With awards season underway and handing out its usual gongs to the great and the good, it’s time for us to again give out our own prizes, looking back on the past twelve months to nominate our own picks of the year and make our comments on other notable efforts.

In many ways, the past year demonstrated more than anything the public’s need for escapism. With things looking pretty bleak in the “real world” — if you weren’t a fan of the level of divisiveness that dominated the news in 2017, chances are 2018 didn’t do much to make you feel better — audiences showed up for the movies in droves, delivering a record-breaking year amounting to nearly $12 billion(!) in ticket sales. This included no less than three mega-blockbusters, all of which — probably not by coincidence, being superhero epics distributed by Disney — broke $600 million stateside, a jaw-dropping box-office achievement to say the least which will hopefully help put to rest the argument that going to see movies in the theater will soon become a pastime of yesteryear.

But it wasn’t just men in tights or flying suits of armor that brought people to the multiplexes, as we saw nostalgia play a heavy role in 2018’s pop culture. So much of the year’s entertainment looked back to the past — despite Edna Mode famously saying that such behavior “distracts from the now”, Incredibles 2 still hit us nearly fourteen years after the release of the original. Elsewhere, we witnessed an embracing of the warm and fuzzy, with even the Transformers franchise returning to its 80s cartoon roots with Bumblebee. And there’s a reason Ready Player One connected with many in the way that it did, positively thriving with references to old movies, TV shows and video games, without giving up its status as an action-adventure that truly demanded to be experienced on a movie screen.

In that regard, though, perhaps one of the most under-reported entertainment stories of 2018 was the rise of Netflix streaming movies which otherwise would’ve seen full blown theatrical releases, such as Orson Welles’ posthumous final bow The Other Side Of The Wind, something which probably would have been the subject of much more discussion among film fans had it not been overshadowed by much of Netflix’s other content. This included, to the surprise of many, Andy Serkis’ long-in-production Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle, the big budget adventure that had been set to go to theaters last October before it was acquired by the streaming service.

Granted, Mowgli was always going to face the hurdle of coming only two years after Disney’s live-action Jungle Book remake, with its Oscar-winning special effects setting the bar pretty high for anything that followed. Yet that may be exactly why Mowgli was denied the chance to be seen on the big screen as it was no doubt intended to be, with it instead — fairly or not — ending up essentially being a straight-to-TV premiere, albeit one with a little more prestige and fanfare behind it. If this is the future of cinema (and with Disney’s upcoming Lady And The Tramp revamp set to be an exclusive to their own streaming service, there’s a good chance it could be), it will be interesting to see what it means for the industry.

It will be equally intriguing to see what Pixar honcho John Lasseter bidding farewell to the Mouse House will mean for its animation division. However one feels about the circumstances surrounding him leaving the company, Lasseter’s contributions to Disney over the past 20+ years are borderline overwhelming, not just because of Toy Story, but his work as a creative consultant for the studio as well. Though a figure of controversy even before last year’s story broke (I think a lot of us would’ve been curious to see what American Dog would’ve been like before it ultimately became Bolt), his skills when it came to “understanding” storytelling would be hard to debate. Luckily, the future looks bright with the baton being passed to the dependable hands of Pete Doctor and Jennifer Lee, so fingers crossed that Disney Animation is able to continue their winning streak in the years to come.

Sadly, as always, there were too many passings of public figures to ever do justice to in one article, but it goes without saying that one of the most significant was Stan Lee, a man who gave more to pop culture than he could ever be given proper credit for. Even with his old age, his death still hurt, as on some subconscious level we thought he might live forever. Just as saddening was the unexpected passing of Stephen Hillenburg, who created one of the most popular cartoons of all time with SpongeBob SquarePants.

And, speaking of getting older(!), you all probably know that 2018 saw the 15th anniversary of Animated Views, which we celebrated with a brand new design for the site, which is pretty sharp-looking if we do say so ourselves. It’s sometimes hard to overstate what a website owes to its fans, but we couldn’t have reached this milestone without you guys, and so we give a huge and sincere thank-you from the bottom of our hearts, and look forward to bringing you even more new goodies in the months to come!

And on that rather sentimental note, without further ado, let’s dive into…


Ben’s Picks

2018 wasn’t the greatest year for me, and I often found it hard to get excited about the movies being released, animated or otherwise, although admittedly there are still several offerings, such as Christopher Robin, that I have yet to catch up with! Having our own cinema is still a “new” experience that remained a highlight, and our twice-weekly movie nights, with a mix of classics, contemporary and curios, are a popular draw with friends and family. As such, I haven’t really made it out to the flickers, seeing as we now wait for the Blu-ray or, increasingly, 4K discs to come along. It takes something really special to get us up and out — I only made two trips to the movies this year, one of them being the blockbuster to end all blockbusters (until the next one, of course), Avengers: Infinity War, which deftly juggled its characters and spun its many plates with such style, making for a genuinely awesome spectacle and, dare I say it, what I found to be fairly intelligent and emotional eye-candy, if such a thing can exist!

I was also blown away by a completely different film experience in Peter Jackson’s extraordinary Great War documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, which brought faded, flickering images back to immediate and emotionally charged life.

In animation, the big studios (read: Disney, which basically owns entertainment now!) put out a pair of fine films in Incredibles 2 and what should have been called Ralph Wrecks The Internet, and we got an absolutely charming follow-up in Paddington 2 but, ultimately, they were all sequels and so offered little genuinely new. I’m not the biggest fan of anime features in general, but there didn’t really seem to be a breakout hit this year from any of the wannabe-Ghibli studios, or for that matter any other independent release, either.

Which made me one of the most shocked that — and, yes, I’m going to call this — Sherlock Gnomes (albeit, yes, technically another sequel) came out of nowhere to became the surprise delight of the year! Well made and looking good, especially in its textures and lighting, the film also features one of the most ingenious uses of the Holmes mythology that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before, spinning the characters on their heads and overall being much better than it supposedly had any right to be. Away from animation, I found much to enjoy in a trio of summer blockbusters that surprised as well as delighted. Ready Player One may not have enchanted every viewer, but it was everything I wanted it to be; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took things in exhilarating new directions for a consummate thrill-ride, and just how does Tom Cruise and Chris McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible run keep getting better and more layered with each new outing!? I can’t wait for the just-announced next two!

My second trip to the cinema was squeezed in just before the new year, when curiosity got the better of me and we ventured out to see Mary Poppins Returns, which I’d hoped would be as good as the soundtrack was promising. Naturally, the original movie is a touchstone that this sequel doesn’t so much replicate as it does essentially repeat: this is the Force Awakens or Jurassic World of Poppins pictures. In the music, one can pick out not so much the themes from Walt’s 1964 classic but actual notes and phrases, so practically perfectly are they woven into the score, which also hints at those other glorious 60s musicals such as Oliver!, Half A Sixpence, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (even using the same Pinewood Studios garden bridge as that film for a further connection!) and My Fair Lady, also referenced for the stunningly throwback poster artwork, however ironically given the Julie Andrews connection, with composer Marc Shaiman and his orchestrators even managing to pinpoint that specific Irwin Kostal sound.

What it really felt like to me, given director Rob Marshall’s reverent approach, was that Walt had put a sequel into production right after the first one was such a smash, but then passed away in 1966 and it kind of sat on the shelf, either unfinished or unreleased out of tribute to him for a couple of years, and then someone proposed cleaning up the print and finally releasing it for its 50th birthday.

While it’s still playing, I do suggest seeing it on a big big-screen with full sound to get to the closest you’ll ever be to feeling what the original was like, so wonderfully brave as it is in being absolutely old fashioned, without any modern touches at all. Yes, it’s slightly overlong (but so, in honesty, was the original and every other big 60s musical of its time) and Meryl Streep struggles to fill Ed Wynn’s boots, but Emily Blunt makes Mary her own, and loses herself in the role so as to occasionally match Julie, especially in the Cover Is Not A Book animated sequence.

A returning Dick Van Dyke (twinkly, awesome, legend) and Angela Lansbury (who with her Disney history just feels so right here) got applause for their bits from our appreciative audience, the only slight disappointment I felt being how Mary actually leaves right at the end, after being offered what would have been a perhaps more satisfying mode of transport…and I’ll say no more. With tons of nods to the original, including such delicate touches as the title font and Peter Ellenshaw-inspired backgrounds, this is the first film in ages with an overture — an actual overture! — that plays for its opening titles. No film has that anymore! You’ll either love it or not get it at all, but Mary Poppins Returns is just such a sweet and innocent throwback to how films used to be, and it’s all the better for it. Dare I say it’s super…

Lastly, a quick mention for a genuine screen legend’s 90th birthday. Mickey Mouse flickered across the screen in the November of 1928 and changed the course of animation and the movies themselves forever after. The first true animated film star not to have been first discovered in the funny pages, his career was celebrated in a beautiful Taschen publication, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History, which rivals Taschen’s own Disney Archives book from the same time the previous year. With page after page of in-depth writing and rare artworks, this is a handsome way to celebrate Mickey in style. Happy birthday, Mr Mouse!


Dacey’s Picks

If there was one thing we saw in 2018, it was that if “superhero fatigue” is something that audiences are going through, it sure isn’t showing at the box office! Of the top 15 movies of the year, seven were of the genre, and it should be said (if it hasn’t been said already) that we are currently experiencing a golden age for comic book films. The biggest of the batch — and the third highest-grossing film of all time behind only The Force Awakens and Avatar — was Black Panther, filling a cultural hole which hadn’t been filled without neglecting to deliver insane action in spades. But even its spectacle was dwarfed by the massive scope of Avengers: Infinity War, an event film which truly lived up to the title of “event,” wowing audiences around the world while also shocking them into silence before the end credits rolled with something as simple as a literal snapping of the fingers (if you saw the movie opening weekend, you know how quiet those packed theaters got).

Providing more lighthearted fare was Venom, a sleeper hit which thankfully didn’t take itself too seriously, providing a twisted sense of Deadpool-style humor even as it remained safely within the reins of its teenager-friendly PG-13 rating. And despite all of the negativity DC Comics gets from the press, Aquaman ended up being their sixth consecutive motion picture to cross $200 million, delighting with its undersea voyage into a world of visual splendor (still playing in theaters, it is highly recommended that the film be seen on the biggest screen you can find).

Superheroes weren’t only to be seen in live-action movies, however, as they were also central to three of the year’s animated films. Incredibles 2 was extremely solid entertainment — as everyone expected it would be — even if as a sequel it felt like it was being very “safe” in how it played its game. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but when compared to the original (which had a climax involving its villain attempting to kidnap a baby just to spite its parents), the “stakes” just weren’t as dramatic, even if the film was still a great romp. More of a surprise, as weird as it may sound, was Teen Titans GO! To The Movies, a cartoon-to-the-big-screen release which many probably thought was a terrible idea until it actually came out. With catchy songs and some demented yet still family-friendly comedy, I recommend it to all who enjoy poking gentle fun at heroes in capes (even if they haven’t seen a single episode of the TV show).

But by far the most notable of these films was Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, quite possibly the best animated movie of the year. Also falling into the category of “why are they making this?” until people got to see some footage from it, the “Avengers flick where all of the members are Spider-Man” is a monumental achievement on almost all fronts, positively flooring me with its groundbreaking animation, cheeky jokes and fully original storytelling. Outside of the world of caped crusaders, audiences sought out other forms of thrill rides, whether it was the latest Mission: Impossible or Jurassic World extravaganzas, with both franchises exclaiming that they have plenty of juice left in their tanks despite being more than 20 years old (and speaking of getting old, Tom Cruise looks like he hasn’t aged a day since the first Mission: Impossible came out!).

Also quite fun, even as it faced backlash for making “only” $200 million, was Solo: A Star Wars Story, the best film in the series since The Force Awakens (and a lot more satisfying than The Last Jedi). Finally, it may be impossible for me to gush enough about the sugar rush of adrenaline that was Ready Player One (that Shining sequence? WOW!), easily the most shamelessly “Spielberg” Spielberg motion picture since at least The Adventures Of Tintin.

In the world of animation, Disney went into somewhat uncertain waters for them, releasing the first big budget sequel to one of their animated movies since The Rescuers Down Under (of course, that depends on whether or not you count Fantasia 2000 and 2011’s barely talked about Winnie The Pooh as “sequels,” which I personally don’t). Ralph Breaks The Internet showed that the Mouse House is capable of both critical and commercial success with such cinematic fare, though the big “test” of that will be this year’s upcoming Frozen 2, something which is going to face immense pressure to be great due to the phenomenal success of the original. Playing against its own seasonal conventions was Hotel Transylvania 3, which received a warm welcome during the hottest months of the year since it did, in fact, feel like a Summer Vacation. In terms of non-sequels, Smallfoot ended up being one of 2018’s most pleasant surprises, managing to be unexpectedly insightful and topical while also including some pretty great musical numbers.

Yet to a large extent — arguably in part due to the exhaustively draining headlines that dominated the year in the “real world” — it was nostalgia that saw a spotlight in 2018, as Christopher Robin and especially the absolutely wonderful family fantasy Paddington 2 warmed the hearts of filmgoers everywhere. Also feeling “needed” in response to the world’s current climate was Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a subtly touching and just all around nice documentary about a man whose kindness has rightfully been celebrated as of late. And while it may have taken a spoonful of sugar to go down for some, darn me if I wasn’t grinning ear-to-ear — and wiping away tears — during Mary Poppins Returns, a jolly holiday indeed which fortunately didn’t even attempt to be as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as its predecessor.

On the small screen, oddly enough, it was Family Guy which became relevant again, with its 300th episode being one of the most poignant poignant half-hours of television the show has ever produced.

DuckTales continued to be an excellent reboot of the 80s cartoon classic, with enough wit to engage fans old and new alike (a shout-out must be made to the heavily Mickey’s Christmas Carol-influenced holiday episode as well). On a much, much darker side of TV, Westworld was once again of the most exhilarating shows of its kind, pinning viewers to their seats even if they debated its various (and plentiful) plot twists later on.

Every year does contain its fair share of disappointments, however, and this year was no exception, though in my case I found myself being let down by movies that were widely liked by others. Even with a likable cast of crooks and would-be jailbirds, Ocean’s 8 didn’t have enough nail-biting in it to make it fully exciting as a heist film. But more frustrating, for me at least, was the new Halloween, a needlessly cynical escapade in horror which wanted to be both a sequel and a reboot in relation to the original, going so far as to “erase” the underrated Halloween II in order to do so (in an infuriating manner, I might add).


Dan’s Picks

It seemed to me that 2018 was a very interesting year in animation and entertainment. Disney had a dominant year, particularly in animation with the critical and commercial success of Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and their own Ralph Breaks The Internet. Netflix continues to make strong moves with new well-received animated shows like The Dragon Prince and She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power. What’s more, I couldn’t help but notice big numbers of content promoting diverse cultures and ethnicities trickling out to acclaim and fanfare.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is one of, if not the best Spider-Man film to date. The story of Miles Morales and his meeting the various Spider-Men and Women from other dimensions managed to turn what could easily have been a complex and confusing adaptation of a comic book premise into an amazing moviegoing experience that was just breathtaking to watch, particularly on an IMAX screen. Featuring outstanding visual design and animation, an emotionally wonderful narrative with heart, and an excellent diverse cast of characters, I stand by my belief that this could possibly be a game-changer in animation.

While the excellent Avengers: Infinity War become the fourth highest grossing film of all-time, it was Black Panther that arguably won the year. Ryan Coogler directed a beautifully photographed film featuring an outstanding ethnic cast and a delightful narrative that was thoughtful and heartfelt. The film broke ground in a big way, becoming the highest grossing solo superhero feature, the highest grossing film by a black director, the best reviewed live-action superhero film, and a cultural phenomenon whose impact continues to be felt.

I would be remiss if we didn’t mention 2018 being the 90th Anniversary of the mouse who started it all. And Disney’s D23 made sure to celebrate Mickey Mouse in fine fashion with a wonderful panel at the San Diego Comic Con featuring current voice Bret Iwan, legendary animator Mark Henn, and Walt Disney Archives director Becky Cline telling some funny anecdotes and informative stories. D23 Gold members also scored an excellent gift box of Mickey Mouse memorabilia such as original script pages for Steamboat Willie, the McCall printed pattern for Mickey and Minnie dolls, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice record cover, and other goodies.

Gravity Falls may have ended in 2016, but the brilliant Disney series of twins Dipper and Mabel’s summer with their Grunkle Stan continued on, topping my pick for off-screen material of 2018. Shout! Factory issued a glorious Blu-ray of the complete series with the collector’s edition containing a bonus disc of fun extras, such as stories creator Alex Hirsch tells with his own twin sister Ariel. Hirsch would also publish the Lost Legends graphic novel. Featuring four stories that were wonderfully written and illustrated, they could have easily been episodes.

While it was pretty much the only event of note I attended in 2018, the San Diego Comic Con was no less spectacular. This year featured an excellent 10th Anniversary panel for Star Wars: The Clone Wars that was capped off with the roaring excitement of its return, a lovely retrospective on the 1984 Supergirl film after which I got a free copy of the Blu-ray and met Helen Slater, and a great look at the returning Invader Zim as well as just managing to meet the cast and crew. But the real fun moment for me was when the cast of Star Trek: Discovery gave out doughnuts to folks in line on Day Two morning, allowing a chance to meet actor Anthony Rapp.

My discovery of the year goes to the beautifully crafted Life is Strange video game series. Applying the supernatural to an emotional coming of age story of friends Max and Chloe, the episodic series first published by Square Enix in 2015 garnered mainstream attention in 2018 with key releases. The prequel title Before The Storm released a gut-wrenching epilogue, the first episode of Life is Strange 2 a new story and set of characters launched, and Titan Books released a fun hardcover guide to life/art book and a dramatic sequel comic to the first title. This is a great series to experience.

But of course, Critical Role was once again at the top of my list for best of the year. The live internet stream of well known animation voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons started a new campaign that was just as exhilarating and dramatic as the first. 2018 saw the series gain two animation spots, an outstanding commercial for sponsor D&D Beyond that hearkens to the 1980s, and a beautiful new anime-inspired show introduction with a cool new theme song. Combined with the release of a second art book, an appearance in a Spider-Man comic book, and even a billboard in northern Los Angeles for a time, 2018 was a big year for Critical Role.


Rand’s Picks

While this was not perhaps a banner year for animated films, I still found projects to enjoy, though primarily at home. Only a few of the live action superhero epics got me out to the theater this year (Avengers: Infinity War deserved its praise, and was as awesome as we had hoped), while my home theater generally sufficed for most everything else. (Okay, I admit that I took my wife out to Crazy Rich Asians, which was fun, too.) A look at Wikipedia finds over 100 animated films released worldwide this past year, including direct-to-video offerings, and I certainly have only seen a small handful of those. So much of the American stuff seems uninspired, while much of the international stuff is largely inaccessible.

The one animated film that I made it out to see in the theater was Incredibles 2. I was a little let down by it, however. While it was certainly well made, it failed to thrill or excite me much. If there is one more film out to tempt me to get to the theater, it would be Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which looks incredible itself. Disney only gave us a sequel (Ralph Breaks The internet), which I’m looking forward to, but not enough to rush out to see it.

On Blu-ray, I enjoyed Early Man from Aardman; I would not give it too much awards consideration necessarily (well, maybe this year, which was weak overall), but it was at least unusual and well crafted. I also liked the oddness of Isle Of Dogs, Wes Anderson’s typically weird but enchanting film.

Looking at the other studios, DreamWorks and Blue Sky had no film out this year, and neither did Laika. Interestingly, Sony Pictures Animation was the most active of all the majors, with Spider-Verse and Hotel Transylvania 3, plus the work they did on Peter Rabbit and Goosebumps 2 — a mixed bag to be sure, but Spider-Verse alone should make up for last year’s Smurfs: The Lost Village and The Emoji Movie.

The most gratifying thing I watched at home this year was perhaps Mary And The Witch’s Flower [above], a film by Studio Ponoc, who are trying to continue on in the Ghibli tradition; this first effort was not perfect, but it was quite impressive. Meanwhile, I appreciated the direct-to-video product coming from DC: Gotham By Gaslight was fairly well done, with a surprise twist that pleased me and kept the story from simply being a retread of the graphic novel. Batman: Ninja was so crazy and over the top that some panned it, but I found it to be ridiculously fun. The Death Of Superman did not have the same visual flair, but the story was surprisingly affecting, and leagues better than the first animated telling of the story in Superman: Doomsday.

On TV, I was mostly pleased with the ending for Star Wars Rebels. While I rarely found the show as appealing overall as its predecessor, Clone Wars, Rebels was still an outstanding program that did the franchise prouder than a few films I could mention.

Home video also got some classic material out for us older or more discerning fans. The Disney Movie Club gave us a very welcome two-movie set for Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. While devoid of any bonus features (I’m thankful I still have my deluxe LaserDisc set!), it was extremely gratifying to see these films unedited and in high-definition. DMC also put out exclusives for Piglet’s Big Movie and Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin, to tie in to the Christopher Robin film release. DMC’s exclusives can only be bought by club members, unless you wish to be gouged by aftermarket sellers on eBay.

More easily found are the offerings from Warner Archive, either from their own site, Amazon, or a few other online retailers. WA recently released a wonderful Blu-ray set of color Popeye cartoons from the 1940s, and more volumes are in the works. It was also nice to see their Blu-ray release of Rankin-Bass’s Flight Of The Dragons come out early this year. One should also mention that Warner Home Video came through with a superb Blu-ray set for the fully remastered Batman: The Animated Series, making legions of fans happy. And Shout! Factory began a promising relationship with Disney that saw them release a superb complete series Blu-ray set for Gravity Falls. One hopes for more such sets in the future.


James’s Picks

Animated Views celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2018. We mainly critiqued discs back in 2003, and didn’t start reviewing films while they were in theatres until several years later. I did the first such review back in 2007, and have had the honor of writing over 70% of our theatrical reviews since then.

But maybe that has jaded me! Or maybe I’m just a natural curmudgeon! Because on our scale of 0-10, I haven’t rated a single widely released film eight or better since 2014! Yes I can be picky. And, yes, I consider a score of seven to be a very good film. But I haven’t been wowed in a long while.

The Academy had 25 entries submitted for Best Animated Feature qualification this year. But a majority of them were foreign or otherwise limited release films. Only eleven played in more than 1,500 theatres. I saw nine of those movies — sorry Sgt. Stubby and Sherlock Gnomes! While it’s another year for me with no eight, nine, or ten ratings, all my top picks for 2018 are “super” in a manner of speaking!

#1 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Admit it. When you heard Sony was going to make an animated Spider-Man movie without help from the MCU geniuses, you rolled your eyes. When you heard it was about the “Spider-Verse” you audibly groaned. But Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was almost as pleasant a surprise as Sony letting the MCU geniuses handle the live-action version of the character.

Anyone reading my reviews for any amount of time knows I’m all about the story. And while Spider-Verse doesn’t go too deep, it does give this new version of the web-slinger a solid origin with characters we start to care for and want to learn more about. But perhaps the best thing about the film is the unique visual style that feels comic-book-y without being gimmicky. Knowing Sony, they’re already planning to exploit the success of this Spider-Man movie all they can. Hopefully they can do so while keeping the fresh look and fresh take from this film while adding even more depth to this classic hero.

#2 Incredibles 2
The superhero film genre has come a long way since 2004, when the first Incredibles film was released. The X-Men were just two films in, Tobey Maguire’s second Spider-Man film was coming, and not a single movie from the MCU, Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, or even the Fantastic Four had been released.

Back then audiences were hungry for superhero fare and Pixar provided something great. Audiences today are over-stuffed, so Pixar would have to do something to stand out from the crowd. Changing the superheroing focus to Elastigirl and having Mr. Incredible have to deal with jealousy and Jack-Jack proved to be the right recipe! While the ending could have used some work, the film had something a lot of other comic book movies lack — a focus on everyday normal relationships. They call their spouse after a long day at work. They take the kids out to dinner. Then they save the world again. That emphasis on the human part of the hero is at the heart of what makes Incredibles 2 so super.

#3 Teen Titans Go To The Movies
There are a lot of superhero movies out there these days. I mean, a lot! I love the genre but even I think the pace needs to slow down. With the glut of the comic book genre in pop culture today, the Teen Titans come at exactly the right time to mock everything people love and hate about these kinds of movies!

The film is also a great fit with the zany humor Warner Animation has featured in their other recent titles like The Lego Movie and Storks. That means the laughs may be more important than plot sometimes. But with endless plot from Marvel’s ten-year long soap opera and DC’s overly serious and dark tone in their extended universe, some pointed satire and general mockery is a welcome change!


Readers’ Choice Results

Now it’s time to find out what you said in out Readers’ Choice Poll and, for just the first time in the seven years we’ve been asking Animated Views readers to rank the best animated movies of the year you’ve chosen a film not from Disney or Pixar!

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse earned the top spot on your list with a score of 58 out of a perfect 100. It received 43% of the first place votes and appeared on an impressive 71% of all ballots.

Incredibles 2 was the second choice with a score of 48/100. It got 21% of the first place votes and showed up on an almost equally impressive 70% of all ballots.

Third place went to Ralph Breaks The Internet with a score of 27/100. It picked up only 8% of the first place votes but was on 47% of all ballots. Isle Of Dogs came in fourth with a score of 23/100. It actually earned more first place votes than Ralph with 13%, but fewer people had it on their ballots, at 32%. And Mirai took the fifth spot with a score of 10/100, getting 2% of the first place votes and appearing on 17% of the ballots.


Well, as a certain cartoon pig (not Spider-Ham!) is famous for saying, “That’s all, folks!” — at least for this article! There’s loads more animated news and views to come throughout the new year so, as usual, “stay tooned”, and we wish you all a great 2019!

— Dacey, and the entire Animated Views Team!