Staff’s Choice – Best Animated Movies

Betsy Berenback-Gold, Focus Editor

The Lion King: “The Lion King” is one of the most popular animated movies because it appeals to all audiences with its timeless themes and music. This animated musical is about Simba and how once his father, King Mufasa, dies because of a cruel plan by Scar, he feels he must run away. Simba runs and meets a warthog and meerkat who teach him the care free philosophy of “hakuna matata” (no worries).  Simba soon realizes he must go back to his home in order to stand up and take responsibility as the new leader and defeat his uncle. Although this movie does take spinoff themes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this movie truly represents the delicate circle of life and how one must take responsibility and not run away from their problems.

Toy Story 3: Although this isn’t the original Toy Story, “Toy Story 3” has made the best animated movie list because of the emotional and feel-good plot. Andy is grown and is about to leave for college, and he is going to leave his toys destined for the attic. The toys are mistakenly brought to a day care center where they face an enemy, Lots-o’-Huggin bear. The toys, who are extremely loyal to Andy, try to escape in order to get home to Andy before he leaves for college.The movie is filled with plot twists which keep the audience entertained. There are several situations the toys get themselves in which are relatable to the first two “Toy Story” movies. Although this movie is a comedy, it is filled with emotional scenes about growing up and a toy’s loyalty.

Up: “Up” represents how one should always try and fulfill their dreams, even if they need a little help. In this story, a retired 78-year-old named Carl makes a promise to his deceased wife to travel to South America. He puts thousands of balloons on his home and starts to fly away when he realizes Russell, a young boy scout, has become a stow away. Although Carl doesn’t want an accompanist, Russell proves to be the person he needs the most. Together they embark on the adventure, where they encounter talking dogs, evil villains, and an endangered bird named Kevin. This movie depicts how one can become friends with people they would never think of and how sometimes all one needs is a true friend. “Up” makes viewers  feel uplifted.

Monsters, Inc.: “Monsters Inc.” is a timeless film about true compassion and the bond of friendship. Sully and Mike are two monsters working at a facility which scares children to power for their parallel universe.  When a young girl named Boo escapes from her door and befriends Mike and Sully, their world is turned upside down. They develop affection towards Boo and try to get her home safely, but there are many people trying to take Boo for their own cruel intentions. Through quick-wit and the great bond of friendship, Mike and Sully beat the odds and get her home and break the ideology of scaring children to get power for their city. “Monsters, Inc.” is of the more popular Disney-Pixar movies, and it’s funny and silly plot always entertains.