Computer-animated movies are liked by people of all ages. Each year, many computer-animated films are made around the world. Hollywood made computer-animated feature films are released all around the world and hence, due to their better distribution and wider market, they are more recognized and earn a lot of profit too. But without a good story and production, even millions can go down the hole. After all what is the use of making a film if it does not entertain. On this list of ten computer-animated films last year, four films have not been able to impress, but the rest of the six are great to watch. Here are top ten computer-animated films of Hollywood in 2011.
10. Mars Needs Moms! (March 11, 2011)
It is a motion capture animated science fiction action-comedy. The film has been co-written and directed by Simon Wells, who is known for making The Prince of Egypt (1998). The film is based on the Berkeley Breathed book of the same name. The title is inspired from another American film, Mars Needs Women (1966). It has performance capture by Seth Green and voice of Seth Dusky for the lead character of Milo. Joan Cusack and Tom Everett Scott has voiced for Milo’s mother and father respectively. The film tells a story of a nine-year-old boy who realizes his mistake and admits that he was rude to his mother when he was grounded. But he gets a chance at repairing his relationship with his mother and prove that he is worthy of her respect and care when she gets abducted by Martians. He can go after them and rescue her beloved mother. The story does seem kind of nice and sweet, however, it was both a critical and commercial failure. It has 35% ratings at Rotten Tomatoes and is criticized for lack of imagination. It could not even recover its budget at the box office.
9. Cars 2 (June 24, 2011)
It is a computer-animated action film which is a sequel to 2006 film Cars. The film has been produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter, who is known for directing the first two Toy Story movies as well as A Bug’s Life (1998). The film follows race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and tow truck Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) to Japan and Europe where they go to compete in the World Grand Prix. The twist comes when Mater gets tracked by international espionage. Even that kind of car chasing could not generate appreciation from the critics and the film is considered to be the worst ever from Pixar. However, its performance at the theatres was not that bad and it was able to recover the budget of the film twice the spending. It has 38% approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated for best animated feature film at the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes.
8. Happy Feet Two (November 18, 2011)
It is a 3D computer-animated family film directed by George Miller who co-directed the first part. The film stars Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Pink, Sofía Vergara, Common, Hugo Weaving, Richard Carter, Magda Szubanski and Anthony LaPaglia. Most of these actors voiced the characters in the first part too. The film has got a mixed reception from the critics, but it got nominated for best animation in some award circuits. It has 44% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and according to the British newspaper, The Telegraph, it is one of the worst films of 2011. The film has been mainly criticized for having not much to offer in its plot other than singing and dancing, which are no new elements for such a movie. Hence, there is nothing new and no surprises this time. It seems more or less like a repetition of the first part.
7. Gnomeo and Juliet (February 11, 2011)
It is a computer-animated family comedy film inspired from William Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury who also co-wrote the film. Being based on one of the most famous plays of English literature, the story of the film is self-explanatory. The two main characters of Gnomeo and Juliet are voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. The film has also voices by Michael Caine, Jason Statham and Maggie Smith along with others. May be the audiences are bored with Shakespeare’s play being used or rather overused time and again that the critics did not appreciate it as expected. It received mixed reviews and holds 56% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the accolades have not stopped coming its way. The song “Hello Hello” has especially been welcomed with multiple nominations.
6. Rio (April 15, 2011)
Also being promoted as Rio: The Movie, it is a 3D computer-animated musical comedy film directed by Carlos Saldanha who co-wrote it. The film’s title is taken from the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, where the events in the story actually unfold. Initially, Saldanha wanted Rio to be a film about a penguin which somehow enters the city, but then he had to change it to macaws when films like Happy Feet (2006) and Surf’s Up (2007) were already in production. The film is about a male blue macaw that is in danger of extinction and hence is taken to Rio de Janeiro for mating with a female of its kind. The female however is very different than him in her temperament and thus both need to get together before more tragedy comes their way. The characters are voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro and Jake T. Austin. The film was a considerable success both critically and commercially having 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. It received many nominations from Annie Awards.
5. The Adventures of Tintin (October 22, 2011)
It is a performance capture 3D film based on a series of comic books, The Adventures of Tintin, by Belgian artist Hergé. It is directed by Steven Spielberg and that makes it his first animation direction. It stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig. The film is currently in theatres and as of now it scores 75% approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. There is a video game that has been released alongside the film. For many critics it is one of the best releases of 2011 and has won two awards besides being nominated for many others. By the looks of it, there are plans to make a sequel to this film and there will be many more to come.
4. Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 26, 2011)
It is a 3D computer-animated action comedy film, which is a sequel to Kung Fu Panda (2008). It is directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and most of the voice casting is same as the previous movie. The film has been praised by critics and fans’ expectations of having a joy ride also got fulfilled. The aspect of character development and how this story is completely a new one has been appreciated the most. It is the highest grossing animated feature film of 2011 and also holds the record of being the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman. It has 82% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated for many different awards.
3. Puss in Boots (October 28, 2011)
It is a computer-animated adventure Western film, so the fans of Western genre and animation get a double treat. It is directed by Chris Miller who also did Shrek the Third (2007). The film is basically a spinoff prequel to the Shrek franchise and covers the story of Puss in Boots’ adventures before the events that took place in Shrek 2 (2004). The film is set in the fairy world and has characters grounded in fantasies. The voices for the characters are provided by Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. It has been appreciated by critics and fans were already in love with Puss in Boots, hence they did not need to be convinced further. Anything with Puss in Boots is fun. It holds 83% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and has received multiple nominations. A video game has also been released to maximize on fans’ frenzy about Puss in Boots.
2. Rango (March 4, 2011)
It is also a computer-animated Western comedy film, hence twice the fun. It is directed by Gore Verbinski known for directing three of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The voices are lent by Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and Ned Beatty. The film follows a story of a chameleon called Rango who somehow ends up in a new town unknown to him and becomes its sheriff. The fun starts when he deals with creatures there. The film has been especially recognized for its humour and different characters’ roles. It has 88% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated for many awards, a lot of which it has won. It is being named as one of the best films of 2011. However, the film has faced controversy from anti-smoking advocates as a lot of smoking was shown unnecessarily.
1. Arthur Christmas (November 11, 2011)
It is a 3D computer-animated Christmas fantasy comedy film jointly made by British and American production companies. The film has been directed by Sarah Smith and has voices by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen. It tells a story about Santa’s son called Arthur Christmas who sets on completing a mission before Christmas morning arrives. The film has 92% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. What took critics by surprise was the same old story told in an interesting way. It has been nominated for many awards and has a video game of its own too.