Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named 25 motion pictures to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, including CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, BACK TO THE FUTURE and the 1933 Walt Disney animated short THREE LITTLE PIGS.
The selections were made as part of a program aimed at preserving the U.S.'s movie heritage. Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act of 1992, each year the Librarian of Congress, with advice from the National Film Preservation Board, names 25 films to the National Film Registry to be preserved for all time. The films are chosen because they are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. This year's selections brings to 475 the number of motion pictures in the registry.
Below are the Library's comments on the visual effects and animation related films.
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)Before BEOWULF or THE POLAR EXPRESS, writer/director Robert Zemeckis explored the possibilities of special effects with the 1985 box-office smash BACK TO THE FUTURE. With his writing partner Bob Gale, Zemeckis tells the tale of accidental time-tourist Marty McFly. Stranded in the year 1955, Marty (Michael J. Fox) -- with the help of Dr. Emmett Brown (played masterfully over-the-top by Christopher Lloyd) -- must not only find a way home, but also teach his father how to become a man, repair the space/time continuum and save his family from being erased from existence. All this, while fighting off the advances of his then-teenaged mother. It's THE TWILIGHT ZONE meets Preston Sturges.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)After his 1975 blockbuster JAWS, Steven Spielberg produced this intelligent sci-fi film in which the climactic scene is set far from an ocean: Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Long a sacred place in Native American folklore, the monument served as an iconic image around which to construct this film about the quest for extraterrestrial life and UFOs. Also making the film effective and believable is Richard's Dreyfuss' Everyman character Roy Neary: "I wanna speak to the man in charge." The five-tone musical motif used for communication with the aliens has become as quotable as any line of movie dialogue.
THREE LITTLE PIGS (1933) Voted the 11th-best cartoon of all time in a 1990s poll of animators, THREE LITTLE PIGS falls midway through a series of classic shorts (SKELETON DANCE, THE BAND CONCERT, THE OLD MILL,) that Walt Disney produced as he learned and refined the art of animation; each film marked another development in his path toward the 1937 feature SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. The wildly popular THREE LITTLE PIGS proved a landmark in "personality animation" -- each of the three pigs had a different personality -- and the title tune WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF became a Depression-era anthem.
To view the Library's announcement, visit www.loc.gov/film/nfr2007.html.