With Disney celebrating its 100th anniversary in a variety of ways – including an exhibition and concert heading to London later this year, Emma Clarendon takes a look at some of her favourite Disney films…

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937): no list would be complete without Disney’s first full length film based on this fairy tale and while the upcoming live action re-make might be causing controversy, the original animated film still holds up today. It’s blend of humour, sincerity and yes scariness makes it thoroughly dramatic to watch unfold – it is extremely dark in places and I have heard that it still impacts adults today. This film showed the world of the type of film that Disney could make well.

Moana (2016): as times have changed, audiences (children in particular) are looking for newer characters to represent them and Disney explores a different culture beautifully in Moana. Not only is it gorgeous to look at and filled with the gentle humour and magic that we have come to expect from a Disney film, the characters and story are enchanting enough to keep audiences invested in what is unfolding – as well as catchy songs that will have you humming long after the film has finished. It certainly feels like a modern Disney classic.

Fantasia (1940): Disney proved just how creative and experimental that it could be as company with this incredibly imaginative approach into introducing children to classical music. By transforming famous classical pieces of music into stories, it really makes you realise just how powerful music can be in awakening the imagination and its importance in helping to tell a story.

Cinderella (2015): this new era of Disney films has seen them re-visiting their classics and transforming them into live action films (with mixed success it must be said) and this is still one of the strongest re-makes to date. Given the relative simplicity of the animated version, this 2015 film was able to expand and put even more magic into the story – without losing its charm.

Inside Out (2015): since beginning its collaboration with Pixar, Disney have released some incredibly imaginative and thoughtful stories including Inside Out and is certainly one of the most memorable animated films released in recent years. The idea of turning emotions into characters such as anger and joy and how they play a part in your everyday life certainly made me think about my emotions and the impact they have on my everyday life and overall mood.

Sleeping Beauty (1959): this is my all-time favourite Disney film and although at the time of its release it wasn’t successful, I feel it is an underestimated Disney film. As a child, I was fascinated by the design and the way in which the story unfolded and it is also the film that made me fall in love with Tchaikovsky’s music. There is plenty of magic and humour as well that never fails to charm me.

Tangled (2010): giving a modern twist to a classic fairy tale can really work in the company’s favour as seen in this wonderfully vibrant retelling of Rapunzel that never fails to make me laugh or has me humming the songs when I least expect it.

By Emma Clarendon


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