Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” Natalie Portman Logs On To Steve Jobs Biopic With Michael Fassbender Natalie Portman Logs On To Steve Jobs Biopic With Michael Fassbender James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' 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... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

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

"Spirited Away" (2001)
To Western eyes at least, none of Hayao Miyazaki's work is exactly straight-forward: plots for Studio Ghibli pictures include children who befriend forest spirits in post-war Japan, a witch who starts a courier service, and an anti-fascist bi-plane pilot who's transformed into a pig. But easily his most oblique work, "Spirited Away" was, happily, also his most acclaimed (winning the Golden Bear and a Best Animated Feature Oscar) and most commercially successful. Beginning, albeit briefly, in the real world, ten-year-old Chihiro comes across an abandoned amusement park, and sees her parents transformed into pigs in front of her eyes. Her name is then stolen by a witch, she befriends a boy who's actually a dragon, saving him from paper birds, and makes him cough up a slug. And that's just the first half. The imagery's truly extraordinary (we've barely scratched the surface), but it's all working to a purpose -- one of the most truly moving coming-of-age tales since "Alice in Wonderland," and possibly even trippier than Lewis Carroll's tale.

“Fantastic Planet” (1973)
Now here's a film that kisses the idea of outlandish cult films on the mouth. Director René Laloux and artist Roland Topor team up for this short & strange sci-fi, demanding both attention and interpretation as they revel in their (never forced) bat-shit ways. On an alien planet, humans (known as Ohms) are cultivated by an alien race known as Draags, which are giant spiritual beings who either keep Ohms as pets or ban them from their civilization with an occasional extermination cycle. The narrative follows pet Ohm Terr who ends up learning the Draag culture and escaping to the wild, spreading his wisdom to an unwilling and religious tribe. Laloux, like a pro, keeps dialogue to a minimum and allows the weirdness to speak for itself (instead of the now-too-common "newbie" character, who must have everything explained to them ala Ellen Page in "Inception"), focusing on the two societies' rituals and relationships with each other and the wildlife. There's some ardent metaphors here, definitely, but if that's not your cup of tea, it contains probably the greatest soundtrack ever. Plus, dude, you can totally get baked to it.

“Heavy Metal” (1981)
Rewatching "Heavy Metal," which recently made its way to the glorious Blu-ray high-definition format, what becomes very apparent is the influence that the second story in the loose, tits-and-blood anthology (based on the cult sci-fi magazine of the same time), had on Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element." It, like "Element," centers around a gruff, unspeakably jaded New York City taxi cab driver (Richard Romanus) who stumbles across a beautiful girl with a secret, and unwittingly becomes her ally. The rest of the movie remains pretty cool (it's nifty to see artwork by icons like Richard Corben, up on screen, moving around), but the herky-jerky animation style is often times too sketchy to be fully enjoyed. Part of this is due to the movie's cheapness, another part due to the often rotoscoped images (sort of an early motion capture), but a lot of it has to do with the attitude of "Heavy Metal" – the source material was definitely 100% "fuck you," why should the movie be any different?

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