Animated Films

*** Avatar
A gorgeous playing out of greed gone mad, or more specifically the raping of the Third WOrld for its resources without particular care for its inhabitants. To date the lushest use of computer generated animation to date. Phenomenal scenery helps along a straightforward plot and functional acting - such as it is. The story nevertheless bears worth telling, and the visual feast makes the three hours of length easily sufferable.
**+ Bee Movie
**+ A Bug's Life
***** Creature Comforts
**+ Finding Nemo
**+ Fantastic Mr. Fox - dir. Wes Anderson
Not animated, exactly, but fully Wes Anderson. George Clooney plays the cad only he can play so well, even if in the form of a fox whose greatest mission in life is to raid the most forbidden of henhouses. On a par with Anderson's other works, if wholly different in visual conception.
*** Flushed Away - Pixar
Or Pixarlike, anyway: A rat used to sumptuous digs in London finds himself dropped from his perch into the sewer system. Love, glory regained, the rat mafia... what more need (or can be, honestly) said.
**+ Hercules
** Ice Age
Now-rote animated fare that will rise a chuckle. This one might have the kids howling while the adult easily sits it through at least. The schlock's purported plot is the changing of a baby-eating sabre tooth tiger's dietary preferences whilst under the watchful and godlike eye of a wooly mammoth. Throw in some climate change and endangered species on the way to extinction references and voila - you have Ice Age.
**+ The Incredibles
**+ Kung-Fu Panda
An animated Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Sure, why not. Big scene Jackie Chan hijinx with an unwitting panda coming to terms with his glorious Kung Fu destiny. Or something like that.
**+ Monster's Inc.
*** Shaun the Sheep Movie
Now this is good, a kids' movie that works beautifully for the adult. Nick Parks has made a career of this claymation stuff with good humor and charm in equal measure. It just works. The plot doesn't even matter, just a mere token necessity for the many light-hearted critiques of British culture.
**+ Shrek
**+ Shrek 2
**+ Toy Story
**+ Toy Story 2
**+ Up - Pixar.
A surprisingly touching beginning falls into a now-formulaic pattern. There are no false moves particularly by Pixar is in the child-focused-yet-adult-palatable fare, but no winning ones either. A couple's dream of living their days out in the adventurous setting of Venezuela's tepui's is a plan gone awry... with a happy ending nonetheless. Surprised?
*** Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave
*** Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out
**** Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
**+ Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
** Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention
Actually rather low on W&G hijinks, instead they are hosts to documentary-styled clips on various inventions - many of which are interesting enough, although with every year this film will become more dated (historical clips shown within notwithstanding).

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