Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells
From Disney to DreamWorks, animated films take us on journeys into an exciting, new world.
Many times, amazing movies are overlooked by critics because they don’t fit certain criteria.
However, a good film is something that you can look back on and still enjoy. The movie has to stand the test of time.
Sometimes, I’ll go on Netflix and watch movies and shows that I watched when I was younger, just to bring back memories. Some of them make me wonder, why would I ever see this? This is so stupid.
But others, those small gems in Hollywood land, have a close place in my heart that I will never get tired of seeing.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you –
The top three most underrated animated movies.
These movies either did not perform well at the box office, received poor reviews from critics, or are not as well known as they deserve to be.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Here is a movie that combines stunning visuals with an interesting storyline.
Many times in movies, animated or live action, the creators get so consumed with special effects that they forget the most important element in a movie – telling a story that sticks to the minds of the audience.
Treasure Planet is about a rebellious teen named Jim Hawkins who receives a map to legendary treasure.
On his journey to finding the treasure, he forms an alliance with a cyborg, John Silver, whose only motivation is to get to the treasure first.
On the way, they encounter numerous obstacles in their pursuit.
This movie sparks creativity. The animators create a world with a steampunk and Victorian feel, reminiscent of the book Treasure Island.
The relationship between Hawkins and Silver is an interesting one, as Jim lacks a father figure and Silver represents the dad he never had.
The friendship between the two only gets more dramatic when Hawkins finds out what Silver’s true intentions are.
Sadly, Treasure Planet did not perform well at the box office. With a budget of $140 million, the film only made $109.6 million in return.
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
It is rare to get movies and shows based off of the Bible, but it is even rarer that these Biblical films capture the true emotion and passion behind the stories (ahem, I’m looking at you Noah) like DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt.
This movie follows the story of Moses and the events that followed, which led to Pharaoh letting God’s people go. I love everything about this movie.
The idea that Moses and Ramses start off being friends and gradually turn into enemies really sets up the inner conflict within the story.
The soundtrack is incredible and the animation is absolutely beautiful.
In my opinion, what makes a movie great is not necessarily the dialogue that takes place, but the way music and animation blends to form emotional scenes.
You can really see this take place when God releases the ten plagues on Egypt. The scene shows contrasting views of Ramses and Moses – Ramses filled with anger and bitterness and Moses is concerned and sorrow-filled.
Dramatic music plays alongside astonishing imagery of the plagues behind the two main characters.
And the scene where the Israelites walk through the Red Sea?
It is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see in an animated film.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Boom baby! Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove tells the tale of a spoiled Incan ruler named Kuzco who is accidently turned into a llama by his ex-administrator, Yzma, and her dimwitted but lovable sidekick Kronk.
He meets an unlikely alliance – a villager who herds llamas and whose property Kuzco plans on destroying so he can build his pool.
On his journey to turn back into a human and reclaim his throne, Kuzco realizes the importance of friendship and setting aside one’s selfish desires in the pursuit of helping others.
This movie is incredibly hilarious and does not fail to entertain.
I can still go back to this movie and have a good laugh at some of the jokes after all these years of watching it.
The jokes are timeless and only get better over time.
So if you haven’t seen this movie in a while or ever for that matter, it’s available to watch on Netflix.
Even though we are in college and a lot of people think that cartoons are for little kids, a lot of animated movies have stories, lessons, and jokes that we only understand as we get older.
Besides, it’s important to look back on our childhood years and bring back memories.