These are the movies that I watched as a child and never got tired of watching them because they are such fantasic films that are exclusive to my heart. They have been the scope of my morals and imagination. They have been there with me in the best and worst of times when I needed to relax or escape. Now I think it would be nice to post them here, and perhaps inspire some of you to share yours.
Now I know it is a disney wiki, so don't be offended if there are none-disney movies in this list because to be honest there are movies out there that are as good and in some cases better than others. That doesn't mean I don't like Disney any less. There are just some movies that stick with people, and I am on of them.
O and before you continue to read here are some honorable mentions....
Babe, Pebble and the Penguin, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, 101 Dalmations, The Bear, Adventures of Milo and Otts, and of course Cinderella
So without further adu here are my top ten childhood movies of all time. Enjoy!
10) An American TailAs number ten this one was actually the hardest movie to pick out, but in the end it is An American Tail. It is a very dark and quite frankly a depressing film, but the moment that are happy and fun are well earned to make this a very wholesome movie with a strong message for children and adults alike to never give up, especially if that is regarding your family.
My guilty love of Don Bluth's later films. Anastasia is on the outside looks and acts like a Disney animated film, but if you dig down it is anything but that. With a unique animation style of Don Bluth the film takes you on another family search movie, and along the way the protagonist Anya is descovering who she is in the process. The film has the dark tone of older Don Bluth's older films, but the light stuff is more previlant with several fun musical numbers, a fantastic villian, and of course the scenery. I mean the colors in this film are some of the best color animation in a movie I have ever seen! Combinded with a rather strangly suprising twist for an ending, especially a princess film, this film is beautifully crafted and charming
8) The Secret of NIMH
The first film Don Bluth ever made this film was bound to end up somewhere on this list! It is also arguably his darkest film and represents everything that would help you recognize a Bluth Film anywhere. Taking the bold move of following a single mother. The main protagonist Mrs Brisby truely is a scene stealer with her constantly developing character throughout the entire film. Whether that requires her to face a fearsome cat, or go into a den of intelligent rats. Of course more movie critics and artist have bragged about this film better than I have. Still how can you not? The film is a well round storyline of love and hope no matter how dark or impossible the odds are.
7) The Little Mermaid
Aside from Anastasia this is the only other princess film that was impactful enough for me as a kid to carry me on to adulthood. You all basiclly know my feelings on the protagonist Ariel, but that is however the minor thing about why I love that character. However, that is a story for another day. As for the film its self there is a lot of, and if I may point out. This is the only Disney movie that truely does combind old and new Disney element, but it is done in a way that is right and brilliantly delivered. If you watch the animation, story, and how the characters play it is very involved. The colors are beautiful, but they are not eye popping like Cinderella getting her dress or the Ballroom scene in Beauty & the Beast. The story is a lot more fluid with a lot of focus on mainly three key individuals Ariel, Sebastain, and Arguably (between Eric or Triton). In this way it avoids beinging disjointed by the supporting cast like the three witches in Sleeping Beauty or snowmen and trolls of Frozen. Finally as I said before the characters here are more... Grounded much like the tone of Walter's Snow White or Tangled. Rather than the character follows the story it is reversed. The story follows the characters.
I don't want to sound like some over bearing critic with a need to write sky poetry, but to give this an overall review. The movie is a fantasic adventure of discovery and love.
If there could be said that a film can be both fun and scary at the same time, yet remain constantly enjoyable with a strong message about right and wrong. Pinocchio is that film. I think I watched this film more than any other animated film excluding number one. Everything about this film deserves praise from the music to its characters, and that dreams no matter how impratical they may sound CAN come true. Even if they are not the way you expect them to be.
5) The Iron GiantAs Brad Bird's not quite so underrated classic child. The Iron Giant was a spectical to watch as a kid, and I remember going to see it in the theater as a young kid and becoming enthralled by a world full of contrasting color, enjoyable characters (with the Giant being the scene stealer). It had some very strong emotional moments that delivered a power message without having to be a sledge hammer considering the content they were delving into. Beside all that it truely was the "Star Wars" film for me at the time, and holds a special place here in the top ten list.
I also had the tremendous pleasure of watching this movie's Signature Edition in theaters, which was a fantasic nostagia trip that was indeed a once in a life time trip I'll always cherish.
4) The Land Before TimeAny and perhaps all online movie critics and lovers may tell you that the greatest Don Bluth film of all time was and is The Secret of NIMH.
For me it is without a shred of doubt The Land Before Time
This is one of the most powerful influences of my childhood, and I personally feel that alot of who I am now is thanks to this movie and the following ones you will read.
To properly start out with stating that the scenery is absoulutly breath taking, the characters are incredible, the story is fantastic, but what stands out most is the music. It is heavy and full of emotion that flows with the movie. As for the message of the film it is often addressed by people to talk about prejudice, but for me as a child watching this I got an entirely different message and one that asked the hardest question of all. A question that should be asked and one that everyone will have to face at some point in their life.
Are you going to continue living when your loved ones are gone?
And I am not talking about just a best friend or a close pet. I'm talking about someone who you poured your heart and soul into as a source of personal love and trust. Someone for all you know you mom, dad, brother, sister, maybe even a companion that is an animal or a friend who you love and trust to a unnatural degree. And this movie asks you if you have the will to live after they have passed? It was like a train striking me at full speed.
Having to admit my mom and dad would be gone one day, and that I would have to carry on? That is powerful stuff and because of that I had to face a lot of personal conflict to find peace with it.
Perhaps I made more out of this than most, but never the less it truely is a masterfully crafted movie.
Between The Land Before Time and this film it was truely a close match, but Balto simply has an equally impactful story, but done in a different way that just gave it a slight edge.
A truely forgotten and underrated classic mainly due to (Pix 1 mov cough Toy Story cough cough) It flew right under the public radar, but for me this WAS and IS the Frozen of my childhood, Who ever tells you that snow and ice can only be done well in cgi has never watch a traditional animated movie in their life. Even among hand-drawn films Balto uses a short amount of cgi to aid and add to the movie, but most of it is rendered in hand-drawn animation. It has spectacular scenery, good music, and uses an old storyline to tell it in a very refreshing way. What stands out for this film is the main character, Balto who is the best example of a flawed (yet resourceful) & misunderstood character.
Unlike other characters like Elsa, Beast, Po, or even Hiccup. Balto isn't trying to run, hide, or attempt to fit in, nor is he forcefully demanding acceptance. He is "literally" an underdog who simply wants to be loved by someone, or at the very least be the first to extend the hand. Aside from his closest friends who can see the heart of gold within him that no one else does.
And the event (not so much the climax or the ending) of this character and how the story flows as a result this event (and I won't give anyone a spoiler) is something that, until I was much older, realized as a truely ingenious piece of writing. Easily making it a forgotten masterpiece of animation.
2) Homeward Bound: The Incredible JourneyIt truly takes something special to make it into second place above the other movies that I have mentioned, and this postion I do not take lightly, and as the only none-animated movie on this list. Homeward Bound stuck it where few could.
Does it uses the old family searching story? yes
Does it have those predictable characters? yes
Does it exist as a very simple movie to watch? yes
Then you are probably asking how in the hell did this movie make it to second place (Especially after many other films on this list over shoot it in complexity and storyline).
Because it is extremly special! Thats why
The story is while simple powerful, the characters while predictable done differently and in a very strong way, and the old family searching story is not what it seems to be. If you're anxious to know how it goes then go read it, but I strongly recommend you buy it and watch it at a calm afternoon during Thanksgiving.
Without giving too much away I love this film because it was an adventure film with out the fancy fireworks, the villian, or the event of tragic loss. It was straight up a survival film with the need of personal searching to understand friendship, family, and of course love, but even more powerful is the question of Home. Do you know those you surround yourself with and can commit to a relationship and settle into a place together? Or maybe it is a deep inner drive to find a place to live out your life in absolute peace and harmony? Or even hardly recognizing that after traveling for so long searching that the place you were always search for was right in front of you?
This question even out matched death for me in term of personal growth.
O! This movie has some of the best music you'll ever listen to in your life. You don't have to take my word for it listen to it here:
For me this is simply the second greatest childhood movie of all time
Lets have some fun before I reveal my number one childhood film of all time. Which One do you think it is?