Thursday Movie Picks #49: Animated Movies

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy Thursday everyone! This is another entry to the weekly Thursday Movie Picks that’s spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog. Here’s the gist:

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. Every last Thursday for the first nine months of 2015 I’m running the All in the Family Edition and today the theme is… 

Animated Movies

I grew up watching so many Disney animated movies [mostly those Princess movies] and in the 90s, starting with Pixar’s first movie Toy Story, I quickly became a huge fan of their work as well. But Disney and Pixar films are massively popular so for the purpose of this list, I’m selecting three animated films I love that are made outside of those two studios. There are quite a few out there that are worth exploring, and I’m always astonished at the huge amount of work that go into making animated features.

So here are three that left a big impression to me and worth watching over and over:

Chicken Run (2000)

When a bird “flies” into a chicken farm, the fellow chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.


I saw this Aardman animated feature years ago but I still remember it fondly. It’s such a bonkers idea to sort of remake The Great Escape but with chickens, yet it works brilliantly. Peter Lord and Nick Park’s claymation style is so unique and fun to look at, in fact the shape of the chickens alone are hysterical. I giggle just looking at them! I adore the characters, especially Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha) who’s the smartest of the bunch. She and Rocky the circus Rooster (Mel Gibson) didn’t exactly get off on the right foot, but they end up becoming close and believe it or not, their chemistry is so endearing. It’s such a hilarious and action-packed adventure that’s fun to watch over and over. It’s also got some of the funniest lines… “I don’t want to be a pie! I don’t like gravy.” Ha!


How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.


I have to admit the idea of this Dreamworks Animation didn’t immediately appeal to me, so I was so surprised how much I absolutely LOVED it! Of course by the time I saw it on Blu-ray, I kicked myself for not having seen this on the big screen! The flying sequence alone would make the admission price worthwhile. I did see the sequel on the big screen but I still have a fondness for the first movie when Hiccup and Toothless first met.

It’s one of the most memorable depiction of unlikely friendship that’s funny and heartwarming. Visually it’s breathtaking, as I mentioned the flying sequence is a marvel to behold. The music by John Powell has also become my personal favorite amongst a bazillion soundtracks I hear year after year. I re-watched it just before the sequel came out and I still enjoyed it immensely. Who knew a movie about dragons could have so much heart? [read my full review]

Song of the Sea (2014)

Saoirse, a little girl who can turn into a seal, goes on an adventure with her brother to save the spirit world and other magical beings like her.


Having just seen this recently, it’s still fresh in my mind [review coming next week]. Made by Cartoon Saloon, an Irish-based animation studio, this is Tomm Moore’s second directorial effort. I immediately wanted to see it after watching The Secret of Kells. Just from the visual standpoint, it’s an amazing work of art, gorgeous and ethereal, and the movie itself has such a mythical quality. The story based on an Irish mythology certainly has a deeper meaning than the typical kids entertainment. In fact, this one might appeal to adults as much as kids.

What do you think of my picks this week? Have you seen any of these films?


44 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks #49: Animated Movies

  1. Great picks! Nice to see Chicken Run included. That’s a favorite of our families. We quote it all the time, and the characters like Ginger, Mac, and Babs are adorable.

    1. Hi Cindy! Glad you love Chicken Run, it’s really so much fun! He..he.. it’s How to TRAIN Your Dragon, but ahah I guess you could also rename it TAME 😀 Thanks for that post, that is awesome!

        1. I was just about to head over to your blog. Yes I do love Philip Glass, in fact in one of my movie pitches, I wanted him to be the composer 😉

  2. I watched How to Train Your Dragon to prepare for that year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar race and, like you, I wasn’t looking forward to having to sit through it. I was quickly won over though by the flight sequences and the genuinely touching friendship. Good pick!

    1. Hello Matt! Glad to hear you’re also pleasantly surprised by HTTYD. I wish I had seen it on the big screen, but now I have the blu-ray and have seen it several times since.

  3. I haven’t seen any of these since I’m not into animation movies anymore. But I remember I almost rented Chicken Run, mostly because I thought having Mel Gibson voicing the main character was a genius. His voice somehow cracks me up from what I saw in the trailer. I also remember the trailer mocked Mission: Impossible 2 since they opened in the same summer. I’ve always hear good things about How To Train Your Dragon, I might just cave in and buy the 3D disc. It’s pretty cheap right now.

    1. CHICKEN RUN not only for its Mel Gibson voiced character, which goes against type, brilliantly uses THE GREAT ESCAPE as a theme. Highly recommended, Ted. 🙂

    2. I have Chicken Run dvd, Ted, you can just borrow it! It’s a lot of fun, I think you’ll enjoy it! Mel is quite hilarious and fits the character so perfectly.

      I also have HTTYD Blu-ray you can borrow anytime. Soooo good!

  4. Big fan of CHICKEN RUN, great to see it listed, Ruth! I enjoyed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but it’s still not in the same league as Pixar’s, IMO. Have not seen SONG OF THE SEA, and perhaps I should. Nice post to get ready for tomorrow’s release of INSIDE OUT (have our tickets already in hand and will take it in at Disney’s flagship theater, The El Capitan).

    1. Wahoo! The Great Escape storyline is brilliant isn’t it? And they made it so hilarious! Yeah Pixar is in a league of its own, that’s why I want to include non Disney/Pixar stuff here. I’m gonna see Inside Out this weekend too, hopefully Saturday. Have fun Michael, I’m sure you & your family will enjoy it!

  5. Tom

    You’ve got my approval for Chicken Run! Wow that is inexcusable that I’ve all but forgotten about that one. I agree that their animation style is so unique, and equally hilarious. Lol. “The shape of the chickens’ hahah I don’t know why that cracks me up but it does.

    Also, I need to get going on watching HTTYD, don’t I? 😉

    1. Awesome Tom, glad to hear. He..he.. well, I was laughing as I was typing the shape of the chickens, I mean they ARE hilarious aren’t they?

      And YES you absolutely must see HTTYD soon!

      1. Tom

        They really are. I love the Wallace & Gromit series as well. Just, superb stuff. I’ll get right on Dragon, Ruth. I need to catch up! 😉

  6. I have yet to see Song of the Sea (although I almost certainly will by the end of the year), but I did like The Secret of Kells, so I have a new reason to look forward to it.

    Chicken Run seems to be sadly forgotten these days, which is a shame. It makes a great double-feature with The Great Escape.

    1. If you like The Secret of Kells, you’ll love Song of the Sea. It’s got a similar mythical theme but the visuals is even more beautiful!

      Chicken Run is such a hoot, I’d so watch the sequel though it’ll be hard to top this first one.

    1. Chicken Run is so much fun! Watch it when you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed. And yes, can’t wait for the 3rd HTTYD movie!

  7. Dan

    Having enjoyed your first two choices I must catch up with Song of the Sea. That one has passed me by so far. Haven’t seen Chicken Run in years though – such a fun film. Might dig out the DVD this week.

    1. Hi there Dan! Have you seen Secret of Kells? These two Irish animated films are so unique and gorgeous to look at. Yes Chicken Run is such a fun movie!

    1. Have you seen The Secret of Kells Nostra? Song of the Sea is from the same director, it’s definitely worth seeing. Hope you check it out soon!

  8. Pingback: JUNE Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month |

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