My Personal Film Festival

My grandmother has been packing up house to move for the past few months, and I’ve been spending Sundays helping her out. Recently, we uncovered a treasure trove of Disney movies on VHS and DVD (and even a few laser discs!), and packing them all up made me a little nostalgic.

Then! Last week, Becky from Disney in Your Day tagged me to play along with a Personal Film Festival meme. The rules are simple: Select your favorite movie from each year you’ve been alive. Fun, right? Here’s what I came up with:

1983In 1983, Tom Cruise danced into American hearts … and I was born, too! I picked this one because it’s a favorite guilty pleasure of mine. And a fun way to kick off a film festival, don’t you think?

1984Who ya gonna call? A super fun, light-hearted comedy. Second runner up? Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

1985I was two, and Dorothy returned somewhere over the rainbow for a … well, it’s a slightly darker look at the merry old land of Oz. I just love it so much.

1986This wasn’t the best ever year for movies, but I seriously have seen Pretty in Pink about a million times.

1987As you wish … This fifth movie in the festival is another fun one!

1988I remember seeing this in the theatre as a kid. My brother was 2, and my mom was pregnant with my sister. And I sang these little songs all day, every day. They still make me want to dance. (Second runner up: Scrooged. So, so good.)

1989Every girl’s first love was Prince Eric, right? This is such a good, classic romance movie. I do have two also-rans for 1989, though: Teen Witch and All Dogs Go To Heaven.

1990I’ve clearly always had a thing for darker stories, and this is one of my all-time favorites. It even beat out my second runner-up, Pretty Woman.

1991Another classic Disney love story. And a total favorite of mine.

1992This mix of comedy and romance is so on point.

1993I could watch this movie over and over and over … ironic, huh? Second runner up: Jurassic Park.

1994Can you feel the love for this movie? I can!

1995While the animation can’t hold a candle to Toy Story 2 or Toy Story 3, the original is still the best.

1996Growing up, one of the only things my dad and I bonded over was music. Specifically, pop music from the 60s and 70s. I was obsessed with “classic” music as a teenager, and this movie came out at exactly the right time to feed that obsession. Plus: Liv Tyler. God, I love her.

1997Who put the ‘glad’ in the slow, inevitable death of Disney’s Renaissance period? Hercules!

1998This one holds a special place in my heart because I saw it in theatres with my aunt and a few of her friends … that sounds lame, but they all used to babysit me when I was a wee lass so it was a really fun night. And they took me out for Baskin Robbins afterward. This is a true story. I also really love this movie. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and cheesy.

1999The first rule of Personal Film Festivals is that you have to show Fight Club. (That’s how the saying goes, right?) This book (and subsequently the movie) totally changed the way I think about and interact with media.

2000Another dark, twisty film that reframed my thinking about storytelling.

2001A classic.

2002This is such a fun, funky retelling of a classic story–it’s got a lot of great action, a sweet revenge story and some actors who are clearly having a great time.

2003I think this might be my favorite movie of all time. It’s so funny and sweet and ridiculous and sappy (in a good way). Plus, Hugh Grant dances. That’s why second place has to go to Finding Nemo.

2004Did you drink awesome shooters? Because this movie! My second favorite film of 2004: 50 First Dates.

2005The movie that changed movies. And has pretty much fueled tabloid magazines for the past ten years.

2006I picked this one because it’s truly haunting and beautiful. But I actually think this year was a tie because The Prestige also lit up the big screen. God. I love that movie.

2007Another film that changed movies for me. It’s so smartly self-aware and self-mocking, but also really fun and frolicsome. It appealed to me on a few levels. Plus: Queen Narissa.

2008So romance. So environmental fable. So Pixar. So runner-up: The Dark Knight.

2009Loooooove this. Dan and I are always thinking about getting matching tattoos, but we can’t decide between Wall-E (for him) and Eve (for me) OR the grape soda bottlecaps. We can’t decide. So we remain tattoo-less. But how I love this movie. So much romance and heartbreak and adventure!

2010This is one of my all-time favorites. I literally watched a bit before bed on my phone every night for months and months after it came out. I can’t explain why, but it speaks to me on such a level. I still tear up about 90% of the time whenever I hear Mandy Moore and Zach Levi sing together. It’s just so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. That’s why it had to be Punzi … and Toy Story 3 (which may be my favorite of the Toy Stories) gets second place.

2011A super cute animated retelling of every high school student’s least favorite work of Shakespeare … starring lawn gnomes. It’s so crazy that it actually works. Plus: Maggie Smith and Michael Caine play awesome rivals.

2012Joss Whedon knows his way around superheros and he definitely knows his way around comic action plots … and he basically made kind of the most awesome movie ever (until Guardians came out two years later).

2013I know not everyone loves this one, but I really enjoyed it quite a lot. (Better than Frozen and probably better than Iron Man 3.)

2014Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

So what films would play during your personal film festival? Putting this list together was harder than you might think, and I challenge you to try it for yourself! If you post it, leave a link in the comments so I can check it out! 

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