Wednesday, November 1, 2023

What Is Your Favorite Animated Disney Movie?

A few weeks ago, I visited a manufacturing facility for some sales meetings and a tour of the shop floor. Afterward, we went out to dinner. There were 12 guys, all in engineering or technical sales, and so the conversation in the restaurant was rather raucous, especially after a few drinks. We talked about sports and trucks and hunting, and a few other “guy” topics.

Then one of the fellows at the table tossed out an odd question, and insisted that everyone had to give an answer and an explanation. His question was: “What is your favorite animated Disney movie?”

Everybody paused for a moment, then said, “Wut?” (It’s a new official rule of grammar that if a person says “Wut?” instead of “What?” it means he’s not so much asking, “Please explain yourself, good sir,” but is really saying, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!”)
However, the guy who asked the question refused to take no for an answer. (I believe he was fortified by a few drinks at that point.) He insisted that everyone offer an answer.

So, the first thing we did, collectively, was scratch our heads and come up with a list of Disney animated movies. We could only think of a handful, which is fairly pathetic since, depending how you define it, there are anywhere from 61 to 130 Disney animated films. (The difference is based on whether you include live-action films with some animation, like “Mary Poppins,” plus the Pixar films, most of which are computer generated rather than animated, and were not part of the Disney empire until 2006.)

Some answers were interesting. For example, one young engineer insisted his favorite animated Disney film is “Ironman,” since he watched it on the Disney-plus streaming service. The movie was not made by Disney, nor was it animated, but this guy would not budge.

Another guy said “Die Hard.” Again, it’s neither Disney nor animated, but it did send us off on a tangent, as we spent 10 minutes debating the classic question: “Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie or not?”  

When it was my turn, I did not hesitate. I blurted out, “‘Little Mermaid.’ That’s my favorite. No question.”
When asked to explain, I said, “Well, the music is great and the story is great. But most of all, when that film was released, my daughters were six and three, and soon after, I bought a copy on VHS tape, and over the next many months my girls and I watched that movie at least 15 times. Per day.”

And just to prove my point, I launched into a Karaoke version of “Under the Sea,” without any actual Karaoke background music, but with a genuine Jamaican accent. Then, after that, I had to explain to everyone aged 30 and younger, what a VHS tape was. (And right after that I had to explain to a couple of shell-shocked young men that despite everything they thought they understood about life, it is indeed possible for a guy in his mid-60s to suddenly belt out a song in the middle of a restaurant even though he doesn’t drink.)

Despite the fact we all exclaimed, “Wut?” when that odd question was first asked, it turned out that it produced hilarious conversations for at least 45 minutes. We were really enjoying ourselves so much, we didn’t even notice that most of the patrons seated near us wanted the restaurant manager to call the cops.

I think it’s a great question, so I’m asking the readers of this column (all six of you), to send me an email stating your favorite Disney animated movie and an explanation of why. Impromptu singing is, of course, welcomed. 

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