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Top 20 Animation Movies – What Makes Them Tick?
Being in the entertainment industry, it is my privilege to keep abreast of which animated feature films are garnering the most box office profits. Today I worked through this list of the top 20 greatest animated films of all time and I would like to share my views on why I think these films did as well as they did. They’ll make my recommended recipe for an animated feature box office hit.
1. Shrek 2 (3D) – $436,471,036
2. Finding Nemo (3D) – 339,714,978
3. The Lion King (2D) – 328,539,505
4. Shrek the Third (3D) – $322,719,944
5. Shrek (3D) – 267,665,011
6. The Incredibles (3D) – 261.657.004
7. Horror, Inc. (3D) – 255,870,172
8. Toy Story 2 (3D) – $245,852,179
9. Cars (3D) – $244,082,982
10. Aladdin (2D) – 217,350,219
11. Ratatouille (3D) – $206,445,654
12. Sweet Feet (3D) – $198,000,317
13. Ice Age: Meltdown (3D) – $195,330,621
14. Madagascar (3D) – $193,595,521
15. Toy Story (3D) – $191,780,865
16. The Simpsons Movie (2D) – $183,135,014
17. Polar Express (3D) – $179,100,434
18. Ice head (3D) – 176,387,405
19. Beauty and the Beast (2D) – $171,350,553
20. Tarzan (2D) – $171,091,819
Shrek – Top of the Seed
Shrek 2 takes the lead as you can see from the list. In fact, the Shrek trilogy took 1st, 4th and 5th place, all in the top 5 places. This is a very impressive feat and in my opinion, Shrek takes the cake because the story is really good and the gags are good. Of course it helps a lot that four major stars are cast – Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and Mike Myers. In fact, of the Shrek trilogy, I enjoyed Shrek 2 the most, so personally I’m not surprised that it’s the best of the three.
3D instead of 2D
From the list below, we can see that 3D films get 15 of the points, compared to their 2D counterparts that get only 5 seats. It would seem from this statistic that audiences are favoring 3D animation over 2D animation. Even 2D/3D hybrids like Ghost: Stallion of Cimarron and Treasure Planet don’t seem to like it. It would seem that The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Tarzen are only in the top 20 positions because of their strong family-oriented stories and classic brand. The Simpsons Movie basically benefited from the large fan base through its TV series. Holding such unique franchises, it appears that a 3D show will beat a 2D one day. Animation studios seem to be echoing this sentiment as the number of 2D animated features produced has decreased dramatically in recent years.
A Strong History
This is probably not new to you, but I’ll say it anyway. I think that one of the most important factors that will drive the version of the animation will be a strong and powerful story. In fact I would go so far as to say that if you forget everything else, you must have a great story to tell! Every single movie on the list tells an interesting story (well almost) and they all do well enough to make it to the top of the list.
Elephant, the best medicine
People like to laugh. They like to make others laugh. They like to laugh at each other. They just want to laugh. All in all, I think Shrek gets three of the top five spots because of their gags and original jokes. And don’t forget the two maestros of comedy – Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy – who did the voiceovers for Shrek and Donkey respectively. How can you beat that deadly duo?
A Strong Voiceover Cast
It’s true that a superstar for voiceovers is a multi-tasker, especially when celebrities are well-liked and great actors. Again, refer to the Shrek cast. With Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, how could the movie go wrong?
The Importance of Identifiable Characters within the Exhibition
This is just my theory, but I strongly believe that apart from having a strong story line, animated features should also feature recognizable characters. And when I say recognizable characters, I don’t mean plain human characters. I mean monsters. I mean animals. I mean super hero. With more likable characters than people, they are more instantly recognizable. Look at the list carefully. Apart from a couple of old 2D movies, which other movie had a cast that only had plain old people for its lead? Having likeable and recognizable characters will definitely drive ticket sales because people want to pay to see likeable characters in an animated version, not just plain old people! I do not have to remind you again what a flop final fantasy: The Spirits Within was, did I?
My Personal Favorites
If you’re wondering, my personal favorites are Monster Inc, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Shrek 2 and Ice Age in that order. My reason? They all have strong and compelling storylines. And I put them in this order according to how much I enjoyed each movie. I must say that Monster Inc gave me the best fun factor!
So here’s my recommended recipe for entertainment box office success:
1. The movie must be made in 3D
2. He must have a good story to tell
3. Put a lot of humor in the show
4. Get a strong cast to be your voice talents
5. Character designs must be attractive and memorable
I hope this article has been an interesting read. Please visit my websites to read more of my articles or simply to check out what I’m up to.
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