Top 23 Post-Renaissance Disney Animated Movies

Top 23 Post-Renaissance Disney Animated Movies

A ranking of all Disney animated movies from their renaissance and post-renaissance era.

Walt Disney Animation Studios is such a household name that not many people look at their full body of work for its successes as well as its failures. Beginning with "The Little Mermaid" in 1989 until now, the company has struggled to maintain the success of their renaissance era of the '90s.

Here is my ranking of all renaissance and post-renaissance films.

I have not included films from the last five years as I try to avoid making hard comparisons between films released in recent years with older ones. I believe that art needs to settle for a while before putting them on the shelf of art history.

23. "Home on the Range"

Let’s pretend this movie doesn’t exist.

22. "Chicken Little"

"Chicken Little" and all of its parts are mediocre at best and a total representation of Disney Animation at their worst.

21. "Brother Bear"

I’ve only seen this one once when it came out. I didn’t like it when I was 8-years-old. Not sure how much I’ll enjoy it now, but I’ll have to watch it again sometime.

20. "Bolt"

For me, there is a drastic separation between the first three films on this list and "Bolt." The rest of the films contain at least a little bit of the “Disney magic” that has come to characterize the best of the studio’s body of works.

Pixar’s John Lasseter was hired by Disney when they bought Pixar. This was the first of Lasseter’s attempts to put Disney animation back on the top. We see he finally did just that with "Tangled" in 2010. "Bolt"has a lot of great elements, but still does not stand on par with the greats.

19. "The Princess and the Frog"

Before it’s release in 2009, Disney’s last attempt at a princess film was in 1998 with "Mulan." It is also their first 2D animated feature since "Treasure Planet" in 2002. It did well for me in returning to old school conventions, but was not very memorable.

18. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire"

This is definitely one of Disney’s most creative films in terms of design. The scenes are beautiful and the film itself is one of the most daring ideas Disney has undertaken. It’s a great movie and very underrated, in my opinion.

17. "Fantasia/2000"

A sequel to the outstanding experimental film of 1940, this movie brought classical music into the lives of children who might never have heard "Rhapsody in Blue" or Beethoven’s 5th.

16. "Meet the Robinsons"

The very original story of Wilbur Robinson is one of my favorites in the Disney vault. It’s creative, scientific, hilarious, emotional and fun!

15. "The Rescuers Down Under"

This film is one of the few cases in animated films where the sequel is better than the original. It’s so exciting and dangerous that you’ll want to take a trip to the Australian Outback right away. It’s also the first introduction of Disney’s CAPS technology, which progressed the use of CGI in 2-D animation.

14. "Mulan"

Some people may be infuriated to see this one so low on my list, but I’m sticking with it. I love the movie, but outside of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and the epic battle scenes, this film doesn’t do much more for me. Still love it, though.

13. "Dinosaur"

I wonder how many people even remember that this film exists. I absolutely love this movie. It’s the perfect portrait of prehistoric nature on screen and perhaps one of Disney’s best portrayals of nature since "Bambi" in 1942. Beautiful film.

12. "Treasure Planet"

Space pirates?! This is an incredible interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic "Treasure Island" and another one of Disney’s more daring projects. It's very unconventional, but its results are astounding.

11. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

I absolutely love this film. From Alan Menken’s cathedral-sized score, to Stephen Schwartz’s gut-wrenching lyrics, this movie hits almost all the right notes. It didn’t do very well though. Some of those reasons may be because moviegoers were getting exhausted with Disney’s efforts after six years of great films like "The Lion King," "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast." My problem with it is its mediocre animation. While there are scenes that make use of incredible lighting, CGI modeling and set design, there are others that look like a low-budget direct-to-video sequel. It think this may be because of lack of funding due to the expensive shots. It’s a shame, but I still enjoy the film nonetheless.

10. "The Emperor’s New Groove"

Disney is known for adapting fairy tales and folklore, and this is among one of its best. "The Emperor's New Groove" is hilarious, funky, upbeat and very memorable. With a great cast and wonderful original music by Sting, this film does everything right.

9. "Hercules"

Infuse gospel music, Greek mythology and Disney, and you have a hit. This movie is too good to describe, with the fantastic Danny DeVito, James Woods and Charlton Heston narrating. This is a Disney classic on every level.

8. "Tangled"

This is by far one of the best princess films Disney has produced. At this point in time, it may just be because it returned Disney to its fundamentals. Regardless, I absolutely adore this film and everything about it. The music is great, the cast is phenomenal and it’s storytelling is built up of trademark Disney DNA.

7. "The Little Mermaid"

The only reason this list exists is because of "The Little Mermaid." If this movie didn’t do as well as it did, I don’t know if Disney Animation would exist today. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman revolutionized how Disney approached their films from a musical perspective winning two Academy Awards. John Musker and Ron Clements rescued Disney’s storytelling ability, and Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg provided them the means to do so. This is a milestone for animated films.

6. "Pocahontas"

This, for me, is a defining example of simplistic storytelling. Its memorable characters, great story and amazing music by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz define its uniqueness among the rest of Disney’s repertoire. Alan Menken’s score is also one of my favorite film scores of all time.

5. "Lilo and Stitch"

Who came up with this idea?! It’s so original, fun, witty and action-packed. It’s a Disney film unlike any other, and we're all so happy about that.

4. "Aladdin"

This is so fun. It’s got spunk, it’s got Robin Williams, it’s got magic and it’s got heart. Three thumbs up!

3. "Tarzan"

Oh, how I love this movie. It’s a genius film in every respect. Phil Collins provides phenomenal music and lyrics, the cast is extraordinary and the film as a whole is amazing beyond words.

2. "The Lion King"

I’m beginning to run out of complimentary adjectives, but I think the title of this movie speaks for itself. Everything about it screams excellence. It's a wonderful film, and one of the best of all time.

1. "Beauty and the Beast"

Here is my number one. Like "The Lion King," it's definitely among the greatest films of all time. The thing that’s so good about these films, is that they (as well as many others on this list) were not approached as children’s films. "Beauty and the Beast" is as passionate as "Casablanca," as emotional as "Gone With the Wind," and as wonderfully fun as "The Sound of Music." Absolutely amazing film.

Cover Image Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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6 Easy Ways To Cure Summer Boredom

Because watching Netflix just isn't the same without the pressure of procrastination.


Let's be real, the entirety of second semester can feel like a countdown to summer. But if you're anything like me, summer can be a problematic stretch of time.

Sure, as a college student it's fantastic to get a break from homework and classes, but without the workload that school can create, I often find myself with absolutely nothing to do.

Sometimes this is great! After a busy day, doing nothing can feel like a blessing. However, when doing nothing becomes the daily norm...I tend to get a little antsy.

So in order to make sure that I don't spend all my free time this summer watching Game of Thrones, I came up with a list of things to keep busy without going broke.

1. Hiking

Get out and explore the world around you! I live in Minnesota and we have some AMAZING parks and hiking trails so you can really "be one with nature." Hiking is a really easy, fun way to get your exercise in. It allows you to check out new places all while you take care of your body!

Ok, so maybe you won't get connected to trees on a spiritual level, but you can catch up on an audio book, check out a new podcast, call your mom or do some meditations!! All that while getting in your daily exercise? Talk about multitasking, am I right?

2. Painting

*This is one that may require some spending!*

Have you ever seen those pictures of people who will paint on their legs or their friend's backs? It always looks so impressive, but in reality, it's super easy. All you have to do is grab some friends and some paint (you can find super cheap sets of paints at any store like Target) and create something photo-worthy!

Watercolors can also be a super relaxing and fun way to spend an hour or two. Just grab your Crayola paint set from elementary school (or invest in a nicer one, but my Crayola set has not failed me yet) and some paper and paint away! My favorite things to paint are flowers and mountains.

Don't be worried about messing up or any of your paintings not looking perfect. This is all about putting your energy into something new and stretching your abilities!

3. Game Night

Get some friends and/or family together for a game night this summer! You could even make it a weekly thing and switch out games every time. This is such a fun, simple way to spend some quality time with the people in your life.

From cards to board games to puzzles, you can create any kind of a night you'd like! Have everyone bring a snack and you've got a killer night lined up.

Plus, does anything get more heated than a game of Monopoly?

4. Photo Shoot

This is honestly one of my favorite things to do. Living in Minneapolis allows for some incredible photo opportunities and I'm beginning to learn to take full advantage of that.

Go somewhere pretty or interesting and embrace your inner model! It's always fun to practice your photography skills too if you're not super comfortable in front of a camera.

If you have a nice camera, that's awesome. If not, most phone cameras take some pretty amazing pictures which would work perfectly as well.

Afterward, you can spend some time editing the photos and maybe even creating an ~aesthetic~ for your Instagram! Some of my favorite editing apps include VSCO, Lightroom, and AirBrush.

5. Journaling

Journaling is something I'm really trying to work on myself. It can be difficult to find time to sit and write every day, but even just following simple prompts like these can make a difference.

It's almost like a little meditation session. Sometimes I follow a prompt, but sometimes I just find myself clearing out my thoughts and feelings and pouring them onto the page. It can be a very cleansing feeling. Plus it's fun to be able to go back and read how you were feeling on a given day.

6. Reading

This is another simple one. In this age of technology, I find myself reading less and less. Summer is a great time to get back on track and catch up on that New York Times Best Seller List!

Create a goal of reading maybe 10-15 books this summer. Pick specific books so you know exactly where to start on your reading journey. Then, see if anyone you know owns these books or check them out at your local library.

Another fun thing to do to make reading more of a social event is to create a book club with friends. You can meet at someone's house or even a coffee shop to discuss the book you've chosen for that month! This is a great way to really force yourself to read and make it fun at the same time.

7. Turn The Playlist Making Into An Art Form

Katie Swartzer

This is another super easy one but has really changed the game for me, honestly. Really work your playlists into a thing of magic. Cross those genres, make that rainy day playlist.

I've started making playlists of the setlists of concerts I've been to. It's a great way to low key relive an awesome experience. When you have music set for every mood, you're never left searching for a song. It's like you've got your own back for whatever mood may come up!

I hope some of these things sparked your interest. In the end, though you can do whatever you want with your summer because it is your summer! I challenge you to make each day more memorable than the last. It sounds difficult, but you'd be surprised how easy it actually is to create long lasting memories.

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