I’m not going to shy from the fact that I ripped this idea off another blog, specifically Drew’s as I loved his write up with contributions from two other people on their ranking of Disney films from 1989 to 1999 during the “Renaissance Era of Disney”
Countdown from #10 to #1 begins with Amy in purple and Steve in blue:
Honorable mentions: Tarzan, Tangled, Pinocchio
Robin Hood – A singing rooster, a tiger who sucks his thumb, and a hypnotic snake – such a riot 🙂 Love the music and animated take on this story. The young animals are very sweet. A fun movie that probably doesn’t get as much notice as it should. Oodalalee!
Beauty and the Beast- My last 3 spots were very hard to choose from. I haven’t watch a lot of the older Disney movies and the one’s I did, I either wasn’t taken with them too much or just haven’t revisited them as an adult. Beauty and the Beast I probably have seen a total of once or twice, but I have seen snippets of it here and there, always paying attention when I see it is on. The music, the characters and incorporating musical theater elements easily justifies B&B cracking my top 10.
Aladdin – Once upon a time, I could quote about the first 20 minutes of dialogue. I always loved the characters of Genie, Raja, even Iago. The parade to the palace and Genie meeting Aladdin for the first time are my favorite scenes. And hooray for Genie being free at the end 🙂
Mulan- Disney movie with a heroine who doesn’t just save the damsel in distress, (errr I mean Dude in Distress….I really don’t know how that goes with a guy in distress) but saves a country? Now that is powerful imagery when you throw in Samurais, Huns, Emperors and wonderfully drawn animation. Enjoyed Eddie Murphy and Frank Welker in this movie as Mushu and Cri-Kee.
Jungle Book – A human being raised by wolves is not at all believable, yet it’s a good story and I appreciate the character interaction. Music is great. My favorite part of this movie is the elephant brigade and their marching scene. I also like the vultures, orangutans, and Baloo.
Jungle Book- Great minds think alike and a strong case could be made to move this up the list. I love the music, Baloo and “The Vultures” and the casting was perfect for the animal characters. Something about King Louie and his monkeys always bothered me and I don’t know why, but a fine movie either way at #8
Snow White – The 7 dwarfs are my favorite part of this movie. The story is a bit dark, jealous stepmom sets out to have her stepdaughter killed, but hooray for Snow White persevering and the wicked stepmother falling off the face of the earth. Cliche to be saved by a kiss but still a good ending.
Hercules- This movie is just fun. The Muses are great, James Woods is great and Danny Devito even gets to make a splash into the Disney arena. I always been interested in Greek mythology and I think Disney nailed it with their portrayal of Hercules. Hercules probably contains some of my favorite animation on this list.
101 Dalmatians – I like that the story is told from the perspective of the dog. Even though Cruella is a crazy menace, I do like her character and how she was portrayed. The ingenuity of the animals always fascinated me as a child and I loved that they made it home in the end.
Oliver and Company- Billy Joel and Disney remaking the story of Charles Dickens “Oliver Twist”? Match made. Excellent. My most underrated movie on this list as I feel this film is often forgotten about amongst the many heavy hitters, critically acclaimed and box office champions Disney has had in their history. Next to Aladdin, my favorite Disney soundtrack. Throw in the fact this remake was done with with Bette Midler, Cheech Marin, Robert Loggia and Dom Deluise, how do go wrong with this charming experience that flies under the radar in surprising you with delight? “ The Dodger is one bad puppy”
Beauty and the Beast – I do love the beast, even though he has a quick temper. Belle never fails to see the good in people, even when she is scared. And I always loved Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, Lumiere, and the Wardrobe. I love the music, story and, of course, happy ending.
Peter Pan- I enjoyed the 90’s live action movie with Spielberg’s “Hook” with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman but Disney’s animated Peter Pan is the most well done interpretation of Peter Pan I have come across. Again, a strong case could be made to move this higher on my list but when I look at the 4 movies ahead of it, I understood reluctantly that my inner lost boy, my desire to be a child forever in “Never Never Land” has faded significantly over time. Excellent film that has definitely stood the test of time; especially considering my list is dominated with much newer Disney movies.
Tangled – I like this story for its interpretation of Rapunzel. My favorite scene is the luminaries set adrift over the water. The innocence of Rapunzel and Flynn, he trying to show her the real world with the help of Max, they make each other a better person.
The Lion King- The soundtrack of the mid 90’s. Disney at its finest. I’ve watched this movie so much, I couldn’t get enough of Timon and Pumba, the Hyenas and Jeremy Irons as he masterfully played Scar. Story line, the substance in its composition, probably makes this the most complete movie on my list. Yes it is rate 4th and could easily be one or 2, but my top 3 movies touched me just a tad bit more. I haven’t watched the Lion King for such a long time that I fear I would not look at it the same way I did as a child. My fear, my hesitation makes Lion King trickle down my list some.
Cinderella – Singing mice who create a dress – love it! Lousy life that doesn’t bring a girl down and in the end she finds love; probably cliche but still like the story 🙂 And the fairy godmother, she’s wonderful.
Emperor’s New Groove- Confidently, I could say this is David’s Spade’s best work to date. He was the perfect embodiment of a spoiled boy emperor, hated by all and received due punishment while being paired up with the noblest, lovable good guy Pacha (John Goodman). What also drives my love for this movie is Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton as the villains. Warburton as Kronk is one of my favorite Disney characters; being so spot on in his lovable, simple minded, and comical ways. I guess I have a tendency maybe to pick movies that are just fun throughout and Emperor’s New Groove fits the bill quite nicely as my #3.
Alice in Wonderland – When I was a kid, I just thought everything about this movie was so cool. All these crazy characters who come together and do we really ever know what the rabbit is late for? The music and the idea behind each of the characters always put a smile on my face.
Aladdin- Hardest 2 choices for me was where to put Aladdin and Fox and the Hound on my list. They would both be #1’s for different reasons if possible in my book, but grudgingly, Aladdin falls slightly short in claiming my top spot.
This movie has more than enough in making it the #1 Disney movie to so many others;the animation, the music, Robin Williams, the characters, the story, the memorable lines, etc. If one person can single handily influence a movie to become legendary, a time tested classic, revolutionize the industry by putting a top notch comedian in a central role of an animated movie; Robin Williams was that person. Take Robin Williams out of Aladdin and what do you have? For me, it would definitely not be a favorite Disney movie and possibly a forgettable movie from my childhood.
Sleeping Beauty – The 3 fairies are my favorite part of this movie. I love the music, story, and animation. Well-meaning parents who want the best for their kids, well-meaning fairies who want the best for everyone, and a happy every after ending
The Fox and Hound
Finally, my list ends at #1 with Fox and the Hound. It’s hard to put this movie into perspective after thinking/writing about while the other 9 movies and why they feel short on either being higher on my list or in Aladdin’s case, being my #1 movie.
Does Fox and the Hound have Robin Williams in it? Of course not. Does Fox and the Hound have all the flash, the pzazz, the prestige of a Lion King, an Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast….or the simple fun loving charm of a Hercules, Jungle Book, Mulan or Oliver and Company? No it doesn’t have that either.
The best way and really the only way I can justify my choice is how Fox and the Hound makes me feel when I watch it, when I am thinking about it now. This movie hits me emotionally and deeply like no other movie on this list. Friendship, courage in standing up for what is right and appreciating the differences in society are strong resonating themes in this movie. I admit that this movie definitely wasn’t the best written, animated, quite predictable but it makes me think, makes me feel such strong resonance to its themes. It comes straight at my heart though and its sentimentality wins me over every time.
Now that you have our lists, what are your favorite Disney movies? Please comment below