Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Akio Ōtsuka, Tōru Furuya
Before Inception gave us Hollywood's version of the dreaming world, 2006's Paprika featured a plot that sees a doctor use a machine that allows her to enter the dreams of her patients in order to help them with their psychological afflictions. However, when the machine is stolen to be used for nefarious purposes, she must find out who's behind it by entering the dream world under her alter-ego: Paprika.
This movie is a complete trip, with vibrant characters, surreal imagery, and truly groundbreaking animation. Few films make the case for 2-D animation in the 21st century like Paprika. It combines a plot worthy of a big-budget blockbuster and presents it in a way that no studio would be able to replicate with real actors. In other words, it's a work of pure imagination and wonder. —JS