10 Best Animated Movies Not Made By Pixar
Since the release of its debut feature film Toy Story in 1995, Pixar Animation Studios has solidified itself as the dominant force in computer animated entertainment. However, over the past few years, Pixar has had a bit of a creative lull, allowing other studios to move in and take a slice of the animation pie. Although Pixar still has the strongest lineup of films and franchises, there have been a good number of excellent films released by other studios, particularly DreamWorks Animation and Disney, over the last decade that have started to approach the Pixar films in terms of quality. Pixar is definitely not the only legitimate name in the animation space anymore, with the following 10 films being output from other studios.
10. Happy Feet
As its title implies, Happy Feet is indeed a joyous affair. In this Warner Bros. film, the empire penguins of Antarctica mate and communicate through singing. Mumble (Elijah Wood) is a young penguin who is an outsider from the rest of his kind because he dances rather than sings. Happy Feet is, at its core, a very basic film about being an outsider and not fitting in, but the film skews towards a younger crowd, so its simplicity can be forgiven. The film loses its footing (no pun intended) in the 3rd act, which sees the introduction of humans, whose addition feels jarring given the cartoonish feel of the rest of the film. Fortunately, there are enough entertaining moments throughout to make up for this lull and the late, great Robin Williams harnesses his Genie vocal talents once again with a show stopping performance.
9. Kung Fu Panda
Jack Black may have fallen out of favor in his live action roles but it’s hard to deny that he excels in this animated picture. Black voices Po – a lovable, clumsy panda who is chosen as the legendary “Dragon Warrior”, despite having no martial arts ability whatsoever. Kung Fu Panda is a fun spin on a familiar plot device, as Po hilariously endures not only the ire of his heroes, the legendary Furious Five, but his own failings in any physical activity as he trains to become the Dragon Warrior. Jack Black embodies Po with his own knack for physical comedy and despite the slapstick, there is a real emotional core at the center of the film. Kung Fu Panda was released in 2008 and is often considered a prime example of DreamWorks Studio’s rise in quality from its earlier pictures.