UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 25, 2024

OPINION | A tale as old as time: Disney’s most nostalgic masterpieces

During the busy schedules of adulthood, it is hard to find peace in our day-to-day lives. Reconnecting with your childhood by listening to your favorite Disney soundtracks and re-watching your childhood favorite movies can help fill the void. Cora Mark | Sun News Daily

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All throughout high school and even into college, I’ve always been drawn to watching my favorite childhood movies. 

I always go back to these movies because they bring me comfort when I’m stressed and give me happy feelings of nostalgia. It takes my stress away when I remember what life was like when I first watched these films. I had zero worries in the world.

I grew up watching Disney, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks. If I were making a list of my favorite animated movies, I’d have to put “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” “The Road to El Dorado,” “Tarzan” and “The Lion King.” But for this list, I will be ranking my top four favorite Disney movies, consisting of Disney Channel Original Movies and non-animated Disney movies. 

#4 Lemonade Mouth

At number four, I have the DCOM Lemonade Mouth, and this movie has the best soundtrack out of all DCOMs. I said what I said, and someone had to say it. 

Lemonade Mouth is a movie about five high schoolers who meet in detention and decide to start a band, called Lemonade Mouth. These students go through challenges like breakups, home struggles and loss of loved pets, all with support from each other.

This DCOM is my number four favorite Disney movie because of its theme of friendship and its fire soundtrack. When “Breakthrough” starts playing at the end of the movie, you can’t help but literally get up and dance. Bridget Mindler’s vocals are out of this world, which we all know from her song “Hurricane.”

The song “Don’t Ya Wish U Were Us” sung by the opposing band in the movie, Mudslide Crush, makes me laugh at how ridiculous it is compared to Lemonade Mouth’s music. The scene cracks me up every time I watch this movie, and it never hesitates to make me smile and have a better day when watching it. 

#3 Hannah Montana: The Movie”

Miley Cyrus was my idol growing up, starting with the TV series “Hannah Montana.” It was my go-to show, and I even remember having a Hannah Montana duffle bag for traveling and a Nintendo DS game I’d play.

This movie is about Miley figuring out how to balance her life as a superstar, friend and daughter. Balance is something we all eventually learn in our lives.

Hannah Montana: The Movie” gets my number three spot rating because of the guest appearances by Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift, once again having a fire soundtrack and the handsome cowboy as the main love interest for Miley. I genuinely wanted to marry the character Travis and probably still would, given the opportunity. 

Taylor Swift delivers my all-time favorite song of hers called “Crazier,” and Rascal Flatts acoustically singing “Bless the Broken Road” makes me so emotional that I cry every time. “The Climb” never ceases to shatter my worries and remind me that “life’s a climb, but the view is great.” 

Who could forget the “Hoedown Throwdown” scene? To this day, I can still do the dance exactly how Miley does in the movie, and “Butterfly Fly Away” brings me to tears every time. Seeing Miley and her dad sing together brings me an incredible amount of joy. I was obsessed with this movie when I was little and still am to this day.

#2 “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

Theatrically released, HSM 3 is the best movie out of the three-part franchise. It is my second favorite non-animated Disney movie because it has the best songs out of all the High School Musical movies with songs like “Just Wanna Be With You,” “A Night to Remember” and “The Boys Are Back.”

This movie follows the group during their senior year of high school and their struggles of moving on while also living in the moment. Throughout the entire movie, I’m rooting for Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez to sing in the spring musical. Sharpay starts off the spring musical singing “Just Wanna Be With You” while Troy and Gabriella make it in time to perform this very song. Besides the ending of the movie, this is my favorite scene.

The fact that this was filmed in Salt Lake City 40 minutes away from my hometown makes me rethink my decision to be a little kid and to not be on set with the actors. I was so obsessed with Sharpay that when I was little, I had a little kid version of her graduation dress in this movie, and let me tell you, Zac Efron was my first-ever celebrity crush. He is my day one and will always be my number one. 

Props to director Kenny Ortega for creating this masterpiece because it is cinema at its peak. Ortega should be the president of Disney for his great mind. 

The nostalgia that comes from watching this makes me emotional to think about the time I graduated high school, and it makes me look forward to graduating college with my friends. As Troy Bolton said in his graduation speech, “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.” I believe that “Once a Trailblazer, always a Trailblazer.” 

#1 “The Parent Trap”

With HSM 3 almost tying with “The Parent Trap,” I have to choose “The Parent Trap” as my all-time favorite Disney movie to ever exist. This movie is too good to be true. 

It is about twin girls who meet at a summer camp and find out they are twins. They switch places with each other to meet the parent they’ve never met. Ultimately, the twins’ parents get remarried again.

The casting of little Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quiad and Natasha Richardson creates a family dynamic that reminds me of how much I love my relationship with my own parents. Similarly to the movie, my parents knew each other when they were younger and then later in life ended up marrying each other. 

Natasha Richardson plays the beautiful and graceful Elizabeth James, the mother of the twins. The scene when one of the twins, Hallie, meets her mom for the first time since she was younger lives rent-free in my mind. It is my Roman Empire. I think about Elizabeth and Hallie hugging each other every single day because Elizabeth James reminds me of my mom and how graceful she is. 

I watched “The Parent Trap” every day for a year straight on a VHS in my room when I was around five years old. I was absolutely obsessed then and never ceased to be amazed by how beautiful this film is now. It sends a message of hope, which we all need a reminder of every once in a while. The message of love between not only spouses but also parents and children brings me immense joy. 

If you didn’t grow up watching these iconic films, go watch them right now. If you did watch them, do yourself a favor and take a trip down the nostalgia road.