1. GOLLUM IN LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (2002) & RETURN OF THE KING (2003)
Simply the best. No animated character in the history of film has been so convincing in a live action movie quite like Gollum. Motion-captured by Andy Serkis, Gollum wasn’t an action hero, nor was he just used as comic relief; instead, he was a fully realized dramatic character with a heart and soul. He was always at odds with his own mind, and every ounce of that pain came through in the CGI performance.
Beautifully crafted by WETA Workshops, if Gollum wasn’t absolutely perfect, the Lord of the Rings franchise wouldn’t have worked. Thankfully, he shattered expectations and drew audiences in to Peter Jackson’s already epic trilogy. Up until that point, most CGI characters were very broad and fairly inconsequential to the overall plot of a movie, but Gollum was one of the first times that an entire story-arc revolved a completely digital character.
Gangly and grotesque, haunted and tortured, the perfection that is Gollum easily makes up for the awful CGI that we see in movies like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Green Lantern. Nearly 10 years after his big screen debut, Gollum is still the standard-bearer of all animated characters, and it doesn’t look like he is going to be bumped off from that post any time soon.