Cartoons! For a long time, the World of Fiction has given them a separate top, which tries to include not only blockbusters from Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, but also unusual, author’s animation. And it often happens that this is where many of the best films of the year end up. The most soulful, the funniest, the most philosophical, and even the most beautiful.
This time we did not limit ourselves to a specific number of films and arrange them in some order. But we chose the Cartoon of the Year – and you probably already guessed what it is.
What if it occurred to Soderbergh and Tarantino to make a cartoon together? That’s what DreamWorks tried to imagine, and that’s how Bad Boys was born.
This team of robber-adventurers has no equal: the great pickpocket Wolf, the safe-cracker Snake, the genius of disguise Shark, the hacker Tarantula and the ultimate fighter Piranha. But one miscalculation leads to the fact that the leader of the gang, Wolf, has to escape from prison and promise that the Bad Boys will get on the right path. The team of “star” criminals, of course, does not want to part with their laurels and their favorite way of life, but here a completely new villain comes into play. To resist him, the Bad Guys have to try on the guise of good people.
The new DreamWorks work is inferior to the main hits of the studio, and the second “Zootopia” did not come out of it, but it deserves the title of the most family heist movie of the decade. The witty and ironic film combines drama, comedy, action, detective, boasts a driving soundtrack and cute character design.
Richard Linklater is a director with an amazing sense of time. He, like no one else, knows how to convey the beauty of elusive moments (the Before Dawn trilogy) and the unhurried pace of the era (the film Boyhood, which was filmed for 12 years!). So is his Apollo 10 ½, a journey into the past that is both epic and deeply personal, growing out of childhood memories of the space race era.
This is the story of a boy who makes the first (secret!) flight to the moon. Linklater does not hide the fact that the plot is only the figment of the hero’s restless imagination, but how can one resist fiction when the very reality of the 1960s looks like a science fiction film? The romance of space coexists with the threat of nuclear war, the family comfort of one-story America with avant-garde hippie fashion, the playful jazz of Gerb Alpert with the psychedelia of Pink Floyd.
Licklater illustrates the paradoxes of the past with an unusual fusion of film and animation: dialogue scenes are filmed with live actors and rotoscoped. This is how an amazing world is born, accurate in details and at the same time slightly unreal. An adult’s memory and a child’s fantasy.
This cartoon was released at the very end of 2022, and it is unlikely that people in Russia had time to watch it. But we decided to still include it in this list – as a recommendation for the future.
Puss in Boots, the same caballero from Shrek, the owner of the cutest eyes, a sharp sword and a hat with a feather, returned 11 years later, and this period is felt. The cat is old. He did not lose his dashing and charm, but he wasted his nine lives. An attempt to return to the past is dedicated to a new cartoon – a kind of “Logan” for the Cat. Not a gloomy drama, of course, but a parable about dignified aging and awareness of one’s mortality…
… which sometimes flashes among dizzying fights, dashing robberies and treasure hunts, endless jokes and excellent special effects. Yes, the past 11 years are also felt in the graphics – the second “Cat” looks much more beautiful and juicier than the first.
In this anthology of three short cartoons, Marc & Emma first turned to the horror genre – the most natural and organic genre for puppet animation. The style of the authors does not exactly contradict the atmosphere of vague anxiety, but it looks specific. The very texture of the dolls, soft and woolen, contrasts with the pictures of decay and decay. People and animals with small eyes survive the destruction of what should have become a foothold in a terribly troubled world, and are destroyed along with it.
The Russian translation of the film does not quite convey that “The House” is not just a specific house, but ultimately just a room in which … anything can happen. And it is symbolic that the only life-affirming story of the anthology tells about the loss of a home and the search for a new one – which, perhaps, will not turn into anything yet.
About the film
Marina Belyaeva | 27.01.2022
Children, bugs and furries destroy houses and preach non-consumerism.
The boy Elmer moves with his mother to the inhospitable Dark City. Fortunately, even under the endless pouring rain, the hero manages to find a new friend – the Cat, who tells him about the Wild Island and the dragon imprisoned there. Having learned about this, Elmer, of course, cannot help but go on a trip to a wonderful island. After all, who would refuse to get their own dragon?
We love the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon for the great “Folk Trilogy”. The new cartoon, of course, does not compare with the previous works of the studio, but it is still a beautifully told and drawn story for younger children. The friendship of Elmer and the dragon Boris, an exciting journey, saving if not the world, but the whole island, many dangers and interesting characters – a classic recipe for a good old adventure that will appeal to both children and adults.
About the film
Inar Iskendirova 18.11.2022
The creators do not try to fill the work with labored “that’s-it-turns”, which modern films sometimes sin.
An ordinary Japanese schoolgirl is immersed in virtual reality, where she is the beautiful and vocal singer Belle. She has thousands of subscribers and fans, but only the mysterious Dragon worries her heart, a fighter without rules, whom the moderators are looking for and cannot catch …
Director Mamoru Hosoda has been making touching dramas from the lives of romantic teenagers and fabulous furries for many years, and it is not surprising that all his life he dreamed of making his own version of Beauty and the Beast. Not a screen adaptation of Perrault’s fairy tale, but a very free variation on the theme of the Disney cartoon-musical. However, the source of inspiration is seen only in the main theme, but in scenes-references and an abundance of songs.
Otherwise, this is a story about Japan in the near future, about the creative and destructive power of social networks, about self-acceptance and about first love. And, of course, about the family, teenagers and funny furry creatures. It’s Hosoda!
About the film
Daria Belenkova | 05.10.2018
We talk about the director of “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and “Summer Wars”. He dreamed of working for Studio Ghibli, he was not allowed to make Howl’s Moving Castle, and he achieved success when he began to create from the heart.
Marina Belyaeva | 15.04.2022
With incredibly well-designed designs and a charming, lovable heroine, the film is striking in its poor world development and disgusting 3D animation.
For thousands of years, sea monsters have terrorized the coastal kingdom. Only the brave Monster Hunters fight back against all kinds of “kaiju”. The legendary Captain Crowe is preparing his successor – he will be the young Jacob Holland. With their adopted son, they go hunting for the Red Howler, a monster that crippled the captain many years ago. A stowaway is found on the ship – the impudent and lively orphan Maisie. She and Jacob will have to face the Red Howler toe-to-toe and uncover the secret of the sea monsters, and at the same time the royal dynasty.
For several years now, Netflix has been giving the opportunity to see the light of good cartoons that would hardly have appeared in a large box office. There are also such diamonds as “Klaus” among them. “Sea Monster” falls short of its level either in terms of animation quality or plot, but it’s still a worthwhile cartoon. Monster creator Chris Williams is responsible for City of Heroes, Ralph, The Emperor’s Adventures, Raya and the Last Dragon, and his experience sets the bar for quality. Watching “Monster” is worth it for everyone who loves sea adventures in the spirit of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and stories about fantastic creatures.
Daniel Cortez | 23.07.2022
A good old story like straight from your childhood, not tied to any franchise.
The life of a teenager is already full of troubles, but for young Meiling from Toronto, this age brought one huge problem more than her peers. Meiling discovers that due to a family gift/curse, when she is overwhelmed by strong emotions, she turns into a red panda. This is a catastrophe! After all, now a strict mother will never let her go to a concert of her favorite group. Meiling will have to figure out how to deal with the “fluffy problem” and still get to the concert.
The cartoon divided viewers and critics into two camps: those who say “this is unacceptable!”, And those who put the hashtag # vital. Unlike all previous Pixar works, this is the first cartoon that is so clearly targeted at a specific audience – teenage girls. However, Pixar always remains Pixar, so the result turned out to be colorful, kind, funny and touching, close and understandable for some, and just curious for others. And the plot of the cartoon is built around red pandas – doesn’t someone love these cutest creatures?
Cartoon of the Year
When some people say, “cartoons are for kids,” they forget what happens when a director like Guillermo del Toro is hired to make a cartoon. Well known to everyone since childhood, the tale of a wooden boy with a long nose who is learning to be a man turns from an ordinary instructive story for children into a complex story about the meaning of life and death, about war, experiencing loss and finding a family. The denunciation of fascism, complex parent-child relationships, reflections on the nature of death and humanity – this is what Pinocchio Guillermo del Toro is, which is simply doomed to become a new classic.
A modern director argues with an Italian storyteller and refuses unambiguous moralizing in favor of a story that will make not even children think (this cartoon may be too gloomy for them), but adults. Add to this a really interesting design, not aimed at selling the maximum number of children’s toys and related products. As well as wonderful music and great actors who breathed life into their characters. Ready! Here is the best cartoon of 2022.
About the movie
Inar Iskendirova 13.12.2022
The director turned a moralizing tale into a very adult statement about fathers and children, about humanity, dictatorship and war.
Elena Shchetynina | 22.12.2022
How was it with Carlo Collodi? What did Disney mess up? What was Tolstoy hinting at with his Pinocchio?