I love animated films. I love lists. I can even go so far as to say that I love Disney, but I have enough other problems with this company, I will just stick with “admirer” them, but like most kids growing up in the 90 ‘s, virtually all of the animated film I’ve seen was a product of the giant Corporate mouse, so my list would have been 95% Disney based anyway. I also have chosen not to include Disney/Pixar film, otherwise this list will be transformed into a memento about how much better than Disney’s Pixar. (Which now that I think about it, can be a topic for another day.)
So without further ADO, I shall present my top ten favorite Disney animated movie.
10. Frozen (2013)
I know this film has produced a lot of hype (both before and after its release.) I saw it in theaters, shortly after it came out, and I liked it. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and effort that was put into both the story and the musical score. I was expecting another Disney Princess movies, to the same lesson that every other Disney Princess films did, and I was wrong. The fact that the film centered around both female empowerment, (i.e. None of them up ended up married in the end), and directly addressed absurdity marry someone you just met. I was even ready to hate snowman Olaf from seeing the promotional commercials, and he surprised me by being only mildly annoying and even a bit humorous.
That said, I put this low on my list, because while it was great, it was not great. Some people refer to it as “the next Lion King”. It is the best movie Disney has produced (by itself) in years, but I don’t think it can hold up to the standards of the hand-drawn animation of the previous decades. (Example: what was the point of the mossy trolls? I felt both their presence and their singing was obnoxious as hell.) Also, if I hear “let it go” once again, I can rip my own ears. But if you’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing it, I would recommend to re-evaluate.
9) Mulan (1998)
I have never met a person who hated this movie, which only seems to be various degrees of likes. First and foremost, Mulan is not a Princess (Yes!), and secondly, she has a fucking dragon as a friend. This setup is only slightly marred by the fact that Mushu is voiced mulanby Eddie Murphy, which is just a little odd, in my opinion. Instead of being a damsel in distress, she saves the whole of China from an entire army jaundice-ridden females, how cool is that.)
Also the song “be a man” has to be the most catchy Disney song ever, it seems to be so contagious that people want to Join after hearing it; Oh, and George Takei voices the leader of Mulans ancestors. Yes. I honestly could see this movie a hundred times and never get bored of it.
8) The Sword and the Stone (1963)
This film is on the list primarily for the sake of nostalgia. My grandmother had a VHS copy of it at his house, and I have seen more times than I can count. I hadn’t actually seen it for several years until I have seen it again last week. As an adult I can see reasons why I loved it so much as a child. First of all, I love the older Disney animation, it has a beautiful, irreplaceable quality to it.
The story line is cute, and plays in the wishes of a child: meeting a guide, to transform into various animals, you see a magical duel, and become an heir to an entire country. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s well worth your time (especially if you have children.)
7) Atlantis: the Lost Empire (2001)
I remember seeing this movie a couple of years after it came out at my friend’s House. I love the artwork, I love the premise, I love the characters, and I love adventure. Back then it was revolutionary: this film had made more use of the (CGI) than any of Disney’s previous animated features; and it is still one of the few that have been shot in anamorphic format.
Atlantis also lacked songs, which is a usual, Disney-brand, and I think that’s what I liked most about it, is far more serious than other Disney films and is one of a few of their movies to actually show blood. I admire what able to perform it: a unique animated adventure, who tried to stay away from the original, Disney formula. Unfortunately, it is not so well at the box office as Disney had hoped, and was casually swept under the rug, never to be mentioned again. This film deserves recognition, and to be introduced to the younger generations of children.
6) Fantasia (1940)
Funnily enough, I hated sitting through this movie as a child until I again watched it again at fifteen. I honestly believe you have to be a certain age to understand both music and Visual representations, as this film provides.
Both forms of media fit perfectly together, giving a beautiful rendition of the stories created through music. By by far, my favorite had to be the “Night on bald mountain”. The sequel, (if you can call it that) Fantasia 2000. Attempts to achieve the same quality as the first, and it fell flat several times; It does not add up to the same amount of strong emotions like Fantasia does. It is certainly not for everyone, but it is great for classical music lovers.
5) Tarzan (1999)
What an amazing rendition of Tarzan, the ape man. After seeing this movie, I can remember remember being fascinated with both the gorillas and the concept of climbing trees, and spend the next several summers swing out of tree branches. I’m really happy that Disney focused his time with this film to develop the relationship between Tarzan and Jane (over a period of what I suppose is several weeks).
His struggle between being a man and and ape are emotionally strong, as he learns language, science and a world outside the jungle. Full of personal problems, and lots of death, I always get teary-eyed when I see this film.
4) Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
As an adult, it will become more difficult for Disney to make a big impression on me with the new material, it is not the case with this movie. I absolutely love the concept of the wreck-It Ralph. The idea of a whole world that exists between an arcade game is very creative. The best part is that they know and understand they are video game characters.
The fact that the film is narrated from the point of a ‘bad guy’, is also an approach that Disney has not done before. Ralph always hates to be the loser in his game and questions its existence to be a bad guy who pushes him to become a hero and earn a medal. His growth as a character as well as his interactions with Vanellope makes it an excellent balance between humor and emotions. This movie also has a habit of making me cry.
3) The Lion King (1994)
Where do I begin with this one? The music is incredible, the characters, all have different personalities (although most of them are one-dimensional or stagnate) characters and the story line is the animal version of Hamlet. The casting of James Earl Jones as Mufasa and Jeremy Irons as ar made this film epic. The contrast between their voices add to the differences between the signs. “Circle of Life” and “be prepared” will always remain two of my favorite Disney songs. There is not much else to say about it, most of all don’t already know.
2)The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The musical score alone in this film captures my attention, I get chills every time I hear “The bells of Notre Dame”, “God help the outcasts” and “Hellfire.”
This movie is not only unique in its location (i.e. inside a church), or in some of its contents (lustful intentions), but it is also unique in its end: guy doesn’t get the girl. It is both sad and refreshing. You will see Quasimodo reach the love he wants, but life is not always a way and it pulls away from the “traditional” result. He does, however, get a happy ending, and is accepted in society. (Which I know is quite different than the original story, but what do you expect from a kids film?)
1) Beauty and the Beast
This is the only movie that I like to follow the traditional “Disney princess” model, and the only Disney movies where I enjoy every single song. Unlike other “Disney princess” movie, this one actually shows an extension of the time for a romance to develop.
Belle also happens to be my favorite cartoon character, in contrast to most other animated girls-she actually read, and I can relate to that. The fact that the animal is intended for her hobby by giving her a huge library is awesome. I personally would have married the animal then and there if he had given me a library. Plus, living beauty in an enchanted castle would be awesome! My only problem with it is the last, I felt that the fact that the animal is changed back into a human kind of defeated the purpose of the theme: loving someone for who they are, rather than what they look like, but I’m just nitpicking.