My Thoughts On The Beatles

The Beatles are one of the bands that are included in my personal top 20 list of bands. The reason is not because of their popularity or the fact that they have so many UK number one albums and singles (you’d have to be a real imbercile to reject any musician just because they lack these things) or even their personality. It’s because of their music, how they compose it, their use of inspiration and sometimes their subject matter. The Beatles are also quite good actors; I’ve seen A Hard Day’s Night, Help and Yellow Submarine. Most of the dialogue in A Hard Day’s Night is (or sounds) improvised and is partially based on the boys’ lives outside of rehearsals. Yellow Submarine is one of the best animated films I’ve seen and uses a splendid blend of surrealism marking an important part to the plot. I’ve also seen every Simpsons episode with the Beatles lending their guest voices, obviously except for John Lennon, who died way before the series. It’s no wonder the Beatles were so popular. Even the vultures from the Jungle Book referenced them.

My favourite song is I Want To Hold Your Hand. The song always put a smile to my face. It is very well sung and has just the right tempo of music. Most of their other songs rock the world, like; Paperback Writer, Revolution (which covers one of my favourite subject matters), Can’t Buy Me Love, only a few of their songs are boring. Hey Jude especially, the ending goes on and on and fails to get me in the groove. It’s like ‘will this song ever end?’

I shall now talk about the guys individually starting with John Lennon;

John Lennon has an incredible voice which I most notably admire during Can’t Buy Me Love when he screams ‘Owww!’. I recognized him more with his glasses, the elements that helped to avoid confusion with the other members. During general conversations, he is rather lazy through his speaking, which is where I’m guessing the producers of the Young Ones got the idea from for their creation of Neil (‘heavy’) and of course Dizzy the vulture from The Jungle Book who says without expression ‘very funny’, lol. After the Beatles split, I hadn’t heard much of John’s stuff compared with Paul. I liked Imagine, Working Class Hero, Jealous Guy and Woman, but I find the Christmas song a bit boring and overrated. It seemed promising that it displays a political message, but the melody’s rather dreary and lazy. There isn’t much excitement to it. I didn’t hear Working Class Hero until I was probably about 18. I’m not surprised the song was never played on the radio, due to the swearing it had. I never imagined John saying such words, especially the f word. I heard a rumour he used particular music without permission from the copyright holders and that he was a bit of a hypocrite. Still I think it was unfair of that imbecile to shoot him for no good reason.

Ringo is one of them lads who would make us laugh. In them films he did with the other three, he was always the one getting into trouble. In A Hard Day’s Night, he gets arrested by the cops, in Yellow Submarine, he ejects himself out of the sub for fiddling with the control panel. He’s written quite a few songs with the Beatles. At the moment, I can recall Octopus’ Garden (a cool tune), oh and he did sing lead vocals, but not write With A Little Help From My Friends.
As for his stuff outside the band, I had a listen to his solo songs and they’re really good; songs like The No-No Song, Photograph, Oh My My and Back Off Boogaloo. He’s been in a few good films and has a beautiful wife Barbara Bach aka the Bong Girl from the Spy Who Loved Me (one of my favourite James Bond movies), but there’s one thing that irritates me. I hear people rabbiting on about the time he narrated Thomas The Tank Engine. Yes I admit I watched it, but I deny being a fan. Top points; Ringo made no mistakes (probably reading from a sheet of paper during narration) and had a clear voice. I was pretty impressed with the cinematography and I liked the color scheme, but I hated the music and I hated the character representations. Too many repeated lines, and phrases i.e. ‘number one comes first’, ‘blue’s the only proper color for a train’, ‘railway’s faster than road’. All Thomas The Tank Engine does is influence children to speak in an irritating tone and behave like hypocrites. Thank God Ringo quit after the first series (apparently). That’s what was said on Rock Profile, bearing in mind that’s a comedy mickey-take. I’d rather hear him on that Simpsons episode than voicing a bunch of annoying and hypocritical trains.
I only just knew Ringo was a vegetarian a few days ago. Apparently because he had stomach pains caused by meat.
I so wanna buy Ringo’s latest album.

Paul is probably the most popular surviving member of The Beatles. He and John seemed to have written the most songs, mainly together, out of the other guys. The only songs he wrote without John I know of, were written outside the Beatles. As for his solo efforts, I’m more familiar with his than I am with John’s. I preferred him in the Beatles personally than as a solo artist. However my favourite solo song of his is Live & Let Die. Gee, it’s like The Beatles have a strong association with James Bond. Recently I heard that song he did with Ringo. I always knew them two would reunite.
I had absolutely no idea Paul was a vegetarian until I watched that Simpsons episode ‘Lisa The Vegetarian’. I am a bit frustrated with the apparent reason; he gave up meat after watching Bambi. It’s because I don’t view the Bambi’s mom sequence as much of a death scene, compared with that cool dinosaur fight in Fantasia. I’ll explain no more about it. Still, x% has a concern with the decline in wildlife including myself (even though I still eat meat). He seems to have married a lot of times even though he’s only had three. I don’t admire celebrities, though I do think Linda was the best wife for him, even though she’s dead. Heather on the other hand is mental! All she wanted was attention and she didn’t do anything special. She just whined and whined and whined, especially after their divorce.
I can’t think of anything else to say about Paul.

As for George, he happens to be my favourite Beatle which is why I decided to leave him till last. Everybody asks who my favourite group member is, though maturely, I don’t judge musicians by their appearances. It’s like being asked who my favourite Spice Girl is (probably either Mel B or Geri)!
The reason why I rank George as my favourite is because of his musical talents. No matter how quiet he is compared with the other Beatles, he is a bit like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Brian May. He can play lead guitar and sing simultaneously. I even give the songs he wrote a high ranking i.e. Within You Without You, While My Guitar Gentally Weeps, Here Comes The Sun and Something, because they all demonstrate this example.
After the split, George has had a fantastic range of careers. He had a film studio Handmade Films which has produced some fantastic films; Life Of Brian, Long Good Friday, Time Bandits (which he wrote one of the coolest film songs for), Withnail and I and Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. I gave a presentation on that company once!
He even continued with his music career, even though I’m more familiar with Paul’s solo singles. There are some of George’s solo songs I can recall and give a high ranking; Dream Away (which he wrote for Time Bandits) and that Travelling Wildburys song, End Of The Line, which was featured in the final episode of One Foot In The Grave. It’s a shame he died quite young, at 58, of lung cancer.

So you might think I consider The Beatles an overrated band. Well, not really. They’re not as overrated as The Spice Girls or Take That or even Coldplay, at least for my taste. I believe The Beatles have released some good stuff; I Want To Hold Your Hand, which I mentioned, Paperback Writer, Revolution (the B-Side to Hey Jude), Something and Can’t Buy Me Love are also awesome. But yet there are a few weaker points, such as Yesterday and Revolution 9 which I remember being bored by. Get Back and I Am A Walrus, I don’t dislike, but they don’t hold up much to me. I also mentioned that Hey Jude is my least favourite Beatles song, which may sound controversial, but opinions are opinions.

The Inspirations through my Origin in life

For most of my life, I have lived in Leicestershire, which is located in the East Midlands of England, Great Britain. My brother and myself were born in Montreal, Canada; at the time, my parents were working in Canada and I have descendants living there. They were both born in Britain and sometime during the mid-1980s after their wedding, they moved to Canada. This was the time when Margaret Thatcher was the prime minister and I personally don’t blame them for moving, because of the recession that occurred and Canada’s economy was finer then. Frankly, I never liked the Conservative party. I mainly support left-wing parties, because they stand for equality and are more ‘logical’ when it comes to economics.

Only a short amount of my early life was spent in Canada. As a result, I never got to experience much of the country. I was only nine and a half months old when we moved to Britain. This was because my grandparents were very ill at the time. Of course, they are all dead now. It is a shame, because I never knew them as much as I know my great-aunts and great-uncles.

Before my late-teens, I was quite uncertain what career I wanted. As a kid, some of my career choices varied. One dream job related to working on machines; I think it was those toy cars, trains and other vehicles that set me up and the times when I watched certain programmes such as Thunderbirds and Wallace & Gromit that I frequently viewed. Plus my dad has worked as an engineer for most of his life. One of the companies he worked for relates to aircraft manufactured by Rolls Royce.

Another dream job I had on mind was to join the police. One of the motivations was the range of police programmes I watched and because being a cop is quite physical (a bit like machine work and mechanics); it involves chasing any criminals who resist arrest (N.B. it does not always happen like that). Plus, I often passed by a few cops standing around the streets and they always seemed friendly.

But it wasn’t until I got my first guitar at the age of nine when I started to find music tempting. I began to write a few songs, but eventually, and as I was in the middle of studying an A-Level Film Studies course, I became pessimistic and knew that I would not become a musician. During my teens, I regularly saw some of my friends perform in bands. Yet, I found it hard to form one myself. As I became more interested in film, I gave up looking for work as a musician. I did take a music course, but this occurred after completing my A-Levels and I knew it was too late to cancel my application. The only reason why I took the course was because I failed AS-Level Performing Arts and I was rather annoyed about it at the time and to be honest, vengeful. So after my second and final year as an A-Level student, I tried the music course, but I eventually lost interest. A. the music course was only a BTEC 1st Diploma and none of the staff cared about my A-Levels, and B. I owed so much to my Film Studies course, that I became more serious on film-making and less on music. I still have a passion in music, but not as huge as in film-making. I continued to play my guitar and bass and harmonica and I continued to write my own songs, which I hope to share to the public in the future.

During my years in-between middle and high school, I was quite uncertain what I wanted to do in regards to a future career. From my A-Level Film Studies years onwards, I decided that my top dream job was to work in the film industry and produce films. Before I studied the subject, I had watched and obtained a knowledge on a wide range of films, which I knew would prove useful to my studies and sometime before the course’s completion, I knew I barely struggled with the situation and thought of various ideas for new features. I received a D grade in the end and that counted as a pass for an A-Level. During my struggles with the music course, I wrote my first script for a feature film, which I called Amen; a horror/mystery thriller based on an obnoxious vicar who replaces a recently murdered vicar and causes suspicion around the village.

The next year, I enrolled at another college (South Leicestershire) to study OCR National Diploma In Media. I felt more comfortable with the course, but there was one concern. I was only interested in the visual aspects of media; and television, mainly film. I felt the course covered too many aspects of media and I had no interest in radio or magazine publishing. I always viewed celebrity gossip as a self-centered topic and quotes such as “look at me , I got the looks” and “she’s so dirty” annoy me so much. No, film was always my kind of media. This is why I label UK Film Studies (Unit 23) as my favorite module of the course. I wanted to learn more about that aspect of media, so to extend my knowledge and grades, I moved on to The University Of Northampton to study a Higher National Diploma in Digital Film Making.

I felt much happier with HND Digital Film Making, because it was the most focused on film since Film Studies and provided a lot of info that was not covered in my previous studies. The course lasted for two years, so after graduation, I stayed in Northampton for another year to commence a ‘top-up’ application as a continuation to the course; this means that I ‘topped-up’ the HND and studied a final year period for a Bachelor Arts course; Media Production, which also signaled my final year in education. The course wasn’t as good as the HND; for one module, I had to create a viral, which is a bit like an advert, and I didn’t receive enough lectures based on what a viral is. Plus, when I studied the HND, we could create whatever film we wanted. However, my education extended and I am proud to have received decent grades including a 2.1 degree.

The affect Aspergers had on my life

This is a topic that I very rarely discuss in life. It is about a certain condition which relates to certain difficulties. It is quite a sensitive topic, because X% of the world, including myself, obtain the condition. This is known as Asperger’s, a mild relation to autism. This had quite a large effect on my life. I didn’t know I had it until my teens, when I asked my parents about why I’ve been involved in certain events.

At various schools, I was involved in a unit known as ‘Speech & Language’, in which the teachers are also learning supporters. This would make sense. But my school life was pretty over limiting. For example, I had made plenty of friends at school and because I lived too ridiculously far away, there was always transportation arranged for special needs. This meant that there were always strict schedules and I never got much time to hang around with mates after school or goof off in the nearby villages.

I went to two primary schools; the first one was Barley Croft in Beaumont Leys, Leicestershire, which I do not obtain much memory of or remember many people from. What I remember was that we were always in the same classroom and we never got to know many of the non S&L students. Actually there was one event, whilst at this school, I particularly remember; Michael Wilson, also known as Cobra from Gladiators (that’s a UK based TV entertainment programme), once came to give a speech at the school. The speech was epic, though I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I still own a photograph of him with his signature. But apart from that, I don’t remember much about the school, with the exception of that event.

The second school I attended was Glenfield, which I liked better; I got to experience more classrooms. As a Year 4 student, I was in a mainstream English/Maths. This was repeated when I was in Year 6, but added to that, each Monday and Tuesday afternoon saw my sessions with a mainstream Year 6 class. Unfortunately there were still some limitations, i.e. the transport to/from school and I felt different from the other students in my classroom; some of them would act obnoxiously and I attempted not to have anything to do with it.

When I moved onto Stonehill High School, my middle school which was based in Birstall, this demonstrated a definite interaction with the mainstream students; this occurred during many of the lessons I had. However I felt that the S&L faculty was overprotective of those with learning difficulties. For instance, we were told that we could only go outside during break-times if there was somebody to accompany us. I would say that is rather extreme, because there were times when it was a beautiful day and I wanted to receive fresh air and because the area was the S&L centre and it was quite a small and crammed area. Luckily, I did find people to go and play outside with at times and I found this more fun, but this didn’t always happen.

Longslade, which has always been my favourite school, demonstrated my increased freedom. I interacted with the students better, no matter their conditions. At times, anybody could go out to the local village, but only at break-times (also know as recess) and, if you were a sixth form student, during free periods. I still had special needs transport arranged before the start and at the end of school times. Plus, I had what you call ‘life skills’ lessons. These were my least favourite subjects; the reason was because there were particular topics covered that I felt I already learned as an elementary school student, i.e. 12-hour clocks, problems demonstrated via pictures, etc. Plus I felt like I was missing out on more exciting stuff; originally I had picked to study Geography as a humanities subject, but then I was told I had to do life skills. It was a shame, because I would’ve learned about various cultures around the world. I couldn’t study Religious Education either for the same reason. However I feel that I have achieved plenty of independence and responsibility. This is one of the reasons why I owe so much to Longslade and describe it as my favourite school. I owed so much to the school I once attended an event which celebrated fifty years of its origin. If there was one example of independence I gained, that would be a field trip in Saltzburg, Austria, that I attended; the occasion was to take skiing lessons.

After completing A-Levels, I attended two colleges and hoped that I would feel more independent and forget about my Asperger’s. But it could not be escaped; for each lecture, I had a support assistant sit near me to take notes and I remain grateful that they were only attempting to help my understanding of each topic, but sometimes I found it embarrassing and slightly distracting; sometimes I would jot certain notes down while taking in what the lecturer said and the support assistant would tell me not to write something down and as a result, I would lose my place. Luckily, when I attended university, this did not happen. I was happier, because I wanted to experience lectures without the help of special needs. This equalled independence and fewer distractions from certain things.

So throughout the years, despite my condition, I have experienced friendships with various people, not just those who are autistic. I had very few enemies, but that’s part of life. I try not to let my condition get into my way, but there are times when people keep bringing it up, which leads to the result of not being able to escape from it. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this, but there are people who refer to people with Asperger’s as ‘retards’ (I’m sorry I had to say that), but I am strong and there is the old saying that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones’. Added to that, names cannot hurt me. There were times when I was prone to lose my temper whenever I was provoked, but I have gotten over it.

After all, those with Asperger’s have made a valid contribution to society. Apparently, even numerous celebrities contain Asperger’s . These include;

• Albert Einstein

• Gary Numan – the synth-pop musician

• Dan Ackroyd – film actor whose works include The Blues Brothers, Trading Places and Ghostbusters

• Woody Allen – jazz musician and film director; one of his films being Sleeper. Apparently he prefers showers with plug-holes in the corner rather than the middle

• Steven Spielberg(?) – my personal favourite film director of all time. It is hinted that he does/did haveAsperger’s .

And yet, all these people have achieved huge successes in life, so one cannot automatically assume that all the autistic are ‘retarded’. Retarded means backward in mental or physical development. Asperger’s is just a mild learning difficulty, so there is a huge difference.

The Worst-to-Best Movies produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios

for future utube clip

Because a Disney Legend has recently passed on, I am going to observe and give a critique on Walt Disney’s ‘Animated-Canon’. After analysing Steven Spielberg’s movies, I was going to observe all the aspects by Disney, but there are hundreds of films that Disney has produced and I want to keep this short. I will analyse the live-action films and the Pixar ones another time.

Disney is one of those film companies that has left a huge impact on many people for many years. Each time most film viewers remember their childhood, Disney becomes one of the most likely things to pop into our heads.

Anyway, starting with the worst, here is what I regard as the Worst to Best Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature films. I say this from both a viewer’s and critic’s perspective;

 

48. The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh (1977)

the_many_adventures_of_winnie_the_pooh

Runtime: 74 minutes

I begin this list with the CBeebies of Disney which belongs to one of the most overrated franchises ever. I only saw this film once; most of it’s forgettable, apart from all the pooey elements that have come flooding back; It’s pointless; it’s made from three short films which we’ve all seen before the film was even released; no proper synopsis! And to top it all, a completely yucky soundtrack that you’ll die to excrete out of your mind. No offence to the Sherman Brothers, but you wrote way better songs for Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Sword In The Stone and so forth. Nothing stands out about The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. It’s like, “Winnie the what?!”

There I said it. Next!

47. Bolt (2008)

Bolt-movie-d10

Runtime: 96 minutes

Budget: $150,000,000

Domestic Box Office: $114,053,579

Worldwide Box Office: $309,979,994

I think John Travolta’s a cool actor. But this is his most boring performance compared to Pulp Fiction, Saturday Night Fever and/or Grease (even though that film’s pretty overrated). It’s not that he screwed up his acting, but it’s just not interesting to relate to. Bolt is just, as Doug Walker might say, being cutesy for the sake of being cutesy. Plus, I wish that cat got run over or something. Maybe I’m being harsh, but she’s almost as annoying as Blanky out of The Brave Little Toaster! If she was a dog, I’d say she’s a total b***h! Bolt is another film you can definitely skip.

46. Fun & Fancy Free (1947)

Fun & Fancy Free

Runtime: 73 minutes

I bet you readers had a feeling I would include one of the 1940s package films near the bottom of this list. Well, I guess it’s no surprise, since most of them are pretty, you guessed it, forgettable. I usually want to see a movie with one structured storyline, and I don’t think those two sub-stories crammed in one film work. The bear’s plot is thin and predictable and easily wrecked by a narrator who won’t shut up! Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy’s take on Jack & The Beanstalk is a bit of an improvement; the sharing food bit is understandable, but yet again ruined by a few disgusting elements; the giant does not have much of a personality for a villain. Even the live-action sequence is pointless; those puppets are obnoxious. God knows what Gerry Anderson thought of them! I feel like I want to pop their heads off! It’s lovely to see Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Jiminy Cricket (did I mention Jiminy?) in one feature. Too bad they had to be so crammed up in this one.

45. Pocahontas (1995)

pocahontas

Runtime: 81 minutes

Budget: $55million

Domestic Box Office: $141,579,773

Worldwide Box Office: $346,079,773

A Disney movie based on a true story? Sounds like a promising idea. But then it turns out to be a snore-through love story. It’s not the certain historical inaccuracies that are involved. The title character and her boyfriend are so boring! And how many songs can you remember? Well, I can only remember two of them; Savages, the best one(!), Colors Of The Wind, which is fine, not exactly When You Wish Upon A Star, but aside from that, not much of a musical. I give Pocahontas credit for its different animation techniques. But even my brother remembers the boredom we experienced from this film. It’s not the worst (see above), but definitely the weakest from the Disney Renaissance.

44. The Three Caballeros (1945)

The_Three_Caballeros

Runtime: 72 minutes

Worldwide Box Office: $700,000

The apparent sequel to Saludos Amigos. The thought of Donald Duck viewing movies really blends the various stories together, but again, apart from the dance sequence by Donald and what’s-their-faces, I can’t remember much about this movie. In fact, there’s also the narrator with a large yap from the first half who constantly rabbits on and on and on about random rubbish. Oh Donald. You’re one of the coolest cartoon characters I’ve ever seen on-screen. If only the producers would cast you in more decent movies. He did get his chance eventually, but we’ll get to that later.

43. Dinosaur (2000)

dinosaur

Runtime: 82 mins

Budget: $127.5million

Domestic Box Office: $137,748,063

Worldwide Box Office: $349,822,765

This was Disney’s first CG animated feature to need not Pixar’s help, and boy was it a snore-fest. I praise the film for its effort-fully detailed constructions for the dinosaurs; similar-ish to Jurassic Park and Walking With Dinosaurs, but do they really have to talk? If you want to make this more interesting, look at the Rite Of Spring sequence in Fantasia. Tell the dinosaurs to shut their big fat gobs! And give them more personality!

42. Saludos Amigos (1942)

Saludos Amigos

Runtime: 42 minutes

Is it really a feature? 18 minutes shorter? Either way, that’s not important right now. I don’t mind watching a film set during a vacation, but Saludos Amigos is too much like a holiday promotion than a film. This is something you expect to see as a commercial. Some of the shorts are decent and provide a strong South American connection between each other. Aquarela do Brasil is visually stunning. Lake Titicaca is quite amusing. El Gaucho Goofy is okay. Pedro, however, I hate that one – this section of the film weighs the whole thing down, thanks to that big gobbed narrator. If it’s a choice between Saludos Amigos or The Three Caballeros, I’d go for Saludos Amigos. Just get ready to fast forward.

41. Wreck-It-Ralph (2012)

374847_545677092115803_222488265_n

Runtime: 101 minutes

Budget: $165,000,000

Domestic Box Office: $189,422,889

Worldwide Box Office: $471,222,889

I saw Wreck-It-Ralph once. The only reason was because some of my mates saw it at the pictures. I didn’t, because I felt the film would be as stupid as Happy Feet. The film just turned out to be okay. I’d give Wreck-It-Ralph credit for its video game like graphics and the cameos from M. Bison, Sonic The Hedgehog, Pacman, etc, but I feel that the dialogue and acting together needed a bit of work. Plus, Ralph’s sidekick feels like slime through ear-to-ear, with Sonic trapped inside and zooming round my head a zillion times so much, I want to vomit. There I said it; not exactly Citizen Kane or even The Matrix. Apart from the graphics, character design and bits of the race, I don’t even remember much about Wreck-It-Ralph.

40. Bambi (1942)

image

Runtime: 70 minutes

Budget: $1,700,000

Domestic Box Office: $1,640,000 (original release), $102million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $3,449,353 (original release), $267,997,843 (total)

You’re probably going to hate me for placing this ‘classic’ film so low. To be honest, this film’s a tad overrated. There’s a lot of cutesiness that drags a bit too much. Plus I couldn’t cry at the famous death scene; I won’t give too much detail, but it’s been spoiled many times. Why couldn’t I cry? Because this scene is too rushed! Instead of giving us a chance to mourn the victim, it goes straight into “Sunshine Lollipops”, also known as the beginning of what I like to call the maturity scene. It’s not as emotional as the first scene in The Fox & The Hound or the post-wildebeest stampede in The Lion King. I guess you think I hate this movie. Well, no. I like the music and I like the bit where Bambi fights with another deer and Thumper’s okay. I just don’t think it’s that strong. Anybody for an Animals Of Farthing Wood movie?

39. Cinderella (1950)

104422__cinderella_l

Runtime: 72 minutes

Budget: $2.2million

Domestic Box Office: $85million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $7,800,000 (original release), $88,000,466 (total)

Another film which I think is overrated. I know, I know. As a kid, I had Cinderella on video. It’s ironic, because this is a girl’s movie. I like to think my parents bought the video, so me and my brother could check out the women, ya know, early flirting. I enjoyed some of the animal bits, the the king trying to kill the Duke and the songs, especially Sing Sweet Nightingale, that really cracked me up! Lady Tremaine’s okay for a villain and even the animation is scaled! It’s not that it’s anti-feminist (I’ll leave it to you guys to decide whether it is anti-feminist), but certain elements bring this movie down; the prince and princess are both as boring as hell! The prince, especially, does not have much of a personality. The occasional bitching from Drizella and Anastasia can get annoying; it’s almost like watching a cartoon version of All About Eve (oh God!). If you’re familiar with the original story, you’ll know what’s going to happen in the film. It’s rather predictable.

Mom, Dad, if you’re reading this, I am grateful that you introduced us to the film. I’m glad I watched it. But I just have my own personal issues.

38. Frozen

frozen__140108191101

Runtime: 102 minutes

Budget: $150million

Domestic Box Office: $400,700,000

Worldwide Box Office: $1,274,000,000

Yes, the one everybody seems to be going on about. I know it’s grossed so much money and received so much critical acclaim. I do admit the locations contain a lovely atmosphere and I do admire the relationship between the two sisters. But like Bambi and Cinderella, it’s let’s face it rather overrated. Some of the film’s forgettable and speaking as a laddish lad, Frozen ain’t exactly what I would choose for constant viewing. Plus, the main song doesn’t match my personal music tastes. I didn’t watch Frozen in cinemas. Frankly it had no appeal to me, but so many people got obsessed with it, even the kids (so what’s new?), I gave in and watched it on Putlocker, and it was just okay. Take it for what’s it worth, not one of my personal faves.

37. The Adventures Of Ichabod & Mr Toad (1949)

Disney Horseman

Runtime: 68 minutes

The title of the film makes it sound like Toad and Ichabod are buddies in a road movie. But not so. It’s two separate stories, each based on literature, that don’t gel up together. They’re totally different stories. The first is basically Wind In The Willows, which is sadly predictable, if you’re familiar with the original story. You know Toad’s going to suffer an addiction to motor vehicles, and that he gets charged and escapes from jail and confronts Chief Weasel. Though I like how the characters are drawn to scale, I think the BBC version (the one with Matt Lucas, Mark Gatiss and Bob Hoskins) was better.

As for the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, the next one, it’s a rather clichéd love story. The highlight; the Headless Horseman’s scene, that is awesome! But the other scenes drag. So what is the connection between the Wind In The Willows and the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow? Explain!

36. Make Mine Music (1946)

MMM-Two-Silhouettes

Runtime: 76 minutes

A bit like Fantasia, but not as strong. For starters, Fantasia’s shorts were based on instrumental classical music, but Make Mine Music’s segments follow popular songs, with rather distracting lyrics. The Martins and The Coys, pretty corny. Blue Bayou, pretty cool. All The Cats Join In, so-so. Without You, a bit boring. Casey At The Bat, so obnoxious. Two Silhouettes, awesome! Peter And The Wolf, lose the narrator, I don’t care if it’s the same guy who voiced the Cheshire Cat and Kaa. After You’ve Gone, creatively badass! Johnnie Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet, not brilliant. The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met, totally ridiculous! Monstro should’ve been that whale.

Compared to Fantasia and despite certain decent segments, Make Mine Music is not a very balanced film.

35. The Princess & The Frog (2009)

the-princess-and-the-frog

Runtime: 96 minutes

Budget: $105million

Domestic Box Office: $104,400,899

Worldwide Box Office: $267,045,765

Disney originally planned to permanently give up on 2D animation. However after three CG cartoons, including the toxic Bolt, and thanks to John Lasseter, they changed their minds and along came The Princess & The Frog. While I enjoyed the jazz, the Witch Doctor and the rest of the atmosphere, I have to admit there are certain parts that bring this film down. First, the blond bimbo is so obnoxious, I can’t stand her. Second, it is based on the famous Frog Prince related fairy tale and it has that over clinched kiss-her-and-the-spell’s-broken plot hole. I don’t admire Randy Newman that much, but the songs are way better than the ones in James & The Giant Peach (eugh!).

34. Tarzan (1999)

max11

Runtime: 88 minutes

Budget: $130million

Domestic Box Office: $171,091,819

Worldwide Box Office: $448,191,819

Tarzan is a movie that I would personally place in the ‘okay’ category. I wouldn’t say it’s as brilliant as Pinocchio or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it definitely beats Bambi. You got the protagonist whose parents are killed by a cheetah. This is ironic, because I would’ve liked to see more of the leopard and I often debate with myself whether him or Clayton should be the main villain. Yes, Clayton want’s to wipe out the jungle’s population, which is a good set-up, but the cheetah’s the one that orphaned Tarzan in the first place. The cast is impressive, there’s Brian Blessed, the actor of Richard IV in BlackAdder, who voices Clayton, Wayne “Dennis Nedry” Knight, who voices the elephant and who can forget the lovely Rosie “Betty Rubble” O’Donnell as Terk. Kerchak, especially, is a smashing character. The other characters are okay. Phil Collins’ songs are okay, but some of them I feel are positioned in not the best times for a song. The climax is cool, but I still feel like the film’s missing something. Yes, you guessed it, the leopard. Shouldn’t there be a scene where the leopard has a final confrontation with Tarzan or something?

33. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

liloandstitch

Runtime: 85 minutes

Domestic Box Office: $145,794,338

Worldwide Box Office: $273,144,151

I watched Lilo & Stitch several times since it came out. My neighbours liked it, some of my friends liked it. The synopsis works quite well, but it’s the ending that goes downhill. I reckon the villain should be re-developed. She’s too tolerant of Lilo’s ownership to the alien, but that’s a personal nitpick. I love the soundtrack, I love the character of Stitch, I especially love Cobra (I’m not gay for him); he has both a sympathetic side and a don’t-f***-with-me persona, simultaneously. I admire the relationship between the two sisters, but if there’s certain characters that I find corny, it’s the two obnoxious aliens who attempt to hunt Stitch down, but especially them schoolgirls who are so unfair to Lilo. Somebody give me a lawnmower, so I can run over them little brats! Lilo & Stitch marks a cool contribution to society, but it could’ve done with a few more development tweaks.

32. Hercules (1997)

hercules

Runtime: 93 minutes

Budget: $85million

Domestic Box Office: $99,112,101

Worldwide Box Office: $252,712,101

Hercules reminds me of Superman, but on the dark side, it also reminds me of that overly corny Frank Oz version of the Little Shop Of Horrors. Why Superman? The character of Hercules obtains brute strength and gets separated from his god-parents at birth. He also has a Lois Lane-type girlfriend. The villain, Hades, is wacky and eccentric. James Woods pulls it off.  Danny DeVito does a great job, also, as Phil, the mentor. The fight with the hydra is badass. But Hercules would’ve made it near the top, if it wasn’t for those gospel singers who won’t zip it with the narration. This is where some of the irritating elements from Little Shop Of Horrors floods back. Plus, I wish Ron Clements and John Muskers allowed more time for improvement on the special effects. I personally like the video game better. I would recommend you have a go at the game.

31. Brother Bear (2003)

VSGpw

Runtime: 85 minutes

Budget: $90million

Domestic Box Office: $85,336,277

Worldwide Box Office: $250,397,798

Phil Collins is back! When I first heard of Brother Bear, I was appealed to avoid the film. The title made it sound too cute and cuddly, as if it’s for very young children. But actually, the older viewers can enjoy it too. The film’s quite unique for a Disney flick. There’s no real villain, the antagonist is a basic misunderstanding among the brothers. One of them dies, another kills a bear for vengeance, but then turns into a bear and the third tries to kill him, not knowing it’s really him, because he also wants vengeance. This is one such film that I bet Trey Parker & Matt Stone wish they made. It’s not as panto as many of the other fairy tales, though there is this hilarious comic relief from the two mooses (one voiced by Rick Moranis). That’s common in pantomimes. Brother Bear is brilliant for a unique storyline. Though the Phil Collins songs are positioned in the wrong scenes at times, especially where Koda discovers what happened to his mom. And sometimes, Koda can be so annoying.

30. Snow White & The Seven Dwarves (1937)

Snow White

Runtime: 83 minutes

Budget: $1,488,423

Domestic Box Office: $3.5million (original release), $184.9million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $7,846,000 (original release), $416million (total)

Another film which you’re probably wondering why it’s positioned so low. Look, I know it was the first ever feature to be produced by Disney, but that doesn’t mean it has to go more steps beyond, does it. Okay, enough of my moaning. The best characters are the dwarves. They got personality! Grumpy is the best! I’m not just saying that. He’s the most unique of all his associates. His name clarifies his persona, but deep down, he does have a heart for Snow White. The prince is too much like Cinderella’s prince Charming. The Queen is not very interesting; that is until she drinks that potion and…. you know the rest.

29. Lady & The Tramp (1955)

lady-and-the-tramp

Runtime: 75 minutes

Budget: $4million

Domestic Box Office: $7.5million (original release), $88,300,200 (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $93,602,326 (total)

Not only is Lady & The Tramp about two dogs falling in love, but it’s also about an interaction between two classes. Lady; upper class, Tramp; working class. I’m not a romantic film bluff, but this is definitely much less clichéd compared to, say, When Harry Met Sally.

25. The Little Mermaid (1989)

200904120324041

Runtime: 85 minutes

Budget: $40million

Domestic Box Office: $$84,355,863 (original release), $111,543,479 (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $211,343,479 (total)

And so began the Disney Renaissance, and the first of Disney’s ‘fairy-tales’ since Sleeping Beauty. Despite Ariel’s occasional whining and the clichéd kiss-to-break-the-spell goal, Prince Eric is much better than the other Disney princes I mentioned. In fact, he and Ariel remind me of Troy Tempest and Marina from Stingray. The watery effects are cool, and the songs are terrific! Well, some can be cheesy, but stuff like Under The Sea certainly gets us into the groove. It’s a liberal movie, which proves a pleasant viewing experience.

28. One Hundred & One Dalmatians (1960)

one-hundred-and-one-dalmatians-1961-dalmatian-plantation

Runtime: 79 minutes

Budget: $4million

Domestic Box Office: $14million (original release), $144.9million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $215,880,212 (total)

One Hundred & One Dalmatians deserves credit for introducing the new animation technique that is Xerography. It’s very sketchy, it’s very urban, it’s very jazzy, nice connection. Cruella DeVil is an awesomely designed and developed villain. I’ve only seen this film twice. First time, so long ago. Second, better than I remember it. My favourite elements of this movie; Cruella DeVil and her henchmen.

27. Fantasia 2000 (1999)

fantasia-2mc-26

Runtime: 75 minutes

Budget: $80million

Domestic Box Office: $60,655,420

Worldwide Box Office: $90,874,570

At last, Donald Duck has been cast in a proper film for a change! Well, there’s another one yet to come. Poor Goofy though (but I would recommend A Goofy Movie). The sequel to the classic Fantasia may not beat the first one, but Fantasia 2000 has plenty of tasty ingredients the viewers can consume.  My favourites are Rhapsody In Blue and Firebird Suite. Speaking of Donald, he and Daisy get a part in Pomp & Circumstance/Noah’s Ark; it’s decent, but the music sounds a tad too much like the animals are graduating and the ark is the college. The worst one is The Carnival of The Animals; it’s not the music, but giving a flamingo a yo-yo? That sounds ridiculous. I wish Fantasia 2000 was more original. At times, the celebrities keep dwelling on the first film, which is not a very good taste. Also, why repeat the Sorcerer’s Apprentice? Repeating material is not very unique for a sequel. And please, somebody fast-forward the celebrities.

26. Melody Time (1948)

tumblr_m5ev0azsMG1r3jmn6o1_500

Runtime: 75 minutes

I did say Donald Duck was in another film and here it is, Melody Time. The apparent sequel to Make Mine Music, but made hundreds of times better. It’s also how Fantasia 2000 should’ve  been constructed. Completely different segments and it’s perfectly balanced. Once Upon A Wintertime, nice. Bumble Boogie, the best one! The Legend Of Johnny Appleseed, also awesome. Little Toot, hate it. Trees, much better. Blame It On The Samba, that’s the one with Donald Duck in it and it’s good. Pecos Bill, not as brilliant as the other segments. I personally think the film should’ve ended with The Legend Of Johnny Appleseed.

24. Treasure Planet (2002)

Treasure-Planet-disney-67633_1024_768

Runtime: 95 minutes

Budget: $140million

Domestic Box Office: $38,176,783

Worldwide Box Office: $109,578,115

Treasure Planet is a science-fictional version of the classic Robert Stevenson novel, Treasure Island. Of course, there are a million film versions, including that dreadful Filmation cartoon. But thankfully, Treasure Planet does not follow the book too much, its choreography is much cleaner and look at that ship, man!

23. Oliver & Company (1988)

oliver-company-DI-06-DI-to-L10

Runtime: 73 mins

Domestic Box office: $53.3million (original release), $74.2million (1996 re-release)

Okay, the Little Mermaid started a new era of blockbusters, but that wouldn’t have occurred if it wasn’t for Oliver & Company, Disney’s pilot feature for the Disney Renaissance. Oliver & Company saved Disney’s ass from near bankruptcy. I said before that Treasure Planet would outsmart Filmation’s Treasure Island and that Lady & The Tramp outsmarts,… romantic comedies. Oliver & Company is loosely based on Olivier Twist, the musical. Duh! It doesn’t just follow the typical Oliver Twist story, it jazzes it up really well; different songs, different setting, you still got the same characters, only Oliver is a cat, Dodger is a dog, Sykes is the leader of a local Mafia. Effortlessly original! This is exactly what the audience wants. The pop and piano rock songs are incredibly bouncy, thanks to the voice talents of Billy Joel, Bette Midler and then future hip-hop star Joey Lawrence. Of course he does not sing in this film, but a new era was just beginning.

22. Aladdin (1992)

232px-Aladdin_and_Genie

Runtime: 90 minutes

Budget: $28million

Domestic Box Office: $217,350,219

Worldwide Box Office: $504,050,219

Jasmine kicks butt! The Genie is a real character! Jafar is… well designed. Iargo has a mouth for war. It’s totally understandable why Aladdin is so loved! Aladdin, like the Little Mermaid, is another enjoyable experience, though the soundtrack is so-so. Though Arabian Nights is a lovely opening song, A Whole New World is a bit cheesy. If there was one song from 1992 I would’ve personally awarded the Oscar to, it would’ve been I Miss You (Robyn’s Song) from that Tom & Jerry movie (if only that got a nomination).

21. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Emperor's new groove

Runtime: 78 minutes

Budget: $100million

Domestic Box Office: $89,302,687

Worldwide Box Office: $169,327,687

I cackled all the way through David Spade’s spectacular performance as the capitalist emperor that is, Kuzco. I felt emotions when he struggles to cope with his llama alias. He starts off as a heartless meanie, then he turns into a llama and stumbles across this ‘peasant’ whose life he planned to ruin. And their mission is to return to the palace and turn Kuzco back into a human. Most of the forth-wall jokes are hilarious, but when I first watched it, I thought there were times when the jokes go too far. For instance, when Kuzco introduces his llama form, he makes it pretty obvious that the llama is him. I was like; ‘shouldn’t the producers have waited till the film progressed?’ But I’ve got over it. The Emperor’s New Groove is without a doubt one of the highlights of the post-Disney Renaissance.

20/19. Both Rescuers films (1977 + 1990)

240px-Rescuers_Topless_Woman600full-the-rescuers-down-under-screenshot

The Rescuers

Runtime: 77 minutes

Budget: $1.2million

Worldwide Box Office: $29million (original), $71,215,869 (total)

The Rescuers Down Under

Runtime: 77 minutes

Budget: $38million

Domestic Box Office: $27,931,461

Worldwide Box Office: $47,431,461

I, of course, am referring to The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990). Why am I tying them both together? Because I have no personal preference. I think they are as good as each other. Why are they neglected? Is it because they lack songs? Of course the first film contains two songs; though Bernard and Bianca do not burst into musical numbers, but so what? They’re still neat. Down Under has no songs. Yet again, so what? It’s fine as it is. They do have the same basic story, but some of the narrative elements are different. First film; the SOS message is sent via message in a bottle. Down Under; the mice familiarize themselves with modern network technology. They’re from one franchise, what do you expect? Both films each contain an exciting adventure that you wish you could participate in. Did you think I was going to fight over which one of the three Godfather films is the best?

18. The Lion King (1994)

the-same-the-lion-king-33095959-1100-682

Runtime: 87 minutes

Budget: $45million

Domestic Box Office: $312.9 million (original release), $422,783,777 (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $351,863,363 (original release), $987,483,777 (total)

And so comes the film that clogged the box office (I, of course, mean that as a compliment), until Frozen came out. Like Oliver & Company, The Lion King goes to show how easy it is to originalise another media product. It is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. End of story. Simba is one of the most unique Disney princes. He loses each play-fight with his best friend, Nala. He is left to fend for himself after one of his relatives is killed (I won’t say who it is, in case I spoil the film), though with some supervision from Timon and Pumbaa. Unlike his father who is well-built, he diets on bugs, vegetation and so forth. Speaking of the father, I said that Mufasa was well-built; his brother and the main villain Scar is the opposite; weak and spineless (check out that hump on his back), which is no wonder that he relies on the hyenas to do some of the work for him. And yet, the sibling rivalry between Mufasa and Scar is really interesting. The hyenas can be obnoxious sometimes, same for Timon and Pumbaa. But this film is pretty much what Bambi should’ve looked like. We see a character die. Forget Bambi’s mom (whoops, didn’t mean to say that). The Lion King gives us a chance for emotions. Though I cried more during the Can You Feel The Love Tonight sequence. Not only is is so beautiful, but I really felt for Timon and Pumbaa (oh god, I feel emotional now).

There were two sequels to the Lion King. Should there be a Lion King 4; this one ought to be based on Mufasa and Scar’s back-story, just like The Godfather Part 2.

17. Mulan (1998)

Mulan_Screenshot

Runtime: 90 minutes

Budget: $90million

Domestic Box Office: $120,620,254

Worldwide Box Office: $274,925,095

If there ever was a Saving Private Ryan of Disney, Mulan certainly hits the spot. It was about time Disney made a film about a more ‘manly’ Disney Princess. Stuff Cinderella man, Mulan is a more unique princess. How she eventually gets her man is more subtle compared to the usual princess movies. No kiss, no hug, no marriage proposal, nothing as clichéd as that. Anyway before I spoil any more of the movie, why did I compare Mulan to Saving Private Ryan? Well, first of all, it’s a war movie, except that it’s set in historical China. Second, look at the way the arrows attempt to lodge into the soldiers during the battle sequences. Impressive, innit? Also the scene where Le Shang finds the city in ruins is as heartbreaking as the napalm scene in Apocalypse Now. It’s like “wow!” If you thought Disney Princesses was just for girls, that ain’t quite true. Boys will love Mulan. I should know. I’m one myself!

16. The Fox & The Hound (1981)

Fight_Scene_-_(The_Fox_and_The_Hound)

Runtime: 83 minutes

Budget: $12million

Box Office: $39.9million (original release), $63,456,988 (total)

This is another film that has much more tear-jerking scenes than Bambi. The Fox & The Hound sees Tod lose his mom to a hunter, and it doesn’t go straight into ‘Sunshine Lollipops’. It’s slowed down enough to break your heart. Of course, we’re then cheered up when Widow Tweed takes care of Tod. Then we get an awesome Best of Friends/Best of Enemies storyline. Tod befriends Copper, a hound dog who is trained to hunt foxes.  Some viewers may dismiss The Fox & The Hound as a kids’ movie, but surely your grandpa could enjoy it too. Plus the next half does mature as the film progresses. The friendship between the two protagonists is a strong and emotional theme throughout and debates whether they should remain companions or if it’s like; “Let’s hunt each other down”. Mickey Rooney and Kurt Russell’s performance effectively spark the maturity. The ending made me cry. I won’t give anything away, but I still feel emotions thinking about it. Rest in peace Mickey.

15. The Aristocats (1970)

everybody-wants-to-be-a-cat2

Runtime: 78 minutes

Worldwide Box Office: $26,462,000 (original re-release), $55,675,257 (total)

If you love France and art, you’re going to love the Aristocats. Who said the Aristocats was so forgettable? It’s a masterpiece! As a kid, I had it on video. So what can I say about The Aristocats that makes it so good? First of all, the connections. It’s very well sketched out; this blends really well with the aristocratic culture and the French setting, that’s a powerful connection! Don’t believe me? Pay a visit to the Louvre. I once spent a few days vacation in Paris. Another important connection links the cats to the use of jazz music. Speaking of music, Richard and Robert Sherman’s songs rock! I mentioned all those abysmal songs from that Winnie the Pooh film(!). These ones swing into effort! Everybody Wants To Be Cat sung by them cool alley cats is especially a swinging classic!

14. Alice In Wonderland (1951)

alice1951-bluray-10

Runtime: 75 minutes

Budget: $3million

Worldwide Box Office: $2.4million

Another film we had on video, Alice In Wonderland is probably the most surreal Disney cartoon I’ve ever seen. Alice sometimes reminds me of myself. There’s the fuss about books without pictures and later, the hope for something with a logical explanation. Because logic is something that does not exist in Wonderland. I love how the setting of Wonderland is structured. It’s like a labyrinth and there’s the various characters Alice comes across. The Cheshire Cat; he cracked me up when he stood on his head, as much as the un-birthday tea party did. I really sympathize with Alice as the film progresses; as she struggles to open the entrance door to Wonderland, she forgets about the key on the table, but after all, she’s only a little girl. Her failed attempts to negotiate with the Mad Hatter and March Hare are humorous, yet understandable, and the scene where she sings Very Good Advice will definitely break your bleedin’ ‘earts! Alice In Wonderland is quite a challenging film to watch, probably somewhere in the same boat as Fahrenheit 451. This version of Lewis Carroll’s novel is the best of them all. Skip the Tim Burton version and avoid the one with Peter Sellers and Michael Crawford in it by all means.

13. Dumbo (1941)

dumbo-1941-03-g

Runtime: 64 minutes

Budget: $950,000

Domestic Box Office: $1,600,000

Dumbo is the film I cried most at. I mean, man, those circus trainers are so unfair to that poor elephant. Dumbo is born with enormous ears, and as a result, is bullied by the other elephants, except his mom and picked on by the circus… staff; his accidental clumsiness causes such a huge snag that he is made a clown. Gee, it’s like Disney meets the Elephant Man. That’s what makes the film so unique. Dumbo is a sympathetic view on those discriminated by their features. The only characters who are sympathizing with him are his mom, Timothy Q Mouse (that’s his mentor by the way) and of course the crows. Now on a very serious note, these crows have been picked on long enough now and it’s time we started to show some maturity in this. Disney never meant any harm to the audience whatsoever. Crows are black and shall remain black. It’s not their fault their black. Black is just a word. Jim Crow is just a name and is no different to the name Timothy Q Mouse or even Jiminy Cricket. Disney is as innocent as any certain person could be. How do you know the crows are even African Americans? Cliff Edwards wasn’t African. Anybody could dance like them. It’s perfectly normal and all Disney wanted to do was to make a valid contribution to society. There I said it.

12. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Maleficent-in-Sleeping-Beauty-maleficent-17278564-853-480

Runtime: 75 minutes

Budget: $6million

Worldwide Box Office: $5,300,000 (original release), $51.6million (total)

I have fond memories of Sleeping Beauty. Yes, it’s a princess movie, but what the hell. Me and my brother used to watch it all the time. It was one of those films we taped off the TV. Out of every Disney movie, or in fact, movie in general, Sleeping Beauty is the one I misheard the most lines from. There was me, right, watching the bit where Flora finds out that Aurora’s boyfriend was Prince Phillip all along, then rushes to her colleagues and is like “come on, we’ve got to get back to the car”. I was thinking “what, did they drive to the castle?” “Did they need a car?” Then they arrive at the cottage and it’s like “Oh they said ‘cottage'”. Good times. Maleficent is an awesome villain. The fairies kick butt, especially Merry-Weather. She’s my favourite! Personally, I like the side characters better than the main ones. Aurora could’ve done with more character development, alongside Prince Phillip. Though I must admit, Phillip is much more of a Disney Prince than both Prince Charmings (from Snow White and Cinderella) are. He has more screen-time and is more of an Action Man. That said, this is quite  good synopsis with cool misunderstandings and an exciting finale.

11. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Atlantis-The-Lost-Empire-atlantis-the-lost-empire-5835880-1280-960

Runtime: 96 minutes

Budget: $120million

Domestic Box Office: $84,056,472

Worldwide Box Office: $186,053,725

God I love Atlantis: The Lost Empire! I don’t know why so many people hate this movie so much. This is Disney’s most left-wing film of all time, followed by a few others. In fact, it’s the only one that was nominated for a film Political Film Society Awards, and with good reason. It’s about this crew who research the lost city of Atlantis, which was flooded for over a thousand years and lost power since the incident. Milo Thatch who is among the crew attempts to find a way to power up the crystal chamber to save the city, but Commander Rourke stands in his way with selfish plans to sell the crystal for a million smackers, regardless of the Atlanteans’ lives. The scene where certain of Milo’s colleagues is quite a touching scene. Atlantis: The Lost Empire is very cultural; among the side characters are Vinny, an Italian demolitions expert, Mole, a French geologist and Sweet, an African American doctor, and they’re so identifiable. Each obtain their own back-story. The comic relief is also awesome. Packard especially makes me laugh with her infamous line “we’re all gonna die” and her constant chat-rabbiting on the radio. The female characters are very masculine and quite different to many Disney women; there’s Audrey, who works as a mechanic and loves boxing, and Helga, who’s a regular Lara Croft. It’s also visual and epic! I mean, wow, look at the Star Wars-like aircraft and that crystal chamber. Yummy!

10. The Jungle Book (1967)

junglebook_2629079b

Runtime: 78 minutes

Budget: $4million

Domestic Box Office: $73.3million (original release), $141,843,612 (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $205,843,612 (total)

So starter from ten and we’re on the jazz man! As once said Mr T. The Jungle Book is one of them films that largely references pop culture and I mean literal pop culture, thanks to the vulture quartet, or should I call them the next Fab Four, but a lot of other things also. It’s a well-adapted film from literature, it’s a well-written and choreographed musical (long live the Shermans! Alas, only half of them are still with us), well obviously! Songs like Bare Necessities, I Wanna Be Like You and even Colonel Hathi’s March are bouncy enough to uplift your butts into the jazz, man! The characters are well-developed; Baloo is a smooth talker, Bagheera’s the serious and paranoid one, Shere Khan is… the calm, yet resourceful one. Movin’ on. The jungle is delightfully sketched out. The music, man, provides a jazzy and funky atmosphere. The Jungle Book is a coming-of-age, buddy road-trip, musical, comedy, adventure cartoon that can keep those any age on the jazz man! Oh thanks a lot Mr T!

9. The Black Cauldron (1985)

generic_heros

Runtime: 80 mins.

Budget: $25million

Domestic Box Office: $21,288,692

Many critics seem to hate this movie more than they hate Atlantis. Is it Taran’s constant rabbiting? Well either way, I don’t mind a bit of that. The Black Cauldron is sort-of Disney meets Ralph Bakshi. Why Ralph Bakshi? Well, did you know that he directed Wizards and the Lord Of The Rings cartoon? Each time I view The Black Cauldron, that’s the motivation I receive. So what if it’s largely different from other Disney movies? It’s still worth a watch. The villain’s different and awesome. One sight of him can send chills to our bones. Speaking of which, he plans to use the black cauldron in question to unleash a boned army (wolf whistles). The British cast is also great; John Hurt does the Horned King, Nigel Hawthorne, Fflam, and of course Susan Sheridan as Princess Eilonwy, and she’s impressive (NB. she was in her late thirties at the time and Eilonwy is about 14). I don’t care much about the Disney Princess franchise, but you can’t just exclude Eilonwy from the franchise just because the film failed heavily at the box office. Folks, we gotta turn this around and increase the DVD/VHS/whatever-storage-you-have sales.

8. The Sword In The Stone (1963)

iCUplBkkWQsreBYCIMeIIRp1WuB

Runtime: 79 minutes

Budget: $4million

Box Office: $13,050,777 (original release), $22,182,353 (total)

Probably the film I watched the most times, The Sword In The Stone is the most hilarious Disney movies I’ve ever seen. For those who haven’t seen it yet, please do. It’s ironic that the film is never the first film that comes into people’s minds whenever Disney comes into context. Who can forget Merlin’s beard gags which are absolutely impossible to not cackle along to? And the wolf’s constant attempts to consume Wart? On a more serious note, not only is it the humour that stands out about The Sword In The Stone. The screenplay obtains an amount of smart writing. If it wasn’t for the film, I wouldn’t have known what gravity was or anything about animal’s body parts. It’s like having Merlin and Archimedes as your college professors. Merlin is all about logic. He is also a regular time-traveller and knows a lot about the modern world, which is no wonder why he serves as a brilliant mentor to Wart. Wart is a bit like Simba; he’s scrawny as Kay calls him, yet thanks to Merlin, he becomes lucky, and I mustn’t say any more in case I spoil the ending.

7. Beauty & The Beast (1991)

Beauty-the-Beast-beauty-and-the-beast-1711621-960-540

Runtime: 84 minutes

Budget: $25million

Domestic Box Office: $145.9million (original release), $218,967,620 (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $351,863,363 (original release), $424,967,620 (total)

You may think I placed Beauty & The Beast in the top ten, due to its famous Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Wrong! Having said that, I’d rather the Oscar was awarded to this movie rather than some lame horror movie about a cannibal who doesn’t even consume enough human flesh. Actually, the reason for the position is because Beauty & The Beast is more unique compared to Disney’s other prince/princess movies. In fact, the Beast, sometimes referred to as Prince Adam, is the most unique Disney Prince of all time. He has personality! He has a motive! He’s transformed into a beast as punishment for not being very nice to his servants, in fact, not very nice in general. He’s werewolf-like, short-tempered, yet has the hots for Belle and struggles to behave like a gentlemen. Though his niceness develops, there’s other things he must learn, including his table manners, lol. That’s also why it’s one of the best ever romantic films in general. The soundtrack is also badass! The opening theme provides a theme of darkness to Adam’s back-story. Gaston’s song is my favourite; it depicts him as a not-as bad guy as many of the villagers think and worships him as a god. Of course he is a villain. My dad also loves this movie. In fact, we both like the character of Gaston, but my mom hates him for being a brute. The way he proposed to Belle, that is so hilarious! It’s something most romantic comedies seem to be missing nowadays.

6. Peter Pan (1953)

Peter-Pan-and-Wendy-Darling-peter-pan-14526250-576-416

Runtime: 76 minutes

Budget: $4million

Domestic Box Office: $87.4million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $7million (original release), $145million (total)

Peter Pan is one of those films that had a large impact on me. Me and my brother used to re-act the sword fights; him as Peter Pan, myself as Captain Hook. Bearing in mind, we did not use real swords, lol. Peter Pan, like many blockbuster movies (it was a box office success, what more do you want?), attracts every molecule that everybody can enjoy. Females can enjoy Peter and Wendy’s romance, males can enjoy the action sequences, or maybe vice versa. I especially enjoyed the pirates, the fights (I guess I’m such a big lad!), Hook’s design, the songs, especially Following The Leader, I also love the epic ending; I won’t give too much detail, but it reminded me of one of the most iconic scenes from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. I also like how George Darling’s personality eventually changes. I’d also recommend Steven Spielberg’s Hook which is the sequel to the story. That too is terrific. Avoid the P.J. Hogan version by all means. It has Jason Isaacs as Hook and it ain’t the only problem with the film.

5. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

gmd

Runtime: 74 minutes

Budget: $14million

Box Office: $25.3million (original release), $38,625,550 (total)

5, 4, 3, 2,… not yet Jeff! Yes, here we are in the top five. We begin with John Musker and Ron Clement’s underrated directorial début with Disney. Apart from Condorman, The Great Mouse Detective, or Basil The Great Mouse Detective as it is sometimes known, is the only Disney movie to feature Henry Mancini’s jazzy score. Back on the jazz man (oh I said it again!). Seriously though, Goodbye So Soon has rhythm! As does The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind. In fact, it suits the crime-mystery/film-noir-ish atmosphere perfectly. This film is the rodent equivalent  to the Sherlock Holmes franchise; Basil, as Holmes, David Q Dawson, the regular Dr Watson. They, along with a girl named Olivia, are on a mission to save her pop, a toy-maker, from Ratigan, Basil’s arch-enemy who plans to wipe out the mouse version of Queen Victoria. What’s fantastic about The Great Mouse Detective is the screenplay. It’s very intelligently scripted. Basil obtains an IQ rating somewhat over 1000. It would’ve taken a lot of guts to script Basil’s dialogue; the way he memorizes the connection between Dawson’s experience in Afghanistan and what he’s wearing, and the sums he memorizes in regard to each trap they come across. It’s like “Wow!”. Even the sound is at it’s best! If you don’t believe me, have a look at the Big Ben finale. Oh and did I mention that Vincent Price voices Ratigan?

4. The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1996)

The-Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame-the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-16705973-600-364

Runtime: 93 minutes

Budget: $100million

Domestic Box Office: $100,138,851

Worldwide Box Office: $325,338,851

People either love or hate this film. Personally I love it. As a kid, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, along with Fantasia and The Sword In The Stone, was my favourite. The film came out when I was six years old and I can honestly confirm that it’s one of the films I’m most proud to have seen at the pictures. Out of every 90s cartoon, many people vote Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin and/or The Lion King, but it was the Hunchback Of Notre Dame that blew me away! Some people hate the film, due to it’s overly mature issues, but that’s what I love about Hunchback; it covers infanticide, religious hypocrisy, damnation, you name it! A bit like Dumbo, except there’s more of that stuff involved. Claude Frollo is one of the best Disney villains of all time; he’s not so panto. He’s one of those guys who does not admit he’s evil and believes he’s doing a good deed for God when in fact, he’s committing a huge sin; murdering the innocent. He’s like “Double cross me and I will kill you”. Badass! The background details are visually stunning! The music is adorable! Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise are the most incredible directors to have worked with Disney since the beginning of the Renaissance. They should continue!

3. Robin Hood (1973)

Walt-Disney-Production-Cels-Robin-Hood-Prince-John-walt-disney-characters-34266395-1719-1639

Runtime: 83 minutes

Budget: $1.5million

Worldwide Box Office: $17.16million (original release), $32,056,467 (total)

Robin Hood is another film which had a huge impact on me since childhood. It is also one of the reasons why I personally became a left-winger. Robin Hood robs from the rich and gives to the poor, and with very good reason; the townsfolk is living in poverty and cannot afford much of Prince John’s unnecessarily high taxes. Prince John is one of the most unique Disney Princes along with the Beast and Simba. He’s probably the only prince Disney has made a villain out of. Prince John is a regular Margaret Thatcher, Ian Beale and Dr. Robotnik. His immature tantrums made me cackle all the way through and also feel sorry for his servant Hiss. Robin Hood is the typical Sonic The Hedgehog; he’s resourceful, he easily fools his enemies with his disguises alongside his sidekick Little John, he has heart. In short, they’re the Mr. Nice Guys. What also turns me on about Robin Hood is the Bob Dylan-style soundtrack. Whistle Stop is a smooth starting melody, Love is a nice gentle ballad, but in my opinion, it’s the Phony King Of England that rocks! Shame that song never got an Oscar nomination. Oh well, Love did, pity it didn’t win. Alas, the soundtrack doesn’t get as much credit as the soundtracks to Pinocchio, Beauty & The Beast or The Jungle Book. It’s so underrated. I love how every character is an anthropomorphic animal with no humans whatsoever; Robin’s a fox, Little John’s a bear, Hiss is a snake, yadda, yadda, yadda. This is like a powerful network between the setting of Sherwood Forest and nature. Many of the sequences are awesome! The archery tournament turning into an American Football match demonstrates how much butt Lady Kluck kicks, the Not In Nottingham number is quite dark and emotional and shows how much hurt capitalism causes, the finale is so suspenseful; Robin and Little John are attempting to release the prisoners whilst dodging the guards and other obstacles and making as little noise as possible. Check it out folks. You won’t regret it.

2. Fantasia (1940)

Fantasia Stokowski

Runtime: 125 minutes

Domestic Box Office: $1.3million (original release), $76.4million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $83,320,000 (total)

Well, that’s the last of Disney’s anthology movies. As I said, I’m not a fan of the majority, but Fantasia is simply the fairest of them all! I would’ve personally listed it as one of Disney’s live-action movies, considering that technically, Fantasia is not all animated, hence Deems Taylor, Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. On the other hand, the film is less than a quarter live-action and the rest is animated. I guess that makes sense. But unlike Saludos Amigos, Three Caballeros and so forth, Fantasia’s segments verify the effort! True that it’s various different plots, but there is something that clearly unites them. That being the classical music and how each cartoon contrasts with the mood. It’s artistic, it’s psychedelic, it’s surreal, it’s dark, it’s a film that anybody over the age of twenty-one can watch with or without the accompaniment of a child. The Rite Of Spring sequence is awesome! It explores the logical origin of the Earth; the development, the evolution of dinosaurs and their eventual demise; I especially love the fight between the T.Rex and the stegosaurus. Tell me this ain’t better than Bambi. Night On Bald Mountain is another one of my favourites; another part that will vibrate your epidermis (ask Nelson Muntz what that means). Chernabog casting his own demons to the flames. Cool!

Okay, here we go…

1. Pinocchio (1940)

transformation.sized

Runtime: 88 minutes

Budget: $2.6million

Domestic Box Office: $1,423,046.78 (original release), $84.2million (total)

Worldwide Box Office: $3.5million (original), $87,000,862 (total)

And Thunderbirds are go! Pinocchio is my all-time favourite Disney movie. Of course I said that as a child, it was either the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fantasia or The Sword In The Stone, but throughout my life, it’s Pinocchio. Like Peter Pan and Robin Hood, Pinocchio had a huge impact on me. It still does. The film validly contributes to society and really relates to me. The protagonist comes across the symbols of temptation. Honest John tricks Pinocchio into working as an actor for a fat-cat puppet master and into spending a vacation on a dangerously dark island, just to earn some dirty money. It goes to show that kids must watch out for strangers; they may come across child abductors, pick-pockets or even pedophiles. This also goes for adults. I should know, I’ve encountered people who attempted to rip me off, change religions and ask for personal bank details, etc. Pinocchio demonstrates awareness that there are going to be bad things in life and exaggerates society effectively. The jackass sequence is wicked! meaning both harsh and enjoyable, simultaneously. Monstro’s bit is especially a fun climax. Anybody for a Jaws Vs. Monstro movie? Pinocchio is not only my favourite Disney movie, but one of my favourites in general. I also have to point out, Pinocchio is one of very few films, not just by Disney but in general, to not punish its villains. The theme song When You Wish Upon A Star is my all time favourite song. It contributes effectively to the films themes. The ending is also one of the best. I was both crying and smiling at the same time.

By the way, for the Disney Legend I was referring to earlier on, it’s the guy who did the voice of Pinocchio, Dickie Jones. 87; that was good going Dick, but I can’t believe you’re already gone. May you rest in peace.

Right I got something else to work on now, like tune a guitar, replace a light-bulb, fix a piece of monorail track or something. Hope you enjoyed reading my critiques.

 

And while I’m at it with my strange adventures, here are the un-rated films (the ones I have not seen);

Home On The Range

Chicken Little

Meet The Robinsons

Tangled

Winnie The Pooh

The Wost-to-Best Movies directed by Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is my favourite movie director of all time. I always feel there’s a certain aspect within that relates to me somehow. The amount of money each of his films grossed or Academy Awards won simply have nothing to do with my admiration towards Steven. It’s the themes, the creativity and storytelling that stand out.

So here we go. I have only listed the ones I’ve ever watched and the ones he directed. This is what I analyse as the worst to best of Steven Spielberg’s movies. And I say this from both a viewer’s and critic’s perspective.

26. Munich

munich 5

Welcome to the weakest link! That is Munich. I know, a lot of people love this movie; apparently Mr. Spielberg’s most controversial project to date, and yet, it covers an emotional topic; the 1972 massacre of Jewish athletes. But this film both doesn’t hold as well as The Color Purple or Amistad or even Schindler’s List. It’s too much like City Of God and District 9 mixed together. There’s not one showing of the tortures. If there is, I can’t really remember seeing that part. At least we saw that in Schindler’s List. That’s why it makes more sense. If you consider this Steven’s best, fair enough, but there’s plenty more of his works out there.

25. Minority Report

Minority Report

A little bit of an improvement to Munich (though technically, it was made 3 years before Munich), but still, I found the plot confusing and the music so depressing that it didn’t really network well with the atmosphere. I give this movie a drink for the monstrous visuals, but blockbuster or no blockbuster, how many people can remember this one?

24. Always

Always

Spirits levelled up! Always is quite unique for a romantic film, unlike When Harry Met Sally(!) which was released the same year. It’s not exactly E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and I need to give this another view. It’s a bit quiet in places, but Always is worth an admire.

23. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Lost World JP

If you’re familiar with the first film, you’ll probably not enjoy the sequel as much. In fact, prepare for a bit of confusion. You learned a lot from Ian Malcolm. I thought he was married occasionally! How did he come to have kids? And there’s quite a lot of settings. Oh well, just enjoy the dinosaurs parts; including the girl attack and the T.Rex at the swimming pool. At least some of the magic of Jurassic Park is still here.

22. War Of The Worlds

War Of The Worlds

More like Independence Day than Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. But if Steven fancies a change, let him go ahead. Some of the acting’s not great, but Alfred Hitchcock’s probably turning in his grave. Bring on the suspense!

21. The Adventures Of TinTin; The Secret Of The Unicorn

The_Adventures_of_Tintin

Steven produced animated movies and TV programmes, but this is the only time he directed one,…with Peter Jackson – two blockbuster masters! The Adventures Of TinTin is one of them films which goes to show that especially computer generated cartoons need to make an effort with character details; forget Despicable Me. Though I may need another viewing.

20. Catch Me If You Can

catch-me-if-you-can

After the abysmal Romeo ‘+’ Juliet and the epic snore-fest Titanic, but also the quite good Man In The Iron Mask, Leonardo Di Caprio acting career improves in this delightful crime caper. If you don’t believe me, you should also check out Martin Scorsese’s stuff, Gangs Of New York onwards. Tom Hanks is also great in this one. Of course, it ain’t the only time he worked with Steven as you will find out later.

19. Hook

hook_1991_4

Walt Disney would have been proud! In my world, this is ‘the’ sequel to Peter Pan. Hook recaptures the magic from the cartoon. Take a look at the set design for Neverland; you’ll wish you was spending a vacation there. Even the cast is great, well not completely. Dustin Hoffman is a badass Captain Hook! Honestly, you’d hardly recognise him. Robin Williams is the perfect choice for Peter Pan himself. If there’s one problem I have, it’s Julia Roberts’ over-acting portrayal as Tinkerbell. But aside from that, Hook is worth a look.

18. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

indiana-jones-and-the-kingdom-of-the-crystal-skull-pic1

Why do people hate this Indiana Jones prequel so much? Is it the post-WW2 setting? Is it the lovely special effects? Is it the fact that Indy has a son? Well what could be so wrong with them? Personally, I don’t mind any of that. One thing’s for sure, the nostalgia still remains.

17. 1941

1941

Following two blockbusters, Steven Spielberg gives comedy a go. And what a delight this WW2 satire is! Seriously, I literally cannot quit cackling all the way through. Alas, not all of the cast are still with us, but I reckon the remaining guys should have formed an American version of the Monty Python team!

16. The Terminal

the terminal

Another comedy. Yet, also a drama. Most of the humour occurs from Tom Hanks’ dialogue, but yet, you can’t help, but feel sorry for the Eastern European guy who’s trapped in a New York airport, due to his lack of authorisation to enter the country. Imagine having to camp in a terminal. Tom Hanks proves how well he can portray a foreigner. Please don’t stop acting Tom.

15. Duel

Duel

Jaws on the road! All Duel needs is a car, a car driver and a truck and the rest is cinematic history! Thus is born a new more-than-Alfred Hitchcock!

14. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade

indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade

Indiana Jones was definitely the son of James Bond! What we originally thought was the conclusion to the franchise is a definite back-story. We can see where Indy gets his whip-cracking habits from.

13. A.I. Artificial Intelligence

AI

Boy, does Steven Spielberg have a thing about fairy tales. Based on a sci-fi story which is loosely based on Pinocchio, A.I. Artificial Intelligence is an adventurous and emotional experience about a robot boy who is harshly used by his family and wants to be loved, so he sets to find the ‘Blue Fairy’ in order to make him real. For that, we can’t blame him. The world around him is rather dangerous and full of mechanical-phobic (if there is such a word) humans. The film is rather disturbing, but hey, Pinocchio was rather disturbing at times. I strongly recommend this movie for a general viewing.

12. The Color Purple

The Color Purple

The Color Purple shows what Steven stands for… democracy! Ye-mon! It was one of his first films to cover such social political issues including black culture and gay rights, oh and get this, the protagonist gives birth to a baby at an early age, caused by her own father. Added to that, she hardly gets much contact with her daughter! I wanted to strangle that man! Well, most of us would. We’re meant to feel like that. The film is an emotional, but also bouncy experience; I mean listen to Quincy Jones’ beautiful songs man! There are some tear-jerking scenes, but The Color Purple will put a smile to your face.

11. Lincoln

Lincoln

Another political drama. And Steven’s most recent. Daniel Day Lewis (the guy out of Age Of Innocence and In The Name Of The Father), who obviously looks younger than the protagonist in reality, ironically pulls it off. He is like the Dustin Hoffman of the modern era of cinema! Of course, it’s the basic biography of the famous 19th century US Republican president who was more democratic compared to the other Republicans. The scenes do not drag. No. Observe the voting scene, the “ay” “nay” bits etc, if you know what I mean. It’s emotional, but will bring joy and happiness to the viewers. It certainly did to me.

10. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

close-encounters

Starter from ten. Der, der, der, der, derrrr. Der, der, der, bom, bommmm! Yup, ten notes altogether. Well it’s a five note tone, but I’ve just repeated it two times. Two times five is ten. So that makes sense. Anyway, the reason for placing Close Encounters is not only the glorious music, but it’s a film with sharp visuals; you’ll see I ain’t wrong once you see the hovering car near the start. Roy and family are enjoyable to identify with; the kids choosing to play golf over Roy’s intention of viewing a re-release of Pinocchio, lol. You and your fairy tales Steven, lol again. The film is also all about communication. The Africans memorise the chant, Barry watches the aliens and Roy has trouble building the sculpture which the mysterious aliens are seeking for a landing pad, leading up to the spectacular epic ending…!

9. Saving Private Ryan

saving-private-ryan

Saving Private Ryan has left a huge impact on many film-makers. Without the film, there would be no Black Hawk Down, no Pearl Harbor (oh no, not that one!), no Tropic Thunder, no Hurt Locker and no Call Of Duty. Oh and did I mention Mulan? I mean wow! The cinematography is epic, the effects are epic, it’s literally an explosive action thriller! Set during the events of the now 70 year-old D-Day, Saving Private Ryan begins with a Motion Master-style (that’s a cinema attraction based at American Adventure, an old British theme park) scene with missiles flying and soldiers getting themselves blown up. You ain’t just seeing it, you’re literally there! Even the sound plays the part. Yeah, there’s a most-star cast; Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon,… but the technicals are also the stars.

8. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Many people love this movie. I’m certainly among them. I’ve got Raiders Of The Lost Ark on DVD, innit. Some of you may feel disappointed that I didn’t rank this number 1, but we’ll get to that later. Raiders is more than just an introduction to Indiana Jones, who let me add is a lot of things we want in a hero. It is an action/fantasy/adventure flick which was written by a dude with a stupendously logical brain! To include the various McGuffins (if I’m using the correct term) i.e. Indy’s fear of snakes, the use of the pole thing and dune, you name it. I dunno if that’s what you lot love about this movie, because that’s certainly me. Maybe it’s John Williams’ badass music or the occasional humour or even the famous props. Yeah, I enjoy them too.

7. Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom

indiana jones temple of doom

This one is my favourite Indiana Jones film out of all the four I’ve seen. Yup, the Temple Of Doom is the sequel to and a bit like Raiders, except that it’s set on one location (by that, I of course mean country). It has more spells cast, more action and a thrilling finale involving two mine trucks and a bridge of death; no, not the one that requires you to answer the questions three and then at the other side one shall see, lol. Oh and who can forget the awesome scene where Indy retrieves his hat seconds before the door closes?

6. Amistad

Amistad

Along with To Kill A Mockingbird, Philadelphia and Rainmaker, Amistad is one of the most outstanding court dramas that has ever been produced. This was Steven’s first fact-based film since Schindler’s List and it only made $14 million more than its $30 million budget. How ironic. Amistad is the film that deals with a group of African slaves who revolt, because of the harsh treaty they received from the white idiots (sorry) and one of them ends up in court for starting the riot, leading to the case to be questioned. It’s another film that proves democracy a benefit! We see the horrifying beatings; that’s why Amistad is so much better than Munich. Not only that, but there’s also the important theme of communication; Cinque soon learns English from his American lawyers, and this also demonstrates that an eventual friendship among the two nations. Amistad is one of the most neglected ones Steven has ever directed. It’s so underrated. But it’s a film which I really recommend you check out. You won’t regret it.

5. War Horse

War-Horse

5, 4, not yet Jeff!

Saving Private Ryan set in World War 1 Britain and starring a horse. When War Horse came out, I couldn’t wait to see it. None of my mates seemed interested and to be fair, they sounded cynical about it. So I was like “bugger it, I’ll see it anyway”. After a screening, I regretted it not! I loved the film straight away. Of course, this is set during the time when the army used horses as part of their weapons due to a butt-kicking war and Joey the horse is among the ‘war horses’, so his owner battles to get him back, ensuring he survives. There’s occasional British humour, but it doesn’t get in the way of the emotions, and I felt them things. It’s only been a couple of years and I’m still in love with War Horse. I both smiled and cried at the ending; I won’t give anything away, but tears were literally pouring down my cheeks.

4. Schindler’s List

schindlersList

You thought Sin City was the first film to combine black and white with colour. Wrong! Schindler’s List was here first, but we’ll get there in a bit. It portrays an effectively well-scripted story based on the WW2 holocaust. I mean check out the prologue and the epilogue, oh yeah and the middle. It’s liberal, it’s emotional, it’s one of them films that proves that no human should be treated different no matter what their religion. The Jews’ lives are made a living hell by the Nazis, except one, that is Oskar Schindler. The British cast is superb; hell, the accents they use are well convincing and realistic and the dialogue is very conversational. Liam Neeson is Oskar, Ben Kingsley is his business partner Ishak Stern (stuff the Hood) and Ralph Fiennes is Amon Goeth, who is a complete fascist jerk; no wonder Ralph is better known for his villainous parts! And speaking of realism, even the cinematography is awesome. The camera-work scans round the crowd scenes so much, you feel like you’re there. Okay it ain’t exactly Saving Private Ryan, but you know what I mean. It’s kind of documentary-like, but it suits the historical atmosphere perfectly. Added to the cinematography, Schindler’s List flashes a cool mixture of colours; most of the film is black & white which blends in brilliantly with the historical aspect and the bleakness, also the same time when most films were filmed in black & white. But there’s one scene where you will spot a bit of redness; I won’t give anything away, though it is often mentioned. Plus, both the prologue and the epilogue are filmed entirely in colour and this is not the only reason why them scenes are so badass!

In conclusion, because I think I’ve said a lot about the film, Schindler’s List is a history lesson, a pleasant experience and will shed a tear from an eye, even I had that.

Okay, I’ve gone on enough about the film.

3. Jaws

Jaws

Before you say anything, the fact that Jaws was an ‘early summer blockbuster’ ain’t the reason why I ranked the film at no.3. Though I must admit I’m glad that it boosted a lot of money when it had the chance. My dad saw it at the cinema and even he’s enjoyed it, and he remembers the time when one of his mates freaked out when he saw the corpse’s head in that sunken boat. My God, I love that scene. I also love the suspenseful music; simple and sweet, I don’t mean to say it’s cute, but all it needed was two bass-notes in a continuous loop. When I saw Jaws, I was dumbly convinced that Bruce was real, but the fact that it’s in fact a robot is still enough to be convincing. I would’ve thought Jaws would cost way less than $12 million (probably Bruce’s manufacture), but what the hell. The film provides a lovely breeze. I bet Alfred Hitchcock was so jealous! Like I said, Jaws is very suspenseful for a horror movie. Stuff The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. It’s also a summery experience. It’s calm, then something scary enough to vibrates your insides occurs. Even the acting is cool, realistic and conversational dialogue and everything. It doesn’t have to be as simple as “oh my God, it’s…” or “I’m coming to get you” etc. The dialogue’s more laid back then, say, Nightmare On Elm Street (though I do like the film). Rest in peace both Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider. This film is the best in the franchise; Jaws 2 is okay, Jaws 3D is certainly not the best, the last one, I’ve yet to see.

2. Jurassic Park

jurassic park

Here is another suspenseful monster movie. I have fond nostalgic memories of Jurassic Park. It came out when I was three. I dunno if I saw it at the cinema, but my memory of my toddler years is pretty bad. Oh well, I can remember when we taped Jurassic Park off the TV back when I was an elementary school student and we had occasional fun viewings. To me, the experience was and still is like watching The Sword In The Stone of Spielberg movies. Why I say that? Well it’s because I’ve seen the film hundreds of times and because Jurassic Park is the most hilarious movie Steven has ever directed. Though it’s never been labelled as a ‘comedy’, there’s plenty of parts which are impossible to not cackle along to; Alan getting his seat-belts mixed up, the bureaucratic computers (I’ll only end up rabbiting on if I give the details, but trust me, it’s very amusing) and let’s be honest, that lavatory scene. Now some of you may be a bit annoyed that I ranked such a side-splitting adventure like Jurassic Park above a rather emotionally serious film like Schindler’s List. Yeah I know. But some of it’s due to the nostalgic themes. I’ve seen this one more times. Yet again, I would’ve been too young to watch Schindler’s List. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both very technical. There’s other things though that made me rank Jurassic Park higher. Speaking of the technicals, there are a lot of things that provide plenty of detail to Jurassic Park. Not only was it one of the first times we saw ‘real’ dinosaurs on-screen, but the CGI achieved responsibility, unlike them Garfield and Scooby Doo movies, yeesh! What I mean to say is that whoever constructed the dinosaurs provided full concentration on where each skin line is positioned and other things and was obviously not lazy enough to miss any of the details out. That’s art for ya. Even the sound is one of the best. The dinosaurs’ growls are just what I expected to sound like. The sound also creates the suspense for a sort-of horror movie, just like in Jaws, and also contributes to nature; spoon drops and car door closes may be quiet, but are certainly loud enough to attract the creatures’ attention.

Wooooooooooooo!

 

Before I reveal the number one spot, here is a list of films I have yet to see

  • The Sugarland Express
  • The Twilight Zone: The Movie
  • Empire Of The Sun

Quite few films, but I’m a huge Spielberg fan. Anywho…

 

  1. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

ET

And Thunderbirds are go! ET is the one I was looking the most forward to reviewing. It is in fact one of my favourite movies of all time. Wait till you see my top movies list of all time. Anyway, you may think the reason why I ranked three movies that broke the box office records at the very top, just because of that. Eih-Eiiiiih! For one thing, it’s the nostalgia; at school-age, ET is another film that was taped from the TV for occasional viewings. Yeah, you could say we’re total cheapskates, but I never really minded that. But it is actually the themes that made me fall in love with ET so much, I just had to label it no.1. I love the opening, I love the ending, I love the music, I love how the children provide the alien lessons on communication, hell I love the friendship between Elliot and ET. I also love theirs, Michael’s and Gertie’s dialogue which sounds so real (yeah I mentioned Jaws and Schindler’s List). The bond has a huge impact on me, because I know some people who struggle with social lives. This is why I sympathise so much with the boy/alien relationship and social lives can be really hard for children. I was so shattered during the ending; I couldn’t help myself with tears pouring down my face, but it also gave me a smile, because it’s a fairly happy ending… for those who have never seen ET, I’m personally surprised, but as an understanding bloke, I won’t give too much detail away. Though I’d really recommend you watch the film sometime before you die. It’s a fun and emotional experience. There’s some occasional humour, plenty of adventure, check it out folks. And if you have kids, introduce this film to them. They’ll love it!

Anyway, I have to go now as I’ve… got a meeting with… some alien… visitors. Sayonara!