Iconic Kid’s Animated Favorites That Ignite The Creative Spark In Young Minds – Disney movies have left a wonderful impression on countless childhoods, including ours. As we prepare for Disney100: The Exhibition opening soon in Chicago, the Secret Media team is taking a trip down memory lane reminiscing about the Disney movies we loved growing up! These films have a special place in our hearts — and we enjoy watching them over and over again.
Get ready for a magical experience this November when Disney100: The Exhibition opens its doors at Chicago’s Exhibition Hub Art Center (2367 W. Logan Boulevard). Spanning over 20,000 square feet, this enchanting exhibition showcases the ‘Crown Jewels’ of the Walt Disney Archives with over 250 rarely seen artworks, artifacts, costumes, props, mesmerizing visuals and memorabilia.
Iconic Kid’s Animated Favorites That Ignite The Creative Spark In Young Minds
With so much Expo excitement coming to the Windy City, it inspired our team to think about the Disney movies we’ve loved since childhood.
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As a child, some of my fondest memories revolve around cozy movie nights at home with my family, watching Disney classics. My favorite was Mary Poppins (1964). I couldn’t get enough of the innovative animation, especially the ‘Jolly Holiday’ sequence where Mary Poppins, Bert and the kids jump into a chalk painting and transport themselves to a wonderful animated world – a place I’ve definitely dreamed of visiting!
The dancing penguins, the beautiful landscape and the Mary Poppins carousel are just magical! I also loved how Disney took everyday activities like cleaning the nursery and making tea from the film and gave a whimsical touch to these simple moments that delight both children and adults. The best part was watching this movie with my mom and grandma, and now I love re-watching these beloved films and watching them with my own kids, witnessing the magic!
👜☂️🎠 See the carousel, snow globe and original artwork from the iconic Mary Poppins film at Disney100: The Exhibition!
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Another one of my favorites is The Princess and the Frog because I admire Tiana’s determination to defy traditional stereotypes and work hard to make her dreams come true, which means becoming a Disney princess. In addition to sending this message to girls, I also love the setting of New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in the USA; It definitely added to the appeal of the film in my eyes – and it’s also one of my daughter’s favourites, so we loved watching it together.
👸🏾🐸🎷Disney100: Marvel at the visual development artistry of 2007’s Princess and the Frog at The Exhibit!
Now that you know my Disney favorites, keep scrolling to find out which Disney movies immortalized the childhoods of the rest of the Secret Media team before Disney100: The Exhibition opens in Chicago — yes, we’re obsessed with the VHS format. !
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👧Reason: There are many reasons, but I would definitely say it’s the books! That castle library fascinated me when I was a bookworm and to this day I want to recreate a (albeit much smaller) version of it. In my opinion, from the classic opening number (Mary, the baguettes, hurry up!) to the song with the best use of the rhyme ‘Be our guest’ and the absolute classic Beauty and the Beast (don’t forget Lady Celine Dion’s beautiful closing credits). The castle, the romance, the French setting, I loved it all!
🕰️ At the Disney100 show, you’ll see artist Glen Keane’s concept art of the Beast, the Lumiere chandelier, Cogsworth, the iconic decorative clock from the 2017 live-action film starring Emma Watson as Belle, and the 1999 Broadway Playbill production of Beau and the Beast! Elliott McGowan – Staff Writer
👦Reason: It’s a tough decision between The Jungle Book and Mulan, but I think I’d pick the former. It fascinated me with jungles, animals and adventure. I’ve always really liked the characters, especially Baloo and Bagheera, who make that comical pair: Bagheera’s sensible and gray attitude with Baloo’s carefree vertigo. They are incredible characters, possibly two of the best anthropomorphic creations in the history of animation in my opinion. I think I also like the message that people can misunderstand and sometimes strangers can show care and kindness. And of course, the songs are incredible. ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ and ‘The Bare Necessities’ are timeless hits.
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🌴🚀🏯Get an up-close look at original artwork from The Jungle Book (1967), Toy Story (1995) and Mulan (1998) at Disney100: The Exhibition. Cindy Ramirez – Social Media Manager
👧Reason: Growing up in a Disney household, there are many films that defined my childhood, but if I had to pick one, it would be Toy Story. It gives me so much nostalgia when I think about Toy Story. Seeing my childhood crazy question: “Do toys come to life?” That’s breathtaking in an animated film! My younger brother Andy was born when the third movie came out. If that doesn’t tell you how much we love Disney, I don’t know what will! From throwing Andy Toy Story birthday parties, school supplies, Halloween costumes, to writing his name on the soles of his shoes, it was a full circle moment in my childhood when he fell in love with the movie I grew up watching!
✨Unlock your favorite childhood memories at this Disney show in Chicago – get your tickets here! Tory Levy – SEO Author
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👧 Reason: There are a few reasons why Ratatouille was my favorite movie growing up and is still one of my most watched movies today. One of the most important thoughts I have is that as a society we need permission to do what we are passionate about. If you want to cook, you must cook – even if you’re a rat. The last sentence is still valid, which is: “Not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere”.
🐀 Check out the Remy model from Disney’s Ratatouille in the exhibit! Claire Cahill – Brand Content Creator
👧Reason: I’ve grown a relatively limited collection of VHS and DVDs, but there are definitely some iconic Disney classics in the mix! Peter Pan is consistently at the top of the pile. I loved the concept of the magical world of Neverland and was completely captivated by the adventures of Peter Pan and Wendy with fairies, mermaids and pirates. I remember being *a little* scared when Captain Hook and Smee appeared on screen, my older sister kindly built me a pillow fort and offered to let me know when they left the scene. Peter Pan really awakened my sense of adventure from an early age and I will cherish it forever!
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⚓🐊✨Check out the original character development art from Peter Pan from 1953 at the exhibition! Daniella Soltero – Secret Media Project Manager
👧Reason: Well, for starters, it’s hard to choose between Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid, because I’m pretty sure I’ve rewatched both VHSs a million times. I am so inspired by these two courageous women, but who could forget Grandma Willow? I’m still inspired by that tree!! I absolutely loved this movie. As a child, learning about this strong female figure definitely inspired some interests that I still love to explore. Hello History, Nature and Culture! Nostalgia at its best, nothing beats the Disney classics.
🌿 At this Disney exhibit in Chicago, see amazing animated models of favorite Disney heroines like Pocahontas, along with the developmental art and color tone used in the film! Dan Shure – Video Producer Events
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👦Reason: Even though Disney has some of the best musicals of all time (shoutout to Alan Menken and Howard Ashman), I decided to pick a movie that isn’t a musical, but still offers the same Disney magic. I have a VHS copy of The Emperor’s New Groove that I’ve watched several times and I think it really shaped my sense of humor. Eartha Kitt is just as memorable and evil as Yzma, and how can you not love John Goodman?
👧Reason: More than 80 years after its release, Fantasia proves that rare art is truly timeless. This daring departure from conventional animation is a mesmerizing blend of classical music and visual storytelling that remains unparalleled. Disney has a collection of nostalgic hits, but for me this is the studio’s cinematic masterpiece. From waltzing hippos in tutus to the thunderous majesty of dinosaurs in Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” it’s a riot of imagination that never fails to enchant.
🦛🎶✨Experience the charming story sketches from Fantasia: Disney Studio Artist “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” at Disney100: The Exhibition! Luke Matteo – SMN Community Manager Intern
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👦Reason: I love Monsters, Inc. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. Sure, it defined my childhood, but it has a place in my adult life as well. As a child, I remember sitting on the floor with my sister to ride the roller coaster
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