The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
I recently watched this animated classic and was instantly reminded why I loved it as a kid.
It’s an entertaining, slightly
eerie, classic spinoff tale of Sherlock Holmes, played by mice.
When Olivia Flaversham’s toymaker father is kidnapped by the evil Professor Ratigan and his bat minion, Fidget, Olivia must turn to the famous Basil of Baker Street for help.
The greatest mouse detective to ever live, Basil possesses an arsenal of great wit, snarkiness, and arrogance to rival that of Sherlock Holmes.
Together Olivia, Basil and Dr. David Q. Dawson set on a quest to find Olivia’s father and he can finish Professor Ratigan’s robot of the Queen before he is able to seize control over the people of Mousedon.
With the exception of some very blatant adult themes masked in the guise of animation, this flick is great for all ages to enjoy.
The Fox and the Hound (1981)
After rewatching this one, I realized something. How was this movie made for children?
Seriously, how did my 6-year -old self handle this emotionally? This movie starts out innocent and happy as a young fox named Tod and a bloodhound pup named Copper become best friends.
But when Copper leaves for the winter to learn to become a hunting dog, Disney says “not so fast!” as they rip your heart out with Tod and Copper growing apart.
Compared to other Disney storylines, this movie is strangely violent. A hunter tries smoke out Tod and his lover Vixey. Then the hunter gets trapped in his own bear trap set up for Tod, while he is being attacked by amega-bear.
Depsite all of these anxiety- inducing scenes, the underlined theme of friendship prevails.
In the end, everyone ends up happily ever after as in all Disney movies, but wow, this movie still leaves you in a depressed mood. Give it the Oscar for best drama.
The Emperors New Groove (2000)
This absolute perfection from Disney is full of everything you might need from a quality animated feature.
It goes from excellent one-liners that are in turn hilarious innuendos (once you get to an age where innuendos are actually freaking hilarious) to deeper message monologues that teach how to be a better human being.
The audience goes on an epic journey with Emperor Kuzco, a conceited monarch who develops an unlikely friendship with a peasant once he is betrayed by a witch who turns him into a llama, naturally.
The man behind the voice of Emperor Kuzco is the one and only David Spade, which means absolutely nothing. It means nothing except that the he is the most raunchy human being alive who just happens to play one of the most hilarious monarch/llamas of all time.
This movie is a sheer riot of entertainment for any age; enjoy watching the most quotable movie of all time in my humble opinion.
All Dogs go to Heaven (1989)
If you are a dog lover, and an aficionado of animated features, excuse the pun but this flick will be nothing short of “heaven.”
Animated features have the habit of covertly dealing with adult issues rather brilliantly.
“All Dogs Go to Heaven” is a film that not only delves into adult issues, but doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s doing it. The best part about it is that delinquent behavior is perpetrated by dogs. Genius!
This movie has a habit of showcasing the eternal battle between good and evil.
The opening sequence deals with the murder of the main character Charlie and dogs drinking, gambling and participating in all out raucous behavior.
On top of the this, the Biblical euphemisms are actually quite daunting; The scene of dog hell is terrifying.
It is the animated version of the movie “The Departed.” It is sure to leave you analyzing many themes of not only your own life, but life in general.
The Aristocats (1970)
Here is the basic breakdown; the Queen B of cat ladies lives in the high-end area of Paris in the early 1900s.
She decides to leave the entirety of her fortune to her cat ,Duchess, and her adorable three kittens. Oh and the film happens to be a catchy musical sing along that was Walt Disney’s last approved film when he died in 1966. Intrigued yet?
Well if not, lets continue with the breakdown. The jealous butler, swindled out of his cut of the inheritance by those pesky felines, attempts to kidnap Duchess and her kittens but fails.
The result of this botched kidnap attempt leaves Duchess and her kittens lost in the streets of Paris. However fret not, because in walks the coolest sly tomcat of them all, Thomas O’Malley. (The fact that he is a red-haired cat with an Irish last name is completely coincidental).
To put O’Malley into perspective, he is basically like Matt Damon in the film “Good Will Hunting.”
Through a barrage of up tempo sing-alongs, O’Malley brings Duchess and her kittens back to their rightful home.