In each one, I will be listing down my top ten favorites in a particular category, and will explain why I chose those items to be part of my list. Of course, expect that these lists, more often than not will be subjective, so feel free to share your opinions or your lists with regards to any of the categories I chose in the comments below. Also, please feel free to recommend or suggest any ideas you may have for me for future lists.
So, to start this all off, in honor of the release of the live-action version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, I decided to kick things off with my Top Ten Favorite Animated Disney Films of all time.
Again, please remember that this list is subjective, does not include ANY of the Disney PIXAR films, and the movies in the list are not done in any particular order. (Also, I didn’t realize how hard picking just ten Disney films would be.)
1. The Little Mermaid
Before I was obsessed with “Beauty and the Beast”, I was obsessed with this film. “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Aladdin” are three of Disney’s films in which I practically memorized every single song that they had.
I loved “The Little Mermaid” because my mother told me I was as stubborn and as curious about things as Ariel was, and because I loved the music, musical numbers, and the story that unfolded in front of my very eyes. Also, I thought that being a mermaid was even more enchanting than being a fairy at that point in time. (You get to swim all day without your hands and feet getting all wrinkly, what could get any better than that?)
Also, I thought that Scuttle was hilarious, and for a time, I referred to forks as “dinglehoppers”.
I absolutely loved Chef Louis’ hijinks trying to catch Sebastion, the “Under the Sea” sequence, “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, and the beginning sequence with Ariel’s sisters singing for their father and the court.
2. Beauty and the Beast
Another one of the earlier Disney films in which I memorized practically all the songs, and all of the song parts. Aside from the wonderful story, “Beauty and the Beast” gave me a strong female heroine that I could look up and relate too, as Belle, just like me, loved to read books. Belle was the one of the first Disney princesses who showed me that it was okay to be different from the norm.
Aside from that, this film had memorable songs, and a wonderful cast of memorable characters. This film was magical and iconic, and I am so glad that children of this generation not only can look towards this animated classic, but towards the just released live-action version of this film.
Of course, my favorite scenes in this film would be the entire “Be Our Guest” portion, the transformation sequence at the end, and the entire “Belle” sequence.
Aside from Belle, the Disney princess that I really wanted to be when I was growing up was Princess Jasmine. Not only was she feisty, had a pet tiger, and spoke her mind, her singing voice was provided by Lea Salonga, who is a Disney Legend in her own right. It was at this point that I said that I wanted to be a singer like Lea, and even though that dream has already waned, I have never stopped being one of Lea Salonga’s fans.
Aladdin was a charming, and fun adventure that for me, had higher stakes in play than “The Little Mermaid”. The Cave of Wonders was truly magical, and Robin Williams’ portrayal of the Genie is one that is near and dear to my heart.
Also, I thought that Jafar was one of the most menacing villains in Disney history, that is, though, until I met Scar from “The Lion King”.
Some of my favorite scenes in this movie include Jasmine and Aladdin roof hopping together; all of the Genie’s scenes; Rajah ripping the pants of a potential suitor for Princess Jasmine; and the Cave of Wonders scenes.
4. The Lion King
I remember this film as one of the first few Disney films I saw in the movie house. I loved this film so much that right after watching the movie, upon coming home, I spent hours on my hands and knees walking on all fours because I wanted to be a lion. (I’m not kidding.)
This film, for me, was released at the pinnacle of Disney animation, and only years later did I realize that this film was Disney’s version of “Hamlet”.
Filled with amazing animation, wonderful colors, memorable songs (“Circle of Life”, “Hakuna Matata”, “Be Prepared”, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), and characters that you will never forget (Simba, Nala, Scar, Mufasa, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa), this film is definitely one that is not easy to forget at all.
(I also LOVED the sequel, and I actually CRIED in that one; although watching Mufasa get killed by Scar and the stampede is, come to think of it, pretty traumatizing and violent for young viewers).
Some of my favorite parts of this film include the “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” sequence; “Hakuna Matata”; Simba running back to Pride Rock; and Simba walking in the rain and roaring triumphantly after defeating Scar.
5. The Great Mouse Detective
Before I knew who Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew were, there was Basil of Baker Street. (Interestingly enough, he lived in a mousehole right underneath 221B Baker Street, the home of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson).
This was my gateway to the mystery, crime genre, and I loved every single bit of it, from the main characters, to the portrayal of London at that time. I thought that this film was a fun detective film, all the way to the Moriary-like villain, Rattigan.
Now, as a really big Sherlock Holmes fan, upon re-watching this film, I can now recognize all of the parts in which they paid homage to the Sherlock Holmes stories, from the name, to the way he plays his violin when he’s depressed, and his method of deduction.
My favorite scenes in this film were how Basil and Dr. Dawson initially meet, and when Basil used chemistry to figure out where a particular letter came from, complete with a handwriting analysis.
6. The Rescuers Down Under
As we were already talking about mice, I thought that this would be the next logical film to talk about.
I did love “The Rescuers”, but I thought that this film had a more engaging story than the first film, higher stakes, and had gorgeous visual effects, for that time. I mean, come on, the intro portion with the flowers then ending with Cody’s house; the Rescue Aid Society Morse Code sequence; and the whole scene with Cody flying on Marahute, were just amazing.
Also, as I was already invested with Bianca and Bernard, I was kind of annoyed at that Australian mouse named Jake, because I really wanted poor Bernard to get his chance to propose to Bianca.
Back then, I didn’t really fully understand the moral lesson of the film, as I was invested in the fun adventure story that was in front of me, but I’m glad that they took the time to address issues like this.
Also, this film was the first film that used the CAPS system or computer animation, and was actually Disney’s first collaboration with a little company called PIXAR.
7. Peter Pan
Who didn’t want to visit Neverland growing up because of this movie?
Peter Pan showed me the beauty of retaining a childlike sense of wonder, playfulness and a limitless imagination. I also loved how in the end, it was implied that George, the head of the Darling family, had once been a lost boy at a certain point in his life, and seeing Peter Pan’s ship disappearing into the night sky reminded him of all the fun he had as a child.
Long before there was the Doctor, as a child, I hoped that Peter would one day show up outside my bedroom window, and whisk me away for a whole night’s adventure in Neverland.
This film was basically one fun adventure after the other, with breathtaking art, memorable characters and music, and catchphrases that I still remember until today.
My favorite scenes in this movie included the “We Can Fly Sequence” and the Darling children’s journey to Neverland; every time the crocodile appears near Captain Hook; that scene in which Smee tried to comfort and give Captain Hook a shave; that epic battle between Captain Hook and Peter at the end; and of course, Peter sprinkling pixie dust all over Captain Hook’s ship, which made it lift out of the water.
Aside from it being set in Asia, this was the second time that Lea Salonga provided the singing voice for a Disney character. Years later, I discovered that Ming Na-Wen, who currently is portraying SHIELD Agent Melinda “The Cavalry” May, provided the speaking voice for this heroine, and I couldn’t have asked for better, or more awesome ladies to portray her.
Mulan is only a heroine, but she’s a powerful one at that. She reinforced the value of loyalty to family, and showed us that females can kick butt, in a society that is highly patriarchal.
A great story, awesome characters (Mushu anyone?), and awesome songs, make for a very special Disney film indeed.
Also, Donnie Osmond as General Shang. “Let’s Get Down To Business” is one of my favorite Disney power anthems of all time.
My favorite scenes include when Mulan was at the matchmaker; the “Let’s Get Down to Business” sequence;Mushu pretending to be the Great Stone Dragon; that entire sequence in which Mulan disguises herself, cuts her hair, and runs out of the Fa estate; and that final battle sequence..
9. Robin Hood
I have probably watched this film over and over again as a child because it was such a fun adventure, and because I really liked the kind of hero that Robin Hood was. After all, he “stole from the rich and gave to the poor”. That was the first time that I heard that I hero could be like that.
It had really fun adventurous sequences, and I loved how Robin usually managed to get away with things thanks to his wit and smooth talking. Come to think of it, now it makes perfect sense to me why Robin was portrayed as a fox. (I think though, that the slyest, slickest fox since Robin in Disney films is “Zootopia’s” Nick Wilde, and I would love to see what those two could do together if they teamed up.)
Also, this is my favorite film version of Robin Hood.
My favorite parts in the film include when Robin disguised himself as a fortune teller so to distract Prince John while Little John stole money from the chests that were being brought out of Nottingham and that epic jailbreak and stealing all the gold from Prince John’s bedroom.
This film, for me, was very different from the other films, mostly because the music was mostly Gospel, and because they made an effort to seamlessly create a Disney feel, while retaining the shapes and forms in Greek drawings, in their animation.
This, for me, was a film that was more epic in scope, and it was the first time that I began to notice and pay attention to the obvious Easter Eggs that the animators put there. (Scar’s hide as his cape, anyone?)
I also liked how the love interest, Megara, was a little bit different from the rest of the cro, and how important she was in terms of the main plot. Plus, I loved how they incorporated the muses into the film as the film’s narrators.
My favorite scenes in this film was the entire “Go the Distance” sequence to Hercules meeting a statue version of Zeus in one of his temples, Hercules first meeting Megara, the “Zero to Hero” sequence, and of course, the sequence in which Megara sang “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)”.
So those were my Top Ten Favorite Animated Disney Films of all time.
What do you think of it? What are your favorite Animated Disney Films of all time? What other Top Tens would you like me to do in the future? Let me know in the comments below!