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Feature Film

Here Are Some Of The Films That Made 2017 An Incredible Year For Feature Animation

The year that just ended was a remarkably solid year for animated feature releases in the United States, which is why it’s downright bizarre to hear some film critics and animation fans claim that it was a weak year for animated filmmaking.

Carlos Aguilar and Conor Holt of the One Week Only podcast were so impressed with last year’s animation output that they created an elegant compilation video to highlight 16 of last year’s finest U.S. theatrical animation releases:

“2017 was NOT a weak year for animation,” they write in the video description. “If you look beyond mainstream releases, it was a year with plenty of innovative and daring storytelling within the medium.”

They go on to explain why the films they chose for the video are worthy of inclusion:

The Breadwinner, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, Loving Vincent, and In This Corner of the World are just a few examples of form and content being pushed to new and unique heights in animation. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea and The Girl Without Hands express the ideas and singular techniques of two individual artists. Window Horses, Ethel & Ernest, Louise By The Shore, The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales, and Mary and the Witch’s Flower show seasoned artists evolving in their craft. Napping Princess, The LEGO Batman Movie, and Captain Underpants are examples of fun and visually exciting works that don’t sacrifice the opportunity to be clever despite being larger efforts; two of these show that some American studios did great this year. A Silent Voice packs an emotional blow and shows a different side of anime. Moomins and the Winter Wonderland is handcraft in its purest form. Lastly, Coco demonstrates Pixar can still surprise us; it’s a love letter to Mexico, a country so often vilified, which is authentic and still as magical as any other of the studio’s films.

And that’s not all – Aguilar and Holt also dedicated an episode of their podcast to the 26 animated features that were submitted for this year’s Oscar’s race. It’s so incredibly refreshing to listen to people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the Academy’s animated feature category. Give them a listen below:

  • Renard N. Bansale

    My top 10 for 2017 might not end up including an animated film.

    • Inkan1969

      Have you seen any of the movies in this video?

      • Renard N. Bansale

        All but around six or seven in the video. Of the 26 Best Animated Feature Film Oscar eligibles for the upcoming telecast, I only have 9 that I haven’t seen.

  • My name is Rio

    As long people break free from the mainstream chain they will be able to find roses in the dirt. And all those movies were indeed FINE examples of what animation can accompllish, wayapart the emotional guilt trips many movies have become.

    This is a new dawning age for animaton and bet what is next will blow everybody’s mind.

  • Inkan1969

    Here are websites of three of these movies getting US theatrical runs this Month

    Window Horses: the Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming –

    Mary and the Witch’s Flower –

    Birdboy: the Forgotten Children –

    The “Mary” website has information on its distribution, though it’s really a link to its Fathom Event schedule. The “Birdboy” website has a list of theaters, but the list is really small. And the makers of “Window Horses” are making a big deal about a push to get nominated. Here in Greenville, SC, the local big arts venue the Peace Center is actually screening that movie. The Center has never done that for an indy animated film before.

  • Jeffrey Thrash

    Dang, I need to see all of these. Thank you, Cartoon Brew, for widening my perspective on the animation industry.
    Also, “Remember Me” still brings me to tears especially the more intimate and heartfelt versions of the song from the movie.