By ADELINE DAVIS
Back in May, the public went crazy when Netflix announced they would stream the latest Disney movies in September. Unfortunately, this message was interpreted to mean Netflix would be making all the Disney films available. This is not the case. Netflix only plans to put up the newest Disney films hitting the screen as of 2016. For those who enjoy going down memory lane with every movie in the Disney archive, your hearts will likely be crushed. However, underneath the disappointment lies classic Disney movies one may have forgotten about.
Tarzan: Tarzan portrays one of the most loving romances in Disney history. Yes, Pocahontas’s forbidden love for John Smith proves fangirl worthy. However, there is something about a wild man falling in love with a proper girl from England that brings a person to near hysterics. Orphaned at infancy, Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) is raised by a family of gorillas. One of the most compelling aspects of this film is Tarzan’s journey to find his identity. Upon reaching adulthood, Tarzan encounters the first people of his kind, Jane (Minnie Driver), her father (Nigel Hawthorne), and Clayton (Brian Blessed). Soon, Tarzan finds himself torn between his love for Jane and his dedication to the gorillas. The film’s touching plot is paired with an amazing soundtrack from Phil Collins, not to mention lessons relatable to any college student. Like Tarzan, we all struggle with finding our place in the world. As endearing as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are, no one needs to follow the lessons taught in those films. Doing so would set our society back quite a few centuries.
A scene worth re-watching: The chilling moment when Tarzan realizes Jane is human too. Everything about this scene is powerful. The hauntingly beautiful music that comes to life as Jane and Tarzan press their hands together makes the scene. Tarzan’s astonishment and Jane’s entrancement display the beauty of human connection. The fact that this is all done A) in the span of 20 seconds and B) with no dialogue, gives Tarzan the ultimate Disney feels.
Brother Bear: The 2003 film, Brother Bear frequently gets overshadowed amidst other Disney animal movies like 101 Dalmations, Lady and Tramp or Lilo & Stitch (not really an animal, but close enough). Having recently re-watched it, Brother Bear is actually a great film that utilized sibling love to pull on the heartstrings long before the plotline of Frozen. Brothers Sitka (D.B. Sweeney), Denahi (Jason Raize), and Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) are Inuit hunters. The movie begins with the youngest, Kenai, anticipating the ceremony that will make him a man and gift him with an animal totem. But when Kenai receives the bear totem, he lets his ignorance and immaturity blind him to the animal’s respectable qualities. After a series of tragic events, he is magically changed into a bear as his punishment. Going from a two legged to four legged creature forces Kenai to gain a new perspective. The film’s emphasis on embracing nature proves poignant, as well as Kenai’s love for his two older brothers. Not only was Brother Bear enlightening, it also provided some much needed humor. Kenai’s experiences from human to bear color the film, along with the antics of arguing moose and an adorable bear cub. Though Lilo & Stitch might have a bigger fan base, Brother Bear contains an equal amount of heart.
A scene worth re-watching: Kenai must choose between returning to his human form or living as a bear. The scene where he chooses to stay a bear and be with the bear cub, Koda (Jeremy Suarez), is just as powerful as Anna shielding Elsa from Hans’ sword. Kenai’s love for Koda melts hearts, along with Denahi’s willingness to let Kenai choose his own path. Once again, Disney expertly promotes the importance of embracing oneself. Even if that self happens to be an animal.
Fantasia: Unlike the majority of the Disney collection, Fantasia is a movie one can either watch or listen to. Gracing screens in 1940, Fantasia follows eight animated segments set to the music of different composers. Heartfelt, romantic, invigorating, and at times suspenseful, these segments display both the beauty of music and Disney animation. Each of the eight segments is enthralling, not to mention expertly complemented by famous music scores. It may not have songs about tales as old as time, but audiences must let it go and enjoy the new world Fantasia explores. No other Disney film incorporates dancing mushrooms, flirty angel fish, dinosaurs, and Mickey as fluidly as Fantasia does. If for some reason this combination is not appealing, simply listening to the music while studying is enough to make anyone glad Fantasia’s on Netflix.
A scene worth re-watching: The dancing hippo scene provides surprising empowerment for a film made in 1940. Through this entertaining scene, Disney shatters the typical image of stick thin dancers. Instead, the slender ostriches are replaced by hippo and elephant ballerinas. Disney’s choice to embrace the dancing style of usually not so graceful animals is refreshing. It is impossible not to crack a smile as hippos dominate the dance floor in their pink tutus.
Adeline Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org