Hi everyone. Elephant777 has just asked me what my favorite childhood films are, so I am doing this blog out of request. And you know what? I love talking about my fun childhood experiences with movies. It gives us moviegoers special moments we love to look back on, resulting what becomes who we are. So for this list, I picked some films that make me think of childhood the most. There will be a couple of non-Disney films and a Disney featurette, but most of them will be Disney features, as one may expect. So, let's begin shall we?
#10: The Aristocats
There is not to much to say about The Aristocats in terms of my childhood, but I do have things to say in general. As a kid, I was more of a cute animal person most of the time. And I this was one of those cute things that should not be trifled with. I thought the scenario of a catnapping in the middle of the night, it felt kind of chilling. It also helps that there were a couple times my siblings and I watched this film with the lights off (one of which was at my Grandma's). This was one of the first animated films that I thought of that was a literal family film. Gentle mother, fun brave father, and of course sibling rivalry among the kittens. Unfortunatley, I found out later that 101 Dalmatians had already set up this establishment before The Aristocats did, and as you can imagine I didn't really like 101 Dalmatians that much as a kid (and I still don't despite not thinking it's awful). But regardless of the order (and popularity) The Aristocats still feels like it was first to me. Oh yes, and it was one of the Disney features that used the classic blue logo properly.
#9: An American Tail
This is one of the only 2 non-Disney films I'm going to cheat on a little bit in this list. For those of you who have read my blog on list of mouse films, I was OBSESSED in mice as a little kid-it was like the pinaccle of childhood cartoons that were told from passion! My tastes have expanded a little more nowadays, but still. Like The Aristocats, I guess my interest in this film isn't super strong as it was when I was a kid, but I still feel like this film has certain roots for me. There's an emotional story of Fievel trying to find his family in New York City throughout the whole movie while dealing with freedom from cats. There were two particular parts I thought were too mean spirited, but there was plenty of charm as well. Something about Don Bluth's animation feels like it was watercolored. It has good orchestra during the films' emotional moments and I just felt like we had to keep hoping Fievel gets through. After all life is tough for a mouse. I do admit, the story would have been a bit more cinematic of it focused on the search like a Finding Nemo story or the political American stuff like a Zootopia kind of story. They try to play it half and half, but eh...it would easier if they did one or the other. But it's a nitpick. It's still cute and emotional.
#8: The Lion King
Whenever I thought of certain cinematic moments as kid, The Lion King came to my mind very often; the first movie I thought of where a villain kills a main character, the first movie that came to mind that takes place in Africa, you get the idea. I will admit, I wasn't a die hard Disney Renaissance fan like most Disney fans are, but The Lion King of course was my favorite Disney Renaissance musical. I loved the African culture, the wilderness, Hans Zimmer's orchestra that matched the epic theme, and so on. I was interested in the first half of the movie the most. It was colorful, I got that "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" sequence, and best of all it was taking a break from having a major conflict throughout the WHOLE movie. If Simba and Mufasa's relationship was strained that bad, I think it would have made Mufasa's death even more sad than it already is. But once the infamous wildebeest stampede happens and Mufasa's death happens, the movie goes "Ok you've had your fun. Now let's get to work on the more serious story of the movie." In that regard, I think it's a good balance for kids and adults. So yeah, Lion King definetly deserves a spot in childhood movies list.
#7: Lady and the Tramp
I can't help it. I love dogs, They are just so darn cute and playful. Most movies that were about dogs always seemed to star a boy and a dog, but this one just shows how dogs feel. And there some really good moments (and sound effects; I love hearing Tramp's snarl). I will admit though, there were a few moments that felt really creepy, at least until the rat was killed. Like Lady being alone in the dark as a puppy, the Siamese Cats eyes from the basket, the dog pound, and the night the rat invaded. And having that creepy THX logo on my Masterpiece Tape didn't help. But hey, I still loved seeing Lady and Tramp do dog things. I still loved the Siasmese Cat Song, the stray dog fight, Tramp attacking the rat, and Trusty chasing the dogcatcher's wagon. Dogs bring happy childhood memories.
#6: The Wind In The Willows
Now remember, before I discuss this cartoon involving my childhood, there's something I want to make quite clear. When I say The Wind In The Willows, I mean THIS cartoon only-not The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in general. There, Done.
Originally, I thought Moley was a rodent of some sort, so I kinda thought this was a little mouse movie in a couple retrospects. Besides, I thought Toad looked really cute and funny. I also really liked that library intro before the cartoon; it reminded me a lot of Sesame Street's Monsterpiece Theater. As for The Wind In The Willows itself, there's fun at practically every corner. British narrator Basil Rathbone tells the story greatly, and the british voices are really funny. Toad himself is delightful to watch and Moley is really cute. Like the other entrees on this list, there are alot of great moments I loved watching; the Merilly Song sequence, Toad's prison escape, and of course the paper chase. This was a childhood cartoon that was sophisticated and really entertaining at the same time.
#5: The Jungle Book
Despite not watching this film very often as a kid (mainly because of the whole "recorded and combined in various tapes" thing I keep mentioning), The Jungle Book felt like a tidal wave of childhood nostalgia every time I thought about it, especially when I think about the black diamond tape. The version I had was a recording of its television premiere on The Wonderful World of Disney on May 3rd 1992-the intro with Michael Eisner, Mickey, Minnie, Baloo, and Goofy. I thought it was part of the Black Diamond tape, but apparently not. But what about the movie itself? Well, back as a kid I knew nothing about India. So I thought this was a movie that could take place in a jungle backyard, since most of the movie was covered in trees. There were a lot of fun moments with Mowgli playing with the animals, and some emotional moments with the whole "go to the Man-Village" conflict. I mistook Mowgli's loincloth for a bathing suit and I wondered what I would look like in it. But that's about all I can say, since I've talked about the movie's aspects several times before.
#4: Robin Hood
Oh yeah! Now we're talking! The majority of times I watched this film was at my Grandma's, and let me tell you it was definetly a lot of childhood fun! My mom always thought this was a great choice because it was silly and did not have any scary villains. Much like Mickey's Christmas Carol, this cartoon introduced me to the literature figure of Robin Hood. Since I am an animal person, it only made more logical sense to make these characters anthropomorphic animals. Robin as a fox, Little John as a bear, Prince John as a lion, and so on and so forth. The adventure scenes are done grealty, it never fails to keep me interested. George Bruns' orchestra really knew how to match the sneaky and intense moments. I should also note that I also loved seeing reused animated moments in this film. It was part of a game I always played with myself. They helped me find at least one thing in common with other Disney films (In Robin Hood's case, especially The Jungle Book). I didn't know the order of the Disney films until 4th Grade, and I didn't care. Robin Hood was just too darn fun!
I always loved the idea of a kid character being the star, so that was probably the biggest reason I urged to see Pinocchio. Pinocchio was a really cute lovable kid you just wanted to hug (nowhere near as bad as the brat from the book). It was yet ANOTHER Disney film combined in one of our recorded tapes (Ugh, I don't know what my parents were thinking!), but whenever I did get a chance to watch it, it felt refreshed and new. I usually wanted to think about it afterwards. I even rented a picture book version of the movie from my 6th Grade library at least 5 times! For me it always represent the really old days of Walt Disney-the kind of classic films from the 40's and 50's. If anything messed up this movie, it made me upset. So yep, Pinocchio really has had an impact on Disney.
#2: The Secret Of NIMH
This is the another non-Disney film I am gonna cheat on this countdown. But hey, Don Bluth really knows how to capture cinematic non-Disney moments. This was another mouse film I was obsessed in as a child. However, unlike An American Tail has some stronger qualities for me. There was a lot of darkness in it that seemed more like it was meant for adults like the imagery, blood, and even one swear word, it was just awesome! The movie showed how rats survive against humanity using their own intelligence, and showed one meek mouse mother's bravery for her child. The scariness of the film didn't bother me (I know, weird right). There was also a lot of choruses in the background, making The Secret of NIMH more mystical and enchanting. What else can I say?
And my number one favorite childhood movie is-oh who am I kidding ? You know I'm going to put down The Great Mouse Detective.
#1: The Great Mouse Detective
Yeah, I'm pretty sure you knew I was going to do this. But hey! We all have our favorites, and for me The Great Mouse Detective represents everything from my childhood movie viewing. But I'll try not to say too much I haven't said before. Like I said, I was obsessed in mice as a little kid, and this film was just the staple of childhood animated kids film. Sure, there were 4 times I had to close my eyes, but the good stuff was just too darn good! Like the majority of films I put on this list, Henry Mancini's orchestra matches the feel of the movie during the fun and intense scenes. The British voices were really fun, and Basil was a great character to watch, Ratigan is a really entertaining villain, and the Big Ben climax is awesome! I often watched the 1999 "Watch, Solve, and Win" tape on September days when I was home sick with asthma. I of course, hate getting sick and watching cute animal videos was the only good ting about it. Of course, my siblings did get sick of me picking this film for a movie night over and over again, especially when they wanted to watch Tarzan or The Iron Giant. But hey, I'm sure you guys might have had this happen when you picked the same movie often. I don't know what else to say, I've talked about this film several times, it's just on the biggest parts of who I am.
And that was my countdown of favorite childhood films. I hoped you liked this list. Happy Holidays! :)