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Media Essays: The Wandering Fox's Top 5 Favourite Movies

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I’m back everyone, the Wandering Fox. Heh, I don’t wander much given I hang around here often. But honestly, I’ve been thinking of coming away for a bit but before I did, I thought of how I’m honestly a bit of a Debbie downer with how I criticise a lot of films and tv shows, and I kinda feel I owe it to you to give you a more positive blog. And what better than my own favourite movies?

These films aren’t in any order, because I don’t fave any of these ones over the other. They are just my favourite films.

We begin at Number 5 with:

Number 5: Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Oh goodness, this is going to be dividing lots of people, ain’t it? Well, if you didn’t like it, that’s fine. But I liked it and I want to explain why.

This film was basically my first Superman movie I watched from beginning to end. I don’t remember much of Superman Returns but Man of Steel was basically my first. And it’s the film which made me a Superman fan, I began researching the character, buying the Rebirth comics, watching his animated movies, his side of the D.C. universe is overlooked, this movie made me a big fan of the last son of Krypton, in fact I like him more than Batman.

Man of Steel was a darker retelling of Superman which left a lot of people divided and I do understand why. And look, there are certain stuff in the movie I wasn’t happy with, like why didn’t Jor-El make a copy of Lara’s conscience? Comments from Pa Kent could’ve been rewritten, his death could’ve been done better, and I would’ve liked to have had Clark doing more as Superman before Zod came to Earth. Yet I quite like how they did the loneliness of Clark and his uncertainty of who he was, and General Zod was quite a good villain, him and Superman at odds with their “people”, the first flight Superman has was brilliantly well done and felt like he achieved something in his life.

What I loved as well was that it was the story of a man learning of how he’s that much bigger for the universe, you have this super strong entity who lived as a human fighting against those who are like him but are harsh and brutal, and the fact he is beaten around a bit makes you feel you want Superman to rise up and fight back against them.

I wish we had more of Henry Cavill as Superman and had him be a more lighter hearted character, which Henry even wanted to do, but I can at least appreciate we had him. And thanks to Henry’s first movie as Superman, I became a fan of Superman and adored the Rebirth era of Clark, Lois and Jon.

If you didn’t enjoy the movie, I won’t argue with you. You can like and dislike what you want. For me, this is a favourite movie of my own.

Number 4: The Polar Express

The Polar Express

We all have our favourite Christmas movies. For some, it’s a Christmas comedy like Deck the Halls, for some it’s a cartoon movie. And for me, this Christmas is always gonna be my favourite. The Polar Express.

The film was a big thing back in the old days as I grew up, the adverts on Cartoon Network of many different characters waking up to find the Polar Express was outside their home, I was excited to watch it, and dad took me.

The film is just so much you can want from Christmas. Darkness. Cosiness. Chocolate. Reindeer. Elves. Comedy. And most of all, growing up. Growing up is always a difficult thing, with the older you get, the more you lose that childlike innocence and love for the most enjoyable of days, you lose the magic. And sadly even I have lost the once magic feel Christmas gave me, I wish I could reignite my spark of love for Christmas.

I watch this film every year just to feel that spark again. The idea that Father Christmas, the North Pole is real and out there somewhere, with ol' Saint Nick himself hoping children still believe in him even more heart-warming.

I think what I also love about this movie is the soundtrack. It just knows how to play at the right moment, the main theme of the movie going soft and quiet to a majestic, loud feel of joy makes you feel these characters have gone back to their joy of the season.

What’s great as well is how even though we get to meet Santa, the elves and the North Pole, there’s this feel of timeless mystery to it, there’s brick houses, cobble roads, and then you have the futuristic tech they have with the tunnel the elves take, interior coming out of a old sci fi film, you feel this is a magical place.

Only thing I kinda dislike is how the Conductor could be a jerk to Hero Boy, blaming him for the delays. Other than those, I love this film. If you want that Christmas feel, this film will do it.

Number 3: The Fox and the Hound

The Fox And The Hound

My favourite Disney film of them all. The Fox and the Hound is a movie which isn’t well remembered in Disney’s library, but holds dear to many hearts. This film was dark, mature, heartbreaking, romantic, and almost so lifelike.

The theme is more than just friendship, it’s growing up, learning how tough the real world is and you have to find your own way in life, which Tod goes on to learn, with his friendship with Copper coming to a end as he accepts his own life as a hunting dog, Widow Tweed leaving him in the woods to better keep him safe, falling in love, keeping the one you love safe and do the right thing in the end.

The songs are so good here, you have “When You’re The Best Of Friends” “Goodbye May Seem Forever” “Appreciate the Lady”. Each captures the mood beautifully, the happy and bitter knowing of Tod and Copper’s friendship, Widow Tweed letting Tod go is deeply hurtful as the one who gave her so much company had to be freed, and Tod learning to be himself with Vixey is an obvious thing you oughta do with a woman you meet.

But this film also introduced a few tropes in there I use to this day as a writer, the wise mother figure of Big Mama, the boy getting the girl, appreciating what you get in life, and foxes being a thing I often have in my writing. And if there’s something I can also greatly appreciate about this film, it’s how in growing up I’ve gone through something similar. Thought I had a great friendship with one guy, it fell apart, but I had new friends, who I cherish and love to this day, and I’ve been surrounded by a lot of strong women in my life who helped guide me.

Disney, I would hate them more if they did a live action remake of this movie, the midquel was a dumb movie they made. If there was a sequel, I’d like to think it’s Tod and Vixey happily living in the woods with their babies and guide a stray girl dog to Copper to be with.

This film will always be my favourite Disney film.

But what about Pixar?

Number 2: The Incredibles

The Incredibles

This film, gosh I love it, first as a kid I loved it for the superhero stuff like Mr Incredible fighting the Omnidroid, but as an adult I love the film for its drama. The film has a clever visual story as well as it’s writing, with the bright and colourful opening with Mr Incredible stopping crime slowly becoming darker, indicating the Glory Days are coming to a end, to the dull, grey like world we have the family in now, they can’t help anyone, and are forced to live the lives of ordinary, to the slow sunrise of a new era, bringing us back to a more brighter universe.

Interestingly the Incredibles is actually a family drama film, with Bob, Helen, Violet and Dash as the ones most involved in the story, Bob unhappy with his job knowing there’s nothing he can do to help the people he’s with, Helen trying to keep the family together with her wisdom but is becoming annoyed with their mood, Dash wanting to be free and express his athletics, and Violet feeling her powers are a hindrance to her. Bob getting a chance to relive his days as a hero are, at least to me, a man taking up gambling to earn more money, which some do if they’re eager to make as much as they could before, and how this can affect your family, how Helen thought Bob was having an affair, the emotional stress it does to her, and how the kids are dragged in is alike to that of a family struggling but how they come together to fight in the end symbolises how they have worked it all out.

By the end, the characters are a lot happier, Bob is more outgoing as a man, Helen is more encouraging of her family with their powers, Dash is doing sports, and Violet is a lot more confident. Ahhhhhhh, if only the sequel wasn’t made.

Number 1: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kikki's Delivery Service

You want a feel good movie which has no bad guy, a loveable girl character, a story of finding balance, overcoming depression, doing something you love, you gotta love Kiki’s Delivery Service. What’s clever about this movie is how it honestly feels real to you on what Kiki goes through. A young girl leaving her country home and going to the big city to find a job, and adjusting to life there, and meeting some individuals who are fascinating in their own regard, feeling knocked back in your confidence, losing your footing and trying to find them again, it’s a story you can connect with.

I think what I love most of this movie is Kiki’s battle with her depression, how she is losing connection to her magic as hitting a block in her emotions, which didn’t help with how spiteful that girl was to her and her grandmother after all the hard work Kiki did in getting the pie to her, you feel the thing you love doing is becoming blurred and you feel you aren’t as good as you once were. And how it’s often the simple acts of kindness of others which can bring you back, as Tombo was doing in bringing her out for a ride on his bike, or the old woman baking a cake for Kiki. It’s moments like those you remember the good in others, you feel good, and you feel your love for what you love doing again.

And those are my Top 5 films. I hope this was a more upbeat talk from me.

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