Film Fanatics: Animation Apocalypse

Take a stroll down memory lane with these iconic animated films

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Film Fanatics: Animation Apocalypse

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No matter how old we get or how much we mature over time, it is always great to look back on our early years and remember the things that shaped our childhood. We think we speak for many people when we say children’s movies play a very important role in some of our earliest memories. However, the term “children’s movie” is hardly accurate, seeing as we can all still enjoy a heartfelt, positive, and uplifting animated movie. So, in case you’ve forgotten, here is a list of some of the most iconic animated movies that are sure to lift your spirits.

Hercules (1997):

Hayley: This animated film has always been one of my favorites just because of how fun it is to watch and sing along to. The soundtrack is awesome, and the goddesses that narrate it have such great vocals. What’s really cool about this movie too is if you know anything about Greek mythology, then you can pick up on many elements in Hercules that point back to its inspiration. Each of the characters play an important role in mythology, so it is interesting on a whole different level if you understand the references behind some events or creatures. Overall, I loved this movie when I was little, and in rewatching it now, I’ve discovered that I still love it.

Rachel: I loved this film so much. The songwriting for this movie was perfect, and I don’t think they could have chosen a better voice for any of the characters (especially the Muses). The storyline was amazing; Disney did an awesome job making a Greek hero’s story into an enjoyable animated movie. One thing I love the most about this movie is the depiction of Hades, Greek god of the underworld. They made him into such a funny and bizarre guy that you don’t really see him as an evil guy (even though he is the antagonist of the film). Overall, this movie is great, and I would recommend you watch it to bring back some childhood memories.

Pooh’s Grand Adventure (1997):

Hayley: When I think back to some of the earliest memories of my childhood and some of the very first movies or shows I would watch, Winnie the Pooh isn’t far from mind. Each character in Hundred Acre Woods is so iconic in most children’s minds, and just the sound of Pooh’s laugh can make anyone smile as they fondly look back on their early years of life. The whole mood of any film involving Pooh Bear and his friends is always so positive and uplifting, and Pooh’s Grand Adventure is no exception. The smiles and chuckles along the way are wrapped up at the end with an important life lesson — those we love are never really that far from us.

Rachel: What can you say about a Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin movie, except that they are absolutely phenomenal? What’s crazy about this franchise is that these films have been coming out for years, and they all adapted from A.A. Milne’s novel Winnie the Pooh, written in 1926. I remember my dad reading me the novel and watching the many films that came from the book. Watching this movie again after so many years just brought back so many good memories and happy thoughts. I have got to say thank you to A.A. Milne for bringing the Hundred Acre Woods into the lives of so many children, giving us a fantasy land that we all wanted to have an adventure in.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009):

Hayley: I honest to goodness still find this movie so hilarious. First off, the creativity of the story — based off of the book by Judi Barrett — is so astounding, and the colors and details to the animation are top-notch. Each character is quirky and unlike any other. This film encourages kids to follow their dreams, no matter what anyone says, and to fight past any obstacle that stands in their way. To do so in such a funny way is really difficult, so hats off to the writers on this one. Some of the jokes are just so unexpected, yet perfectly placed, so they are sure to get a laugh every time.

Rachel: One movie you can watch no matter what age you are and have good laugh is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The outlandish plot line is what makes this movie so good. Flint Lockwood, an outcast in his hometown, turns the tables when one of his inventions brings happiness to everyone’s lives, in the form of food. The comedy in this movie is the perfect amount; it’s not over the top, where you find yourself rolling your eyes at every scene. I’ll admit that this movie didn’t bring back childhood memories, but it was a really funny movie that I will be watching again in the near future.

Mulan (1998):

Hayley: I never have more fun singing along to a movie than I do when I’m watching this movie. I mean, come on, with songs like “Make a Man Out of You” and “Reflection,” how can you go wrong? This has to be one of my all time favorite Disney movies, particularly when it comes to the Disney Princesses, because Mulan is so different than all the others. Though there is still romance in this film (I mean, of course), the core struggle lies in the family and shows the importance of being there for those you love and standing up for what you believe in. Funny, powerful, and just freaking awesome, this movie has it all.

Rachel: Another great movie that we all grew up with is Mulan; this movie was fun to come back to and watch again. I love the plot of the movie, how Mulan, to save her father, takes his place in the imperial army and ends up saving China as well. Also, Eddie Murphy nails it, as always, with the voice of Mushu. The comedy Mushu brings the film is perfect — not over the top, but not a little amount either. I don’t have much to say about this film, just that it did bring back nostalgic feelings and I would love to watch it again.

Bolt (2008):

Hayley: Bolt definitely keeps us entertained. Adventure abounds for the characters as the writers take you on a quest with some of the most adorable pets in history. This movie is both funny and heartfelt, and as an animal lover, I’ll admit I shed a few tears during some of the more dramatic moments. The story comes full circle in the end and is lead along by yet another great soundtrack. Seriously, this movie has all the elements that make a great film, and I promise, it’s not just for children. I can’t imagine a time in the future when this movie will not hold a special place in my heart.

Rachel: One last amazing childhood movie some of us grew up with was Bolt. This movie had a perfect amount of happiness and also a bit of heartache thrown in there. Bolt loses his favorite person in the world and has to travel across the country to find her again, and he realizes big and shocking things about himself; however, he does find two best friends along the way and has an adventure of a lifetime. The few songs they chose to put in this movie matched perfectly with what was happening — for example, Jenny Lewis’ “Barking at the Moon” (good song, would recommend). One crazy thing that I didn’t realize till a couple of years ago was that Miley Cyrus plays the voice of Penny and John Travolta voices Bolt. Overall, I loved this movie, and I will definitely be watching it again.

So, if you’re looking for a wonderful, somewhat emotional trip down memory lane, head on over to Netflix — all the ones we mentioned are on there! With everything that is going on in our lives as students and all the many stressors that are readily available, it is important to decompress sometimes, and thinking back to when things were easier may put you in that positive mindset you need. There are always great lessons to take away from movies like these, and of course, you are guaranteed a laugh.