The Perils Of Best Lists The Perils Of Best Lists
With the internet today there are two big issues, one is that people’s filters for good taste and common sense are set to zero... The Perils Of Best Lists

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With the internet today there are two big issues, one is that people’s filters for good taste and common sense are set to zero and the rise of everyone is a journalist. While I myself write for this website, I try to not bring hate or intolerance to the stories that are poster here. And the other thing is integrity and journalism are important to me. I will be the first to admit that I am not a writer by trade and thankfully there is spell check because I am the worst spellers. My goal on this site is to bring the knowledge that I have amassed over the year and share my thoughts and experiences with you to help you discover things that you might have never know or heard about. I do not profess to know everything but there are things that I have seen and experiences that I love to share with people so that thee knowledge can be shared. One of my biggest pet peeves is that if you are going to write a story about something you should do your best to get your facts straight and do the research for your story.

Today on Facebook George Takei posted a link to a story from September 10, 2014 “13 Non-Disney Animated Movies of the ’80s & ’90s That Are Secretly the Best” by Anneliese Cooper for the website Bustle. Being the animation fan that I am I was interested to see what they story was about. After reading the 13 choices for films I was aghast by the list. Before I get into this whole thing there is one easy fix to negate any discussion on this artical. If Anneliese has titled the story “13 Non-Disney Animated Films of the 80’s & 90’s that are my favorites” I would have no issue with the article. But when you make the mistake of including the word “Best” she really opened a can of worms on this one. Not only is the list questionable but one of her choices Titan A.E. was released on June 16th 2000 not in the correct time range that her story professes to be.

Here is her list (with the Rotten Tomatoes score next to them):

12) Troll In Central Park (17%)

11) Thumbelina (25%)

10) Titan A.E. (52%)

9) Prince of Egypt (79%)

8) Princess and the Goblin (NR)

7) Anastasia (86%)

6) Pagemaster (18%)

5) The Land Before Time (74%)

4) Rock-A-Doodle (25%)

3) An American Tail (68%)

2) Iron Giant (97%)

1) The Swan Princess (44%)

Her secret #1 pick:

The Thief and the Cobbler (33%)

First I find it very hard to believe that with her picking 7 Don Bluth films that you could leave his best film off the list The Secret of NIMH. I am a fan of Bluth and while his films always look good most have many story issues with them. Like Titan A.E. it’s a guilty pleasure for me but far from a great film.

That was only the beginning of my problems with the list. That got me thinking of what age range was she grew up in. The first strange thing that she said in her opening was “we of the Laser Disc players (slash, obsessive IMDb routine) know well” According to here Linkedin profile she graduated High School in 2009 that would put her being born in 1991 or 1992 roughly. I worked at Ken Cranes Laserdisc and during the heyday of Laserdisc (1993-1999) and then Image Entertainment (1999-2003) at the end of the line and while it’s conceivable that her parents had a laserdisc player I wouldn’t consider someone who at the most was no more than 10 years old when the format died in 2000 to have vast knowledge of Laserdisc. I also have doubt that she has even seen many of the films that I list below that I can say that I have seen every film on both lists.

I included the Rotten Tomatoes scores to give you a better gauge of what most people tend to think of the films on her list. And while there are many times where audience ratings of a film does not equate quality nor does a film with a high score mean that it’s good either. In this case it does give you an idea of what someone likes and the use of the word best.

On the flip side to her picks is the list of Disney animated theatrical films released from the 1980’s and 1990’s along with there Rotten Tomatoes score. This period is the modern golden age of the revival of feature animation for Disney and it’s hard to believe that she believes that some of her picks are better than some of these films.

Fox and the Hound (69%)

The Black Cauldron (55%)

The Greta Mouse Detective (81%)

Oliver and Company (43%)

The Little Mermaid (92%)

DuckTales The Movie (88%)

The Rescuers Down Under (68%)

Beauty and the Beast (93%)

Aladdin (94%)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (94%)

The Lion King (90%)

A Goofy Movie (53%)

Pocahontas (56%)

James and the Giant Peach (93%)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (73%)

Hercules (83%)

Mulan (86%)

Doug’s 1st Movie (26%)

Tarzan (88%)

Fantasia 2000 (82%)

There are some of the features that are simply not that good but it’s hard to believe that you would say that The Pagemaster or A Troll in Central Park is better than mediocre Disney films. I would also say that Disney film do get higher scores because they are Disney but not even half of her list gets above the 50% rating and if you have ever seen the Princess and the Goblin I can safely say that it would easily be less than 50% at best. Before you jump on me about a couple of names on the list, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a Walt Disney production but because of the tone of the film it was released under the Touchstone banner and Fantasia 2000 was released exclusively in IMAX on December 17 1999.

While I understand that list are objective I decided to do my research of animated features releases between 1980 to 1999 that we Non-Disney features. This is by no means a complete and I left off compilation films (like the Bugs Bunny features), direct to home video films, and television specials. All of the below film were released theatrically in either the United States or in its country of origin.

1980

Animalympics

Bon Voyage Charlie Brown

I Go Pogo

1981

American Pop

american-pop

Heavy Metal

heavy-metal

1982

Hey Good Lookin’

The Last Unicorn

last_unicorn

The Plagued Dogs

Secret of NIMH

secret-of-nimh

Les Maitres Du Temps (The Masters of Time)

the-masters-of-time

1983

Fire and Ice

Rock & Rule

rock-&-rule

Twice Upon A Time

twice_upon_a_time

Wind & The Willows

1984

Nausicaa Valley of the Wind

Lensman

lensman

1985 

Adventures of Mark Twain

Starchaser: The Legend of Orin

Starchaser_The_Legend_of_Orin

1986

Cat City

Transformers The Movie

When The Wind Blows

when_the_wind_blows

1987

The Brave Little Toaster

G.I. Joe The Movie

Robot Carnival

robot-carnival

1988

Akira

akira

Light Years

My Neighbor Totoro

my-neighbor-totoro

1989

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Little Nemo Adventure In Slumberland

1990

Jetson’s The Movie

jetsons_the_movie

Nutcracker Prince

1991

An American Tail Fievel Goes West

Only Yesterday

Rover Dangerfield

rover_dangerfield

1992

Bebe’s Kids

bebes_kids

Cool World

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest

PorcoRoso

The Tune

the-tune

1993

Once Upon A Forest

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

batman_mask_of_the_phantasm

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story

we're-back-poster

1994

Pom Poko

1995

Balto

Catnapped!

Ghost in the Shell

ghost-in-the-shell

Gumby The Movie

Memories

The Pebble and the Penguin

Toy Story

Whisper of the Heart

1996

Beavis and Butthead Do America

Space Jam

1997

Cat’s Don’t Dance

cats_dont_dance

Perfect Blue

Princess Mononoke

1998

Antz

antz

Quest For Camelot

The Rugrats Movie

A Bug’s Life

1999

Babar: King of the Elephants

babar-king-of-the-elephants-movie

The King and I

My Neighbors The Yamadas

Toy Story 2

So I find it really hard to believe that with the list of animated films above from the 1980’s to the 1990’s that you would choose some of the weakest animated films produced in the period. The only film that I agree with her on is The Iron Giant and that by far is one the finest animated feature produced in that period. Some people would say that the two Toy Story films and A Bug’s Life are Disney. This is not true because Pixar was an independent company that financed and produced their own films independently of Disney and they were only distributed by Disney. They retained all rights to the films so they are legitimately on the list of non-Disney films. The other noticeable thing about her list is that there are only 2 films from the 1980’s on the list. While the 1980’s was a lean time for animation there were a lot of really good films. While some of the films on the list that I have included are not shall we say the cream of the crop there are more than 12 films that you could choose from that are far superior than the ones that she picked. In the end I feel that her list is based on personal feeling and not the proper research that the article would have greatly benefitted from. If you are not fully informed about a subject then you shouldn’t probably be writing about it in the manner that she did.

These are my thoughts on the story. My intention is not to attack or embarrass Miss Cooper but to raise a discussion of based on her article. Let me know what you think of my thoughts on her story.

Steven Howearth

Steven Howearth

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