Jeremy's Best of 2016
2016 was a polarizing year for many film fans, and I’ve witnessed a lot of negativity and scorn surrounding certain films. Some justifiably, like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, and others less deservedly, like Rogue One. I’ve been getting real sick and tired of all this negative movie talk, so here on Story Screen, let’s get positive and talk about my ten favorite movies of the year. I wouldn’t call this list the “best” films of the year, on a technical level. These are the films that affected me the most, both on a technical and emotional level, whether it would be making me belly laugh to the point where I’d be on the floor, tense up in my seat to the point where I’m chewing the skin off my fingers in anxiety, or leaving me teary-eyed and somber. Either way, these are the ten films that stuck with me the most this year, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Non-Pixar Disney films, while they are technically impressive and a good time, never really stick with me besides humming a song or two from the soundtrack on occasion. Zootopia, however, really impressed me because it was a Disney film that had a genuine opinion and took a stance on a real issue. Big studios like to play it safe, and they don’t like to risk alienating audiences, so you don’t generally see such entertainment juggernauts tackling sensitive subjects like racism, profiling, gentrification, and general discrimination often, if at all. Zootopia offers a reflection on the ugly aspects of how we treat our fellow human beings through the lens of anthropomorphic zoo animals. It’s not the subtlest of social commentaries, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a lesson worth presenting to all ages. At the same time, Zootopia is a terrifically funny film, offering clever jokes at light speed pace with plenty of likeable and well-realized characters that were easy for me to root for. This is the best animated film Disney has put out in years.