In 1988, the National Film Preservation Act was introduced into law, creating a National Film Preservation Board and, with it, a National Film Registry which are a selection of American films, nominated by the public and chosen by the Library of Congress, which are deemed to be ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.’ Up to 25 can be selected each year out of a total of 50 nominations (in its inagural year, almost 1,000 films were been nominated).
Yesterday, the board announced its selection of Registry inductees for 2009 and making the cut was the 1979 Muppet classic, The Muppet Movie. According to the announcement, the film was chosen because ‘Muppet creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz immersed their characters into a well-crafted combination of musical comedy and fantasy adventure.’
The Muppet Movie, although not a member of the Disney family when it was first released, joins a long line of Disney classics already inducted into the Registry such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Steamboat Willie and — most recently — Beauty and the Beast. Pixar has also made its dent with the induction of John Lasseter‘s Tin Toy and Toy Story which was inducted in 2005, just ten years after the film’s release — the Registry’s minimum age.
Films don’t need to be theatrical releases to be considered either: Disneyland Dreams, a family’s home movie documenting their trip to Disneyland (and other Southern California attractions) joined the Registry in 2008.
To see the complete list of selected films (currently through 2008), see the Wikipedia article here. To watch Disneyland Dreams online, complete with a narration track since added, you can find it here.