Alright! It’s finally here! It seems like I’m late with everything, but I usually make good on my promises (even if it takes… a while).

This is the beginning of a 16 week series that will counter the Yahoo! user-voted list of the Top 30 Animated Films (you don’t have to look if you don’t want to – I’m going to recap their list as I go along as well). I totally disagree with the list, but instead of complaining and moving on, I am dwelling, holding a grudge, and making my own list.

Keep in mind that this is probably the only Top <insert number> list of anything that I’ll ever be able to do, but I intend to try my hand at it and take you, my dear reader, along for the ride. Feel free to argue with me in the comments. I promise I’ll respond. The only criteria I really have for this list is that it must be a full-length animated feature (no Enchanted here, thanks). This is all subjective, and I claim no other expertise than loving animation.

So without further ado, here are #30, #29, and #28. Enjoy!

30. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Yahoo’s #30: Bambi

Director: David Hand

Studio: Disney

Walt Disney’s first full-length feature has a special place in all our hearts -whether you love it or you hate it. Besides being such a feat for Disney studios, it also predates the first full-color popular major theatrical releases, The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind (1939). It revolutionized animation, and wowed Hollywood into believing that legitimate movies could come out of animation.

But just because it’s revolutionary doesn’t make it good, right? Well, Snow White offers a lot more to the audience. A frightening villain, an innocent girl turned damsel in distress, seven sidekicks, a daring and charming knight, random songs, and suspense! Snow White possesses many of the characteristics that become staples in later movies – down to the villain actually putting his or her grubby paws on the fair lady. Snow White bites the apple, Sleeping Beauty pricks the spinning wheel, Cinderella gets locked away, and so on and so forth. When tracing the pedigree of Disney’s – nay, all of animation’s – plot points, stereotypical characters, and gags, one can find them here, in the realization of Walt Disney’s dreams.

And when it comes down to it, that’s what Snow White represents. Without it and the confidence it bestowed upon Hollywood, who knows where Disney and other animation studios around the world would be today? It is one of the greater moments in animation history, and it is appropriate that we start with it here.

29. Ratatouille (2007)

Yahoo’s #29: Jungle Book

Director: Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava

Studio: Disney-Pixar

Out of the lot of movies on this list, I’m probably going to get the most flak for this one. Ratatouille is a great movie, but I don’t agree with most of the major support of it. It strikes me as a film for the adult kid, rather than the actual child in the theater. Regardless, it’s a wonderful and imaginative film that employs some very interesting animation. Ratatouille, in a nutshell, is about a rat who can cook and a human who cannot. It’s not the most interesting material on paper, but Pixar, primarily under the direction of Brad Bird (who also directed The Incredibles), made rats, cooking, France, a secret paternity case, and food inspection exciting, suspenseful, and funny. While I don’t agree that the film is as thrilling for kids as it is for adults, Ratatouille still deserves a place amongst the monoliths of animation.

28. Monsters, Inc. (1995)

Yahoo’s #28: Sleeping Beauty

Director: Pete Docter

Studio: Pixar (Disney)

I debated with myself on this one. Monsters, Inc. is a good movie, but is it truly one of the best animated movies of all time? Well, let me make the case before you never come back to this blog.

Monsters in closets and under beds are a part of our kid culture. It is a part of our culture that we usually only seek to either make fun of or make as terrifying as possible. Yet few have even tried to make a complete separate world for these monsters, creating a home for them that functions much like our own – and removes some of the fear. Monsters, Inc. has done a lot for children who have can’t see beyond their fear of going to bed at night, and has done it in the usually playful and brilliant way that Pixar’s always seems to achieve.

But besides being animated therapy, Monsters, Inc. tugs at the heartstrings deeply with the warm relationship that develops between Sully and Boo, invokes belly laughs at the slapstick comedy, and amazes with the logic of a completely different world that in so many ways is similar to our own.

Monsters made this list because it showed us all what’s on the other side of the door and taking us for a wonderful journey to see what all is there. While it errs on the cute side, it deserves a mention for its imagination and humor.

Stay tuned for #27 and #26 next week!

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