Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Today, I’d like to talk about a genre of Hollywood films that has been consistent through history. That, of course, is the genre of musicals. Though, is “musical” technically a genre? Musicals can be comedic, dramatic, fantastical, and many other things, so I’m not sure if you would really consider “musical” to be a genre. It’s more just another way to make a movie. Regardless, musicals have been a staple of Hollywood film-making from the very beginning. So where are they now? Where are they going?
Musicals have always been popular in Hollywood, however, the extent of that popularity has varied quite a bit. The golden age of the Hollywood musical is often considered to be from the 1930s-1950s. It was during that time that classic musicals such as The Wizard of Oz, Yankee Doodle Dandy, An American in Paris, and Singin’ in the Rain were released. After the 50s, the popularity of musicals decreased, but many extremely popular films were still released. The 60s alone gave us West Side Story, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Music Man. The 70s brought the likes of Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Grease, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
In the world we live in now, when most people think of movies with singing in them, they think of kids films, most of which are animated. It seems that most animated films to be released are musicals. Think of your favorite animated film. The Lion King? A Nightmare Before Christmas? Beauty and the Beast? Aladdin? Chances are, the film you thought of is a musical. That’s not a bad thing, animated films and musicals seem to go hand in hand. Though recently there has been an increase in the popularity of live-action musicals.
In the last few decades, there have been many popular musicals to be released. In the early 2000s films such as Chicago and Moulin Rouge! were both met with praise from critics and audiences. More recently, Les Miserables, Into the Woods, and the Pitch Perfect series have been very popular. Not to mention 2016’s critical darling, La La Land, which was a love letter to the classic musicals of the golden age. Many of the musicals of the 2000s were also very successful commercially. Chicago, Les Miserables, La La Land, and Mamma Mia! are all in the top five musical films at the box office.
Looking to the future, there are a lot of musicals to be excited about. As I’m sure you already know, Disney’s live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast opens in just over a week, and that is sure to be a commercial success. Later on this year, there is a musical to be released called The Greatest Showman. This film stars the likes of Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Michelle Williams. Next year, we’ll see a new film about Mary Poppins titled Mary Poppins Returns. This film is directed by Chicago and Into the Woods director, Rob Marshall, and the cast includes the likes of Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, and Colin Firth.
Broadway productions have a history of eventually getting turned into movie musicals. The latest adaptation is one of the hit Broadway blockbuster Wicked. The film based on Wicked is looking to hit theaters in late 2019. No casting announcements have been made for this film yet, but it’s sure to bring some big names with it. Another Broadway musical to discuss is the recent mega-hit Hamilton. While no announcements save been made yet concerning a film adaptation of the historical musical, there is no doubt that discussions are being had. Hollywood studios like to strike while the iron is hot, and if they want to do that with Hamilton (which they’d be stupid not to) they better get moving.
So what is your favorite movie musical? Do you prefer live-action or animated musicals? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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