Top 10 Weirdest Animated Movies
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Top 10 Weirdest Animated Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
The weirdest animated movies likely wouldn't have worked in any other medium. We're looking at the strangest cartoons with the trippiest animation or subject matter. Animators sure are a special sort... MsMojo ranks the weirdest animated movies. Which animated movie do you think is the weirdest? Let us know in the comments!
Transcript
Animators sure are a special sort... Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weirdest Animated Movies.

For this list, we’re looking at the strangest cartoons with the trippiest animation or subject matter. Only feature-length films will be considered, while anime will be left for another day.

#10: “Heavy Metal” (1981)


This adult cartoon opens with an astronaut riding a Corvette through space before smoothly landing on Earth. It's the last time things will be so normal. An anthology film based on various short stories published in "Heavy Metal" magazine, the plot threads center around an evil orb that has led humanity astray throughout time and space, although this is primarily used as an excuse to animate as much gory violence as possible. "Heavy Metal" is pure unadulterated wish fulfillment, and the animation is simultaneously dynamic and crude. Even during the early '80s, "Heavy Metal" was hardly a beacon of good taste, but most segments are laughably sexist by today's standards.

#9: “Coraline” (2009)


Cartoons rarely tackle horror, but this spooky movie suggests it might not be such a bad idea. Based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel, the film sees the title character lured into an alternate reality inhabited by button-eyed copies of the girl's parents and neighbors. Initially, she views this universe as paradise, but it soon becomes apparent that Other Mother and Other Father are far from wholesome. "Coraline's" plot is unsettling and borderline demented, but its creep factor is enhanced by the 3D stop-motion animation, which – let's be honest – tends to always be slightly nightmarish.

#8: “Anomalisa” (2015)


Charlie Kaufman's body of work is packed with quirky and unusual tales, but the director's 2015 animated comedy-drama elevated “weird” to a whole other level. Based on an audio play written by Kaufman, "Anomalisa" centers around a guy who perceives everyone with an identical face and voice, including the protagonist's own spouse and child. Created using 3D printers, "Anomalisa's" puppets are disturbingly realistic, but this element adds to the story's restless and uneasy atmosphere. The first R-rated film to earn an Academy Award nomination for "Best Animated Feature;" "Anomalisa," like most of Kaufman's movies, will haunt your dreams and touch your heart.

#7: “The Cosmic Eye” (1986)


Known for their experimental animation style and the occasional contribution to "Sesame Street," Faith and John Hubley won three Oscars during the 1950s and '60s. Serving as almost a celebration of the couple's work, "The Cosmic Eye" is a message move foretelling mankind's demise as a result of its own selfish and destructive nature. While the movie's heavy-handed theme has not aged well, "The Cosmic Eye's" surreal animation remains a sight to behold. Rather than focusing on the minor details, the visuals recreate humanity's history in the form of abstract and colorful imagery that are only loosely connected by a plot.

#6: “Son of the White Mare” (1981)


"Otherworldy" tends to be thrown around with ridiculous abandon, but there is no other phrase better suited to describe this Hungarian film. Loosely inspired by Hunnic and Avaric folktales, "Son of the White Mare's" plot cares little about logic or reality, and should be regarded as an epic tale in the vein of Homer's "The Odyssey". Even the movie's title is literal and not metaphorical. In order to do justice to such a grandiose story, "Son of the White Mare's" animation disregards conventional art in favor of fluorescent colors, jaw-dropping landscapes, and transformative editing that twists reality into something alien.

#5: “Wizards” (1977)


The weirdest thing about Ralph Bakshi's insane movie is that it somehow secured a PG-rating. An advocate for adult-animation, Bakshi tried and failed to create a family film with 1977's "Wizards", a cartoon laced with Nazi imagery and featuring a fairy whose nipples refuse to ever relax. The film's nature vs technology central motif is nothing too unique, but Bakshi blends numerous animation styles to create a disjointed but effective experience. Also, what children's show would be complete without a couple of scenes lifted from the Nazi propaganda movie "Triumph of the Will"?

#4: “Waking Life” (2001)


While most are probably familiar with 2006's "A Scanner Darkly", Richard Linklater had already created a feature-length film using the sames animation techniques we came to associate with that film. Tackling philosophical topics like existentialism and consciousness, "Waking Life" dreamily drifts from one complex conversation to the next, leading to the protagonist reflecting upon the nature of reality and time. To further enhance the film's ethereal mood, Linklater used rotoscoping to draw over normal footage, resulting in "Waking Life's" stylized visuals, and seeing to it that the film lands somewhere in the middle between an animated and a live-action film.

#3: “Yellow Submarine” (1968)


The Beatles' influence does not begin and end with music. After starring in a pair of live action comedy features packed with musical numbers, the Fab Four dropped a psychedelic cartoon that could not have been further removed from Disney and Hollywood's more conventional output. Now, in all fairness, the actual Beatles appear in only one scene, but "Yellow Submarine" only exists due to the group's popularity... and contractual obligations. Set in an artistic utopia that is attacked by the music-loathing Blue Meanies, "Yellow Submarine" never attempts to weave a cohesive narrative, but the absurd story compliments the limited animation and surreal backgrounds.

#2: “Consuming Spirits” (2012)


A passion project painstakingly crafted by Chris Sullivan, work on the film commenced in 1996 and lasted for about 15 years. A slice-of-life drama set in a fictional town forgotten by the rest of the world, "Consuming Spirit" follows three journalists who have long abandoned any aspirations of prosperity, and are seemingly happy to wither away while chasing pointless leads or grown men in deer costumes. Echoing the townspeople's disconnect and apathy towards each other, "Consuming Spirits'"animation blends various art styles to present a fragmented and intensely tragic reality.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The Adventures of Mark Twain” (1985)

“It's Such a Beautiful Day” (2012)

“Mécanix” (2003)

#1: “Fantastic Planet” (1973)


Steeped in socio-political allegories, "Fantastic Planet" sees massive aliens replace humans at the top of the food chain. Even though the Oms are clearly human, "Fantastic Planet's" parable is visualized with a strikingly alien aesthetic, which was composed using cut-out animation and stop-motion. When not commenting on racism, slavery, or animal rights; the film takes viewers on a hallucinatory journey via a series of gorgeous but discomforting pictures. Despite tackling some big topics, the movie's story is basically irrelevant and serves as little more than a justification for Roland Topor's illustrations. "Fantastic Planet's" individual scenes would not look out of place as part of an art exhibition.
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