2019: what a nostalgic year!

By Fatima Zakir
Fri, 12, 19

2019 was not one of the best years in movies. We will discuss some of the highest grossing movies of the year and realize we are just making do with our resources and not really celebrating the magic of cinema....


When I started thinking about the movies of 2019, I couldn’t remember any with a lasting impression on me … to the point that I had to think whether Avengers: Endgame was this year or the last. So I had to think harder (read Google) to refresh my memory and there I was standing with Toy Story 4, The Lion King and Frozen II. Not to eliminate Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Man: Far From Home or Captain Marvel but ask yourself, was any of these the best from their franchise or production house?

2019 was not one of the best years in movies. We will discuss some of the highest grossing movies of the year and realize we are just making do with our resources and not really celebrating the magic of cinema.

Avengers: Endgame

The last movie from the franchise that people have been desperately waiting for but ask any Marvel fan and Infinity Wars was still better than Endgame. Yes, it had more characters and the last fight sequence made us teary eyed with a war of emotions within, but the last sequence cannot really compensate for the entire movie.

It was slower than the previous movies, had less adrenaline rush and the most important, who kills Iron Man? How could they? The only reason I forgive them is that there will be no Avengers in the future, They better not make one without Iron Man.

The Lion King

The Lion King is undoubtedly the movie that changed the face of animation back in 1994 with its storyline and riveting songs. For most of Disney fans, it’s still their favourite movie so when they decided to come out with its live action version, people couldn’t wait.

The Lion King 2019 was just nostalgic. They used the exact same scenes and exact same iconic dialogues but where they lacked was the expression, of course an animated lion can have more despair on his face than a live one so where the movie took us back to 1994, it failed to create the magic for younger audiences. With this, I would still say, if you loved The Lion King, you can’t really dislike the live action version too. It’s just that you simply can’t remake classics and expect Hakuna Matata.

Toy Story 4

Another movie that was returning to big screens after nine long years was Toy Story. This Tom Hanks and Tim Allen starrer has got us hooked since 1995 when the first movie of the franchise came out. We all wondered if our toys actually got alive when we were not watching them.

The fourth movie, Toy Story 4 was released in June and like its predecessors was an instant hit. The world of toys in their games of love, deceit and jealousy got us all thinking about the way we treat others or our old friends. I would, again, associate nostalgia with this movie because that’s what I felt when Woody finally said good-bye to his gang leaving Jessie in-charge along with Buzz Lightyear. Toy Story 4 was a feel good movie.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

What is Spider-Man minus Tony Stark? Nothing, really! Well, since Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man was killed earlier this year *eyes roll*, they had to bring Spider-Man to show he can survive without his mentor. And that’s what he did. Peter Parker proved that he has grown up and he can save the world without Iron Man’s help as well. Way to go, Spidey! *eyes roll again?*

Spider-Man: Far From Home was not bad visually. Yes, a little too complicated story wise but it was fun to watch on big screens. Just like any superhero movie with lots of action and nail-biting moments. The highlight, however, was the ending that reveals Spider-Man’s identity and has got us all excited about what will happen next.


Another live action movie that was made to revive the magic and was eventually saved by Will Smith. Was having Aladdin in live action absolutely necessary? Probably not. I mean, Mulan, yes. The Lion King, maybe. Pocahontas, I wouldn’t mind. But Aladdin, not really.

Aladdin had visually good songs, good choreography, and the genie was convincing. Besides that, the movie was strictly okay with some great palace shots and a thrilling chase scene in the bazaar of Agrabah.


The psychological thriller that was most probably the talk of the town for the longest period of time after its release was Joker. Here, I am conveniently ignoring Endgame because that’s a completely different ball game.

Playing the DC character Joker is not an easy task. He is probably the most disturbing fictional negative character yet time and again good actors have made us love him.

The journey of Joaquin Phoenix as Joker from a failed stand-up comedian to falling prey to insanity inspiring a violent revolution against the wealthy of Gotham City is dark, yet soul stirring. It’s just amazing how you can never hate Joker no matter what he does.

Frozen II

Deliberately keeping it for the last, I can’t even say not the least. When Frozen was released in 2013, I watched it twice in the theater and so many times at home. I just loved the songs and there was something about the movie that was beautiful. Well, I do not share the same sentiments for Frozen II.

Someone said and I can agree that Frozen II seemed forced. Like the first one was such a success so they HAD to release a sequel.

Not to take away its beauty, it’s a visual treat. Playing with ice and greenery, they created gorgeous lands and scenic seas. The songs were good but you won’t be humming any on your way back from the movie. They are beautiful, yet forgetful. The story was not really needed and there was no prominent new character. But yeah, you felt like meeting old friends so nostalgia strikes back in a way when you know it’s not as good but yet you like it.

With this I would also like to mention How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World as this franchise is one of my most favourite ever but the 2019 release was just disappointing. I watched it because I love Toothless and Hiccup but I felt unfulfilled after watching it. They could have done way better.

Two other movies that did well at the box office were Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Both lived up to the name of their previous movies by following the same tried and tested formula that makes their franchise works and voila, yet another good time-pass movie comes out. Well, John Wick is way better in terms of storyline and action but I have mentioned both together because both did justice to their respective genres - mindless action and serious engaging thriller.