In a year where nothing in the world was stable and everything from politics, weather, and the entertainment world were shaken up every week, it does not come as a surprise that the atmosphere was reflected in the animated films of 2017. From heartwarming stories of acceptance and cultural awareness like Coco and Ferdinand, to stories reflecting nostalgia for younger days like Cars 3 and Captain Underpants, to stories so painfully reflective of everything wrong with today’s society like The Emoji Movie, to much needed stories that just let us escape reality for an hour and a half like the Lego Batman movie, 2017 gave us a wide range of movies with most being average or below average. With the exception of a few outstanding films, the quantity of movies that came out this year were not matched by the quality. Here are the 5 worst animated movies of 2017.
#5 Captain Underpants from DreamWorks, is an adaptation from a children’s book. I personally enjoyed its animation because it was very creative and original at some points; however I found the story and humor very weak. The famous captain underpants that is in the title of the film is not even the main focus of the film and is quite forgettable. The villain is weak and is oriented more towards kids. Overall, it had good humor at some points and a very good voice cast. (Sol Carlos)
#4 The Star from Sony Animation studios, is a retelling of the classic nativity story but from the point of view of the animals with comedic twists thrown in here and there. I was not surprised that this movie was very poorly executed considering the studio that it was coming from. The only thing decent about the film was the animation; however its characters were extremely weak and forgettable and the comic relief attempts were so distracting because when combined with the voice acting the movie felt very dated and not reflective of the time period it was trying to represent. I would not recommend seeing this movie. (Kiyan Badkoubeh)
#3 The Nut Job 2 This movie was absolutely unnecessary. The first movie was a bland and generic story with forgettable characters and a weak plot and it did not deserve a sequel. Although this movie stepped up the locations and action sequences and tried improving their voice cast by adding Jackie Chan, the material the voice actors were given was just bad. Very poorly written and not pleasant to sit through. (Kiyan Badkoubeh)
#2 The Emoji Movie from Sony Animation studios, is about an Emoji who feels like he doesn’t fit in, so he goes on an adventure to fit in and in the end realizes that he doesn’t need to fit in and it’s his ability to not fit in that should actually be valued. So yes, basically every other generic plot you’ve ever heard in a movie. What makes The Emoji Movie take it to the next level of awful, is that this movie, with its plot and character designs, blatantly rips off three very successful animated movies known as Inside Out, Wreck it Ralph, and The Lego Movie. The product placement is not at all purposeful and simply serves to be in one’s face. It is unfortunate that we can no longer hold Sony Animation studios to a high standard when it comes to their animated films; however that will not stop me from pointing out their highly flawed movies. (Kiyan Badkoubeh)
#1 Despicable Me 3 from Illumination Studios. Despicable me 3 was the worst film of 2017. After two brilliant movies, the third one is a big disappointment. With a plot that tried to combine several storylines into one movie, everything came off as rushed and underdeveloped with not enough time given to each storyline. The movie lacked heart compared to the previous films and can not stand alone. The special bond, between Gru, the kids, and Lucy, that made the first films so beautiful is absent in this film. Overall, this was the most despicable movie of 2017 to sit through. (Sol Carlos)
Dishonorable Mention: The Boss Baby from Dreamworks. Although Boss Baby did bring an interesting and original idea to the table, it was not enough to ignore the huge problems this film had. One of the issues was the plot. It was not an appealing story and while the voice work was unique and good the film did not know it’s audience. At some points it tried to be simply a kids film, while at other points it was quite violent. The animation is very clean and nicely done but it was not impressive. There was some good humor moments but personally there was too much slapstick comedy. (Sol Carlos)
As you can see, 2017 provided a lot of subpar animated films; however that did not stop the year from producing a couple of unique gems that we’d like to remember as time moves on. Here are the best Animated movies of 2017.
#5 Cars 3 from Pixar Animation Studios. What should have been the actual sequel for Cars, Cars 3 has spectacular animation and the story is very nicely done. However, it should be noted that the plot is not original, in fact it takes many of the plot elements from the Rocky films. The film does provide many relevant messages about what many athletes go through but it also has some more abstract themes like feminism and being a minority and getting to do what you love. All of which, are very important. The film relies a lot on nostalgia but also brings something new. Overall it’s not Toy Story 3, but it is a good sequel with many strong points. (Sol Carlos)
#4 Leap is about two orphans who escape their orphanage in pursuit of their dreams in Paris, France. The boy dreams of being an inventor while the girl dreams of becoming a ballerina dancer. This movie was one of the pleasant surprises the year had to offer. It has so much heart, emotion, and extremely well developed characters that were relatable and you could care about. The movie did a great job of paying tribute to dance culture, specifically that of ballet; however they could have chosen to play a little bit more traditional ballet music during certain scenes. Although, some would say that the voice acting in this movie was distracting because they did not feel it fit the characters. I wholeheartedly disagree. I enjoyed Carly Rae Jepsen’s performance and thought the voice actors of the two orphans did a phenomenal job making me invest myself into their character’s storylines and emotions. Overall, I would strongly recommend seeing this movie especially if you connect with dancing in any way. (Kiyan Badkoubeh)
#3 The Lego Ninjago Movie from Warner Brothers Animation. This movie was a great continuation of the Lego movie franchise. Although it was not the strongest of its predecessors, it still delivered in the departments of heart, comedy, and creativity. The comedy was hilarious, the main characters were for the most part developed very thoroughly. The only characters that I felt needed more development were the other Ninjas. You hardly get to know them and for the most part they end up just being the lesser parts of the good comedy relief. The relationship between Lloyd and his father is very well done and the plot is for the most part well paced. Overall, this was a great addition to the Lego Movie lineup. (Kiyan Badkoubeh)
#2 The Lego Batman Movie from Warner Brothers Animation. This movie was definitely one of the most enjoyable of the year. The action, adventure, story, and characters were all so compelling and well done. Each character was developed properly and the comedy was extremely strong and well done. The animation was creative and beautiful at the same time. They managed to take such a well known character and make it their own. Some would even call this one of the greatest Batman movies that exists. I would definitely recommend watching this if you have not already, it is one of the movies from 2017 that I will watch several times in the upcoming years. (Kiyan Badkoubeh)
#1 COCO from Pixar Animation Studios. The most pleasant surprise of 2017, Coco is simply a masterpiece. It is a love letter to the Mexican culture and has extraordinary animation that is both beautifully detailed and creative. It celebrates the culture of Mexico and makes audiences from all around the world learn about a traditional holiday in such a simple yet effective way. The film is full of heart from it’s music to its characters. The movie is a rollercoaster that will take you on a ride of all different emotions. Overall, this film has a lot of very important themes and messages and is one of not only Pixar’s best, but 2017’s best. (Sol Carlos)
Honorable Mention: Ferdinand from Blue Sky Studios. This film is charming in many ways, due to its animation and music. Unfortunately the plot felt more like a kid’s television show at some points. Some moments in the film were very unrealistic and as a result felt unbelievable. John cena did a very impressive job as a voice actor and made the character very likable. On the other hand the character Lupe voiced by Kate McKinnon, felt beyond annoying and the jokes felt flat. But the music and heart in this film is wonderful. (Sol Carlos)
With 2017 now over, we can all cherish the good parts and look forward to the brand new and exciting animated movies to come in 2018.
Written by Kiyan Badkoubeh & Sol Carlos
Hosts: Kiyan Badkoubeh & Sol Carlos
Edited by: Kiyan Badkoubeh