Walt Disney Animation Studios has been entertaining and transporting us to enchanted, mystical and impeccable utopian worlds filled with fantasy and magic through their world-class animated cinema. Since its inception, Walt Disney Animation Studios has gone on to produce a total of 59 animated films and the release of the upcoming film Encanto will mark the 60th animated film for the studios. Be it childhood or even while growing up, these films have left us teary-eyed but at the same time given us moments to cherish forever. So on that nostalgic note, here are 4 all-time favourite Disney films that one should not miss and of course a little sneak peek into the upcoming film Encanto.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
The animated musical fantasy film was everything a girl dreamt off, a beautiful mermaid named Ariel, who dreams of becoming human and falls in love with a human prince named Eric, which leads her to make a magic deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human and be with him. The film was a quintessential love story of how the good wins over evil and the beloved couple live a happily ever afterlife. Also, a fun fact which makes this film all the more special as The Little Mermaid was considered by some as “the film that brought Broadway into cartoons”.Alan Menken wrote the Oscar-winning score, and collaborated with Howard Ashman on the songs.
The animated musical fantasy comedy based on the Arabic folktale of the same name from the One Thousand and One Nights has always been an audience favourite due to the trio Aladdin, Genie and Abu. The clever street boy disguises himself as a wealthy prince and tries to impress the Sultan and his daughter, Princess Jasmine and what follows is hilarious, emotional and absolutely magical. Aladdin’s wit, Genie’s humour and comic timing and Abu’s mischief along with the princess Jasmine has been stealing our hearts forever. Along with the plot, the song “A Whole New World ” which is the theme as well as love song in film, won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards, the first and so far only Disney song to win in the category. The music for the song was by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice, has been respired over the years with the latest being by Zayn Malik and Zhavia Ward, who did their version of the song for the live-action version of Aladdin.
The Lion King (1994)
Who can forget the musical fantasy drama revolving around the cute little lion Simba and his journey to become a king and avenge his father Mufasa’s death by the evil uncle Scar. The film encapsulates the tale of a young and determined Simba, who wants to end Scar’s tyranny and take his place in the Circle of Life as the rightful King. The film even today leaves us teary eyed when baby Simba loses his father. Also, who doesn’t remember the famous song “Hakuna Matata”. Lyricist Tim Rice, along with John Elton wrote five original songs for the film (“Circle of Life”, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”, “Be Prepared”, “Hakuna Matata”, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), with John’s performance of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” playing over the end credits. This became the fourth-best-selling album of the year on the Billboard 200 and the top-selling soundtrack. It is the only soundtrack for an animated film to be certified Diamond (10× platinum) by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The latest animated musical fantasy Frozen revolves around princess Elsa, who sets off on a journey alongside an iceman, his reindeer, and a snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have inadvertently trapped their kingdom in eternal winter. The film is one of the most watched animated films of all time and has received massive love and appreciation from audiences across the globe and from all age groups, making it a cherishable moment and mystical escape from reality. The beautiful songs of this musical were written and composed by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, close to 23 minutes in the film is dedicated to their musical and Disney was very excited to get the musical couple on board, due to their storytelling style of music and well we all know how that panned out as we are pretty obsessed with soothing fairy tale narrative music in Frozen.
The upcoming fantastical drama, Encanto will encapsulate the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto and pan around the life of Mirabel, an ordinary 15-year-old who’s struggling to find her place in her family. It will be interesting to see what unfolds for this extraordinary family but I guess that time will tell. The music in this fantastical musical is by Lin Manuel Miranda, who also happened to be the musical mind behind Disney’s film Moana. The musical genius created the music of Encanto, keeping the cultural theme in mind and the music is steeped with Colombian culture and ethos, creating a magical world with Colombian instruments, Colombian rhythms and forms
Stay tuned and find out more about this fantastical family, the Madrigals on November 26, 2021 as Encanto releases in Indian theatres.