Beyond Disney and Pixar, there are dozens and hundreds of other animations and cartoons that you should watch. An Indie animation is refreshing and quite different from the formulaic cartoons that we usually see on the big screen. Even big animation producers are taking a cue from indie directions as the cartoons of today are becoming a little too real.
Here are 10 of the best indie animations and cartoons well-worth the screentime:
1. Louise by the Shore
The French animated Louise by the Shore is a hauntingly beautiful film. It follows Louise, an elderly woman who has to brave through the winter in a seaside town as she has missed the last train out of it on the last day of summer.
2. Isle of Dogs
The stop-motion Isle of Dogs is from the whimsical mind of Wes Anderson. This award-winning animation is nominated in dozens of prestigious awards institutes, including the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.
Wes Anderson first dabbled with stop motion with the Fantastic Mr. Fox and he continues to wow in the Isle of Dogs, from the making of the dog puppets right down to the captivating story.
The co-winner of the Jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Persepolis focuses on protagonist Marji in her life during the Islamic Revolution, living in Iran and Austria. To give a better view of the flashbacks and the present day in the animated film, black and white and shadow theater animation styles were used. The film is based on a graphic novel, Persepolis, which was published in the early to mid-2000s.
4. Song of the Sea
Song of the Sea is a fantasy cartoon that follows 10-year old Ben on a unique adventure. This European animated film has elements of Nordic and Celtic mythology. It will pull on your heartstrings as Ben and his sister Saoirse free faerie creatures from a goddess, repairing their relationship along the way.
5. My Life as a Courgette
The Swiss-French Ma Vie De Courgette, also known as My Life as a Zucchini, is a stop-motion animated film based on a 2002 novel. It’s about Icare who lost his mother and is sent to live in a foster home. There he learns about trust and love. This emotional comedy-drama won the best-animated film in the Cesar Awards and European Awards.
6. On-Gaku: Our Sound
One of the best things about indie films is the underlying story behind the scenes and how it translates to the actual movie. A good example of this is On-Gaku: Our Sound, which took 7 years to make by an amateur director.
On-Gaku: Our Sound is about 3 friends who are high school delinquents aspiring to be a rock and roll band. The problem is they don’t have the money, the skill, or even the musical instruments to do it.
7. Boy and the World
The Oscar-nominated Boy and the World is a Brazilian adventure film. This animation is about the boy, Cuca, who sets off to find his father who leaves for the city. His journey takes him to cotton fields, a factory, a market, and the city. Its art style is a combination of whimsy and simplicity and the movie itself appeals to both young and old.
8. The Illusionist
The first film to win the best-animated feature in the Cesar Awards, The Illusionist is a contemplative film about a magician who visits a woman in an isolated community. This woman believes that he is a real magician.
9. I Lost My Body
Although cartoons as seen as something for the youth, I Lost My Body is a film that is geared towards adults. It follows the life of Naofuel, who becomes an orphan in Morocco and was forced to live in France with distant family members, and his hand. He then becomes a pizza delivery boy and then a carpenter. At one point, Naofuel accidentally cuts off his own hand and it takes a life of its own.
10. Mune: The Guardian of the Moon
The computer-animated Mune: The Guardian of the Moon is a film is about Mune who needs to find the stolen sun. The dazzling 3D animation makes for an appealing film for kids and adults. Since the story is in an imaginary world, you can expect wonderful sceneries and backdrops in the movie.
Indie animation and cartoons prove that you don’t need to be mainstream to be able to produce something amazing. Sometimes, all you need is the best laptop for animation, a lot of time and effort, and of course skills. It also helps a lot if there is talent.