Cartoons aren’t just for kids. If you still think that animation isn’t made for adults too, just spend an hour watching South Park, Family Guy or Rick & Morty episodes and you’ll quickly get the gist. People have been making animations and comic strips for adults as well as children since the start of entertainment. You can see examples in early cinema, Victorian magazines and of course, comic books!
I love the unlimited possibilities that you get with animation as well as the next level artistry skills needed to make this medium possible.There’s a lot of animation out there aimed exclusively at adults and when you start delving into some of the Asian niches, there’s some pretty messed up stuff. So, I wanted to write a little animated film guide which will guide you straight towards some easy watching with some awesome animation. As far as I can remember, I think most of these films are relatively family friendly without being obvious Disney movies, so I hope you’ll enjoy this edit.
Here goes the list….which bizarrely features a lot of films from 2009, the year a graduated Leeds Uni. Ironically, despite graduating with a film related degree, I didn’t watch them until much later!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009, Dir. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
When you get a voice cast as awesome as this you know it’s going to be good. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs see hapless hero, Flint voiced by Bill Hader create a machine that creates food weather. He’s joined by a cast including Anna Faris, Andy Samberg and Mr. T among others in a cute and hilarious action story about being yourself. See also the sequel which I think is potentially even cuter. I have a soft spot for cartoon food, so that may explain my strong attachment to this movie.
Coraline (2009, Dir. Henry Selick)
Apparently 2009 was a good year for animation and I didn’t catch them until Miz introduced me to many of them! Coraline is stop motion movie based on the Neil Gaiman book of the same name. A gothic inspired story with a little Tim Burton flavour, since it’s from the same director as Nightmare Before Christmas. It follows the story of a young girl as she moves house with her busy parents and the adventures she goes on as she stumbles upon a parallel universe of button eyes.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, Dir. Wes Anderson)
Wes Anderson is by far one of my favourite directors, his aesthetic is a perfect balance of vintage flavours, rock’n’roll, chic style and tasty colour palettes. Anderson’s first animated film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story is an instant classic. Featuring voices including Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Bill Murray alongside many other Wes Anderson regulars, you can’t not love it. I’m still waiting for an opportunity to make myself a Mrs. Fox cosplay for her apple print dress. If you dig this, look up Isle of Dogs, Anderson’s upcoming animated film in the same style as this.
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004, Dir. Hayao Miyazaki)
Part of the legendary Studio Ghibli (a Japanese animation studio) portfolio, this fantasy adventure about witches, wizards and curses of old age is a timeless classic. You’ll marvel at the stunning settings and the steampunk inspired walking castle design. Watch out for cheeky Calcifer, a fan art favourite and on my list of possible tattoos if I ever have to guts to go for it.
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016, Dir. Travis Knight)
The second film on this list that can be tied back to director, Travis Knight, an animator whose work can also be seen in Coraline, The Boxtrolls and Paranorman, I’m clearly a fan of his stop motion style. Kubo and the Two Strings is an emotional fantasy adventure about family and revenge based around a world inspired by Japanese myths and legends. If you’re feeling delicate, this is the one of the list most likely to make you cry.
Let me know if you watch any of these suggestions and if you have any recommendations for me to watch, although I think between Miz and I we may have almost watched everything ever. I challenge you to find something we will dig that we haven’t already watched. Answers to @JayneKitsch or in the comments.