Thursday, May 13, 2010

Top 5 old-school animated classics for the family

List by Danielle

Look for the bare necessities / the simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife...
~ Baloo, the Jungle Book (1967)

As road-tested on pre-schoolers! If you're getting tired of the glossy geometry and smooth surfaces of modern 3-D characters, and the hefty doses of morality, education and behavioural lessons, kick back and enjoy some of our older offerings... guaranteed to include catchy soundtracks inspired by jazz, scat, country and folk music, rip-roaring villains who made evil look sexay, and the kind of friendships between kids and animals that will make your under fives go awwwww... can we get a bear, mummy?

The Jungle Book (1967)
A song-filled celebration of friendship, fun, and adventure set in a lush and colorful world. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "Mowgli" stories, Disney's 19th animated masterpiece was the last animated feature that had Walt Disney's personal touch. The adventure begins when Mowgli, a little boy raised by wolves, is urged by his friend Bagheera, a wise old panther, to seek safety in the man village. Feeling very much at home in the jungle, Mowgli resists and runs off. Much to Bagheera's dismay, Mowgli meets a new friend with a happy-go-lucky philosophy of life, Baloo the Bear. Together, the three buddies find the journey back to civilization anything but civilized! They encounter a crazy orangutan, the hypnotic and sly snake Kaa, and the menacing Shere Khan!

Worth it for the music alone, but the animators did a great job of conveying the animals' personalities through their body language - this is a big favourite in our family.

Robin Hood (1973)
The story of Robin Hood and his merry men as they outwit greedy King John. All the characters in the traditional tale are played by animals in this animated and musical version.

More great animals, from the gorgeous foxy Robin Hood (bask in that English accent) to the villain you'll love to hate, the Sherriff of Nottingham (shades of Rosco P. Coltrane, for y'all out there who are Dukes of Hazzard fans).

1001 rabbit tales (1982)
Bugs Bunny spins one wild-and-wascally tale after another in this feature-length animated adventure that's fully-restored, digitally-remastered and all-out Looney!

A compilation of old Warner Bros. shorts set in a loose framing story that sees Bugs Bunny roped into telling tale after tale to the demanding bratling son of Sultan Yosemite Sam. This is the movie that introduced my kids to the Looney Tunes cast, and all the old favourites are there... Daffy, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, even Speedy Gonzales.

Lady and the tramp (1955)
A pedigreed cocker spaniel falls for the romance of a carefree mongrel, who helps her in her time of need.

More great music (Peggy Lee!), and some cute romantical scenes between the two dogs, plus a fantastic pair of sneaky Siamese cats who will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever owned been the servant of one of that breed.

101 dalmatians (1961)
A charming London neighbourhood is home to Roger and Anita, whose beloved dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, have become the proud parents of 15 puppies. But when Cruella DeVille and her henchmen appear, the pups soon disappear, along with every other Dalmatian puppy in town. Pongo and Perdita rally their animal friends and use the power of the "Twilight bark" to find Cruella's secret hideaway and free the puppies.

More cute dogs - can you ever have too many puppies? - and one of the all-time great Disney villains, Cruella DeVille. Film trivia: apparently the man best known as 'the voice of Donald Duck' recorded the dog barks, and there were also hidden Mickey Mouses (Mickey Mice?) in the dogs' spots! See Hiddenmickey.org for the fascinating details...

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