3. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Worldwide Box Office: $147.4million
Starring: James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Ashley Jensen, Imelda Staunton, Eva Longoria, Laura Linney, Michael Palin, Robbie Coltrane
Arthur Christmas was officially the first co-production between Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation, though unlike The Pirates! Band of Misfits it wasn’t a stop-motion animation, instead taking the form of SPA’s primary output, computer generated animation.
The project was a relative hit with critics. It was funny, charming and clever, just as Aardman projects had become known to be, and it was unapologetically festive. Unlike a lot of the more maligned Sony Pictures Animation releases, Arthur Christmas offered elements to people of all ages and was a delight that seems to have unfairly become forgotten amongst the pantheon of Christmas, animation and Christmas animation movies released over the years, though it remains one of the company’s best ever releases.
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2. Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Worldwide Box Office: $243million
Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, James Caan, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt, Mr. T, Will Forte
The feature screenwriting and directorial debuts of the now reputably hilarious Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street; The Lego Movie; 22 Jump Street), Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs proved to be just as creative of a concept as their later Sony Pictures Animation release (still to come) and was the proving ground of their now somewhat iconic comedic style, timing and original presentation. Featuring a voice cast with talents as loveable as Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg and a perfectly used Mr. T, Cloudy was performed with the same innocence and heart as the imaginations that dreamt up ice cream snowballs and spaghetti twisters, creating an overall experience of pure joy that had it ranking at the very top of Sony Pictures Animation’s filmography for close to ten years.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Worldwide Box Office: $375.5million
Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicolas Cage, John Mulaney, Lily Tomlin, Kimiko Glenn, Chris Pine, Zoe Kravitz, Kathryn Hahn, Natalie Morales
Incomparable and monumental, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a game-changing move from Sony’s animation house, their commitment to tastefully animating such a fantastic and fresh narrative from their multiple time collaborators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller elevating the entire studio from B-Animation to the very top of the game, Into the Spider-Verse being simply sensational; easily good enough to compete with the very best of the Spider-Man movie franchise and even pip Disney to the Animated Feature Oscar. This gem of both visual and narrative standards was a simply incomparable release that re-wrote how comic books could be adapted, how animated films could look, and how people perceive Sony Pictures Animation, writing itself into the annuls of film history as one of the very best releases of the decade in the process.
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But what do you think? Did we unfairly rank one of your favourites? Can anything top Into the Spider-Verse? Let us know in the comments!