‘Iron Man’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ Added to National Film Registry by Library of Congress
The US government’s Library of Congress has added two Disney films to the National Film Registry: “Iron Man” (2008) and “The Little Mermaid” (1989).
The National Film Registry adds 25 new movies a year to its list for preservation based on “historical, cultural, and aesthetic contributions.” A film only become eligible for inclusion 10 years after its first release. “These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture,” says the Library of Congress, “They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.”
The films on the registry are protected from modifications such as colorization, editing for television, and more. The public can vote on nominated films, but the ultimate decisions are left up to the National Film Registry Board.
“The Little Mermaid” has been an iconic part of the nation’s culture, according to the Board. “Some 33 years later in an illustrious career,” Jodi Benson told the National Film Registry she “still performs Ariel’s big song, ‘Part of Your World,’ every week.”
“I’m thrilled and honored on behalf of my character and the Walt Disney Company for the Library selecting our very special film,” Benson said in an interview. The film “was the last hand-painted, hand-drawn, full-length feature film for the Walt Disney Studios. So that is really amazing and such an honor.”
“Iron Man was the very first film Marvel Studios independently produced,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in an interview with the Library of Congress. “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.
All of our favorite movies are the ones that we watch over and over again and that we grow up with,” he said. “The notion that here we are, almost 15 years after the release of ‘Iron Man,’ and to have it join the Film Registry tells us it has stood the test of time and that it is still meaningful to audiences around the world.”
“Iron Man” kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the first Marvel film to be added to the National Film Registry. Other films have since become eligible, with many fans voting in favor of “The Avengers” (2012). Films that do not get selected from the nominees each year are not disqualified and may be considered again another year.
Other Disney films on the Registry include “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Steamboat Willie,” “Fantasia,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Films on the Registry that they have acquired since release include the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Alien.”
Last year, “Return of the Jedi,” “Flowers and Trees,” and “WALL-E” were all inducted into the Registry. “WALL-E” was the second Pixar film to be added following “Toy Story.” The Registry has only been in place since 1989 and currently holds 850 films on the list.
What Disney movies would you like to see added to the National Film Registry? Let us know in the comments.