Good Animation thread

bucky

Ostrich
Not sure if we're also talking about animation for kids, but there are a lot of great modern Russian kids cartoons that adults can also enjoy. Russian cartoons generally lack that dark, disturbing edge that you see in modern American cartoons for kids that, in my opinion, trickles down from Ren and Stimpy and its successors (Sponge Bob is a good example of what I'm talking about). No feminism, gender politics, or wokeness slipped in either.

Booba, Om Nom, Masha and the Bear, and Kukutiki are a few that my kids enjoy that I'd recommend. The first two have no words, and many episodes of Masha have been translated into English and many other languages. Kukutiki is a half animated/half live kids song and dance troupe and their stuff is only in Russian, but even though my kids don't understand much Russian they enjoy the catchy tunes, dancing, and bright colors. Great values taught too. You'll find songs about how Dad works and is strong, how Mom stays at home and takes care of the kids and things like that that would be verboten in modern American cartoons. The little girls look feminine and the boys are masculine. There are songs about eating healthy and other good values too. To be fair, this clip, one of my kids' favorites which also includes Om Nom, is all about eating candy and sweets, but it'll give you an idea of what they're like:


Here's one of the most famous Masha episodes. I couldn't find it in English, but it's only Masha who talks and it's easy to follow without understanding Russian:


And lastly, Booba. Just simple and funny, no words. I don't mind watching these with my kids at all:

 
I had a relative who worked in animation back in the 80s, and he used to send my family copies of movies that would come out before there were VHS and eventually DVD copies. I have selectively screened out mainstream animated movies with PC undertones, because even good animation is ruined by bad politics. There is something more moving about an unabashedly unforgiving animated piece. Because all films are fiction, less predictive programming or revealing of a method, animation would complete the suspension of disbelief required to immerse oneself in something fictional. For the children's movies / shows, I recommend these for boys, not sure what I would recommend for a daughter, probably just animated Bible cartoons, and there are a handful of quality of those out there. To really kickstart this thread for those who enjoy animation, here is a list of interesting quality films / series:


Anime and Animated Series / Movies for Adults:

Berserk 1997 (25 episodes - philosophical, condemns demonology, shows sexual deviants for what they really are, has an interesting take on gaining worldly power at the cost of human lives, something which echoes our "rulers" current place, it also encourages working out like a beast)

Cowboy Bebop (26 episodes, 1 film - great artwork, not politically correct, almost noire-like, best soundtrack - good for teens but can still be enjoyed by an adult)

Blue Gender (26 episodes - amoral sci-fi with a future setting bleaker that our current day clown world, similar to starship troopers, painful to watch the main character start off as a complete omega male but his journey turns him into an uber-alpha, builds up "science" only to tear it down in the end, can be considered anti-human but also a metaphor for a new world)

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (feature film - my only complaint was that it wasn't longer, not intended for the ADHD crowd, dark political thriller, moves slowly with action interspersed)

Ninja Scroll (feature film - great story, great action sequences, probably my favorite, really encapsulates feudal Japanese culture and mythology)

Akira (feature film - a mile marker in animation history, this film has it all, action, conspiracy, cyberpunk, ambience, and dystopia, it has also been talked about at length on this forum, so for those unfamiliar, I'll attach a trailer)

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Ghost in the Shell - (it's been mentioned numerous times on this forum already. We're headed for this minus all the cool parts)

Fist of the North Star - (almost cringeworthy voice-acting, sort of a Mad Max meets Enter The Dragon, great action and got me into martial arts as a kid, the action and gore are beyond over the top, that it stops becoming gruesome and becomes comedic)

Spawn: The Animated Series - (3 seasons, a truly dark epic about the character Spawn, staying closer to the comics and much better than the film which Hollywood botched badly. The war of heaven and hell is starting to take place via proxy warriors on earth, and the show slowly builds up to this when it starts off with a mutilated freak in an alley of homeless with no idea of how he got there:

The Animatrix - (feature film of 9 small-length animated stories, interesting background that shows a biased look at the consequences of too much technology, it is much better than the Matrix Revolutions, and is more of an insight into the lore behind the AI takeover. See specifically the two segments called: The Second Renaissance, very similar to what the New World Order is trying to do)

Dante's Inferno (feature film with several different animators doing different segments - very unsettling, shows the horrors of hell in one of the worst depictions on a screen, though surely not as bad as it really is, dialogue is somewhat cringy, and the plot is a significant departure from the literature, overall, still a good watch for those who are not familiar with his concept)
 
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TV Series for Kids / Younger audiences:

Batman Beyond: (3 seasons and a feature film - doesn't glorify superheroes the way these new Marvel/DC fanboy clubs do, very gritty, action-packed, and at times, depressing)

Beast Wars: (3 seasons - good for kids, shows a clear cut good/evil characters, has some suggestions that may hint at human evolution but doesn't feed the viewers any PC nonsense, lots of action and was one of the first shows to use CGI for the entire run, very well written and a great follow up to the Transformers Movie and show from the 80s)

Gargoyles (3 seasons - interesting show from Disney in the 90s, surprisingly good animation, I recommend this not out of admiration for something dark, but rather it is an interesting expose into the pre-millenial conspiracy theories, it even announces the "Illuminati" in several episodes, respects European history in later episodes unlike the trite garbage the streaming companies force people to watch today)

Samurai Jack (5 seasons - best animation I've seen in a TV show, interesting concept, though not Christian it has a very evident good vs evil trope that this modern dead world lacks)

Star Wars: Clone Wars Cartoon Network Series (2 seasons - best cartoon adaptation of Star Wars since Droids from the 80s, minimal dialogue, heavy emphasis on animation, action, sound effects, and the visual experience of watching it. Though I thoroughly detest what Star Wars has become, it was still good here)
 
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Movies for Kids / Younger audiences:

All Dogs Go To Heaven: (feature film - Burt Reynolds lends his voice as a dog who gets a second chance at life, and deals with some shady characters, somewhat depressing, shows gambling in a negative light, but suitable for kids)

Balto (feature film - about a sled dog with a questionable pedigree who becomes the savior of a town in need of medicine for sick children, good thrills and music, an uplifting story in the end)

The Brave Little Toaster: (feature film - not sure what the message is here, but sort of a 'Far From Home' type movie with appliances instead of pets, it is very bleak, but animation wise is pretty good, the score is well composed, overall much better than the similar Toy Story. They are waiting for their master to come home, and growing weary of the empty life, one spurns the rest to decide to seek him out )

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (feature film - probably my favorite Batman movie, though I doubt a chick could dispatch bad guys and goons like that in real life,
at least in this movie she does it out of love for her late father
great Mark Hamill Joker and the animation of Gotham is very stoic and vast.

The Black Cauldron (feature film - a rare and usually unmentioned Disney movie, a fantasy tale about an evil sorcerer trying to summon a power that would unleash an army of undead warriors, based on Gaelic mythology I believe, in common with Disney's themes of covering worldly mythologies. Shows necromancy in a negative light. The villain is voiced by the late John Hurt.

The Fox and The Hound (feature film - one of the few Disney cartoons that has virtually nothing degenerate in it, a good subtle jab at the differences in people and cultures that, though temporarily can be mended, can never be permanently fixed (see dogs and foxes), better than Bambi, woodland animals more likeable)
 
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The Great Mouse Detective (feature film - a great movie (and another rare quality Disney film) showing how a (((rat))) tries to usurp the British Crown (of mice) using trickery, deception, and kidnapping. Only one scene in here is slightly not appropriate for kids, when the main characters are in a seedy tavern by the Thames with a burlesque-style dance sequence of lady mice and someone roofies one of the main characters drink. Great animal compartmentalizing with the villains, a rat, a bat, a fat cat, one lizard, and a bunch of traitor mice. One of the late Vincent Price's last roles.)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (feature film - one of Disney's darker movies, based on an old novel, tells the story of Quasimodo, and isn't as true to the original story but is one of the few Disney films to show Christianity in a positive light, most notably the scene where the gypsy seeks refuge in the Cathedral and the Judge is not allowed to remove her because it is a sanctuary, and by Christian law, he concedes. Shows how lust can destroy a man, and of alleged genocide of gypsy peoples (though one would have to wonder what the gypsies were doing to piss of the French to trigger such a response?) and though a bit lackluster in its adhering to the book still delivers.

The Rescuers Down Under 1990 (feature film - another older Disney film, hence less degeneracy, this follows up on the Rescuers (1977) which was also good, but some (((perverted animator))) stuck a naked lady in a window in one scene. Like the first one, it shows the sinister motives of child kidnappers and their attempts to exploit child labor to get rich, good animation in both flicks, but Down Under has crisper colors. The villainess of the Rescuers is an evolved ill-tempered suffragette with short red hair similar to Big Red and a pair of pet crocodiles, in this one its a swarthy poacher with a slimy monitor, voiced by the late George C Scott.

The Secret of NIMH (feature film - interesting fantasy tale which exposes the downsides of animal experimentation, suggests the traits of the animals are engineered and not spiritual, though there is some slight magic or unexplained power in some scenes. Good story overall, and the animation quality is on point)
 
last one for now...

The Hobbit 1977 (feature film - musical - great adaptation of Tolkien's novel, family friendly and a hearty feature movie without any degenerate influences)

The Lord of The Rings 1978 (feature film - a mashup of Fellowship and Two Towers, this is a cartoon feature length film accomplished using rotoscoping (very common in the 70s and 80s, especially with the director Ralph Bakshi) this film can be somewhat scary for smaller children but it stays more true to Tolkien's prose in some areas than the live action movies did)

The Return of the King 1980 (feature film - wrapping up the middle earth animated series is this second Rankin-Bass film, which takes place at the start of book V of Return of the King, so all sections of the second half of the Two Towers never received an animated adaptation, there is a significant jump between the end of the Lord of the Rings and this film, it is still good, and family friendly)

Treasure Planet (feature film - steampunk / sci-fi retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, got panned by critics but has some great mesh of animation between traditional and CGI, no degenerate themes, and shows how a misguided boy without a father can grow up with a penchant to break laws. The animators introduced some wonderful colors to the galactic background. A select few among the others I listed of Disney films that upon watching would not inspire children to become antifa.)

The Wind In The Willows 1987 (feature film - shows how a wreckless and lavish Mr. Toad undergoes a series of misadventures and squanders his wealth on frivolity, only to be taught the ultimate lesson in humility and redemption in the end, a good lighthearted and uplifting movie, a bit different than the earlier Disney one from 1949)
 

Ling Cage.. gives me some mass effect/ final fantasy spirit within vibes. I'm not going to lie, Donghua is gonna be the new thing. Their quality has increased so much in only a few years. This is how you do 3D animation.
 

etwsake

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Hand drawn cel animation is one of my all-time favorite art forms. It's truly a labor of love; these guys spending back-breaking hours over a desk drawing and re-drawing frames that will blur by so fast the eye can't catch them.

Like any other art form, the vast majority of it is sub-par, but the ones that are great stand out, and stand the test of time.

Go back to the 30s and 40s and just marvel at the grace and beauty of Disney's "Fantasia," and the fluidity of motion and action in the Fleischer's Superman series. The spirit of those Superman cartoons lived on decades later in "Batman: The Animated Series" from the 90s. Not all of the episodes were equal. Some studio houses were cheap and cut corners, but the best episodes were animated by a studio called "Tokyo Movie Shinsha," and are just gorgeous to watch. Not un-coincidentally, TMS studio also animated some of the best stuff in "AKIRA" which remains one of the best hand-drawn cartoons of all time.

I know there are man-hours put into the CGI cartoons, but it's just not the same. The characters all look rubbery, have stupid expressions, and their faces are constantly "over" animated. I can't watch the new Disney or Dreamworks stuff cause of how shiny and weightless everything looks, and I hate the facial expressions which border on just plain ugly in my opinion.

Yes, Disney became an evil mega-corporation, but the pioneering they did in animation from the 30s on in unparalleled, and their big renaissance in the early 90s was well deserved. Last I checked it was all crap again. But even Warner Brothers put out some great stuff over the years, and the "Tom and Jerry" episodes by Chuck Jones were classic as well. Too bad we'll never see them uncensored again.

I see a lot of anime on this list and I agree with a lot of it. Cowboy Bebop was 26 episodes of pretty much perfection....a few filler episodes here and there. Evangelion generally looked amazing, but the second of the "Rebuild" movies is an animation masterpiece, even if it's not 100% traditionally hand drawn.

This is a great topic.....if you've made it this far and aren't just rolling your eyes at what a bunch of "nerds" we are, here's my recommendation to you.....watch the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice" in high definition and see how beautiful and powerful a mere "cartoon" can be. If you're ready for more, Cowboy Bebop and AKIRA will blow your mind. If you have the patience, "Fantasia" will also be a reward.
 

etwsake

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Oh, and I completely forgot "The Iron Giant." It was a total labor of love for director Brad Bird....gorgeously animated and a touching story. And it was a complete flop when it was released, which is a shame. I'm proud to say I was one of the few that saw it on the big screen opening day. Also, completely appropriate for kids and has a timeless quality.


And one more....not the best animation (animation is all about frame rate....the more frames, the more fluid and lifelike it is, the less frames, the choppier and cheaper it looked. Like Hanna Barbara stuff....low frame rate so all their stuff looked like crap.)

Anyway, this was a rush job, so the frame rate wasn't as high as it could have been, but this is not only a cartoon I love, but probably my favorite music video of all time....produced by alumni from Batman The Animated Series and the Spawn series from HBO. I can't imagine how good it would have looked if they had more time and money: Pearl Jam's Do the Evolution. The history of the world from amoeba to atomic bombs in four minutes.

 

tothepoint

Woodpecker
I find that most stuff coming out of Japan is silly and too stupid to bother with. You look at the Final Fantasy games and you have teenage kids with wacky hair carrying giant swords while fighting robots, dragons and Lovecraft monsters in the same universe. I would get it if it was a parody of pop culture but no, it actually takes itself seriously.

For science fiction fans there are a few titles and series worth watching though:
- Cowboy Bebop (the series + the movie): probably the best Japanese anime. It's the best space Western out there (not that there are many) with a solid soundtrack and episodes that don't go overboard with the silliness aspect. It's grounded yet funny.
- Ghost in the Shell: the 1995 movie (not the shitty remastered 2.0) is one of the best science fiction coming out of Japan. The 2004 sequel is worth watching as well but not as hard hitting and definitely lacking the soundtrack from the first one (Floating Museum is some really good stuff).
If you like the two movies try out the series: Stand Alone Complex and Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig. They are not part of the movie timeline but there's some good content in there. Both have a central story focused on a villain and a bunch of one-shot episodes. I personally liked the one-shots more but it's worth spending a couple weekends going through them. End the series with Solid State Society.
There have been other series released after 2010. I haven't seen the 2020 one but the previous one was crap, don't bother.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (the 1995 series + the End of Evangelion movie): this one goes a lot into mysticism. There are a lot of hidden meanings and it's worth watching twice in a row. You will experience some "wtf" moments during the first viewing that you will understand upon the second one. The movie takes place at the end of the series (it was basically done to please the fans). The animation is not as good as Cowboy Bebop or Ghost in the Shell but the fights can be quite intense.

There's some other decent stuff out there like the Psycho-Pass series and Ergo Proxy for GITS fans. RahXephon for Evangelion fans and the recent remakes of Space Battleship Yamato for Cowboy Bebop fans but they are not as good.

In terms of movies I liked Akira and Paprika (the inspiration for Inception). The first two Appleseed movies are decent, others worth giving a shot: Your Name and Weathering with You.
Everything that comes out of studio Ghibli is also quite good. A lot of it is quite deep (try Princess Mononoke), probably not for kids.
 
I find that most stuff coming out of Japan is silly and too stupid to bother with. You look at the Final Fantasy games and you have teenage kids with wacky hair carrying giant swords while fighting robots, dragons and Lovecraft monsters in the same universe. I would get it if it was a parody of pop culture but no, it actually takes itself seriously.

For science fiction fans there are a few titles and series worth watching though:
- Cowboy Bebop (the series + the movie): probably the best Japanese anime. It's the best space Western out there (not that there are many) with a solid soundtrack and episodes that don't go overboard with the silliness aspect. It's grounded yet funny.
- Ghost in the Shell: the 1995 movie (not the shitty remastered 2.0) is one of the best science fiction coming out of Japan. The 2004 sequel is worth watching as well but not as hard hitting and definitely lacking the soundtrack from the first one (Floating Museum is some really good stuff).
If you like the two movies try out the series: Stand Alone Complex and Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig. They are not part of the movie timeline but there's some good content in there. Both have a central story focused on a villain and a bunch of one-shot episodes. I personally liked the one-shots more but it's worth spending a couple weekends going through them. End the series with Solid State Society.
There have been other series released after 2010. I haven't seen the 2020 one but the previous one was crap, don't bother.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (the 1995 series + the End of Evangelion movie): this one goes a lot into mysticism. There are a lot of hidden meanings and it's worth watching twice in a row. You will experience some "wtf" moments during the first viewing that you will understand upon the second one. The movie takes place at the end of the series (it was basically done to please the fans). The animation is not as good as Cowboy Bebop or Ghost in the Shell but the fights can be quite intense.

There's some other decent stuff out there like the Psycho-Pass series and Ergo Proxy for GITS fans. RahXephon for Evangelion fans and the recent remakes of Space Battleship Yamato for Cowboy Bebop fans but they are not as good.

In terms of movies I liked Akira and Paprika (the inspiration for Inception). The first two Appleseed movies are decent, others worth giving a shot: Your Name and Weathering with You.
Everything that comes out of studio Ghibli is also quite good. A lot of it is quite deep (try Princess Mononoke), probably not for kids.

Yes. That's why I stick to the Seinen Anime demographic. To cut out a lot of the Silliness. Although if the Shonen series is highly rated enough I would check it out.
 
Tons of great stuff from MusicForThePiano. Love Samurai Jack, Batman, Batman Beyond, Gargoyles, The Black Cauldron, etc.

I stick to a lot of the 80's Anime. I prefer the more realistic art style of that era. A chief example is Berserk for instance already mentioned by others which features incredibly detailed drawings like this one:
W5kG0M5.jpg


And the above mentioned Fist of the North Star:
306100.jpg


Not really a fan of the more recent anime styles.
 

Hypno

Crow
Not a Star Wars afficianado - saw the original films 2 or 3 times now and most of the others once. But the Clone Wars is well drawn and intelligently written. My only criticism is that its a bit more adult than most parents realize. Probably suited for older middle school students.
 
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