Heck, this isn't even the best animated movie of the decade, but I love it beyond reason
As I look at my list of favorites over the 2000s, I find it filled with movies that were warm and celebrated unexpected goodness, good deeds in a weary world — to quote a famous chocolate maker. There was certainly a place for masterpieces of cynicism and despair (“Frailty,” “The Prestige,” “The Pledge”), but I found myself more impressed by those films that could wring emotion out of light rather than darkness. Be it the unwavering friendship of Sam as his friend Frodo descends into madness on their quest to dispose of a cursed ring, young Akeelah remembering all of the people in her life who helped her train for the spelling bee, or Penny Lane tricking Russell Hammond into visiting the home of the young journalist he betrayed so that he might make amends, the moments that stood out were the ones that celebrated surprising decency.
My choice for favorite film of the decade may not be the best film of the 2000s. Heck, it’s probably not the best animated film of the past 10 years. But it’s one of those movies that I probably love more than anyone else on the planet, which perhaps only makes me love it more. I have never been so surprised by, and overjoyed with, a film as I was following my first viewing of “Meet the Robinsons.” This under-the-radar Disney film, about an orphaned young scientist who travels into the future and meets the surrogate family he could only dream of, is constantly clever, often hilarious and unabashedly emotional. I walked out of the press screening, my eyes more than a little watery, and immediately called my wife to inform her that I had wasted a Wednesday afternoon. I had just seen something truly special and she was going to have to accompany me for a repeat viewing as soon as possible. The heartbreaking initial act, the goofy but human futuristic family, the mobster-frogs, the way that the deliciously villainous Bowler Hat Guy becomes the most sympathetic figure in the film, the stunningly powerful and completely earned happy ending — everything about this unassuming picture is just magical. To paraphrase another classic of this decade, “Meet the Robinsons” is a movie I love so much that it hurts.
Film Salon has invited a group of special guests to write about their favorite film(s) of the 2000s. To read the entire series, go here.
Scott Mendelson is a blogger for Open Salon. More Scott Mendelson.
More Related Stories
- Cannes: Ryan Gosling's new movie draws the boo-birds
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Juror responds to Joe Francis' insults with thoughtful email
- New track from the Lonely Island features Solange Knowles, semicolons
- Amazon introduces fan fiction publishing platform
- Naomi Watts, "Argo," "Wonderstone" among bizarre Teen Choice Awards nominees
- Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike
- The camp-free "Behind the Candelabra"
- Justin Bieber will destroy you if you live-tweet his parties
- Marc Maron on Twitter feud with Michael Ian Black: "We have an understanding"
- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis to jury: "You should be euthanized"
- Ai Weiwei releases heavy metal music video
- Actually, Beyoncé is a feminist
- Marc Maron and Michael Ian Black's epic Twitter battle
- Cannes: Directing 101 with James Franco
- Welcome to the jungle: The definitive oral history of '80s metal
- Burt Bacharach opens up on daughter's suicide
- Steven Spielberg to produce "Halo" television series
- Amazon set to launch fine-art gallery
- Twitter torches Dan Brown's "Inferno"
- Brad Pitt keeps breaking his silence on how boring marriage to Jennifer Aniston was
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11
Films of the Decade is a series running in Film Salon, our new collaborative blog.