Computer-aided 3D animation and special effects in movies have constantly improved since they started being used decades ago. Since the mid-1990s, studios have used computer animation to produce some of the most memorable films of our time. Here are a few of the must-watch computer-animated movies from the more than 25 years they’ve been created.
It wouldn’t be completely inaccurate to say that in 1995 when Pixar’s Toy Story — what many consider to be the grandfather of computer-animated feature films — was released, that its impact was so big that it left a mark on film forever. That’s because it’s considered the first completely 3D digitally animated movie, all done on computer hardware that is available these days to home users on a Lenovo desktop computer.
It features some big names lending their voices to the cast like Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear. It’s a wonderfully inventive story of toys coming to life when no humans are watching and their quest to carry out a daring rescue with some bravery and a lot of imagination. It’s a testament to the strength of the characters that Pixar is still releasing sequels to Toy Story to this day.
How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon is a DreamWorks production and gives way to the land of toys to tell a Viking story of dragons and fantasy. It’s a coming-of-age tale of a boy who seeks the acceptance of his Viking tribe and instead of being a mighty dragon-slaying hero, ends up befriending the first dragon he captures. Jay Baruchel plays Hiccup, our protagonist, and other A-listers like Kristen Wiig and Gerard Butler voice other characters. The animation is incredible, and the voice acting is as good as it gets. How to Train Your Dragon, and Hiccup’s adorable dragon friend, Toothless, have received the nod on two sequels, and all three installments are worth your time.
Up was released in 2009 by Pixar in collaboration with Disney and won an Academy Award that year. It’s a story that starts you off with a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, inviting you to enjoy a montage of our lead character, Carl, and his one true love Ellie as they traverse their courtship, marriage, and ultimately, Carl’s mourning when Ellie passes away in her old age.
This sets the scene for the adventure that’s to come. Carl is soon introduced to Russell, and through various hijinks, they’re soon whisked off in a house being carried by balloons to South America in order to fulfil a promise to Ellie. Up is full of heart-warming interactions between Carl and Russell, and the story is unexpectedly well told and deep. Up still holds up today and is still well worth the watch.
There are almost countless computer-animated movies released all the time, but it takes a truly special one to stand out from the crowd. Kids and adults alike keep coming back to these incredible tales over and over, and that’s because they’re incredible works of cinematic art.