For me great animation is a marriage of two other big loves of mineóbeautiful art and captivating storytelling. You nail those things and it's almost guaranteed that you'll have my eyeballs glued to the screen. I grew up on Disney films like Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast so my tastes tend to unconsciously lean that way, however I love seeing animation that breaks new ground and really shows where the medium can go.
drawing, painting, animation, absorbing pop culture, animation, web design, writing, animation...
Animation that I love:
How to Train Your Dragon, Mary and Max, Tangled, Princess Mononoke, The Incredibles, Nightmare Before Christmas, Rescuers Down Under, ... etc. etc.
And there we were, a group of 20-somethings all completely absorbed and utterly tickled by a short film made decades before any of us were born. The gags are still funny. The animation is still great. I still laughed out loud when Pluto has his silent, frustrated "That's what I've been trying to tell you!!" moment at the end of the film.
What can I say? Pure classic.
Runaway Brain is one such offshoot and watching it I frankly found it to be quite jarring. Mickey Mouse absorbed in a video game? Mickey Mouse forgetting his anniversary with Minnie? Crazy frothing Mickey Mouse? I don't know exactly what it was about this short, but personally I felt its tone just pulled too far away from the Mickey I was used to seeing... so that the end result was akin to watching Tenderheart Bear in a Rambo outfit... okay, possibly not the far, but still...
There's nothing particularly wrong with this short--great animation and some good gags--but overall it just didn't sit right with me.
Whatever the reason, this short stands head and shoulders above the rest as my all time favourite.
And to paraphrase the great Chuck Jones... we all strive to be Bugs Bunny, we all end up being Daffy Duck. :)