Due to a family bereavement this week, this edition of the MM Top 5 has, I’m sure you noticed come a little later than usual. Make no mistake, this is a one-time occurrence (I hope) and it will be business as usual in the following weeks.
After what can only be described as a horrible weekend, I decided to pick a Top 5 which would cheer me up no end, films that people can watch, enjoy and remember long after they have finished. So, for this fortnight, we are looking at the Top 5 Disney Animated Features (Post 2000). Shall we begin?
5. The Princess & the Frog: 2009
Princess & the Frog: 5
Disney has always made sure that their ‘Princess’ films have had magic and 2009’s the Princess and the Frog is definitely no exception. From its slick visuals to its moving story and brilliant soundtrack, it has instantly become a classic, and my little sister wouldn’t be happy in the slightest if I hadn’t included it.
It also marked two very special occasions for Disney, one being the return to the old hand-drawn animation style which hadn’t been seen since Home on the Range in 2004. The other, perhaps more poignant occasion was that the lead character, Tiana, was Disney’s first black heroine, a step praised by many across the globe.
From excellent voice acting, to a wonderful soundtrack, it returned Disney to what it once was and thoroughly deserves the 5th spot in this week’s MM Top 5.
4. Monsters, Inc: 2001
Monsters, Inc: 4
I love Monsters, Inc so much. From a unique and exciting story, to a setting truly packed with colour, it for me is everything a Disney film should be.
A heart-warming story about the trials of life and letting go is interspersed with some truly hilarious scenes and as stated previously, a mesmerising colour palate and array of monsters only add warmth and joy to the proceedings.
John Goodman and Billy Crystal are the perfect double-act as Sully and Mike respectively and they captivated children, as well as myself, across the globe. Their infectious, comedic nature made them a joy to watch, so much so that a sequel, Monsters University, is being released later this year.
If it weren’t for the 3 films placed higher in this list being released later, it is entirely possible that Monsters, Inc would have taken the gold medal this time around.
3. Bolt: 2008
Many people will perhaps criticise my decision to put Bolt into this list, but for me, the critics are the reason why it is here.
Reviews of the film were largely positive but many felt that something magical was missing, something which Disney perhaps forgot to include. For me, those reservations died almost immediately.
It takes an incredibly good children’s film to move me, and Bolt did just that. The story has been done to death, animals take a road trip to get back to their owner, but Bolt did it differently. Not only did they use the unusual combination of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, who sang a cracking number during the end credits, but they made the story humorous and for the most part, believable.
I love Bolt, I really do, if you haven’t seen it because of some of the reviews, I urge you to – it’s clever, it has attitude, brilliant voice acting, cracking humour and brilliant animation, and perhaps the best thing of all; it cements the bond that we have with our animals, a bond which money simply cannot buy.
2. Finding Nemo: 2003
Finding Nemo: 2
The top 3 in this list were exceptionally difficult to choose between, Disney have made some really cracking films since the millennium and Finding Nemo is definitely no exception.
If, like myself you were a little disappointed about the announcement this week of a sequel, aptly titled Finding Dory, watch the original once more and pray to high heaven that it can be done justice because it would be a huge shame if the little fish and his legacy were destroyed by a rushed and poorly executed film.
Finding Nemo is a case of doing everything right in a children’s film and to this day, it remains a firm favourite of mine. The fact that the lead character has a disability is one reason why I love it, Nemo and his tiny fin made children realise that whilst everyone may be different, each and every person on this planet can do anything, if they put their mind to it.
Whilst the rest of the storyline is a little ambiguous, there’s enough colour in the palate here to keep even the hardest to please entertained and with a lovely mix of emotion and humour blended together perfectly with fine voice work from the actors and actresses involved; it created a wonderful recipe that was bound to impress.
Nemo has been included before in an MM Top 5, but surely any ‘Best Disney’ list has to include it?
1. WALL-E: 2008
So, for another week, we reach the pinnacle, the top spot, the holy grail of any list.
This outcome is perhaps a little predictable as WALL-E has featured in MM Top 5: Family Films but there is just so much about that little robot to love.
WALL-E was a game changer when it was released. Not only was it a sci-fi adventure, a genre which generally was thought of as ‘cult’, it almost has no dialogue in it whatsoever, but it’s these quirks which make it such a favourite with families and critics alike.
Released to universal acclaim and rightly so, it fully deserves the gold medal in my list. Pixar hit a ceiling with this film and one which they haven’t been able to break through as of yet.
The story remains fresh to this day, the environment is lush and it manages to tug at the heartstrings like few other family films can! Who could ever have imagined that two robots in love could conjure tears, but WALL-E managed to do it.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that you do, you won’t be left disappointed.
As always, some films simply can’t make the cut, but they do feature in my ‘An Honourable Mention’ list, which is below:
- Toy Story 3: 2010
- Brave: 2012
- Frankenweenie: 2012
- The Incredibles: 2004
- Ratatouille: 2007
So, what are your thoughts? Should another Post 2000 Disney Film have reached the top spot?
As ever, leave your thoughts below!