Tag Archives: Fred Willard

The Set of 400: #33 – My Favorite Lightning Umbrella

Today! Because rather than try to fix this problem, it’ll just be easier if everyone remains in space –

WALL·E (2008)

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin (x2), Fred Willard (x2), John Ratzenberger (x8), Kathy Najimy (x3), Sigourney Weaver (x6), Donald Fullilove (x4), Laraine Newman (x3)

The glorious summer of 2008 returns with the greatest animated film of all time. That’s right, the top dog in the entire game. You might be sputtering and muttering about all the wonders of Dumbo right now, but stuff it! You might want to rage about how Spirited Away is criminally underseen and deserves more recognition, but save that snobby tripe for someone else! You might want to go on about how Inside Out is clearly Pixar’s masterpiece, and…you might have a point. It wasn’t eligible for this list. But as far as the vast history of animated cinema up to the end of 2013 is concerned, it’s WALL·E at the mountaintop.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt that it is my favorite animated film – #33 is as high as the genre managed – but this wasn’t one that needed to grow on me. I’ve been saying almost since the first time I saw it that WALL·E was the best I’d ever seen, and that hasn’t really changed since (again, except for maybe Inside Out, and maybe the Into the Spider-Verse movie). But anyone who tells you that the golden age of animation was the old world Disney classics (e.g. Bambi, Cinderella, Song of the South) or the ’90s revival (Aladdin, Lion King, er, Hercules) is too stuck in the past to argue with. The Pixar run from 2003 to 2010, which included Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL·E, Up, Ratatouille, and Toy Story 3 (and Cars) is the golden age of cartoon films.

But (just to emphasize) not because of Cars

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The Set of 400: #92 – My Favorite Jazz Flute

Today! Because the Human Torch was denied a bank loan –

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Directed by Adam McKay

Starring Will Ferrell (x5), Christina Applegate (x2), Steve Carell, Paul Rudd (x4), David Koechner (x2), Fred Willard, Chris Parnell (x2), Vince Vaughn (x3), Kathryn Hahn, Fred Armisen, Paul F. Tomkins (x3), Bill Kurtis, Jack Black (x5), Luke Wilson (x3), Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins (x4), Missi Pyle (x2), Jerry Minor (x2), Ian Roberts (x3), Danny Trejo, Seth Rogen (x3)

Meeting Sarah in 2004 as I did, the comedies of those early years of the relationship that stuck really stuck. I’ve mentioned #134 Wedding Crashers, #130 Napoleon Dynamite, #189 Team America, #184 Super Troopers, to a lesser degree #313 Fever Pitch – but at the core of the entire era was Anchorman. Not unlike your Austin Powers and Napoleon Dynamites, Anchorman suffers somewhat as the years go on due to its endless quotability. Sure, it stays in the public consciousness and thus sells t-shirts or whatever, and afforded us that okay-ish sequel, but really, I think the details of the original film get a bit lost in the “Scotchy scotch scotch,” “I love lamp,” “Afternoon Delight” of the whole thing. Does everyone recall the whole panda plot of the film? I mean, the less said about pandas the better, just as a general rule for living, but that’s actually the driving through line of the story. Sure, it doesn’t really matter, but it gives a little structure to the wild Burgundy/Corningstone relationship and that epic multi-network news team free-for-all.

But seriously, and I can’t say this enough, fuck pandas.

The only good panda

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