The 11 Most Beautiful Animated Films Ever Made — IndieWire Critics Survey

IndieWire | 4/16/2019 | Staff
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Last Friday saw the release of Laika’s “Missing Link,” a singular and exquisitely crafted piece of stop-motion animation at a time when generic, computer-generated fare is dominating the market (IndieWire’s positive review can be read here). Naturally, it bombed.

This week’s question: In an attempt to call attention to the films that treat feature-length animation like the art form that it is, what’s the most beautifully animated film ever made?

Centimeters - Per - Second

“5 Centimeters Per Second”

Makoto Shinkai may be best known as the director behind the 2017 global mega-hit “Your Name,” but he has long established himself as a singular anime filmmaker whose pensive metaphysical plots are only bested by his gorgeous photorealistic renderings of modern-day Tokyo. While his 2013 short film “The Garden of Words” is objectively one of the most beautiful pieces of animation ever committed to celluloid, his 2007 film “5 Centimeters Per Second” is the perfect embodiment of Shinkai’s ability to bring to inject new life into mundane settings.

Films - Elements - Centimeters - Per - Second

One of his few films to not contain any sci-fi or fantasy elements, “5 Centimeters Per Second” consists of three vignettes following the decades-long love story of two childhood friends, told in a slow-burning, dreamlike fashion. The sparse story only adds to that surreal quality achieved by Shinkai’s photorealistic animation — which is so shockingly close to real life that the shots at time look like photographs. But Shinkai, determined to “present the real world from a different perspective,” manages to transform unremarkable settings into pieces of art through the lush, vibrant colors that manage to pop even off the tiniest computer screen. It’s pure visual poetry.

“Boy and the World”

Carlos - Aguilar - @ - Carlos_Film - Los

Carlos Aguilar (@Carlos_Film), Los Angeles Times, The Wrap, MovieMaker Magazine

There’s a synergy between the sublime handcraftsmanship and the socially conscious themes observed in Alê Abreu’s “Boy and the World” —the musically driven,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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