Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO The Best And Worst Of The 2014 Venice Film Festival The Best And Worst Of The 2014 Venice Film Festival Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ TIFF Review: Liv Ullmann’s ‘Miss Julie’ Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell & Samantha Morton TIFF Review: Liv Ullmann’s ‘Miss Julie’ Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell & Samantha Morton Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” TIFF Review: Kevin Smith's Horror Story 'Tusk,' Starring Justin Long, Michael Parks & Johnny Depp TIFF Review: Kevin Smith's Horror Story 'Tusk,' Starring Justin Long, Michael Parks & Johnny Depp The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

10 Weird Animated Films

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist March 4, 2011 at 6:10AM

Almost every week it seems like there's a new animated film being released to the multiplexes (many of them in the costly and annoying 3D format), so it takes a special kind of film to break out of the (mostly) computer animated pack. Which is why it's so nice to report that "Rango," Gore Verbinski's surrealist spaghetti western (which stars Johnny Depp as a chameleon searching for his identity), is profoundly weird. It's this trait, along with its jaw-dropping gorgeous animation, that makes it stand out, loud and proud, and should ensure a long and fruitful life (if not immediate commercial success and/or acceptance).
12

Rango
Almost every week it seems like there's a new animated film being released to the multiplexes (many of them in the costly and annoying 3D format), so it takes a special kind of film to break out of the (mostly) computer animated pack. Which is why it's so nice to report that "Rango," Gore Verbinski's surrealist spaghetti western (which stars Johnny Depp as a chameleon searching for his identity), is profoundly weird. It's this trait, along with its jaw-dropping gorgeous animation, that makes it stand out, loud and proud, and should ensure a long and fruitful life (if not immediate commercial success and/or acceptance).

We've decided to take a look back at the oddball animation gems that have peppered the cartoon landscape over the years, mostly before the Disney animated musicals, Pixar wonderments on the good side, and pop culturally savvy DreamWorks fare on the bad, dominated the multiplexes. Hopefully "Rango" will allow for more variety in the marketplace (its PG-rating already pushes some boundaries). It's a very good thing that it so proudly lets its freak flag fly. Here are some of our favorites from years gone by.

“Yellow Submarine” (1968)
For all of its hallucinogenic trippiness, which makes it a favorite for late night tokers, "Yellow Submarine" endures thanks to its inherent sweetness, like an early-animated "Sesame Street" segment gone off the rails. Instead of trying to judge the movie based on any sort of narrative coherence or storytelling skill (basically concerning itself with the Blue Meanies, a band of monstrous cretins, and their attack on free will, imagination, and general grooviness – all the things the animated Beatles stand for), the movie works best as a kind of jukebox musical, packed with references to the band and their songwriting (even if the musicians themselves were involved only minimally). The animation, for all its primal crudity, has an easily enjoyed charm, with a flower-power liquescence to the movement of characters (and the titular underwater vehicle). Decades before Julie Taymor's disastrous "Across the Universe," "Yellow Submarine" was a more eloquent love letter to Beatles lore and miscellanea, and a hell of a lot more fun to watch.

“The Plague Dogs” (1982)
Dog lovers, abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Based on the novel by Richard Adams, who previously wrote “Watership Down,” and directed by Martin Rosen, who was also behind the animated version of Adams' earlier rabbit-driven bloodfest, “The Plague Dogs” concerns a canine duo who escape from an animal testing facility. While we suspect they don’t have much time to live (one of them sports a partially-exposed skull), they are hunted by law enforcement officials who believe the dogs carry a disease. Despite gorgeous storybook animation and strong voice work by John Hurt and Christopher Benjamin, “The Plague Dogs” seems mainly interested in the possibly futile attempts by the dogs to survive another day despite an unfamiliar territory and uncertainty about food, with the undying promise of a safe haven just over the horizon. Look out for one of the most soul-crushing endings you’re likely to see in any animated film ever.

This article is related to: Films, Feature, Animated Films, Rango


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.

E-Mail Updates