5.) The Lion King (1994)
Aside from Frozen, The Lion King is probably Disney’s most popular film, and it’s one that lives up to the hype.The story of a lion cub, Simba, who needs to find his rightful place in the savannah, seems pretty generic, but the characters, music and execution make the film unbelievable.Every character serves a purpose to the story, and is more than a stereotype. The music is both beautiful, meaningful, and lingers for days after each viewing. The animation and atmosphere here is gigantic, making the film seem fit to be an epic viewing experience. The Lion King is an experience, to be had and to be shared.
4.) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
To describe the impact that Snow White on the Disney Company, but the world of film in general, is impossible.Not only was this the first animated feature ever produced, it’s also a wonderful film.The film offers timeless music and animation.The story, despite being simple, can be very dark, mainly through the animation and the characters, like The Evil Queen and The Magic Mirror.Snow White and the Dwarfs are also simple, yet highly human and enjoyable.The beauty of Snow White is in its simplicity, yet it never seems primal.Disney’s first, is also one of its finest and has remained a mainstay in Disney fare, even after nearly eighty years.
3.) Cinderella (1950)
There are few films that combine story, character, romance, music, and that trademark brand of Disney magic…like Cinderella.The story is such a symbol of hope, and Cinderella is a character that relates with everyone.The animation is enchanting and this film boasts a plethora of classic Disney songs.However, at the root of it, Cinderella is a character who proves that finding happiness, even in the worst of times, is what ensures a happy ending.The classic story of hope is so meaningful for every viewer it encounters, and that alone makes Cinderella a Disney classic.
2.) The Little Mermaid (1989)
Few films can live up to their legacy like The Little Mermaid.This is the film that sparked Disney’s late 80’ early 90’s revival and put Disney back on the map.Yet, The Little Mermaid never feels like a gimmick, for it always feels fresh and original.The film feels like no other Disney- particularly Princess film before or since.Ariel is a strong, vibrant character who will stop at nothing to achieve her dreams.Prince Eric is also the first fully fleshed out prince, Ursula is as a great comic and dramatic villain.These elements may seem common place in Disney Princess films today, but at the time, these elements were all new, making the film age so well.The music is unforgettable and the animation is some of Disney’s best.But above all, The Little Mermaid is innovative and feels new, despite being twenty-seven years old.Not only is The Little Mermaid the highest point of Disney’s renaissance, we’re also glad it’s part of our world.
1.) Pinocchio (1940)
There has never been a better Disney film, heck animated film, better than Pinocchio.Every element: the animation, the story, the characters, the music, are all done to perfection, and mesh together perfectly.From the innocence of Pinocchio, to the kindness of Geppetto, to the loyalty of Jiminy Cricket, the characters are well-written and well-developed, particularly Pinocchio himself.This is also a story that doesn’t baby kids, for the imagery (i.e. a boy being turned into a donkey) is legitimately scary.Yet, it all comes together to portray the message.The message being that if you are kind, good things will happen.So, let’s all, young and old alike, remember, that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.
So...Do you agree with my ranking? What's your favorite Disney movie? Let me know via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the comments below!