Caroline Madden, ‘Doah Staff Writer
February 26, 2014
While animation has created some of our most treasured childhood favorites, the medium is not limited to just children’s movies. Animation can be used to tell mature stories. There are several animated films that are geared towards adults, with PG-13 or R ratings.
“Perfect Blue” (1997) – A physiological thriller in the vein of “Black Swan,” Perfect Blue tells the story of a young singer, Mima, who leaves her pop group to become an actress. A fanatic fan becomes displeased with this career change and becomes an obsessive stalker. The lines are blurred between reality and art as Mima descends into madness. “Perfect Blue” is a visual feast, illustrated the fractured reality of Mima’s psyche as it unfolds. Directed by the incredible Satoshi Kon, “Perfect Blue” is a scary and fascinating ride. He also directed “Millennium Actress” and “Paprika” which both are highly recommended.
“Mary and Max” (2009) – Academy Award-winning director Adam Elliot uses black and white claymation for this simple story unlikely friends and penpals. A young misfit girl from Australia writes to a morbidly obese middle-aged Jewish New Yorker that has Asperger’s syndrome. They form a twenty-year friendship, exchanging letters about anything and everything. While this may sound like a children’s movie, there are many mature elements in the dialogue and situations. This inventive film combines incredible animation with a beautiful and emotional story.
“Grave of the Fireflies” (1988) – “Grave of the Fireflies” is directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli, animators of the children’s classics “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “Totoro.” The movie takes place in Japan 1945 after their surrender from World War II. Seita and Setsuko are orphaned siblings who leave an abusive family member to survive on their own with a scarce amount of food or money. “Grave of the Fireflies” is gut-wrenchingly sad and hauntingly beautiful. It has some of Hayao Miyazakhi’s best artwork.
“Akira”– The graphic novel of “Akira” comes to life Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s film, considered to be a landmark in animation. Set in postapocalyptic Tokyo, it follows a telekinetic motorcycle gang member on the run from the robot-like police. This film boasts unforgettable animation sequences, Shakespearean character relationships, disturbing and violent imagery, and an incredibly unsettling soundtrack. This film stays with you long after watching it.