Not sure I really need to include much of an introduction here. Most people over the age of 10 have some memory of Don Bluth films, whether you realized they were written by him or not. They were usually dark, or pretty, or really weird, but usually some odd mix of all of these things. Here’s my countdown to my favorite Don Bluth movie. Be prepared for disappointment :V
As always, check out the rest of the crew who is doing these Top Five topics with me!
and Lindsay Boitnott.
#5 – Titan A.E.
So this is one of those movies I don’t think comes to mind when reminiscing about Don Bluth films. And that’s one of the reasons that it’s landed at the end of my list. But I definitely love it. It came out when I was in high school and I liked that it was an animated movie that was aimed at my age group.
I’ve always been a softy for animated sci-fi. There’s something about the freedom of animation that lends itself to the genre, and it was definitely showcased here. I mean sure, the shiny new CGI toy they used sometimes made these weird Reboot knockoffs,but hey, that was still a good show, gosh darn it!!
And other times, the CGI made awesome landscapes like this. I mean, come on, if that doesn’t scream Don Bluth, I don’t know what does. So it was a bit of a mixed bag, and the good definitely outweighed the bad.
Sure, if you were to watch it today, ALL of the CG would probably look like a freshman computer project, but even then, I still love this movie. I liked the story and the characters and the music. It was just an all-round good trip.
#4 – Land Before Time
Let me just say, if you didn’t cry at the beginning of this movie, you’re a monster.
This show was a staple for a lot of kids my age, I think, and it was really a great example of Don Bluth’s ability to mix brightly colored, cartoony characters with dark, frankly, terrifying backgrounds and locations.
But this was definitely the classic “friendship will pull us through,” “we’ve got to stick together” sort of story. It evoked emotions of all sorts, which I think helped grow a generation of children into adults that are empathetic and caring. I mean, I’m sure a few people slipped through their little dinosaur fingers and became sociopaths and stuff. But I know it helped shape me for the better. And really, I’m the one who counts here, because this is my blog.
#3 – An American Tale
Another classic. American Tale was on loop in my house for a while when I was very young, and the fact that I performed my first ballet recital to “There are No Cats in America” did NOT help. This struck all the right cords, with the sweet songs, the poor singing of the infant-child voicing Fievel, this horrifying nightmare machine:
Seriously, are you shitting me, Mr. Bluth? This is what Five Nights at Freddie’s drew its inspiration from. This is what lived in my closet. This is what I saw when I contemplated death as a 6-year-old child. It scared the crap out of me every single time.
But I kept watching.
It didn’t matter how creepy it was, or how scared I got, I loved this movie. I still love this movie. I love every little voice crack in “Somewhere Out There,” I love the weird ice skating in the sewers, and the abuse of the mob-cats (I do not condone the abuse of cats!) This movie could have had a side story that was Saw for mice, and I probably still would have loved it.
Okay, that’s a lie.
But really. This is a great movie.
#2 – Thumbalina
Alright, so this is where my trashy nature comes out. This movie is terrible. But terrible in every single way it’s supposed to be. This is one of those movies where the songs were probably written first, and then they just shoehorned the story in.Thumbalina is the most easily influenced person on the face of the planet. The only thing she never agrees to is marrying the frog guy in the clown pajamas.
Hook up with a cockroach? Gross. But hey, he’s got strings to pull in show-biz.
Marry the mole? Ew! Buuuuut… he IS really rich. Hmm…
But forget that sad clown frog. All he has is a houseboat and a busty mom.
It’s also one of those movies that is super repetitive. If I had a quarter every time Thumbalina said “It’s impossible ;_;” or when Jacquimo said “Follow your heart,” I’d be as rich as the damn mole!
It’s corny and has huge plot holes, and isn’t nearly as dark or engaging as Don Bluth’s other films, and you know what?
I love every cliche, stupid second of it.
Cornelius was my boyfriend, and even now I feel all swoony when I listen to “Let Me Be Your Wings.” Like for real. I just put it on to boost my memory, and I feel giddy. Put me out of my misery. Please Cornelius! I’m still waiting for you!
I hate myself.
#1 – All Dogs Go to Heaven
Okay, so I probably watched this movie well over 100 times growing up. I mean, I love dogs, so maybe that’s a big part of it, but there was so much more. It’s at number one because my obsession with this film was out of control. And I think aside from the dogs (which was the sure way to kidnap me as a child) it was really weird, but in a good way.
I know I’ve heard some people say that this is one of Don Bluth’s darker stories because of the plot, but honestly, I would say it’s more… surreal than anything. And it changed so fast that it appealed to my ADHD child-brain.
I mean, look at this cluster-f**k!! How can you go from pink-pooch-diamond-road, to show-tunes-voodoo-gator, to HOLY-FRICK-THAT’S-A-STRAIGHT-UP-DEMON-MR-BLUTH!!!! This movie had my kid-bum on the edge of my seat every time.
And as an adult I still love it. I like that it has real character development. It deals with heavy stuff like sacrificing your actual life, and letting go of someone you care about so they can have more than you could give them. That’s heavy stuff for a kid.
I don’t know. Maybe my love for it goes back to that urge I had as a kid to be treated like an adult. Don Bluth definitely had that demographic in his pocket.
So yeah. Maybe my order was disappointing to some of you, but I can’t help what my child-mind loved. Let me know how much you hate my choices, or if you’re trash like me and loved Thumbolina. Haha.
I feel like I can’t end a Don Bluth list without mentioning The Secret of NIHM. Don’t get me wrong. I liked this movie. A lot. I know a lot of people think its his best, and they might be right. But I didn’t see this movie until I was an adult. And I’ve only seen it maybe twice at the most. I really loved it. But unfortunately we were star-crossed BFFs never meant to meet at the right time.
It’s lovely, but just never got into my DNA.