Monday, February 28, 2011

The Top 28 Animated Disney Films (Part II: #20-11)

I can tell this Middle 10 on my Top 28 Disney Animated Films list is going to be controversial. I’ve included not one, but TWO straight to DVD movies in this section.

(Why 28 you ask? Because that's the age I turned last Tuesday.)

#20: The Incredibles (2004) – One phrase: “Woman! Where is my Super Suit?!”

#19: Tinker Bell (2008) – I LOVE Tinker Bell, but recently she’s been given an attitude (in merchandise) that frankly, I don’t like. This movie reminds us that she’s sassy but SWEET. Loved getting to see my favorite character in her origin story (her First Class, if you will), and I’ve enjoyed the sequels that followed. I admit that while watching the third movie, The Great Fairy Rescue, I tweeted, "That child's flying at an insanely high altitude trusting on glitter alone to keep her afloat. #tinkerbell #fairyrescue" I think it's a fair statement. ;-)

#18: Cars (2006) – I refused to watch this (“They don’t have arms!”) until it became Joshua’s favorite movie, and who can turn that sweet little boy down? Mater is hilarious! Normally if someone said Larry the Cable Guy was going to do a kids’ movie, I’d be skeptical, but he was the perfect choice for this.

#17: Pocahontas II (1998) – Nope, regular old Pocahontas didn’t make the list (despite some nice music) because it was highly historically inaccurate and that bugged the heck out of me. OK I also lost a solo in 8th grade on the clarinet because I didn’t slur the notes right in "Colors of the Wind", and I’ve hated that song ever since. Not bitter... not bitter... moving on… This movie at least had Pocahontas visit England and marry the right man, John Rolfe. I appreciated Disney’s attempt to make things right after all.

#16: Hercules (1997) – Why is this movie so high on the list? Megara. More specifically her sarcasm, her “I can do it for myself” attitude, and her singing “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” which is one of my absolute favorite Disney songs.

#15: The Lion King (1994) – As a kid I loved The Lion King video game for SNES. That might be one of the only reasons this movie is high on the list.

#14: Toy Story (1995) – (1, 2, & 3) This movie made me go find Night Night Bear and Russ Dog, hug them tight, and tuck them into a safer place in my closet. Everyone I know had that one special childhood toy, and this movie epitomized that bond perfectly. I get choked up at the end of the 3rd movie every time I see it.

#13: Mulan (1998) – Finally a Disney princess (who’s not actually a princess) who isn’t waiting on a man to fix her problems! This gal will mess up, make a fool of herself, risk personal injury and death before she’ll give up on helping her family! You go girl! (What? It felt like a “you go girl” moment! No? >_<)

#12: The Rescuers Down Under (1990) – I think this was the first time I saw a movie use my name (Joanna) and it was the name of a lizard. *crickets chirping* Sigh. OK, I’ll take it. My cousins LOVED that fact and teased me constantly calling out “those are NOT Joanna eggs!” Honestly if given the chance they still do that.

#11: Oliver and Company (1988) – On my first visit to Walt Disney World I was allowed to get one stuffed animal. I chose Georgette, the prissy, purple poodle from this movie. Singing dogs and cats are always a win.

Final blog post coming up will count down my Top 10 Disney Animated Films. We’ve ruled out 10 more. Anyone getting a better notion of what my favorite one will be?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Top 28 Animated Disney Films (Part I: A rant & #28-21)

When I turned 25, I posted a blog entry about “Seven Things I Never Expected to be at 25”. This year it’s my Top 28 Animated Disney Films (since I was born), one for every year I’ve been alive! You can decide which post was more interesting. I did include Pixar animated films in this list, but you’ll be surprised where most of them end up.

Before we go on, I want to share my all time least favorite Disney movie: Brother Bear (2003) by a landslide! I know many will call one of the numerous animated films that center around the loss of a parent the worst one, but this one centers around the loss of a sibling and it absolutely makes me lose my ability to speak. I first saw this movie in college, and my friends couldn’t understand why I cried through the movie from start to finish until at the end I really lost it when the brothers saw their human brother again and said bye. (Good grief I’m breaking down writing this right now. I can’t even speak about this film without sobbing.) I didn’t get the privilege and joy of knowing my sister, Shelly, but the feeling of loss from her death is still profound. Beyond that, I am so close to my sister, LaRae, that I can’t fathom how awful it would be to lose her. It would be like losing a part of myself, and that is something I don’t know how you face. So, no Disney, I don’t care how funny the moose in the movie are, and I don’t care if it’s about some spiritual journey, it’s still a movie I will never see again and can’t speak of without crying. This movie single-handedly proves that Disney can make a bad movie.

Moving on to happier movies:

#28: The Princess and the Frog (2009) – Lottie is a hoot and a half, but she’s honestly about all I liked about this movie. I turned to LaRae’s friend at the end of it and said, “seriously? We’re crying over a lightning bug? Come on!” See right after I talk about being sweet and crying I somehow go on to prove I don’t have a heart…

#27: Treasure Planet (2002) – I swear this is kiddie Steampunk, and I liked it before I knew what Steampunk even was. The Goo Goo Dolls singing “I’m Still Here” created a new Disney song fave for me.

#26: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – I don’t recall much about this movie except it was different and I really liked it. I bought it a long time ago, but it was on VHS, and I only have a DVD player now. I need to find a way to see it again.

#25: The Brave Little Toaster (1987) – Anyone else remember this being the go-to movie that your elementary school showed? I swear we watched it numerous times.

#24: DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) – aWhoo-ooo! Loved the show and as a kid was ecstatic about the movie coming out! I’ve always thought that it would be fun, if not painful and highly unsanitary, to swim in a giant vault of money!

#23: Finding Nemo (2003) – This movie didn’t really do it for me, but it’s on the list and ranks up a bit because of the Nemo and Friends ride at EPCOT. It’s not that it’s my favorite ride, but my niece and nephew love it so much that it makes it a wonderful memory for me.

#22: Ratatouille (2007) – While rats in the kitchen gross me out, cooking and Disney combine for a neat movie.

#21: Monsters, Inc (2001) – Boo’s cuteness, Mike’s misfortune, and Sully’s level-headed good nature makes this a fun, but not Top 20, film.

This was, by far, my favorite list to compile. How’s it going so far? Did I knock your favorite down too far? Any guesses on my top animated film?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Top 20 Disney Live Action Films (Part II: #10 – 1)

Continuing on with my ranking of Disney films blog series, these are my Top 10 Live Action Disney Movies that were made in my lifetime.

#10: Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991) – Tina (my childhood best friend) and I loved watching this movie. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the diving horses… Anyways, this movie ranks so high because of the childhood memory of watching it not because it's just crazy good cinematic genius.

#9: The Mighty Ducks (1992) – Pacey...err... I mean Joshua Jackson... and Emilio Estevez made a great duo! This feel good movie always warms my heart and makes me want to go ice skating.

#8: The Princess Diaries (2001) – I’ve always wished someone would come tell me I’m a princess of a country I’ve never heard of! Anne Hathaway is hilarious and charming as the girl whose dreams come true (you know, once she realizes they’re really her dreams). The sequels stole my heart as well.

#7: Alice in Wonderland (2010) – New but sure to be a classic (at least in my book). I love Johnny Depp when he’s mixed with a little Disney and some eyeliner (what is it about men in eyeliner?). The darkness and quirkiness of this film made it an instant favorite of mine. Besides it was nice to see Johnny Depp join Helena Bonham Carter in something besides Sweeney Todd since this movie doesn’t give me nightmares like that one did!

#6: The Santa Clause (1994) – The movie that incorrectly reassured people that there is an “e” at the end of “Santa Claus”. *sigh* Tim Allen: he’s funny in most any role he plays (Tool Man, Santa Claus, random father…) and in this movie he was hilarious but sweet. I had a crush on Bernard, the OCD Elf, for years especially when he later became Charlie, the genius mathematician on Numb3rs!

#5: Cool Runnings (1993) – This movie always makes me laugh, and that’s why it’s so high on my list. Every time it comes on TBS I am more than happy to flip over and watch it!

#4: The Three Musketeers (1993) – If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to. The sarcastic humor alone makes it worth it! Favorite line: “That can BE arranged!”

#3: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – I’m one of *those* people. You know… the ones who loved ALL of the PotC movies! (It annoys me to no end when people say the last movie confused them! Huh? Were you paying attention?!) Johnny Depp (mmmm the eyeliner again!) and Orlando Bloom (who I first fell in love with when he was an elf named Legolas) were a perfect pairing for this movie. Who knew a typically drunk and questionably gay pirate would be so entertaining?

#2: Enchanted (2007) – You’re surprised this isn’t my number one movie aren’t you? I mean, how many times have you heard me recite the following scene and tell you this is how I want to be proposed to?
Giselle falls from tree into Edward’s arms.
Giselle: Oh! It’s you!
Edward: Yes, it’s me! And you are?
Giselle: Giselle.
Edward: Oh Giselle! We’ll be married in the morning!
I know life doesn’t work like that, and I’d rather have the Patrick Dempsey character if I’m being honest, but Amy Adams as Giselle reminds us that life is always better with a little whimsy and belief that storybook endings can come true.

#1: Newsies (1992) – Yes, this movie bombed in the box office, but I adored it! Singing, dancing newsies on strike! How could you not see the greatness behind that? I can sing all the songs in the movie and recite all the lines too! (Actually my mom can as well because my friends and I watched it a million times one summer!) Little known fact, Christian Bale learned how to twirl a lasso for the movie but the scene was later removed.

So how’d I do? What did I leave out that you loved (because I left quite a few out)? What was I “so right” on or so “totally wrong” about?

Next Post: The Top 28 Animated Disney Films (from a newly turned 28 year old)

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Top 20 Disney Live Action Films (Part I: #20 – 11)

When I started ranking my top 50 or so Disney films, I realized it was really difficult to rank live action films with animated films. I quickly decided that the two must be separated for my two final lists. I am saving Animated Films for last because they really are mostly my favorites, so this is part I of my Top 20 Live Action Disney Films since I’ve been alive.

#20: Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) – Remember when Disney realized that Tim Allen was a comedic gold mine in The Santa Clause? I’m convinced this movie was a result of that discovery. As a young teen I loved it! The idea of bringing (a cute teenage) Mowgli from the Jungle Book into the city to learn how the modern world works had me constantly laughing.

#19: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) – This movie offered reassurance to an entire generation that if lost, your pet would find you. Because of this movie I still hold on to hope that if Sprinkles went missing, he’d brave rivers and danger to return to me. (I shudder at the thought of getting all the sticks & leaves out of his coat when he returned home though!)

#18: High School Musical (2006) – Disney has a bit of a fame factory going. (What? You hadn’t noticed?) All I’m going to say about it is that sequels to this movie were totally unnecessary as the first one was actually good.

#17: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004) – Lindsey Lohan had a good run of it with Disney, and I enjoyed most of what she did. I will say that Easy A has replaced this movie and Mean Girls as my favorite teen movie.

#16: Freaky Friday (2003) – Sometimes remakes work when you have the right cast. You might disagree, but I think Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsey Lohan were the perfect choice for this.

#15: The Parent Trap (1998) – The original was better, but don’t we all like to remember Lindsey in this form? Sweet, innocent, not a thief…. Anyways, I watched this movie tons of times as it used to come on the Disney Channel a lot (before bad acting and overly dramatic teens *cough cough Miley Cyrus* took over).

#14: Benji the Hunted (1987) – He was a dog running around doing things. I was 4. Of course I loved him! My father on the other hand thought this was the worst movie ever made: “He didn’t even talk! He just ran around!”

#13: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) – I’ve always wondered what it would be like if I were tiny. This movie saved me the trouble of making a shrink ray and showed me what it would be like instead.

#12: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe (2005) – This also goes for the movies following it in the series: they nailed this series with great use of amazing effects and beautiful wardrobe (hehe no pun intended). It should rank higher on my list since I loved the books, but there are so many better ones with more of a Disney feel to them.

#11: Bedtime Stories (2008) – I just saw this movie a month ago at CareNow when it was on it the exam room. (Yes, I saw the WHOLE THING while waiting, but that's neither here nor there!) When I went back for a recheck and had to wait an hour, I was more than happy to watch it again! Russell Brand and Adam Sandler combined to make this a movie full of clean humor and big laughs with just enough “awwwww” to make the girls love it too.

How am I doing? Do you agree, or would you have totally left Benji the Hunted off the list? Later this week I'll give you my Top 10 Live Action Disney Films. Stay tuned. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All the Best Disney Films Were Made Before I Was Born! (Part III: #10-1)

Finally! We’ve made it to my Top 10 (of 30) of the Best Disney Films made before I was born! I’m surprised so many live action films made it to my list. I “blame” Wonderful World of Disney for that.

#10: Lady and the Tramp (1955) – I cried when Trusty got hit by a car. I giggled with glee when Lady had puppies. I loved the Siamese Cats despite how evil they were (because they were CATS)!

#9: Alice in Wonderland (1951) – I enjoy this movie more now that I’m an adult and I’ve seen the live action Johnny Depp “sequel” to it. I am always a little nervous I'll see the Mad Hatter at Walt Disney World because he does scare me a bit.

#8: The Parent Trap (1961) – Hayley Mills (aka Miss Bliss from Saved by the Bell) as a set of twins one with an American accent and the other with a British accent singing a duet? Loved it!

#7: Pollyanna (1960) – Hayley Mills strikes again! It's like she's the 60s version of the 90s Lindsey Lohan (but didn't turn out the way Lohan did.) Remind me: wasn’t there something about crystals making rainbows in this movie?

#6: Swiss Family Robinson (1960) – This movie made me wish my family would shipwreck and build a fantabulous tree house on an island! OK the pirates were scary, but we could just skip that, right? My dad could have totally built that house and made improvements! When we went through the tree house at WDW last November, Dad and I were surprised at how much washed up intact from the ship. Handy how all that stuff made it to shore, no?

#5: Sleeping Beauty (1959) – Princess movies aren’t usually at the tops of my lists, but this one was a definite favorite. The Good Fairies were lovable, the music was beautiful (Once Upon a Dream is a an all-time favorite of mine), Maleficent was a beautiful villain (until the whole dragon thing), and the prince (Philip) had a personality. All winners in my book!

#4: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955) – My dad had some fun songs he would sing to me as bedtime songs. The one about Davy Crockett (“Born on a mountain top in Tennessee…”) was one of my favorites, and I would beg for him to sing it all the time!

#3: Robin Hood (1973) – The music made this movie great for me!

#2: Peter Pan (1953) – Tinker Bell is one of my absolute favorite characters (tied with Stitch and Kuzko), so of course this ranks up there on my list. Besides, she carried glitter (sorry, pixie dust!) with her all the time! What child didn’t dream of flying? I still call “Bye Nana!” in a bad British accent to the dog on the Peter Pan ride at Walt Disney World.

#1: Mary Poppins (1964) – The music, the penguins, Bert, Julie Andrews! Ahhhh I loved it all! I can’t say enough good about Mary Poppins! I’m not sure Disney has made another live action movie quite up to this caliber and that’s saying a lot coming from me considering some of my other favorites. I hope to get to see this on Broadway someday, so I can hear them spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards. ;-)

So there you have it. Check out this page to see all the Disney films ever made to see if I missed your favorite pre-1983 films. :) Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments section!

Next week I'll move past 1983 with my Top 20 Disney Live Action Films. Final week of this series will be my Top 28 Disney Animated Films. Funny how I started to do a Top 50 list and ended up with 3 Top # Lists totaling 78 films. Whoops!