Animated Movies That Inspire Me
Glen Keane
Glen Keane

In choosing my top five favorite animated films, I will resist my heart’s self-serving desire to include Over the Moon. But in order to better understand why some films touch me so deeply, I need to give a little window into the way I think. When I was a kid I would do drawings not so much to do a drawing on paper but to make the paper, in effect, go away. I wanted to create a world I could step into, that I could live in and imagine was real. I love each one of these five animated films because I can‘t help but become lost in them. They capture my imagination and inspire me.

Peter Pan
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🎵Zoom Zoom Zoom aaaaaah! When there’s a song in your heart...🎵

When Peter takes Wendy and the boys over the clouds of London towards Neverland, something wonderful is stirred deep inside me. I am transported to a childhood Adventureland. It is the music, Mary Blair’s colors, and above all the masterful animation of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men at the height of their powers. Frank Thomas’ Captain Hook, Ollie Johnston’s Smee, Ward Kimball’s Lost Boys, and even Freddy Moore’s mermaids. This is the quintessential magic of childhood movies.

My Neighbor Totoro
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Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece is a tour de force of the infinitely thin veil separating the world of reality from that of the equally real world of a child’s imagination.

The Little Mermaid
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Ariel is the essence of the kind of character I am drawn to animate like a moth to a flame. She believes the impossible is possible!

The Man Who Planted Trees

Frédéric Back defines the artist/animator/director that I aspire to be in my own life. The beauty of the world and the character he describes in this movie is soul-stirring, not only in its inspiring story, but in its remarkable artistic craftsmanship.

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No film transports you into the poetic beauty of a forest like Bambi. The brilliance of color, observation of animal movement, and character study is unparalleled. Could this film ever be made today?

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