I have always loved watching and going to the movies, hence I’m posting a very personal list of my “Favorite Films.” As it happens, nearly all the movies that I enjoy the most embrace the themes of heroism, adventure, mentors, courage, responsibility, friendship, family and relationships between men and women – and lot’s of laughter.
So here goes – Part 3 of the Top Ten list – my number 6 (well, sort of) and 5 All Time Favorite Films:
Toy Story – Official Trailer #2 
6 – Toy Story 1 & 2 – Rated G (1995) – Comedy/Adventure (Animated) – My good fortune in the 1980’s was to be working for a company that provided me the opportunity to attend computer graphic conferences where I saw the Pixar shorts, Andre and Wally B., Luxo Jr. and Tin Toy. So I was a Pixar fan early on. By 1995 with the release of Toy Story, the first feature length computer animated film, Pixar took animation “to infinity and beyond.”
You’ll notice that my Number 6 Favorite Film is actually ‘two films.’ It’s cheating a bit, I know, but my top 10 is actually a top 11. Toy Story 1 & 2 are both so good that I can’t decide which one I like more. And because of the uniqueness of the first film, and the fact that the sequel was, in my opinion, as amazing as the original, I just lump them together and call them my Number 6 All Time Favorite Film. For me, they are a matching set. (Sorry to offend you purists out there.)
Toy Story grabs hold of my young heart, touching and reaching back to boyhood memories, giving life and personality to toys – it is just so incredibly believable. Pure fantasy that makes me believe it is actuality true – toys really do live and breathe, and love me as much as I love them.
An exceptional book that details the making of Toy Story and other Pixar films, and presents the fascinating history of Pixar Studios, is The Pixar Touch by David A. Price. It’s charming, at times a little technical, but always mesmerizing and often funny.
5 – Fiddler on the Roof – Rated G (1971) – Musical/Drama – Sorry, but I’m a little embarrassed to admit how much I really like this movie. When a guy has a musical in his top 10 list, it seems to me an explanation is in order. I just have this sentiment that musicals are “unmanly” and I shouldn’t be too enthusiast about it.
Still, Fiddler on the Roof, and its lead character, Tevye, take hold of me from the very opening with the song “Tradition.” Then I follow Tevye and his struggles to adapt to change while loving his family. He has always been a father figure to me, with qualities of love, devotion, faith in God, and a sense of humor that I greatly admire.
My parents divorced when I was six years old. So, not really having the steady presence of a father figure in my life, I found, and still do find (along with personal relationships), examples to follow in both film and books. In reference to fiction, I quoted “Cold” Blog’s Victoria Dougherty on my blog last year. She said, “The novel has been an unfailing aid in [a man’s] evolution – in learning to love, becoming a husband and a father, being a friend. Doing what is right and understanding the consequences of shirking his morals and ethics.”
Like many books and films, Fiddler on the Roof played a role in helping me “grow up.”
And again, John Williams appears as having been involved in another movie on my list. He was not the composer of the music for Fiddler on the Roof (the Broadway production of the play opened in 1964). But his adaptation did win Williams an Oscar for arrangement and conducting of the score.
My Top 10 list continues soon in my next post.