Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Animated Movies as a Kid

I don’t talk about animated films a lot on this blog, mostly because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found it more difficult to connect with them emotionally. But there certainly was a time when I adored and lived by cartoons. Here are the 10 animated films I cherished most as a child. Hope you enjoy my picks, and be sure to share yours as well!

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

This feature is actually split into two segments, and it’s the second one, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, that I’ll forever cherish. The scene when poor Ichabod is on his way home from a party and becomes increasingly spooked by every noise of nature is so pleasantly iconic. The image of the Headless Horseman finally appearing will forever be a part of my childhood.

Cinderella (1950)

By far my favorite animated film of all time, Cinderella is a treasure of a movie that I will never grow tired of. Watching this movie sends chills down my spine as I’m reminded of the countless times it lovingly embraced me as kid. I was so taken with Cinderella’s ceaseless optimism and the unselfish help she received from her many animal friends. That mixed with the cold contempt (and eventual takedown) of the stepmother and stepsisters made for a routinely rewarding experience. Seriously, I watched this movie on repeat as a kid.

101 Dalmatians (1961)

Remember that twilight scene, when Pongo barks to see if any other dog can hear him, and then the whole neighborhood of dogs bark in support? My God, that just killed me.

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

I’m still kind of amazed that All Dogs Go to Heaven was made. Watching it now, I notice how dark of a film it is. A dog is murdered, goes to Heaven, then secretly goes back to Earth, knowing he could possibly die and be sent to Hell. Heavy stuff for a four year old. But oh how I loved watching Charlie B. Barkin rediscover the meaning of life in this animated classic.

Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out (1989)

I adored all three Wallace and Gromit short films, but A Grand Day Out was always my favorite. When Wallace scoured his flat looking for cheese to accompany his crackers, I was devastated when he came up empty handed. But when he glanced up at the moon and said, “Everybody knows the moon’s made of cheese,” I couldn’t help but believe him.

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)

One of my favorite animated sequels of all time, this Steven Spielberg-produced adventure follows the Mousekewitz family as they move west to search of a better life. In all honesty, despite watching this film repeatedly as a kid, I didn’t remember much about it while drafting this post. But when I put it on a few days ago, it was a massive blast from the past. Every passing scene brought on a host of old memories. That’s part of what makes these movies so fun, isn’t it?

Aladdin (1992)

When The Little Mermaid breathed new life into Disney films, we were soon hit with a surge of solid new animated films. My favorite was always Aladdin, a rags to riches tale that proved love conquered all, including material wealth. Robin Williams gives one of the all time great voice acting performances as The Genie, and plus, how can you not love to hate Jafar?

Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)

The 7-year-old me knew that this Tiny Toon flick got it. They understood the anticipation a little kid feels when he’s seconds away from being let out of school for the summer. They understood the utter importance of having a fun and memorable summer vacation. The 28-year-old me now smiles at the film’s eagerness, and is endlessly amused by its many hidden pop culture references.

A Goofy Movie (1995)

It’s all about those musical performances. My friends and I didn’t just memorize the words, we memorized the dances. We sang and we danced and we ate absurd amounts of spray can cheese, all an in effort to get closer to this magnificent little film.

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

This is a bit of a cheat, but I’m including it for good reason. James and the Giant Peach was one of the first films I saw that began one way, and seamlessly switched to another. Before this film, I didn’t know movies were allowed to switch from live action to animation (and back again). What a great discovery that was.

36 comments:

  1. Very cool list. I remember watching films like The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan, Tarzan, The Emperor's New Groove, J&TGP, among others when I was a young lad myself. It's weird going back and finding that even decades later, some of these films still hold the same power and can still resonate with you even as you've matured past the age of the audience they were originally crafted for.

    What are you're thoughts on films from Studio Ghibli and the work of Satoshi Kon if you don't mind me asking? While the former definitely has films directed towards kids they still have plenty of more adult oriented ones as well while the latter's work is almost entirely too dark for a younger audience. Japanese animation will always hold a special place in my heart with the films I mentioned (and you listed) so just curious on your thoughts about it.

    Also have a happy new year and hope that film of yours is going well and sees the light of day soon!

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    1. It IS really fun to discover that some of these films still resonate. I dig a lot of the Studio Ghibli films, but I wasn't really aware of them as a child. In fact, I think the only one I saw as a kid was My Neighbor Totoro. Still, great stuff all around.

      Thanks for the well wishes my friend. The filming of this movie has been very, very taxing and in all honesty, coming home at the end of a long day of shooting and writing about how difficult the process has been isn't something that has interested me. But we only have one day left of shooting, then I can breathe again! Happy New Year to you as well!

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  2. Great list!! 101 Dalmatians and Aladdin are still two of my favorites.
    x
    Bobbi

    www.productdoll.com

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    1. Thanks! Two classics right there. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

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  3. Those Disney movies I still love to watch as I grew up watching them as I will add An American Tail into the mix though its sequel I thought was OK as I also liked All Dogs Go to Heaven as I think it's best to ignore the sequels which sucked.

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    1. Those All Dogs sequels blow, which is a shame. I think the only Disney sequels I really liked were the Aladdin ones.

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  4. Ahh, that Tiny Toons movie! I watched my tape of that so much that I wrecked it. I've never really heard anyone else bring that film up. Awesome choices.

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    1. Same here! I think I went through 2 of those Tiny Toons tapes. Glad you like the list!

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  5. I love Aladdin and the Dalmatians, and, of course, A Goofy Movie is one of the greatest ever... I don't know exactly how old you are, as far as comparing what movies were released doing our respective childhoods, but, without giving it much thought, Lion King, Fox & the Hound, and Toy Story would likely top my list! Good choices, though!

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    1. Thanks! I'm 28, so my cut off for this list was 1996, because between the ages of 10 and 11 is when I really started to tune out of animation. It's so funny, I HATED Toy Story as a kid. My mom loves telling the story that I literally begged her to leave the theater because I hated it so much. Buzz spends the whole film denying the fact that he is a toy, and I found that denial so annoying... even at age 10. I really enjoy the movie now, but it's funny how much I hated it way back when.

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  6. Unfortunately, I can't share a similar tale. When I was little VCRs were not yet prevalent and my family didn't have an easy way to get to the theater to see the films as they came out. I do remember a lot of live action films on The Wonderful World of Disney TV show. I didn't see most of the animated Disney films until I was an adult.

    A couple of recommendations if you haven't seen them: The Iron Giant and Mary and Max. Both should still be able to resonate with you even as an adult.

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    1. Oh that's really interesting actually. I'm curious, did any of those classic Disney movies resonate with you when you first watched them?

      I really enjoy The Iron Giant, and Mary and Max... wow, what a film there.

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    2. I would say that the classic Disney films worked or didn't work for me based on one thing: how much I liked the songs in them. I liked The Jungle Book quite a bit because of this.

      Some of the Pixar films, especially Toy Story 3, have really resonated. I actually picked that as my number one film of 2010. If you had ever told me that a movie about children's toys would make this grown man shed real tears I would have thought you were crazy. The mostly silent 5 or 10 minutes early in Up were also very moving and in my opinion ranks right there with the best silent film scenes there have ever been.

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    3. I love that opening sequence of Up. So poignant and real. I think that's the only animated film that has made me cry.

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  7. Fun list---Cinderella and 101 Dalmations were favorites of mine....most of the list came out when I waa already grown. I've gotten to know a lot of these titles from my daughter watching them now. She's a big fan of the dancing in The Goofy Movie, too! Her "watch on repeat" movie for a long time was 101 Dalmations. After a while I would lose it--"Just make the damn coat already!"

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    1. Haha love it! So happy that she likes A Goofy Movie, that one was so special to me growing up. I actually haven't seen 101 Dalmatians in a while. I need to get on that!

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  8. Nobody ever talks about the Fievel movie - thank you so much for being the exception! I grew up with these two (two?) movies and loved the hell out of them. I still sing some of the songs whenever the occasion is right. I need to rewatch them asap.

    Btw, my favourite animated movie as a kid was - by far - The Little Mermaid.

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    1. The Little Mermaid is precious - I really love that one as well. Those first two Fievel movies rocked! God, I watched those so many damn times...

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  9. Great post! James and the Giant Peach is one of my favorite animated movies. And yes, the dalmations' twilight bark is a great moment.

    Cinderella was one of my favorites as a kid, too. Of course that was back before we had modern animation techniques, and animated movies were basically just cartoons (loving done, frame by frame, by hand). I love the fact that so many of these old classics are still popular.

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    1. It's crazy to think that they were drawn frame by frame. I mean... the dedication that took is astounding actually. Oh how I love Cinderella :)

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  10. Ahhhh. Good, good memories. And where is Lady and the Tramp???

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  11. Good list man! Former animation student here and let me tell you, nothing gets my motor running more than A Goofy Movie and The Iron Giant. Animation is so very charming, there's something about it. I always loved how murky 101Dalmatians looked. My list goes on for days, man oh man. Digimon The Movie is like, color theory incarnate. An American Tail, Secret of NIMH, Rock n' Rule, Aladdin...cartoons kick so much ass!

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    1. Thanks! I had no idea you used to be an animation student, that's awesome man. I love hearing what films you like based on your background. Great stuff.

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  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OABeWNqZph4

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  13. Strangely enough I never liked animated films as a kid. I think it was something to do with my imagination at the time and how I could allow myself to believe in live-action whereas animation felt unreal and artificial. That said, I have fond, if distant, memories of being taken to the cinema to see the original Fievel adventure - An American Tail!

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    1. That's really interesting, because that is exactly what happened to me when I was 10. Animation stopped being real for me, and never really has been since. Which is funny, because no movie is real.

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  14. I think 101 Dalmatians was the first film I ever saw. Loved that growing up, as well as A Goofy Movie, Cinderella and Aladdin. I'd also mention Peter Pan, which I probably watched more than any of the other films mentioned.

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    1. Oh I loved Peter Pan as well. Great animated flick right there. Love hearing that you were a fan of A Goofy Movie.

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    2. I was even a fan of An Extremely Goofy Movie, the direct-to-video sequel. Good times.

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    3. Oh shit, I've never seen that. Looks like I know what I'm watching today!

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  15. Man, I used to watch James and the Giant Peach and All Dogs Go To Heaven religiously when I was little. Not a lot of kids would know of these films these days (you'd have to go out of your way to find the DVD's). I still have my copies on VHS. Great list :)

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    1. Thanks Ben! Those are such classics, aren't they? I had my VHS copies for a looong time. But then I just had to let them go. Those things took up a lot of space haha.

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