‘WALL-E,’ ‘Return of the Jedi,’ and ‘Flowers and Trees’ Added to National Film Registry

A trio of Disney-connected films have been named as part of this year’s selections to the National Film Registry, including a story of a robot in love, a groundbreaking short film, and the final chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy.


“Return of the Jedi” received the highest number of votes from the public, according to the Library of Congress, which runs the National Film Registry. With the 1983 film’s selection, all three films in the original trilogy are now part of the registry, joining “Star Wars: A New Hope,” which was inducted as part of the inaugural class in 1989, and “The Empire Strikes Back,” which was added in 2010.

George Lucas said about the film’s induction, “Little did I know when I started writing a tale about good, evil, friendship and the Force, it would become a lifelong journey of creativity, imagination, and innovation for so many. A great honor of learning ‘Return of the Jedi’ has been included in the National Film Registry is knowing the original trilogy of the Star Wars Saga will be preserved in full as nominated by the public, safeguarded as part of our shared American Cinema heritage by our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress, and the National Film Preservation Board.”


The 1932 short “Flowers and Trees” is also part of this year’s class. This animated short was the first commercially released film to use the three-strip Technicolor process. It was the first animated film to win an Academy Award, winning the first honor for Best Cartoon Short Subject (currently known as Best Animated Short Film).

Finally, “WALL-E” was named to the class of 2021, becoming the second feature film from Pixar to be named to the registry, following “Toy Story”‘s induction in 2005. Regarded by many as one of Pixar’s best, the 2008 film was honored with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Other films selected this year include “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Selena,” “Cooley High,” and “Strangers on a Train.”

Disney films in the National Film Registry include “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Cinderella,” “Mary Poppins,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Toy Story,” as well as “Old Yeller” and “Sleeping Beauty,” which were inducted in 2019.

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