If you have read my blog for a while you know I enjoy lists, making them and watching shows about them, it give me something to argue about. Recently AFI came out with their top 10 movies in their top genres. I found their list interesting, but thought I would make my own. Many of the same movies appear on both lists, but I have changed orders and have added and dropped many as well. What makes mine different is that I am also looking at cartoons from a historical perspective
I have already posted 6-10, but here is 1-5.
5. Beauty and the Beast, 1991: Disney’s follow up to the Little Mermaid. This began cartoons as not just for kids. I took a date to see this. Beauty and the beast told a good tale, created fun characters, and sang some memorable songs. The best part of the movie was the antagonist, Gaston. He is one of my favorite villains. There are few Disney villains who can shoot like Gaston or go running around wearing boots like Gaston, not to mention every last inch of him is covered with hair. The one negative part was after the Beast turned into the prince, Bell should have run off with Gaston, the prince was a too feminine to be a leading man.
4. Shrek, 2001: I love this show. What is great about Mike Myers comedy in Shrek is that the entire family can enjoy watching, but enjoy it at different levels, in other words the kids and adults are laughing at different jokes suited to their age. I also liked the way it incorporated all the old classics into the story and then mocked them. Also John Lithgow is one of the funniest men alive. This show is the ultimate family movie.
3. Cars, 2006: This is probably the favorite of my oldest son and for good reason. I like this movie so well that I show a clip of it every year to my students. The main story is entertaining, but I like the side story of how the interstate highway system changed the landscape of America, and in this case the route 66. Cars is a nostalgic look at the glory days of America’s car culture when, as the movie said, people drove not to get where they were going, but to enjoy the drive. Cars has a great soundtrack (which we listen to constantly) and the scene where James Taylor is singing is one the most touching scenes in animated movies.
2. Jungle Book, 1967: At least one classic needs to make my top five, and the Jungle Book is by far my favorite. What makes the Jungle Book the best of the classics is the music. I believe next to the number one movie this has more great songs than any other. Songs like That’s What Friends Are For, Colonel Hathi’s March, I Wan’na Be Like You, and most importantly The Bare Necessities. If you have not watched this for a long time, try it again, I promise a swinging good time.
1. The Lion King, 1994: By far the greatest animated movie of them all. The Lion King has it all, an inspiring story, comedy, and amazing songs. The main message of the story comes from Rafiki the monkey when he asks Simba what seems to be a gospel question, do you know who you are? Once Simba understand who he is and his connection to those who came before him he is able to fight his evil uncle and win the day. Along the way there are very funny scenes coming from the comedy of Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin as hyenas and from Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella as Timon and Pumbaa. Lastly it has the best soundtrack. This was a collaboration of Tim Rice and Elton John. The first time I saw this move I knew it was going to be great with the opening scene of Circle of Life, it is one of great opening scenes in any movie, not just animated. But there are so many other impressive songs, I Just Can’t Wait to be King, Be Prepared, Hakuna Matata (Jake and I do a great rendition of this), and Can You Feel the Love Tonight. This is a movie that I can watch again and again and I believe deserves its top spot
So here is my list as compared to the AFI’s list. As always what makes a list fun is the dialogue, so don’t be afraid to comment. What did I get right or wrong, and most importantly what did I leave out. I look forward to hearing from you.