Top 10 Animated Films (Not for Children)

By December 12, 2012Top 10 Lists

10. Beowulf (2007)

Robert Zemekis got a lot of flak during his ten year experiment with motion capture animation.  Polar Express got a ton of dismal reviews, despite being the greatest animation EVER, and his Christmas Carol was undervalued, perhaps for being pants-shitting terrifying.  Even the one he simply produced, Mars Needs Moms, was surprisingly delightful.  Beowulf is probably the least of all his mo-cap films, but that doesn't mean it isn't a badass and enjoyable adventure.

The thing that I love about Zemekis' animations was the visual freedom he gave his camera.  In all three of the ones he directed, there are some incredibly wonderful shots that go on a single-take journey, flying across time and space.  Even casual dialogue scenes have a slowly rotating camera that is simply too excited to sit still.  All three are wonders in their own right, but Beowulf was the only PG-13 action film of the bunch; hence it's stature here (the other two could've very well been on this list for being quite creepy, but they're still kid's movies). 

Beowulf takes the old legend and strips it pretty bare.  There aren't any huge surprises here, other than the idea of the main hero becoming seduced and growing into a bitter old man.  And the screenplay certainly has some howlers, although some seem to be intentional (the co-writer also co-wrote Pulp Fiction, and admitted he thought Beowulf was supposed to be kinda funny).  But the action is incredible, the violence sometimes shocking, and the sight of CGI Angelina Jolie swimming naked in gold water is just a darn good time at the movies.