Saturday, February 6, 2016

Top 3 Animated Movies (Laurie)

As much as I hate to leave our favorite villains behind, it's time to move on to something new - let’s discuss animated movies! I think what I love most about animated movies is they aren't limited by reality - they have no bounds aside from the artists' skill and imagination. Animals, even inanimate objects, can talk. The characters can go anywhere, experience anything. Plus, they tend to have great music, often including pieces sung by the characters themselves, and let me tell you, I adore a good musical :)

So, after much deliberation, here are my top 3:

3. Anastasia (1997)

The music in this movie is fantastic. I still belt out “Once Upon A December” and “Journey to the Past” when I get the chance :)  Meg Ryan, who happens to be one of my favorite actresses, gives Anastasia so much spunk and personality that viewers are pulled into her story right off the bat. Now for my confession - Dimitri has always been my biggest animated character crush. I mean, come on ladies, he’s cute, right? He’s such a likable reformed bad-boy. And that hair! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised I ended up marrying a red-head :)






2. Shrek (2001)
http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/shrek/images/c/c5/2u4ihsm.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100521211203
I absolutely adore this off-the-wall fairy tale. It is so creative, not to mention hilarious. I love movies like this where it’s appropriate for kids but there’s humor for older audiences as well (Monsieur Robin Hood and his Merry Men crack me up every time!). Yet the love story and the lessons learned in this movie are compelling. The scenes during “Hallelujah” are especially well done, conveying so much emotion in the course of a few minutes. I’m almost ashamed to admit how many times I’ve watched this movie, considering I was in high school when it came out. Almost :)





1. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast OST
This has to be the most beautiful fairy tale retelling of all time, with lovely animation, amazing music, humor, and powerful themes of second chances and seeing past appearances. I’ve always felt a connection with Belle, beyond just dancing around pretending to be her :) The burly, handsome guys in town certainly weren’t chasing after me, but lines like “With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book, quite a puzzle to the rest of us . . .” could’ve easily applied to me growing up. She has taught so many kids that it’s okay to be different and to dream far beyond their immediate surroundings.



It was hard to narrow my list down to three, so I have to give honorable mentions to two of my other favorite animated movies – Pocahontas and Mulan. My sister and I sing “Just Around the Riverbend” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” every time we go canoeing together, much to the delight of onlookers, I’m sure :)

Would any of these movies make your list? Which ones did I miss? I’d love to hear what you think!

See you next time!
Laurie

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16 comments:

  1. Spruce Holly NogardFebruary 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Great post! I love hearing what other people's favorite movies are. I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast. It is one of my favorite movies (not just animated). :)
    I also really like Shrek because it's hilarious, and I love fairytales. Another of my favorite animated movies is How to Train Your Dragon. I love the music, the dragons, and the lessons. Plus, we originally saw it in 3D, which was amazing because dragons were flying all around us, and we really felt as if we were part of the movie.
    I'm not sure if Maleficent counts, because it's only partially animated, but it is another of my favorite movies.
    Thanks for such a great post! I look forward to more!

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    1. Wow, I bet How to Train Your Dragon was an amazing experience in 3D! I saw that movie at someone's home and I remember liking it, but not a lot of details about it (I was pregnant and exhausted at the time so I'm guessing that didn't help my level of focus!). I'll definitely need to see that one again. Ha, that's a good question about whether a partially animated movie would count - works for me :) I've never seen Maleficent, but I've heard good things about it so I'll have to make sure to watch it at some point. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Wonderful choices, Laurie. I also enjoy all three. I think Disney's Inside/Out would make my list. Like Shrek it has humor for all audiences alongside a story that celebrates and embraces change.

    And yes, we all love Dimitri. You said it best, that hair!

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    1. Ha, good to know I'm not the only one with a crush on Dimitri :) I can't wait to see Inside Out when I have a chance! Thanks for stopping by, Charity!

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  3. Thanks, Laurie! All three of these movies are great. . although I have to admit, Rasputin creeps me out! I love Belle--for sure my favorite Disney Princess, too. And my sister and I love the Shrek soundtrack. I do have to say, I like the Studio Ghibli movies, too. Ponyo and Arrietty are so unique, and the animation is beautiful.

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    1. Rasputin is pretty creepy, I'm with you there! I'm not familiar with the Studio Ghibli movies you mentioned, but it sounds like they'd be worth checking out!

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  4. I recently saw Anastasia, and I thought Dimitri was cute too ;) I was totally going to do Beauty and the Beast for my Top 3 post, but I'll try to be original and come up with something else ;) Nice post, Laurie! I like your taste in movies.

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    1. Yes! I'm glad I'm finding some fellow Dimitri fans :) I was actually really hesitant to include Beauty and the Beast on my list because I figured that would be on everyone's list, but in the end I just couldn't leave it out. It's fun to know we have similar taste in movies, though I guess I'm not too surprised :)

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  5. Oh my goodness, animated films are among my top favorite entertainment mediums! I could talk about them for hours, and I've seen so many, it would be near impossible for me to narrow down a top three.

    I've watched all of these movies since I was little. Although, mom and dad would have us skip a few scenes in Anastasia when we were really little. I wouldn't say it was my favorite, but I still enjoy it. We have the soundtrack and sing the songs fairly often. I also consider it my second favorite among Don Bluth's films. My favoirte of his works is The Secret of NIHM. (The first one. Not the terrible sequel *blech*)

    Shrek is another film I definetly like, and the Broadway musical version has great songs for it. Yet, my favoirte Dreamworks films are the How to Train Your Dragon series with the Kung Fu Panda series coming in at a close second. I just think Hiccup and Toothless are among the best duos ever along with the likes of Frodo and Samwise. I'm a sucker for those kinds of relationships - two freinds who stick closer than brothers where there is nothing one won't do or sacrifice for the sake of the other. Few things are more heartwarming to me, and Hiccup and Toothless are just adorable together. Plus, how cool are those dragons! The worldbuilding is incredible, and the sheer level of creativity along with an amazing music score and a well rounded cast just makes a complete package for me! (Don't tell me your heart did not melt when Stoic and Valka reunited.) Not to mention, I just love how gutsy and unafraid it is to tackle the hard topics like the loss of a limb, loss of a loved one, or even the fact that you can't make peace with everyone. Most animated films would shy away from that stuff, but How to Train Your Dragon took hold and handled it beautifully. As for Kung Fu Panda, I mean at first I thought it was gonna be some dumb joke, but just like How to Train Your Dragon it turned out to be one of the most beautiful and thought provoking films they've had. The Kung Fu choreography is fantastic, their use of Chinese folklore is ingeniously intertwined with the narrative than most people may realize, and sports some of the absolute best, most three dimensional villains ever! (I'm looking at you, Lord Shen!) That and the fact that two of my absolute favorite composers worked together on the score, talk about a treat to the ears! *Okay, I'm done gushing over them* ;)

    As for Beatuy and the Beast, I can definitly see why it's a fan favorite. I mean, they dished out some of the most likable side characters, probably their best princess ever, a prince who played a larger role than simply "her man", and one of the funniest villains Disney's ever conceived. I find it brilliant how they reversed the usual fairytale roles. (In any other story, Gaston would be the idealized hero, and the Beast would be the big bad villain.) Plus, being the first ever animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars is nothing to sneeze at. (Only two other animated films ever got that honor.) However, I wouldn't consider it my end all favorite. Don't get me wrong. I do love that film, but there are other Disney films I liked better such as: Wreck-it-Ralph, Mulan, Tarzan, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Dinosaur, Atlantis, and Tangled. Thing is, each of these movies are so different in concept and tone, that I find it hard to compare them against each other. So I really can't place them. Honestly, there are very few disney films I don't like.

    If you're curious, I don't readily count Pixar films as Disney films, but I do generally love all of them. I mean with a repitoir consisting the likes of Wall-E, Inside Out, Ratatoullie, Toy Story, Brave, and Up, how could I not? :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Hannah! I can relate about having trouble narrowing it down, just yesterday I was listening to a Disney soundtrack playlist and started thinking of all the great movies I hadn't included.

      It's good to know you liked the Broadway musical version of Shrek, I hope to get a chance to see it someday! I wish I could remember more about How to Train Your Dragon - as I mentioned above I was pregnant and exhausted when I watched it so my memory is very hazy. I guess I'll just have to watch it again :) I've only seen part of Kung Fu Panda, but I could tell it was creative and very funny. Another one to revisit!

      Beauty and the Beast does have a lot of fun side characters, and you're right that Gaston is such a good blend of humor plus a strong hero stereotype turned on its head. Sadly of your list of favorite Disney movies I've only seen Mulan, Tarzan, and Tangled, which are all excellent! As for the others, I have a lot of catching up to do :) I can't wait to share so many of these movies with my sons once they get old enough to appreciate them.

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  6. What a fun post, Laurie! I adore these movies, especially, especially Shrek and Anastasia. I love that you and your sister sing "Just Around the River Bend" and "I'll Make a Man Out of You" when you go canoeing. :) Classic.

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    1. Thanks Laura! "Just Around the River Bend" was a natural choice for canoeing, but now that I think of it I have no idea how we got started on "I'll Make a Man Out of You" - maybe just because it's one of my sister's favorites :)

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  7. I just re-watched Anastasia yesterday! It was my daughter's first time seeing it, and I had to keep fast-forwarding the Rasputin parts. I love that movie (and used to love anything Meg Ryan, back in the day), but wish they had portrayed Rasputin differently. Beauty and the Beast is an excellent movie as well.

    My favorites would probably be:

    Megamind - Humorous, with a bad guy you can root for (since he's the protagonist). As with Dimitri, this is a reformed bad-guy story, and I love those. It also includes a love story.

    Rise of the Guardians - I had low expectations the first time I watched this movie, but ended up loving it. It has my favorite animated villain, Pitch Black. The story is touching, about an immortal, magical boy (Jack Frost) trying to figure out his past and purpose, while also saving the world. The graphics are beautiful, and the characters have some pretty cool magical abilities.

    Kung Fu Panda (series) - Funny, with a lovable main character. I'm half Chinese, so I especially enjoyed some of the Chinese elements. When my son was five years old, he cried during a sad part in this movie. To this day, it's the only movie that's made him cry.

    Honorable mention to Tangled.

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    1. Ha, that's funny you just watched Anastasia - good timing :) Megamind is a great choice, it's such a fun, creative movie! I've never seen Rise of the Guardians, but it sounds like a very interesting premise. That's neat King Fu Panda touched your son so much. I think the movie that has made my son the most sad so far is Finding Nemo - we have discussed the part where Nemo gets taken away from his dad many, many times. Tangled is a great one, too - I love the music and the inventive way they did the re-telling. So many good ones out there to choose from!

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  8. I have delayed this post for so long because I have been trying to come up with a top 3 and I have been unable to make a decision! I appreciate the shoutout in this post :) .. and I really think you nailed my top two animated movies with it! I think we may have started singing "I'll Make a Man Out of You" because it is probably the only song where I actually know (or at least used to know) all of the lyrics word for word. You know that I tend to fudge lyrics, so that's a big accomplishment for me. I think those both resonate with me most because of their strong, adventurous female main characters.. inspiring my own adventuring, such as our canoe rides :). Others of my top animated movies would be Anastasia, Finding Nemo, Tangled, and Beauty and the Beast. But I really can't decide. Excellent topic choice!!

    On a side note- I was curious as to what my shout out would be.. when I saw Beauty and the Beast listed I thought you were going to call me out on my beautiful musical rendition of "Be Our Guest" on the piano. Now you've got me reminiscing with thinking of all our Disney movie nights! :)

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    1. I understand your struggle. The day before this post went up I was listening to my Disney playlist and started wondering if I should've included movies like Aladdin or The Little Mermaid and just decided I needed to keep my list as-is. Ha, you're probably right about "I'll Make a Man Out of You," though I'm guessing it also made us feel strong and inspired as we were paddling, plus as I recall that's always been one of your favorites even before it was added to the canoeing playlist :)

      Hahaha, "Be Our Guest" was a very respectable guess, your performance certainly was shout-out worthy! Putting this post together had me reminiscing about our Disney movie nights, too! Hopefully when the boys get a little older we can have some Disney movie nights with Aunt Julie :)

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