From Disney classics to biopics: past Oscar winners you'll want to watch immediately

By YP Team

With the 2018 Oscar nominees being announced on Tuesday, the Young Post team looks back at the best Academy Award winners from the past

By YP Team |

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Standing in the spotlight

The Lion King won two Academy Awards – Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song – in 1995, and if the Best Animated Picture Award had been around then, it no doubt would have won that, too. It’s surely every 90s kid’s favourite film. Shakespeare, but with cartoon lions and an Elton John soundtrack? That’s the greatest movie pitch ever.

Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, Sub-editor

A film that takes the crown

My favourite Oscar winner is 2003’s Best Picture, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Complete with more butt-kicking of orcs by our favourite dwarf and elf comedy duo, a spooky army of ghosts, and a broken sword with a cool name (Narsil) that must be fixed, what could possibly be better?

Jamie Lam, Sub-editor

A true winner

Spotlight, which won two Oscars in 2016, is about a group of journalists who are on a mission to dig out the truth. This was a thrilling watch for me as an aspiring journalist at the time. It made my heart race. I liked how it highlighted the importance of truth but also showed that nothing is ever black and white.

Nicola Chan, Reporter

The best of both worlds

It was nominated for five and won one – best special visual effects – but to my mind, Bedknobs and Broomsticks was an absolute triumph of its time, combining live action – by Mary Poppins’ Mr Banks (David Tomlinson) and the glorious Dame Angela Lansbury – with classic Disney animation, all set during the second world war.

It is a wonderful fantasy, reminding us of the power of imagination and dreams, and of believing in magic. It celebrates bravery, loyalty and friendship, and did so with some of the most wonderfully catchy songs ever to come from a Disney live-action film. Plus Tomlinson’s character owns the library of my DREAMS.

Karly Cox, Deputy editor

A work of art

Gosh, there are so many great films to choose from! But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to go with Spirited Away, which won Best Animated Feature in 2002. Not only is each frame a work of art, but it has a beautiful soundtrack and a story that sweeps you away on a dreamlike adventure. I’m such a fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and this film shows off his skill and creativity.

Nicole Moraleda, Sub-editor​

A strong contender

Gladiator with Russell Crowe. Despite being an action movie, the story of a man who was betrayed and him getting his vengeance before dying makes for compelling viewing. It shows that revenge is more than the empty victory that it is usually said to be. And it’s highly quotable. “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?”

Wong Tsui-kai, Reporter

A lesson in cool

An elegant heist film set in the 30s, The Sting redefined cool and the bar set by the bromance between Robert Redford and Paul Newman remains unsurpassed to this day. Gentlemen, if you want tips on how to be suave, look no further. And as a side note, the film re-introduces today’s audiences to the works of ragtime pianist and composer Scott Joplin.

Edmund Ho, Reporter

Better than a box of chocolates

Forrest Gump won SIX awards in 1994, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role. It’s a classic even 20 years later, with beautiful cinematography and a great story of a simple man with simple pleasures who you will laugh and cry with.

Young Wang, Web reporter

Extra points for cuteness

Wall-E won Best Animated Feature (and was nominated for five others) at the 81st Academy Awards. The little rubbish-compacting robot that leads the film is adorable, and manages to express a whole host of emotions with very few words and his big ol’ eyes. He’s the little robot (despite being clumsy, silly, and uncool) that could!

The film also works as a social critique on how we’re ruining our planet, and how much we rely on technology to help us fix things. What’s not to love?

Ginny Wong, Sub-editor

Going with a classic

Hard to choose just one. I loved Avatar, but I’m going to go with Dances With Wolves. Just give it more Oscars, I suggest “best dead buffalo”, “best hair on a man in a harsh environment”, and “best live wolf action” just for starters.

Susan Ramsay, Editor

Hope for humanity

Schindler’s List, which won seven Oscars in 1994, is an emotional story, shot mainly in black and white. It is about how Oscar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman in the Polish city of Krakow, used his factory to save thousands of local Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.

There were some scenes that really got me out of my seat – like when Hitler’s troops were trying to sniff out anyone hiding! I really like this movie, as it teaches you there’s always hope in humanity, even in the toughest of situations.

Sebastien Raybaud, Reporter

Edited by Nicole Moraleda