Musicals. Many do not like these. Many do. It seems that it is more difficult to make an effective musical than a normal movie. So I decided to make the list of the best musicals made.
Now, I have to clarify some rules that I used to approach these choices. One, I eliminated all of the Disney/Pixar animated movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Aladdin, etc. Two, I have eliminated the films that have songs, but are performed on a stage or as over the action. These examples can be This is Spinal Tap, Sing Street, School of Rock etc.
For me to consider a musical for this list, the music has to be involved in the story and have people singing from out of nowhere.
Runner’s Up: Here are some that just could not reach the Top 10. Chicago (which was in until the last second), Annie, La La Land, Beauty and the Beast (live action version), Pitch Perfect.
So… here is the Top 10 musicals
#10. Grease. It is the word. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are great in Grease. The music is unbelievably catchy. It tells a fun story of the 1950s and a love story between two kids who expect that the other must change to make the other happy. Message aside, Grease is an awesome musical.
#9. Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s just a jump to the left. Rocky Horror is a cult classic with the amazing Tim Curry. I love the soundtrack of this film. The movie itself may not be the greatest film ever created, but the fun is undeniable. Meat Loaf, Susan Sarandon, Richard O’Brien, Barry Bostwick all provide vocals for songs that make this movie great. And then the audience participation parts really made this a cult classic. Go see Rocky Horror at a midnight show somewhere, some time and throw some toast.
#8. Evita. Some people did not love this movie, starring Madonna as Eva Perón, but I thought it was fabulous. I was never a huge fan of Madonna, but I played this soundtrack over and over. I also found the movie itself extremely entertaining. This movie had constant singing or music. The actual dialogue was severely limited and that was not a bad thing. The Waltz for Eva and Che is one of my favorite moments of this film.
#7. The Muppets. I was originally going to eliminate all Muppet movies form the list, but I decided that the return film for the Jim Henson creations really fit the category more than other Muppet films. This film focused more on the human characters Gary and Mary, played by Jason Segel and Amy Adams, and these two definitely sprung into song throughout the film. The nostalgia was dripping off every scene and made this movie one of the best Muppet films ever.
#6. The Wizard of Oz. I hadn’t thought about this film until I started doing the research for this list, but The Wizard of Oz certainly falls into the category with what I laid out. Judy Garland’s iconic turn as Dorothy trying to make her way back to Kansas is one of the greatest movies in the history of cinema.
#5. Little Shop of Horrors. Feed me Seymour. The funny musical with Rick Moranis and Steve Martin came from a Broadway play. The story of a weird little plant that is actually an alien bent on world domination is fun, full of humor and great characters. Audrey II is one of the best musical villains and really tears down the house (quite literally)!
#4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This is easily the bloodiest film musical of all time. Johnny Depp starred in the lead role of the barber who was back from exile and ready for revenge. The bodies of his victims found their way into the meat pies sold by Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). This film even had the great Alan Rickman.
#3. Mary Poppins. Disney’s live action classic, Mary Poppins, brought us the greatest music from any Disney film. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke were iconic in these amazing roles, based on a book series by P.L. Travers. The musical was so great that it inspired a film that told the story of getting the rights to shoot Mary Poppins from Travers. That film was called Saving Mr. Banks, and it goes to show the impressive lineage of Mary Poppins. There is soon to be a new sequel to Mary Poppins starring Emily Blunt.
#2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The EYG Hall of Fame movie starring the incomparable Gene Wilder as the reclusive chocolate maker Willy Wonka was both a great musical and a terrifying trip. The scene of Gene Wilder singing on the boat as it was going through its strange trip was frightening to countless children. This film would not have been as successful though without the amazing Wilder, who filled Willy Wonka with such charm while also providing plenty of underlying sinister moments. This one surely deserves a Golden Ticket.
#1. Moulin Rouge. The jukebox musical that took many present day songs and blended them in with the classic music of the period. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman had unbelievable chemistry as Christian and Satine and the tragic end is sure to bring tears to your eyes. Moulin Rouge is a film about love.