I’ve recently seen the new trailer of Disney’s latest live adaptation, Cinderella. It brought me back to my childhood for a moment. So nostalgic. <3 If you haven’t seen it yet, I will share it with you here. The movie is due to be out March 2015, so we have a while before it’s released.
My opinions on the trailer? I LOVE it! For once, it appears to be EXACTLY like Disney’s animated movie. Hopefully, it isn’t deceitful like the Maleficent movie was. That movie was such a let down. If you want to know my reasons why, I have the review right here —>Maleficent Review .
A lot of people wish that it had some twist to it, but I think the “twists” are what’s ruining lovable characters. Many of the twists seem forced in already-told stories. I think that if you want a story to be more modern, what happened to people using their imagination and making original stories with modern themes, rather than butchering another story? What’s worse is when these movies, like Maleficent, are titled in a way that implies they are the lovable characters we know, when they turn out to be the exact opposite. At least if you’re going to butcher a story, give it a new title, like Disney happened to do with Frozen…
Anyway, I was a little skeptical about seeing any live adaptations from Disney after my disappointment with Maleficent, the weakest mistress of all evil I’d ever seen. But after seeing this trailer, perhaps I’ll give Disney a second chance. Okay, Disney. You sucked me in again this time, but you better not let me down again…
There are many complaints about this movie. Aside from the fact that the story has been told in this way so many times, people have a feeling the movie won’t be interesting. Many people also don’t like the fact that there are very few people of color cast into the movie. As a person of color myself, I feel this is a ridiculous thing to demand from a movie that is based on a European folk-tale. I would rather have an authentic movie than one that is made to fit with every social agenda being pushed nowadays. Other ethnic groups would not appreciate it if an African folk-tale had a Caucasian character as one of the leads, or an Asian folk-tale having a Hispanic character. This was the very problem with Dragon Ball Evolution and Avatar: The Last Airbender. So, everyone needs to chill on that demand and just enjoy a European movie, for once. This is probably actually the first authentic live adaptation of Cinderella that has ever been released.
Well, moving along…
Since we are on the topic of Disney, I’ve recently been watching some clips of my favorite Disney movies, and renewing my childhood all over again. It gave me inspiration. I would like to share with my readers my Top 15 Favorite Disney movies of all time. Why 15? Because I literally have 15 favorite movies.
Disney has that certain “affect” on people. The movies are timeless and entertaining for the whole family. Many of the stories are very deep and interesting for children’s movies, and others are just amazing adventures that can help one escape the mind. Some are just funny. In any case, I’ve gathered all of my favorites together on one list and have narrowed that list to 15 (as difficult as that had been). When I think of good Disney movies, my standards fit my list. After looking at my list, hopefully you get an idea of what I think makes a good Disney movie. You are welcome to share with my your lists. You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of lists they share…
I’ve always been a major fan of Disney, ever since I was a child. I’m even a fan of Kingdom Hearts because of the Disney elements.
So, here I go. Many of you have probably heard of these movies, and others may not have heard of them. Hopefully, if you haven’t, you will check them out next time. I will be starting with #15:
15) Brother Bear
Ah, finally a brother story that doesn’t involve a woman. You know how rare that is to find with males as lead characters? This story is truly a story about brothers. Sometimes, brothers may not be blood-related. You can find a special bond in all of the oddest places. I feel this story was told in a very unique way. It helps to have Phil Collins bring the epic song “Take a Look Through My Eyes” into the picture.
14) Meet the Robinsons
A sweet family movie that encourages kids to “Keep Moving Forward” and is a play on a quote from Walt Disney himself. Louis, the main character, is easy to fall in love with. His quirky intelligence makes him a character that you can only root for. I definitely didn’t expect the Robinsons to be who they were, but it provided and interesting twist on the story. There were still so many mysteries left unanswered, but for some reason, that’s why I loved the movie so much. I hope one day, we learn more about Louis’s past.
13) Wreck It Ralph
I love video games, so when Disney (and Pixar) decided they would make a movie based off of video games, I was all for it. It was a plus that it was a good movie. The story was entertaining the whole way through. The movie threw in familiar characters from popular game titles (such as Street Fighter), and yes, they sold me something I loved. The story was charming, and had a cute little twist that made the movie entertaining. I always thought it would be cool to see all of my favorite video game characters blend in one…Disney made that possible for me with this title.
12) Toy Story
A story about toys that come to life. Nothing was more frightening for me as a child, and yet, I thought it was also cool. I remember when the movie was first released. After watching it, I would stay up all night waiting for my toys to come to life when I wasn’t looking. Apart of me was scared, apart of me was curious. This movie is one of my favorites. I love toys even to this day. And I always enjoy this charming tale about toys that come and go in popularity.
11) Lilo and Stitch
Stitch high-jacked every Disney movie in it’s promotional trailers. There was no way I wasn’t going to see this movie after watching those trailers. When I saw it, I realized there was more to the movie than slap-stick comedy. It was a touching family film with a unique focus: A little girl as the main character and her older sister, who was her guardian. The setting was Hawaii. Disney hardly has children as their lead characters, but the oddball Lilo added to this movie’s unique appeal. And who doesn’t love the adorable Stitch? I can watch this movie again and again, and I always end up falling in love with the characters all over again.
This classic tale was way ahead of it’s time in it’s message. The poor outcast Dumbo was judged because of his huge ears. Dumbo never spoke throughout the whole movie, and pantomimed his way through life. But that is what made his character so cute, lovable, and unique. This story had very strong emotional moments. Dumbo was treated in a way that would make any heart break. Plus, there were elements in this movie (such as Dumbo getting drunk) that wouldn’t dare be in kids’ movies today. It has just that touch of edge to make this story likable. And I love the musical numbers in this movie, too.
9) Emperor’s New Groove
David Spade provided the voice for one of Disney’s most comical characters, Emperor Cuzco. Cuzco is not like other Disney lead characters. He’s not so righteous, nice, kind, or considerate. He is the most powerful man in his kingdom, is spoiled, and gets whatever he asks for. I love how this story turns this arrogant King into a positive royal figure. It didn’t even need to focus on romance to make this movie a success. I couldn’t help letting out a chuckle with this movie. It’s still a movie that I love to watch during a sad, rainy day. It always perks my spirits up.
8) Finding Nemo
A small clown fish travels billions of miles across the ocean to find his son. As unbelievable as this may seem, Disney executed this movie in a way that made it believable. This is still my favorite 21st Century movie to ever come out from Disney. I love how detailed the movie was in highlighting the way many of the fish lived, and yet they still managed to give them human emotions and personalities. The animation made everything amazing to see. The characters were anything but typical, and the movie was thrilling and engaging the whole ride through, as well as comical and entertaining. This was probably Disney’s most well-packaged movie. They haven’t had a movie this engaging since.
7) Beauty and the Beast
A dark tale about a curse that was cast on an arrogant prince. From the beginning of the movie, there was an enchanted feeling to it. Every moment could be felt. The dark forest, the spooky castle, and the ferocious beast. When I first watched the movie, I could not imagine Belle falling in love with him. But of course, the story unfolds into a moral lesson about not judging a book by it’s cover. The dark animation and hidden themes make this a favorite of mine.
6) The Lion King
Who doesn’t love the Lion King? Set in the heart of Africa, it is one of the few stories that give the continent justice. The strong musical scores, coupled with powerful vocals, make this movie powerful from the very beginning. What adds to it’s majestic presence is the story, based off of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This was the first Disney movie where one of the protagonists died and wasn’t revived. That harsh “reality” in itself was enough to draw interest, as it was a heavy moment in the story, and hard to deal with throughout. Because of the gravity of the situation, we could easily relate to Simba, the main character and lead protagonist. His rash actions affected everyone in his kingdom, his naivety made him a puppet in a cruel system, and his fear of facing his past made him sort of an anti-hero. He made serious mistakes, but it only made him a stronger king. Many animal experts say that nomadic male lions are the best male lions because they are not so reliant on a pride for survival. Many have traveled alone, and have been out in the world to fend for themselves. When they do get a pride, they strongly appreciate their female lions, who now provide the support they once didn’t have. This story brought out some interesting points about Africa, lions, and Hamlet. This was Disney’s first deep story.
This movie is one of Disney’s deepest and most touching movies of all time. From the raging storm that isolates Tarzan and his family to the horrifying encounter with Sabor, a saber-tooth tiger, the movie begins on a threatening note. It’s hard to not want to follow this film all the way through. Throughout the film, Tarzan, a young boy was stranded on a stretch of land off of an African coast, and is raised by gorillas, who become his new family. Of course, fitting in is the hardest for this boy. He just can’t seem to find where he belongs. Eventually, he meets “people”, who look just like him, and especially meets a “female” from his species, which really makes him question where he belongs. This story is mesmerizing. Once you watch, you just can’t stop until the very end, and then you may want to watch all over again. This movie doesn’t truly give a happy-ever-after ending. It’s a bit…bitter-sweet. It never glosses over the harshness of living in the jungles of Africa, and I appreciate it’s honest approach and it’s daring story-telling approach. Word of advice, bring tissues when you watch this movie. If you thought one of the protagonists dying in the Lion King was bad, try watching this movie.
Mulan is possibly the only female character I respect on every level. As a lead character, she was not in a romantic movie. Her story did not surround love in any way. Her story was about trying to find where she truly belonged. Mulan is the bravest female character. She stole her father’s armor, impersonated a soldier, went through harsh military training, fought in a battle with China’s most fearsome villains, and saved her country using her quick wit. She never focused on her appearance, neither pretty gowns define who she was as a person. Her side-kicks were also amazing additions to the story. This epic, action-oriented tale is rare to find among female leads. Usually, females lead in genres like drama or romance (yawn). Though she had a romantic interest, it was secondary to the story, unlike the other movies made with older female heroines. Mulan is the epitome of a feminist movie. Boys and girls both can enjoy this adventurous tale. What makes it even better is that it takes place in China, and you know I have a serious fascination with Asia. Sure, it’s pretty stereotypical. But I think it was executed in a way that made it a charming movie for the whole family.
3) Atlantis the Lost Empire
Surprisingly, this was one of Disney’s least popular movies. I can’t understand why, for the life of me. Perhaps most people just don’t understand this movie. Perhaps it was lacking in the “magical”, heart-wrenching elements usually present in Disney movies. I’m not sure, but this movie is at the top of my list. From the movie trailer, with the haunting Atlantian words spoken by Princess Kida, I knew this movie was going to be deep. This movie is intelligent. It focuses on a young archaeologist, named Milo, and his fascination with the lost city of Atlantis. There was not one moment, I mean ONE moment, where this movie dragged. It was exciting all the way through. The movie gave me thrills and chills as they traveled through the depths of the Atlantic Ocean just to find this city, and the best part was the adventure was not offer even after they’d all reached the city. The crew that traveled with Milo provided comic relief, but also proved to have useful skills that drove this story along. The villain was what you would typically think a villain would be…but maybe not at the time it came out. Still, the movie was not boring, and was in fact, engaging. I found the movie to carry a hint of mystery, and as the history buff that I am, a strong sense of discovery. Even the first DVD it came on was interesting. I loved going bts to learn more about the language and discoveries. This movie might have been overwhelmingly intelligent for most children, but I wanted to see this movie at age 11, so maybe there were other kids who were interested, too. Perhaps this movie would scare younger kids.
2) Pirates of the Caribbean
This is Disney’s first successful PG-13 movie. And it is definitely one of my favorite movies. The unusually charismatic Jack Sparrow is really the star of the show. However, it’s the dashing Will Turner that gives this movie a heart. His tale of being rescued by sailors and Elizabeth Swann’s company makes the story a nice twisted pretzel. This brought pirate tales back into popularity. I love history, so I appreciate a movie that highlights a pirate’s point-of-view, even if it was glamorized for the sake of the movie. What makes this movie better is that it was an original story inspired from Disney’s attraction at Disney World. They brought all the right actors and actresses in this film, and wrote all the right words in the script. It spread the seed into two other movies. And again, Johnny Depp brought humor to Jack Sparrow, stepping out of his comfort zone for a more comical character. A girl like me can’t resist a movie with two hotties (Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp). <3
1) The Huntchback of Notre Dame
This is my ultimate favorite movie of all time. It is a story that brings up the controversial issue of Church vs State. Using religions to execute capital punishment on innocent people? Very controversial. The theme and message of the movie makes this Disney’s most powerful movie. The musical numbers are superb, ultimate perfection. The emotions are felt through every song. Some of my favorites being “Out There”, “Hell Fire”, “God Help the Outcasts”, and “The Bells of Notre Dame”. I never get tired of this movie. Sometimes, it takes more than one watch to truly and deeply appreciate this movie. What makes this movie the best is the fact that it doesn’t have the perfect fairy-tale ending. It ends on a bitter-sweet note. Nothing turns out the way someone expects. Though we are taught not to judge a book by it’s cover in this movie, poor Quasimodo was still out-shined by the handsome Phoebus. So, yea…Still my favorite movie from Disney, though. The story of Quasimodo really makes people think, and I think this is the movie Disney created without rose-colored glasses. I always like the controversial stuff…
So leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the new Cinderella live adaptation and share with me your list of Disney favorites!