I am a huge fan of Dreamworks – in fact, I have been as of a very young age. I have been meaning to write this list for a long time now, but was awaiting the release of Home, which sadly turned out to be Dreamwork’s rotten apple of the bunch, therefore not making my list. In terms of honourable mentions, Shark Tale is definitely up there, although I haven’t seen the film in years, so my perspective of it may well have changed. Bee Movie is mildly amusing and How to Train Your Dragon deserves a special mention. You are probably wondering as to why How to Train Your Dragon didn’t make my list. It’s not that I didn’t like it – the film-making was marvellous. It just simply wasn’t my cup of tea with regards to the narrative. I thought Megamind to be quite an achievement also. However, Monsters vs Aliens didn’t quite sit well for me, I even watched it a second time to try and like it, but it doesn’t quite work that way…
These aren’t feature films, but I particularly enjoyed Shrek the Halls and Merry Madagascar. So if you’re looking for some friendly festive fun, then I definitely recommend these two TV Specials, which can easily be found online.
Without further ado, here is my top ten! What would your order be? Let me know below in the comments section!
10. The Price of Egypt (1998) – I am not religious in the slightest, but this film really was something. It was unique, and thought-provoking. The narrative is simplified, yet the film does not play down to the audience – the horrors of slavery are shown and emphasised. The music however, is completely forgettable, which is the reason I placed this number ten.
9. Kung Fu Panda (2008) – Not necessarily my favourite in terms of casting, as you could say I am not particularly a fan of Jack Black. But, Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan etc are utilized well. I liked how the character’s facial expressions, twitches, raising of an eyebrow etc, were all done to a very realistic effect. It contains excellent fighting/action and enough laughs to be a worthy watch with your family.
8. Chicken Run (2000) – Very original. The crafting of the film is absolutely beyond all praise – the details, the mise-en-scene, the characters. I couldn’t care less about the formulaic plot; Chicken Run is and is supposed to be, a feast for the eyes.
7. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) – I love a bit of Wallace and Gromit! Who doesn’t?! This was the first ever full-length Wallace and Gromit film, and it certainly will not disappoint fans of the duo. It’s great fun for all ages!
6. The Croods (2013) – Safe in its humour, lovable characters and narrative, but simply exceptional on the visual front. Children will enjoy this film, but there’s also enough dry humour for adults to get more than a chuckle out of it too. It’s a great experience for the whole family and for the individual. Uplifting throughout, but perhaps have tissues at the ready…
5. Flushed Away (2006) – I enjoyed Flushed Away far more than I expected. It’s smart and creative, and fast-paced. The voice cast is also an impressive one, including: Jackman as the upper class Roddy, while Winslet fits the feisty Rita well, as well as the wonderful Bill Nighy, playing Whitey.
4. Rise of the Guardians (2012) – You could say it is a fairy-tale version of The Avengers: Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Sandman and Jack Frost all join to take down the big, bad Bogeyman. I absolutely loved this concept, and truly wished I was a child when this film came out, as it would have been all the more magical. But, nevertheless, it was still magical. If your children haven’t seen this yet, I urge you to buy the DVD for them, trust me, you won’t regret it. For me, the best animated film of 2012. This is a film that you do not want to miss.
3. Madagascar (2005) – Well written and voiced – the actors did an excellent job. I was in stitches at the time this film was released – contains quite a few ‘laugh out loud’ moments! A decent slice of silly, family fun.
2. Over the Hedge (2006) – With an incredible voice-cast, (Steve Carell, Bruce Willis, Omid Djalili) Over the Hedge is bursting with fun! In a nutshell, it is a wonderfully entertaining piece of animation, with a very satisfying narrative!
1. Shrek Franchise (2001-2010) – Have genuinely lost count as to how many times I have watched all of the films in the Shrek franchise. The best voice-cast of them all, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas. This franchise is guaranteed to provide you with endless laughs and result in you having a big, cheesy grin on your face. I simply cannot praise Dreamworks enough for this masterpiece.