The Princess and the Frog

  • Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Producers: Peter Del Vecho, John Lasseter
  • Writers: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Anika Noni Rose, Oprah Winfrey, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, Jim Cummings, John Goodman, Bruno Campos, Michael Leon Wooley, Peter Bartlett, Terrence Howard

A press release describes the story as follows:

The official trailer reveals that once Tiana kisses the frog prince, she herself becomes a frog, and they must journey together to change themselves back to humans.[9]

Babes in Toyland

  • Directors: Gus Meins, Charley Rogers
  • Producers: Hal Roach
  • Writers: Frank Butler, Nick Grinde, Victor Herbert, Glen MacDonough, Hal Roach
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy

Although the 1934 film makes use of many of the characters in the original play, as well as several of the songs, the plot is almost entirely unlike that of the original stage production. The film’s story takes place in Toyland, which is inhabited by Mother Goose and other well known fairy tale characters. Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee (played by Laurel and Hardy, respectively), live in a shoe (as in the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe), along with Mother Peep (the Old Woman), Little Bo Peep, a mouse resembling Mickey Mouse (and actually played by a live monkey in a costume), and many other children. The mortgage on the shoe is owned by the villainous Silas Barnaby, who is looking to marry Bo Peep. Stannie and Ollie set out to get the money for the mortgage from their boss, The Toymaker. But after the Toymaker finds that Stannie has mixed up an order from Santa Claus (building 100 wooden soldiers at six feet tall, instead of 600 soldiers at one foot tall) and one of the soldiers wrecks the toy shop, Stannie and Ollie are fired without getting the money.

The two then hatch a plan to sneak into Barnaby’s house and steal the mortgage, but are again foiled by their incompetence. Barnaby has them arrested on a burglary charge, and the two are sentenced to be dunked in the ducking stool and then banished to Bogeyland. But Barnaby agrees to drop the charges if Little Bo Peep will marry him. She reluctantly agrees, but not before Ollie suffers the humiliation of the dunking.

Ollie and Stan tell their story to Old King Cole (the King of Toyland) and the townspeople as two Bogeymen scale the wall and open the gate. The crowd flees in panic as the army of torch-wielding Bogeymen attack Toyland. Ollie and Stannie run and hide in the toy shop. There they discover boxes of darts and use them to fight off the Bogeymen. Stan and Ollie then empty an entire box of darts into a cannon, but as the two search for the last remaining darts, they realize instead that they should unleash the wooden soldiers. The “march” alluded to in the film’s title begins as the soldiers march out of the toy shop (filmed in a stop-motion animation sequence by Roy Seawright[2]). The scene changes to live action as the soldiers attack the Bogeymen with the bayonets of their rifles. Barnaby and the Bogeymen are defeated and driven back into Bogeyland, where alligators appear to feast on them, although this is never made clear. The kingdom of Toyland is saved. Stan and Ollie decide to give the Bogeymen a parting shot with the dart-filled cannon. As Stan aims the cannon and lights the fuse, and Ollie turns away to avoid the loud blast, the barrel of the cannon flips backwards and unleashes the barrage of darts on Ollie, covering his back with darts. The film ends with Stan pulling them out one by one as Ollie winces.

White Christmas

  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Producers: Robert Emmett Dolan
  • Writers: Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes

The story is about two World War II U.S. Army buddies, one a former Broadway entertainer, Bob Wallace (Crosby), and a would-be entertainer, Phil Davis (Kaye). It begins on Christmas Eve, 1944, somewhere in Europe. In a forward area, Captain Wallace is giving a show to the men with the help of Private Davis, (“White Christmas”). Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger) arrives for the end of the show and has a field inspection prior to being relieved of command by General Harold G. Coughlan (Gavin Gordon) The men give him a rousing send-off, (“The Old Man”). During an enemy artillery barrage, Davis saves Wallace’s life from a toppling wall, wounding his arm slightly in the process. Using his “wounded” arm and telling Bob he doesn’t expect any “special obligation,” Phil convinces Bob to join forces when the war is over. Phil using his arm wound as a way to get Bob to do what he wants becomes a running gag throughout the movie.

After the war, they make it big in nightclubs, radio, and then on Broadway. They become the hottest act around and eventually become producers. They subsequently have a big hit with their New York musical, Playing Around. In mid-December, after 2 years on Broadway, the show is in Florida. While at the Florida Theatre, they receive a letter from “Freckle-Faced Haynes, the dog-faced boy”, a mess sergeant they knew in the war, asking them to audition his two sisters. When they go to the club to audition the act (“Sisters”), Betty (Rosemary Clooney) reveals that her sister, Judy (Vera-Ellen), sent the letter. Bob and Phil help Betty and Judy escape their landlord and the local sheriff (the landlord claimed that the sisters had burned a $200 rug). The boys do the song “Sisters” to a record as the girls escape to the train. Phil gives Betty and Judy the train tickets that he and Bob were intending to use. When Bob and Phil arrive on the train, they have no tickets. Using “his arm” again, Phil gets Bob to agree to travel with the girls to Vermont for the holidays (“Snow”). They discover that the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont, is run by their former commanding officer, Major General Tom Waverly, and it’s about to go bankrupt because of the lack of snow and consequent lack of patrons. The general has invested all his savings and pension into the lodge.

In a memorable finale, Bob and Betty declare their love, as do Phil and Judy. The background of the set is removed to show the snow falling in Pine Tree. Everyone raises a glass, toasting, “May your days be merry and bright; and may all your Christmases be white.”

Sleeping Beauty

  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, Milt Banta, Charles Perrault
  • Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy, Barbara Jo Allen, Bill Shirley, Taylor Holmes, Bill Thompson

Set in the 14th century, the newborn Princess Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn because she fills the lives of her mother and father, King Stefan and Queen Leah, with sunshine. While still an infant, she is betrothed to the also-young Prince Phillip, son of King Hubert. At her christening, the Three Good Fairies Flora (dressed in red/pink), Fauna (in green), and Merryweather (in blue) arrive to bless her. Flora gives her the gift of beauty while Fauna gives her the gift of song. Before Merryweather can give her blessing, the Dark Fairy Maleficent appears, expressing disappointment in not being invited to Aurora’s christening ceremony and curses the princess to die when she touches a spinning wheel’s spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Maleficent leaves, and Merryweather is able to use her blessing to weaken the curse so that instead of death, Aurora, will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love’s kiss. Though King Stefan decrees all spinning wheels in the kingdom burned, the Three Good Fairies know Maleficent’s curse cannot be stopped that easily and devise a plan to protect her. With the king and queen’s consent, they disguise themselves as peasant women and sneak Aurora away with them to a woodland cottage until her sixteen birthday lapses, passing themselves off as her aunts and swearing off magic to conceal themselves.

In the castle, Maleficent uses her magic to lure Aurora away from her boudoir and up to a tower, where a spinning wheel awaits her. Fascinated by the wheel with Maleficent’s will enforcing it, Aurora touches the spindle, pricking her finger and completing the curse. The good fairies place Aurora on a bed and place all in the kingdom in a deep ageless sleep until the spell is broken. While falling asleep, King Hubert tries to tell Stefan of his son being in love with a peasant girl, which makes Flora realize that Prince Phillip is the man Aurora has fallen in love with, and they fly back to the cottage for him. At that time, Prince Phillip arrives at the cottage, but is captured, bound and gagged by Maleficent’s minions and taken to the dungeons of her lair, “The Forbidden Mountain”, to prevent him from kissing Aurora until he is an old man and she remains as young as the day she pricked her finger—as previewed in a magical vision which the gloating Maleficent torments him with. However, the fairies sneak into Maleficent’s stronghold and free the prince. Armed with the magical Sword of Truth and The Shield of Virtue, Phillip and the fairies escape from the Forbidden Mountain whilst being attacked by Maleficent’s minions, which the fairies succeed in blocking. When Diablo tries to warn Maleficent, Merryweather chases him and eventually kills him by turning him into a stone statue, alerting Maleficent. The prince braves all obstacles Maleficent throws at him to reach the palace, including a large bush of thorns, before battling Maleficent herself when she turns herself into a gigantic fire-breathing dragon. After a long fight in which his shield is destroyed, Phillip throws the sword, blessed by the fairies’ magic, into the dragon’s heart, causing Maleficent to fall to her death from a cliff, leaving nothing but a dark stain and turning the sword black. Phillip climbs to Aurora’s chamber, and removes the curse with a kiss. As the film ends, the prince and princess both happily learn that their betrothed and their beloved are one and the same. They arrive at the ballroom, where Aurora is happily reunited with her parents, and she and Prince Phillip dance a waltz. They do not notice that as they dance, Merryweather and Flora have resumed their disagreement over the color of her dress and continue to change it from blue to pink with their magic. As the book closes, Aurora’s gown continues to change colors.

The Boy Friend

  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Producers: Ken Russell, Harry Benn
  • Writers: Ken Russell, Sandy Wilson
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian, Tommy Tune, Brian Murphy, Barbara Windsor, Vladek Sheybal

In the Villa Caprice, or Madame Dubonnet’s School for Young Ladies, Maisie and the girls live with the maid, Hortense, and Mme. Dubonnet. Hortense orders a costume for “a Miss Polly Browne” and Maisie and the other girls (Dulcie, Nancy, and Fay) sing the ironic “Perfect Young Ladies” with Hortense. Polly arrives and tells everyone about her made-up boy friend who is “motoring down from Paris” to meet her for the upcoming carnival ball, and sings about “The Boy Friend”. Later, Bobby surprises Maisie and they dance to “Won’t You Charleston With Me?”

Polly’s widowed father, Percy, then arrives at the school to discover that the headmistress is an old flame of his. They sing “Fancy Forgetting” to rekindle the spark. Polly, though a millionaire’s daughter, feels left out because she is the only one of her set who does not have a boyfriend, and she needs a partner for the fancy dress ball. However, when the errand boy, Tony, arrives to deliver her Pierrette costume, they are immediately attracted to each other, and sing “I Could Be Happy With You.” Later, they meet at the beach (after the chorus number “Sur La Plage”) and sing about “A Room in Bloomsbury.” They then kiss and decide to meet at the ball. The comically flirtatious Lord Brockhurst arrives on the scene, leading to a comical meeting with the rigidly mannered Percival Browne. Lord Brockhurst’s domineering wife Lady Brockhurst is also introduced. Percival Browne and Dubonnet then sing “The ‘You-Don’t-Want-To-Play-With-Me’ Blues”.

At the ball, Bobby and the three boys propose to Maisie and the three girls, but the girls reply in unison that “we’ll let you know at midnight” and everyone dances to “The Riviera”. Lord Brockhurst sings “It’s Never Too Late To Fall In Love” with the flirty Dulcie, and is caught out by Lady Brockhurst. Polly confides in Mme. Dubonnet, and they sing “Poor Little Pierrette”. Tony later arrives at the ball and takes Polly by surprise. He asks “May I have this dance, Pierrette?” to which Polly replies, “I’m afraid I can’t dance with a stranger”. He then kisses her to remind her. Polly discovers that Tony is really the son of Lord and Lady Brockhurst, who had left home to try to make his own way in the world. Percy and Mme. Dubonnet announce that they are getting married. The clock strikes midnight, and the girls unanimously say yes to the boys’ proposals. The last scene has everyone dancing as soon as Bobby, with the last spoken line in the play, asks “So how about that Charleston?” The show ends with a reprise of “The Boy Friend” and “I Could Be Happy With You.”

Love Me Tonight

  • Directors: Rouben Mamoulian
  • Producers: Rouben Mamoulian
  • Writers: Samuel Hoffenstein, George Marion Jr, Waldemar Young
  • Genres: Musical, Comedy
  • Actors: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Charles Butterworth, Myrna Loy

Parisian tailor Maurice Courtelin (Maurice Chevalier) poses as a baron in order to collect the unpaid bills a local aristocrat (Charlie Ruggles) have been piling up. On his way to the castle, he has a confrontation with haughty Princess Jeanette (Jeanette MacDonald). When he arrives at the castle, he charms the various denizens, including Jeanette’s chattering aunts and her man-hungry cousin Valentine (Myrna Loy). Jeanette is resistant towards the newcomer, but eventually falls for his charms, telling him she will love him no matter who he is or where he is. When he helps her redesign an outfit, he confesses to her that he’s really a tailor. The entire household is outraged, and Maurice leaves. As he takes the train back to Paris, Jeanette realizes her mistake and follows him on horseback. He tells her to stay away, so she stands in front of the train. When the train stops, Maurice jumps out and they embrace as smoke from the train envelops them.

An American in Paris

  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Writers: Alan Jay Lerner
  • Genres: Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Nina Foch

Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam (Oscar Levant) is a struggling concert pianist who is a long time associate of a French singer, Henri Baurel (Georges Guétary). A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts (Nina Foch) takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in more than his art. Jerry remains oblivious to her feelings, and falls in love with Lise (Leslie Caron), a French girl he meets at a restaurant. Lise loves him as well, but she is already in a relationship with Henri, whom she feels indebted to for having saved her family during World War II.

At a raucous masked ball, with everyone in black-and-white costumes, Milo learns that Jerry is not interested in her, Jerry learns that Lise is in love with him, but is marrying Henri the next day, and Henri overhears their conversation. When Henri drives Lise away, Jerry daydreams about being with her all over Paris, his reverie broken by a car horn, the sound of Henri bringing Lise back to him.

The Wiz

  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Producers: Rob Cohen
  • Writers: Joel Schumacher, William F Brown
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Musical, Family
  • Actors: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor

A Thanksgiving dinner brings a host of friends and family together in a Harlem home, where a 24-year old schoolteacher named Dorothy Gale (Diana Ross) lives with her Aunt Em (Theresa Merritt) and her Uncle Henry (Stanley Greene). Extremely introverted, Dorothy has, as her aunt teases her, “never been south of 125th Street”, and refuses to move out and move on with her life.

While cleaning up after the dinner party, Dorothy’s dog Toto runs out the open kitchen door into a violent snowstorm. Dorothy succeeds in retrieving him, but finds herself trapped in the snowstorm. A magical whirlwind â€“ the work of Glinda the Good Witch (Lena Horne) â€“ materializes and transports the woman and her dog to Oz. Upon her entrance into Oz, Dorothy smashes through an electric “Oz” sign, which falls upon and kills Evermean, the Wicked Witch of the East. As a result, Dorothy frees the Munchkins who populate the park into which Dorothy lands; the Munchkins had been transformed by Evermean into graffiti for “tagging” the park walls.

Dorothy soon meets The Munchkins’ main benefactress, Miss One, the Good Witch of the North (Thelma Carpenter), a magical “numbers runner” who gives Evermean’s powerful silver slippers to Dorothy. However, the frightened Dorothy desperately wants to get home. Miss One urges her to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and find the mysterious “Wiz” who Miss One believes holds the power to send Dorothy back to Harlem. The good witch and the Munchkins then disappear and Dorothy is left to search for the yellow brick road on her own.

Upon arriving back in Emerald City, the quintet take a back door into the Wiz’s quarters and discover that the Wiz is a “phony”. The “great and powerful Oz” is actually Herman Smith, a failed politician from Atlantic City, New Jersey who was transported to Oz when a balloon he was flying to promote his campaign to become the city dogcatcher was lost in a storm. Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion are distraught that they will never receive their respective brains, heart and courage, but Dorothy makes them realize that they had these things all along. Just as it seems as if Dorothy will never be able to go home again, Glinda the Good Witch appears and implores Dorothy to find her way home by searching within and using her silver slippers. After thanking Glinda and saying goodbye to her friends, Dorothy takes Toto in her arms, thinks of home and the things she loves most about it and, after clicking her heels three times, finds herself back in her neighborhood. A changed woman, Dorothy carries Toto back to their apartment and closes the door.

Nine

  • Directors: Rob Marshall
  • Producers: Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Ryan Kavanaugh, Marc Platt, Harvey Weinstein
  • Writers: Anthony Minghella with Michael Tolkin
  • Genres: Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Moses Federer, Kate Hudson, Stacy Ferguson

Having reached the age of forty, director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is facing a midlife crisis that is stifling his creativity and leading him into a variety of complicated romantic involvements. As he struggles to complete his latest film, he is forced to balance the numerous formative women in his life, including his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his mistress Carla (Penélope Cruz), his muse and protégé Claudia (Nicole Kidman), his producer, confidant and costume designer Liliane (Judi Dench), an American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson) and his mother (Sophia Loren).

Dreamgirls

  • Directors: Bill Condon
  • Producers: Laurence Mark
  • Writers: Stage musical, Tom Eyen, Screenplay, Bill Condon
  • Genres: Drama, Musical
  • Actors: Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson

As in the original stage musical, Dreamgirls can be broken up into two acts: the first taking place from 1962 to 1966, and the second taking place from 1973 to 1975.

The film begins in Detroit, Michigan in 1962, as an amateur African-American girl group known as The Dreamettes enter a talent competition at the Detroit Theater. Backstage, the three girls — full-figured lead singer Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson — meet Curtis Taylor, Jr., an ambitious Cadillac dealer with plans of breaking into the music business. Placing himself as their manager, Curtis arranges for the Dreamettes to tour as backup for a regional R&B star, James “Thunder” Early. The tour takes the company – also including Effie’s songwriting brother C.C. and Jimmy’s manager Marty – across the country on the chitlin’ circuit.

Hoping to help Jimmy and the girls cross over to mainstream audiences, Curtis starts his own record label, Rainbow Records (“The Sound of Tomorrow”), out of his car dealership’s office, and makes C.C. his head songwriter. However, when Rainbow’s first single fails after a white pop group releases a cover version, Curtis and his sidekick Wayne turn to payola. By paying the right people, Curtis manages to get Jimmy and the Dreamettes to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and into a headlining gig at the Apollo Theater. Offstage, Effie is quickly becoming infatuated with the slick-talking Curtis, and Jimmy – a married man – begins an adulterous affair with Lorrell, who becomes equally as lovesick as Effie.

As a result, Deena Jones & the Dreams give a farewell performance at the Detroit Theater. At the conclusion of the concert, Effie joins Deena, Lorrell, and Michelle onstage and the reunited Dreams give one final performance of their signature song, “Dreamgirls”, with Effie singing lead. As the concert ends, Curtis notices Magic in the front row and seemingly realizes that he is the girl’s father.