The Hobbit (1977)

The adventures of Bilbo Baggins are given the animated treatment in this classic film.  Bilbo is a food and peace loving hobbit, who is thrown into an epic quest for treasure that ultimately becomes so much more.  Along the way, he learns invaluable lessons about his world and himself.

This film was animated by Topcraft, which was a precursor to Studio Ghibli.

1hr. 17min.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Young Charlie Bucket doesn’t have time to dream much, with going to school and working to help his mother make ends meet.  But when he does, it’s about the mysterious Wonka Factory, that appears dormant and yet produces the most delicious candies.  So, when a contest is announced involving finding golden tickets in Wonka candy and being able to see inside the factory itself, Charlie dreams of finding one.  And when he does, it’s just the beginning of a strange and amazing adventure that will change his life.

The original score, that features the classic “The Candy Man” and “Pure Imagination” was nominated for the Academy Award.

1hr. 39min.

The Black Stallion (1979)

Set on the eve of WWII, the story follows young Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) as he is shipwrecked on a deserted island.  He soon realizes that he is not alone; the fantastic black stallion he saw being shipped on the same ocean liner has washed up on shore as well.  The two form a strong bond as they survive together.  When they are picked up by a fishing boat, their adventures continue back in the USA.  After a chance meeting with a former jockey (Mickey Rooney), they realize The Black has racing potential.  They get him entered literally as ‘The Dark Horse’ to race against two of the greatest horses of their time.

1hr. 58min.

The Rescuers (1977)

When young Penny disappears from the orphanage, it’s thought that she has run away, but when Rescue Aid Society mice Bernard (Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) are brought in to investigate, they realize that she has been kidnapped by Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page).  They track them to
Devil’s Bayou, where Penny is being forced to search for the Devil’s Eye (a massive diamond) in a cave that can only be entered via a small hole.  Bianca and Bernard must come up with a plan to save Penny before Medusa decides she no longer needs her.

Followed 13 years later by The Rescuers Down Under, this film would become the first Disney animated film to have a sequel.

1hr. 17min.

Robin Hood (1973)

This animated classic stars Peter Ustinov as Prince John who is constantly being out-witted (or in this case “out-foxed”) by Robin Hood (Brian Bedford) as he robs from the rich (“borrow a bit from those who can afford it”) and gives it back to the poor.  Robin Hood is aided by his faithful side-kick Little John, Frier Tuck and Maid Marion.

1hr. 23min.

The Four Feathers (1977)

Beau Bridges stars as Lt. Harry Faversham, the son of a career army officer, who has been bullied by his father to join the army.  He is planning to resign and marry the beautiful but somewhat childish Ethne Eustace (Jane Seymour), but on the eve of his resignation he receives orders to move to the front in Sudan with his three close friends (also officers).  In a rash act he burns their orders and resigns the next day.  He is found out and branded a coward by his friends and the woman he loves, who each give him a white feather.  Determined to in some way make them take them back, he travels to the front alone and realizes that his three comrades are all in peril.  He decides to save them on his own, in a dazzling display of his military prowess and unflinching courage.

1hr. 40min.

Superman the Movie (1978)

Arguably the best Superman film of all time, Christopher Reeves plays the titular superhero from Krypton who is sent to Earth by his parents in order to escape the fate of his doomed planet.  On earth he discovers his powers and is determined to use them for good.

He finds love with the reporter Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and his nemesis in the criminal mastermind Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman).

2hr. 23min.