Friday, June 20, 2008

American Film Institutes Top Ten Genre Films lists are flawed

The American Film Institute has released their Top Ten Genre Films lists. My interest focuses on the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Animation lists of course.

Top 10 Science-Fiction Films

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
  3. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
  4. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  5. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  6. Blade Runner (1982)
  7. Alien (1979)
  8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  10. Back to the Future (1985)

Top 10 Animated Films

  1. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  2. Pinocchio (1940)
  3. Bambi (1942)
  4. The Lion King (1994)
  5. Fantasia (1940)
  6. Toy Story (1995)
  7. Beauty and The Beast (1991)
  8. Shrek (2001)
  9. Cinderella (1950)
  10. Finding Nemo (2003)
Top 10 Fantasy Films
  1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  3. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  4. King Kong (1933)
  5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  6. Field of Dreams (1989)
  7. Harvey (1950)
  8. Groundhog Day (1993)
  9. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
  10. Big (1988)

The Little Mermaid belongs in the animation section instead of Beauty and the Beast. In my opinion, that is the movie that restarted Disney's traditional animation franchise. Without its success you would not have Beauty and the Beast, or The Lion King on the list.

I think Groundhog Day is a terrific and still under appreciated film. The rest of the fantasy list is quirky, to say the least.

Where is The Matrix? It had revolutionary effects and spawned a huge discussion (one from me, two from me) of philosophy and science both within the genre and without.

The problem with the lists is does one include the movie that started the genre (Snow White) or technique (Toy Story) or the movies that restarted or reinvigorated the genre (The Little Mermaid) or technique (Shrek) or the best example of the form (Incredibles)? What about films that revolutionized a form or technique (Like The Voyages of Sinbad or Jason and the Argonauts)? Where do you put Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


1 comment:

Richard said...

Scifi Scanner and their commenters take a better crack at what is wrong with the AFI top ten Science Fiction films of all times. They note that the latest film is Terminator II from 1991 and come up with a few that should have been included from recent times. The Matrix and The Incredibles have already been mentioned, but they also include The Twelve Monkeys, Ghost in the Shell and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I think my wife would disagree that Twelve Monkeys is Bruce Willis' best film. She might suggest The Fifth Element, as others have. If you leave Science Fiction then you must discuss Die hard or even the Sixth Sense. Neither of which probably belong in a Top ten list beyond a list of Willis films.