2010 has been a stellar year for animation movie and it is an animation film, in the form of Toy Story 3, which is the biggest grossing movie of the year.
Pixar has once again dominated the box office but Dreamworks and Universal Pictures have not been far behind. Throw in some great animation from overseas and there has been something for everyone in this genre over the last twelve months.
Toy Story 3 - It had been eleven years since we had last seen Buzz Lightyear, Woody and co on the big screen but 2010 brought the third and best movie in this franchise.
It became the first animation film to break the $1 billion barrier at the global box office as critics and fans were won over by its charm.
It really is a timeless story with universal themes that we can all relate to about coming of age, moving out into the world and leaving childhood behind.
Lee Unkrich was in the director’s chair this time around while Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack returned to the voice list while Ned Beatty and Michael Keaton were just two of the newbies.
The movie went on to record the biggest opening day in North America for an animation movie before it went on to take over $110 million in the opening weekend.
It went to be the biggest grossing animation of all time as well as the most successful movie produced by Pixar as it grossed just over $1 billion.
How To Train Your Dragon - The Dreamworks movie was one of the first big movies in this genre of the year when it was released back in March.
The movie was loosely based on the book of the same name and brought together an impressive voice cast that included Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera and Jonah Hill.
Shot in 3D it carried forward what would be the trend of 2010 and after doing well with the critics the movie went on to top the box office and gross $493 million - a sequel is on the way.
Shrek Forever After - who would have thought back in 2001 Shrek was going to become so successful? But that is exactly what has happened and a fourth and final movie hit the big screen this summer.
Yes Shrek, Fiona and Donkey were back in the Mike Mitchell directed movie that brought the Shrek saga to a close.
Like the three movies before it, Shrek 2 being the biggest grossing animation movie until Toy Story 3 surpassed it this year; it was a huge critical and commercial success.
The final chapter too over $737 million, making it one of the biggest movies of the year and cementing Shrek as one of the greatest franchises of all time have made $2.9 billion over four movies.
Ponyo - Studio Ghibli have not lost their touch and it was Ponyo that was their big release in 2010, which was another outstanding movie from the studio.
After the success of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle the work of Studio Ghibli and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is gaining recognition with a Western audience.
As with so may of Miyazaki’s movies it’s man versus nature as the sea rebels against the land. If you have not seen a Studio Ghibli movie then this is a great place to start as it’s visually stunning with a great colour palette and attention to detail.
It’s imaginative, exciting and enchanting all in one and, for me at least, the best animation movie of the year.
The Illusionist - Sylvain Chomet, the filmmaker behind Belleville Rendez-Vous, is back in the director’s chair for this visual treat.
Chomet has produced a delight which highlights that not all animation needs to use CGI, and this is a refreshing change, as The Illusionist stands out from the crowd.
Originality pours out of this film at every turn and was one of the stand out animation movies of this year.
Despicable Me and Megamind are the movies that have enjoyed box office success most recently while Chico and Rita, from Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba, is a good bet if you are looking for something different.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw