Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced December 14 the 25 motion pictures that have been inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress because of their “cultural, historic or aesthetic importance.” Films must be at least 10 years old.
This year’s titles include two musical films: the 1968 screen version of Funny Girl, featuring Barbra Streisand reprising her critically acclaimed Broadway performance as Fanny Brice; and the 1994 Disney animated blockbuster The Lion King, which later spawned the Tony-winning, long-running Broadway musical of the same name.
“Motion pictures document our history and culture and serve as a mirror of our collective experiences,” said Hayden in a statement. “The National Film Registry embraces the richness and diversity of film as an art form and celebrates the people who create the magic of cinema.”
Spanning the period 1903 to 1998, the films named this year include Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, shorts, independent, and experimental motion pictures. The 2016 selections bring the number of films in the registry to 700.
Other titles on the list include the seminal coming-of-age drama The Breakfast Club; the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, chronicling the pageantry of drag balls in New York City; Frank Capra’s 1937 big-budget fantasy Lost Horizon; the 1941 screwball comedy, Ball of Fire, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper; two highly charged 1955 dramas—Blackboard Jungle and East of Eden—popularizing the theme of teen angst; Alfred Hitchock’s 1963 horror masterpiece The Birds; Putney Swope, Robert Downey Sr.’s 1969 satire on black power and Madison Avenue; Rob Reiner’s 1987 parody of classic fairy tales, The Princess Bride; the 1988 animation and live-action comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit; and the 1998 independent film Rushmore, directed by Wes Anderson.
Here's how the Library of Congress describes Funny Girl and The Lion King:
Funny Girl (1968):
Reprising her Tony-winning performance as legendary singer-comedienne Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand’s impressive vocal talent and understated acting, as guided by distinguished veteran director William Wyler, earned her an Academy Award for her screen debut. The film retains most of the stage show’s Jule Styne-Bob Merrill musical numbers including “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Streisand plays Brice as a plain-looking, fast-talking dynamo who yearns for the stage, and gets her chance when she’s hired by impresario Florenz Ziegfeld (Walter Pidgeon) and becomes the toast of Broadway. She meets and marries big-time gambler Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), but their idyllic romance crumbles as he grows to resent her fame. Produced by Ray Stark, Brice’s real-life son-in-law, “Funny Girl” was among the last of the successful big-budget musicals.
The Lion King (1994):
Disney Studios further solidified its position as the producer of modern-day animated masterpieces with this lyrical 1994 offering. The story of a young lion cub destined to become King of the Jungle, but first exiled by his evil uncle, The Lion King was a triumph from the moment of its release and has charmed new generations of viewers. Like Disney’s beloved Bambi, The Lion King seamlessly blends innovative animation with excellent voice-actors (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Whoopi Goldberg) and catchy, now-classic songs by Sir Elton John and Tim Rice. It is the film’s storytelling that resonates—funny, innovative, suspenseful—for both children and adults. Since its release, the film has spawned an animated TV series, two made-for-video sequels and a highly imaginative Broadway show.