Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AFI's Top 10 Animated Films - Disney Dominates

So I was watching AFI's 10 Top 10 on CBS. They had a good lineup of gangster movies, romantic comedies, epics, westerns, etc. It was a little slapped together, but that's sort of to be expected, and I personally think top 10 lists are kind of flawed anyway.

However, I shrugged at their list of animated films. Here's the website if you're interested.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2. Pinocchio
3. Bambi
4. The Lion King
5. Fantasia
6. Toy Story
7. Beauty and the Beast
8. Shrek
9. Cinderella
10. Finding Nemo

First off, as many people will also point out, animation is not a genre, but an art/medium/craft. Second of all, what's with all the Disney/Pixar, and why is Shrek the exception? And finally, why is Shrek placed above Cinderella?

The segregation of animation and live action is really part of American culture, viewing it as children's entertainment, etc. It's also to make room for more live action films in the other categories, since live action does dominate in film history. However, if we're looking at Disney animation, those common labels of "for the kiddies," fairy tales, and the like are actually true.

Disney is animation and cartoons in the mind of many Americans, it can't be helped.

The list seems to have been put together by film enthusiasts. It includes classic directors like Cukor, Wilder, Hitchcock, and even includes a few silent films. So you'd think they would have at least included Nightmare Before Christmas or Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Maybe Wizards or Fritz the Cat even, but of course, surrounded by so much Disney, it would feel creepy to TV audiences. You sure as hell wouldn't see Allegro non Troppo, Coonskin, or The Thief and the Cobbler on there.

Like comics, animation will only be truly understood and appreciated by nerds. It's a fact I've come to accept. I'm actually quite proud to be a nerd. It's not like I ran into Platform screaming "excelsior!" But, of course, if everyone in the world loved Wizards and Allegro non Troppo, I'd be sick of them and not want to watch them anymore. So it works out in the end.