The Lion King

The Lion King

If there were any lingering questions about Disney's animated comeback in the 90s, The Lion King answered them all. Released in 1994, after a string of hits that included The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, the story of a young cub and his ascent to become ruler of Pride Rock surpassed them all. Bolstered by an all-star voice cast (James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg and too many others to mention) and by a multi-platinum album's worth of hit songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, Simba and company went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Continue reading...

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Disney's 28th animated motion picture marked the beginning of one era and the end of another. The Little Mermaid ushered in an animated Renaissance for the studio, sparking a string of hits that included Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and more. The film was also the last fully cel-animated picture for the studio, as computers soon took over many of the animators' more menial tasks. Historical considerations aside, The Little Mermaid was plain old good fun, a somewhat loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale. Continue reading...

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys

Long before Stephanie Meyer unleashed the Twilight book series to a teen audience thirsty for vampire tales, movie audiences were introduced to the sleepy coastal town of Santa Carla. It was within this community that teen heartthrobs and fanged villains waged war against one another in the beloved 1987 horror film, The Lost Boys. Continue reading...

The Love Bug

The Love Bug

Even with a star-studded cast that included Dean Jones, David Tomlinson, Buddy Hackett, and Michele Lee, there was no misconception with audiences as to who was the real star of Walt Disney's The Love Bug. That title belonged solely to Number 53, a sassy white Volkswagen Beetle, complete with blue and red pinstripes and a whole lot of attitude in this 1968 classic. Continue reading...

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

A.A. Milne's beloved characters came to animated life in Disney's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Released in 1977, the film was actually a compilation of three separate stories - Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too - each of which had been shown previously as a theatrical short (Blustery Day won a posthumous Oscar for Walt Disney in 1969). The packaged format gave Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore and the others a broader audience on which to work their easygoing charms. Continue reading...

The Monster Squad

The Monster Squad

Plenty of monsters have come and gone over the years, but it’s not often you get a collection of, count em’, five classic creatures in one movie. To experience this quintuplet of creeps, one must watch The Monster Squad. Released in 1987, the all-star team of terror included Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, the Wolfman, and Gillman (from The Creature From the Black Lagoon, in case his name draws a blank.) That’s a lotta monster bang for the buck. Throw in a special appearance by Van Helsing, a few bad vampire babes and a bunch of monster-obsessed kids and you have the makings for a pretty cool movie. Continue reading...

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol

When he wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, author Charles Dickens had no way of knowing that his book would be turned into literally dozens of different stage and screen adaptations. And, even if had possessed such remarkable foresight, it is certain that he never would have envisioned his character, Bob Cratchit, portrayed by a lovable green frog with ping-pong ball eyes. Continue reading...

The Muppet Movie

The Muppet Movie

Reminiscent of the old Bob Hope/Bing Cosby road movies, The Muppet Movie, released in 1979, is a movie within a movie, as Kermit the Frog attempts to explain to his young nephew, though a movie, how the gang of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and friends managed to cross paths. Kermit does admit that his account may be slightly fictionalized but, real or not, the resulting tale is full of charm and non-stop laughs that could only come from the mind of Jim Henson. Continue reading...