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#1 Sapsuker

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 06:17 AM

notice: There have been many topics REQUESTIN' ANIMES and whatnot and this isn't one of them. If you just want give a list of your favorite animes in this topic please please do not do it.

There are tons of animated films and shows out there. And of these countless animated works, there are some very interesting pieces that can be obscure or have never been brought up before. I want to see these, because I know they exist. And I'm sure a lot of other people here would like to know more artistically unique animations that are out there.

"Artistically interesting" is a pretty broad term though! What I'm looking for is animated that have (1) a unique way of telling a story, (2) a different or really interesting approach to the animation, (3) good or interesting or unique timing to (unique) music and sounds.

Note that this list does NOT exclude anime. But it can't have stuff like, say, INUYASHA or NARUTO, unless there is a very good reasoning behind it...which there isn't. If you're going to suggest an anime, suggest something like Mindgame (for it's interesting, unique approach) or The Big O (film noir anime??? with giant robots that fight realistically????? this is interesting and artistic i guess!!).

I'll start off with a couple of animations I find interesting, and will add more as (if) the suggestions come in.

Samurai Jack - Wikipedia link
I made a topic about Samurai Jack a long time ago. It's directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who is also known for Dexter's Laboratory and Clone Wars. The art style and animation of Samurai Jack is very, very distinct and sets it apart from other cartoons. The story is nothing to rave about, but the action and the different events that each episode centers on is really neat.

The Thief and the Cobbler - Wikipedia Link
The story is nothing fancy, and is quite simple. The main characters are mute. The setting and, at first glance, the art style is very similar to Aladdin. What sets The Thief and the Cobbler apart, though, is its excellent and unique approach to animation. Richard Williams' original intent was to make it his masterpiece, and put a lot of work into it. It's pretty hard to find traditional animation so smoothly put together like in this one. It's a cult film, though, and though there are some flaws to it, there will be people who praise it endlessly. There's a lot of interesting history behind its production. To see how Richard Williams intended it to be made, check out the "Recobbled" cut here.

Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor McCay
one of the earliest examples of animation, the first character-based animation, and the predecessor of pretty much every mainstream animation today. not the most exiting thing to watch these days, I posted this one instead of like STEAMBOAT WILLIE because gertie isn't very well known while pretty much everything from the Disney era is. you can check out Little Nemo, also by Winsor McCay (the animation starts a couple minutes in)
-earl chip


Akira sXe SUBS NOT DUBS hXcsXe SUBS NOT DUBS hXc[/url] seriously the english voices are unbearable.
Akira is often regarded as one of the greatest animated films. a popular verbal example of its animation is a scene where Tetsuo is sitting in front of a chain-link fence. the wind blows and every single link moves with it, reacting to the swirls of wind and opposing drafts realisticly. the amount of detail put into just the MOVEMENT of this film is astounding.

also, like the thief and the cobbler, it has a huge cult following. a lot of them are pretty dumb people who will scoff at Naruto and Halo but still enjoy some really dumb shit like idk waging wars against Naruto and Halo. these people claim it not only has incredible animation, but it also has the greatest story, characters, music, everything. that's definitely a stretch! it's still a pretty good film, but it is kinda lame at parts iirc and these days tetsuo isn't too SHOCKING towards the end.
-earl chip

Windsor McCay's Work - example
Winsor McCay was the man, there's something called 'The Centaurs' on youtube that's the last remaining footage of a full movie he was working on. It's just a few disconnected scenes but it's pretty incredible in terms of realistic movement when you consider most other cartoon characters at the time moved like they were made of rubber. I think it was all handdrawn by McCay too.
-thecatamites

Ren and Stimpy - Wiki linkWiki link[/url]
I love how ridiculous and over-the-top the movements and expressions are in it, its great. Everything has character. It has this quality to it that is rarely found today I think!
-Frankie

Aeon Flux - Wiki Link
I haven't seen this yet so if anyone can give a brief overview of what makes it special that'd be pretty nice!

Adam Phillips work/Biteycastle - Homepage
This is one of the more popular flash animations out there. Adam Phillips worked in the special effects department at Disney on some movies iirc, and decided to independently develop his own animations. His work in Flash is pretty stellar and he really knows how to create water. All of his work is available on the internet for free. I recommend seeing  Littlefoot, the Yuyu, and Waterlollies, his most recent ones.

Prelude to Eden - Watch here
I really like Michel Gagné's work. Prelude to Eden is animated using an obscure computer program that makes it look traditionally animated. It's just pretty cool work I guess, and is pretty short. Gagné does a lot of other types of art and I recommend you check his stuff out!

Cowboy Bebop - Wiki Link
I'm sure nearly all of you have heard of this show. It's an anime, yeah, and it's probably one of the most popular ones out there. I'm guessing quite a few of you may disagree with me in regards to it being a good animation, but I feel it's really worth mentioning because of its style. Very rarely have I seen a cartoon or a TV show with a really jazz-heavy soundtrack and an overall great musical theme. I really respect Shinichirō Watanabe's work because he doesn't just MAK ANIME. He blends multiple genres and has really interesting pacing. Cowboy Bebop is one of those shows that's just bound to be a classic. I really like it, though I know some of you won't. Animation-wise, it isn't the best thing in the world. But it's really timed very well, I think, and the music is just a really cool theme. Overall it's highly unique for an anime and even an animated show overall, so if you haven't seen it yet check it out.




There are a lot more I could add, and I know that there must be a ton of really good, obscure works out there that you all know about. Mindgame was mentioned in another topic, and it surprised me that it hasn't really been talked about here.

#2 rudy the red-beaked reindeer

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 06:43 AM

It's directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who is also known for Dexter's Laboratory and Clone Wars.

and powerpuff girls. ppg was a good show for kids.

later I can talk about cat soup and akira and ghibli, but I think there are some big ghibli fans here so they probably know more than me.

I still need to see mindgame! I saw a few parts and it looks really good

#3 headphonics

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:16 AM

man powerpuff girls was a really good show.  i thought i was the only one who thought that.  cartoon network has some great cartoons on it.

also i have not seen akira in forever but yeah it had some very nice animation parts (the only part i have seen recently is BIKE CHASE and it was nice, anyway), but yeah i would suggest cat soup and SELECT ghibli films since not all of them are particularly impressive in terms of animation.  there was this one anime i saw once, like on a website, and it looked UNREAL but i forgot to download it and now it is lost forever!!

uh idk, i'm trying to think of good WESTERN THINGS.  all that is immediately coming to mind is aeon flux which i always thought looked pretty cool.  fff yeah man i dunno, i'm drawing a blank.  maybe i'll have something later.  i know i've seen some really impressive american animation that isn't necessarily cartoon network/nickelodeon stuff

#4 Shinan

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:27 AM

Well you know when it comes to animations few things can beat out Disney. Except perhaps the old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Of course neither of these are really obscure but I think they often get overlooked when thinking about awesome animation. A bit of Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck. Or some of the more standalone shorts without more rarely seen characters.

Or the Disney shorts with Donald vs Huey, Dewey and Louie. They also have some standalone shorts with nonrecurring characters. (Personally I'm no big fan of Mickey Mouse)

Personally I think the animation in these were most impressive in these older shorts (1930-1960s) and all the newer stuff has more or less left me with no lasting impressions (Though I guess it's also because of boring content, since the animation style... well it hasn't really improved I suppose but it still isn't bad), except the Disney movies of course. They still deliver from time to time, but those are about as unobscure as you can get.


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#5 Artis Leon Ivey Jr

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 01:45 AM

man I don't know what tartakovsky FIGURED OUT. maybe some secret of cheap animation without textures, whatever, but I converted everyone I know by showing them a good version of Jack versus the Zombies, I think it's episode 33. the animation is just fucking...ffff.

we just had a thief and the cobbler topic, check it out for a derail where I talked about the weird subculture around the movie.

however, I'm not just impressed by fluidity; a show like the simpsons, even in season 2, was displaying better animation than family guy was by its second season (everyone knows I saw an absurd amount of the show by now, but in one ep I actually said "wow" because it was this pan from a checkerboard to an office building with changing colors, hard to describe!). shows like futurama cost MILLIONS of dollars per episdoe, and it sometimes showed. squigglevision made shows like home movies pretty endearing.

I remember bort once obliterated some anime nerd saying "anime is the most varied of cartoons" by posting pictures of Ed Edd and Eddy, Ren and Stimpy, TMNT, Samurai Jack, and Spongebob. it was pretty awesome.
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#6 Sapsuker

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:37 AM

there are good suggestions here. i've never seen akira, but i've heard about it, so i have to check it out now! i'll also look at some of the disney short's. i actually respect disney's older films a lot because they basically developed the foundations of modern animation (correct me if i'm wrong) and snow white was the first animated feature ever to be made.

i will update the list later when i'm more awake. in the meantime, could any of you write like a small synopsis of the animations you suggest? it makes it easier to compile the list, especially if i haven't seen the animation.

also, i want to make a note that suggestions don't have to be strictly traditional animation. there's a ton of really cool artistic stop motion animations out there (i can't think of anything off of the top of my head right now but i remember seeing a small clip of the coraline film adaption and it looked really good), and of course there's always 3D animation, which i'm not too fond of...but if it's really artistic and unique (i'm thinking cel-shaded stuff, i just find cel-shading very cool), then by all means throw some in. also, there are a ton of flash animations out there that are really good. granted, a ton of them are just fighting stick figures, but there are some really great gems out there such as biteycastle's animations, mr. coo, etc. and flash animations are generally much much more accessible than tv shows and films, so if you see any really good ones recommend them

#7 rudy the red-beaked reindeer

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:24 AM

man it really sucks, my one professor last year gave us an overview of some classic animation, but I can't remember the names of any of them! a lot of them were really good. one was an interview of this animator, another was a betty boop where she walks around a real house and they have a camera on a rotating table, and another had a clown. that last one isn't very helpful because back in the day everyone animated clowns. if anyone knows what they are let me know!

Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor McCay
one of the earliest examples of animation, the first character-based animation, and the predecessor of pretty much every mainstream animation today. not the most exiting thing to watch these days, I posted this one instead of like STEAMBOAT WILLIE because gertie isn't very well known while pretty much everything from the Disney era is. you can check out Little Nemo, also by Winsor McCay (the animation starts a couple minutes in)

Akira sXe SUBS NOT DUBS hXc seriously the english voices are unbearable.
Akira is often regarded as one of the greatest animated films. a popular verbal example of its animation is a scene where Tetsuo is sitting in front of a chain-link fence. the wind blows and every single link moves with it, reacting to the swirls of wind and opposing drafts realisticly. the amount of detail put into just the MOVEMENT of this film is astounding.

also, like the thief and the cobbler, it has a huge cult following. a lot of them are pretty dumb people who will scoff at Naruto and Halo but still enjoy some really dumb shit like idk waging wars against Naruto and Halo. these people claim it not only has incredible animation, but it also has the greatest story, characters, music, everything. that's definitely a stretch! it's still a pretty good film, but it is kinda lame at parts iirc and these days tetsuo isn't too SHOCKING towards the end.

man powerpuff girls was a really good show.  i thought i was the only one who thought that.  cartoon network has some great cartoons on it.

yeah man it was p good! I think kaworu liked it too and I believe he actually watched the whole series kinda recently

oh sap if you want these in the first post I can edit them to be better

#8 Sapsuker

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:13 PM

yeah, i'll add 'em in right now. thanks!

gertie the dinosaur was pretty awesome. i read about it and thought it was pretty amazing what they could do back then. he came like right after emile cohl iirc and was into making ART, and he got pissed off at the funny-cartoon animators who turned animation into a cheap business.

#9 Mince Wobley

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:34 PM

How can you guys even tolerate powerpuff girls, what is so good about it?
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#10 thecatamites

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

man it really sucks, my one professor last year gave us an overview of some classic animation, but I can't remember the names of any of them! a lot of them were really good. one was an interview of this animator, another was a betty boop where she walks around a real house and they have a camera on a rotating table, and another had a clown. that last one isn't very helpful because back in the day everyone animated clowns. if anyone knows what they are let me know!


Is the clown one Koko The Clown?

Also Winsor McCay was the man, there's something called 'The Centaurs' on youtube that's the last remaining footage of a full movie he was working on. It's just a few disconnected scenes but it's pretty incredible in terms of realistic movement when you consider most other cartoon characters at the time moved like they were made of rubber. I think it was all handdrawn by McCay too. I think the framerate in the video is slowed down though.

#11 Frankie

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:54 PM

My favorite animation is in Ren and Stimpy. I love how ridiculous and over-the-top the movements and expressions are in it, its great. Everything has character. It has this quality to it that is rarely found today I think!

#12 Artis Leon Ivey Jr

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:14 PM

hey this isn't a good animations but did any other movie do the whole 2d characters, 3d world, that Titan AE did?

fun fact joss whedon made that piece of shit!
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#13 swordofkings128

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 10:06 PM

The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is pretty awesome, it's animation is pretty much inspired by like Rin and Stimpy(Like my fav cartoon) and the stories are always creative and have some unique and weird twist that makes everything pretty funny. I think it's one of the most recent cartoons worth watching actually! :)

#14 Standard Toaster

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:47 PM

fun fact joss whedon made that piece of shit!

giving him credit for that is about the same as giving him credit for Toy Story, all he did for either was help with the screenplays

#15 Artis Leon Ivey Jr

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:36 AM

uh pretty sure he cowrote Titan AE which is significantly more than "help[ing]".
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#16 Standard Toaster

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:54 AM

by helping i mean him and other people are credited as writing the screenplay

#17 Vellfire

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:08 PM

uh idk, i'm trying to think of good WESTERN THINGS.  all that is immediately coming to mind is aeon flux which i always thought looked pretty cool.  fff yeah man i dunno, i'm drawing a blank.  maybe i'll have something later.  i know i've seen some really impressive american animation that isn't necessarily cartoon network/nickelodeon stuff


Aeon Flux rocks, I want to see that again.  It came on MTV2 for a short time and I watched it then, haven't seen it since.

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#18 EvilDemonCreature

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 07:12 PM

My favorite animation is in Ren and Stimpy. I love how ridiculous and over-the-top the movements and expressions are in it, its great. Everything has character. It has this quality to it that is rarely found today I think!


I have yet to see anything found today come close to matching the quality of Ren & Stimpy. (sure there's a bunch of stuff that takes lessons from that show, but they are all too primitive and just don't give off that same sense of quality and appeal) Of course you do have those over-budgeted "high framerate" peices of crap that litter the screen, but there's a lot more to good animation than that. (especially when you realise that Ren & Stimpy was made on a low budget, and can actually be concidered as "limited animation" in most repsects.)

Oh yeah, and if you are looking up good western stuff. Look up Triplets of Belleville. I think it's European (it looks european), but at least that makes it more "western" than Akira.

#19 Standard Toaster

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 07:27 PM

Of course you do have those over-budgeted "high framerate" peices of crap that litter the screen, but there's a lot more to good animation than that.

you keep saying this but then never elaborate on what that "a lot more" is



also the Triplets of Belleville is french i think. didn't it win some oscars or something?

#20 EvilDemonCreature

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 02:48 AM

If people cared about what made animations good, then people would be making better animations. I wish it was that easy to elaborate on, that way you could put it into a single post and then point anyone who ever disagreed about an animation towards it, and thus have a concrete basis for proving how "good" or how "bad" a particular animation is. You want me to tell you "What makes a good animation.", when it's something I want to find out myself, and I would love to give a full answer to that question one day. If for no other reason, than to prove that question has an answer to begin with.

The problem I have with animation today, is that people don't talk more about what it is that's present in an animation that universally regards it as "good". Over the past century, we've had people dedicate their whole careers into persuing and working towards understanding this question, and what thanks do they get for it? Their entire legacy is left in the dust as a new generation of writers and executives jump from shoddy idea to shoddy idea trying to grab the market's attention, while knowing nothing of the art form that they are utilizing. There is no force left to provide any motivation or inspiration towards pushing animation to do the things animation does best. All you need are a few flashy ideas and an executive too stupid to know taste in order to bankroll it and suddenly you are "in the biz".

These new cartoons people like to rave about as being more creative, cartoony, or whatever (usually citing how similar it is to Ren & Stimpy in order to back their point up), are only scratching at the surface of all the great things we knew about cartoons 50 years ago! Their best attempts at primitive imitations don't even come close to the quality and masterwork of previous generations, while STILL reeking of the stench produced by a writer dominated industry.


I'm still going to answer your question, but in a completely insubstantial way.

It all comes down to taste. I'd love to elaborate on what good taste is, but it'd be impossible to reach a consensus. All I'm going to say is that liking something signifies absolutley nothing about how good it actually is unless you understand why. And you'll never be able to prove you are right unless you can make something just as enjoyable.

I do have an example to back this up though. People like anime (and yes, I'm going there). Not only that, but people REALLY like anime. Other people see people liking anime, and then in turn they try to make anime. They are going to find as many things that make a show anime, and then attempt to put as many of those things in their show so it will be liked. The result? We get a bunch of shows that are anime, but people don't like them! Even people who love anime will shun these shows and look up as many excuses to define them as "not anime", even though they have no idea what "anime" even means themselves.

The point is that if they looked beyond the question of "What is anime", and to instead "Why do people like anime?", then they'd be much more likely to make a show that people actually like rather than a show that is just anime. People are only interested in "what people like" rather than "why people like" and because of it 99% of the stuff out there is stale and derivative.




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