A while ago there was a segment on Rotten Tomatoes that rated all of the 50 theatrical animated movie releases by Disney, and Cash challenged me to put the movies in a better order, since we felt that some of them were totally wrong. After looking at all the movies, I realized that I hadn't actually seen all of them, so I had to request some of them from Netflix to see for the first time and rewatch others. I actually did end up buying one of them (on VHS) via Amazon since Netflix didn't have it. Since Rotten Tomatoes did the list before "Mars Needs Moms" came out, I didn't include that one. Also, it's not quite on Netflix yet, so that's my excuse. Basically, I just went with their list and put it in a better order.
It took me a while because let's face it: some of them are kind of painful to watch these days. Go ahead. Disagree with me on these. Tell me what's in your top 10. Tell me where I'm wrong and what I should switch. I hope you enjoy my version of Disney Animated Movies Ranked!
50. Fun & Fancy Free (1947) - This is a horrible, horrible film. At first you think it might be okay because Jiminy Cricket opens for the film singing, but really, he's just creeping around in some little girl's room as an ill-fitting transition to an awful sequence about a bear named "Bongo" (snicker) who falls in love at first site with a girl bear. There are all kinds of stereotypes employed in this segment, and after it was over I mostly wanted to vomit from the cheese. It only got worse from there because I remembered seeing "Mickey and the Beanstalk" as a child. I liked it then. Well, in this version, its introduction is by the little girl and ventriloquist dummies. Yep, you read that right. I actually had to leave the room so that I wouldn't go mad. It was terrible, just terrible. The actual animation for "Mickey and the Beanstalk" is alright, but then this really, really annoying dummy named Charlie (it's the kind of dummy your nightmares are made of) periodically interrupts the story to make some sort of brainless comment. I guess you can't expect much from a dummy or from someone who actually practices ventriloquism, for that matter.
Sorry that was so long. I am really passionate about how bad it is. Also, I got this movie for really cheap, so now I own it. If you would ever like to borrow it to view its awfulness (not recommended), please just let me know (return not mandatory).
49. The Three Caballeros (1944) - I didn't really like this one much, either. Donald Duck is just embarrassing in this one. He checks out and goes after all the ladies and ends up kissing Jose. This is another one of the movies with various segments, but the segments weren't great, either. I can't tell you to not watch it, but it's really not that great.
48. Melody Time (1948) - Another segmented movie, only this one was slightly better than the previous two mentioned. Donald and Jose weren't nearly as embarrassing in this one, and some of the clips were actually okay but just okay.
47. Fantasia (1940) - I understand that this is supposed to be a masterpiece, but it really isn't one. The format was fine, but I felt like the animation fell short with what the music actually conveys. I wasn't really in love with any of the animation, except for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." That is the only brilliant animated portion of this movie. The music is wonderful, though.
46. Make Mine Music (1946) - In this segmented film, I actually kind of enjoyed some of the segments. They were funny or clever, or interesting, so I could probably see it again sometime with my finger on the fast-forward for the segments I don't like as much.
45. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) - The Ichabod adventure in Sleepy Hollow is just fine, but I really don't care for the adventures of Mr. Toad. I understand that this could be an effect of my creepy guy experience at the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland that one time, or it could be that I don't really care for Mr. Toad as a protagonist.
44. Home on the Range (2004) - The story was just okay, and I didn't like the music very much. The yodeling kind of irritated me after a while. Kids probably think it's okay, though. Actually, probably not. I remember as a child hating a lot of stuff that was supposed to be for kids, like Ronald McDonald and the Neighborhood of Make Believe on Mr Rogers' Neighborhood.
43. Treasure Planet (2002) - It was a valiant effort to adapt "Treasure Island" to space, but some of the side characters were just bad. I even watched the extras where they talked about how clever they were with the creation of some of the characters, but I disagreed with them and think they could have done a better job. It's still an enjoyable flick, though. The main character is cool, and if you haven't seen it and it sounds interesting, go for it.
42. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) - I don't love any of the Winnie the Pooh characters. I see that the new movie is getting good ratings, and I hope it is better than the 70s version because that one puts me to sleep. There are funny parts, though.
41. Saludos Amigos (1943) - I kind of liked this one because it was more like a documentary than the other segmented movies. None of the segments were bad (maybe a little on the unmemorable side), and some of them were really good. Like the Pedro segment was cute.
40. Dinosaur (2000) - The production of this movie seemed more like a TV show, but it was still entertaining. The relationship storyline was nothing new, but it still maintained good (not great) quality throughout the movie. I wasn't embarrassed for it.
39. The Aristocats (1970) - This is a movie that has a good storyline with interesting characters. The pace isn't great, and it has a total drug trip song in it, but it's still good.
38. Dumbo (1941) - Dumbo is a good movie, and especially considering its release date, this movie deserves some serious props. My only real issue with it is the drunk hallucination Pink Elephants on Parade part, which causes the movie to feel twice as long as it actually is.
37. Lady and the Tramp (1955) - This movie and "The Aristocats" are very similar to me, except that in this movie, the music is less jazzy and more nice. It's not very popular, but it is nice. Also, the spaghetti scene is really famous and probably recognizable to most people born prior to the 1990s.
36. Pocahontas (1995) - This movie had the potential to be on anyone's top 10 list, but the non-human (or exceedingly large human) side-characters sucked. The music is awesome, the idea is good, the animation is wonderful, but it just didn't deliver like it should have. You can own the earth and still all you'll own is earth until you can paint with all the colors of the wind.
35. Bambi (1942) - Disney movies seem to employ the use of a go-to-sleep song in a lot of their movies. "Bambi" is no exception to it. I have fallen asleep so many times to the songs. But still, I like Bambi and all his childhood friends. It's cute. And tragic. But also okay.
34. Bolt (2008) - As far as children-loving-their-pets movies go, this is a good one. I don't love the genre, especially when I don't think the sidekick hamster is funny, but this movie has some potential to be higher on my list after multiple viewings. I probably can't watch it for a while, though, because I'm a little Disneyed out right now.
33. Brother Bear (2003) - I probably should have watched this one again before I wrote this, but I decided to just get this done. I liked this movie, and I thought there were some funny parts to it. I also thought the plot was kind of clever, and this bear is certainly much, much better than Bongo (snicker). Thank you for progressing, Disney.
32. Lilo & Stitch (2002) - This movie makes me laugh. The animation seems a little more rough than other Disney movies, and I don't love the Stitch character, but it is a funny movie.
31. Chicken Little (2005) - I also think this is a funny movie with great characters. Joan Cusack is the voice of Abby Mallard, who is totally my favorite character in this movie. It's cute, and save the slight annoyance about the Daddy issues, it's a fun movie.
30. Oliver & Company (1988) - This movie screams the 80s, but it's in a good way. It has Billy Joel and is adapted from "Oliver Twist." It's also one of those children-loving-their-pets movies, but it succeeds. Part of it could be the nostalgia factor, though, so beware.
29. Alice in Wonderland (1951) - Okay, so I think this story is kooky, but I enjoy the Disney movie version of it. And I think the clip story of The Walrus and the Carpenter is just zany. The whole movie is a trip, but it ended up barely on the right side of scary.
28. The Black Cauldron (1985) - This movie is under-appreciated in the Disney sphere. It has an interesting storyline, but I bet a lot of parents are scared away by its deserved PG rating. There really are some scary parts to it. I remember being tense as a child while we watched it.
27. The Sword in the Stone (1963) - The writers of this film had interesting minds. Unabashedly influenced by a lot of old lore and stories, the progression of the main character of the film is interesting and strange at the same time. But of course you want to cheer for Arthur when he finds the sword.
26. Tarzan (1999) - The story is certainly nothing new, but they really did a great job with the animation of this movie. I feel like Disney does a good job of reaching into different cultures or interests for their movies, and I think this one was only slightly a shout out to skateboarders but a good shout out. The music is okay, too. It just gets stuck in your head and starts to get annoying. Especially the modern scat. Also, I don't like that they switched the treehouse at Disneyland to Tarzan instead of Swiss Family Robinson. Now THAT is a choice movie not covered on this list. If you haven't seen Swiss Family Robinson, put it on your list immediately.
25. The Fox and the Hound (1981) - I like that this movie is about friendship. Movies where people fall in love are good and cute, but I really appreciate friendship movies, as well. This movie has a definite nap period when it's easy to fall asleep to it, so if you have a child who won't sleep... yeah, you get what I'm saying. Okay, and it's seriously so cute when little Copper tries to howl like a bigger dog.
24. The Rescuers Down Under (1990) - I think it really says something when you can release an animated sequel in the theaters and have it make a lot of money. Disney hasn't really done that much, but this movie did a great job. They maintained the quality of the first one and created a new love of Bernard and Bianca for kids of that generation. I remember when this came out almost everyone in my grade was talking about it. I didn't see it until much, much later.
23. Tangled (2010) - When I saw this in the theater, I didn't really like it as much as I did after the second viewing. It is a clever movie. I'm still not in love with the music of it, but they did a great job creating the characters. It's also visually a beautiful movie.
22. Atlantis - The Lost Empire (2001) - Again, I didn't really appreciate this movie the first time I saw it, but since I have seen it a few times, I've realized that the humor can stand up to multiple viewings. And the side-characters who I thought were annoying turned into endearing characters. I don't know how that happened, but it did. If you haven't seen it, just watch it once and see how it sits with you.
21. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) - This is a really good movie. I liked the adaptation of the book - I've never read it - and the way they crafted the characters. The villain is villainous, the gargoyles are funny, the protagonist male is practically unbearable, the protagonist female is sometimes drama-queeny, and the hunchback is hunchbacky. It was good.
20. Peter Pan (1953) - This is a great story. It really is. It captures what the imagination of a child can be and has fun and daring adventures with it. Disney's adaptation of it is no different. They do a wonderful job of representing this great adventure and strange characters.
19. Pinocchio (1940) - You realize how long ago this was made? Now go watch it again. They did a great job. The story is a little silly when you think about it, but what really gets me is how my nieces were kind of obsessed with Pinocchio for a little while. Children can still enjoy this story. It's viable. And one of my friends made a comment about the art for the time period. Yes, it's good.
18. The Princess and the Frog (2009) - The antagonist is truly scary. I think that Walt Disney would approve. I think this movie was culturally different for a lot of people (which is hard if you're not used to it), but I appreciated the cultural setting. And the firefly was funny. And I liked the frogs. And the alligator. They were funny.
17. Meet the Robinsons (2007) - This movie reminds me of elementary school and junior high in a good way. It makes me laugh probably because I feel like it thematically hearkens back to the 80s when there was a big fad to talk about space, robots, and machines. There were a lot of school projects that entailed inventing something, and I think this movie was funny and cute as well as nostalgic.
16. Fantasia 2000 (1999) - Because I never really liked the original Fantasia, I never believed Fantasia 2000 would be good. I watched it for the first time in my quest to do this post, and I seriously thought it was great. It took The Sorcerer's Apprentice and added in equally entertaining and appropriate segments. I watched it twice. And the segment reminiscent of Star Trek IV and V cracked me up.
15. 101 Dalmatians (1961) - Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil. If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will! I was always fond of this movie. Again, it has an appropriately scary antagonist, some cute protagonists, and a rousing good adventure that would probably give my nephew anxiety to no end. You really pull for the dogs. And tell me, isn't the barking chain the best? It's a great movie.
14. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - This movie really scared my mom when she saw it as a child. It was released in 1937. 1937! That was like pre-WWII! It's strange to think about it that way. So basically, I'm saying that it's brilliant. Sure, Snow White's voice is a little shrill and the prince is a little too pretty, but it is seriously amazing. I also like how the Gremlins like it in "Gremlins."
13. The Rescuers (1977) - I feel like I grew up loving Penny. She was so brave and so awesome for a little girl. And all the animals were good in the movie. It's an adventure with, again, a very scary antagonist. R-E-S-C-U-E, Rescue Aid Society! Hands held high, touch the sky, etc. Good music. A nap time song, lots of physically impossible stunts. It's great.
12. The Jungle Book (1967) - The music, oh, the music! This movie has some great music! It's not like your standard movie music of the last 20 years. It has some good scat, and some real grooving. Also, again, the antagonist is scary. It's tense, and you really pull for the protagonists. And his name is Mowgli. Mowgli!
11. Robin Hood (1973) - This could be the Disney movie I've seen the most. Well, maybe tied with Cinderella. This is a grand adventure. Little boys and girls alike can love this movie and enjoy it together. If you don't crack a smile during this movie, then you have a heart of stone.
10. Cinderella (1950) - Any movie that can be watched ten times in one day without feeling somewhat torturous deserves some serious gold stars. The step sisters are so awful (in a good way), but the movie is still so good. Some of the songs are so bland, but it's still so good. Cinderella is kind and maybe a little dense, but it is still good. Hooray for Cinderelly!
9. The Great Mouse Detective (1986) - It has come to my attention that there are many people who have never seen this movie. It is a real shame. I think this movie is a fun adventure. It's like a nerdy Sherlock Holmes mouse. What can be better than that? Also, there are no nap songs in this. It's a legit movie. Go watch it.
8. Hercules (1997) - You mean Jerkules? This movie is clever and funny. Clever AND funny. Again, this is a great adaptation of a well-known story. It has fantastic music, good characters. So basically, it has it all.
7. The Little Mermaid (1989) - This was a breakthrough movie. The quality of the storyline, animation and especially music was so wonderful, and little girls (and adults in general) everywhere really embraced this show. This is the movie that I think really cemented little girls' love (through endless marketing) of Disney princesses. It brought back the hype of Disney movies.
6. The Lion King (1994) - I like that they really did their homework for this movie. The amount of work and creativity put into this movie was phenomenal. The music is great, the characters, the lines, the jokes. It was all very well done.
5. The Emperor's New Groove (2000) - I did not expect this movie to be so great. It still makes me laugh so hard. It is so funny. It really is the little things that can make the movie so enjoyable. And Yzma is one of the best antagonists ever. So, so ... scary beyond all reason.
4. Sleeping Beauty (1959) - I love this movie. The animation is great, Aurora seems rather normal for a princess, and I was basically obsessed with it as a child. It's really hard to get over obsessions. It warms my heart to see children of the now who are also obsessed with Sleeping Beauty. I really think someone should market dresses that change from blue to pink. Hypercolor, anyone?
3. Beauty and the Beast (1991) - The other day I was at someone's house, and some of the roommates were watching this movie in the other room. I only heard it, but just by hearing the sounds of the movie, I wanted to watch it. Le Fou, I'm afraid I've been thinking. A dangerous past time. I know. The colors are magnificent, the music is wonderful, and it's an interesting story. It's great.
2. Aladdin (1992) - I love this movie. The cave of wonders has always amazed me. They did a great job with that movie. I used to think the genie was borderline annoying, but overall, this movie is a great and fun adventure. Aladdin is a fun protagonist, and I even really liked the rug as a side character. It was a RUG, and it was a great side character. Amazing.
1. Mulan (1998) - I love the music. I love the animation. Everyone is so talented in this movie. It's also not your standard princess movie, but it totally works. The main characters are funny, the side characters are funny, and I can relate to awkward. This is a movie that I can relate to. That's why it works for me. Also, I can see it often without really getting tired of it. Want to watch it with me?