Who doesn’t like a good cartoon? Well, Netflix’s recent Disney deal has made a number of classic Disney flicks like BROTHER BEAR 2 available, but we here at Daily Grindhouse are looking a bit deeper for our animated entertainment. Here are ten offbeat ‘toons ready for watching on Netflix streaming, and be assured that you may want to put the kiddies to bed before clicking “Play” on a number of these. Unless your kids are cool.
If you’re looking for something with a little less of a commitment, try the Festival Shorts Collection, featuring a number of short animated films from around the world!
10. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009)
Rob Zombie took the leap into directing animation with this flick about a masked wrestler/exploitation director/actor and his sexy sidekick attempting to keep the evil Dr. Satan from ruling the world. It’s not very good! But it does have the voices of Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson, Tom Kenny, Brian Posehn, Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Geoffrey Lewis, Daniel Roebuck, Danny Trejo, Sid Haig, John DiMaggio, Harland Williams, Clint Howard, Joe Alaskey, Bill Moseley, Tura Satana and, of course, Sheri Moon Zombie.
9. The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)
Canadiam animator Richard Williams started production on ARABIAN KNIGHTS in 1964 and worked on it over the course of 28 years, but it was finally finished and released in 1995 without his involvement and with a varying voice cast including Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Winters. (Vincent Price’s voice is in all versions.) A re-edited cut (closer to his original vision) exists on the grey market circuit, but this Disney version still has some fantastic moments, even if it was packaged to be a rip-off of ALADDIN. The documentary PERSISTENCE OF VISION, currently making the festival rounds, chronicles the film’s decades-long route to release.
8. Toys in the Attic (2009)
Similarly, this 2009 stop-motion Czech film was marketed as a TOY STORY cash-in, when, in fact, Ji?í Barta’s film is a very dark, intense parable about the overthrow of communism, more along the lines of ANIMAL FARM. The American dub is directed by Vivian (SOULTAKER) Schilling(!) and features the voices of Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack and Cary Elwes.
7. Alakazam the Great (1960)
One of American International Pictures’ more curious imports was Toei Animation’s musical SAIYU-KI about a monkey king who becomes excessively arrogant after he gains magical powers, which they brought to the states with narration by Sterling Holloway the the voices of Frankie Avalon, Jonathan Winters and Arnold Stang. It may not be a great film, but it did allegedly lead Osamu Tezuka, who wrote the manga on which the film was based, into anime, giving “Astro Boy” to the world.
6. A Cat in Paris (2010)
A charming little story about a young girl in Paris whose cat gets her involved in a mystery, Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol’s comic thriller managed to score an Oscar nomination, and features the voices of Marcia Gay Harden, Anjelica Huston and Matthew Modine.
5. Vampires in Havana (1985)
Easily the best animated Cuban comedy/horror film ever made, this oddball flick about a trumpet playing-vampire trying to overthrow the Cuban government is certainly worth noting, especially when you’ve got Chicago-based vampire mobsters involved.
4. The Secret of Kells (2009)
Nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2010, Tom Moore’s unique and very Irish film tells the story of the creation of illuminated manuscript of the Bible in the 8th Century. Beautifully depicted, and featuring the voice of Brendan Gleeson.
3. The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974)
Sure, Robert Crumb hates it, but he basically hates everything. And Ralph Bakshi hates it too. But Robert Taylor’s sequel to Bakshi’s FRITZ THE CAT, following the protagonist imagining several different lives, is still an entertainingly bizarre ride. Crude, tasteless, and with the voice of Robert Ridgely as the Devil.
2. Idiots and Angels (2008))
Bill Plympton has directed a number of fascinating animated features in his unique style, and this dialogue-free tale of a committed psychopath who suddenly sprouts wings and is inclined to do good, is one of his best.
1. A Town Called Panic (2009)
A spin-off of an Aardman Animation-produced television series, this hugely entertaining (and completely batshit) feature follows three toy figurines in a variety of bizarre adventures that feel like entire run of a science fiction television series condensed into 90 minutes, and sprinkled with manic glee.
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