Category Archives: Fangirling

Top 10 Disney Movies That Instantly Put Me in a Good Mood

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

There’s nothing like a comfort of a Disney movie. Not matter how hard your week was, how down you’ve been feeling, or how adult you think you are, you can always count on a Disney film to bring out your inner child and put a smile on your face. Here’s some of my all-time favorite Disney/Pixar films that never fail to make me laugh, cry, or feel like everything is right in the world.

  1. Finding Nemo

A classic from Pixar’s early days. I don’t need to tell you why Finding Nemo is an amazing, heartwarming, and beautifully animated film because you probably already know. Not to mention, this movie oozes comfort from my early childhood and has me repeating “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way Sydney” all day.

2. The Princess and The Frog

I love me a good Princess movie, and The Princess and the Frog just might be the most underrated. Even though she was a frog for most of the film (side-eye), the catchy soundtrack, beautiful storyboards, and long- awaited representation of The Princess and the Frog marks it as one of the all-time greats in my book. Also, can we PLEASE give Prince Naveen his flowers for having the best character-development of all Disney Princes? Thank you!

3. Enchanted

A lot of people tend to forget the cinematic masterpiece that was Enchanted, but I am not one of them. I’ve seen this movie about a 1,000 times and each time leaves me smiling. The story was engaging and hilarious, the music was top-notch, and Amy Adam’s surperb acting as a delusional princess deserves no less than 10 Oscars. Enchanted 2 is set to hit Disney+ soon, and you best believe I’ll be amongst the first watching!

4. The Incredibles

Another timeless Pixar classic for adults and children alike. The older you get, the more you can appreciate the wit of Pixar’s Incredibles. Not only is the movie action-packed, well-animated, and impressively scored, its also a great metaphor for the trials and triumphs of the average ‘nuclear’ family. Incredibles 2 was also a great watch, but nothing beats the first in my opinion.

5. Toy Story 3

It was hard to pick which Toy Story film would make it into my top ten, but Toy Story 3 has earned its place. This sequel is the sequel of all Pixar franchises. Toy Story 3 gives viewers all the nostalgia of the first 2 movies while still engaging them into its nail-biting plot that reads like an escape-thriller. By the end of the film, I’m usually a sobbing mess reaching for the rewind button. While Toy Story 4 attempted to further bring closure to the franchise , the 3rd movie more than satisfied all of my needs as a Toy-Story fan.

6. Monster’s University

Its a wonder why Monster’s University doesn’t receive more recognition because this film has certainly proved itself as a sequel, or more accurately, prequel. Monster’s University is a perfect example of story-telling when viewer’s think there’s no story left to tell. In it, fans get to watch the budding friendship of Mike and Sully, a witty anecdote of the college experience, and learn valuable lessons about not always getting what you want. As a college student still learning a few life lessons herself, this movie gives me both the comfort and entertainment I need. (Its OG, Monster’s Inc, is also an honorable mention that puts a few tears in my eye).

7. A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie is one of my all-time favorites. This movie drips in nostalgia of high school, the 90s (I may not have been born yet but I can still enjoy the fun), and the mortifiying ordeal of being a teenager with an awkward dad. Plus, who doesn’t love a good road-trip film? What makes A Goofy Movie so heart-warming is its important message of family through a demographic that isn’t always reached by Disney movies: single-parents and teens. And c’mon, “Eye-to-Eye”? That song’s a bop and everyone knows it!

8. Coco

When Coco first came out, I didn’t really know what to expect; when Coco ended, I left the theater with a snot-filled nose and red-shot eyes. The music is beautiful, the animation is beautiful, the culture is beautiful, and the powerful, heart-breaking scene towards the end? I’m crying just thinking about it! I’ve probably single-handedly got Coco millions of stream with the amount of people I recommended it to. These days takes it takes a little bit of courage to put the film on, but I do it anyways.

9. Anatasia

Ok, yes, I know Anatasia is technically not a Disney movie, but with Disney’s recent merger with Fox, it counts! Anatasia is one of those movies that enchants you from childhood and stays with you forever. The film is hauntingly charming with its ( trueish) origins, full of theatrical sing alongs, lively voice acting, and a romance that secretly makes you wish you were a forgetful Princess so a suave conman can whisk you away to your happily ever after. Sadly I wasn’t able to see Anastasia on Broadway before its closing, so playing the soundtrack on repeat will have to suffice.

10. Tangled

I’ve saved the best for last. Out of the hundreds of Disney films I’ve watched and re-watched, Tangled is probably my favorite. This movie instantly transports me to the cozy, romantic, light-hearted world of Disney Magic. Not only is it Alan Menken’s best work (I am willing to defend this), but the characters, animation, storyline, romance, and legendaric voice-talents of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi make this film timeless in every sense. In case you couldn’t tell, I really love Tangled. And with the live-action currently in the making, I’m MORE than excited to relive the magic all over again.

There’s hundreds of other Disney favorites I could list, but I’ll save those for another day. If you had to choose, what would be your top 10 Disney flicks?

Shame, Shame, Shame. (Super Fake Love Song, By David Yoon)

From Penguinteen.com

“All human life seemed driven by shame – the fear of being an incorrect self. Wear the right clothes, talk the right way, like the right things, buy the right fancy toys. As if shame were an evoluntary necessary evil designed to keep the tribes of society simultaneously together and apart. If there were no shame, would we be freer? Or just descend into chaos?”

-David Yoon, Super Fake Love Song.

When I was 14, months after graduating eighth grade, I was asked to sing a solo in front of my entire high school. Normally, a request like this would make the average teenager barf, and it did- five months earlier when I was asked to perform at the beginning year assembly. Having had a great performance then, I agreed to sing again, thinking with enough practice like before the whole thing would be a success.

It was not.

Unlike my earlier performance, I didn’t have the extra two months to expertly master my song . With the pianist confirmed only a few days before, my religious ‘song-perfection’ ritual had to be shortened: that meant no ironing out every inflection, no strategically placed ‘riffs’, and no flips or tricks – just me, a mic, and my imperfect voice.

The nervousness alone sent me shivering off the stage and into my seat before the last note. As the pity applause sprinkled through the audience, I decided then and there that I would never expose myself like that again, or else risk complete and utter embarrassment.

Looking back, my reaction might have been a tad bit dramatic, but for anyone who’s been under the impossible blanket of shame, you get the feeling.

In my current read, Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon, main character Sunny Dae confronts his own shame as he attempts to get the girl of his dreams by pretending to be his rock star older brother and not the fantasy-loving nerd he actually is. The book is a quirky rom-com with its fair share of charm, but the story’s real grabbers are it’s hard-hitting one-liners that make you rethink what it means to ‘be yourself’ and how hard that actually is.

Like Sunny, I think we’ve all been terrified of showing our true selves at one point or another. Maybe some of us have been so terrified for so long, that we ourselves have grown to hate who we really are under all that pretending.

When I walked on the stage, I was scared that the sound of my stripped voice would cause an embarrassing performance. Now, years into learning to be comfortable with myself, I’ve realized that it was the fear and shame of being myself in front of others that ruined me before I even started.

This quote reminds me that while shame is powerful and can inspire us to only put our best foot forward, it shouldn’t defines us. Like Sunny and other characters in Super Fake Love Song, we’ve all got to come to terms with our true, imperfect selves. Sure it can be terrifying, and sure, sometimes the blanket of fear can be a little too comfy. But at the end of the day (as the rock anthem [and John Keats] says) , there is nothing more perfect or ‘beautiful’ than being ‘true’ to ourselves.

(PS. If you’re a fan of cute rom-coms with heart, I recommend Super-Fake Love Song for your next read!)

8 Movies and Shows that Got Me Through the Pandemic

Well, ladies and gents, we did it: an entire year of quarantine. While some of us are still trying to process the last 365 days, others (like me) have spent most months finding new and creative ways to pass the time. Whether you picked up a new instrument, dusted off an old cookbook, or exercised yourself into oblivion, there’s one option that comforted almost all of us through quarantine: streaming. Here-in no particular order- are just a handful of the movies and shows I discovered, rewatched, or absolutely obsessed over during my time indoors. Some of the names might look familiar, and others completely new. Either way, if you’re looking for a good watch (rewatch), check out these titles below!

  1. The Crown

A well-known Netflix masterpiece. This series has everything you want out of a historical drama: amazing actors, award-winning cinematography, and the juicest scandals of the Royal Family! Not betraying my mom and sister and binging Season 4 in one night was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, no lie.

2. Good Girls

The NBC orginial might not be the most ethical show, but it sure packs the heat! I discovered the dramedy almost 3 years ago during its intial airing and have been hooked ever since. The writing is both hilarious and suspenseful, the acting flows naturally, and the tension between Beth and Rio? Whew! Let’s just say the season 4 premiere is the best birthday gift I could ask for!

3. To All Boys: Trilogy

If you’re a sucker for rom-coms like me, the To All Boys movie trilogy has been your go-to ‘feel good’ movie. Lara Jean has been somewhat of a cathartic character for me and her adorable style and her dreamy spirit make the hopeless romantic in me scream! While the 2nd and 3rd movies didn’t quite possess the same light-hearted charm as the original, the pure chemistry between Lana Candor’s LJ and Noah Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky will always have me crawling back for more. (Shout out to my friends Aja and Olivia, who know and share my obsession all too well!)

4. Young Justice

It is a (personal) fact that ‘kid shows’ have some of the best-developed characters and group dynamics of all time. That’s what I learned from my first time watching Young Justice, a DC animated superhero series that originally aired over 10 years ago. While I consider myself more of a Marvel fan, this show definitely had me hooked with its gritty themes, loveable characters, and mind-bending plot twists. Still healing from season 2’s ending (you know what I’m talking about), but I’m excited to finally binge season 3.

5. Bridgerton

Does this show even need an introduction? I wasn’t initially sure of what to expect from the no #1 Netflix series, but boy was I pleasantly surprised! With its diverse cast, masterful wardrobe, GORGEOUS actors, and modern-day tinge, Bridgerton isn’t your average historical drama and sure doesn’t boast of any old-fashioned values. My sister and I accidentally made the decision of watching the show with our mom, which resulted in a lot of eye-shielding and fast-forwarding. Still, the well-crafted story is definitely worth a rewatch (with the exception of a few scenes).

6. Avatar: The Last Airbender

I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it a million times again: best animated show of all time. I could spend an eternity ranting about the narrative masterpiece that is Avatar but judging by the series continual popularity on Netflix, you probably already know. If there was ever a show you wish you could completely forget just so you could watch again for the first time, it’s Avatar. And with last week’s announcement of the new Avatar Studios, something tells me the world (and myself) will keep talking about this series for a long time.

7. The Promised Neverland

If you’re not an avid anime-watcher like me, chances are you’ve never heard of “The Promised Neverland”. Well now that you’ve heard it, watch it. Now you’re probably thinking: “But Wanea! I don’t really like anime like that!” Now you’re probably wondering how I got in your head. Well, reader, I too was skeptical of the action-suspense anime, but after months of recommendations from countless friends, I finally cut my losses and binged it. One of the best ‘watching’ decisions I have ever made. If you’re interested in watching the series I suggest you go in blind, like I did. You’ll thank me – and probably hate me – later.

8. WandaVision

The world’s most recent series obsession. I’m a pretty big Marvel fan, like I mentioned before, and WandaVision completely flips everything you think you know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the best way possible. The constantly shifting tones are exciting, the over-arching narrative is addicting, and the veiled sense of mystery forces viewers to fall down a rabbit-hole of online theories the minute credits start rolling. The world (myself included) is excited to see how it all comes together in the season finale, which ironically premieres today!

Again, these are just some of my favorite shows and movies of the pandemic, but I’m always looking for something new! What were your top series and movies from quarantine?