Everyday Disney gets one step closer to world domination and this weekend the next step is the release of Zootopia. In honor of the new Disney film, I’m going to count down my top ten Disney Animated Films.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
The one that started it all, is starting my list this week. Snow White is a timeless Disney classic that every generation discovers and loves. You all know the songs (which could be said about many of the films on the list), the wonderful characters and the iconic scenes. 79 years later Disney is still going strong thanks to first and most influential Princess.
Next on the list is a story about a boy raised in the forest, wearing only a loincloth, with his friends Baloo and Bagheera… wait wrong one. Tarzan is the story about a boy raised in the forest by gorillas. I love the Tarzan story and my favorite adaptation is the 1999 Disney film. It had great action, a brave and dark ending, great characters and Phil Collins.
I wasn’t expecting much from Tangled when it first came out. Disney had a long run of decent to terrible films until Tangled came along and elevated them back up to the top. It has memorable catchy songs, a touching story and was a very welcome return to form.
Dumbo may be the saddest Disney film ever. It’s very simple, yet very powerful and has moved children and grown adults to tears many times. If you don’t fall in love with Dumbo by the end of its short runtime, then you may want to check for a heart. Dumbo still to this day, works in every way it did in 1941 and definitely deserves a place in my top ten.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It Ralph is the smartest, most unique film Disney has ever put out. It used the videogame world to perfection, using references but have an emotional story, for anyone who isn’t a gamer. I loved seeing a story from the villain’s perspective inside an arcade. I’m really surprised Disney hasn’t jumped on this and made a franchise, with spinoffs and sequels. They created a whole world to explore and one film just isn’t enough.
Jungle Book (1967)
I think Jungle Book is the first Disney film I remember seeing and it’s stuck with me all theses years. I don’t know how many times I’ve randomly started whistling Bear Necessities or I wanna be like you, the music is so amazing and impossible to forget. Shere Khan is an incredible villain and an imposing foe. The lovable characters come to life, through the beautiful animation and delve into your heart forever.
Every week when I make these list, there’s always a few films I need to see before I can make a top ten. This week I watched Mulan for the first time. I didn’t know what to think going in, I’ve heard good and bad things over the years but I have to say, I was blown away. Seeing a Disney film set in another culture was instantly interesting and had me hooked from the beginning. Also a female warrior, set this film apart from anything Disney has made before and the dark scenes conveyed the horrors of war, in a children’s film! Eddie Murphy as Mushu is very funny and the rest of the side characters have some big laughs too. Mulan is a film I wish I had seen earlier but now I have seen it, I know I’m going to watch it a lot.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
When it came to these last three films it was hard to place them, they’re all perfect and very different. There have been many Disney Princess over the years but the one Princess and one film, that’s always stood out for me, has been Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Belle is by far the best Disney Princess and no argument can be made against her. The Beast is one of the coolest character designs that is truly frightening at times. The way Belle is set up, makes you believe the eventual romance with her and The Beast and then how they play it out is magical. The songs are wonderful, the castle is beautiful, Gaston is a great villain, I challenge you to find a single flaw in this film.
“Never fails, you get in the bathtub and there’s a rub at the lamp.” I have no idea how many times I have watched Aladdin, it’s the most pure fun Disney film and endlessly rewatchable. Jafar is an amazing villain and has a really cool design. Aladdin is character you can get behind and is also really well design. But of course what puts this film above almost every other Disney film, Robin Williams. They put the master in a booth and he just went to work for hours. They have over 12 hours of all improvised lines, they didn’t put in the film. I do think Aladdin would be a great film without WillIams but when he comes on screen, the film changes from good to perfection. He has constant laugh out loud jokes and so many one liners and references, it’s impossible to catch them all on the first viewing. “Like so many things, it is not what’s on the outside, but inside that counts”
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King is one of the best films ever made. Scar is in my top 5 favorite villains, played spectacularly by Jeremy Irons. The beautiful score by Hans Zimmer gives me chills every time I hear it. The Lion King has the best songs, of any Disney film and the animation that goes along with them is so colourful and engaging. The film weaves in and out of emotion and excitement, masterfully, creating an experience that will leave you conflicted with pain and joy. My favorite scene, is when Rafiki tells Simba he must face his past. This scene is very clever and adult for a kids film but at the same time easy to understand for anyone. The Lion King is the perfect example of why, just because a film is animated doesn’t mean it’s just for children. It has so much emotion and deep lessons, that many adults need to learn. The Lion King is a masterpiece and will forever be the greatest animated film ever put to the screen.
The Little Mermaid
Big Hero 6
Next Week – Top 20 Films of all Time