Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Thursday, 31 August 2017

25 years in film: 1995

We're taking it back to dem old skool days again with your regular fix of '25 years in film'.

This time, we're bang in the middle of the '90s:1995! At this stage, I'm 3 years old, still pretty violent and my worst fear is being 'too hot'. Thank goodness some epic films came out that year to partially distract me.

First up, one of the greatest...

Toy Story 

"Don't you get it?! You see the hat?! I am Mrs. Nesbitt!"
Probably one of the best trilogies of all time (I'm ignoring that a fourth instalment is on the way as it makes me unduly angry), Toy Story holds a place in everyone's hearts, whatever the generation. As well as being an amazing technical feat - the first full length computer animated film - the clever premise and instantly memorable band of characters (special shout-outs to comedy legends Mr Potato Head and Hamm) are what make this a classic. Who would have thought that Woody, a 'child's plaything', could have such a multi-dimensional character that he goes through a emotional arc of jealousy, guilt, redemption and loyalty, all within 90 minutes? And that a 10 year old child with pyromania could be quite that terrifying? One thing is for sure, I treated my toys with much more care after watching this film.

"Woody? Did I leave the oven on?"

See the original theatrical trailer, here (which just doesn't seem quite right without Randy Newman's score). For more context on the creation of Toy Story and other Pixar films, I would recommend Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull (it's really a business book but gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at many of Pixar's classics). 


"I like gruel"
Listen with your heart, you will understand... that Pocahontas is up there with the best Disney films of the '90s. With spellbinding music by our main man Alan Menken, genuinely funny characters, a talking tree and a cute raccoon, there really isn't much to complain about. Even Mel Gibson's singing is pretty decent. Whether Pocahontas should marry Kocoum or not, she looks pretty resplendent surrounded by the colours of the wind.

"I TOLD YOU to bring the sat nav"

To see the original trailer, complete with lots of swirling leaves, click here.


"You just saw three monkeys go by on a motorcycle, didn't you?"
This is THE '90s family adventure film. Jungle animals, Robin Williams playing his usual strange man-child role which somehow attracts women, hunters chasing civilians through supermarkets, indoor monsoons - it has it all. While the effects might not be particularly 'special' by today's standards, let's not pretend that we weren't checking the fireplace for ankle grabbing vines and scrutinising our reflections in the mirror to see if we were turning into monkeys for days afterwards. Jungle drums will never sound the same again.

"Hey Macarena... ARGHH!!"

The original trailer, which pretty much covers the whole story, can be found here.


"He does dress better than I do. What would I bring to the relationship?"
One of two Jane Austen adaptions in today's list (scroll down for more), Clueless is a favourite in my family - my dad even loves it more than a grown man should. The pre-cursor to such Rom Com greats as Legally Blonde and Mean Girls, Alicia Silverstone's Cher (named after "a great singer of the past who now does infomercials") is the archetypal rich girl, 100% deluded by her own self-worth. Deliciously satirical but loveable to the last, Clueless retells Austen's Emma in the most kitsch way possible, whilst retaining all the plot's twists and turns. Plus, who doesn't want Cher's rotating wardrobe?

"This avocado cost £1.50 and it wasn't. Even. Ripe."

See the perfectly pitched original trailer, here.


"Baa-ram-ewe! Baa-ram-ewe!"
He's a pig who thinks he's a sheep dog. There are singing mice. Need I say more? That'll do, pig.

"Sheila?" "Here." "Sharon?" "Here." 

Catch the original trailer, here (it's a bit heartwarming).

Sense and Sensibility

"If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say, you will please restrict your remarks to the weather."
Almost as iconic as the BBC's adaption of Pride & Prejudice, the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility is a staple for any Sunday afternoon, along with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. In two hours, you can appreciate Hugh Grant's signature awkwardness, Kate Winslet's infectious romanticism, Alan Rickman's stoic gentlemanliness, Hugh Laurie's dry put-downs and - of course - Emma Thompson doing what she does best; keeping ALL THE EMOTION behind the eyes. With all the classic Austen tropes (love triangles, the obsession with getting every single woman married, people getting rescued from storms, charming strangers who turn out to be douchebags etc), this film leaves no Regency stone unturned. A timeless classic.

"I think... Dumbledore just died."

See the extremely American original trailer, here.

That's a wrap for 1995. Come back for 1996 very soon, which boasts an equally eclectic mix of films (and continues the Disney Renaissance period). To play you out, a top hit of 1995 (and one of my favourites to groove to in my buggy)...

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