Top 10 (Non-DC) Animated Comic Book Movies
After finishing up a full month of animated movies, I managed to complete one of my mini-goals. I have finished watching every animated movie that’s currently on my list, as well as a couple that weren’t. So with that in mind, I thought it was time to share my top 10 list of animated comic book movies. There are a couple conditions here – one is that I decided to exclude DC Animated films just because their output is so massive that they literally make up half the total list of films that I’m choosing from, and also because I’ve already done a top 10 list of just DC Animated films so I’m not looking to repeat myself. I considered also excluding Marvel in fairness, but their animated output is still quite small, and much of it is quite lacking. I also decided to exclude superhero movies that weren’t based on a comic i.e. no Incredibles. Spoiler alert, it would be at the top of the list. But with those conditions out of the way, let’s get to the list! And FYI, you can click any of the titles to check out my original full reviews on the movies.
I’ve been a fan of Peter Chung ever since seeing the Aeon Flux shorts on MTV during Liquid Television. This was a TV movie that aired on Cartoon Network that focuses on a kid who’s half Kaiju and half human who goes to a new school when his past comes back to haunt him. The animation is great, but the one downside is that it falls into the cliched high school tropes. But still, it has some good humor and great creature designs.
Before I actually saw this, I expected it to just be the kid Avengers. And while it is that to a certain extent, it’s not just a kid version of the Avengers, there’s actually a good story being told within this almost cliched concept. When most of the original heroes are taken out of the equation, and the villain they’re facing is an Ultron who has succeeded in controlling most of the Earth, it’s a little bit darker that you might first expect. One of Marvel’s better animated stories.
This is the most recent of these films that I have seen. As in, I watched it recently not that it came out recently. It’s another TV movie that was from the second series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that started in 2003. This film brought those Turtles together with the Turtles from the 80’s series and even a little bit with the original comic book version of the Turtles. It’s very light and breezy, but if you’re a fan of either of the first two Turtles TV series, this is worth checking out.
This is another film that I just watched this month though I had heard of it a while back. It tended to be a little dryer than most of the other films and reminded me a bit of a lighter version of Grave of the Fireflies. It’s still essentially a movie where we watch two people try to support and care for each other under extreme circumstances as they are slowly dying. But this one somehow keeps things more upbeat due to the overwhelming optimism of the two characters in the face of such a dire situation.
Not the first nor the last Marvel movie on this list. Watching this more than anything else has me excited for the upcoming live action version of Doctor Strange. It has a compelling origin story, a great cast, good action, and it’s just overall well done. It’s also one of the early efforts from director Jay Oliva who has gone on to do some of my favorite DC Animated movies. Not too much else to say about this one, but it’s fun.
This is one of two animated Hellboy movies that they made around the time of the Golden Army and also used the original cast for the voice over work. This was obviously my favorite of the two, though Sword of Storms could easily have made it to this top 10 if I had written it another day. Blood and Iron is Hellboy’s take on the vampire mythology and it also has some great flashbacks to shed some light on Professor Broom’s early days with the BPRD before he started palling around with a big, red, friendly demon. It also has a great take on the Elizabeth Bathory style of vampire rather than the typical Dracula version.
This is the one English movie of a character that actually has a few films to his name, though they’re mostly French and not widely available in the States. This was really his first big introduction to an American audience from a largely European fanbase, and it’s still possible that a sequel to the film will happen now that Peter Jackson has finished with his Hobbit films and is apparently working on a secret Amblin project. I thought this was a great introduction to this character, and best of all, it wasn’t an origin story. It gave us everything we needed to know about Tintin even though he’s already well established as a character. There are some great action sequences and plenty of comic relief. It’s just an all around great little film.
This is one that I actually haven’t seen in quite a while, in fact it was one of my very first non-superhero comic book films covered for this site, but it still left a pretty big impression on me. It’s one of the few foreign comic book movies that I’ve seen here as it was originally a French language film, though I did watch the English dub. It’s more or less about the life story of Marjan Satrapi who was an Iranian woman who escaped the Iranian revolution to spend her days as a young adult living in France. It deals with a little bit of history, but mostly her struggles and her joys as she makes her way through life. It’s mostly black and white which is unusual for a modern animated feature, but that just made it all the more visually striking. It’s really a fantastic watch.
This is a Spanish language film, though like Persepolis, I’m more familiar with the English language version with Martin Sheen even though it’s a little bit odd when everyone has very Spanish names. It’s a very touching and funny look at someone dealing with Alzheimer’s, both the person who has the disease himself as well as his roommate at the home for the elderly where he now lives. But more than that, it’s a story about friendship between two people and how that develops over time to an unconditional, platonic love. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, it’s touching, it truly is a great film to watch.
1. Big Hero 6
But number one on this list has to the be the relative surprise hit from two years ago that took the barest of concepts from a Marvel comic and turned it into one of the best animated characters ever with Baymax. It’s an animated superhero movie that takes a more grown up look at how children deal with a death in the family and what it’s like to emotionally heal from that wound. But it also has great moments of action and enough humor spliced throughout the film to keep it entertaining from start to finish. Not only that, but it’s one of the most diverse casts of characters in any superhero film ever. Truly a great and entertaining film.
So there’s my list, is there any that you think I left out? I’d love to hear what your favorites are, just let me know in the comments. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.