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)
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)
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!