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Falling in love with Animated Films

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Growing up in the south of India in 80s and 90s, for many many years, all we had was a couple of cartoon/animated series on over the air Public Television (DD) over the weekend. I will never forget the mornings crashing in front of the TV right before the start of “He Man and the Masters of the Universe”. The next half hour would go by just mesmerized by fantastic rendition of intergalactic battles. Long Live YouTube, you can now go back and replay these episodes at your leisure on Youtube page for He Man and the Masters of the Universe

He Man and Masters of Universe

And then, there was Spider Man! Spider Man! in the afternoon. Occasionally, we will also see Mickey and Donald, and of course, the ever adorable, Tom and Jerry will kindle our appetite just enough to run into the TV room the following Sunday.

All that was growing up as a Kid.

Now, as a grown up adult (or you could argue, still growing up kid, if you were my wife!), I am still a fan of animated movies. May be it is the still-a-kid in me or may be the animated movies are intentionally made for the grown ups (exactly as Pixar would want us to think). Either way, if I pay with my whole heart for new, full-priced home DVDs, you can bet its likely an animated movie.

The grown up inspiration in fact started only midway. Between the age of about 15 and 22 or so I vaguely remember watching anything animation. And then one day, I saw Spirited Away.

Most don’t know this movie and among those who saw, some didn’t like it, but it was a blessing and god send to rejuvenate the animation fan inside me. I think even the best directors at Pixar were largely inspired by Hayao Miyazaki – the masterful animation director from Japan who created Spirited Away. I haven’t watched any of his other films, but this one was a compelling testament to his vision and abilities. The rest of my journey is anyone’s guess. From Toy Story to Finding Nemo, I have religiously followed many of Pixar’s and other popular animation productions.

And then, there are the independents such as the Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley. Barring some extreme rendition of Indian mythology, this animation short was a gem for not only its creative vision, but also for music and narration. Another one that comes to mind in Caroline which is a stop-motion, nevertheless, fantastic creativity and execution. I stumbled upon an article about Caroline in, of all the places, a design and architecture magazine. Should I say I rented it right after that?

To wrap up, If you are a animation fan like me, this article “Animated Films for Grown-Ups” by Matt Baldwin at The Morning News has a good collection that would keep you going for a while. Go Click away!