Top Four Disney Movies of the 90's

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Imagine this.  It is January 1st, 1990.  You have survived the 80's and big hair.  The good news is that Disney has recently released The Little Mermaid.  It was great.  You are expecting another masterpiece from Disney.  Unfortunately, Disney starts the decade with The Rescuers Down Under.  It was alright, but it was a sequel and therefore mildly disappointing.  And then Disney makes an amazing comeback when, one year later, Beauty and the Beast hits theaters, thus starting a string of four AWESOME movies.

Now, I could very well be biased, as these are the movies I grew up with.  But think about it-- Disney had FOUR hits in a row.  Chances are at least one of these movies is at the top of your 'Favorite Disney Movies' list. Disclaimer: the following order is my opinion; the number 1 movie being my absolute favorite.



4. The Lion King-- 1994
 

The Lion King is one of the most notable Disney movies.  It became a Broadway show, for goodness sake.  Did you know that Matthew Broderick voices adult Simba?  I never knew that!

The one thing that every person who has ever watched this movie will remember is Mufasa and his untimely death.  As a kid, it was traumatizing-- all of those wildebeest stampeding as Simba runs!  Then he finds his dad, then...it's just heartbreaking.

And we thank this movie for Hakuna Matata.  A word of wisdom every person, young and old, should take away from this movie.  It's so simple and can be turned into such an awesome song.

While there is humor through Timon and Pumba, this movie is rather grim.  It demonstrates the lengths to while people/lions will go to achieve power--even if it involves murdering family members. 

As a kid, it is exciting to watch the lion drama.  But after being exposed to civilization as well as Hamlet, there is a lot more to be taken out of this movie than just a neat story about lions.
 

3. Aladdin--1992


Aladdin starts out awesome.  Jafar is an insanely scary bad guy.  His thin mustache, spindly figure, and eyeliner contribute greatly to his creepiness.  It is Jafar and his quest for the 'diamond in the ruff' that has the viewer hooked from the beginning.  And it is Jafar that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seats during the epic fight at the end.  Jafar is the source of this movie's awesomeness.

Aladdin has its funny moments--thank you Abu.  And perhaps the Genie should get some credit too.  But there is something about the Genie that bothers me.  I'm not sure if that is because I am fed up with his great number of irritating impersonations, or if it's because he is voiced by Robin Williams.

Despite my dislike for the Genie, the relationship between him and Aladdin is a highlight of the movie.  It is an excellent example of friendship.  Aladdin sacrificed his chance to marry Jasmine so that the Genie could be set free. The world should take a lesson from their friendship.

The songs are addicting.  They are very upbeat, and it is very tempting to sing along with each of the songs. 

Finally, Jasmine should be socially inept.  After sixteen years, she has never left the palace, and her only friend is a tiger.  Really now?


2. Pocahontas--1995
                                                                 

Pocahontas is the most serious of these four Disney movies.  Yes, The Lion King had some pretty grim moments, but it also had quirky characters to serve as the comic relief.  With Pocahontas, there is Meeko and Flit, but they play small roles.

The characters are all like-able.  John Smith, first of all, is the most attractive cartoon character out there.  Voiced by Mel Gibson (pre-creeper days, of course), John Smith is a great character.  Yes, he is arrogant and has his faults, but he changes by the end of the movie.  He is smooth and charming, but genuine. 

What's more, Pocahontas is a strong female character (compared to some helpless ones like Snow White).  She is willing to risk her life to save John Smith (and who could blame her?) and to stop the hatred and war.  Plus, she dives from cliffs and canoes down waterfalls.  That's pretty awesome.

And what ten-year-old girl was not jealous of Pocahontas' hair?  It waved so perfectly in the wind.  Needless to say, I wanted to be Pocahontas.  Canoeing, great hair, and John Smith.

Also, the music in this movie fits it so well.  Sometimes, Disney movies use too many sing-songy songs.  But the music in Pocahontas captures the tone of the movie so perfectly.  I have these songs on my iTunes, of course. 

And the ending, *sigh* if only they could be together....


1. Beauty and the Beast--1991


Beauty and the Beast is without a doubt my number one movie and has been since I can remember.  My dad would watch it with me, and when it was over, I would insist upon watching it again.  He might not have appreciated watching the same movie four times in one afternoon with me, but I sure did.

Because Belle is a bookworm and reads the same books more than once, she is naturally my favorite Disney princess.  She is also a good role model for young girls.  She stands up for herself when she rejects Gaston (sending him into a mud puddle), she cares for her father and ignores the townspeople's taunts, and she sees past the Beast's ugly exterior and loves him for who he is.

The characters of the castle really all are quite characters.  Each one is unique and quirky.  They add comic relied to the beginning, when Belle and the Beast clash.

Who else is jealous of the library the Beast builds for Belle?

And the ballroom scene is amazing.  The animation is beautiful.  The entire ballroom is beautiful.  And the music is beautiful.  It sends chills down my spine.

The music in a lot of the Disney movies is great, and Beauty and the Beast is no exception.  I also have each song from this movie on my iTunes.

I do wish the Beast had a real name.  I'm sure his parents didn't say, "Beast would be a lovely name for our son."  And then when he transformed?  It was pretty intense when light beams shot from his finger tips and toes.  But when he finally faces Belle and she sees him as a human, the Beast is creepy.  There is something about the way he turns his head to face Belle and the music that plays in the background.



Beauty and the Beast is the Disney movie that ensnared me, causing me to waste many days as I watched it repeatedly.  It was the Disney movie that I related to the best, and it was the story that captured my attention the most.  But each movie appeals to each of us in different ways.  So please feel free to share your favorite Disney movies!

2 Comments

Jenni McGee said:

I love all 4 of the movies you chose! However, The Little Mermaid would replace the Lion King for the number four spot in my mind. haha! I don't think it matters how old you are, Disney movies are always going to be amazing.

I agree with the whole idea that the Beast should have a real name. But maybe since he has been a beast for so long no-one calls him by his human name? Besides, he would probably have a funny name like Gaston and then it would be distracting.

Kaitlin Monier said:

I never had The Little Mermaid on VHS so I didn't watch it very often growing up. But whenever I watch it now, it is awesome! I wish my parents would have added that movie to my childhood collection.

I guess since he's been a beast for so long, all of the talking inanimate objects just started calling him that. But in the prologue, his real name should have been introduced. And then she could have called him that when he became human. But then again, a weird name would have been distracting.

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