by Aveline MacQuoid on January 7, 2021

in Extras


Unlike Disney musicals watched by millions of kids and die-hard Disney fans, standard, non-animated musicals find it harder to attain massive popularity and success in the 21st century. Today, traditional musicals are much rarer than they were a few decades ago, and many of these rely on an impressive cast line-up to attract a bigger audience.

In Hollywood history, musicals were a staple in the first half of the 20th century. The 1927 musical The Jazz Singer was the first movie that brought sound to Hollywood. When the film industry finally produced films with sound, filmmakers rushed to release one musical after the other and people seemed to really enjoy them. But, by the latter half of the 20th century, this popularity witnessed a gradual decline and the number of musicals being made also dropped.

Today, musicals are no longer the norm and are novelties only released occasionally. No one can deny the charms of a good, powerful musical and they can be enjoyed by people of all ages. So, if you are taking a break from gambling online in Canada but do not want to rewatch La La Land for the hundredth time, here are a few brilliant options.

The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music is one of those movies that can make you feel warm inside even if you watch it in 2025. Starring the well-loved Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the lead roles, the film tells the story of a young woman who joins as the Governess for a retired Naval officer’s family. Julie Andrews plays the free-spirited Maria, a well-loved character in movie history. She befriends the seven children of Captain von Trapp and further events in the movie are influenced by the impacts of the Second World War on Austria. What makes this musical even more fascinating is the fact that it was based on the real-life events of the von Trapp family. Sound of Music was a huge success and received five Academy Awards, giving Robert Wise his second set of Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture.

Hairspray (2007)

Okay, let us pretend to return to the 21st century for a brief interval with this movie set in the 60s. Hairspray is based on a 2002 Broadway Musical which was again based on a 1988 film. Of course, all of these productions were called Hairspray. This movie, featuring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes and Zac Efron, tells the story of a 16-year-old girl named Tracy who desires to participate in a television dance show. She is initially denied entry due to her weight but is later taken in by the organizers. The musical describes the events that follow in Tracy’s life and those around her.

Grease (1978)

Grease is one of those iconic peppy musicals that are still a staple in pop culture today. Grease stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as high schoolers who part ways after a summer romance. They unknowingly join the same school and recount to their friends, different versions of this summer fling. The movie is filled with memorable groovy songs that continue to be loved to this day.

Mamma Mia (2008)

Mamma Mia is a wonderful choice for a night-in for several reasons. The lead characters are played by some amazing actors including Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. That’s right, you get to watch Streep and Brosnan sing together passionately. The movie was set and filmed in Greece, which means that each shot will have you longing for a vacation on those cliffs overlooking the bright blue seas. The story follows a young bride-to-be who lives with her hotelier mother. The girl, played by Amanda Seyfried, invites three men to her wedding, one of whom could be her father. The movie features songs, by the Swedish band ABBA, that are considered timeless.

Chicago (2002)

Who said that musicals had to be warm and happy? This 2002 musical featuring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere is set in the 1920s. Two women, one a theatre actress and another who wishes to be famous are both imprisoned for murder. While in prison, the press narrative regarding these women is manipulated, and the audience is also introduced to various other female prisoners. The movie contains some of the most impressive female characters in Hollywood history.

West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story is often considered the modern Romeo and Juliet story where a boy and girl belonging to two rival gangs fall in love. The movie features Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno. West Side Story won ten of the eleven Academy Awards it was nominated for and brought Robert Wise the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director before winning the same for The Sound of Music. With the ten Oscars it won at the 1962 Academy Awards, West Side Story is the musical with most Oscar wins.

An adaptation of this movie is set to release in 2021 and will have Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler playing the lead characters.

Summing up

There is a musical out there for you, whether you are in the mood for some romance, family bonds, deception, horror or comedy. Musical movies did not pop up for the first time recently, so there is a vast archive filled with some classic films you can enjoy alone or with others. A musical would be the perfect end to a tiring day, especially if you love sing-alongs.

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