Satoshi Kon's 2006 anime Paprika is Inception four years before Inception, plus a lot of film history (The Collector provides an important scene) plus a huge trundling mountain of Asian and Western cultural reference. Here is Paprika cloud-hopping over Tokyo in the guise of Monkey.
I'm reading Monkey, Arthur Waley's 1942 abridged translation of Journey to the West, one of the Four (or Five) Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, about a monkey in search of immortality. If like me you know next to nothing of Chinese cosmology this is the place to start because the story scampers along, picking up universal truths and throwing them over its shoulder, way too quickly to get loaded down by their significance. I think Monkey could contend for top avatar of the hero with a thousand faces, and really ought to supplant Gilgamesh in those introduction to world literature courses.
Jamie Hewlitt, of Tank Girl and Gorillaz fame, made this animation for the 2008 Olympics. D