Which of the animated feature films released in 2015 to watch, which to avoid, plus a look at what the end of the year has in store.
First, a disclaimer: this post was not made with kids in mind. Its target market are serious, discerning grown-ups who go jumping up and down for joy when they are about to see a decent animated feature film. (If you really have to placate the kids, serve them last year’s fare; the chances are, they won’t even notice the difference).
We are only half way through 2015, but we can already say that it’s been a fruitful year for animated feature films. However, not all of them are worthy of your time. I have put together the list below to help you choose the good animations and pass over the mediocre or the outright bad ones. Ignore it at your peril!
5 to watch
- Inside Out is on everyone’s list of top 2015 films, regardless of the genre. It’s well made, it’s interesting, and it’s intelligent. Take a tour of a brain of a young girl and watch the epic battle that Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust wage there.
- Shaun the Sheep is one of rare stop motion animations for the big screen. The film took about half a decade to develop (yes, in animation good things take time), but by all accounts it was worth it. So, join Shaun and his flock as they head into the big city to rescue their farmer!
- Monkey King: Hero Is Back is a Chinese animated film that took the Chinese cinemas by storm. You will understand why as soon as you see the trailer on the internet. I just hope an English-dubbed version is in the pipeline!
- Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is the nineteenth (yes, 19th) feature film in the series; that fact alone should prompt you to see it, even if you are not a fan of Japanese anime. Don’t expect particular depth in this good vs. evil film; instead you’ll get tons of fast-paced action and great animation.
- Minions. All right, this film is not Despicable Me. It’s not even Despicable Me 2. Still, this prequel to its two better sequels (does this even make sense?) is still welcome, if for no other reason than to remind us that Despicable Me 3 is to follow soon – to be exact, in June 2017. So, diarise that!
3 to avoid
- Pixels. Perchance you saw a preview for this one. Lucky you, for it means that you made up your mind right there and then not to see this aberration of a movie, never, ever, under any circumstances. If you were not so lucky and actually watched it, my condolences.
- Strange Magic is not unwatchable; it’s simply so… inconsequential. At least it’s pretty to look at, which is much more than can be said of the movie that’s in the first spot of my “to avoid” list.
- Home is funny, colourful, nice to look at… and forgettable. Many loved the soundtrack (several songs are sung by Rihanna and Jenifer Lopez, who also lend their voices to two of the characters). As one reviewer said, Home (as well as Strange Magic, I should say) “delivers on the levels that kids want, but seems likely to annoy parents”.
2 to look forward to
- The Little Prince has an October 2015 release date and an awesome reputation to live up to. If it’s even half as good as the book, it’s going to be great.
- The Peanuts Movie, due in November 2015, is not the first Peanuts movie ever, but is will be the first in 3D. It is being released 65 years after the Peanuts comic strip appeared; hopefully, it will be worthy of it! (Judging by the trailer, it will.)
Find (some of) the above, plus many more animated films on bidorbuy!