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Friday, 5 May 2017

What's your favourite Disney movie?

Hey everybody!

I hope you're all enjoying the much improved Spring weather. I for one am so glad that it's actually light when I get home from work now!

Aside from the Disney Parks, another aspect of The Walt Disney Company that I often get asked about is the films! And more specifically, what is...


Mickey during the Sorcerer's Apprentice portion of Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940)
Disney Screencaps
This is, as I am sure you can imagine, a very difficult question for me to answer but I have managed to compile a list of my Top Ten Disney Movies as of this present moment... 

ask me again in a few weeks time and it will have no doubt changed somewhat!

To be clear, this list comprises of the 56 Official Animated Classics only, ranging from Walt Disney's first animated feature length film Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937), right up to Moana (2016)

There are no live action movies included in this list, sorry Mary Poppins! And there are also no acquired studio's films featured either... that means you too Toy Story!

So, without further ado, here are my Top Ten Disney Movies. Enjoy!

- Mercedes 

10. Frozen (2013)
Anna and Elsa enjoy a happy moment together at the end of Walt Disney's Frozen (2013)
Disney Screencaps
Let's kick off the list with the highest grossing animated movie of all time shall we? The infamous Frozen is featured on my list, right here, in 10th Place. 

It was quite bitter sweet for me, composing this list and realising that despite my persistence that 'I don't really get what all the hype is about', Frozen was actually featured on it!

I adore the gorgeous music featured within Frozen: the whimsical scores, synonymous with Disney classics; the big, Broadway style musical numbers brought to us by the brilliant Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and of course, the more modern use of Guitar, subtly weaved in throughout. Combine the awesome music with the magical quality of the animation and fully realised characterisations of Anna, Elsa and Olaf, and this movie quickly becomes the beautiful, memorable, timeless classic that we all know and love.

Olaf meets Sven and "Sven" in Walt Disney's Frozen
Disney Screencaps
But, not only has Frozen got the music, the aesthetic and the characters, I believe that it's Frozen's forward thinking plot, perfect for children growing up in the 21st Century, that truly encompasses why Frozen is just so unique.

The first time that I watched Frozen, I was with my little sister who had already seen it. I remember asking her:

'Wait! Who's the villain?'

Morgan's response to me? 

'Oh, umm, there actually isn't really one.' 

I left it at that.

Of course, if you have seen Frozen, you know exactly who the villain is and I believe that, in so many ways, villains such as this character and Beauty and The Beast's Gaston, are the most terrifying of all as they represent realistic, ignorant people that both men and women must encounter in their everyday lives. These individuals, devoted to the oppression of those weaker than them, treating women like pieces in a game are the most villainous of all to me. Pure patriarchy at it's worst. 

Tied in with this, I love that it is in fact 'love' that saves the day in Frozen but not a romantic love, not the kiss of a Prince, but instead a family, sisterly 'True Love', which I most certainly can relate to. It was very fitting that I shared the experience of watching this movie with my Sister and that we frequently watch it together now.

I could go on and on, preaching about why I love Frozen but clearly I don't need to because the ratings, merchandise and planned sequels and musical all speak for themselves!
9. Lilo and Stitch (2002)
Lilo is fashionable late to her dance class at the beginning of Walt Disney's Lilo and Stitch (2002)
Disney Screencaps

Perhaps a slightly more unexpected choice; in 9th place we have Disney's 2002 release, Lilo and Stitch

If you told me the plot for this movie without me having seen it, I'd say you were nuts! A little girl from Hawaii with no parents (and a pretty bad attitude) befriends an experimentally created 'Alien' and together, they learn the true meaning of friendship, love and family. 

Throw in a little dose of Elvis Presley for good measure and... yeah, I'd say you were nuts!

Yet somehow, this modern, colourful, quirky movie just has that... extra special something! That something that we have come to except from Disney Classics. The entire movie is captivating throughout and for all his flaws, you can't help but fall madly in love with the title character Stitch and his special bond with Lilo.

 Lilo from Walt Disney's Lilo and Stitch (2002)
Disney Screencaps
Similarly to the main narrative in Frozen, Lilo and her big sister Nani's relationship is another very poignant aspect of this movie's plot. Like Frozen's Anna and Elsa, the two sisters are left orphaned after the death of their parents however, unlike the two Scandinavian Princesses, Lilo and Nani are not fortunate enough to have servants and riches to help them along the way so it's up to Nani to grow up, get a job and do everything she can to protect Lilo from being taken by the social worker, Cobra Bubbles.

That's some pretty hard hitting stuff for a Kid's movie! 

I think that the thematic influences of Sisterhood, particularly one with a larger age gap, is exactly why I love Lilo and Stitch so much.  My sister is 9 years younger than me and growing up, I could definitely relate to Nani's predicament... of course, I didn't have to raise my sister but even being responsible for her for a couple of hours was challenging as a teenager!

"At least a rabbit would behave better than you," Morgan.

8. Tangled (2010)
Walt Disney's Tangled (2010)
Disney Screencaps
In the 8th spot we have Tangled. Where do I begin with Tangled!

for me was a very special movie because it totally restored my faith in the future of Walt Disney Company and their Classics. As upsetting to me as it was when Disney made the decision to move away from their traditional style of hand-drawn animation, an adaptation of the beloved fairytale Rapunzel was exactly what I felt the Disney company needed to restore themselves at this time. 

And it did them proud.

I love Pascal, I love the music. I love the lanterns and I love Flynn and Punzie.

I love this movie.
7. Zootropolis (2016)
Walt Disney's Zootropolis (2016)
Disney Screencaps

If you're an avid reader of my blog, it will come as no surprise to you that Zootropolis is on the list, ranked in the 7th slot.

I wrote a review of the movie when it first came out which you can read here, which pretty much summarises exactly what I like about it and why I think that it's so clever and much needed for today's society.

If you're still yet to watch Zootropolis, I strongly recommend that you do so; if nothing else, Judy Hopps is a great character and Disney's take on the Apple Carrot iPhone and 'Hamster' Tube Transportation are very amusing and creative!

6. The Lion King (1994)

Walt Disney's The Lion King (1994)


When deciding what to feature on this list, The Lion King was one of the first movie's that popped into my head but surprisingly, it is quite a lot lower down than I would have initially thought...

(I'm all about the Princesses clearly!)

Elton John, you wonderful man, you give this movie life! The music is spectacular.

I think The Lion King is probably one of the first Disney animated movie's to feature the music and voice talents of the famous; Jeremy Irons' rich English accent lends itself wonderfully to the terrifying Scar and the comedic vocal stylings of Rowan Atkinson make for a wonderful Zazu. You've also got Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane and Jonathan Taylor-Thomas thrown in for good measure and, if Mufasa sounds familiar to you, that's because he is played by the soulful James Earl Jones... that's right, Darth Vader!

Timon, Pumbaa and Nala in Disney's The Lion King
Disney Screencaps
The star studded cast is a formula that Disney are now not too shy from using and clearly, it works! The Lion King is still, to this day, the highest grossing hand drawn animated movie of all time and the musical is still doing very well in London's West End and on Broadway.

I know that lots of my fellow twenty-something-year-olds have a soft spot for this movie (it's Grumpy's favourite) and I can definitely understand why.

5. Pocahontas (1995)
Walt Disney's Pocahontas (1995)
Disney Screencaps

Again, for those of you that read the blog frequently, this will come as no real surprise as I have mentioned my love for this movie before. The 5th spot goes to Pocahontas

This is the second renaissance movie to feature on the list and be warned, there are lots more to come... 

What can I say, I'm a 90s kid!

Those of you that have read My Fave Five Disney Princesses will know why I love this movie already. Despite it's historical inaccuracies, I think it's a wonderful film and I am surprised by the seemingly 'bad rap' that it often gets. The music is powerful and very nostalgic to me; in fact, my parents have a home video of me prancing around, topless, at age 4 to 'Colours of The Wind' after my first ever School Sport's Day so clearly, I have loved it for a very long time, although needless to say I have grown out of the topless prancing!

If you've seen Pocahontas and are surprised that it's featured, give it another watch. It's a marvellous movie and I have definitely come to appreciate it a little more with age.

4. Hercules (1997)
Walt Disney's Hercules (1997)
Disney Screencaps

Who put the 'Glad' in 'Gladiator'? HER-CU-LEEEEES!

If you did not just sing that in your head, you are lying to yourself. 

In spot number 4 we have the 1997 classic, Hercules, the 3rd renaissance movie on my list! Similarly to Pocahontas, this is most certainly a Disney Classic that I have come to fall in love with as I have got older. I love Hades' witty one liners, Meg's unconventional, strong female character and the hilarious comedic vocal stylings of Danny DeVito in the role of Phil.

The gospel music combined with Greek mythology may not be an obvious combination but it certainly works well for Hercules plus, it's educational! Honestly, everything I know about Greek Mythology is either from this movie or the TV spin off!

The animation style in Hercules is also a little different from traditional Disney; it's very stylised with lots of curls and swirls, it's distinctive and I love that about it. Definitely one of the underdogs in this list but I love it just the same; it's a very firm favourite.

3. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Walt Disney's Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Disney Screencaps

The one that started them all.

Things are getting very serious now as we enter the Top 3! In the bronze position we have Walt's masterpiece, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs

I absolutely adore this movie; the beautiful watercolour backgrounds and hand-painted characters, it's truly a work of art. When you watch this film and remember that it's 80 years old, that's right, it is 80 years old, you appreciate how truly timeless it is! Honestly, it was 30 years old when my Mum was born and yet, we still share it with children born today! That's amazing! And proves that animation is the single most preserving aspect of cinema around.

I said this about Pocahontas and Hercules also but I definitely think that as an adult, my love for this movie has only grown. I find the movie not only incredibly innovative for it's time but also highly entertaining; some of the dialogue between Doc and Grumpy really is genuinely hysterical!

Sadly the crown of the Disney Golden Age has narrowly missed out on the top spot in the list but it will always have a very special place in my heart.

2. Aladdin (1992)
Walt Disney's Aladdin (1992)
Disney Screencaps
In 2nd place we have Aladdin. For those of you that know me personally or have read a few posts from the blog before, you will probably be shocked to find that Aladdin isn't in 1st place. Whilst it's true that I am a complete Princess Jasmine devotee, there is one movie that has beaten Aladdin to the finishing line...

We'll come to that shortly.

Aside from my love of Jasmine (which you can read about on My Favourite Disney Princess post) another element of Aladdin that I totally adore and is perhaps why I love the movie so much is The Genie...

Robin Williams is FLAWLESS in this role and his contemporary, pop culture references throughout the movie give it a completely different edge unlike any of the other Disney movies which I really appreciate. This also translates very well in the popular musical adaptation in London's West End in which the Genie is the star of the show.

This is, AGAIN, another renaissance movie; I am probably a little biased towards these 90s movies but I truly think that Aladdin is a magical, comedic carnival of fun and definitely deserves the silver medal on my list.

1. Beauty and The Beast (1991)
Walt Disney's Beauty and The Beast (1991)
Disney Screencaps
The eagle eyes amongst you will have known that this was coming as I mentioned how this is my favourite movie in a recent post about the live action adaptation...

In our top spot we have a tale as old as time, Beauty and The Beast.

Not only is this beautiful movie very nostalgic and sentimental to me, but I honestly believe that it has one of the best musical scores in Disney history. 

Oh Alan, we love you. 

Combine the musicality with the amazing characterisations of the supporting cast and you have a truly magnificent masterpiece.

Beauty and The Beast is turning 26 this year... I know this as it was released the year I was born! And it is seemingly just as popular now as it was back then. With the success of the musical and now, the new live action movie reigniting the hype, Beauty and The Beast has truly lasted the test of time and is now inspiring new, young audiences everywhere.

I love it and I know many of you do to.

Do you agree with this list? Let me know your favourites in the comments below!

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