill off aliens and take over the world. He freezes the brothers, but they break out and follow Shanker to stop him. They defeat him, but they are stuck. They are rescued by Kip, and….. Scorch gets married to his girlfriend, though this was never a plot point…
This story is a mess. Plot points left and right, like how could Lena and Shanker meet on an online dating service when aliens and humans know nothing about one another? There is that one, but it is a MAJOR plot point. It does not develop the characters, it is paper-thin, constantly distracted by the bad humor, not engaging in the slightest, and making all of the characters do nothing but Kip. Amazingly, this is not the worst category, but this story was problematic. So much of it made no sense, and there are so many WTF moments. And when it is really rushed, you feel like you are going to die by the speed of the rollercoaster. The story is everything but engaging.
The characters in this film run from extremely flat, to extremely annoying. Gary is extremely boring, and he is supposed to be the protagonist, but does not do much to get development or to get to know home personality. Scorch is EXTREMELY annoying. He is more of a line of bad comic relief and pop culture references instead of an actual character and when he is not doing that, he is annoyingly stupid instead of enjoyably stupid. They are supposed to develop, but don’t. The son is MORE annoying than Scorch, and I want to give him a good spanking if he was my child. Kira the wife is obnoxious as well, but less so than the others. The 2 villains are not funny or likable. Not as threatening as they are supposed to be. NOT even going to mention the useless side characters. Not only ALL of the characters are unlikable, but most are useless.
The score is decent enough. It has an alien theme to it; when they are not playing a dumb popish song.
While the textures of the characters and objects CAN be nice, other times it is extremely dry and flat. The character designs are kind of eh, but it could be a lot more detailed.
Best (1st Place): Monsters University
To all of the Frozen fanatics that are reading this, I just want to say that MU BARELY made it to the top. My overall opinion of this film is that it is a great prequel to the first movie and connects to it for the most parts. The characters are developed and a bit different from the first movies (I will get into that more later), the animation is BRILLIANT, and the story is more consistent and better than the others, though at some points, the film feels a bit too separate instead of flowing smoothly. I know this film won’t win any awards for Best Animated Feature though.
The story starts with a prologue of Mike as a little kid going on a field trip to Monsters Inc, and then he decides that he wants to be a Scarer. Come college time, he is enrolled in the scaring problem, and meets Sully, who he grows a dislike for, since Sully gets off with no studying, and Sully thinks Mike is a know-it-all. As the semester goes on, they grow a feud but both end up being kicked out of the program for failing the exam; Mike is not scary, and Sully not studying enough. So Mike wants to join the Scare Game,s but has to be in a sorority, so he joins the only option left; Oozma Kappa. They are missing one member short, so Sully joins them to reenter the scaring program. So they train and the two bond, and they get better and better in the games, making it to the finals. The final task is each of the characters have to scare a human dummy for screams, and it is close between their biggest rivals, but Sully cheated and messed with the scare machine so Mike would do well. Mike figures this out and feels bad but Sully tells Hardscrabble that he cheated, at the same time Mike sneaks into the human wold to prove he is a scarer. Up to this point, I am thinking that the film is EXTREMELY predictable, until this happens. Sully ends up joining him, and Mike fails to scare a bunch of little kids. Sully finds Mike ad cheers him up, but thy are founded by the police, ad they have to find the portal. When they finally find it, they have trouble getting though, since it is deactivated. They realize that they have to create scream power from the adults to get through, and they mash-up the studio in the university, causing them to get expelled. Hardscrabble wishes them good luck and they say goodbye to their roomies. They find a job at Monsters Inc and work their way up.
Like I said before, this film is extremely predictable up until the third act. I never expected them to be expelled. Yes, the acts are a bit too separate and does not necessarily feel like a flowing narrative because of the choppiness, but it has that Pixar detail into the story. The story is complex, makes these characters really developed, and I liked how it tied into the original movie and actually BUILT on it. It is a great prequel and a great film. Easily the best quality film of the year to me.
The characters in this film are likable, though there are some bumps in the way. Mike Wazowzki is a lot more educational, and never came off as a nerd or cared much about being perfect in the first film, (where he was more sarcastic than insecure), but he develops well, and it works. Silly was the COMPLETE opposite in the beginning (cocky, arrogant, lazy) which was not him in the first film, and it honestly made him unlikable for the first act, but he chills down a bit, and it seems like he morphs into the guy in the first film. They are very well-developed.
Hardscrabble was cold, intimidating but she cares a lot about her teaching, and she is not villainous. She is a great character, not completely one note, as she felt bad that she had to kick them out. I am not gonna go over each member of the Oozma Kapa, but they are not that funny; likable, but not funny. The jocks are just the arrogant jocks.
Randy Newman did the music for this film and to be honest, it is one of his better works. His work does not sound the same as the others (like PatF, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story franchise). There is a bit more of a youthful flare in the soundtrack, and has a college film. Pixar soundtracks and scores are always good, so good job Randy.
The animation is VERY detailed, from the skin to the scales, hair, liquids. and the buildings. The lighting hit the characters and objects perfectly, giving off a realistic feeling. The colours are really well too. The designs are very unique and interesting to look at, and the set designs make the school look really good, and add some uniqueness because of the different sizes of the monsters. Pixar never fails to impress.
- 10. Escape from Planet Earth
- 9. Planes
- 8. Free Birds
- 7. Turbo
- 6. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
- 5. Epic
- 4. Despicable Me 2
- 3. The Croods
- 2. Frozen
- 1. Monsters University
So here is my opinion of the best and worst films of 2013. For next year, I will be reviewing each film that is released like I did with my DreamWorks Review films, then at the end of this year, I will do a list like this and combine them. They will have percentages on them. Thanks for reading, and see you at my Walt Disney Animation Studios Introduction.
28 thoughts on “Animatedkid’s Best and Worst Animated Film list of 2013”
Woo, great list and explanations!
“Frozen” at number 2? Well, I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t say. But the fact that you put “Monsters University” at number 1 makes me weary to watch the other films that I haven’t seen yet.
And I TOTALLY disagree with the fact that “Planes” is worse than “Turbo”…but then again, I seem to be in the minority there!
Looking forward to your Disney Canon excursion!
Happy New Year Commendation. Well, to be honest, the bottom 6 aren’t that much worse in quality than one another. I read your post as to why you think that, but they are both really bad movies either way.
I am excited and scared to do Disney, since I know I would look like an amateur to some reviewers like Disney Oddesy and Unshaved Mouse.
Oh, do you follow Disney Odyssey too? They’re awesome!
I was feeling scared too to start my live action blog cuz I was scared that people would find me an amateur version of Unshaved Mouse (I even talked with him about it), but thankfully everything went well.
I liked Frozen slightly more than MU, but I agree it’s a close call.
Surprisingly, we had a lot of the same stuff to say on Frozen! Some of your complaints reminded me of the complaints brought up by Grace on YouTube in her Beyond the Trailer channel. You might enjoy her spoiler review, if you get the chance to check it out.
Thanks for reading and commenting. I still enjoyed both, but people kept on overrating Frozen, when it was only decent. I remember reading your Frozen predictions a few months back, and I remember you saying that it was going to be a rushed C level film. I watched Grace’s video before I watched the movie (I always do that when a new film is released) and I honestly thought she was probably overreacting (since the reception was completely opposite), but she was definitely right. I liked that review.
Yes, the craze of Frozen kind of took me off-guard, especially since I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit with general audiences. With that said, even the critic community seems to be giving it a tad too much praise, especially when critics compared it to the renaissance movies. I’m glad you have Grace’s channel. I find her videos usually informative.
The critics are easy to get with everything which questions the usual DP Formula. And after all the bad movies this year, I guess everyone was ready to overlook its flaws because they finally get something which could be called good at least.
Hmm… good point. I liked MU though, and thought critics were a bit harsh on it.
Practically, but I think that is the case more so with the Oscars. DP films are Oscar bait now since Brave won, though it was one of the weaker received films. I believe if Frozen was released last year, it would have gotten eaten alive, but I guess because it was the film that can be called good right after all of the other disappointments.
I still think that Brave mostly won because of Chapman, and for the similar reasons I wouldn’t be surprised if “The Wind Rises” wins this year, but I agree, last year Frozen wouldn’t have been greeted that enthusiastic.
Despite the problems I have with Frozen, I would still have given it the top spot…otherwise, I am pretty much dispassionate about the list. It was a run to the bottom this year.
It definitely was a run to the bottom list this year. I was gonna put Frozen at the top, but something in my soul did not feel right about it. MU barely made it up above Frozen.
Answer to mentioned ‘plotholes’-
-Anna is the Princess of Arendelle. Since the Queen was gone (you know why), Anna was the only person who could possibly rule the kingdom and whatever she says goes. Also, Hans is a prince. He wasn’t some commoner and at least an ally of the kingdom since he attended Elsa’s coronation.
-Elsa ruled the kingdom for THREE years after the sisters’ parents died. You can hear some of the people in the village refer to Elsa as “the Queen” before her official coronation.
Ex: “The Queen has come of age! It’s coronation day!” (Mother)
“I can’t wait to see the Queen and the Princess! I bet they are lovely!” (Dignitary)
Side note – Kristoff’s backstory is not explained:
Neither was Aladdin’s (until a Direct-to-video sequel), or Flynn Rider’s. Even Beauty and the Beast never explained what happened to the Beast’s parents, especially when he is referred to as a ‘prince’ in the prologue. What happened to the King?
It is established that Aladdin is an orphan, and has been forced to live in the streets in the original film. It is established that his parents have either died or disappeared (it is said by the commoners that they would blame his parents for his bad behaviour, but he has not gotten any).
Flynn has been in an orphanage for most of his life, and I believe he said that his parents died. He was one of the older orphanages, and would read to the kids, and he escaped trying to be the Flynn Rider in the book.
Honestly, BatB is a mess when it comes to that Beast backstory, and I fully admit it.
Kristoff is a 4-6 year old little boy following a bunch of Ice sellers (who clearly has no connection to him, as they are NEVER with him). How did a little boy end up with them, when it is clear that he has no relationship with the Ice men? What IS explained is that the Trolls raised him….and he has his own house, with the Trolls live where they live.
Would you like to comment on any of the other movies that I discussed about?
So you are telling me that Elsa is having her coronation 3-4 years after she became Queen, and did all of her royal duties without leaving her room (except for eating)? You cannot do the duties of being a Queen and not leave your room and the palace (which it is established that her nor Anna have never done). A coronation is a ceremony and the act of crowning and choosing a monarch. It is the day that she is officially a Queen, so they are calling her that. It is like a High School Graduation, where you are called a graduate before the ceremony takes place and before you get your final marks.
So Anna randomly tells a person she does not know and a kingdom she does not really know about and gives it to the youngest person in that ruling monarch. There are viziers and other people that help rule with the King and Queen. What happened to them? Elsa has been locked in her room and never leaves outside to handle the FULL duties of being royalty, so who else could have done it?
Anna knows how to ride a horse. She had to have gone outside of the palace to learn. Just not beyond the palace grounds. She was also seen outside of the palace at her parents’ funeral.
I’ll give you Aladdin and Flynn Rider, though (I did recall the commoner stating Aladdin had no parents).
In this world, it seems like there are no viziers. The King limited the staff after learning that Elsa’s power will grow.
How Elsa ruled her kingdom from her room (except for eating as you said)? It appears that the sisters’ parents managed to rule from inside their castle for the majority of 10 years because they were attempting to train Elsa to control her powers. Elsa was very torn about her parents leaving for a voyage. If they left on a regular basis, this kind of reaction would be unlikely.
Also, the castle appears to have a steward. At the end of the film, he is shown giving a message from Elsa to the Duke, so it is not impossible for there to be communication between Elsa and her people without leaving the castle.
On a side note, nobody ever wonders why the toys from Toy Story walk or why the X-men have powers. It would have been nice if Elsa’s powers were explained, but it is really not relevant to the story as much as say, Rapunzel’s power from Tangled.
Keep in mind that I respect your opinion, anyway.
As for the other movies. I actually liked Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 a lot. But you made good points made about each. It was a pretty weak year in the name of animation. I kind of feel like you missed ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ for the ‘worst’ list. I thought that the animation was pretty good, but the movie was ruined with annoying dialog, put in at the last second. It would have been much better to watch the story without dialog, in my opinion.
Sorry if I came off as a bit harsh. Maybe I was overreacting on Frozen, since I only watched it once (and will in a few months to actually review), so maybe I will change my mind…..that is not a promise for me to change my mind on it though. It is still a very good movie nonetheless. You could be right about Elsa too; I do need to watch the movie again.
The commoner says it in “One Jump Ahead”.
Honestly, I was writing this post from November to New Years, and by the time I finished this, I did not know about Walking with Dinosaurs (it also has live action backgrounds, so I would not have counted it anyways).I heard that the dialogue ruined the film completely.
I respect your opinion. You seem like a very smart, headstrong, and an analytic person.
Forgot to mention (small detail)
Elsa didn’t save Anna by hugging her. Anna saved herself by sacrificing herself to save Elsa, which was the act of true love (just throwing it out there!)
Fair enough. I respect your opinion. Good analylizations though! Keep up the good work!
I think you forgot to refer to Olaf the Snowman by name in the character summary for Frozen (I can still tell he’s ‘one of the least annoying sidekicks in the canon’ though). Unless I missed his name reading it…
But, whatever right?
I’ve grown very defensive of Frozen because I think it is a very entertaining film, and I feel that story of a person uncomfortable in their own skin reverberates well with little girls. To me it is a new Little Mermaid and people, not you (especially on youtube) have gotten so harsh on it that it makes me sad. Let little girls have their movie. Why it inspires that kind of vitriol just because it made a lot of money I will never understand. People like it, who cares? I love the music and thought the changes in the story were really entertaining and Hans caught me off guard.
I think my opinion on this film slightly changed from this post and the full post I wrote on Frozen, so I think I was lighter on the review I will post and this post. I definitely do not hate this film like some of these Youtubers and other people are. I still read fanfiction on Frozen, and watch Frozen users. I do agree that they need to let these girls have their film to enjoy.
Thanks for saying that. I’m just glad I lived in an era where only my brother said I was stupid for liking the Little Mermaid not scores online like girls now. I mean what did my brother know anyway 😉