440 - Akira - 4 stars
Damn I wish I'd seen this on the big screen! Can't believe that it has taken me 12 years to see Akira.
A Manga blend of Blade Runner meets The Fast And The Furious meets Scanners, this is everything you could want from the genre as it takes a more adult slant on the cartoon process packing in an equal amount of action, sci-fi, and violence, with a smidgen of political commentary.
Completely bonkers but brilliant.
For many years there has been talk of a live action US remake but I only hope that this remains rumour rather than fact, as I honestly can't see how they would do it without ruining it completely.
171 - Toy Story 2 - 5 stars
I watched this today in 3D and while it doesn't really benefit from the 3D transfer, it reaffirmed my belief that this is the greatest animated film of all time. Not only that but one of the very few films to be genuinely better than the original. And to think that this nearly went straight to video.
It subverts the original by having Buzz trying to rescue Woody after he is stolen by an avid toy collector to become the prize item in his collection. I myself am a bit of a toy collector, with nearly a complete collection of original Star Wars trilogy action figures, and could appreciate the storyline and humour about Wayne Knight's toy collector, mint in packaging, etc.
Another area of geeky appreciation was due to the fact that I worked at Toys R Us for nearly six years and immediately recognised the vinyl flooring and shelving units of Al's Toy Barn to be identical to our stores. Also the joke about toy stores not ordering enough Buzz Lightyear's to meet demand was very funny, having lived through many a Christmas like that.
Packed with hilarious references to Star Wars, 2001, Jurassic Park, etc and some of the funniest outtakes ever, this movie has everything from action, comedy and even a sense of poignancy with the story of how toys can become forgotten.
The only bum note is Jessie's overly sentimental song by Randy Newman, but that isn't enough to dampen what is a truly fantastic film.
As I have now watched all the animated films on the the Empire (500) list, here is a list of my all-time top ten animated film:
1. Toy Story 2
2. Toy Story
3. Spirited Away
4. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
5. Beauty And The Beast
6. The Lion King
7. Finding Nemo
10. Shrek 2
Would have put Spongbob Squarepants Movie on the list but it has live action David Hasselhoff so not sure if it technically qualifies?!
Days remaining - 231 Films remaining - 303