As I said in last week's blog, Disney has been a major part of my life. Below is part two of my top ten personal favorites from the studio where dreams come true.
5. Wreck-It Ralph
In the 52nd film from the studio, the film tells the story of an arcade game villain named Ralph who chooses to rebel against his role as a "bad guy" and dreams of becoming a true hero. As a long time video game fan, I found a lot to like about this film. From the cameos of classic game characters ~ from games such as "Street Fighter" and "Sonic the Hedgehog" ~ to the amazing, different game worlds that Ralph jumps to on his journey. Ralph is a likable character with an admirable goal. This leads me to another great thing about the film: it's message of not having to accept the role in life that the world has given you, that you can be whatever you want to be if you are brave enough to pursue it.
Based on the 1812 German fairy tail, Rapunzel, by the Brothers Grimm, "Tangled" is the 50th film from the Disney studio. The film tells the story of a young, lost princess with long, magical hair named Rapunzel who dreams of leaving her secluded tower. One day, she accepts the help of a thief named Flynn Rider to take her out into the world that she has never seen. One of my favorite Disney romances, the film has an extremely likable heroine and hero in Rapunzel and Rider whose love story really makes this a must watch. The film also contains one of Disney's most devious villains in Mother Gothel, Rapunzel's kidnapper and pretend mother, who psychologically manipulates her into doing her bidding. Another character worth mentioning is Maximus the horse whose rivalry with Rider is a lot of fun to watch.
Based on the Arabian folktale of the same name and the French interpretation by Antoine Galland, "Aladdin" is the 31st film from the studio. The film tells the story of a street urchin named Aladdin who discovers a magic lamp with a genie inside. With help from his new friend, The Genie, Aladdin disguises himself as a wealthy prince to hide the lamp from the power-hungry Grand Vizier, Jafar, and to impress the Sultan and his daughter, Jasmine. This film was a favorite of mine growing up and was and is still one of the three Disney films that inspired me the most as a writer (the other two are listed below). The film's highlight is the performance of The Genie by the late, great Robin Williams. His improv comedy and impressions makes for one of the greatest performances in any Disney film. Other highlights include Gilbert Gottfried's hilarious portrayal of Iago the parrot and Jonathan Freeman's Jafar, one of Disney's greatest villains.
2. Beauty and the Beast
Based on the 1756 French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, "Beauty and the Beast" is the 30th film from the studio. The film focuses on the relationship between the Beast, a prince who was magically transformed into a monster by an enchantress as punishment for his arrogance, and Belle, a young woman whom he imprisons in his castle. In order to become a prince again, Beast must learn to love Belle and earn her love in return before the last petal from the enchanted rose that the enchantress has offered him falls, or else the Beast will remain a monster forever. The film is my favorite Disney love story of all time. The relationship between Belle (my favorite Disney princess) and the Beast is heart warming and inspiring as Belle learns to love the Beast despite his appearance.
1. The Lion King
Inspired by the 1601 British play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, "The Lion King" is the 32nd film from the studio. This film is not only my absolute favorite Disney film of all time, but my all time favorite animated film period. The film tells the story of a young lion prince named Simba who, after his jealous uncle Scar murders his father, is manipulated into believing that it was his fault and is driven into exile. Years later, with the help of his friends, Simba returns to the Pride Lands to challenge Scar and take his rightful place as king. I cannot express enough how much I love this film, from the wonderful cast of characters, including my favorite Disney villain of all time in Scar, to the great musical numbers and stunning animation. This film is a must see for everyone and to me will always be the standard bearer for any Disney film to come.
That's it for part two. I hope you enjoyed my Top Ten List. See you next week for the next Nick's Noble Notions.