8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
The excitement and genuine glee that Lydia experienced in seeing another child with a similar skin colour and hairstyle successfully become a superhero was written all over her face while she watched this Sony Pictures Animation, proving that representation matters in all forms of media. The film’s colourful, comic-book inspired style and upbeat soundtrack certainly helped too.
Spider-Verse is widely accepted as a true great of not only the Spider-Man franchise but of 21st century animation, and was the recipient of any number of five star reviews from traditional publications. To this nine year old, it was a glimpse into a magical world in which characters resembling herself and family members could do exciting and unbelievable things.
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7. Toy Story 4 (2019)
Forky quotes, Forky toys, Forky this and Forky that. The new Toy Story character Forky may have been a divisive figure among the adults watching the series’ fourth iteration in 2019, but to children this plastic fork amalgamation of classroom bits and bobs was a huge hit.
Bumped up roles for girl characters Bo Peep and new villain Gabby Gabby certainly helped with this nine year old’s enjoyment, each of them drawing the biggest reactions of the whole film apart from Forky (of course) and the dinosaur Rex (duh). Despite being a fan of Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 in particular, the representation and ever-colourful (and crisp) animation was awe-inspiring for this nine year old girl, who to this day will not let go of her Woody, Buzz and Forky toys.
6. Tangled (2010)
“Mother knows best!”
Tangled is one of those simply phenomenal animated films that reminds you of exactly why you love Disney animated films in the first place; a beautifully animated and delicately told fairy tale of the highest order.
To Lydia, Tangled has everything: classic songs, unique characterisations, funny animals, lots of colour, a pretty princess and lots of laughs. At one point, Lydia’s favourite activity (aside from watching this film on repeat) was watching her mother sing “Mother Knows Best” with all the exaggerated moves of your typical pantomime villain.