Doing exactly what it says on the tin, this friendly, accessible volume from the British Film Institute showcases a hundred cartoons, highlighting their points of interest, importance in the history of film, and impact on audiences. Since only a hundred films are listed, there will undoubtedly be gripes from aficionados who feel that their favourite film has been slighted. Far more relevant to this book’s long-term value is its placing of all animation in an international context. The likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon are not rated in an anime ghetto where everyone gets a prize, but against the entire world of animation where everyone has to play with the big boys – a mature and welcome appraisal of Japanese cartoons, well overdue.
Jonathan Clements is the author of Schoolgirl Milky Crisis: Adventures in the Anime and Manga Trade. This review first appeared in the SFX Ultimate Guide to Anime, 2011.