Best Movies of the Decade

A few weeks ago I saw a video or article about the best movies of the last decade. Most of the choices were hipster indie choices, which is fine, but they definitely didn’t capture my favorites of the decade. It gave me the idea to make a video of my list but that felt boring. On a whim I decided to reach out to my fellow youtubers on twitter and see if anyone else wanted to contribute. I asked each person to make a 1-2 minute video about their favorite movie and to my shock the response was massive. I ended up with 14 contributors and it made for a video I really love. I love how different everyone’s picks are and how heartfelt their explanations behind their picks. It’s definitely one of my favorite videos I’ve ever done on my channel so check it out.

My favorite can be no surprise to all of you: 2016’s anime masterpiece Your Name. However, I thought I would give you the rest of my top 10 for here on the blog. I am not going to include a pick from this year because they haven’t had a chance to sit long enough but if I did I would probably pick Avengers: End Game, which is a film I love.

1. Your Name– beautiful in every facet with a layered story about what happens when we understand the humanity of the people around us

2. Wonder Woman– not just a superhero story but a story about why God loves us mortals despite us being pretty awful towards each other. I loved Diana. I loved the message. I loved everything about it

3. Perks of Being a Wallflower– my favorite coming of age movie. I love the message. I related strongly to the group of teens and its not about finding love but believing we deserve love in the first place

4. Inside Out– brilliant metaphysical film that has the guts to teach us all that sadness matters. It’s funny, sweet, with devastating yet effective endings for 3 of its characters- Joy, Riley and Bing Bong

5. Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse– I loved the animation. It still blows me away on each watch. I loved the character of Miles. I loved the meta story with the different Spider-man. I loved how funny it is. Perfection!

6. Tangled- Disney’s first romantic comedy and done so well. I love the witty banter between Flynn and Rapunzel. I love how indecisive she is and how he grows and changes. I love Mother Gothel as a true dishy villain and I love the songs.

7. Sing Street– Speaking of songs few films filled me with more musical-enhanced joy than Sing Street. What a lovely film about growing up, making music and finding love. The original songs are super catchy and the relationship between the brothers feels so authentic

8. Paddington 1 and 2Paddington and Paddington 2 are near perfect family films. They both have humor, huge hearts and characters that are so charming. I wish we could get one each year.

9. Song of the SeaSong of the Sea is the film I cried the most in the theater. What a touching film about grief and how little Ben can learn to forgive his Mother for dying and his sister for being the cause. The animation and music are stunning. So lovely.

10. Arthur Christmas– For my money the best holiday film of the last decade is Arthur Christmas. Such a sweet, heartfelt movie that captures the innocence and kindness of Christmas. Even the “villain” brother is just trying to run things well. It’s perfect to watch at Christmas

Honorable Mentions- Mary Poppins Returns, Crazy Rich Asians, STEP, Hacksaw Ridge, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Lean on Pete, Boyhood, Frozen, Moana, The Avengers, Paranorman, Mud, The Martian, Hidden Figures, The Lego Movie, Harry Potter 7 pt 2, Toy Story 3, Gravity, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor Ragnarok, XMen Days of Future Past, Interstellar, American Sniper, Pitch Perfect, Brooklyn, 45 Years, Creed, Cinderella, and many more.

What would be your favorites?

Ranking Star Trek Movies

Hey guys! So I have done it! I have finished watching and podcasting about all the Star Trek movies. Including Galaxy Quest and our ranking episode that’s 15 podcasts! My friend Tom joined me for these podcasts and it has been so much fun to jump out of my comfort zone and try something new. I’ve been impressed with the variety to the Star Trek movies. Sure not all of them are great but so is the case with any franchise, but they do shake it up quite a bit. There is action, adventure, sci-fi, horror elements, goofy comedy and everything in between.

Star Trek Podcasts

We had some technical difficulties with audio in some of the early podcasts but we hit our stride eventually. I think you will really enjoy them.

Today to conclude the series we did our rankings of the 14 films we watched and I thought I would share it with you guys. I would love to hear your rankings in the comments section.

14. Star Trek: The Final Frontier- William Shatner’s one and only time directing and it is a mess. Garish, sloppy and boring it just doesn’t work

13. Star Trek Nemesis- An intriguing idea of a Captain Picard clone becomes extremely forgettable and with a rape subplot it doesn’t feel like Star Trek

12. Star Trek: the Motion Picture- An attempt to homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey but it doesn’t have the sense of mystery about Kubrick’s film. Long self indulgent shots of the ship exemplify the film for me. I found it extremely boring and I didn’t get into the film like 2001

11. Star Trek Insurrection- The idea of relocating a people is an interesting dynamic along with some strange looking villain people with stretched faces. You also get some humor with the crew getting twitterpated. The villain played by F. Murray Abraham is very bad and it is just very forgettable

10. Star Trek Generations- Best parts of the film are when Picard and Kirk see the lives they could have lived and have to make the choice to return to reality and face their foes. However, we don’t get as much of the two of them as I would like and the production design feels cheap

9. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home- I know this is a favorite of most fans and I do see the value to it. It has nice moments but is a little too silly for me to fully embrace. Scenes like when they are running away from the hospital feel inspired by a 3 Stooges skit more than Star Trek

8. Star Trek: Into Darkness- Benedict Cumberbatch is mesmerizing as Khan and the action is very entertaining. However, the attempts to copy Wrath of Khan I could do without. They feel wedged in and unnecessary.

7. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock- Woefully underrated film with an emotional arc for Kirk as he sees his son killed by the klingons and is mourning the loss of Spock. Some strange elements and Christopher Lloyd is a little over the top but it feels cinematic and fun.

6. Galaxy Quest- Hilarious comedy where particularly Alan Rickman shines as Alexander Dane the serious actor on the Star Trek-like show. Very well written and well made it takes on fandoms and Star Trek without being mean about it.

5. Star Trek (2009)- Very entertaining reboot with a whole new timeline. Great casting and action with a nice character arc for Kirk. I thought Zachary Quinto was a little flat as Spock (he grew on me) and the villain is very forgettable but still very engaging film.

4. Star Trek Beyond- Might be recency bias but I loved the way this film split off into little groups so you got to spend time with the crew in a way no other Star Trek film I’ve seen. The script was funny and it felt like a group of friends working together. I also loved the addition of Jaylah. The climax with the Beastie Boys is admittedly silly but I thought still entertaining.

3. Star Trek: First Contact- Basically a zombie movie in Star Trek. The borgs are a great alien spieces that is menacing and intimidating. The quest to stop events on earth are compelling and the acting is top notch. You get nice emotion from Lilly and Picard in particular.

2. Star Trek IV: Undiscovered Country- Probably the most entertaining Star Trek film. It has it all including a dinner scene where they quote Shakespeare that I loved. Christopher Plummer is in this and is fantastic. The trial of Kirk gives us some of his most emotional moments where he admits his anger over those who killed his son. It’s well made and we get a lovely sign off (literally) for this original series crew.

1.Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan- It’s a bit of a cliche for this to be my favorite but the guts they have to kill off Spock is what puts it over the edge. The scene where Spock sacrifices himself for the good of his friends is emotional and Shatner and Nimoy are so good in it. Also Khan is a tremendous villain and the rivalry between him and Kirk is great. It’s scary at times with horror elements like the bug going into Chekhov’s ear. When it came down to it I feel this is the most memorable of all 14 films and the most gutsy.

So there you have it. What would be your ranking? If you haven’t seen any of the Star Trek movies give at least Wrath of Khan a shot or maybe the new reboots. You just might be surprised. And if not Star Trek I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Dip your toe in an unfamiliar genre. I have found when I do I am a better for the experiment!

Live long and prosper!

Ranking Animated Films from 2013-2016

Hey guys! Over on my youtube channel I just finished up a series where I ranked 67 animated films I’ve seen from 2013-2016. I stopped this list with Ice Age 5. I would love if you gave these videos a watch but will provide the list below.  In each of the videos I give a little explanation of why each film was placed where it is on the list. Enjoy!

  1. Song of the Sea
  2. Inside Out
  3. Tale of Princess Kaguya
  4. The Lego Movie
  5. Frozen
  6. The Wind Rises
  7. Zootopia
  8. Miniscule: The Valley of the Lost Ants
  9. The Peanuts Movie
  10. April and the Extraordinary World
  11. Big Hero 6
  12. When Marnie was There
  13. Ernest and Celestine
  14. Finding Dory
  15. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  16. Cheatin’
  17. The Good Dinosaur
  18. Kung fu Panda 3
  19. The Jungle Book
  20. The Book of Life
  21. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  22. Monsters University
  23. Wrinkles
  24. Mr Peabody and Sherman
  25. Only Yesterday
  26. The Boxtrolls
  27. The Boy and the World
  28. Anomalisa
  29. The Secret Life of Pets
  30. Rocks in My Pockets
  31. The Croods
  32. Penguins of Madagascar
  33. The Boy and the Beast
  34. The Pirate Fairy
  35. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
  36. Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water
  37. Snowtime
  38. Harmony
  39. Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart
  40. Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
  41. Epic
  42. Hotel Transylvania 2
  43. Ratchet and Clank
  44. Despicable Me 2
  45. The Little Prince
  46. Turbo
  47. The Congress
  48. Henry and Me
  49. Maya the Bee
  50. Planes: Fire and Rescue
  51. Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos
  52. The Angry Birds Movie
  53. Extraordinary Tales
  54. Minions
  55. Rio 2
  56. Planes
  57. Strange Magic
  58. Home
  59. Ice Age: Collision Course
  60. Bling
  61. Free Birds
  62. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
  63. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
  64. The Nut Job
  65. The Smurfs 2
  66. The Hero of Color City
  67. Norm of the North

*For the record I would add Kubo and the 2 Strings at 9/71, Phantom Boy at 14/71, Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon would be 66/71, and Batman: the Killing Joke would be at 68/71. I saw each of those animated films after I made this list

Top 10 Worst Animated Films

So Norm of the North inspired me to create a top 10 list of the worst animated films I’ve ever seen.  Here it is:

lorax22210. Lorax- This bright, messy film ruins Dr Seuss’ subtle message into a story of bland corporate greed.

mars needs moms9. Mars Needs Moms- Gray, drab, motion capture film with a strangely dark message for kids of Moms getting abducted by aliens.

legends of oz8. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return- Some of the worst animation I’ve ever seen.  It does not look finished.  The story is cluttered and I nodded off more than once. It is not worthy to bear the name of Oz.

Pound_Puppies_Big_Paw_poster7. Pound Puppies Movie- The worst of the corporate toy movies from the 80s with no creativity or cleverness.  We get the origins of Puppy Power and that’s as lame as you might guess.

fly me to moon6. Fly Me to the Moon- Basically a script of unending fly puns and toilet humor.  Poor animation, annoying characters, stupid story.

hero of color city5. Hero of Color City- Terrible Toy Story rip-off about crayons who come to life.  The animation is awful, the story is boring, humor falls flat.

hunchback44. Hunchback of Notre Dame 2- Takes the subtle dark message of the original and turns it into a maudlin atrocity. Terrible animation, horrible villain and a bell with jewels on the inside is stupid.  The worst of the Disney sequels in my opinion.

norm1113. Norm of the North- Call it recency bias but this may be the worst animated film I’ve seen in a theater.  The story makes no sense, animation is sloppy, villain super lame. Not one good thing to say about it

crazy nights2. Eight Crazy Nights- Disgusting animated film from Adam Sandler featuring jokes in poor taste to put it mildly.  His vocal performances are insulting and annoying.  The songs wouldn’t even work in a bad SNL skit. Terrible film in every way.

dogs christmas1. All Dogs Go to Heaven Christmas Carol- You guys know how dear Christmas Carol is to me and this film adds hypnotized dogs and a she-devil spirit called Belladonna who wants to destroy Christmas.  Making Carface Scrooge doesn’t work because he isn’t the primary villain trying to ruin Christmas.  The Tiny Tim dog is the worst and  The animation is terrible and the songs unoriginal.

Best of 2014 Revisited

At the beginning of the year I posted my ‘best of 2014‘ but at that point I hadn’t seen many films from 2014.   Now that it is August I have gotten through most of the releases and my best of list has changed a bit.  I still really like all of the films I picked but they have just moved to honorable mentions.   Maleficent is still my worst of 2014.  None of those have changed.

Here’s the new video I made with my updated top 11.

And most of these we’ve hashed out to death but feel free to put your comments below anyway. Just one gals opinion!

My new picks are:

11. Captain America Winter Soldier

capt 210. American Sniper

american sniper9. Interstellar

interstellar38. Lego Moviethe_lego_movie_2014-wide7. Guardians of the Galaxy

guardians of the galaxy6. Tale of Princess Kaguya

kaguya horizontal 15. The Good Lie

good lie4. Edge of Tomorrow

edge-of-tomorrow-poster-33. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-poster2. Song of the Sea

song of the sea41. Boyhood


Rachel’s Top 50 Animation Countdown (20-11)

Now we are getting down to the cream of the crop. Pretty much all of these movies could be first place on this list because I love them all for different reasons.  So, don’t get too caught up in the rankings from here on out.  They are all most beloved to me. 🙂

20. Finding Nemo– A film that has it all- real heart, humor, gorgeous animation, amazing vocal performances and more.  They manage to keep both storylines of  Nemo’s world in the tank and Marlin hunting for his son with Dory equally engaging and fun.  So many moments surprise me like the AA sharks. It’s probably Pixar’s most rewatchable film and being a lover of the water it is a total delight.

finding nemo519. Tale of Princess Kaguya– A movie that grows on me each time I see it.  I loved it on an initial watch but have seen it several times since and now I LOVE it.  Parts that seemed a little slow now feel like poetry.  It’s one of the most unique and visually stunning animated film I’ve ever seen and I love the way it uses music to tell the story.  It’s a very Japanese story of a woman who chooses to be obedient to her father no matter the personal cost.  At times it is quite tragic and the ending is intriguing.

tale-of-princess-kaguya-118. Wall-e– Another movie that grows on me each time I see it.  I just reviewed it in my Pixar series but I think it is just about perfect.  I love the love story between Wall-e and Eva.  I love the artistry of their space ballet.  I love the message about hope and that anyone can be a hero.

walle and eva17. 101 Dalmatians- My favorite movie from the sketch era with one Disney’s most iconic villains in Cruella Deville.  What makes her so great is she has this insane plan of killing all these puppies.  It’s not a boring motive like Radcliffe or Clayton who just want money.  No she just wants a dalmatian coat.  She is also powerful and nearly wins time and again.  I love little moments of humor thrown in and the real tension that is developed in scenes like when they are loading the van.  Small characters like Sergeant Tibbs are a total delight.

DalmatianPuppies16. Incredibles– a unusual combination of a movie about work and a superhero story.  Bob is not happy in his life because he isn’t doing what he is called to do.  His unhappiness affects his marriage which is portrayed in such a realistic way that I think is great for kids to see.  I love the messaging and the villain is very evil (again almost wins which makes him menacing).  Great voice casting, terrific pacing and story.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

incredibles915. Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh– A criminally underrated film that is viewed by many as a movie only for small children.  Each of the 3 stories is sweet and layered with great voice casting. They say Elmo means love whenever he is on stage and I think Winnie the Pooh means childhood.  He is simple and yet thoughtful with a never ending desire for honey.  We get the dry narration which is so funny and the ending in this film is perfect.  It makes me cry every time I watch it.  ‘Will you ever forget me Pooh Bear”.  Not me!  I won’t forget you on this list! 🙂

winnie the pooh ending14. My Friend Totoro- Perhaps Studio Ghibli’s most iconic film and for good reason.  It is in many ways like Winnie the Pooh, the story of in this case 2 little girls with a sweet lovable friend, the wood spirit Totoro.  Totoro flies the girls around and just wants to protect them from harm or negative influence.  It’s so inventive and good-natured I don’t mind the simpler story.  Like Ponyo it is a Studio Ghibli film you can watch with even your youngest children and they will love it.   It’s an adorable movie.

totoro13. Inside Out– Don’t cry recency bias I loved Inside Out.  I’ve seen it twice and the layers of character development are amazing.  What Joy goes through in her understanding of happiness and Riley in dealing with the emptiness of having neither sadness or joy is so engrossing.  I love how the entire world is 11 with Imaginationland changing and morphing before them.  I love the islands of personality and their connection to memories.  I love the other emotions especially Anger and Fear and how funny they were.  The ending is perfection when Riley’s parents see her as an emotional equal and they bond.  What they were able to do with Bing Bong is remarkable.  And it’s also very funny to boot.

inside out512. Princess Mononoke- One of Miyasaki’s most ambitious works with a battle between the humans and the spirits of the forest.  Princess Mononoke is torn between both sides of the battle and we feel it as viewers.  All the characters are layered and interesting and it looks so beautiful.  It’s brutal at times and even violent but one of the most original fairytales I’ve ever seen.

princess mononoke11. Tangled– Disney’s first romantic comedy is so well done.  I love Flynn and Rapunzel’s relationship.  I love Mother Gothel and I think the songs are great.  It has probably Disney’s biggest plothole but I will forgive it.  I love the lanterns and the artistry throughout.  I saw it in 3D and it blew me away.   Great side characters as well and just a terrific rewatchable movie with real heart and lovely message about finding a new dream.

tangled flynn and rapunzel

Rachel’s Top 50 Animation Countdown (30-21)

30. American Tail- The recent death of James Horner had me revisiting American Tail a few weeks ago, and I really do love it.  Much like the great early Disney movies it has scares, laughter and a lot of tears.  Horner’s music is iconic in my childhood.  I like the voice performances and the ending is so satisfying.  I even like the sequel. It’s really cool to have the first Jewish animated character that I am aware of and a lot of good educational opportunities for parents and kids with the immigrant story.

american tail29. Nightmare Before Christmas- A groundbreaking stop motion movie with amazing Danny Elfman songs.  I love the clever story of the man who swaps out Christmas for Halloween.  Jack is a character we really root for because he has such pure intentions.  I also love the romance with Sally and their bond throughout the film.  It looks seamless and different  and is scary in moments without being over-the-top. Great vocal performances and music.  The rare movie which is great for Halloween and Christmas.

nightmare28. The Wind Rises- the final film from Hayao Miyazaki and perhaps his most grown-up .  The story of Jiro who designs the airplane for the Japanese army in WWII.  It is his dream to help people fly but then it is used for war, which is an interesting dynamic.  He also falls in love with a girl who isn’t well and that is moving.  It is layered, moving film and subtle in how it portrays war, romance, life, and dreams.  It also looks stunning and will make you cry but for all the right reasons.  You almost forget you are watching animation for stretches but then the artistry will take your breath away. It makes me want to seek out  my dreams.

the-wind-rises27. Alice in Wonderland– the movie that embraces nonsense and I love it for it.  It has a non-linear plot with eccentricities that are different and surprising.  Basically its Alice meeting a bunch of colorful characters one after another and I like going on that journey with her.  The music is so much fun with great voice performances throughout.  Only part that doesn’t work for me is when it throws in a narrative with the walrus and oysters which feels completely out of place.

Alice-march-hare-mad-hatter26. Toy Story 3- Takes all the strengths of 1 and 2 and combines them into an extremely satisfying ending to the Andy part of the Toy Story chapter.  Andy has grown up and the toys are given to a daycare which is full of peril, humor and real heart. The incinerator scene is shocking, gut-wrenching and extremely tense.  My nieces hate it for those reasons but I was engrossed.  The ending is perfect reminding us all of when we had to say goodbye to childhood and pass our memories on to others.

25. Lego Movie-  One of the most inventive movies I’ve ever seen.  It is for me what Wreck-it Ralph should have been.  I love all the different worlds and how they capture a child’s randomness in play.  I love the journey Emmit goes on from following all the rules to trusting in his own ingenuity.  I love the visual appeal and how every scene moves and feels like legos coming together. I love the voice performances and all the jokes.  I love the live action scene which makes me tear up every time. It’s a child trying to explain his world to his parents and that is beautiful.   I was so skeptical going in but to me it is about perfect.

the_lego_movie_2014-wide24. Jungle Book– I hate the ending but love the songs and characters.  Baloo is one of my favorites in all of Disney and Shere Khan is a menacing villain.  I also like Kaa with his creepy hypnosis.  It doesn’t leave any space to be bored but goes from one delightful scene to the next.  All the voice performances are top notch and it’s one of my favorites to rewatch and smile. I’m also a sucker for any film about friendship and how yes family is key but friends are pretty darn great too. 🙂

jungle book223. Ratatouille– I just reviewed Ratatouille a few weeks ago and it is such a lovely film.  It looks gorgeous.  I love how it captures Paris as the City of Lights.  It makes me want to go there every time I see it.  I love Remy and how he feels uncomfortable in his skin.  He doesn’t belong in the world he was born into and food is his way of leaving that world. He meets Linguini and finds a purpose.  It is funny and Ego is one of my favorite characters ever in animation.  His speech at the end is perfection.  Ratatouille is also very funny particularly the interactions between Remy and his imaginary mentor Gusteau.

ratatouille522. Sleeping Beauty– The lyrical look to this animated version of the Sleeping Beauty ballet is so unique and special.  I love the faeries and how smart yet funny they are.  I love Maleficent and her seemingly petty spat with Stephan leading to the curse of Aurora.  She’s such a great villain.  Phillip is my favorite Disney prince because he is brave and shows a lot of spunk when dealing with Maleficent. My only flaw of it is Aurora is pretty bland. But look at this image and see how deep the trees are layered on to each other.  It’s amazing. The story is equally special.

sleeping-beauty-woods-221. Frozen– The opposite of Aurora is our two princesses in Frozen and I love both of them.  Much like Ariel Elsa has this thing that makes her different than the world she is born into.  She doesn’t belong and is taught to fear her gifts and hide them.  I was really moved by that.  Meanwhile Anna is left to wonder what happened to her sister.  I related to that as well because I have 3 sisters and sometimes it can feel impossible to get through to them- especially one that is particularly private and introverted.   I love the relationship of the sisters as it grows and I love the ending.  I think Olaf is in it for just enough comic relief (and one sweet moment).  I love the songs and the vocal performances are some of the best ever in Disney.  The way the villain was handled definitely surprised me and I thought the take on the traditional Disney romance was fun.  I know the haters are out there  but make your own list!  This is mine.

anna and elsa

Here is my youtube review

Rachel’s Top 50 Animation Countdown (40-31)

40. Aladdin- I know for some people Aladdin would make their top 10 but I’ve never been as big a fan as most people even though I do like it (hey it made this list!).  It’s a ton of fun with one of the most iconic performances in all of Disney.  The Menken/Ashman/Rice songs are wonderful.aladdin and jasmine39. Batman Mask of the Phantasm- vastly underrated superhero movie with terrific vocal performances.  Actually my favorite batman movie.  I think the animation is also underrated.  Get it on blu-ray studio!

batman mask38. Persepolis- One of most unique animated films I’ve ever seen.  About a girl growing up in the Iranian Revolution.  It looks striking, with an extremely likable lead character and a story with a lot of layers of family, personal and political drama.persepolis237. Big Hero 6- I was really moved by the relationship of Hiro and Tadashi. A lovely film about grief and remembering those who have past on while also being a superhero movie with a diverse, funny group unlike any I’ve seen before.  I love Baymax so much and SanFransokyo was so creative and beautiful.BigHero6Team36. Snow White and 7 Dwarves- I realize this is a little out of sync with my Disney rankings but this where I felt it fit in this list.  Snow White is not just great because it was first but it holds up remarkably well.  It’s funny, sweet, scary and has great songs.  I love how the Queen is the queen but it isn’t enough for her.  She also has to be prettiest in the land.Snow-White-and-Prince35. Iron Giant- A lovely animated story by Brad Bird about a boy in 1950s who finds a giant and has to keep it from the government.  Love the animation, story, everything. iron giant234. Mulan- Underrated Disney movie with a strong female heroine, good laughs, strong ensemble of characters, sweeping battle animation, great score and fun songs.  Only weakness is lame boring villain. mulan and li shang33. Corpse Bride- a beautiful ghost story with haunting music and a visual style that I actually like even better than Nightmare Before Christmas.  The story isn’t quite as layered or interesting and the characters not as good as Nightmare but I still love it.  There is enough story of the unlikely match thrown together for me to love it. corpse bride32. Lion King- Another one I’m sure people will be upset having so low but I love Lion King.  That’s why it beat out 18 other films.  It’s epic, beautiful, heartfelt and has an amazing villain.  Some of the pop elements, juvenile humor and way they handle Can You Feel Love Tonight I could do without.  Still hugely satisfying engaging film about whether we take the easy way out or the tough one that we are destined for. It’s also some of Disney’s most glorious animation they ever did. lion king231. Dumbo- It depresses me that so many outside the animation community see Dumbo as a racist Disney movie.  That or it is ‘too sad’.  It has its perhaps questionable segments but at its core is a message about acceptance of people and their differences.  The relationship between Timothy Q Mouse and Dumbo is sweet.  The watercolor artwork is lovely capturing the bright colors of the circus.  The elephants dream is weird and a delight. I love it! Walt-Disney-Screencaps-Timothy-Q-Mouse-Dumbo-walt-disney-characters-23109179-2560-1536-1024x614Here’s my video on this list:

Foolishness: My Favorite Comedies

Happy April Fools!  I’m honestly not a big fan of practical jokes but I do enjoy a good laugh.  I thought given the day I would share with all of you 10 of my favorite comedies.

For these 10 I tried to pick all out comedies, not romantic comedies, dark comedies or movies like the Apartment that have comedic elements.  These are roll on the ground, laugh out loud, make me laugh every time films.  Humor is completely subjective (all films are but especially comedies) so these are just what I find most funny.  You may not and that’s cool.  Instead of just critiquing my list (easy to do) share with me your favorites and what makes you laugh.

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail- Almost everyone I know thinks this is funny. There are so many jokes and the script is so well written. Some highlights are the Sir Bevedere and King Arthur debating about the witch, the knights that say ni, the black knight with no arms and legs screaming ‘Come on ya pansy!’, The Castle of Aaaauuuggghhhh (he must have died while carving it), “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”…  So funny.


2. Napoleon Dynamite- A somewhat polarizing movie that some either think is hilarious or it drives them nuts.  I’m in the hilarious camp.  Maybe partly because everyone involved is from my alma mater (for the most part) and I really relate to the rural Idaho setting?  Who knows?  It’s so likable and has one of the most endearing lead characters in modern movies so I love it.

If you haven’t read my character profile on Napoleon please do. When you really think about it he has a sad life.  They are obviously poor, his parents are nowhere to be seen, his brother and uncle are a mess,  his grandma has just been injured and he get’s rejected by the girl he asks out.  But you’d never know about it from watching Napoleon.  He’s walking around, looking at things and happy with his life.

There are so many great lines like “I told you! I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines!”, “A liger…It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed”, “How was school? The worst day of my life, what do you think?”, “You know, there’s like a boat-load of gangs at this school. This one gang kept wanting me to join because I’m pretty good with a bo staff”, “No, but who would? I don’t even have any good skills…You know, like numchuk skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.”

When he dances and shows the ultimate confidence it is hilarious and such a great victory.


3.It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – The dream cast that will never be beat and the ultimate cat and mouse chase story that has every kind of humor. It’s a mad cap race to find the treasure and hilarious all the way through it. Jonathan Winters , Ethel Merman and Buddy Hackett are particular favorites. 


It’s the kind of movie that could never be made today because the studios would be so lazy.  Movies like New Years Eve, Movie 43, and Grown Ups figure all we have to do is have a bunch of famous people and it will get folks in the theater.  They don’t have a good script or funny setups.  It’s just disgusting crass and vulgar and not funny! It’s a Mad Mad World did it right.

4.  What About Bob- What makes What About Bob one of the funniest movies ever made is it is a classic example of someone driving another human being nuts and being completely oblivious.  Bob is having a great time.  He’s happy as a clam, and he isn’t intentionally annoying, but just trying to be loving and his shrink’s biggest fan.  But the shrink played by Richard Dryfuss lets one thing get to him and then another and another until it is this huge volcano. So often in life do we allow someone to get under our skin and they are completely unaware.  That is funny and totally rings true.  Bill Murray is so likable in the role and has an innocence that makes you root for him all the while he is making Dryfuss crazy.

It is so well written with great scenes like the dinner ‘um, this corn is delicious.  Is this hand shucked?’  or “There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t. My ex-wife loves him”. “It reminds me of my favorite poem, which is, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic… and so am I!”

what about bob

5. Clueless- My favorite comedy for many years.  Based on Jane Austen’s Emma it tells the story of rich socialite Cher and her best friend Dion as they try to do a little matchmaking with their friends in high school.  I love scenes like the Haitians and the dinner party or Cher’s description of her diet- “I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and like 3 pieces of licorice”.  Ha.


Almost every line of this movie makes me laugh and yes I think it is funnier than Mean Girls although that is also great.  Amy Heckerling does such a brilliant job making Cher and Dion, who would be the mean girls, into likable endearing characters.

My favorite scene by far is when Dion ends up on the highway for the first time.  I love his scene because I remember when a similar event actually happened to me in high school and I freaked out.

6. Better Off Dead- this is an admittedly stupid movie but it makes me laugh every time.  It’s about this kid named Lane Meyers played by John Cusack who obsesses over his girlfriend. When she dumps him he doesn’t think it is worth living until he challenges her boyfriend to ski the K12.

The plot is really just an excuse for a lot of hilarious gags like the newspaper boy who menaces Lane for his $2, the taxi drivers who learned English from Howard Cossell, Lane’s stoner best friend who says ‘this is pure snow.  Do you realize the street value of this stuff?’, his brother who collects coupons before the cereal is done, his neighbor who is teaching a foreign exchange student ‘the international language’, his mother who is such a bad cook it walks off the plate.  It’s hilarious and I love it.

better off dead

7. Bringing Up Baby-  This movie starring Kathrine Hepburn and Cary Grant taking care of a Leopard named Baby is hilarious from start to finish.  Grant is the uptight paleontoglist professor and Hepburn is a rich doner’s daughter who is a massive klutz.  They have to transport this leopard and all hell breaks loose and it has great dialogue, slapstick, hijinks,  and mistaken identities.  It’s one you could watch with the entire family and all have a hearty laugh.

 8.  The General-  A movie that has to be seen to be believed.  What Buster Keaton does with physical stunts is unbelievable.  Most of this movie is shot on a moving train and all to get the gags.  It’s an adventure and incredibly funny at the same time.  Very few title cards are needed because Buster Keaton is so expressive in his eyes and face.  It’s brilliant and hard to believe they could make a movie that holds up so well with action comedies of today, if not even slicker and more polished because it is actual people risking their lives instead of CGI.

Keaton can make picking up a log and putting it on the train hilarious  It’s without a doubt one of the best movies ever made and that’s not just nostalgia.  I’m telling you it still holds up today in every way. Trust me on this one.  If you think you will never like a silent movie give The General a shot.

9. Office Space- I love movies about work and that includes laughing about work.  I so related to this movie when I was stuck in the stupefying nothingness of cubicle life.  (Cubicle Hell as I like to call it). The useless company protocol like TPS reports, the cheap attempt to replicate family celebrations like birthdays, having 5 different bosses who have no idea what your actual job is, the worst boss in movie history, the ridiculous employee reviews,  and wanting to smash the tar out of the office copier.  All of that rings true.  I watch it and thank the Lord for a job I love.  Thank you, thank you. At least this movie made me laugh when it was rough.

office space

I love the ridiculousness of the plan they come up with ‘Isn’t that in Superman 4…” and when they get the magazine guy to tell them about money laundering or the flare at the chain restaurant ‘I want you to want to wear more flare’.  It’s hilarious but it is the only R rated movie on this list and it earns the R so be forewarned.

office space2

10. Best in Show- My favorite of the Christopher Guest troop films although they are all hilarious.  Using the mockumentary style to cover a dog show and their owners it is funny from start to finish.  The entire team is at the top of their game including Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy (literally has 2 left feet), Catherine O’Hara from Home Alone (which I could have put on this list but I already profiled it), Jane Lynch and more.  I especially love Fred Williard as the commentator who has me in near tears laughing at his frequently improvised lines.

I have yet to show this movie to someone who didn’t laugh.  (I’m sure there will be a barrage of comments saying they didn’t laugh but in my real life everyone loves it).