Best Of 2016: Animation And Sequels

I’ve got four awards here. Each are my top five picks in the category. We have Best Sequel/Spinoff, and a new category Sequel I’d Like To See Most. There’s also Animated Feature, and Best Voice Acting In An Animated Feature. So here we go!

BEST SEQUEL/SPINOFF:
5) Finding Dory
It’s not my favorite Pixar film, and I actually don’t think its as good as Finding Nemo. However, it is a pretty good sequel that seemed almost impossible in concept. Did we really need to lose Dory? No. However, the story explored a really heartfelt concept about “what is family?” and also raising a special needs child. It’s actually tried to be something, and I appreciate it for that.

4) Deadpool
this qualifies as a spinoff, not really a sequel. However, it was fantastic, and actually better than it had any right to be. I know we didn’t know what to expect heading into Deadpool, but I think we all got a big surprise. Ryan Reynolds finally got fully realized as Deadpool, and not whatever the fuck he was in X-Men Origins.

3) 10 Cloverfield Lane
A sequel that was way better than it needed to be. Cloverfield was an entertaining film, sure, but 10 Cloverfield Lane is something completely different. It’s a psychological thriller with exemplary performances from John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. One of the biggest surprises of 2016, for sure.

2) Captain America: Civil War
Sure, it would be easy to call this the best sequel of the year. It’s a fantastic film that delivered on every level. The reason I didn’t put it at #1, is because there was already an expectation that it would be a great film, unlike the film I put at #1. It might end up higher on my list for the year than the other film, because I did truly love Civil War. But, the Captain America films have been pretty perfect the entire time.

1) Barbershop: The Next Cut
Talk about a sequel that was better than it needed to be. Barbershop 1 and 2 are just fine. They’re not great, but they aren’t bad. They don’t really say anything, but this third film has a voice, and a purpose. It’s better than either of the previous films, and the spinoff (Beauty Shop). It’s like a completely different franchise, so yes, it is my pick for Best Sequel of the Year because of how much it actually improved on the originals.

SEQUEL I’D LIKE TO SEE MOST:
5) Warcraft
Yes, I actually would like to see a sequel to Warcraft. Sure, the first film had problems, but I also think it did a good job setting up the world of Warcraft, and prepping for a franchise. I’m hoping that the China grosses earn Warcraft a sequel, because this film didn’t deserve to bomb as bad as it did this year.

4) The Secret Life Of Pets
I think there’s a sequel here. I know they’re planning one. I liked this film for what it was. It was a fun kids film, with only a little bit of heart. It seems like so many animated films nowadays are trying to be super serious, but we need films that really entertain kids (and adults). I think this film was just really entertaining, and I’d love to see a sequel.

3) Ghostbusters
I might be in the minority here, but I enjoyed the first film. It has problems, sure, but I think the cast is really talented, and I loved Chris Hemsworth in this. I think its possible they can learn from their mistakes and make a sequel that improves on the original.

2) The Nice Guys
I’d love to see this launched into a franchise, like Lethal Weapon. We just don’t have any good buddy detective franchises. Shane Black deserves to make another Nice Guys film. I wish this had done better at the box office.

1) Deadpool
I need a Deadpool sequel. I actually would prefer another Deadpool film before he joins X-Force, or whatever. I think we need a Deadpool 2 before he either joins the X-Men or whatever they have planned for him. Deadpool was made on such a low budget for a film of its type, I want to see what they can do with this franchise when the studio actually has confidence in the project.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
5) Zootopia
I liked Zootopia, but I didn’t love Zootopia as much as everyone else clearly did. Still, with all the animated films I saw this year, Zootopia still deserves to be in the top five.

4) Sausage Party
A raunchy adult comedy in a sea full of kids films and anime imports. Highly original, very funny, and memorable, Sausage Party deserves to be in the top five.

3) The Little Prince
A film not many people saw, but more people should have. A beautiful adaptation, both in concept and execution. It has so much heart, and features great work from Jeff Bridges.

2) The Secret Life Of Pets
As I said earlier, I loved the simplicity of what it was trying to do, and how it executed it well. Of all the films I saw this year, I feel like The Secret Life Of Pets is the one that kids of all ages enjoyed the most.

1) Moana
I loved the music, I loved the story, and I would watch the film again right now. It features a culture often not well represented in film, a princess who didn’t need a prince, and a hero who needed to learn to be a hero again.

BEST VOICE ACTING IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE:
5) Ginnifer Goodwin (Zootopia)
As a bunny who dreams big, Goodwin was an excellent choice for the role. She brought a ton of heart into the role, and helped make Zootopia successful.

4) Dwayne Johnson (Moana)
Just really perfect casting. I couldn’t imagine anyone else voicing Maui, and I was even impressed with how he handled singing in You’re Welcome. Who knew The Rock could carry a tune?

3) Kevin Hart (The Secret Life Of Pets)
My second bunny on my list. There’s a lot of great voice work in the Secret Life Of Pets, but Hart had the best lines as an unhinged rabbit. He really did steal the show.

2) Jason Bateman (Zootopia)
Another perfect marriage of role to actor. This felt like Bateman, with all that sarcasm, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role.

1) Jeff Bridges (The Little Prince)
Probably the most heartfelt voice performance of the year. A lesser actor wouldn’t have been able to take this to the next level, but Bridges plays the role of an old man dreaming of one last adventure really well. Is he crazy? Is he telling the truth? Bridges does a great job of walking the fine line between both.

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