(Orignally posted here on April 11, 2016)
The imagination and dream world that is Disney has changed the face of cinema for years. Having made at least 500 films, Disney has captivated children and people all around the world. The creator and revolutionary animator Walt Disney was born Dec. 5, 1901, and the world is better for it. No one could possibly watch all of the Disney films ever created, but if you could only pick 10 to show your children, these would be the top films to let them watch.
*Warning: some spoilers ahead!
10. “Alice in Wonderland”
From the moment Alice falls down the hole, you are whisked into a land of make believe and unconventional aspects. The 1951 adaptation of the book creates wonderment and shows Alice thinking outside of the box and being non-judgmental to all of the creatures she’s finds, no matter how different they really are.
9. “Peter Pan”
Neverland would never be the same with out Peter Pan and Wendy. This timeless cartoon from 1953 is an unforgettable tale of imagination. Peter and Tinkerbelle remind us to never lose our childhood wonder and innocence. It makes you believe that the impossible is possible with just a couple happy thoughts.
8. “Mary Poppins”
Being the only non-fully-animated film on this list does not mean it has any less imagination and wonder as the rest of them. The magical nanny from 1964 helps a family see that being together is what will bring happiness and more love into a home. She also shows that again, it is what is inside that counts. Taking the children on magical journeys and turning chores into a game, this nanny belongs in every home at least once.
7. “Beauty and the Beast”
Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991 and still rings true today. It is so much more than just a love story; it tells a story of growth and strength. Even after the curse is placed on the palace, the people in it didn’t lose hope even when the prince did. It may have taken him a long time to learn the lesson that the witch was teaching him, but he still learned it. Belle also didn’t let the words of the townspeople stop her from being herself.
The 1992 classic not only captures imagination and wonder with the all-powerful genie, but also has an ongoing theme that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Aladdin dreams of life in a palace despite all the freedom his life brought him and even with all of the money and riches, Jasmine only dreamt of the freedom she longed for. It also shows friendship and that it’s what is on the inside that counts, not how much money is in your pockets.
5. “The Lion King”
Released in 1994 this colourful, emotional story can never be untold. The Lion King, although sad at parts, does teach about death in such a way that children will understand. It also shows that it’s not always better to just run away from your problems. Within its rich songs and emotional storyline, family is another theme it holds onto. When Simba runs away, he finds a new family that loves him just as much and when he runs back home, doesn’t leave him behind.
Even though Tarzan is different then the rest of his family, it didn’t mean he was any less loved. The 1999 film not only has great music and beautiful scenery, but it has a story of unconditional true love. Even though he was the enemy, his adoptive mother took him in and he learned how to live through the wildlife around him. Through the movie, you see that he’s not the animal – money-grubbing humans are. It also shows that you can find love anywhere.
Merida fights the customs of her kingdom and creates her own path in life. The 2012 film follows her decisions as her archery skills get her through them. Brave is a great example that just because it’s a custom does not mean you can’t create your own path and follow your heart. It also shows the love of family and the strength you can hold within yourself.
Frozen came out in 2013 and the Elsa and Anna craze is still strong. This film is beautifully written and comes with some wonderful lessons. Within the story you learn to be yourself and not hide who you are; you learn that family will love you no matter what and that they can save you. The story about two loving and yet different sisters is one that will join the other timeless classics.
1. “Inside Out”
The emotional rollercoaster that is Inside Out is a great teaching tool for young ones. Inside Out is the newest film on the list, as it was released in 2015. It creates an easy dialogue about emotions and opens up a way to explain what is happening to them. The exaggerated emotions give colour and comedy to something that is sometimes not so funny and easy to talk about. It also shows what it means to build personality and character.
Despite bankruptcies and rejection letters, Walt Disney didn’t let that stop him from creating Mickey and his gang of characters. The story of his determination is legendary and inspiring and goes along with the legacy he has left. Whether young or old, no one can deny the magical wonders of a Disney movie.