Don Bluth has made some of my favorite animated movies. He’s probably made a lot of people’s favorite animated movies, honestly. I wouldn’t be surprised if my list and Lindsay’s overlap a lot this week. Don’t forget to check out K.M. and J.S. too! Here goes for Don Bluth.
The Land Before Time
As a kid who loved dinosaurs, this movie was my jam. As an adult, I recognize that it’s just absolutely gorgeous. It’s dark, it’s emotional, and the artwork is beautiful. I have so many fond memories of watching this movie when I was young, but I think I appreciate it much more now that I’m grown up (kind of). I haven’t seen the million sequels that followed it, except for one or two, and it’ll probably stay that way. This one is enough for me. It’s just fantastic.
All Dogs Go to Heaven
I watched this movie a thousand times as a kid. I’m convinced it had something to do with me liking jerkass bad guys–even if this one did turn out to be good deep down. Way, deep down. On occasion. Selectively. Yeah. Anyway, if I ever get a German Shepherd, its name is going to be Charlie, and there’s just nothing anybody can do about that.
The Secret of NIMH
I appreciate this movie so much more as an adult than I did as a kid. As a child, I didn’t really get it. It was backstory heavy and dark and it dealt with things that I didn’t fully understand. Now, as a mother myself, I have such warm feelings for Mrs. Brisby and the lengths she’s willing to go to for her child. This is a woman(mouse) whose husband just disappeared one day, presumed dead, and she was left with four young children to take care of. She didn’t even know what happened to her husband until some weird creepy pseudo-mystical rat told her ages afterward. She’s not presented as a particularly strong, smart, or otherwise exceptionally capable person. She’s just determined, and her love of her children drives her to do terrifying, dangerous things for their sake. I absolutely love Mrs. Brisby.
I was in high school when this movie came out, but I think that was the perfect time for me to see it. It’s a cartoon, but it’s adult enough that I didn’t think of it as a kid’s movie at all. It’s cheeky and fast-paced, and I absolutely love all of the different alien species. Especially Stith. She’s perfect. Also, you just don’t see enough of this kind of space opera these days.
An American Tail
This movie is so metaphorical I can’t stand it. It’s super cute and sad. I actually also really like the sequel to this one, which isn’t always the case. Secretly I just like to hear John Cleese say “y’all.” Anyway, I really like the story this movie tells. It’s not even particularly dumbed-down for kids; they just sort of took an immigrant story and made them mice instead of people. I’ve always really enjoyed it.
So those are my picks! Don Bluth’s movies had a big impact on a lot of people my age, and for good reason–they artwork was always beautiful, the stories were dark and grounded in humanity (despite not having very many humans in them), and they had just enough silliness to keep the younger kids interested. Let me know which ones were your favorites!