The world of animation never was immune towards sequels, they’ve been around for awhile. But now we’re at the beginning of a new wave of animated sequels, with Pixar leading the charge. Now there’s animated sequels and prequels, popping out left and right. The latest in the line of sequels is Despicable Me 2, an adorable little film that made us think about what other animated films that took this route that we love. So let us go down the list of the top five animated sequels out there, and a couple many just surprise you.
5. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is near and dear to my heart because it was just one of those animated films that made many children aware of the lure of the wild west. While the sequel may not contain the emotional baggage of immigration back in the early 1900s that An American Tail had to offer, the sequel cleverly played on a number of cool western character tropes. You have the dastardly villain who’s running the town, the old sheriff who longs to relive his glory days when he triumphed over evil, and the plucky young guy who comes of age and becomes a real cowboy towards the end. It’s silly, charming and makes you want to watch some real good westerns after you sit through it.
4. Toy Story 2
A lot of people made their way to theaters just to see what all the fuss was about with Toy Story 2. Pixar hit a home run with this picture, invoking the same kind of sweet character development, silly situations and neat new toys to follow around and eventually grow to love. Woody and Buzz have changed greatly since the first movie, and with that comes a new set of challenges as Andy’s favorite old toy gets scooped away by an evil toy collector. Toy Story 2 deals with the pains of loss, abandonment and a new sense of belonging in a person’s life even when they think it could never happen to them. Did I mention that the animation still looks fine even though the movie is over ten years old? Because it does.
3. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
There are some people who won’t dare trying to watch Japanese cartoons because of the over-the-top, bubblegum pop outrageous factor that some of the most popular shows carry (like Sailor Moon). But if you ever wanted to sit down and watch an honest to God great Japanese cartoon movie, I highly recommend Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. We follow our hero D, a half-human/half-vampire, as he’s hired to find a young girl who’s been kidnapped by a bloodthirsty vampire, but there’s a lot more to the mystery as the movie continues on. It’s beautifully animated and contains a really sweet love story tucked into the middle of the mystery and action surrounding the picture. If you haven’t seen this yet, do yourself a favor and do so now.
2. Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero
For some reason it always feels like Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero doesn’t get enough love as it’s predecessor Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. One of the brilliant things that Batman: The Animated Series did was breathe some new life into a villain that had never received enough love up until that point. They transformed his character from a regular villain with an ice gun to a tragic figure who only wanted to save the love of his life, find a cure for her disease in any way necessary. Then this direct-to-video movie came along as they wrapped up the story of Mr. Freeze’s heartache, his struggles to deal with Batman and the rest of the world around him. It’s a sad, beautiful tale and it makes you really feel for the poor guy.
1. The Rescuers Down Under
There need to be more people out there who watch and quickly fall in love with The Rescuers Down Under. Around fifteen years after The Rescuers came out, Disney decided to reintroduce a new generation to the cute Bernard and Bianca, two extraordinary mice who have saved children around the world. We catch up with them in the modern day as they go to find a little Australian boy whose caught in the trap of a terrifying poacher that wants a piece of his friend, a majestic rare eagle. To this day I believe that The Rescuers Down Under has some of the most beautiful traditional animation in a Disney film, which mixes along perfectly with some of the CG sprinkled in. Don’t believe me? Then watch it for yourself on Netflix right now.