Today I’m here to tell you about another cute game for girls because that’s what I do. Let’s talk about Hello Kitty World 2, a free mobile game for IOS and Android smartphones. Hello Kitty World 2 is a theme park management simulation game. In Japan, there actually is a Hello Kitty World theme park. So I assume this game aims to bring the rides, attractions, Sanrio mascots, cute food, and clothes and accessories from the real world theme park into this game.
You start the game by selecting from your “favorite” (of only 3 at first) Sanrio characters to be your guide. I chose Pompompurin. Don’t worry, more characters, and buildings, and features will unlock as you level up. Initially, there isn’t much to do, but quickly the gameplay begins to expand. Gameplay includes many features once you reach certain levels. read more
I just purchased Calico and began playing it over the weekend. Calico is a cute anime style Cat cafe game. The gameplay is simple and relaxing. You collect cute animals and run errands for towns folk while baking cute treats to sell in your cafe. You can also buy and unlock new recipes, new furniture, and new outfits.
What I love most about this game is how inclusive it truly is. You can be fat, slim, short, tall, black white, or green, or yellow, red, pink, whatever. You can have long hair, short hair, curly hair, straight hair, bangs, no bangs, side bangs, etc. I mean my character looks almost exactly like me in real life. And within game, the NPCs are various body/skintone types too. read more
I did back a third game yesterday, but didn’t get a chance to post about it yet. If you haven’t already checked out the other two posts yesterday for Ova Magica and Coral Island you can click their names to read them now.
Beacon Pines is entirely different from the above “farming games”. Instead, Beacon Pines bills itself as a “Cute and Creepy” Adventure game where “Words You Fine Can Change The Course Of Fate”. It’s also featuring cute anamorphic or furrie characters.read more
Much like our recent list of the best and worst Disney films, here is a list of the best and worst Studio Ghibli films. Disney owned distribution rights for awhile for several Studio Ghibli films, but I think that has since changed hands to Gkids. Many people who love Disney films also love Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli Films; after all, they have a lot in common with each other. Both studios rely mostly on making films from well known children’s literature and fairytales. Both studios have a very recognizable animation style. And both studios excel at creating stories that the whole family can enjoy together, cartoons that appeal to young and old alike.
I was surprised there’s not as many Studio Ghibli films as I would think. If you’re wondering why Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is not on this list, that’s because it’s not actually made by Studio Ghibli. This actually gives me an idea for another blog post maybe something along the lines of “10 Anime Movies You Mistake for Studio Ghibli Films.” I can think of 3 or 4 right away without much effort. Nausicaa being the biggest “WTF, Really?!” moment of the bunch. There’s also Wolf Children,My Summer with Coo, Nadia The Secret of Blue Water, and a Letter to Momo which all seem to share Studio Ghibli’s art and story styles. More recently there’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower which I’ve yet to watch but am really looking forward to because of the “Ghibli Vibe”. Although different in style, you might also mistake other recently successful anime films such as Ko no Katachi and Kimi no Nawa as Ghibli films because when most people think of successful feature length anime films, they immediately think of Studio Ghibli. I’m also surprised there’s still quite a few legit Studio Ghibli films which I have yet to watch – I will include those at the end of this article. As there’s only a handful of them, I plan to try to watch them and come back and edit my rankings asap.
Here are my picks for best and worst Studio Ghibli films – what are some of your favorite and least favorite Ghibli films? Leave a comment below!
Best and Worst Studio Ghibli Films:
Ponyo is sorta Ghibli’s Take on the whole Little Mermaid thing. It’s a very original and creative take on it, with a lot of imagination and charm. Its charm and originality are what lands it at first place on my list of favorite Ghibli films. Ponyo is a fish like creature who gets caught by a young boy, Souske, who keeps her as a pet. She begins to fall in love with her new master, and as she grows, she becomes more and more human-like. Her transformation causes an inbalance in the sea which creates a Tsunami. Ponyo and Souske must work together to save their village from the Tsunami, which also tests their love for one another, If they can find unconditional love, Ponyo will be able to remain a human with Souske, or else she must return back to the sea. – If you also love Ponyo, check out Lu over the Wall which I reviewed here. It’s very similar and also very cute!
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki’s Delivery Service is definitely high on my list of favorite Studio Ghibli movies. It features a strong female lead, Kiki, a young witch who is leaving home for the first time, as is customary for young witches when they “come of age” (which is at just 13 years old). Each town can only have 1 witch, and Kiki must strike out to find her own place in the world – quite literally. Taking only her father’s radio, Mother’s Broomstick, and Jiji, her black cat, she sets out on a grand adventure. She struggles at first, an allegory to how we all must struggle to find OUR place in the world. This makes the film so relateable, and the characters are so likeable, that who can’t help but to just love Kiki’s Delivery Service? – Did you know that Kiki’s Delivery Service is actually based on a book by the same name? You can grab the book over on Amazon. It’s out of print and expensive now sadly. https://www.amazon.com/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Eiko-Kadono/dp/1550377884
This is one of Studio Ghibli’s best known, and most well loved, featured films. It was the first anime to ever win an Academy Award for Best animated Feature Film. I believe to date, it’s the only Japanese anime to have ever won this award. It beat out numerous other animated films that same year including Disney and Dreamworks. It’s the highest grossing film of all time in Japan, and even beat out Titanic. In 2016 it was voted as the 4th best film of the 21st century which made it the highest animated film on the list as chosen from more than 170 film critics from around the world.
Just because something wins lots of awards though does not necessarily make it a great film — but Spirited Away does indeed fall into the category of greatness. I feel that the success of Spirited Away is due largely in part to the emotional attachment the audience develops towards the young pure hearted characters, as well as the fantasy setting, which is set in a realm of spirits that’s mysterious enough to be edgy/creepy for older kids/adults, while not terrifying like Mononoke, and attention to detail through story writing, the excellent music score, animation, and voice acting.
When Marnie Was There
When Marnie Was There is also based on a book by the same name. https://www.amazon.com/Marnie-There-Essential-Modern-Classics-ebook/dp/B00KA11ZI0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=&dpID=51FrFUXIjEL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=detail This Studio Ghibli adaptation rates higher for me than it does for most other people because I love my grandma so much, which made the bond that the main character shares with her own grandma overwhelmingly sweet and sentimental to me. Everyone loves their grandmas right? But mine is literally like my favorite person in the whole world. So this film really hit me right in the heart. I could watch it over and over and probably still cry each time. Love the song at the end of the credits too. I related a lot to the main character too who is always alone / lonely as I was similar to that growing up. She’s also interested in art like myself, and has a great imagination. Really, just on a personal level, out of all Ghibli films, this one is by far the most relatable to me, even though it’s still a fantasy movie about a ghost :).
Howl’s Moving Castle
Obviously, Howl’s Moving Castle is based on the very well known series of books by the same name https://www.amazon.com/Howls-Moving-Castle-Diana-Wynne/dp/1442008431 – Though only very, very, very loosely based on this source material… In the original book, Sophie is very sarcastic and independent – She literally doesn’t give a flip about anyone or anything. In both versions they are pessimistic and feel they have no control over their fate, but in the book that quickly changes, and we witness Sophie become more responsible for her own actions and feelings. Sophie in the book also discovers pretty early on that she has magic powers. Howl in the book is a total playboy. There’s no war in the book. The villains are different too. In the book the main villain is the Witch of the Waste who is scorned by Howl rejecting her romantically and is looking to create her ideal mate by piecing together several different men, including the missing prince and Howl’s pretty face. Some find the book to be very funny, while others find it to be dry, because British humor is often very dry indeed. The idealistic love between Sophie and Howl in the film is quite different in the book. The two argue and break up and make up over and over throughout the story. The biggest difference is definitely in the titular character of Howl. In the book we see much more of Howl. Early on in the book it is difficult to like or sympathize for him as he is so vain and breaks so many hearts. But as the story unfolds, we learn the truth is that he is afraid of letting others close to him because he is in fact very sensitive and fragile and a very warm and loving person as well, and instantly we learn to not judge others, Everyone is going through their own struggles in life, and both Howl and Sophie have a lot of demons inside of themselves that they must face, which sadly is a lesson that the film doesn’t care to impart to the audience. In the film Howl instead is scarcely seen as he flies off to fight wars that don’t exist in the book. In the book, he is from modern day Wales, and has found a door to Sophie’s time and world where he has chosen to stay to study magic. This time traveling is completely omitted from the film, just as is equally omitted Sophie’s magical abilities. Instead, in Miyazaki’s version, it is Sophie who we see “time traveling” as she learns about Howl’s past. Miyazaki’s goal was to create a film that shows how love makes life worth living, while the original author’s goal was to create a story about a strong willed female mage which challenged gender and societal stereotypes. Both stories are equally charming in their own unique ways. Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl’s Moving Castle is romantic and full of charm and innocence and still quite engaging in its storytelling and plot devices. There are some who complain that too many liberties were taken which deviated from the author’s original work, but one could also argue the same is true of Ponyo which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid or any number of Ghibli or Disney works that are based on books before becoming films.
Whisper of the Heart
This is a lesser known Ghibli film based on manga of the same name about a young girl whose only passion is reading, and a young boy whose only passion is music. They are both outcasts and self isolated because they pour 100% of their time into their chosen hobbies. Both wish to drop out of school to pursue their passions full time. And neither one of them really get along with each other when the film first starts out. What I really enjoyed about this film is watching the characters change their thoughts and beliefs, about their passions, but also about how they perceive other people. They also discover they have a lot in common and both help to inspire one another to chase their dreams. Initially they view other people or other responsibilities as a hindrance, taking away time from their passions. But they learn that instead, other people add to your experiences and make life sweeter. Both characters yearn to grow up and become adults, but both are only grade/middle school students. They have a lot to learn. And as the film ends, we watch just how much they’ve matured over their summer. They learn to make time and space in their lives and hearts for other people while still each holding tightly to their dreams of their future. The original manga has not been licensed for US release. There is also a sequel manga that follows the characters as they prepare for their college entrance exams. https://mangarock.com/search?q=Mimi%20wo%20Sumaseba
Grave of the Fireflies
This film is sad AF!!! There are some who will not like this film because of it being so sad. And also others who will not like this film simply because it portrays the real life events of the bombing of Hiroshima. Japan is the only country to have been nuked by an atomic bomb and the US the only country to have released an atomic bomb. Never again has such a weapon been used in combat because of the devastating long term and long range consequences that spring about from such frightening weaponry. This movie depicts the suffering and harsh realities of the war and subsequent bombing of Hiroshima. Obviously, war and decisions made by a country’s government, is a very politically charged issue. And many lives were lost on both sides of the war. So much suffering occurred that it’s still a tense and delicate subject to people on both sides of the war still today even in modern times. It is hard to watch this film, and even harder to see their suffering, and know that “we” (as a nation / group of nations) caused that suffering) even if it was perhaps necessary at the time of these events. It still doesn’t make you feel good realizing what you’ve unleashed. I’ve seen documentaries with actual real life footage of the victims, I’ve seen them peeling burnt flesh from survivors’ bodies using chopsticks, I’ve seen footage of their shadows burned into the walls, shadows of children playing at playgrounds, shadows of mothers trying to protect their children in their arms. But I’ve also seen movies on the other side of the issue too – Many US lives were lost in the bombing of pearl harbor; many other lives were lost around the entire world from Hitler’s atrocities, and so on. In war there is no clear cut good / bad decisions. You do what you feel you have to do to protect your country and its people, and in bombing Hiroshima, the US was trying to do just that, although it tragically resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Japanese civilians… such as the two depicted in this Studio Ghibli film… We watch them live fearfully, and with not enough food to eat, without any parents to take care of them, and we watch them suffer, fall ill, and struggle at every turn. We watch their own family and friends turn their backs on helping them and realize they have nowhere to go or turn to – an important – although equally political – message in our own modern times with issues with refugees and so on from our modern day wars. To quote the videogame Fallout “War Never Changes” – that’s why a film about a decades old war is still compelling and relevant and relatable in modern times. One of the interesting things about this film, is gaining a new perspective on the war and circumstances around the war. Sympathizing with our “enemy” and seeing just how similar we are, despite hundreds or thousands of cultural differences, at the end of the day, we each love our families, and would do anything to see to it that our families are happy, healthy, safe, and cared for. There is no way to watch this film without crying and forming an emotional connection with the characters. The ability to evoke such deep emotion is a testament to the quality of this film. It is an artful masterpiece with fantastic writing, character development, and storytelling.
Laputa Castle in the Sky
I just watched this movie last year as part of Studio Ghibli’s and Gkids Ghibli Fest which brought many great Ghibli films to the theater – some for the first time in theaters within the US. I loved this movie. It had great action and a great love story. A lot of things in this film reminded me of my favorite Videogame, Lunar Eternal Blue which I reviewed hereand cosplayed as here. Maybe it’s the girl and her pendant, her mysterious origins/past, her dramatic entrance, or the floating city in the sky, or maybe it’s the awesome epic love story. The lengths that both male characters go to in order to protect the person they love – and to help the girl they love complete her mission, or the way in which both film and game are so rich in lore and history and create a strange mashup of fantasy and technology creating a timeless story, that feels like it could take place equally conceivably in past, present, or future. Laputa Castle in the Sky is very action packed and fast moving, but yet, since it centers on these two characters and their love for one another, it can capture audiences of any age or gender.
The Cat Returns
This is a sequel or Spin off based on Ghibli’s earlier film, Whisper of the Heart. I enjoyed Whisper of the Heart more than the Cat Returns, despite my huge massive never ending love for cats. Unlike the author’s own sequel to her manga, this story is not related to the two main characters of Whisper of the Heart, but instead focuses on the story that was inspired by the cat-like doll, nicknamed Baron as he searches for his lost love Louise, who was taken from him by Muto. Despite the name of the film, and it actually really being a sequel, the title is still slightly confusing. A better English title would have been something along the lines of “The Cat’s Reciprocation” or “The Cat Returns the Favor” but that doesn’t really have the same “ring” to it. Perhaps the perfect title should have been “The Cat’s Reply” which could not only mean to “return the favor” but also foreshadow Haru’s ability to speak with cats. Haru saves a cat one day, who wants to return the favor by offering her the prince’s hand – err paw — in marriage. Haru is flustered both by the cat’s proposal and his ability to talk. Cats around her begin acting strangely, bringing her gifts and tokens of the prince’s affection. Haru is cat-napped and taken to the world of cats where she is pampered and treated like a queen. She is given feasts and entertainment and more lavish gifts. As she begins to enjoy her time in the cat world, she begins to turn into a cat. The Baron warns Haru that she will become a real cat, and forget her human self if she does not immediately leave the cat world. The king and prince orchestrate obstacles and distractions to lengthen Haru’s stay in the cat kingdom, knowing that once she is fully a cat, she will become the Prince’s Bride. Will Haru forget her true self and live happily among the cats? Or will she escape and reclaim her place among the humans? Many people think this film is based on the Manga by the same author of Whisper of the Heart, but actually the Ghibli film came first, and the author enjoyed it so much that she made a manga based on the film – kinda neat, right? 🙂 Usually it’s the other way around.
The Secret World of Arietty
Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arietty” is based on a popular children’s book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. This book has entertained children for several generations. But it’s also a book (and film) that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young or old alike. My grandmother told me that it is her favorite book, she told me she first read it when my mother checked it out of the library. I too read the book when I was younger, and I also enjoyed many other film and tv adaptations and similar books and movies and tv series such as The Littles and The Indian in the Cupboard.
The Borrowers and The Secret World of Arietty give you a glimpse at a hidden world right under our noses. The Borrowers are a tiny race of miniature humans who live in our walls and gardens and live off of things we waste or take for granted. If you ever notice a button or a needle is missing, you can bet it’s been “Borrowed”. Of course the human world presents many dangers to Arietty, she must be careful to not be discovered by the humans who could capture her and keep her as a pet or science experiment. At the same time she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. She could get swept away by just a small trickle of water, or mistaken for a mouse and gobbled up by a cat, or crushed underfoot by a horse and carriage. Arietty is of course not afraid of the human world, and instead intrigued by it. She finds the human world fascinating and impossible to resist. Especially when she meets and falls in love with a human boy who is equally fascinated by Arietty’s world. The story teaches us that even though our lives may seem dull and mundane, that all it takes is a change of perspective to be reminded how wondrous life truly is.
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Ghibli used an unusual art style in this anime, making it quite different from any of their other films. Their intention was to create an anime that looked like ancient Japanese calligraphy paintings and wall scrolls. The tale of Princess Kaguya was unfamiliar to me, but very familiar and loved in its home country of Japan where it is known as the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This legend has been around for over 1,000 years! It is most famously presented and passed down through ancient Japanese paintings from the Edo period which is what influenced Ghibli’s character and art direction in this film.
I’m not a huge fan of the art style in the anime, and even some of the customs/traditions of the Edo period which the film accurately depicts like women painting their teeth black – SO eww. Interestingly, little has changed as I know even now it’s generally considered to be “unlady-like” for a woman or girl to smile widely thus showing her teeth. That’s why there’s two emoji’s ^.^ and ^_^ – the first one is a feminine emoji and the second is a masculine emoji. I learned that years ago when I used to chat with people all over the world and was told about my “improper” use of the “^_^” emoji. Although I still use ^_^ all the time, and I consider “^.^” to be more of a “playful” smile, sorta cattish or impish or mischievious, or maybe a smile that seems like it has a secret, a smirk or a giggle behind it, where as I feel ^_^ is just pure joy/happiness/amusement/laughter.
Anyways enough about Emoji’s – lol. The strange art style and questionable fashions/traditions of the Edo period are really the only reason this film doesn’t rank higher for me. I do agree that the film looks just like the historical paintings… but it’s just not my tastes personally… That said though, I am extremely fascinated by the story and legend behind this film.
The legend states that an old man unable to have children of his own, found Kaguya one day while cutting bamboo. When she first appeared she was only the size of his thumb, but she rapidly grew much faster than other children. The bamboo cutter took the baby to his wife, where they raised her lovingly as their own child. Ever since Kaguya appeared in their lives, every time the Bamboo cutter would go to work, he would find gold coins in the bamboo stalks and soon the family become very rich. Although initially the family wishes to protect Kaguya’s innocence and youth, it is not long before word spreads of the beautiful young woman and many princes appear to seek her hand in marriage. Kaguya tasks each prince with impossible tasks, knowing they cannot be achieved, because she wishes to remain with her family and maintain her independence. One by one each prince fails to win the hand of Kaguya. Time passes, and eventually the Emperor comes to see the beautiful Kaguya. He falls in love instantly, but Kaguya tells him they cannot be together because she is not from his country. They instead become friends and remain in correspondence. As time went on, Kaguya began acting strangely, especially on nights with a full moon. She would cry and cause her parents to worry. She later reveals to them that she is not from Earth and must return to her home on the moon. The Emperor, as well as her family, do everything they can to try to hide and protect Kaguya who does not wish to return to the Moon. Kaguya wants to remain on Earth. In the end, however, Kaguya must go back to the kingdom of the Moon and leave her beloved family and friends.
Studio Ghibli’s version of the tale differs in some areas – The Emperor in the Ghibli version is more obsessed with Kaguya and Kaguya wants absolutely none of it because she’s in love with a simple boy from her childhood whom her father deems is not of high enough rank for her hand (who never existed in the original legend). In fact she is so repulsed by the Emperor that she cries when he touches her and discovers she has a secret ability to disappear at will. These details were made up for the Ghibli version only. Also at the end of the Ghibli version, Kaguya looks back onto the earth with a longing and sad gaze, even though her robe of feathers was to strip her of all of her memories of her time spent on Earth, the look on her face implies that her feelings and attachments were so strong that she could not forget the people of Earth. – This also is made up in the Ghibli version. In the original legend, Kaguya does in fact forget everyone when she returns to the Moon. In the original legend, the Emperor is so saddened by Kaguya’s death (or disappearance whatever you want to call it) that he orders his army to climb to the top of the mountain “closest to heaven” – There he wishes to burn a letter from Kaguya in hopes that his love and feelings for her will rise with the smoke from the letter and reach her on the moon. He also wanted to burn the elixir of immortality that Kaguya left him because he did not want to live forever without Kaguya by his side. Wikipedia states that the Japanese word for immortality “Fushi” is what Mt. Fuji’s name was derived from. And that the kanji characters for the mountain mean “Mountain abounding with warriors” which is said to denote the Emperor’s army who burnt the letter. The legend also says that the smoke from the letter still rises today (when the legend was created, Mt Fuji was an active volcano and hence produced smoke). I think the original legend makes for a very beautiful unrequited love story, where in Ghibli’s version the Emperor is the main villain whose appearance is what drives Kaguya to pray to the moon for help, after which her people come to “rescue” her from the Emperor. Quite a different take on the tale. I know Japan’s long history and traditions with their Emperor’s being near godlike status, so it’s odd to see a film from Japan depict in Emperor as a villainous character, especially given that in the original tale he was so pure and chivalrous and so in platonic unrequited love / mutual friendship with Kaguya throughout much of their lives.
I can’t remember where I read it now, (I’ve tried searching) but I read a few years ago that there are many scholars who believe that the legend of the Swan Princess / the Swan Lake Ballet is derived from the much older Legend of Kaguya. The main themes are very similar. This wikipedia article gives you a glimpse at the “Legend” of the Swan Princess The “Legend” is apparently much older than the ballet itself.
Here are a few of the similarities:
In these “Swan Maiden” tales, an unmarried man steals a robe of swan feathers from a woman in order to keep her from “flying away” – The maiden then bears children by this man. At some point the children come across the robe their father has hidden, or they ask their mother why she is always crying and go find the robe for her. As soon as she is given her robe she ascends to heaven without any hesitation or thought or attachment for her family or life as a human. Regarding those she leaves behind, wikipedia says this: “Although the children may grieve her, she does not take them with her. If the husband is able to find her again, it is an arduous quest, and often the impossibility is clear enough so that he does not even try.”
Kaguya is pursued by many unmarried men. She is given her robe of feathers when she ascends to the moon, and thus this ascending into the sky, can also be like “flying away”
Kaguya begins crying “always” uncontrollably near the end of her tale and her family always asks her what’s wrong / show concern for her.
Kaguya is given a robe of feathers which allows her to forget her time with her human family and friends so that she has no attachment or regrets leaving them (obviously Ghibli changed this part with one final glance back to Earth from their version of Princess Kaguya)
Kaguya’s family does grieve her but she cannot take them with her.
Kaguya tasks her “would-be” husbands with impossible quests – Even the Emperor himself cannot win Kaguya’s hand. After her disappearance, he sets out on his own arduous quest in the legend which would become the legend and folklore around Mount Fuji.
The wikipedia article also states that “The swan maiden has appeared in numerous items of fiction, including the ballet Swan Lake, in which a young princess, Odette and her maidens are under the spell of an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, transforming them into swans by day. By night, they regain their human forms and can only be rescued if a young man swears eternal love and faithfulness to the Princess. When Prince Siegfried swears his love for Odette, the spell can be broken, but Siegfried is tricked into declaring his love for Von Rothbart’s daughter, Odile, disguised by magic as Odette, and all seems lost. But the spell is finally broken when Siegfried and Odette drown themselves in a lake of tears, uniting them in death for all eternity. While the ballet’s revival of 1895 depicted the swan-maidens as mortal women cursed to turn into swans, the original libretto of 1877 depicted them as true swan-maidens: fairies who could transform into swans at will.”
Kaguya has a special relationship to the Moon (symbol of the night).
The Emperor loved Kaguya (not as apparent in the Ghibli film, but VERY apparent in the original legend where he burns the letter and the elixir of life.)
In burning the elixir of life, he gives up immortality so that he can (one day) rejoin Kaguya in death.
The Lake of Tears could signify how the Emperor wept for Kaguya (or in Ghibli’s case how her parents wept for her).
The ability to transform into swans at will could be inspired by Kaguya’s ability to disappear at will.
There is another tale from Japan with themes similar to Princess Kaguya, Tsuru no Ongaeshi, or the Crane Wife, about a crane who is caught in a trap. She is set free by an elderly couple and to repay their kindness she arrives as a human child, claiming to be lost. She asks them if they would take care of her as their own daughter, and the elderly couple happily agrees. To repay them for their kindness she begins to weave beautiful fabrics which she makes by plucking her own feathers. The fabrics sell for a lot of money and make the family very wealthy. She warns them they must never look in the room as she weaves. But overtime, curiosity overcomes the couple and they steal a glimpse only to find a crane and not a human in the room. With her identity revealed, she tells the couple she had hoped to always remain their daughter, but she must now return to being a crane. In other versions of this legend, it is not a couple, but a young man who saves the crane disguised as a human. The two soon fall in love. In some versions he is sick and so the crane plucks her own feathers to make the fabric to sell for money to get medicine to save her husband. In other versions the husband is alive and well, but the crane becomes increasingly ill as she continues to pluck her feathers. As she plucks her last feather she must return to being a crane and leave her husband behind as the husband vows he will never forget her.
The legend of Kaguya predates the legend of Tsuru no Ongaeshi. You can already see how the folk lore was shifting but still similar to the original tale of Kaguya. From here, the similarities between Kaguya and Swan’s lake are even more apparent.
Obviously both Swan Lake and Tsuru no Ongaeshi feature a bird who has turned human.
Swan Lake’s maiden has lost a robe of feathers, while the Crane Wife has lost her feathers while making robes.
In relation to Kaguya, Once their true identities are uncovered they both must return to their former selves/worlds.
Also in relation to Kaguya, the main character is raised by or falls in love with humans – she then asks them to raise her as their own child. When she is leaving she tells them she never wanted to leave and always wanted to remain their child, but that she has no choice now. In the version with the husband, his vow of never forgetting her, could be similar to the Emperor’s love for Kaguya in the original legend and the lengths he went to even after her death or disappearance to prove his love and rejoin her in death.
As you can see, I had the most to say about Kaguya, despite it not being my favorite Ghibli film, but because of the interesting ancient legend on which it, and many other fairy tales, are based. The Legend of Kaguya predates all other tellings of similar nature which makes it even more interesting from a historical point of view.
I dunno, Princess Mononoke honestly scares the hell out of me… Even looking at this gif scares the hell out of me… This movie is so unsettling… and it’s even “worse” dubbed – because then the lip syncing is all off and then it’s just even more eerie AF…. I think Princess Mononoke definitely has a good story… and it is no doubt beautiful…. and probably Ghibli’s most successful / well known film – I own it, I “like” it (even though it honestly gives me nightmares) – but damn son…. this movie just ain’t right lol…. Am I the only one that finds this movie just INHERENTLY creepy? It’s not even the infamously excessive amounts of blood and violence… it’s little things like this creepy-ass mother bugger right here….
I thought this was a little bit of a bore. I generally love slice of life and romance films. I’m not sure why this one missed the mark for me. The story is told by a middle aged woman as she looks back on her childhood / early adulthood and reminisces about summers and her first love. Even though the majority of the film felt a little slow – I really really really really REALLY loved the later parts of the film — Especially the ending — One of the most memorable endings of any Ghibli film — or any film — ever. So good. I think overall though, the story suffers from some pacing issues and the constant back and forth from memories/present day. There are cute parts, sweet parts, dramatic parts, but in some ways it just felt like it dragged and droned on and on… That ending though… so emotional!! Loved it.
My Neighbor Totoro
If you care to read more about My Neighbor Totoro – I did a review after attending the Gkids theatrical release last year. Read my Review of My Neighbor Totoro here.read more
I’ve seen a lot of lists like this out there on the internet which try to rank from Best to Worst, or Worst to Best, the Best (and worst) Walt Disney Animated Films of all time. So here’s my take on the old classic “Top 10” (way more than 10 lol) Disney Films.
*For brevity’s sake, sequels and prequels are not included individually in this listing. When ranking for example “Cars”, I refer to the franchise as a whole, giving most focus to the first film but perhaps giving reference or mention to some of the sequels as well.*
Also for this review I have chosen to not include any of the Studio Ghibli films. I will create a similar list ranking those films in the near future. As well as seperate lists for Dreamworks, Don Bluth, and Warner Bros animated film.
Lastly, I have not seen every single Disney film (though I’ve seen probably over 80% of them). Any films I have not seen, will not be ranked, but instead included in an unranked list at the end of this article.
Collections of short films such as The Three Caballeros and Make Mine Music were not included in either of these lists. I’ve also omitted Disney films which combined animation with live action such as Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks, Mary Poppins, Pete’s Dragon, James and the Giant Peach, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, So Dear to My Heart, and Song of the South.
What are some of your favorite Disney Films? Leave a comment below.
Here’s how I would rank every Disney Film – I’ll start with the Best so you don’t have to scroll too much. <3
62 Disney Animated Feature Length Films Ranked From Best to Worst:
1.) The Lion King
It is true (though Disney denies it) that this film completely ripped off an anime called Kimba the White Lion. Yes, they took everything from this film, the Lions, Zazu, the hyenas, even Simba and Kimba’s father speaking to them in the clouds, and even Scar! Complete with the scar over his eye and everything. — Yup, totally infringed on someone’s intellectual property rights… but still… The Lion King is my favorite Disney film… They took Kimba and made it about a million times better (that doesn’t make what they did “right” or “ok” Clearly, Kimba’s creators should have been paid some royalty fees). But Disney was able to take an already great family story and make it even better. Better animation, better acting, better music, and a better story, because they condensed down a TV series into a movie format, cutting out a lot of filler episodes, while hitting the emotional highlights.
If you want to learn more about what Disney did to Kimba, check out the videos below (not my videos, just sharing them with you):
2.) Beauty and the Beast
A tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast is my 2nd favorite Disney film. It features a smart, bookworm heroine, who risks her life and freedom to save her father. It also is a great romance story, in which both the leading lady and leading male must learn to look past the surface to find true love. Don’t judge a book by the cover. If someone can love a beast, and the beast can finally learn to love someone for their mind/heart and not what’s on the outside, that love can do anything. It’s very romantic, and also parts of it are dark and frightening. Like all Disney films, it has great music, and the recent Live Action Musical adaptation is also fantastic! One of my favorite things about Beauty and the Beast is the imagery, all of the characters, and the beautiful setting. I just ordered a dress which has a beautiful stained glass print featuring the beauty and the beast.
3.) The Little Mermaid
I will always prefer the 1975 anime version of Hans Christian Andersen’s the Little Mermaid, because at the end she turns to sea foam. There is no happy ending. But sometimes with a love story, that’s OK and it makes it more dramatic. Almost any film can make me laugh, but it takes a very special film to make me cry. The 1975 anime version is also a more faithful adaptation of the original story. In the original fairy-tale, the mermaid is given one last chance for a happy ending. Her prince has already wed another woman, but the mermaid is told by her sisters that if she uses a magic poisoned dagger to kill the prince and his new wife, she can return back home to her father and sisters and live as a mermaid once again. Unable to bear the thought of hurting her true love, she chooses instead to wish him and his new wife a happy life together, and as the sun rises, she turns to sea foam, sacrificing her life and happiness in exchange for his.
Disney takes this sad tragic love story, and puts a cutesy Disney spin on it. Although the two films are very different, they are both great in their own rights. I love the side characters, music, and animation of the Disney version of the Little Mermaid. It’s also nice to imagine a happy ending once in awhile :).
If you have yet to see the anime version, Amazon is selling it for about $10. Click the image below to check it out. https://www.amazon.com/…
4.) The Good Dinosaur
Speaking of films that can make me cry… I balled like a baby (at several different scenes) in the theater when I went to see The Good Dinosaur. It’s a touching story about a dinosaur trying to get back home to his family. Similar in some ways to my childhood favorite, The Land before Time. Disney’s The Good Dinosaur is a heart touching film with beautiful and cute 3D animation. The scene with the fireflies is my favorite. The goofy looking characters, with their innocent designs, totally deceive you into thinking this is a funny or cute film. I was not prepared for how heart stirring it was going to be. It’s also very dramatic and full of suspense and twists and turns and surprises. That’s why it’s in my top 5 Disney films of all time.
5.) Monster’s Inc.
Finishing out my top 5 favorite Disney Films is Monster’s Inc. This movie is full of charming and cute characters. It is equally funny and touching. A very heart warming movie. Boo, Mike, and Sully are some of the best original characters Disney has ever designed. Monsters Inc is quite possibly the cutest disney movie of all time. The sequels were also cute, though of course, not as good as the original.
6.) Finding Nemo / Finding Dory
I actually saw Finding Dory first, before Finding Nemo, somehow I missed out on Nemo, even though it was very popular with millennials. According to this chart being born in 1981, I could consider myself a Millennial, or a Gen Y, or Gen Next (never even heard of that one). So Nemo seems to be THE Disney movie of my generation… but I actually didn’t see it when it premiered in 2003. I wouldn’t see it for over 12 years after that, but yet, this film proves to have held up to the tests of time. It was just as enjoyable, new, fresh, charming, and heart warming to me as it was to the millions of fans it earned at release. I loved Dory, especially baby Dory. She might be my favorite Disney character ever. So for that reason, I actually enjoyed Finding Dory more than Finding Nemo. Both films are funny and beautifully animated, and tell a heart warming story about the meaning of family.
Disney’s Up is such a sad, touching, beautiful film about true love and loss, and growing up, and growing old together, and a story of adventure and excitement, and to never ever give up on your dreams. It’s a remarkable story. Storywise alone, it’s probably my favorite story from any Disney film. There’s no way to watch this movie and not cry. Out of all of the Disney films in our list, this one feels the most mature and grown up. Its tone is darker and sadder and more thought provoking than most Disney films. And then there’s that Disney charm and humor, with Doug the talking dog and other minor characters. The message behind Disney’s Up is so “Up”lifting. This is a movie full of heart and emotion.
Aladdin is one of the first Disney films I can remember seeing in theaters. Don’t get me wrong, I’d seen others, I know I saw 101 Dalmatians and Rescuers and other older films before this one. In fact one of the first movies I ever saw in a theater is Disney’s Snow White, and I am told it scared me until I cried lol. But my memories of seeing this one as opposed to the rest are crystal clear. And it may be that nostalgia that plays a part in how highly I rank Disney’s Aladdin on my list. I recall who I was with (my mom and best friend and her mom and brother), I can recall all of the characters, music, animation… Robin Williams as the genie, such a classic film. One of the great masterpieces of my childhood.
9.) The Nightmare Before Christmas
This is not just one of my favorite Disney films, but one of my favorite films from any studio, animated, or otherwise, of all time. I love the music, the characters, and I love Halloween. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I also love other Tim burton films, such as beetle juice, the corpse bride, and Edward scissor hands to name a few. His stories are always so unique and I’m surprised and intrigued in how he can take a macabre subject and put a comic spin on it, and make it even a family film, such as the Nightmare Before Christmas.
This is another one of those Disney “fan favorites” that I missed at its initial release. I actually just watched Frozen for the first time a few months ago and even though I’m older than the majority of the Frozen fans, I totally agree that it is one of the best Disney films of all time. It finishes out in the final Top 10 spot on my list. I loved the story and the characters. My favorite thing was seeing how the characters changed and grew through the film. Initially Elsa is the more friendly outgoing bubbly type, but events occur which change her to isolated and aloof. Anna had been more shy, but as she grew with freedoms that Elsa lacked, she developed a natural curiosity for the world and a strong sense of adventure. Elsa struggles with the responsibilities placed on her young shoulders. Finally she can be free, and this is even highlighted in the lyrics to the very popular well known song, in which Elsa climbs the stairs of her ice castle barricading herself off from the outside world so that she can finally be her TRUE self. It’s a story about accepting and loving yourself, accepting and loving others, and having courage to be different or come to terms with those differences and individualizes. The film is often championed by the LGBT community and there are rumors that the sequel will feature a lesbian love interest for Elsa, marking the first time a Disney feature length animated film will have a gay or lesbian main character. This is controversial and a departure from the family values Disney has always tried to champion. However, in modern times, what makes a family is changing, and Disney too is changing to reflect more modern values. In this story, Elsa and Anna must rely on themselves and each other. The “prince” even betrays them and acts as the central villain in pushing the plot forward. This is a strong film featuring themes of independence and courage. It’s also charming and full of excitement as most Disney films are. The side characters such as sven and olaf are hilarious and cute. There are many people who love to hate on this film. But hating on something just because it’s popular is dumb. Sometimes that popularity is well deserved. While it’s not the best Disney film of all time, it still cinches the final spot on the “Top 10” list.
Disney’s frozen was supposedly loosely based on Han’s Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, though a number of liberties were taken.
In the original tale it was a boy and girl, who were friends, not siblings. The main plot centered around a magic mirror that broke and a shard went into one of their eyes distorting their view of the world and changing their outlook/personality. The other character sets off on a journey to try to remove the shard from her friend’s eye and restore his kind heart. At the end of her journey, about to give up, the gods tell her that she already has everything she needs to save the young boy, and that her true power has always already existed within herself.
The only similarity at all in the tales is that they are set in a snowy place, and at the end, the characters are glad to see that it is finally summer again.
Alternatively there have been 2 legal allegations raised that Disney has once again stolen this story from another creator.
The first of which is some incredibly obscure Peruvian author that almost no one has ever heard of, who says that Frozen is based on memoirs she had published about her own life. The memoirs, “Living My Truth” and “Yearnings of the Heart”, by Isabella Tanikumi. The guardian reports that “Both the memoirs and Frozen feature loving sisters, one of whom causes the other to be injured and then hides herself away from public life through shame.” They go on to report that “One of the sisters has suitors named Hans and Cristoff in the memoirs; in Frozen Anna develops romantic attachments to men named Hans and Kristoff.” That seems like more than just a coincidence to me… The judge however ruled that these claims were too “generic” – I don’t agree with that ruling because it even lists specific names and characters – that’s pretty “specific” right there – which is the very opposite of something being “generic”, but hey this is Disney, they can get out of almost anything – but then again who’s to say that this author isn’t just looking to make a grab at Disney’s money since this is the best selling Disney film of all time.
The other lawsuit alleges that Disney once again turned to Japan for inspiration and cites numerous similarities between Frozen and the 1980s anime Saint Seiya. The similarities here include similarities between Elsa and Anna and the 2 Saint Characters (who are also sisters), Hilda and Freya. In both cases, the younger sibling has no magical powers and wishes to save her older sister and her kingdom. The older sister wields magic powers that controls snow and ice. Both of the older sisters used to be kind, until their personalities suddenly change.
But you know what they say, every idea you will ever have, someone else has had that exact same idea already. It’s all about who can execute their ideas. And there are no original ideas left in the world, and so on… So meh, at the end of the day, we may never know if Disney blatantly copied anything from either of these 2 sources…
Walt Disney’s Cars just barely misses a spot on our “list of the top 10 Disney movies”. I remember an old commercial (not related to CARS, I believe it was for Exxon Edit: It was actually for Chevron) where the cars all had happy faces and could talk, etc. It was something about how their fuel made your cars happy. I believe this came out well before the first CARS movie… But the concept was charming and cute. I don’t know if Pixar made these commercials, or has ever seen these commercials, or perhaps felt inspired by the commercials… but the similarities to the characters in Cars is quite apparent.
The story in CARS is as unique as its characters. It’s also one of the first Disney films to be marketed to young boys – no princesses here! *although there’s still love interests*. The charming and unique characters make this one of the most memorable Disney films of all time.
12.) Fluppy Dogs
Although never released in theaters, Disney’s Fluppy Dogs is a feature length animated film, and was a favorite of mine as a child. It was originally intended to be a pilot for a new TV series; however, the pilot was poorly received leading to the TV show’s cancellation before it ever began production. I’m unsure why it was so poorly received and had such low ratings. I friggin love this film. It is utterly adorable. The film is about a gang of alien dogs with sentient and super hero powers. The dogs travel between worlds with a magical key, until one day they arrive on Earth and are captured by animal control. One of the Fluppy Dogs is adopted by a young boy and they begin a journey together to rescue the others.
13.) Toy Story
This is another childhood favorite of mine. As a child, we’ve all day dreamed about our toys coming to life. And with the powers of every young child’s imagination, their toys come to life in their minds. But what happens when no one’s watching. These films depict the love children have for their toys, and suggests that that same love is returned to them in the hearts and minds of their toys. Such a classic movie with a sweet and innocent theme and memorable characters. Who did you like best? I preferred Buzz over Woody. I also loved Rex and Slinky and the potato heads. The claw machine scene and characters are also super cute. The bad toys are creepy AF though.
One of the better “newer” Disney films, I loved the imagery of the tropical islands. I love the use of mythology and the strong female lead. Watching this fills me with a sense of excitement, wanderlust, and adventure, the same as Moana herself is so full of. The imagery inspires the viewer to want to go on a journey too with the stars, and ocean waves, the big boats, the volcanic monsters, and mother earth goddess, cute animal sidekicks and the prideful gods. At the heart of the story, for Moana it is a coming of age tale, finding and exerting her independence, sometimes when that means going against her overprotective parents and guardians. They have plans for Moana to take over her father’s position, but Moana longs to leave the island like her ancestors millions of years ago. From Maui’s perspective, the lesson is a warning against being prideful, and a lesson to not avoid your responsibilities, that you must face your challenges head on, and accept responsibility for the consequences. Although, Moana herself is very strong and independent, the film is criticized by the natives as lacking depiction of any of the strong female goddessess that Polynesian lore and culture are surrounded by. For example, there is a goddess named Hina who is companion to Maui, but Disney decided to not depict her in this film, or any of the other gods, except for the “mother earth” type figure at the very end. Disney claims they wanted Moana to be a film all about “girl power” but yet, Moana is the only girl we see much of. And the film almost had a very different ending, putting Maui as the main hero in the final act saving Moana and her village. Ouch. Glad they went with the ending they did, as it is one of the most memorable and touching endings of any Disney film to date. I also love the music. The song Moana sings about her destiny calling her is one of my fave Disney songs ever.
I am not a furrie, though I sometimes play as one in various chat games. In fact, I met my first ever boyfriend in such a game when I was a teenager playing Furcadia back in the 90s. This is really only the 2nd feature length Disney Film that really targets furries; with the first film being Robin Hood. I know a little bit about Furrie culture and I think the artwork and fursuits are awesome. This Disney film was unique not only for the use of anthropomorphic animals, but also for how it dealt with very adult topics such as racial and social-political issues of our times. I agreed 100% with the political message it was sending, but I still felt it was too heavy handed and trying to cram those political beliefs down the audience’s throats, which I didn’t really enjoy. It was clear that the stereotypes and fear the other animals felt for the fox people was an allegory to the fear and stereotypes that the majority of the United States feels towards Muslims. Politics aside though, this is a super cute film. My favorite characters were the sloths! They were so cute/funny. It’s also a good movie for young girls, showing that if you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams, just like the bunny who finally became a real police officer, even though no one thought a small young girl from the country could handle being a tough city cop. She was an excellent role model for young girls. And it was far less predictable than most Disney films. I was surprised who the true villain ended up being in the end. This too goes to show you the importance of not judging others on outward appearances.
16.) Lady and the Tramp
This was one of my favorite Disney films from my early childhood. It’s such a classic. The cute doggies, the scene with the spaghetti, the naughty siamese cats, the whole thing is just adorable. That’s really all there is to say. A love story and an adventure story where cute dogs do cute things.
17.) Wreck it Ralph
As my readers know by now, I am a gamer girl — and one who has probably played more games than most boys you know even. From Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, N64, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, 360, Gamegear, Gameboy (various iterations), Virtual Boy, NDS, 3DS, PSP, Vita, PC and more… so a Disney film about gaming? Of course I loved it!! The gaming references, “level designs” that Ralph traveled to, and the cute interactions between the two main characters, this film really stood out to me. I recommend it to all gamers, especially retro gamers who will pick up most of the nostalgic references throughout the film.
18.) Brother Bear
This is another one of those movies that I missed when it was first released, but later watched on Netflix. I had not even heard of this film prior to then. I think it may be one of the most under-rated Disney films of all time. It’s about a native american tribe, especially focusing on 3 brothers. When one brother is killed by a bear, another brother seeks revenge by killing the bear who killed his brother. Ultimately, when it is time to discover their totem animals, this brother is transformed into a bear and flees from his village. He then encounters a young cub, who has no mother. The bears are migrating and meeting together. He helps the young cub make the difficult journey and learns about himself, as well as learns to respect nature and understand the balance between humans and animals.
If you’re looking for a strong female lead, Brave should be the first Disney film that comes to mind. This little lady lives up to the title of this film. Her kingdom is cursed which causes her mother and brothers to turn into bears. The end of the film is definitely an emotional and suspenseful tear jerker.
20.) Mars Needs Moms
I saw this in theaters. I think not many people are familiar with this film. I loved it. I was very touched by how much the boy loved his mother. It’s so emotional and sweet. It got terrible reviews from fans and critics alike, but I really enjoyed it and found it both engaging and uplifting. A very heartwarming story. Financially, it is the worst performing Disney film of all time. The film cost $150 million to make, and only earned $39 million at the box office. I agree with the critic and audience movie goers who commented on the ugly / poor animation techniques – but I disagree 100% when they say this film lacks heart or that it neglected story telling. I completely connected with the characters and felt their love and fear and hope and strength as the story unfolded. It is based on a best-selling book by Berkely Breathed. You can get the book on amazon at http://amzn.to/2EQL1Vy
21.) Inside Out
This is a cute and emotionally powerful film. The story revolves around a happy “good girl” who is having trouble adjusting to her emotions as she grows up and moves to a new home. She has to leave her friends and old life behind and is struggling to make new friends and adjust to her new life in her new home. She is so overwhelmed that she completely shuts down. In her mind, her emotions go haywire. Her long term memories begin to fade away, and all that is left is an empty emotionless shell. Her emotions must work together inside her mind to recover her longterm memories. Some memories are lost forever, but new memories are also made. In this way, she grows up and finds new happiness and new balance in her life and emotions.
Tangled is a very unique twist on the classic story of Rapunzel. It is full of romance, adventure, charm, and humor. It also has some of the best Disney music ever. Check out this Acapella cover of I see the light by Peter and Evynne Hollens on youtube.
They also have another version with piano accompaniment here:
Bolt is a very cute adventure film about a dog that is in show business. He is confused and thinks that everything that happens on the TV show is actually really happening which has made him a bit narcissistic and has led him to believe he has real super powers. In the end, Bolt learns that you don’t need real super powers to be a hero.
24.) Lilo and Stitch
I had also missed this one in theaters and discovered it later. It is widely popular with 20-30 year old Disney fans, and even the creators of the film admit that Lilo and Stitch appeals to older audiences more effectively than previous attempts to do so, such as the Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, and Atlantis. Stitch was actually thought up in 1985, when its creator was trying to pitch an unsuccessful children’s story book. Originally Stitch was going to be set in Kansas, but the decision was made to move the setting to Hawaii. It was the first Disney film to be set in Hawaii, and it also features a strong ethnically diverse female lead who doesn’t need a Prince to save her. Stitch is cute and mischievous and sometimes even violent. The original film was much more violent, but due to both audience testing and also the terrorist attacks of 9/11, several changes were made to make the movie more comical and less edgy. Lilo and Stitch was nominated for several awards but lost out to Studio Ghibli’s Sprited Away. Speaking of anime, Lilo and Stitch is very popular in Japan and even had an anime called Stitch! that ran for multiple seasons.
25.) 101 Dalmatians
I only just recently learned that 101 Dalmatians is based on a book. I kinda want to read it now actually lol. The original book is from the 1950s by author Dodie Smith – http://amzn.to/2BDIEn9 – He also wrote a sequel called Starlight Barking http://amzn.to/2Cv9F9c (which may be the basis for 102 Dalmatians? I’m not sure.) Smith’s other works are also adapted to Disney films including The Midnight Kittens which would become the Aristocats. http://amzn.to/2C8Apkb
Did you know that Walt Disney hated Disney’s version of 101 Dalmatians? He hated how it looked because it was the first Disney film to use Xeroxography instead of hand-inking each cel. It was also Disney’s first film to be set in a contemporary instead of fantasy setting. Despite Walt’s dislike of the film, it became one of the most beloved classic Disney films of all time.
26.) The Aristocats
As I mentioned above, this too is based on a book by Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmatians. The book is The Midnight Kittens http://amzn.to/2C8Apkb I am a huge cat lover and enthusiast, so it’s somewhat surprising that I don’t rank this film higher on my list. However, the writing at times drags and at other times skips around. The script originally was going to be a 2 part mini cartoon, and a more emotional story, about a woman looking to find the right adopters for her unique cats before her death. The decision was made to change it to a feature length film, and to follow on the success of 101 Dalmatians by creating a similar European setting and adventure. From there, the film was to be mostly about the mother cat, hiding her kittens in various places to keep them safe; however, further cuts were made leaving us with what we have now.
Bambi is a Disney classic. The young buck grows up before your eyes and learns to protect his friends in the forest. He goes from innocent, sweet, shy, clumsy, and babyish, to a young adult. We witness him falling in love, taking his first steps, and even meeting the great stag who is his father. The other animals such as Flower and Thumper are equally adorable, and we watch them too evolve and grow up throughout the film.
28.) The Fox and the Hound
This is also based on a book – and the story is much sadder than the Disney version. Disney has taken a lot of liberties with this book, and taken something soul crushingly depressing and made it into a cutesy Disney film about 2 unlikely friends. Similar to Bambi, we watch the characters grow up in a forest setting. If you like sad stories, check out the original book here http://amzn.to/2sLB6fp
Dumbo is a classic Disney film that depicts what it is like to be bullied. Dumbo has no friends, and when his mother gets locked up for trying to protect Dumbo, Dumbo has an even harder time with his peers. This story is very relateable for anyone who has been a victim of bullying. One of the most memorable scenes is when Dumbo’s mother reaches her trunk down to cradle Dumbo as she sings a lullaby to him. Sending a similar message to the audience as Rudolph, Dumbo teaches us that sometimes our weaknesses are actually our greatest strengths, and to take pride in our individuality, as Dumbo learns that he can fly by using his large ears as wings.
Despite being a mostly silent film, WALL-E is able to connect with the audience through use of imaginative robots with very human-like personalities. WALL-E is full of charm, and also full of morals and warnings of what may one day befall our own humanity. WALL-E reminded me a lot of Johnny Five from Short Circuit, and I loved this film because of WALL-E’s ability to make me care about him. You feel sympathy for WALL-E, you feel his loneliness, you feel his fear, you feel his excitement, curiosity, innocence, and inquisitiveness as the story unfolds.
I had the opportunity to watch the animators working on this film on my one and only trip to Walt Disney World back in the 90s. Most Disney fans agree that Pocahontas is the weakest of all of the 90s animated Disney films. While it had beautiful music and lavish artwork, the story suffered and the bland, forgettable characters soon faded from memory. Pocahontas is also often criticized for white washing. While it is true that it was the first ever Disney film to feature a princess of color, much of the history and story of Pocahontas was sanitized to make it more family friendly (and to appeal to white kids (and their parents) as well). This in turn rightfully angered the native american people at the time of Pocahontas’ release. They are quick to point out that Pocahontas had no choice, and there was no romance between her and John Smith, and that the film seemed to show forgiveness/acceptance of both sides (natives and the settlers, with both being deemed “savages”) while seeming to neglect to explicitly spell out the tragedies that would soon befall the native american people. Despite these criticisms, the movie did quite well in the box office and received a number of awards. It was this success that helped set the trend and tone for a flush of future Disney films to have a strong independent female protagonist such as Mulan, Tangled, Brave, and Frozen. Prior to Pocahontas there had only been 6 Disney films to have a female protagonist, and most (though not all) of those were the classic princess types who needed saving by a Prince such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella, all of whom also happened to be white. Aladdin had Princess Jasmine 3 years prior to Pocahontas, who was also of ethnic decent and fiercely independent, but she was not the titular lead role, but instead a sidekick to the Prince. So ultimately, while Pocahontas has its flaws and offends a lot of people, it still also has its merits as well.
Hercules and Hunchback are both often attributed with the downfall of the “Great 90s Disney Movies” or the Disney Renaissance era. Interestingly enough, Pocahontas is also attributed to the eventual downfall as well. I have ranked these three films all pretty closely to each other on my list here, that was before researching and learning others’ views on these films. I typed a numbered list, and later worked down through researching some of the films on my list to flesh out my commentary or refresh my memory of certain details.
I honestly really liked Hercules. I have always loved mythology and have studied it in both highschool and university. I know that they changed nearly everything about the mythology, to make it more Disneyish but that’s to be expected with Disney handling any source material. The most common complaint is that Hercules is not a god in mythology but a demigod instead, while Disney portrays him as a full fledged god in their movie. I liked the unusual art style and I also loved the music in Hercules. The only reason it finishes in sorta a middle of the list position, is that ultimately the story and characters are not as memorable as other 90s and 2000 Disney films. I think personally for me, it was too humorous and cutesy at times, and lacked the sort of mystique that mythology so often holds. Though I do enjoy the humorous blubbering villains in Hades and his henchmen, I feel the constant focus on this trio (plus Devito as Phil) really detract from the epic adventure / love story that takes place. While still a good movie, it falls short of greatness. It has some great parts, but far more mediocre parts that just weigh the whole thing down.
There are some who criticize the film as being overtly sexual, and also criticize Hercules for giving up his dream of living among the gods in order to stay with Meg… but honestly, the love between Herc and Meg is one of the best parts of this film. Learning to trust each other, and learning to love each other, and to rely on each other, that is an important message that kids should learn at an early age. However, they may miss this message lost within the other 80% of mediocrity of the film.
33.) A Goofy Movie
My favorite thing about A Goofy Movie is how heart warming and heart felt the story and characters are. Ultimately it’s a great family movie. It’s super relatable and charming. We’ve all been embarrassed by our family members at least once or twice. We’ve all hurt each others’ feelings once or twice, but always at the end of the day… We are family. No matter how old you get, where you go, or what you do in life. That’s the message of a Goofy Movie. It’s a classic tale of a father’s love for his son, a dad who is doing his best, and has good intentions, but ultimately still makes mistakes. That’s what makes the movie so likeable and the characters so human like in their interactions.
34.) The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, even after being sanitized and Disneyified to death, is still an incredibly dark film with deep religious overtones. It directly calls out the corruption in the catholic church, and deals with themes such as lust, temptation, and seduction. Even the dancing and singing gargoyles can’t really keep this story from crossing quickly over into adult themes. This is perhaps one of the first Disney films to really tackle a more adult story. And that may also be part of its undoing as well. It loses some of the innocence and charm we’ve come to expect and appreciate in other Disney films.
35.) The Jungle Book
As we approach the second half of our top Disney animated films, my opinions of the films become much less firm, and more fluid, perhaps it is my ability, or lack there of, to recall the details of the films, or just the fact that a majority of the films that fall in the second half of the list were not that memorable in the first place. The Jungle Book’s only saving grace were the cute animals and catchy music with themes like Bear Necessities. The animation style was dark and drab, despite being set in a lush jungle. I liked, but never really loved, the Jungle Book. I did grow up loving the numerous spin offs, especially Tale Spin which I watched faithfully after school and on weekends. Here the animals took even more of a center stage. I also enjoyed the live action retelling of the story, which I appreciated a lot more as an adult. Perhaps if I were to rewatch the animated version I may enjoy it more now. I distinctly recall having to memorize the Tyger by William Blake in highschool, and I initially thought after watching the new Jungle Book live action film that both it and the older animated version were based on this poem, but actually, they are both based on a book titled The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling which is a collection of short stories staring anthropomorphic animals to teach lessons to young children about finding and accepting their place in society and respecting the laws of the jungle. This is often criticized as being racist, but of course the Disney movie sanitizes all of this for a more mainstream audience. Still, the books are worth checking out. Did you know one of the characters is a seal in the Jungle Book? Neither did I!.. You can get it fairly cheap now (under $5 on amazon) thanks to the modest hype and success of the 2016 live action adaptation. http://amzn.to/2Cwcy9E
36.) Oliver and Company
Disney had a lot of success by this point with other talking dog films such as 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp. They also had a lot of success with musicals. So it’s no surprise that Disney’s Oliver and Company combines both of these things. While the cast of dogs (and Oliver the stray kitten) are indeed super cute, they ultimately aren’t as memorable as previous and similar Disney films. Billy Joel plays the voice of Dodger and he and Bette Midler sing a number of songs in the film, but even that isn’t enough to make the film, or its music, very memorable. And personally, I like Midler in movies like Hocus Pocus, but I felt her voice was a poor fit for Georgette who should have sounded more charming / sexy. The most memorable part of the film for me was a “pepe le pew type” of character named Tito, a chihuahua who was crushing hard on a poodle (or was it afghan?) throughout the film (and constantly getting rejected). The other characters were far less funny. In fact, the movie’s namesake, was perhaps the most bland and boring of all of the characters, making me not care very much if he ever got adopted or not. The story of Oliver and Company is based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The only reason it ranks higher than the next few films on my list is that dogs and kittens are cuter than mice, people, or llamas, and the next few films are also pretty forgettable.
37.) The Rescuers
I never realized that The Rescuers was based on a series of books by Margery Sharp. It’s also curious to note that Miss Bianca is the main character with a ton of backstory and character development in these books and Bernard is merely her sidekick. Check out all the books on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B00CKDIDRM/ref=dp_st_1590174607# I remember watching The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under as a kid. One of the most memorable scenes I can recall off hand is when Bianca and Bernard are preparing to take off on the back of the albatross and she tells him to button up, that it’s cold outside, and he gets nervous as she starts helping him dress warmer. The other slightly annoying scene I remember is Penny in the pit whining and complaining and crying about how she can’t reach the eye as the tide is coming in. The other thing Rescuers is well known for is a hidden porn clip in one of the windows on one of the buildings when they are flying by, which includes a shower scene. (which yes it is messed up to include such things in a children’s cartoon. eww). But when I heard that, that little trivia factoid stuck with me more than most of the rest of the movie. The thing is, it just wasn’t that engaging or compelling. If I’m going to watch a cartoon about Mice I much rather watch “The Secret of Nymh” about a million times over the Rescuers or the Rescuers Down Under. On the live action side of things, I also enjoy Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse or The Witches way more than The Rescuers or The Rescuers Down Under. The Rescuers aren’t bad films, but just not great, either. I do want to read the Rescuer books though 🙂
Tarzan has great music and a lush vibrant setting that lends itself well to Disney’s animation style, but beyond that, it’s one of the least memorable Disney films to me. I don’t care about any of the characters, the story feels flat, and the pacing feels off too. Disney’s Tarzan just falls into the realms of mediocracy for me.
While I love that this film is set in Asia and based on a real historical figure and that it features a very strong female lead and role model, I ultimately don’t love it as much as a lot of other Disney films. I think the problem again is that it’s just not memorable. The characters are not interesting and the whole thing just feels very bland. If I want to watch a film about China, I rather watch Chinese Ghost Story, which was actually animated in China, or more recently, Big Fish and Begonia.
40.) The Emperor’s New Groove
This cartoon is very funny, and definitely an enjoyable and playful romp. It even aims to pass down a lesson in its storytelling. I loved “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which I’m pretty sure this film is based on. The moral is to not be vain, and to remain humble, even when you are in a position of power or prestige. I’d even say this film is far more “memorable” than the previous few films on our list here. – I’d say that from about item 32 through 42, the movies on this list are pretty interchangeable in terms of my likelihood to re-watch or recommend them. If I’m in a mood for a comedy and nothing more, The Emperor’s New Groove would probably be further up the list by a handful of places. But if I want a more fantasy and romantic type setting, which is typical Disney, ultimately the Emperor’s New Groove doesn’t quite deliver.
41.) The Incredibles
A fun superhero movie, a new adventure for Disney who has never really tackled the super hero / comic / geek type fare before. I loved the themes of family and the geeky superhero antics, but I still don’t find this as charming or memorable as other Disney/Pixar films such as UP, Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, or Finding Nemo/Dory. The Incredibles just falls short when compared to almost every other Pixar Film. In its own right, without comparing it to the rest, it’s probably not a bad film. It just lacks the heart and charm of the rest of the Pixar pictures.
42.) The Sword in the Stone
When I was younger, this was one of my most favorite Disney Films (because it was before most of the great 90-2ks Disney films that now take up most of the higher spots on the list.) I was always interested in the Legend of King Arthur. I read the book, watched various movies/mini series (my favorite of which is probably “Merlin”.) I’m still enamored with Renaissance faires, clothing, food, jousting, crafts, and everything medieval. I’d like to see Disney remake this, maybe a live action version since they seem to be doing a lot of those lately.
43.) The Black Cauldron
This is probably the most underrated Disney film of all time. It’s also the darkest and best suited for young adults, as opposed to children. Despite my deep love for this movie, it is one of the worst performing Disney films of all time. It was the first Disney film to use computer animation, and the first Disney film to receive a PG rating. It came out in 1985, and at the time it was the most expensive animated film, costing almost 45 million dollars to create. It did terrible in the box offices, recouping less than half of those costs. None of this affects my rating of this movie. It just doesn’t stack up to other Disney films in terms of animation, music, and etc. The story and characters are actually pretty good, especially if you’re looking for something a little darker and scarier than most other light and fluffy Disney films. Ultimately though, the film suffered numerous cuts and edits and struggled to decide if it wanted to commit to the dark and emotionally moving books on which it was based. There’s also a sierra game similar to king’s quest. based on Disney’s version of The Black Cauldron. The game has primitive graphics but actually a lot of interesting gameplay concepts, including a branching plot and multiple endings based on choices you make within the game. This game is now freeware and can be downloaded here: http://allowe.com/downloads/games.html but you’ll probably need an emulator like Scummvm to run the games on newer PCs. According to wikipedia “On March 17, 2016, Varietyread more
Gree Animal Days was my all time favorite mobile game.
Be warned, before reading this review; the game was shut down several years ago.
There are lots of articles available online pointing to why the game failed. But largely, from what I read, the developers over promised and under estimated how difficult it would be to maintain their production schedules for new content and features which ultimately led to them shutting down the game as they could no longer maintain it.
There were not many games like Gree Animal Days at the time available in the android or IOS app stores.
It also shared lots in common with Happy Street which for quite some time filled the “need” for an animal crossing like game available on mobile devices.
But the ability to breed and recruit new animals to your town really set Gree Animal Days apart from the rest. And still to this day, I’ve not found any other games quite as fun as this.
Check out the trailer below:
Here’s a look at some of the features of Gree Animal Days:
Information taken from Game Faqs
Animal Days is recommended for anyone who:- Likes animals- Wants to raise animals- Likes games where you make your own town or village- Wants to try a game where you help raise villagers- Likes simulation games- Wants to try a game with romantic side
Make the most fantastic city in the world in a hidden forest with your animal friends!
Start romances with the animals in your friends town!
Animals fall in love, get married, and have cute animal children!
Get as many animals as you can, and make a bustling animal town!
Make a town in the forest with cute animal friends! In this game you will work together with cute animals to make a fantastic town. Find all types of animals and collect buildings to make a unique town with your cute animal friends!
Your animals and your friends’ animals will have romances and make children. Start romances with different animals to get new animals that will live in your town.
In the middle of the forest near your town lies the Mysterious Pond. You can get free, cute Decorations and Houses from the Mysterious Pond every day! Decorate your town with your favorite buildings and develop your town into the best that it can be!
Build Houses and start romances to increase the number of animals that live in your town! There are over 100 animals, all with unique personalities! Your favorite animal is waiting for you! You will find Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Penguins, Mice, and more!
The animals experience all sorts of Dilemmas. If you help solve their Dilemmas, they will give you items and special buildings, so solve as many as you can and expand your town!
Title: Gree Animal Days
Where to Get: No Longer Available
Platform: Formerly available on Android and IOS
Genre: Casual, City Building, Life Simulation, Dating Sim
Overall: 38/50 76% C – Good Game for Girls
Geeky: 3/5 – with over 100 animals, and over 300 buildings available at launch, Gree Animal Days was a hugely ambitious project that offered hours of gameplay and innovative fun mechanics in a well polished package. However poor management eventually led to the downfall of this great game. The devs were not prepared to handle the success of this game.
Sweetie: 5/5 – The cute characters and interesting marriage and breeding aspects really set this game apart as a great game for girls.
Gameplay: 10/10 This app offered so much to do! with hundreds of buildings and animals to collect, as well as the ability to date and breed with your friends’ animals too. These features are severely missed as no other cute animal city building game has yet to replicate this unique gaming experience.
Story: 3/10 – There was a loose story about rebuilding a run down village, but it was not terribly interesting. Then again neither are the stories in Animal Crossing games, so it’s about on par with that series there.
Characters: 10/10 – The characters are so cute. Each one had unique personalities and appearances. With over 100 characters at launch and more added in updates, there were a lot of cute characters to collect!
Graphics: 5/5 – This game looked great for the time it was released. It looks similar to even newer apps such as Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Happy Street. Each character and building was unique, which is part of the game’s downfall as they had to create so many assets in such short time.
Music: 2/5 – Like most mobile games, it’s cute/catchy at first, but lacks variation and will tend to annoy after your first few playthroughs.
Title: Pop in Q Length: (approx) 1.5 hours, feature length film.
I hear there is a 2nd film in production as well that will finish telling the story. *hint: Keep watching after the credits of the first movie* Genre: Shoujo, Magical Girl, Fantasy, Idol, Musical, Slice of Life, Drama Studio: Toei Annimation Release Date: December, 2016
Geeky 1/5 – There is a bit of action later in the film, also some nostalgia to anyone who grew up watching shows like Digimon. But largely, this is pure shoujo aimed at very young girls. Afterall the girls themselves are middleschool students in this film.
Sweetie: 5/5 – This anime is utterly adorable!!! The Popin look like Sanrio characters. The girls are young and have round faces and big eyes. The music is catchy. Idol culture is always kawaii AF. The backgrounds have a nice painterly style. And the story actually has some depth to it, especially towards the end and the small preview of the next film.
Story 9/10 The story is basically the same as nearly every shoujo series. Which isn’t a bad thing. A group of young girls who don’t believe in themselves (or other people), come together, find their own inner strength, and learn to trust each other and work together. The basic plot of Pop in Q surrounds 5 girls each with different regrets as they prepare to graduate from middle school. They escape to the magic world where they meet the Popins, loveable cute mascots who are responsible for the flow of time. The girls do not want to return to their own world until tragedy threatens both worlds and forces the girls to make some difficult decisions.
Characters: 10/10 – 10 out of 10 just for how cute they are. Plus I like how every girl is given ample screen time and has a rich back story. This reminded me a lot of sailor moon or magic knights rayearth, or to a lesser degree card captor sakura. It also has a hint of love live or aikatsu stars because of the idol elements. But the cutest thing of all are the Poppins!
Artwork: 4/5 I deducted 1 point because some of the 3D scenes are not animated that well. However, the character designs are so cute. The 2D parts are adorable, and the background environments have this lovely painterly style with heavy brush strokes. This creates a beautiful storybook like feeling.
Voice Acting: 4/5 – The voice acting is cute and suits each of the girls. The poppins also have cute voices. Only reason I didn’t give it a 5 was that it wasn’t that memorable.
Music: 5/5 – There are tons of vocal tracks, obviously as music plays a central role to this story. Luckily all of the music is quite catchy. I also liked the instrumental tracks, especially highlighting some sad and touching moments.
Platform: PS4 (note this release combines various Kingdom Hearts games originally found on the PS2, GBA, Nintendo DS and 3DS)
Genre: Action Roleplaying Game ARPG
Publisher: Disney + Squarenix
Where to Buy: $49.99 on Amazon (at time of this writing)
Overall: 68/80 85% B “Very Good Game for Girls”
Geeky: 3/5 The games have fun gameplay, good graphics for the age of the games, and a great soundtrack. However, the Disney segments can be a bit too kiddie for some more serious gamers, and although the entire series is about the juxtaposition of light and dark, the light hearted disney characters can sometimes take away from immersing yourself in the deeper darker story of Sora and his friends.
Sweetie: 5/5 – This game is cuteness overload by combining well loved Square and Disney characters. It also has a surprisingly deep, relatively dark (for a Disney product at least), and mature storyline, which evolves and grows deeper and darker from game to game as characters grow and evolve.
Gameplay: 10/10 Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG. You play as Sora, a young boy who dreams of leaving his home town on a tiny island. When the game begins you are asked to choose a weapon. You may choose between shield, sword, and magic wand. You’re also asked which weapon you will give up. This allows you to customize your fighting style to match your preferences. You’ll also be asked a few questions. These questions do not have any significance on the story, but they do have a large impact on how quickly you will level up throughout the game.
A tutorial will give you a taste for how combat is in each of the games. You can run, jump, push and pull objects, climb, and use your chosen weapons as you chain attacks, dodge, defend, and parry to take down your foes. Enemies will drop small glowing orbs which can offer XP or sometimes restore health or other benefits. You will have to run around and touch the drops, because they do not get added automatically.
After settling into the game, you are allowed to freely explore the island, interact with NPCs, and engage in several minigames, such as fighting or racing with your friends on the island. You will see many familiar faces from both Squaresoft and Disney franchises.
Fairly early in the game, Sora gets his wish of leaving the island, and the rest of the game is played through traveling between different worlds, each representing a key franchise from Disney or Squaresoft. There are numerous battles to fight, areas to explore, sidequests, mini games, and hidden goodies. In fact, to find everything, across all games will take you almost 300 hours (and you’ll be awarded with an extra ending in each game). There’s plenty of content here to sink your teeth into, even for the most seasoned of gamers.
The action based combat is fun and snappy, while the mini games and interaction with a wide variety of characters gives you a break from the hack n slash combat, creating a well balanced game that equally values action as well as adventure.
Story: 8/10 I find it jarring at times how the story jumps between worlds, and I sometimes cringe at some of the Disney characters (and I consider myself a Disney fan! But it can really take away from the story, just when things are getting interesting to flash back to Goofy or Donald, especially with their well known silly voices and all). This can all make the story less immersive. However, at the heart of the story, you have a coming of age tale and a love triangle between 3 best friends. You watch throughout each game as Sora and his friends evolve and grow and change and how their friendships and relationships change as well. The story from each game is directly related from one game to the next. We’ve already watched Sora age by 2 years (and gotten a glimpse at a very young Sora as well). When Kingdom Hearts 1 starts, Sora is 14. By the end of Dream Drop Distance, he is 16. Many speculate he will be 16 or 17 in Kingdom Hearts 3. We witness Sora’s changing emotions as he transitions from adolescence to young adulthood. The main theme song in Kingdom Hearts 1 even hints at this with the lyrics of the chorus stating “Don’t get me wrong, I love you, but does that mean I really have to meet your father? One day when you’re older you’ll understand what I meant when I said No, I don’t think life is quite that simple.” Those lyrics perfectly describe the relationship between Sora and Kairi. An innocent love, a boy who still quite often views love/girls as “gross”, and a boy embarrassed by his emerging feelings of love for Kairi. And we witness not only how friendship can grow to love, but also how platonic friendships can change to rivalries when two boys love the same girl. The depths of both Riku and Sora’s love for Kairi is perhaps the best thing about the story.
I recently picked up Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix. I had played the original KH1 and KH2 on Playstation 2 but that was over 12 years ago now. And I had not played the other side games.
Every game in Kingdom Hearts is connected, and contains the same 3 characters, Riku, Kairi, and Sora, and the story gets deeper and more complex as the games go on as more is revealed building upon back stories and prequels and sequels and spin off games. It can be intimidating for someone new to the franchise to pick up the games now with almost 15 years of games to catch up on.
Many people recommend the following order to play the games in to get the most out of the story:
Kingdom Hearts 1 (1.5 remix)
Re: Chain of Memories (1.5 remix)
Kingdom Hearts 2 (2.5 remix)
358/2 Days (1.5 remix)
Birth By Sleep (2.5 remix)
Re:Coded (2.5 remix)
Dream Drop Distance (2.8 remix sold separately)
0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage (2.8 remix sold separately)
X Back Cover (2.8 remix sold separately.)
Unchained X (free mobile game, available separately)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (sold separately – coming soon)
So you will need bare minimum to purchase 3 games
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix
Kingdom Hearts 2.8
Kingdom Hearts 3
And optionally download and play Unchained X on your cell phone.
Some of the “games” above are actually “cutscenes” because they could not emulate the nintendo DS “touch screen” on the PS4. So each of these nintendo remakes are movies which reuse old, and add new cutscenes to tell the story.
You can alternatively purchase and play these Nintendo games separately. But you should be fine with just the cutscenes from an understanding the story standpoint.
Characters: 10/10 I really enjoy watching Sora and friends evolve, age, mature, and change over the course of multiple interconnected games. I also really do enjoy seeing favorite characters thrown in from Final Fantasy and Disney. It’s a strange mashup but it works surprisingly well. If you are either a Disney or Squaresoft fan you will love the cast of characters in these games.
Graphics: 7/10 – Taking into consideration the age of the games, I think the graphics are beautiful and memorable. They are vibrant, full of color, detail, and fun. The character designs blend Disney’s whimsy and charm with Squaresofts more stylistic approach. Sora also reminded me of a brunette Cloud wearing Mickey’s big “clown” shoes. The bobble headed appearance of the characters, makes them cute, but it’s almost a bit too juvenile, given that even when we first meet Sora and friends in KH1, they’re already teenagers. I feel like they look like Precious Moments dolls, and about 7-10 years old because of the proportions of their heads to bodies. — Luckily, the artwork does improve in later games.
Take a look below:
Sora from Kingdom Hearts 1 (Does he look 14 to you? Not even close in my opinion).
Sora from Kingdom Hearts 2 (He is supposed to be 15 here, looks about right.)
Sora from Kingdom Hearts 3 (Speculated to be 16 or 17 here) (meh this design is alright, I expected to see something like Final Fantasy XV quality here. There are very few details in the hair/face and almost no shading on the clothing, it just looks kinda flat/plastic-y… not what I’d expect from a PS4 title. He does look a tiny bit more mature, slimmer face, etc.)
Music: 10/10 I’m a big Utada Hikaru fan, and I love the opening theme “Simple and Clean” – as I mentioned, I feel the lyrics foreshadow the coming of age story and changes that our little island buddies are about to experience. She also sings “Sanctuary” the opening theme of Kingdom Hearts 2. And it has been confirmed that she will also be involved with the opening for Kingdom Hearts 3. My favorite Utada Hikaru song though will always be “First Love”. The Japanese versions of the tracks are also quite catchy even without knowing the lyrics or understanding Japanese. The background music is also fitting and full of adventure and wonder.
Voice Acting: 6/10 – The voice acting is definitely hit or miss for me. Some characters I think are perfectly cast, and others way off mark. Some give pretty convincing performances, while others are too overdramatic and/or the opposite, lack any feeling or emotion in the deliverance of their lines. The iconic Disney characters also can tend to annoy and detract from the story with their overly cartoonish voices for which they are so well known.
Replay Value: 9/10 Although the games are linear, there are multiple games in this “bundle”, and each game has a secret ending, usually only uncovered for completing all side quests, or playing on the hardest difficulty settings, which will take you around 270 hours total according to How long to Beat. Even if you don’t want to go for the secret endings, you’re still looking at over 130 hours of gameplay just for the main stories of each game. For just $40something, that works out to around 30 cents per hour of entertainment. Therefore your return on investment is quite high in this title, even if you might only play each of the games once.
I did a lot of research for this list. So the 40 2018 PS4 Games below are not ranked in any particular order.
If I had to pick a few favorites it’d be Detroit Become Human, Kingdom Hearts 3, Shenmue 3, Stein’s Gate Elite, Atelier Lydie & Suelle, Yakuza 6, Your Four Knights Princess Training Story, Shining Resonance Refrain, A Way Out, FF7, and Ni No Kuni 2.
This is not a full release list for the PS4 in 2018, but instead a collection of games I thought would appeal to other gamers such as myself based either on story, anime graphics, cuteness, or gameplay mechanics.
Leave me a comment below and let me know what games you’re looking forward to on PS4 this year!
40+ PS4 Games for Girls Releasing in 2018
A virtual reality game that features a mouse who knows sign language. The environment is beautiful and the characters are adorable.
2.) Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom
Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is one of my favorite PS3 games. So it’s no surprise that I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel from Studio Ghibli and Level 5 on the PS4 in 2018.
3.) Red Dead Redemption 2
It’s not often that I enjoy a shooting game; however, I am quite fond of the original back on the 360. I enjoy the open world environment, myriad of quests, and choice and consequence system. The horseback riding was also fun.
4.) Detroit: Become Human
I think above any other title on my list, I’m most excited about this PS4 Exclusive from the makers of Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls. It’s a story driven game where the player must make choices at various points which will fork the story down different branches resulting in different endings.
5.) Shenmue 3
Shenmue 3 broke records when it debuted on kickstarter 2 years ago. Finally the wait is over as the title will launch in mid 2018. In case you missed the first two games, rumors abound about an HD remaster that will include both Shenmue 1 and 2 also arriving on PS4 in 2018.
6.) Knights and Bikes
This quirky cute co-op game aims to recapture the feelings of childhood innocence and fun. You can explore a colorful island, fight baddies with water balloons or race your friends on your bicycles.
7.) Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
This is basically a Castlevania game, except since Kojima left Konami, he’s not allowed to use the name Castlevania anymore. I’m also digging the anime style characters as opposed to the more photo realistic characters the series has been using recently.
8.) Final Fantasy 7 Remake
The wait is almost over for the Final Fantasy Remake with new stories, new visuals, and new combat systems. This is more than just an “HD Port” this is a reworking of the game from scratch, using the same characters, world, and story, but improving upon it in many ways.
Back in the 90s I barely played PC Games, because so few existed that appealed to my tastes. There were exceptions of course, Torment, Fallout 1 and 2, Baulder’s Gate, Icewind Dale, King’s Quest (and other Sierra titles), Ever 17 (and anything else by Hirameki International), Petz, Black and White, Creatures, Graduation 95, and a handful of other gems that weren’t available on my consoles.
But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.
But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.
But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.
And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.
Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.
This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!
Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.
This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.
Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.
This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics
Til the Dawn, Waiting
This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings
Franky the Bumwalker
Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.
This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.
Stunt Corgi VR
If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.
If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.
The Mind Hero
An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.
This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.
The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?
In The Valley of Gods
Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.
This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.
This just looks so utterly adorable!
With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.
The Iron Oath
I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.
Living the Deal
Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).
Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.
Freedom Planet 2
Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.
The Forgettable Dungeon
Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.
Geeky: 5/5 – Animal Crossing has a huge cult following because of its unique and strange gameplay and quirky cute characters. There is so much to do and see and it all takes place in an ever evolving changing persistent world that keeps you playing for hundreds or thousands of gaming hours.
Sweetie:5/5 – Very few games come close to being as cute as animal crossing with its chibi anthropomorphic citizens and bright colors. This game is full of charm and wonder.
Gameplay: 8/10 – Animal Crossing is finally on mobile, which quite frankly is where this franchise has always belonged. It just makes sense as a mobile game given the style of gameplay which it innovated back in 2005. Now almost 12 years later, technology has evolved to where mobile makes the most sense for these types of games, having it with us in our pockets and purses, playing it on commutes, or while waiting in line at a busy store, or while at an appointment, or those few moments before sleeping or getting out of bed.
Animal Crossing is best enjoyed in these little breaks and little moments. It’s also best enjoyed when played often as things change and happen in a living breathing world inside of your game. There are holidays and special events and animals come and go in and out of your areas. Having it on your phone puts it always at your finger tips.
If you’ve never heard of Animal Crossing before (which is highly unlikely but just in case lol), Animal Crossing’s gameplay consists of quiet, calming activities, and cute, and quirky characters, who are, as you have probably guessed by now, animals.
These animals may ask you to complete quests for them and in exchange give you random furniture and clothing. You can also craft your own furniture and clothing as well. Certain games in the series even score you and award you more items and points for decorating your home such as Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer.
In fact, collecting these things and dressing up and designing has always been a big draw to the series. But it’s not the only thing that players love. Many players love to spend hours fishing, gardening, or catching bugs in the game. You can use them as items to trade with NPCs to complete quests or give them to other players or display them in your home or the museum, or sell them for bells (the game’s currency) to buy new items.
Buying new items is addictive too, every day you turn on your game, you will see new items to purchase. Only available for that one day, and completely unique to just you. Not that the same items won’t appear again for you, or for other players, but this particular “collection” of items is unique to you. You may have on one day, a boom box, kitchen sink, and pink sofa, while your friend may have a dining room table, expensive rug, and statue of Link from Zelda. – Of course some items are more rare than others, and since friends can visit your home, you can show off all your rare items and score bragging rights.
Nearly everything about these games are customizeable, from your character’s gender, name, appearance (initially determined by answers to questions presented when first starting the game), to your home, to your world around you. This also is another big draw to these types of games.
New animals will appear and disappear from time to time in your world. This also increases incentive to stay active and stay in touch with your favorite NPCs. After an NPC leaves (in the traditional versions of this game, not sure about mobile), they will send letters to you and sometimes give you gifts.
The games also feature night and day and weather cycles which add more variety to each play through. What you do on any given day is up to you! There is no objective, no goal, no ending, no progression it’s just a sandbox, a living breathing world for you to explore and interact with each day.
This sounds like a huge plus – and in many ways it is, but it can also be a drawback as there is very little urgency or pressure or nothing really compelling you to keep pushing forward. Many times my love for these games starts strong, but 3 or 4 months in and I find I’m barely logging in, but without fail always 6 months later I’m back to being addicted and wanting to play daily. My interest in these types of games goes through spurts like that. I think I burn out from the casual nature, but then find myself wanting to relax and enjoy a cute game and gravitating right back to it, for the same reason that I left it in the first place. It’s almost a double edged sword.
Anyways now that I’ve given you the basics of the franchise, let’s talk about what Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does differently than the other games in the series. For starters, as the name suggests, the entire game takes place in the great outdoors. You’re given a campsite you can decorate. And you have a camper trailer that you can decorate both inside and out. You travel and visit other animals (or visit your friends) and you can take quests, craft, shop, and do all the good basic animal crossing stuff.
Some areas will be blocked from exploring initially. You need to either pay leaf tickets (special in game currency obtainable with real money (but quite often also given for free as quest rewards), or get the help of friends to enter these new areas.
New areas open sometimes for special events like right now there’s a Christmas area where you can get more candy canes to help craft the time limited Christmas themed items which you need 5 friends to help you unlock.
You can link the account to your nintendo account or link your facebook and twitter to find more friends! 🙂 Playing animal crossing with your friends is now easier than ever.
So those are a few of the positive features.
On the downside, they’ve removed the actual houses, so that’s a bit disappointing for those of us who liked modeling our homes.
Also my biggest gripe is too much is just “handed” to us. In previous games, we each had a random fruit. In this game, when I get to the tutorial, I’m given tons of different fruits I can hoarde to plant back at my own campsite. Making the need to work with friends less important in this game.
I also don’t know / haven’t tested how inviting a friend over to your campsite works and how or if you can communicate with them and what activities you can do together. I feel like it may be more limited than in the other games, but maybe I’m wrong.
Other than that, the game offers a feeling of playing the console and handheld Animal Crossing games right on your mobile phone.
Story: 4/10 – Story has never ever been Animal Crossing’s strong suit, and I think for me personally, that’s why I get bored of the games so fast and have an on/off love/hate relationships with them. I play games primarily for story above anything else. So lack of really much to offer here makes it a bit dull to me.
Characters: 10/10 – The characters are charming and cute and have always been the best part of the animal crossing games.
Graphics: 10/10 These graphics look just as good as any Animal Crossing game I have ever played, and it’s a free mobile game, now that’s impressive!
Music: 5/10 Music is just sort of average. Nothing to write home about. Sometimes it can be cute and catchy, other times repetitive and annoying. Depends on my mood and the song in question.
Replay Value: 9/10 – The very nature of Animal Crossing as a franchise is a slow and steady journey meant to be enjoyed through several (often times daily) small playing sessions. Animal Crossing offers much to do, from fishing, bug catching, gardening, to crafting, to shopping, to collecting, to decorating your home and dressing up your avatar. However, it does get repetitive because of the slow and lackadaisical gameplay style. – Which don’t get me wrong, that gameplay style has also always been the game’s strong suit and its unique charm, and what makes it so much fun. There also are time limited goals, time limited items, and time limited quests to complete which will keep you logging back in. However, it’s also the type of game you can play for 10 hours a day for 6 months straight and then feel bored of. It’s much better to enjoy it about an hour a day, as if you immerse yourself too long, you will burn out quickly. But kept in small doses, you will be playing this, or any other animal crossing title for years to come. Now that animal crossing is on our mobile phones we are all doomed to be playing it religiously for the foreseeable future. And future updates will make this even more enticing.
Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!
Other Games You May Like:
Castaway Paradise – pretty much an animal crossing clone. It was fun, but ain’t no animal crossing. Now that animal crossing is on mobile, I see no reason to play this.
Animal Days by Gree Sadly this is no longer around, but probably one of my all time favorite mobile games, you should check it out since there’s still a wealth of images and info available online with a quick Google search; it’s interesting to read about just because of how unique and fun it was. It had the cute animals, moving in and out of your village, and most excitingly, you could BREED your animal villagers to create new villagers. There were time limited release villagers, and all kinds of really cute things to decorate your home, and a cute story too. I was sad when it closed. I heard they underestimated how popular it was going to become and couldn’t manage well with the production schedule for new releases and updates. I wish someone would buy the code from them and revive this project, but it’s been dead for 5 years now, so it’s not likely to happen. I would rather play Animal Days by Gree over even the best Animal Crossing game, because the breeding and randomized aspects make me so excited.
Happy Street – “sort of” a clone of animal crossing, but completely different gameplay, still, animals at random move into your village, and you fish and mine and craft and so on. but yeah, just it’s different, it’s more like mobile clicker type gameplay, but it has the same charm and theme as animal crossing and is a fun and different enough game that you should play both! 🙂 — There’s also a version of this put out by Line Play, and the name is escaping me right now. Same game / user interface, but different graphic assets and run by different companies. It still has cute animals moving in and out of your village and same gameplay mechanics. I think Happy Street was marketed more and took off more rapidly, and thus the Line Play “clone version” is a lot less widely known – might be worth checking out for you if you love Animal Crossing or Happy Street though!
Seabeard – This has a huge massive open sandbox world and captures some of the unique gameplay aspects of animal crossing.
Line Play – for the fishing and dressing up and decorating and kawaii style.
Sekai Project is one of many companies localizing Visual Novels into English. And for the next 2 weeks you can get 17 Sekai Project Visual Novels for $12. That’s less than $1 a game. (or pay less and receive less games) And it supports charity too! Feel good and score some awesome Visual Novels with the new humble bundle.
All of the Above PLUS…
NekoPara Vol 1
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 1
Marcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project, Plus Season PASS DLC
Fault Milestone two side:above
Sound of Drop -fall into poison
Highway Blossoms (a Yuri game (girl x girl game))
Japanese School Life
Pay $12 to receive it all:
All of the Above PLUS…
NekoPara Vol 2
Wold End Economica – Complete Edition
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 2
Memory’s Dogma Code:01
Robot Double – Before Crime After Days Xtend Edition
Sunrider: Liberation Day – Captain’s Edition
That’s a whole lot of visual novels for not a big price! I only had 3 of these currently in my collection (and almost all of them wishlisted). I am super excited about this bundle and can’t wait to start playing.
Robot Double sounds incredibly interesting to me from the brief description. It states that unlike traditional Visual Novels, there are no clear cut choices, but instead you control the story purely through your emotions.
I’m most excited to see new starter pokemon (Cyndaquil, Chikorita, etc), new legendary pokemon (Luiga, Ho-Oh, Raikou) , new Evee evolutions, and new kawaii cute pokemon such as Pichu, Marill/Azumarill, Mareep, Igglybuff, Togepi, and, Teddiursa, just to name a few!)
Here’s what you can expect to see in the new version: