Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Comedies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Comedies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & 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

"Coonskin" (1975)
Abrasive, aggressive and banned, repackaged and, as of now, blocked from mass media consumption, Ralph Bakshi’s groundbreaking mix of animated and live action film concerns three African American animals who rise up the ranks of criminals in Harlem. As they take on the mob and crooked law enforcement officials, the trio float from live action to animation, as they move through African American history and iconography, exploiting the racist caricatures of the late twentieth century black man. It shows how deeply ingrained in our society the images lampooned in the film are when you watch “Coonskin” today and realize how little has actually changed, which speaks poorly to American society as much as it does to the lasting power of one of Bakshi’s best and most confrontational works.

“The Adventures of Mark Twain” (1986)
At some point not too long ago, a curious clip made rounds on the internet, one that involved three claymated kids and a creature speaking of death, the futility of mankind, and a few other disturbingly thoughtful topics in a creepy voice. Simply titled “Banned from TV,” seasoned vets were quick to point out that it was a sequence from Will Vinton's 1986 "The Adventures of Mark Twain," the first feature film to be entirely clay-animated. In this tale, Twain legends Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher hitch a ride on the author’s airship as he rides on a collision course towards Haley's Comet, encountering different embodiments of his philosophy along the way. Nothing in the film is as disturbingly odd as the clip above (some TV airings even went so far as to cut it out of the broadcast), but make no mistake: it's very much an acid-trip, from the warping pet frog to the extended story of Adam & Eve, all culminating with Twain meeting his "dark" half. It's an old treasure worth revisiting, sober or not.

“The Tune” (1992)
Certainly any of Bill Plympton's animated features would fit comfortably on the list, but it's his bizarre musical debut that remains closest to the heart. Following songwriter Del on a quest to write the perfect song in hopes to impress both boss and main squeeze, the filmmaker takes every opportunity in this charming collection of vignettes to showcase pure weirdness, with some catchy songs thrown in for good mesaure. Plympton (aka the man who flipped off Disney) has often been derided (unfairly) for having a crude style, but those that are less quick to dismiss his lo-fi sensibility will find much to appreciate, particularly in his ability to illustrate transformations and the unique tone his style brings. "The Tune" is completely wild, driven by a youthful desire that still feels fresh and fun almost two decades later. Plus, how can you not love a film that displays this kind of comic genius?

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