Yes, there are more Disney movies than the following available on Netflix, but in keeping with the original theme of this series, these are the ones that I truly enjoy.
Pocahontas was released at the tail end of my childhood, bookending into the dreaded teen years. Luckily it was awesome enough to draw me in even though I’m sure I acted too mature for it at the time. Pocahontas was inspired by the life of the famous Native American, known for working in harmony with the early colonists of Jamestown, VA. While history indicates that she did save the life of John Smith, they were not in a relationship. However that is not the film’s take, which I quite enjoy. The basic plot is the early colonists trying to take over the Native American’s land. The love story between Pocahontas and John Smith throws a monkey wrench in the works.
Watching the movie in my youth I was drawn in by the music (Tia Carrere has a beautiful voice) and seemingly magical properties of the Native Americans. While watching it early this year I not only was able to enjoy that but also the comedy. Seriously, rewatch it as an adult and guffaw at the awesomely fab songs by the baddies who openly admit their plans to steal the Native American’s land. Plus, the villain’s henchman is super flamboyant. The animal sidekicks (on both sides) are also a treat.
I have not had a chance to watch the sequel yet but I assume it’s some fun.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
I’m not sure if there’s anyone who isn’t at least passingly familiar with Tim Burton’s stop motion masterpiece at this point. The super quick rundown is that a skeleton king who resides in Halloweentown discovers Christmas. Fun ensues when he gets things a bit wrong.
I identify to much with the character of Dumbo to have watched it all that often. Dumbo is an unpopular elephant who is criticized for his large ears. Aw. Even before I hit adolescence and understood this type of cruelty I still found it a sad tale. The film involves Dumbo going to visit his mother. It also includes Dumbo accidentally getting drunk and crows that I (and many others) have found to be racially demeaning. So yeah, if you are planning to watch Dumbo with a child, I’d recommend using it as a way to teach acceptance to those who are different/unpopular but be prepared for questions on his inebriated state and why “the crows talk like that”.
So, what are your Disney favorites that can be found on Netflix? Yes, Mulan is in my queue.