Last week, the staff of ScreenFish had a lively debate about animated flicks in 2016. We couldn’t agree on which one was best – but given that I’d seen more of them than not, I felt compelled to argue. That left me with this list of films from 2016 – and the reasons behind them. Counting up from the bottom, I present you with the least (and most) worthwhile animated flicks of 2016.
In the “Don’t Waste Your Time Department”…
#12 Ratchet & Clank. I’m not sure what just happened.
#11 Ice Age: Collision Course. Seriously, does everyone still love Raymond (Romano)?
#10 Norm of the North. I bet 97% of you have never heard of this one.
We Were Compelled But We Shouldn’t Have Been…
#9 Angry Birds the Movie. I get it, he gets angry. But did we just make that a positive character trait?
#8 Kung Fu Panda 3. Were we actually worried about where Po’s dad was? He’s not a crane?
You Know You Want To, But Then The Trailer Said It All…
#7 Secret Life of Pets. Seriously, the cat slayed eating out of the fridge. But there wasn’t any additional laughs, and the story didn’t have an emotional payoff.
#6 Finding Dory. Ellen DeGeneres is regularly solid; the idea of all of these animals overcoming disability was truly a solid message. It just wasn’t funny.
In Any Other Year, They Would Have Been Amazing …
#5 Sing. American Idol meets Animal Farm … or something. The soundtrack rocked; the ‘find your voice’ message was powerful. Again, not enough laughs to be top dog.
I Have to Rank Them But These Are All Great…
#3 Kubo. This is the best animation that I saw all year. The stormy seas, the snow, the fur on the white monkey. The end, community reconciliation and restoration, is as powerful as the end of any live-action film I saw this year. Unfortunately, the lead-up story suffers a bit with predictability.
#2 Moana. Arnaldo’s favorite animated flick of 2016, this one has an awesome story to tell about call and stepping up when others fail to lead. Mark Henn’s animation is solid and it’s funny … sometimes. I found the ending to be a bit slow but still powerful in meaning.
#1 Zootopia. While it’s in the trailer, the sloth scene gets me every time. Like, reduces me to tears. If it doesn’t make you laugh, you’ve never been to the DMV. But the story of the community made up of individuals/races/subgroups who all bring their own strength and have to learn to work together? Geez, I wish we could’ve watched that as a national community right before heading to the ballots. There’s much here to consider about immigration, call, strength, grace, duty, honor, and, dare I say, faith.