Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Top 5 Tuesdays (T5T) Goes To Disney


I'm off to Walt Disney World today with the fam. Won't be back for about a week. Disney is a sickness for me really. I love all things Disney. The animation. The parks. The brand.

Growing up, I wanted to be the next Walt Disney. Such a dreamer of big dreams. Now I just send a lot of money his way every time I visit.

Anyway, give me your top 5 Disney movies. These are mine in no particular order.

1. Peter Pan - The essence of Walt. A boy who doesn't want to grow up. How can you not love this movie.

2. The Incredibles - Pixar was right to tap Brad Bird for this. He's a wonderful director. And this was modern animation telling a classic tale.

3. The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow - It still scares me.

4. Wind In The Willows - It was Mr. Winky. That dirty bastard.

5. Fantasia - A revolution in storytelling and animation. It is Walt Disney at his most grown up and it is wonderful.

Be young. Always look for magic. See you when I get back.

6 comments:

pacheco said...

1. Beauty and the Beast - The ballroom scene made me cry when I first saw it -- I was in 2nd Grade!

2. Aladdin - Spectacular songs, awesome animation. Movies like this one were my childhood.

3. The Lion King - See #2.

4. D2: The Mighty Ducks - I hope non-animated films count. I used to fantasize about getting rollerblades and a Mighty Ducks jersey for Christmas, and I could see myself gliding around corners like Charlie Conway. You want to know how cool myself and my family thought D2 was? As we walked out of the theater, one of my brothers was trying to get the attention of another brother, and the other brother brushed his hand off his shoulder in anger. Why? Well, years later he told us that it was because he was upset that our family wasn't as cool as the kids in the movie.

5. Toy Story/Toy Story 2/Mosters, Inc. - I have a hard time choosing between these three. The first is a classic (with a great song by Randy Newman). The second is just as smart, and I'm amazed at how well this one was made, considering it was originally slated as Straight-to-Video. And the last one is just so underrated, and has one of the best, most heartwarming closing shots I've seen.

niki said...

Alice in Wonderland
Toy Story
The Little Mermaid
Watcher in the Woods
The Parent Trap

Damian said...

Oh man! Trying to pick your 5 favorite Disney movies is like trying to pick your 5 favorite trees in the Redwood Forest. There are just so many! Even limiting the choices to strictly animated (or strictly live-action) Disney doesn't help. There is NO WAY I could possibly select just 5 Disney movies to parade out in front of everyone as the "greatest" or even my "favorites". I think the best I can do is mention 5 completely random and arbitrary Disney movies that I happen to feel are rather under-appreciated. Again, remember that these are not necessarily my favorite Disney films. They're just ones that I think deserve more attention than they get.

1) The Hunchback of Notre Dame - After the incredible "renaissance" of animation that Disney experienced with such exceptional works as Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Lion King, a lot of people were disappointed with this musical treatment of the Victor Hugo story (although precisely how much of Hugo's story remains is somewhat a point of conetntion). The most common criticism being that it was too dark for kiddies (Frollo's sexual obsession with Esmeralda) and too juvenile for adults (the three goopfy gargoyle characters as Quasimodo's friends). There is certainly merit to these claims, but in my mind they don't undermine what is perhaps one of the deepest, most sophisticated, most ambitious and most spiritually stirring of all Disney's animated films. I think Hunchback is a flawed masterpiece with this sequence alone making it worthy of inclusion in Disney's canon of great works.

2) Tron - Though at the time people didn't know what to make of it (including the Disney studio who really didn't market it properly), Tron is now, fortunately, undergoing somewhat of a revision in people's minds. Combining what was then state-of-the-art computer animation, a story driven by technological themes and clever metaphysical symbolism, Tron pre-dated The Matrix by a good 20 years. In many ways, it was too ahead of its time. Now, however, Tron's significant contribution to the world digital cinema is finally starting to be appreciated.

3) Fantasia 2000 - While not the masterwork that the original Fantasia was, this sequel" does include a brilliant sequence of animation done to one of my all-time favorite pieces of music composed by one of my all-time favorite musical artists: George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Also, their treatment of "Pines of Rome" (with flying whales) is truly breathtaking to behold... especially on the big screen where I first saw it.

4) The Rocketeer - Before Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow there was this raucous, light-hearted tribute to serials of the 30's and 40's. Directed by Former Star Wars/Raiders techie Joe Johnston (who also directed Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), Rocketeer is so much fun that, despite its rather dated special effects, I still watch it (and enjoy it) to this day. It also has the distinction of featuring a music score by James Horner that is actually good!

5) Flight of the Navigator - While most people remember only the Paul Reubens-voiced alien character from this Disney-produced family fantasy ("Hey, blimpo! Oink! Oink! Too many twinkies! HA!") they fail to remember that the first 1/2 of the movie is actually a very taut and pretty suspenseful sci-fi story. In the 80's there were a number of E.T. clones (many of them produced by Spielberg himself) such as Mac and Me, Splash, Last Starfighter, Harry and the Hendersons, The Boy Who Could Fly, etc. Some were decent. Some were not. This is one of the decent ones. It's also (no kidding) the film that introduced me to Einstein's theory of relativity.

Piper said...

Damian,

You're right about so many choices. I even thought about mentioning that, but then felt it self conscious so I said just pick 5.

While at WDW, I bought Bedknobs and Broomsticks and we watched that as well as Escape To Witch Mountain and Escape From Witch Mountain. I was surprised and delighted that my nine year old loved all three of those. The Witch Mountain stories are bizarre but I love them.

I forgot Christopher Lee and Betty Davis in the sequel. Good Lord.

pacheco said...

Damian,

Hunchback is DEFINITELY underrated. I haven't seen it in so long, but I absolutely love it to death.

Damian said...

Thanks, Pacheco. I'm glad you agree that Hunchback is indeed an underrated film. I also love it. In fact, I haven't seen it in a while myself, so maybe I'll stick it in tonight.