Iron Man, Little Mermaid and More added to National Film Registry

National Film Registry

Iron Man, Little Mermaid and More added to National Film Registry

Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989) and Marvel Studios’ Iron Man (2008) are among the 25 films named today to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Each year since 1989, 25 films have been chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation, based on their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to America’s film heritage. The National Film Registry includes dramas, comedies, musicals, documentaries, animation, experimental and student films, and music videos, originating from Hollywood studios, independent producers and amateur filmmakers.

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Twenty-two Disney films have previously been added to the National Film RegistrySnow White and the Seven Dwarfs(1937) in 1989; Fantasia (1940) in 1990; Pinocchio (1940) in 1994; Steamboat Willie (1928) in 1998; Beauty and the Beast (1991) in 2002; Toy Story(1995) in 2005; Three Little Pigs (1933) in 2007; Disneyland Dream(1956) in 2009; Bambi (1942) in 2011; Mary Poppins (1964) in 2013; The Old Mill(1937) and The Story of Menstruation (1946) in 2015; The Lion King (1994), Rushmore (1998), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) in 2016; Dumbo (1941) in 2017; Cinderella (1950) in 2018; Old Yeller (1957) and Sleeping Beauty (1959) in 2019; and Flowers and Trees (1932), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), and WALL-E (2008) in 2021.


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In 1989, The Little Mermaid kicked off Disney’s renaissance of animated musical films. In the title role as Ariel was Disney Legend Jodi Benson, a young Broadway actress who was encouraged to audition for the part by the film’s lyricist, Disney Legend Howard Ashman. Some 33 years later, Benson said she still performs Ariel’s big song, “Part of Your World,” every week.

“When Harry Met Sally,” one of the most quoted rom-coms, was deemed as a defining work in its genre. It has managed to endure, according to Crystal, because “the movie is beautiful and simple and appropriate and every shot is just right. The timing, which is in the hands of Rob, who is, for this movie, a modern-day Billy Wilder… and it’s New York, it’s the fall, it’s the music.”

Iron Man, the story of the origin of wealthy inventor Tony Stark’s superhero persona, was released in 2008. It launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now encompasses 30 feature films. Portrayed by Disney Legend Robert Downey Jr., Stark went on to appear in two direct Iron Man sequels and four Avengers films, as well as Captain America: Civil War(2016) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). The character’s saga ended in Avengers: Endgame(2019).

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says he’s delighted that director Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man,” the film that popularized the Marvel Cinematic Universe, made the National Film Registry list.

“Iron Man was the very first film Marvel Studios independently produced,” Feige said in a statement. “It was the first film that we had all of the creative control and oversight on and it was really make or break for the studio.”

He adds, “All of our favorite movies are the ones that we watch over and over again and that we grow up with. The notion that here we are, almost 15 years after the release of ‘Iron Man,’ and to have it join the National Film Registry tells us it has stood the test of time and that it is still meaningful to audiences around the world.”

We are thrilled to see these films added to the National Film Registry.

National Film

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Kevin is an Orlando, FL resident and Disney enthusiast. Other interests include movies, classic rock, sports, comedy, cooking, and enjoying outdoor activities.
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