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#3 Princess Mononoke vs. #6 Pinocchio

Originality - Princess Mononoke
Script/Screenplay - Princess Mononoke
Animation - Princess Mononoke
Characters - Pinocchio
Music/Sound - Pinocchio
Themes/Values - Princess Mononoke
Structure/Pacing - Pinocchio

Princess Mononoke - 4
Pinocchio - 3

Winner: #3 Princess Mononoke



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



ahwell's Avatar
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#2 Ratatouille vs. #10 Frozen

Originality - Ratatouille
Script/Screenplay - Ratatouille
Animation - Ratatouille
Characters - Ratatouille
Music/Sound - Ratatouille
Themes/Values - Ratatouille
Structure/Pacing - Ratatouille

Ratatouille - 7
Frozen - 0

Winner: #2 Ratatouille



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#2 The Lion King vs. #7 Persepolis

Originality - Persepolis
Script/Screenplay - Persepolis
Animation - The Lion King
Characters - The Lion King
Music/Sound - The Lion King
Themes/Values - Persepolis
Structure/Pacing - Persepolis

Persepolis - 4
The Lion King - 3

Winner: #7 Persepolis



ahwell's Avatar
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Definitely agree. Love The Incredibles and Porco Rosso is near the bottom of the list of Miyazaki films for me. I think maybe only Ponyo was worse.
What do you hate so much about Porco Rosso? It's one of my favorite Miyazaki's.


Toy Story 2 is my least favorite Toy Story film (of the three I've seen), but I hated Fantastic Mr. Fox and would've voted the other way.
I'm actually surprised you don't like Fantastic Mr. Fox (or Wallace and Gromit for that matter). It strikes me as a film along the lines of something like Up or Ratatouille rather than the visual-based Miyazaki films.


Enthusiastic agreement, here. Mary and Max is brilliant, though Toy Story 3 is the Toy Story movie that comes closest to me loving it.
I've now watched Mary and Max several times since I saw it first a couple months ago and right now it's one of my favorite discoveries of this tournament. What a gem!



What do you hate so much about Porco Rosso? It's one of my favorite Miyazaki's.
Mostly it's that I found it incredibly boring. I didn't care at all about the characters, which made it impossible to care about the movie. I also found the whole pig-man thing pointless and distracting.


I'm actually surprised you don't like Fantastic Mr. Fox (or Wallace and Gromit for that matter). It strikes me as a film along the lines of something like Up or Ratatouille rather than the visual-based Miyazaki films.
Wallace and Gromit are okay. I don't dislike them. I just don't understand the love for them. If I'm going to do an Aardman film, I'd much rather watch Chicken Run, Flushed Away, or even Pirates!

As for Fantastic Mr. Fox, I HATE Wes Anderson. I think his films are beautiful from a visual standpoint, but I find his quirky for the sake of being quirky brand of film making off-putting and his characters feel incomplete. It's not that I mind quirk - Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman do it right - but his specific brand of it just irritates me. That said, I did actually enjoy Isle of Dogs the one time I watched it.



#3 Princess Mononoke vs. #6 Pinocchio
Winner: #3 Princess Mononoke
Boo.

#2 Ratatouille vs. #10 Frozen
Winner: #2 Ratatouille
Yes! Hated Frozen so much.

#2 The Lion King vs. #7 Persepolis
Winner: #7 Persepolis
Also yes! Glad to see The Lion King go out. Can't stand that movie.



ahwell's Avatar
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#5 My Neighbor Totoro vs. #13 Bambi

Originality - My Neighbor Totoro
Script/Screenplay - My Neighbor Totoro
Animation - Bambi
Characters - Bambi
Music/Sound - Bambi
Themes/Values - My Neighbor Totoro
Structure/Pacing - My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro - 4
Bambi - 3

Winner: #5 My Neighbor Totoro



ahwell's Avatar
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#1 Spirited Away vs. #9 Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers

Originality - Spirited Away
Script/Screenplay - Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
Animation - Spirited Away
Characters - Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
Music/Sound - Spirited Away
Themes/Values - Spirited Away
Structure/Pacing - Spirited Away

Spirited Away - 5
Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers - 2

Winner: #1 Spirited Away



ahwell's Avatar
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#5 How to Train Your Dragon vs. #13 Chicken Run

Originality - How to Train Your Dragon
Script/Screenplay - Chicken Run
Animation - How to Train Your Dragon
Characters - How to Train Your Dragon
Music/Sound - How to Train Your Dragon
Themes/Values - How to Train Your Dragon
Structure/Pacing - Chicken Run

How to Train Your Dragon - 5
Chicken Run - 2

Winner: #5 How to Train Your Dragon



ahwell's Avatar
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#1 Wall-E vs. #8 Akira

Originality - Wall-E
Script/Screenplay - Wall-E
Animation - Wall-E
Characters - Wall-E
Music/Sound - Wall-E
Themes/Values - Wall-E
Structure/Pacing - Wall-E

Wall-E - 7
Akira - 0

Winner: #1 Wall-E



#5 My Neighbor Totoro vs. #13 Bambi
Winner: #5 My Neighbor Totoro


#1 Spirited Away vs. #9 Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
Winner: #1 Spirited Away


#5 How to Train Your Dragon vs. #13 Chicken Run
Winner: #5 How to Train Your Dragon
Shame these two are against each other. I love both, but I would've voted the same.

#1 Wall-E vs. #8 Akira
Winner: #1 Wall-E
Whole-heartedly agree. Wall E is superb. Akira was just kind of weird and confusing.



ahwell's Avatar
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On to Round Three:

#1 Toy Story vs. #5 Fantastic Mr. Fox
#2 Ratatouille vs. #3 Princess Mononoke

#1 Up vs. #5 My Neighbor Totoro
#2 Monsters, Inc. vs. #6 Mary and Max

#1 Spirited Away vs. #5 How to Train Your Dragon
#3 The Incredibles vs. #10 Kiki's Delivery Service

#1 Wall-E vs. #5 Fantasia
#3 Beauty and the Beast vs. #7 Persepolis

1-seeds remaining: 4
2-seeds remaining: 2
3-seeds remaining: 3
4-seeds remaining: 0
5-seeds remaining: 4
6-seeds remaining: 1
7-seeds remaining: 1
8-seeds remaining: 0
9-sseds remaining: 0
10-seeds remaining: 1

I another addition I will include this round is that after a film is knocked out of the competition I will write a lengthier review on it.



ahwell's Avatar
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#1 Toy Story vs. #5 Fantastic Mr. Fox

Originality - Toy Story
Script/Screenplay - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Animation - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Characters - Toy Story
Music/Sound - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Themes/Values - Toy Story
Structure/Pacing - Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox - 4
Toy Story - 3

Winner: #5 Fantastic Mr. Fox



ahwell's Avatar
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Toy Story
Year: 1995
Director: John Lasseter

Toy Story was the second Pixar movie I ever saw (Up was the first), and it has just stuck with me ever since. It's one of my favorite animated films ever, certainly in my top ten, and is just a blast to watch in its short running time. In it we get memorable characters, fun bits of dialogue, and an overall adult vibe that put Pixar on the map for becoming the legend that it became. It all started here.

The plot of Toy Story is simple. Woody, the long-time favorite plaything of the young Andy, is suddenly replaced by a new toy, Buzz. Becoming jealous, Woody seeks to wipe out Buzz but ends up getting himself and Buzz into a whole lot of trouble. There is nothing special about the story, but Pixar makes it magical.

The first thing they do right is create great characters. Woody as a character is likable yet flawed, a good person but someone who will clearly develop in the film. That's always a good protagonist archetype. Woody's transition as a character is paced to perfection. For instance, at the beginning, he is seen as a clearly strong leader who has some egotistical issues, especially with giving up the top spot on Andy's favorites. As the story progresses, he at first is cynical of Buzz, the new, and then finally eases into the fact that life moves and changes, and often there is room for everyone.

What does this change symbolize? What does the arrival of Buzz mean to the story and the themes? This has actually been analyzed in many different ways throughout the years. Some see it as Pixar's small statement that CGI (Buzz) is the new, and hand-drawn animation (Woody) is the old, and both can co-exist. Others, like me, see it as simply a message about change and acceptance. Although that is the biggest and most prominent theme of the story, Toy Story has complex inner layers as well.

For instance, Buzz has his own character arch and conflicts. Take the devastating scene where he finds out he is not a real space ranger, and is simply a child's toy like Woody had been telling him all along. He literally has a mid-life crisis... in a kid's movie! Gosh, Pixar already getting dark with their first movie. But seriously, Buzz is struggling with his identity. He doesn't know who he is, why he's here, what his purpose is. And even by the end, there's a dark footnote that Buzz after all realizes you can't just be whatever you want. Sometimes we are here for a purpose, and in Buzz's case, he has to accept that purpose.

Toy Story is certainly one of the most influential animated movies of all time, and I would put it as one of the best of Pixar's films as well. It's way of making kids movies for both kids and adults has never left animated movies since, and it's still of writing and storytelling is still being copied and used today. Besides being influential, it is just a blast of a film that all ages can enjoy and analyze. Take a way a few things (like some of Randy Newman's score and the ugly animation compared to now), and you have a basically perfect film.




ahwell's Avatar
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#2 Ratatouille vs. #3 Princess Mononoke

Originality - Ratatouille
Script/Screenplay - Ratatouille
Animation - Princess Mononoke
Characters - Ratatouille
Music/Sound - Ratatouille
Themes/Values - Princess Mononoke
Structure/Pacing - Princess Mononoke

Ratatouille - 4
Princess Mononoke - 3

Winner: #2 Ratatouille



ahwell's Avatar
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Princess Mononoke
Year: 1997
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki, without doubt, is a legend. And many people see Princess Mononoke as his best film. While I don't think it's his Magnum Opus, it is certainly a masterpiece, a towering giant in the field of animation that is one of the most powerful and moving films ever made. It is certainly important, along with films like Akira and My Neighbor Totoro, in that it helped bring anime to a larger audience. With Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki took a step further in his storytelling as well. This film was his first rated PG-13, which shows in the often violent and mature themes.

The environment has been a key - or at least a part - in almost every one of Miyazaki's movies. In Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind it's as blatantly obvious as in Princess Mononoke; the film is literally about nature and the environment. Films like Castle in the Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service are more subtle, but they'll touch on environmental films. Same goes for Spirited Away, which uses the river spirit Haku as a symbol for pollution causing rivers and natural landmarks to be destroyed and "forgotten." But in Princess Mononoke his themes cannot be mis-interpreted (at least his environmental themes). This movie chronicles the story of Medieval Japan in which a young prince, in search of a cure for a wound by a cursed boar, stumbles across an ongoing war between nature and civilization.

What I think I like most about Miyazaki's style is his way of putting depth and ambiguity into his characters. Take Lady Eboshi, the strong leader of Iron Town who seeks to destroy all nature on the mountain top in order for humans to prosper. At the beginning, she is portrayed as a ruthless seeker of power, and a lust for wealth. But as we explore more, we also discover more facets to her personality. The townspeople fiercely defend her, and she is not only a good leader, she is also kind to cripples and the injured. She makes sure everyone is provided for and she gives everyone fair jobs. While she has a huge flaw - her need for destruction on the mountain - she clearly has good sides too.

That is only one example. San, or Princess Mononoke, is another great example of Miyazki's excellent character writing. San is a girl raised by wolves and taught to hate mankind. Her intentions are good - she seeks to preserve nature and the environment as humanity tries to take over. However, her often ruthless killing and blind stereotyping (of Prince A****aka notably) make her a very flawed character. So we have two major characters (both female, interestingly) on different sides of the conflict which are portrayed in a very similar ways - as a mixed bag of good and evil.

That's how the world is, correct? 99.999999% of the time there is a mushy in-between of good and evil. There are bad decisions made by good people, and good decisions made by bad people. This, essentially, is the carrying force of Princess Mononoke. The Prince's role is almost symbolic in that he brings together these forces into an entity that can work together. And the film does, as a matter of fact, end with optimism. After all the death and fighting, we are presented with the option that we can work together, and coincide - we meaning nature and human civilization.

But those examples are just some of the many intricate layers and themes of this amazing film. It is truly "epic," a fantasy that slowly unfolds like a Bach Choral Piece or Wagner's Ring Cycle. It has wondrous sights and fantastical story lines. It is complex, endlessly watchable, and in the end, simply a masterpiece. Is it as good as Toy Story? Nah. However, it also probably would land a spot on my top ten animated movies of all time.