A review of some of 2017’s animated offerings
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
2017 has been an amazing year for animated films. There were films that had great stories, beautiful imagery, and brilliant soundtracks. However, there were also films that were not great and did not wow as much as they were promoted to. Some of the animated films this year only came out in limited release, so a lot of people may not have seen them yet.
The year began with not a lot of movies in this genre being released. In February we had The Lego Batman Movie, which is funny and looks interesting, although I couldn’t watch it because I haven’t seen The Lego Movie yet. Also, Ballerina was released, and it has a Canadian connection because the producers worked with a ballet company in Quebec to make the ballet scenes in the film. Go see it because Mission’s Carly Rae Jepsen is in it.
The following month, The Boss Baby was released with Alec Baldwin saying a lot of vulgar things as Boss Baby, and it appealed to adults despite being a children’s film. Then, more animated films started to be released with Smurfs: The Lost Village in April, which did not have anyone from the first two films in The Smurfs film series.
After that, the highest grossing film in Japan, your name., came to North America in a limited release. The opening titles of the film look like the opening titles of a TV show. It has beautiful images and the time-lapse scenes are like the opening titles of House of Cards. The editing in the film has aspects that I haven’t seen before in an anime film, so director Makoto Shinkai would be part of what I would describe as the Anime New Wave. The film’s soundtrack made by RADWIMPS is in English and has the essence of Japanese rock music.
Another limited release film, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, is an indie film as well as an animated film.
In June, there was Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which stays true to the book series that inspired it: It shows that the arts are important, and it has the comedy of Dav Pilkey. Next, there were two third installments in series. Cars 3 was good, but it did not wow me as much because it focuses on Cruz Ramirez, which causes the film to talk about feminism and makes Lighting McQueen and the other male race cars sexist. The other third film is Despicable Me 3, which is very funny and has a lot of 1980s jokes in it.
The next few months had a lot of bad animated films including The Emoji Movie, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, The Lego Ninjago Movie, and The Star. There was also My Little Pony: The Movie if you are into that series.
Recently, we saw the release of Coco, which is musically entertaining, explores Mexican culture, and has a spectacular image of the Land of the Dead. Before the film is shown, they show the Frozen short film Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which is pretty much Frozen 2 in 20 minutes, and the song in the end of it will probably be the holiday hit of this year.
There are still two notable animated films to be released this year: The Breadwinner, which is based on the bestselling book, and Ferdinand.
Some of the animated films this year are brilliant, and with the Academy Awards race about to begin, the three films that could be nominated for Best Animated Feature next year are your name., Coco, and The Breadwinner.