You all already know my adoration for How to Train Your Dragon, which was my pick for the winner last year (not that it had any chance). I rewatched it today, and while I was expecting it to drop in my estimation, I actually enjoyed it even more, especially John Powell's marvelous score.
Toy Story 3 was a wonderful winner, the perfect ending to a masterful trilogy. Really, it could not have been a more perfect ending to the long running series and somehow it manages to pack such poignance and emotion into an action adventure movie about toys. Pixar does it again.
And finally, there was The Illusionist, which I finally caught on DVD this past week. Had I seen it before I made my top 10 list, it surely would have grasped a spot on there and I'm even tempted I now prefer it to the other two for the win. What Triplets of Belleville lacked in emotional resonance, it made up for with sly humor - the opposite is true of The Illusionist. Though it doesn't sport the mocking humor of Chomet's previous work, it is instead full of beautiful animation and emotional resonance that carries through the entire film. Truly a beautiful piece of work.
So anyway, this is a rather random post but I had to pay homage to this great trinity of films. The Oscars are not always perfect but the past two years of animated films (don't even get me started on 2010) really have been worthy contenders.