Elephant Walk (1954)

Elizabeth Taylor gives one of her best performances as a newlywed, who’s husband (Peter Finch) takes her from London to Ceylon, India so they can live on his tea plantation.  All is well at first, but it is soon apparent that the ‘Old Governor’ (Finch’s desceased father) still seems to rule Elephant Walk (the plantation). His tyranny and pride is met in every room of the massive home that is defiantly set over an old elephant trail.  The climax of the film is truly amazing.

1hr. 40min.

Tarzan (1999)

Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) has always know there was something different about him and his gorilla family.  When Jane (Minnie Driver) and her father come to Africa to do research on gorilla families, Tarzan finally realizes that he truly isn’t one of them (a gorilla). While Jane helps Tarzan learn where he comes from, she also helps him to finally see where he belongs.  Then when Jane and her fathers guide Clayton (Brian Blessed) reveals his true plans of capturing gorillas and selling them back in England, it’s up to Tarzan to save them.

1hr. 28min.

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Ariel (Jodi Benson) is a young mermaid who dreams of the mysterious and forbidden world “on land”.  When she sees Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) and subsequently saves him from a shipwreck, she is instantly smitten and determines to do whatever it takes to be with him.  Including trading her voice for legs to the evil Ursula (Pat Carroll), who gives Ariel 3 days to get a kiss of true love in order to stay a human.

Based on the classic Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, this film was over forty years in the making and was the beginning of what would be called the Renaissance in Disney animation.  The Academy Award winning score features the haunting Part of Your World and (some have said) brought Broadway into the cartoons.

1hr. 23min.

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

For anyone that has ever wondered what their pets do while they’re gone, this story fills in those blanks.

Max is a terrier and the favorite pet of his human, until she comes home with Duke from the pound.  Feeling that Duke is trying to take his place, Max hatches a plan to get rid of Duke.  The plan is suddenly derailed sending the two of them on one crazy adventure after another as they race through the city, trying to find their way home.  Hot on their trail are their friends (other pets) from the apartment building and an unhinged bunny named Snowball bent on the downfall of humans.

1hr. 27min.

Thumbelina (1994)

A lonely old woman longs for a child and her wish is granted in the form of a tiny girl named Thumbelina (Jodi Benson).  She is happy enough, but doesn’t quite fit in.  Then one night, a fairy prince sees her and her world is changed forever.

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a (literally) “little girl” who has one Big adventure is brought to the animated screen by Don Bluth, with songs by Barry Manilow

1hr. 26min.

Storks (2016)

The classic story of storks delivering babies, is given an ingenious twist in this hilarious comedy that’s loaded with laughs, yet digs surprisingly deep while exploring the question of “what makes a family”.

Junior (Andy Samberg) is a stork who is about to be promoted, all he has to do is fire Tulip (Katie Crown), the one baby they couldn’t deliver now grown up, from Cornerstore (former baby delivery, now parcel delivery service).  His feelings of guilt over this, set off a chain of events that will send them on an epic journey to deliver a baby to a little boys family.

 

1hr. 32min.

 

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

After running from some bullies, young Bastian (Barrett Oliver) finds himself in a used bookstore, where he encounters the mysterious owner who shows him a book, The NeverEnding Story.  He takes it to the attic of his school, where he becomes lost in the exploits of young warrior Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), as he must find a way to save the land of Fantasia from the mysterious Nothing.  It is only when he is too far to “turn back” that Bastian realizes that somehow the fate of Fantasia lies in his hands alone.

Featuring eye-popping practical special effects, this film was Germany’s highest budgeted film at the time.

1hr. 33min.

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.

UP (2009)

Carl Fredrickson has lived a full life and now doesn’t seem to have much to look forward to after the sudden death of his wife and childhood sweetheart Ellie.  But he soon realizes he might have one more adventure in him, when contractors decide that they will take his house from him.

Rather than let unscrupulous developers bulldoze his house, he attaches hundreds of balloons to it and sails away.  His plan is to get it to Paradise Falls in South America, where he and Ellie had wanted to go to since they were children.  It’s smooth sailing until he realizes he has an accidental stowaway; the Wilderness Explorer named Russell.

1hr. 36min.

If I were King (1938)

Ronald Coleman stars as the poet/rascal/Robin Hood of Paris, Francois Villon, who get’s caught up in some medieval intrigue, when he utters the title line “If I were king” to (unbeknownst to him at the time) King Louis XI (Basil Rathbone).  He get’s his wish, and seven days of royal splendor, in which time he woos the queen’s lady-in-waiting (Frances Dee), and tries to save the besieged city of Paris.

Preston Sturges adapted the screenplay from the play of the same name.

1hr. 43min.