Best Animation Movies of 1981
The Fox and the Hound
When a feisty little fox named Tod is adopted into a farm family, he quickly becomes friends with a fun and adorable hound puppy named Copper. Life is full of hilarious adventures until Copper is expected to take on his role as a hunting dog -- and the object of his search is his best friend!
The embodiment of ultimate evil, a glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with bizarre stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.
The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie
Bugs Bunny hosts an award show featuring several classic Looney Tunes shorts and characters. This movie was released in 1981 by Warner Bros. and was produced by Friz Freleng. New footage was one of the final productions done by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (also known as Marvel Productions beginning in the 1980s) and the film was re-released in the USA on April 28, 2009 from Warner Home Video.
The history of American popular music runs parallel with the history of a Russian Jewish immigrant family, with each male descendant possessing different musical abilities.
It's Magic, Charlie Brown
When Snoopy turns Charlie Brown invisible in a magic act, he has trouble changing him back.
The Trolls and the Christmas Express
The Trolls and the Christmas Express is an animated classic about six roguish trolls who are determined to sabotage Christmas by infiltrating Santa's village disguised as elves. After a week of wreaking havoc but still not completely ruining Christmas, they are about to give up when they get a devilishly clever idea. On the day before Christmas Eve they get the reindeer dancing and singing songs all night long. The poor reindeer are so tired the next day that they cannot find the energy to pull Santa's sleigh. Christmas looks like it has finally been ruined - but everyone knows you can't stop Christmas! The elves quickly devise a plan to link the train from Santa's village with tracks that travel all over the world. Santa can deliver the toys using the Christmas Express.
The Pink Panther in 'Pink at First Sight'
It is Valentine's Day and the hip feline has no love and no money except for seven cents. He goes to a messenger service for a job but messes his rehearsal up. He then buys a cassette player and pre-recorded cassettes with the seven cents he had left and goes back to the messenger service miming to "Vesti la giubba", an aria from Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci, and gets hired as a messenger on Valentine's Day
For the first time I am animating hand-painted engraved cut-outs on a full-color background. The film is mood-filled: A duel scene in a snowy forest, obviously the morning after a masquerade ball. Harlequin lies dying, while Red Indian walks away with the wings of victory. The woman between them appears, cat-masked. The mask dissolves away. Her spirit passes into the face of the sun upon the sun upon the sun flower. But Harlequin cannot escape death. The blue world engulfs him.
A superb visual trick that will mystify its audience, this animated film transforms the commonplace into magic.
The Flintstones: Jogging Fever
After failing his annual physical, Fred wants to prove to everyone that he is in shape, so he decides to become the first citizen of Bedrock to enter the Rockstone Marathon.
A man smuggles in an exotic animal, but discovers too late that it's infested with some rather nasty insects.
The Fantastic Adventures of Unico
Unico the Unicorn has the amazing power to make anyone he meets happy. Whether it's because of his personality or the powers of his horn, no one knows. However, the gods become jealous of Unico, thinking that only they should be able to decide or allow people to be happy. Unico is banished to the Hill of Oblivion, and the West Wind is ordered to take him there. She can't stand giving this fate to Unico, so Unico's adventures begin, as the West Wind takes him from one place and time to the next, in a neverending journey to escape the wrath of the gods.
The Flintstones: Wind-Up Wilma
Wilma is a celebrity when she gets a shot at the big leagues and becomes a pitcher for the Bedrock Dodgers after nailing a couple of robbers with a melon at the grocery store; however, she and Fred argue over her ambition to pitch for the team because Fred thinks a woman's place is in the home.
B.C. A Special Christmas
Peter enlists his sarcastic one-legged friend Wiley to help conjure a myth based around the idea of giving. Seeing the chance to make a profit off the selflessness of others, the two caveman create a figure that develops into the first Santa Claus but are then baffled when the "myth" they've created apparently becomes real. Substituting gain for fulfillment, Peter and Wiley experience the true meaning of Christmas.
A Chipmunk Christmas
Alvin learns the true meaning of Christmas.
Animated short film that was nominated for an Oscar. Narrated by James Earl Jones!
Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City
Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City chronicles Strawberry Shortcake's trip to Big Apple City, so she can compete in a baking contest at "the little theater off Times Pear". Strawberry's journey, however, is in jeopardy due to the constant interference of the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, who is her only competition in the bake-off. The Pieman counts on his kohlrabi cookies and a little trickery to beat Strawberry and her famous shortcake.
The king of the faeries sends for a young hunter after his shadow escapes and threatens his kingdom.
Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown
After Charlie Brown spots a girl briefly shown in a sports event broadcasting, he is smitten enough to go in search of her with the help of Linus. Unfortunately in his search, he has his usual amount of luck. As Charlie Brown is watching a football game, he spots a girl in the stands that he immediately attaches himself to. When the game ends, he is desperate to find her, so he enlists Linus to help him and, because of his absolute nervousness, to do the talking for him. However, that move could wind up spelling doom for the love-starved Charlie Brown once they finally find her.
Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons
Christopher Robin gives Winnie the Pooh a calendar, and Pooh uses it to learn about the seasons.
The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin
Cinderella has to stay home while her evil stepsisters go to the ball. You know the rest except everyone here is a penguin (even the mice that become the "horses") and the lost slipper is more like a swimming flipper.
The Berenstain Bears' Easter Surprise
A very inquisitive Brother Bear is wondering why Spring is taking so long to arrive. With Easter approaching and a new arrival to the Bear family on the way, Brother looks for answers, and Mama teaches him the true meaning of Spring.
A short film by Stan Brakhage.
Grendel Grendel Grendel
This is an animated story covering the ancient legend of Beowulf, as narrated by Grendel himself, the "monster" in the legend. Aimed more at adults than children, this version holds some interesting twists on the traditional tale, and is based on a novel by American critic and academic John Gardner.
The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold
Sent in search of a Christmas tree, cabin boy Dinty Doyle lands on a mysterious, uncharted Irish island where he accidentally releases a bad-tempered banshee from her pine tree prison. Leprechaun Blarney Kilakilarney knows that in order to survive, the banshee will try to swipe his clan's pot of Christmas gold. With some magical assistance from Lord Patrick, the king of the wee folk, Dinty and Blarney make a plan to outwit the gold-hungry hag before Christmas morning dawns.
The Garden of Earthly Delights
A collage of two-dimensional images of vegetation, each appearing only for a moment, sometimes as a single image, more often with other bits of stem, leaf, bud, or petal. Often we see only the outline of objects against a black background. Black and green are occasionally joined by fragments of orange or of white and blue. The objects in the frame don't move but they are quickly replaced by another collage, giving the feel of rapid motion. Each collage is crisp, its lines etched against the background of black and later of white. Whitman anyone, or Hieronymus Bosch? Although there is no soundtrack, the rapidity of changing images and colors suggests a riot.
An animated special that presents highlights of the life of Daniel Boone, the famous American trailblazer -- from his early childhood years in North Carolina, his love affair with Rebecca Bryan, their courtship, marriage and family life, his work in settling the Kentucky region, and his exploits.
Helen Keller: Angel of Love and Light
Based on the story of Helen Keller who at a very young age was left deaf and blinded by an illness. But she fought through the obstacles, trying to live a normal life as possible. She became on of the first disabled rights-pioneers.
Invaders from the Deep
When aquatic aliens plot to take over the planet, the world aquanaut security patrol are called in to battle the aliens.
The Raccoons on Ice
The Raccoons on Ice is the second of four specials leading up to the television series The Raccoons. It initially aired on CBC and in syndication on December 20, 1981.
Luna, Luna, Luna
A child sleepwalks into the forest. A black vastness inhabited by night creatures throbs and chirps, croaks and gurgles. As she wades deeper into the shimmering night, the real forest and the imaginary one dissolve into each other. Apparitions and phantoms begin their nocturnal dance. The atmosphere becomes charged and witches come shrieking to life. When the fear of the night reaches its peak, the moon rises and the final lunacy begins. An animated film about a child's reaction to the mysteries and magic of the night. Film without words.
No Man's Valley
Elliot, a rare California condor, must find a hideaway for endangered animals before man drives them over the brink into extinction.
A computer-animated juggler.
In this classic story by one of the world's best-loved and acclaimed storytellers for children, the man in the moon looks down on the happy, dancing people on Earth every night, wishing he could join them. He hitches a ride on a passing comet, but quickly finds himself thrown into jail by people who see him as an invader, rather than a friendly visitor. The Moon Man, however, has a most unusual - but perfectly logical - means of escape, and sets out to make his way back home.
Set in an unspecified Third World country, this animated film, based on a short story by Enver Carim, suggests that "top priority" means different things to governments and to the governed. A drought-stricken family maintains a long and desperate vigil for a cloud of dust on the horizon signalling the arrival of irrigation pipes and pump. They are rewarded with a military convoy instead. Its top priority is a border war with a neighboring state, not pipes for the life-saving water the family must have.
Dennis the Menace in Mayday for Mother
Mischievous Dennis Mitchell wants to give his mother a gift for Mother's Day.
Around the World with Dot
In this magical film Dot joins up with Santa Claus in order to help her friend the mother kangaroo find her lost baby. The pair take off into the air in Santa’s sleigh led by two kangaroos and travel the world searching for the zoo where the lost kangaroo has been sent.
Punch and Judy: Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy
An unusual documentary from the Brothers Quay and Keith Griffiths about the history of the Punch and Judy puppet show.
An NTSC space opera.
Abstract video art created in 1981. Music by Vibeke Sorensen and Walter Michael.
Rock & Roll Pet Store
Animated short about animals that have a rock & roll party after the pet store closes for the night
A very early example of fractal-generated terrain.
Pictures 4 Barbara
Film by Barbara Hammer.
The Fox and the Hound: A Lesson in Caution
The important lesson that warnings should not be ignored is stressed in this film.
The Jungle Book: A Lesson in Accepting Change
How change, in friends and environment, can be faced.
101 Dalmatians: A Lesson in Self-Assertion
The film teaches how to stand up to a bully through self-assertion.
"Carla's Island" was a pioneering computer animation, possibly the first of its kind to depict fluid wave motion and realistic weather effects.
Eggwood, the Easter egg capital of the world, scrambles for a way to get all of the eggs ready for Easter after the Uglyunks invade the town and waste all of Eggwood's electricity! Without electricity, the rabbits of Eggwood are helpless! Sunny the porcupine invents a plan that will get Easter egg production hopping again... but will the town believe him?
The Cigarette and the Weed
The Cigarette and the Weed tells the story of a weed growing on a street corner, and a discarded cigarette butt that rolls up to the weed. The two converse before the cigarette rolls into a puddle and is extinguished.
Réne Manzor's debut short, a surreal story about a tramp trying to build a road through the desert.