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The Screening Room's Top 10 Animated Films

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  • CNN's "The Screening Room" picks the top 10 animated films
  • "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" head the list
  • Think we've missed one? Post your comments to the Screening Room blog
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(CNN) -- This month, the Screening Room celebrates the release of "The Simpsons Movie" with its top 10 animated feature films. From Disney to Ghibli, Buzz to Beauty, we've picked our favorites - the ones that have charmed us, touched us and made us laugh out loud.

Buzz Lightyear and Woody in Toy Story 2

Best animated films: Woody and Buzz take the top spot

Don't agree? Think we've missed one? Post your comments to the Screening Room blog and we'll publish the best.

Read other CNN viewers' favorite and worst animated movies, and tell us yours >>

1. Toy Story/Toy Story 2
(John Lasseter, 1995; John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich, 1999)
Nice guy Woody and blustering Buzz's madcap capers treat cultural icons from Barbie to Darth Vader with equal doses of delicious irreverence. Both films' CGI was lightyears ahead of the competition, and the sequel even excelled the original in plot. Pixar's finest: loved by children and a gift to the adults who watch with them.

2. Princess Mononoke
(Hayao Miyazaki, 1997)
Hailed as the Japanese "Lord of the Rings," Studio Ghibli's fantastical tale of an injured boy caught up in a war between a forest's inhabitants, led by a wolf-girl, and a mining colony is both strange and beautiful. Miyazaki's finest moment: the attention to detail, particularly in the haunting forest scenes, is breathtaking.

3. Sleeping Beauty
(Clyde Geronimi, 1959)
The most romantic of all their "Princess" movies, "Sleeping Beauty" sparkles with all the right ingredients: an imperiled princess, a dashing prince, goblins, sidekicks and the proudest horses. Fairy godmothers Flora, Fauna and Merryweather sprinkle just the right amount of sugar on top, while the silhouetted scenes of Prince Phillip fighting Maleficent's evil dragon are spectacular. Perfect Disney.

4. Akira
(Katsuhiro Ôtomo, 1988)
Neo-Tokyo biker gang-member Tetsuo is kidnapped and becomes a guinea pig for a secret government research project, but his powerful psycho-kinetic abilities threaten to blow the volatile city apart. Fast-paced, glossy and bloody, Akira's cyberpunk world is unforgiving, but beneath the post-apocalyptic violence lie themes of destruction and rebirth. A landmark film that helped spark anime's 1990's resurgence.

5. The Jungle Book
(Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967)
In this lively retelling of Kipling's classic, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther help orphan "man cub" Mowgli find the bare necessities in jungle life, while dodging malevolent tiger Shere Khan and escaping Kaa's serpentine stomach. But sneaky, swinging King Louie -- and the Sherman brothers' songs -- steal the show.

6. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
(Trey Parker, 1999)
Cartman and friends set out to offend the planet, and pretty much succeed. Everyone from Bill Gates, Winona Ryder and Brooke Shields to Saddam Hussein and the devil are blasted by Parker and Stone's satirical -- and often scatological -- bazookas. But underneath the foul-mouthed musical mayhem lie some painful truths for Western culture. (And if you don't like it? "Blame Canada!")

7. Grave of the Fireflies
(Isao Takahata, 1988)
Orphaned Seita and his little sister Setsuko struggle to survive after their parents are killed in World War II. Based on the autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, the children desperately try to overcome famine, sickness and the indifference of their compatriots. Harrowing and intensely human, Studio Ghibli's "Grave of the Fireflies" proves animation isn't just for the kids.

8. Fantasia
(James Algar, Samuel Armstrong and others, 1940)
The film that nearly bankrupted Walt, these animated segments set to classical music received a limp response on release, but over the years built up critical and popular acclaim. "Fantasia" stars centaurs, dinosaurs and ballet-dancing animals, but it's the cautionary tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring an out-of-his-depth Mickey Mouse, that still steals the show. Disney for connoisseurs.

9. Watership Down
(Martin Rosen, 1978)
Rabbits Hazel, Fiver and friends set out on an epic journey when their home is destroyed. Beautifully drawn and voiced, this bunny tale is endearingly fluff-free. It's a tearjerker that can pack a violent punch -- who can forget the nightmarish depictions of rabbits trapped in a claustrophobic warren? The stunning landscapes even make up for the dreadful Art Garfunkel theme song.

10. The Triplets of Belleville (Belleville Rendez-Vous)
(Sylvain Chomet, 2003)
A grandma sets out to rescue her beloved cyclist grandson, kidnapped at the Tour de France, with the help of a geriatric jazz trio and a flatulent pooch. Bizarre, grotesque, cleverly nuanced and infused with Gallic charm, this toe-tapping movie's fluid animation, exaggerated characters and sheer mind-bending inventiveness create a heightened, surreal and captivating world.


And the ones we love to hate...

Basil the Great Mouse Detective
(Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener, John Musker, 1986)
No parent who was dragged to the cinema to see this tortuous piece of overlong tedium will ever forgive their children. Even the most ardent Holmes fan will struggle to find a redeeming morsel in this sorry tale of a rodent Sherlock. Its lackluster animation, convoluted plot and unappealing characters are a warning to Disney against complacency.

The Care Bears Movie
(Arna Selznick, 1985)
Sickly sweet pastel colors and a super-sized portion of schmaltz don't detract from this abominable advertorial's eyebrow-raising premise that emotionally-charged bears are spying on your children from cloud telescopes in the sky. It's for their own good, honest -- they'll be taught a nauseating lesson in friendship. Mickey Rooney, you should be ashamed of yourself.

The Transformers: The Movie
(Nelson Shin, 1986)
Famous for being Orson Welles's final performance, this eagerly-awaited boys' toys tie-in swaps schmaltz for explosions -- and not much else. The drawing's fine, although the action's pretty jerky, but the plot is weak, while Welles and Leonard Nemoy fight for attention against the migraine-inducing visuals and constant barrage of gunfire.

Happy Feet
(George Miller, Warren Coleman, Judy Morris, 2006)
A charming tale about a young penguin who can't sing starts off in promising "Finding Nemo" mode -- then the journey of personal discovery morphs midway into an unconvincing environmental lecture. Worthy intentions, perhaps, but the clumsy plot shift grated, and let down the fabulous animation. Disappointing.

(Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, 1995)
It was a hard task for Disney to follow the colossal behemoth that was the Lion King, but this dreary tale with its flat characters was never going to do it. A forgettable princess, a story that took an "interesting" interpretation of history -- this film lost its plot and never really found its heart. Not nicknamed "Pocahogwash" for nothing.


Your views


Now it's your turn. What are your favorite -- and worst -- animated films? Which ones have we missed? Post your comments and suggestions to the Screening Room blog and we'll publish the best.

Read other CNN viewers' best and worst animated movies - and tell us yours >> E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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