UltimateDisney.com's Top 30 Live Action Disney Movies Countdown
29. Newsies (1992)

Newsies was a movie that was well ahead of its time. The fact that it has garnered such a cult following it testament to that. And as evidenced by the success of Chicago and Moulin Rouge, it is clear to me that had Newsies been released today, it would have been a moderate hit for Disney, rather than the initial flop it was in the theater.

Newsies gained its initial following do to those who are active in community theaters, as they could appreciate the element of storytelling through song and dance. Through them, others have been exposed to the movie through video, by listening to the soundtrack, and now on DVD. Newsies is a hit in the making and its following grows every year.

What helps makes this movie so wonderful is the expert musical storytelling by Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman. Add to that the talent of stars Christian Bale, David Moscow, Max Casella, Bill Pullman, Ann-Margret and Robert Duvall and a host of talented young stars and you have a movie that stirs strong emotions. One can't help but get caught up in the story and feel great by the end. It is a prime example of one of Disney's greatest strengths, and that is telling a great story. The chemistry between Christian Bale as Jack Kelly and David Moscow as David Jacobs shines through and anchors the movie as other characters grow and devolep around them.

As I said, it was a movie ahead of it's time. But now that musicals are gaining more of a mainstream acceptance, I believe this movie will continue to find an audience for years to come.

-Jeff Dewitt

Newsies ranks very high on my overall list of movie musicals. It is based on a true story, which I feel lends to the flow of the movie. The music by Alan Menken is something I have never tired of in the years since it came out. It is probably the last live action musical to come out of Disney that is good enough that Walt could have been behind the production. From veteran cast members Robert Duvall & Ann-Margaret to the entire team of newsboys who do the majority of singing and dancing, it is certainly not to be missed.

-Jeff Schilling

The big screen musical used to be popular. Lots of the most beloved movies of all time are musicals. But then something happened. For some reason the musical went out of fashion. There were isolated examples, but on the whole the genre stagnated. Disney can probably be credited for a mini-rebirth of the screen musical with the beginning of their second "golden age" of animated films. So it seemed only natural that Disney should produce a live-action musical based on their animated successes.

And what a musical it was too! Newsies is a wonderful film. It's about kids, but not written for kids. It's lively and entertaining while still being educational. It's a musical but it has lots to say. Alen Menken did the music, and you can tell. It's a stage musical on screen, and if there was any justice in the world it would have been the start of a new golden age of screen musicals.

I'm surprised Disney hasn't adapted this to the stage, given the success of their other Broadway productions.

-James Reader

Newsboys go on strike
Banner-carrying makes print
Who's king of New York?

DVD Details
For the 10th anniversary of Newsies, Disney released a fully loaded Collector's Edition, which pleased the large following this rousing musical developed in the decade since it flopped at box offices. With over an hour of featurettes, plus audio commentary, and more, Newsies has been given DVD treatment like no other live action Disney film from the 1990s.
Buy Newsies: Collector's Edition
Full DVD Review
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