Fairy tales. Fantasies. Good old-fashioned family values. The kid-centric films of the Noughties were dominated by CG animation, performance capture, and Harry Potter. G- and PG-rated entertainment grew scarce, as did traditional hand-drawn animation (revived again, to mostly glorious effect, for 2009's The Princess And The Frog). And while Disney/Pixar continued to capture the imaginations of cinema-goers worldwide (with Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up), their chief rival, DreamWorks, fancied in-jokes over genuine storytelling (Shrek, Madagascar). The ultimate Family flicks must not only do without the heavy profanity, violence and sexuality required of other genres, they must also engage adults and children alike.
5. Enchanted (Kevin Lima, 2007)
Disney satirizes itself to such a spectacular degree you'd be hard- pressed to look at any of their animated classics the same way again. It's a canny twist on an age-old formula, complete with wink-wink nods to past studio successes and hummable song score from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz ("That's How You Know," their centerpiece ballad, is a genuine crowd-pleaser). The whole thing actually plays like an answer to DreamWorks' Shrek, with jokes that poke fun at storybook conventions only to succumb to them, proudly, at the end. And while the 12-or-so minutes of featured animation are as sublime as anything Disney's done before, the movie really comes alive during its live-action sequences, with a game cast led by Amy Adams in the very definition of a star-making performance. She's delightful enough all on her own to make you believe in the corniest of fairy tales.