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9 Movies That Prove Animation Isn't Just For Kids

In light of Ari Folman's new animated feature 'The Congress,' here are 8 other animated features - for grown ups - presently available to stream.

This weekend Ari Folman's half-animated film The Congress opens in New York City, his first since his innovative 2008 film Waltz With Bashir. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language, Waltz With Bashir is an animated documentary film that tells the story of Folman's wartime experiences in Lebanon. His newest, The Congress, is a sci-fi feature that has Robin Wright playing...Robin Wright. Things go awry when she retires from acting work, sells her screen image to a movie studio, and allows them full creative control of her visual aspect. Check out the trailer:

Unlike Folman's first film, The Congress regularly alternates between live-action and animation, making it a dreamy - almost nightmarish - viewing experience. Although The Congress imagines Robin Wright's avatar in cartoon-form, it's hardly a children's film. Folman wasn't the first - and probably won't be the last - to make animated programming for adults. Here are nine other animated films made for adult audiences currently available to stream. 

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry sat down to a conversation with Noam Chomsky, filmed it, and then animated their dialogue. The result - a documentary animation movie very much like Ari Folman's own work. Gondry's animations visually map out Chomsky's thoughts, whose narration is introspective, intimate, and profound.  

The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Robert Taylor

This classic adult animation movie from 1974 is actually a sequel to the film Fritz the Cat from 1972 (which, unfortunately, isn't streaming) which was directed by Ralph Bakshi. Fritz is the anthropomorphic cat succumbing to all the vices available in New York City - earning the film an X rating, the first ever given to an animated feature.

A Cat in Paris
Watch on Amazon Prime

This cat stays a cat as he fights crime late at night in the Parisian streets, surprising the little girl who is his owner. Nominated for an Academy Award,  A Cat in Paris charmingly casts a noir film in the world of an eight-year-old's pet. 

Watch on Amazon Prime
Directed by Tarik Saleh

Metropia, which played at TFF 2010,  imagines a future in which an advertising company schemes to invade their consumers' consciousness. Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, and both Stellan and Alexander Skarsgård lend their voices to this animated science fiction film. 

Year of the Fish
Watch on Amazon Prime
Directed by David Kaplan

Year of the Fish was filmed entirely in live-action and then traced and re-animinated in a process called rotoscoping. The narrative tells a darker version of Cinderella, staged in a modern-day Chinatown massage parlor.

The Triplets of Belleville
Watch on Netflix  
Directed by Sylvain Chomet

Another Academy-Award nominated animated feature, The Triplets of Belleville comes from the famed French animator Sylvain Chomet. Triplets predates Chomet's other Academy-Award nominated animated feature, The Illusionist, which is essentially an homage to French director and comic actor Jacques Tati. 

Alois Nebel
Watch on Hulu
Directed by Tomáš Luňák

Another rotoscoped feature, Alois Nebel is a Czech animated film about a train conductor who begins to hallucinate on the job, confusing present day with traumatic post-WWII events. The film is based on a Czech graphic novel of the same name. 

Sita Sings the Blues
Watch on Hulu
Directed by Nina Paley

Copyright activist Nina Paley animates the Ramayana as it had been hilariously dictated to her by three of her Hindu friends, with the role of Sita entirely vocalized by samples of jazz singer Annette Hanshaw's music.  Paley intercuts fantastically animated sequences of the Ramayana with the autobiographical story of her own separation. 

My Dog Tulip
Watch on Hulu
Directed by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger

Voiced by Isabella Rossellini, Christopher Plummer, and Lynn Redgrave, My Dog Tulip is based off the memoirs of J.R. Ackerly and tells the classic story of a man and his dog. Ackerly was a BBC journalist and memoirist who was openly gay at a time when it was still condemnable by law.

The Congress is currently available on VOD and will play at Lincoln Center for a week starting September 5. 


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