How to Train Your Dragon; The Hidden Kingdom (2019)

Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless have grown a lot together and their mission to save other dragons has made their home a haven for hundreds of them. Unfortunately it has also become a target for other mercenaries, as well as one that has his own agenda.  Hiccup realizes that it’s time for them to leave and find somewhere safe for the dragons. It soon becomes apparent that the solution might not be as simple as they thought, in this final chapter in the saga.

1hr. 44min.

Trolls (2016)

The trolls are a happy-go-lucky group that are menaced by the miserable Bergens, who believe in order for them to be happy they must eat a troll.  Unfortunately for the Bergens, the trolls have escaped.

After 20 years, (right when the happiest of all the trolls Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is about to assume the throne from her father), the Bergens have finally tracked them down.  Now it’s up to Poppy and pessimistic Branch (Justin Timberlake) to track them down and save the trolls.  Along the way, many songs are sung and a new understanding of others is learned in this story that is both tune-filled and eye-popping in it’s cinema photography.

1hr. 32min.

Christopher Robin (2018)

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is now long grown up, with a wife (Hayley Atwell) and a child.  He spends all of his time trying to provide for his family, by working long hours at a luggage making company.  When he must stay in the city and work the holiday weekend that he and his family were to go to his family home in the country, Christopher Robin is suddenly confronted by his old friend Winnie-the-Pooh.  Together they must search for Poohs’ other friends, as well as find the happiness that seems to elude Christopher Robin.

1hr. 44min.

Brave (2012)

Young Highland Princess Merida is anything but ready for the impending political marriage arranged by her mother the queen.  Feeling that her mother can’t understand her situation, Merida decides to enlist the help of a witch to “change her fate” by changing her mother.  This sets off a chain of events that causes Merida to consider whether it is only her mother that must change.

1hr. 34min.

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.

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

In this update of the Disney classic, a young boy named Pete is lost in the forest after he survives his parents in a car crash.  He is rescued by a kindly and mysterious dragon that he names Elliot.  6 years later, park ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) is on a patrol through the woods when she stumbles across Pete.  The two form an immediate bond, but the discovery of Elliot could mean disaster.

1hr. 42min.

The Love Letter (1998)

When historian Scott (Campbell Scott) impulsively buys an antique civil war era writing desk, his fiance thinks he’s a little crazy.  Later, while cleaning the desk he finds in a hidden compartment a love letter written by a lonely poet Elizabeth (Jennifer Jason Leigh) from over a hundred years before.  Inspired by the beauty and longing in her letter he writes back and with a little help from his free-spirit mother (she supplies him with authentic paper, ink and stamp) the letter finds it’s way to Elizabeth.  Knowing they will never be able to meet, they continue writing to each other.  Then, the impossible happens in this poignant romance.

1hr. 39min.

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.

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

This animated classic traces a fateful year in the life of young orphan Arthur.  It’s the year when he encounters Merlin, who will change the boys life forever.  Merlin shows Arthur many fantastic things in order to educate him about the world (and himself).  Eventually leading him to the legendary moment where Arthur pulls the sword from the stone.

1hr. 19min.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Starting on Christmas Eve, the story tells of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) who is seriously contemplating suicide when he is rescued by an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers).  Clarence has been shown George’s life from boyhood to the present and how George is seemingly plagued by bad breaks all his life.  So much so that now George doesn’t realize all the peoples lives he has touched and made better.  That is, until he tells Clarence that he wished he’d never been born.  His wish is granted and he is then shown what his world would be like with out him.

The idea of one person making a difference is driven home by Frank Capra’s superb direction of this timeless classic.

2hr. 12min.