10.) Mulan (1998)
Mulan is the ultimate feminist story. The heroine herself is arguably the posterchild for the strong Disney woman. But, aside from all that, does Mulan work as a film? Absolutely! The film contains beautiful animation, good characters, an engaging story, and excellent music. It’s a vast departure from Disney princess movies before or since, but that’s what makes it not only so good, but also stand out among the other Disney films. In short, Mulan is a film that never ceases to impress.
9.) Tangled (2010)
Tangled has one of the best stories of any Disney film. The story works because it gives a purpose to Rapunzel’s immense hair as well as ensures danger and obstacles for the protagonists. Speaking of the protagonists, the film’s two, Rapunzel and Flynn, are both not only very funny, likable, but also extremely different from the princes and princesses that followed. The animation is also great, allowing for Disney’s trademark fairy tale to mesh with CGI. The songs are also very memorable as well. Tangled may be a more recent Disney venture, but it’s characters, animation, and especially story, will make it a favorite for a long time to come.
8.) Peter Pan (1953)
I have to come clean her again; this is my all-time favorite Disney film. Yet, I tried to be fair to Peter Pan and judge it on its own merits. After doing that though, it’s evident that Peter Pan is incredible. It there’s one film that defines childhood and its meaning, - it’s this one. The film also has a really imaginative story and a really fun cast of characters. The dynamic between them all, my favorite being between Peter and Tink, are just so great. The mixing of comedy and whimsy in Peter Pan is amazing, for it never feels tacky. And I think that’s something a lot of Disney films-even family films in general haven’t mastered. I didn’t even mention the wonderful songs and animation. So, aside from Peter Pan being one of my favorites, it’s also one of Disney’s finest.
7.) Tarzan (1999)
Tarzan is very different from all the other films of the Disney Renaissance, mainly because of its Phil Collins music, and its deep-canvas animation style. But, much like Mulan, Tarzan’s uniqueness makes it a great film. The story, as well as the internal conflict Tarzan encounters is very intriguing as well. The characters are also really likable and of course the Phil Collins music is not only good, but also effectively integrates into the story. There is also an impressive amount of emotion in the film, especially, as I mentioned before, with Tarzan’s internal conflict, as well as the relationship between Tarzan and the gorillas, and Tarzan and Jane. Tarzan is emotional, musical, and most importantly, a well-rounded Disney film.
6.) Lilo and Stitch (2002)
I’ve always said that Lilo and Stitch was the flower in the mud pile of 2000’s Disney films. This film accomplishes a level of realism like no other Disney filmbefore or since. It’s an honest, slice-of-life story, countered by a sci-fi alien chase, and surprisingly, those elements work extremely well together. The characters are also unbelievably good, particularly Lilo, and her older sister, Nani, and of course Stitch is great too. Also, the human characters are designed and animated so realistically. This style not only matches the tone of the film perfectly, but sets Lilo and Stitch apart from the other Disney films. There are some very adult themes, i.e. social services, but it’s all handled so well. The meaning of Ohana is clearly portrayed and lingers after each viewing. In short, Lilo and Stitch doesn’t sugarcoat a thing, thus making it a sweet delight.