The Lion King

  • Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
  • Producers: Don Hahn
  • Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Moira Kelly, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings

The Lion King takes place in the Pride Lands of the Serengeti, where a lion rules over the other animals as king. Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), a wise old mandrill, anoints Simba (cub by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, adult by Matthew Broderick), the newborn cub of King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Queen Sarabi (Madge Sinclair), and presents him to a gathering of animals at Pride Rock (“Circle of Life”).

Mufasa takes Simba on a tour of the Pride Lands, teaching him about the “Circle of Life”, the delicate balance affecting all living things. Taking advantage of the cub’s naive nature, Simba’s scheming uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) (who is very angry because Simba’s birth means that he’s no longer next in line to the throne) tells him about the elephant graveyard, a place where Mufasa has forbidden Simba to go. Simba asks his mother if he can go to the water-hole with his best friend, Nala (cub by Niketa Calame, adult by Moira Kelly). Their parents agree but only if Mufasa’s majordomo, the hornbill Zazu (Rowan Atkinson), goes with them. Simba and Nala elude Zazu’s supervision (“I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”) and go to the graveyard instead. There, the cubs are met by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed (Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings), spotted hyenas who try to kill them, but they are rescued by Mufasa.

Atop Pride Rock’s peak, Simba corners Scar. To gain Simba’s mercy, Scar blames everything on the hyenas but Shenzi, Banzai and Ed overhear this betrayal. Simba demands that Scar go into exile. Scar pretends to leave but turns to attack Simba, resulting in a final duel. Simba triumphs over his uncle by kicking him over a low cliff. Scar survives the fall but finds himself surrounded by the now-resentful hyenas, who attack and kill him. Simba and Nala become the new king and queen of the Pride Lands. The film concludes with the Pride Lands turning green with life again and Rafiki presenting Simba and Nala’s newborn cub as “The Circle of Life” continues.

The Gold Rush

  • Directors: Charlie Chaplin
  • Producers: Charlie Chaplin
  • Writers: Charlie Chaplin
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite

The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) travels to Alaska to take part in the Alaska Gold Rush. Bad weather strands him in a remote cabin with a prospector who has found a large gold deposit (Mack Swain) and an escaped fugitive (Tom Murray), after which they part ways, with the prospector and the fugitive fighting over the prospector’s claim, ending the prospector receiving a blow to the head and the fugitive falling off a cliff to his death. The Tramp eventually finds himself in a gold rush town where he ultimately decides to give up prospecting. After taking a job looking after another prospector’s cabin, he falls in love with a lonely saloon girl (Georgia Hale) whom he mistakenly thinks has fallen in love with him. He soon finds himself waylaid by the prospector he met earlier, who has developed amnesia and needs the Tramp to help him find his claim by leading him to the cabin.

Particularly famous scenes include:

One sequence was altered in the 1942 re-release so that instead of the Tramp finding a note from Georgia which he mistakenly believes is for him, he actually receives the note from her. Another major alteration is the ending, in which the now-wealthy Tramp originally gave Georgia a lingering kiss; the sound version ends before this scene.

Ratatouille

  • Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
  • Producers: Brad Lewis, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Galyn Susman
  • Writers: Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg, Bob Peterson
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family
  • Actors: Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Peter Sohn, Brad Garrett, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Janeane Garofalo, Peter O Toole

Remy is an irregular rat who lives in the attic of a French country home with his brother Emile and a pack led by his father Django. Gifted with a keen sense of smell and taste, Remy aspires to be a gourmet chef, inspired by France’s recently deceased top chef, Auguste Gusteau, but instead he is put to work sniffing for rat poison. When the pack is discovered by the home’s occupant, they flee into the sewers; Remy is separated and ends up aground underneath Gusteau’s restaurant in Paris.

Led by his imagination of Gusteau, Remy goes to the kitchen skylight to watch the kitchen in action during a service. There, he observes Alfredo Linguini, the son of Gusteau’s former lover, being hired as a janitor by Skinner, the restaurant’s current owner and Gusteau’s former sous-chef. When Linguini spills some of the soup and attempts to recreate it using random ingredients, Remy is horrified and falls into the kitchen; instead of escaping, Remy attempts to correct the soup. Remy is caught by Linguini just as Linguini is caught by Skinner, but before anyone can stop the serving staff, the soup is served and found to be a success. Colette, the staff’s only female chef, convinces Skinner to retain Linguini, believing him to be the success behind the soup. Linguini takes Remy home, realizing he cannot kill him as instructed by Skinner as Remy was the “little chef” that made the soup.

Gusteau’s restaurant is closed a short time later after a health inspector discovered the rats in the kitchen. Though Ego’s reputation is tarnished on reviewing a restaurant plagued with rats, he eagerly funds a popular new bistro, “La Ratatouille”, run by Linguini and Colette, featuring diner areas for both humans and rats and a kitchen designed for Remy to continue to cook in.

The Wizard of Oz

  • Directors: Victor Fleming, Uncredited, Mervyn LeRoy, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor
  • Producers: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writers: Novel, L Frank Baum, Screenplay, Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan

The opening and closing credits, as well as the Kansas sequences, were both filmed in black and white and colored in a sepia tone. Orphaned twelve-year-old Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) lives a simple life in rural Kansas with her Aunt Em (Clara Blandick), Uncle Henry (Charles Grapewin) and three colorful farm hands. Shortly before the movie begins, the irascible townswoman, Miss Almira Gulch (Margaret Hamilton) is bitten by Dorothy’s dog, Toto. Dorothy is upset that Ms. Gulch hit Toto over the back of the head with a rake, but her aunt and uncle, as well as the farmhands, are too busy to listen. Miss Gulch shows up with a court order and takes Toto away to be destroyed. Toto escapes and returns to Dorothy, who is momentarily elated. When she realizes that Miss Gulch will soon return, she decides to take Toto and run away. On their journey, Dorothy encounters the charlatan, Professor Marvel (Frank Morgan). He is a kind and lovable man who guesses that Dorothy is running away and feels unappreciated at home, and tricks her into believing Aunt Em is ill, so that she (Dorothy) will return home. As Dorothy leaves, there begin to appear signs of an oncoming storm. She rushes back to the farm’s house just ahead of a sudden tornado. There, she takes shelter inside the house, where she is knocked unconscious by a loose window frame.

For the most part, the movie follows the novel only in a very general way. Many details are omitted or altered, while many of the perils that Dorothy encountered in the novel are not even mentioned in the movie. To take advantage of the new vivid Technicolor process, Dorothy’s silver shoes were changed to ruby slippers for the movie. [5] Due to time restraints, a number of sub-plots from the book, including the China County and the Hammerheads, were cut. The novel also never depicts Dorothy as a damsel in distress to be rescued by her friends, but rather the reverse, with Dorothy, a figure heavily influenced by the feminism of Matilda Joslyn Gage,[citation needed] rescuing her friends. Nevertheless, the film was far more faithful to Baum’s original book than many earlier scripts (see below) or film versions – there were silent versions in 1910 and 1925, and a seven-minute animated cartoon in 1933. The 1939 movie interprets the Oz experience as a dream, in which many of the characters that Dorothy meets represent the people from her home life (such as Miss Gulch, Professor Marvel, and the farmhands, none of which appear in the book). Oz is meant to be a real place in L. Frank Baum’s original novel, one to which Dorothy would return to in the author’s later Oz books, and later provide a refuge for Aunt Em and Uncle Henry when unable to pay the mortgage on the new house that was built after the old one really was carried away by the tornado.

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Toshio Suzuki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Japanese, Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takashi NaitЕЌ, Yasuko Sawaguchi, English, Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Michael Chiklis, Lauren Holly, Suzanne Pleshette, David Ogden Stiers, Susan Egan, Bob Bergen, Tara Strong

Chihiro and her parents are moving to a new town. While driving, her father decides to take a shortcut, but gets lost, stumbling across what appears to be an abandoned theme park. The family crosses a tunnel and explores the park, finding the stalls are full of freshly-cooked food. Her parents help themselves while Chihiro refuses to eat. While Chihiro’s parents are eating, Chihiro wanders off and meets a boy named Haku. Haku seems to be familiar with Chihiro and warns her urgently to escape with her parents; she returns to find her parents have turned into pigs, and that the way back has become inundated into a deep river. Spirits appear and go about celebrating in the park. Haku secretly takes Chihiro to a large bathhouse, careful to avoid alerting the spirits to the presence of a human. Haku then tells her that she must get a job from the witch Yubaba, the owner of the park’s bathhouse, until he can help her recover her parents and escape.

With the help of the boiler room master Kamajii and a bathhouse servant girl Lin, Chihiro is able to convince Yubaba to give her a job; in exchange, Chihiro is forced to give up her name so that Yubaba may keep her in her service forever. Yubaba gives her new servant the name “Sen”. Chihiro eventually learns that Haku is similarly indebted to Yubaba. Chihiro is put to work alongside Lin, helping to bathe and serve the most difficult spirits in the bathhouse. Chihiro is able to successfully bathe a “stink spirit”, later revealed to be a river spirit who had been heavily polluted, who rewards Chihiro for her service with a magic healing cake made from special herbs, as well as with gold. Later, Chihiro discovers Haku’s true form, a dragon, as he is attacked by paper birds controlled by Zeniba, Yubaba’s twin sister. Haku had stolen Zeniba’s sigil under orders from Yubaba. Chihiro tries to help Haku recover from his injuries using the cake given to her by the river spirit, which acts as an emetic to the dragon, thus recovering Zeniba’s sigil and squashing a peculiar black slug that had been attached to it; however, Haku remains comatose, so Chihiro decides to travel to Zeniba’s home to return the sigil, hoping to break her curse over Haku. Chihiro sets out on a lonely train ride across the spirit world, along with a wraith-like spirit called No Face, who terrorized the bathhouse and tried to earn the affection of Chihiro, and Boh, Yubaba’s gigantic infant son whom Zeniba had transformed into a mouse.

The group arrives at Zeniba’s house to find that Zeniba is friendlier than expected, and that the curse on Haku was placed on him by Yubaba, but Chihiro’s love and caring has broken the spell. Zeniba makes Chihiro a special hairband to show her that her friends are with her, as well as for protection, and No Face is offered to stay at Zeniba’s home as her assistant. Haku, now recovered, shows up to return Chihiro to the bathhouse, explaining that Yubaba will return Chihiro’s parents to normal and allow all three of them to leave in exchange for returning Boh. As they travel on Haku’s dragon form, Chihiro realizes that Haku is the same river spirit that saved her as a small child when she fell into the Kohaku River, and the realization helps to break Yubaba’s control on Haku completely. At the bathhouse, Yubaba reveals that Chihiro must pass one more task as part of Haku’s deal: identify which pigs out of several are her parents. Chihiro passes the test, and Yubaba is forced to let her and her family go. Haku escorts her to the entrance of the spirit world, telling her that her parents are waiting on the other side, but to not look back or else the deal will be broken. Chihiro rejoins her parents, not once looking back; the family returns to their car, now dusty, to continue to their new home. Zeniba’s hairband is still in Chihiro’s hair.