The Golden Era of 3D Animated Films

There is usually a golden era to various arts or science, or any type of accomplishment. I think that one reason for this is that a certain technology may mature from the buildup of experiences from people who had previously used that technology, and sufficient talent accumulates in that certain field for it to attain a high level of excellence.

For example, I believe that the major works of Western popular music (not classical music) were produced in the 1970s. During the 1970s, Western popular music attained a zenith in its quality unmatched in any period to date. My own all-time favorites are the Carpenters. ABBA, Diana Ross, Chicago, Air Supply, and many many others also produced high-quality music dear to my heart.

I would like to think that the 1980s, when I grew up watching a lot of TV, was the golden age of TV, with quality shows. My favorites included The Greatest American Hero,” “Silver Spoons,” “Three’s Company,” “Growing Pains,” “Transformers,” “Muppet Show,” “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” and “Sesame Street.” The plots in many of these shows were carefully crafted and interesting to follow. Carl Sagan’s scientific documentary, Cosmos, I watched many years later, but that show was no less magnificent.

The past decade has probably witnessed several golden eras, including the golden era of 3D animated films. Three-dimensional rendering of cartoon figures started off with a bang in 1995 with Pixar’s Toy Story, which rocked the world with its stunning three-dimensional graphics that looked so real. It was a monumental and revolutionary accomplishment to design the entire film with 3d graphics.

During the last ten years, the growth and popularity of 3D animated films has been phenomenal. Many of these films have deep morals, and state-of-the-art three-dimensional animation and special effects. Their storylines are also superb. I would like to review a few of my favorite ones below:

(1) In the first half of the decade, “The Incredibles” (2004) from Pixar was such an amazing adventure film. The action sequences were simply incredible. The plots was also extremely believable, interesting, and kept you on the edge of your seat. The humor was also fantastic. In effect, it was one of the truly amazing 3-dimensional animated films that broke through a lot of misconceptions about cartoons, and that cartoons, too, could be a serious form of film.

(2) “Kung Fu Panda” (2008) by Dreamworks is probably one of my all-time favorite films and my favorite 3D animated film. The philosophies were deep and meaningful. It incorporated Taoism and Eastern philosophy well into the film, which was also extremely funny. It also provided many important life lessons, including what is “special” is special if we think it is so. I rank “Kung Fu Panda” as one of the most significant films of all-time due to its timeless principles.

(3) “G-force” (2009) by Disney possessed a polished storyline, fun characters, and amazing 3D animation.

(4) “Up” (2009) by Pixar/Disney had an interesting storyline and a meaningful tale that emphasized a nice lesson in the end – that often, what we appear to seek superficially is not what we truly want, so it’s just as important to enjoy each moment instead of seeking the holy grail. I thought about the message of this film even after watching it, so that’s why I think that it had an important impact on my life.

Many other works of art are equally interesting and provide an interesting perspective to life. The titles mentioned above are just some of the best that I have experienced.

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