I didn’t make the cinema this week so instead I thought I’d copy something I saw on a few vlogs recently and talk about my Top 10 Disney Films! Now I won’t lie, I had to google Disney films before I started this to make sure I didn’t miss any important ones off my list! I’m also going to say it was incredibly hard to pick just 10 and then put them in order so I’ve cheated slighted and included sequels together, and I’m so sorry if I miss out any of your favourites but these are the ones that mean the most to me! (Also apologies as this is quite a lengthy post!)
- Number 10: Mr Magoo (1997). According to Wikipedia this film received negative reviews and was a “box office bomb”, which seems very strange to me because I used to watch this film constantly when I was younger and absolutely loved it! Admittedly I haven’t seen it for a very long time so maybe my views would differ if I were to watch it again but for now I had to include it in my Top 10 because it meant so much to me as a child. Overall it’s quite a silly film but perfect for children as it gives lots of slapstick comedy. Whenever the film is mentioned or I come across our copy of it on videotape (!) it always brings a smile to my face so of course I had to include it in my favourites.
- Number 9: Up (2009). I’m pretty sure all of you would have seen Up as it’s not that old but also because it’s such a lovely film about love and friendship and different generations working together. I adore this film because of all those things and also because it’s funny and yet will have you crying in the first 10 minutes alone. The love story between Carl and Ellie is beautiful and in those first 10 minutes when we are taken through their lives together you immediately connect with them which is an incredible feat to achieve. Up is such a good film, and one that all the family can enjoy not just children so that’s why it is at number 9.
- Number 8: The Parent Trap (1998). Another film I was obsessed with as a child, as was probably a lot of girls my age. This version is the one starring Lindsay Lohan as twins Annie and Hallie. I’m going to admit here that when I was younger it didn’t ever occur to me that the twins weren’t twins in real life. Genuinely thought the girls were played by two people! Having watched the film again a few years ago, and having now got a Film degree, I can really appreciate how much effort must have gone into making this film with Lindsay playing both parts, it would have taken a lot of planning, for of course partway through the film Annie has long hair and Hallie has short! They couldn’t exactly do any re-shoots for beginning scenes once Lindsay’s hair had been cut! Seriously though, I love this film. It was a huge favourite when I was younger and I still love it now. Lindsay was brilliant as the twins and you can really see how good at acting she is – obviously in recent years her acting isn’t exactly what she’s known for, which is a pity – but overall it’s a funny, feel good film and Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid are brilliant as the parents!
- Number 7: The Princess Diaries (2001)/The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). I’ve cheated here and put these two together but I do love both of these films! This was probably the beginning of Anne Hathaway’s career and really put her out there. Anne is brilliant in both films, she is great at comedy and became a character that you could really connect with and admire – and of course every young girl wishes they could be a Princess! The other brilliant thing about these films is that Mia’s Grandmother is played by the brilliant Julie Andrews! (More on her later…!). Both of these films are hilarious and I still love to watch them even as a 22 year old so of course they had to be included!
- Number 6: 101 Dalmations (1996)/102 Dalmations (2000). Another joint entry but I adore both these films! There are a lot of brilliant actors in the first film which just cements how good of a film it is! Glenn Close is incredible as Cruella De Vil, Jeff Daniels & Joely Richardson (Natasha’s sister!) are the owners of the Dalmations and the brilliant Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley!!) are Cruella’s helpers. Of course back in ’96 the last two actors weren’t all that well known to the public but since then their careers have accelerated! Again the story lines of both films are suited for children with plenty of slapstick comedy and cute puppies! The second film wasn’t quite such a success and the only returning characters are Cruella and her faithful servant Alonzo played by Tim McInnerny, but I still loved it and think Alice Evans & Ioan Gruffudd are great in the leads and new enemy played by Gérard Depardieu is fantastic! Oh and there’s a talking parrot who thinks it’s a dog. What more could you want? I put them at number 6 because the first film is another childhood classic and the second isn’t far behind in my eyes!
- Number 5: Monsters, Inc. (2001)/Monsters University (2013). Didn’t think I could really split these two up but if I’m honest I think Monsters University might be better! The film is hilarious, all the extra characters are brilliant especially the group that make up Oozma Kappa but overall it’s a film about teamwork and the underdog’s triumphing over everyone else. Sully and Mike’s whole university life is hilarious and it’s great to get a background to the characters that everyone fell in love with back in 2001, but for me University is my favourite of the two. I still love the first film though, it’s a classic and again was a favourite when I was younger.
- Number 4: The Fox and the Hound (1981). Now this film is what you call a proper classic. I know a lot of people would include films like Cinderella, Dumbo, Jungle Book etc (and believe me I did think long and hard about them!) but for me, out of all of those classic animated Disney films, it’s The Fox and the Hound that means the most. I used to watch this film all the time – even though the scene with the bear in the woods used to terrify me! – the friendship between the two animals is so perfect and makes it even more heart-wrenching when they are forced against each other. I watched this film again a while ago after having not seen it for a very long time and it still moved me, maybe even more so because I now get the underlying storyline throughout the film: just because society says you are destined to be a certain person doesn’t mean that is who you really are. And that is why this film is number 4.
- Number 3: Toy Story (1995)/Toy Story 2 (1999)/Toy Story 3 (2010). Cheating massively here and putting all three in one but again they are brilliant films. Toy Story is a classic in it’s own right, the fact that it was made in ’95 is incredible – and something I always forget, how on earth is it 20 years old already?! – the other two sequels are just as good, I genuinely don’t think I could pick a favourite out of the three! One reason I love the films so much is because as a child I was convinced that my toys came alive at night when I was sleeping and so when Toy Story came out it just confirmed by suspicions. Of course now I know it’s not true but at the time it was nice to think my toys were looking after me! The writers of these three films were brilliant in keeping the storyline’s connected to the original audience. For the first film I was 3 and like Andy, very into my toys. The second film I was 7, and again like Andy, starting to be more into bigger/better toys like Game Boys and PC games, so for Woody and the gang to start dreading the coming years and being left in a box somewhere was very real. Most importantly though was Toy Story 3. In 2010 I was 18 and like Andy preparing to head to University, and it’s a time in your life when you finally say goodbye to a lot of your childhood toys as you make way for your new grown-up life. The fact that the writers chose to make the third film in keeping with the real age of Andy, and not just another film with him as a child, meant we still connected with the film and I certainly shed a tear or two when Andy finally says goodbye to Woody and the gang! The power that these three films have had over the years is why they are at number 3.
- Number 2: Mary Poppins (1964). I don’t think I really need to explain why this film is at number 2, Mary Poppins is a film that is loved by many generations and I don’t think it will ever get old. Yet again it is one that featured heavily in my childhood and is what put Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in a special place in my heart. The songs in the film are all classics in their own rights and though the animated sequence is a little odd it doesn’t stop the film from being a beautiful story with brilliant actors. I must add in here something which has made the film even more special. In 2013 we were given Saving Mr Banks, a film that follows the writer and creator of Mary Poppins (P.L. Travers) as she brings her story to the big screen, creating the classic film that we know. However Saving Mr Banks shows us where the characters in the film came from and the struggles that Travers went through both personally and professionally when creating the film. Having seen (and loved!) that film it changes Mary Poppins into a very different watch and makes you love the story and the characters even more!
- Number 1: The Lion King (1994). So at number 1 on my Top Ten Disney Films it’s The Lion King, and quite rightly so! This film has always been a favourite of mine, all through childhood and even now as an adult. From the characters to the songs it is a brilliant film (and exceptional on the stage, if you ever get the chance go and see it, you won’t regret it!!) and it will always be a classic even though Mufasa’s death gets me every, single, time. Most importantly though it is a film that brings back a lot of memories. As children, my older brother and I used to watch it all the time, and because of that, the day before my brother left for university, I skipped school and stayed home where we cooked ourselves a special lunch and watched The Lion King. It was a way for us to be children again before he left and we started a new chapter in our lives. For that the film will always be very special to me which is why it is, and always will be, number 1.