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100 Animated Feature Films (Screen Guides) Hardcover – 2 Dec 2010
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From Shrek to Svankmajer, from Wall-E to Wallace and Gromit, 100 Animated Feature Films provides a critical and historical guide to the key films of an influential genre of cinema
From the Back Cover
Twenty years ago, animated features were widely perceived as cartoons for children. Today, though, they encompass an astonishing range of films, styles and techniques. There is the powerful adult drama of Waltz with Bashir; the Gallic sophistication of Belleville Rendez-Vous; the eye-popping violence of Japan's Akira; and the stop-motion whimsy of Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Andrew Osmond provides an entertaining and illuminating guide to the endlessly diverse world of animated features, with entries on 100 of the most interesting and important animated films from around the world, from the 1920s to the present day.
There are key studio brands such as Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, but there are also recognised auteur directors such as America's Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and Japan's Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away). Technologies such as motion-capture, used in films such as Avatar, blur the distinctions between live-action and animation. Meanwhile, lone artists such as Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues) and Bill Plympton (Idiots and Angels) make entire films by themselves.
Blending in-depth history and criticism, 100 Animated Feature Films balances the blockbusters with local success stories from Eastern Europe to Hong Kong. There are entries on Dreamworks' Shrek, Pixar's Toy Story, and Disney's The Jungle Book, but you will also find pieces on Germany's silhouette-based The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the oldest surviving animated feature; on the thirty year production of Richard Williams' legendary opus, The Thief and the Cobbler; and on the lost work of Argentina's Quirino Cristiani, who reputedly made the first animated feature in 1917.
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I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of Japanese animated films, especially "Nigh on the Galactic Railroad" and "Mind Game", both of which are my own personal favorites, despite the fact that none of them have received Western releases. The book includes a well-written article in the beginning which briefly covers the history of the animated medium, as well as some anecdotes discussing what is animation and what isn't. It also has several great images complementing most of the films, and even some which take up two whole pages by themselves.
All in all, I'm really glad I bought this book, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning of and discovering the great wonders which the animated medium has to offer.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Ormond doesn't have an axe to grind. He makes it clear that this isn't a "100 greatest" book, because he makes telling criticisms of certain films. Still, he leaves you in no doubt as to why a particular film is important in the development of animation.
I didn't agree with all of his choices, but I was very impressed with what he wrote. He made me want to look at some films again and search out and view others I hadn't been aware of. This is a very worthwhile book.