Hi! I've been on here for quite a few years now and have never done a favorite Disney movie list, I mean I have in my head but I've never posted an article about it. It's always something I wanted to do but I always found it hard to actually put a list together as I'm so indecisive lol. I did a top 15 instead of a top 10 so it was a bit easier for me. I sometimes struggle to express why I like certain things, so apologies if I repeat myself a lot in the article! Also a few of these I like pretty much equally, especially in the middle. These aren't necessarily objectively the 'best' Disney movies, just my personal favourites.
15.Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
This movie is part of the reason I did a top 15 instead of a top 10 as I couldn’t possibly not include it. Whilst it’s not a perfect movie in terms of plot execution, I’ve always found it one of the most enjoyable Disney movies to watch and I’m never bored during. The soundtrack, while not Disney’s best, is fun and all of the characters (maybe with the exception of the Prince- but I love him regardless) are memorable and timeless as well as the movie itself.
14. Brother Bear
Whilst this movie doesn’t stray too far from the standard Disney formula I’ve always loved it regardless. The characters are flawed (which I like) and go through a lot of personal development/growth over the course of the movie and the brotherly aspect is portrayed very realistically. Despite just saying that it’s not particularly original, one thing that is unique about it is the fact that there’s no real villain; one is the villain to the other due to what they’ve been taught. It’s an interesting dynamic. Also the soundtrack for me is criminally underrated, the Transformation scene is one of my favorite Disney scenes due to the amazing score. And I adore Koda.
13. Monsters, Inc.
I’m not a huge Pixar fan (though most of their movies are very well made), but this is one of the exceptions, I’ve always liked it but it’s only recently that I started loving it. The characters are great, especially Sulley who for me is one of the best Pixar protagonists and I love his friendship with Mike. It also has one of the more superior Pixar villains – most can be pretty ‘meh’ but Randall is both scary and interesting at the same time. It’s such a good movie, and the ending scene with Boo never fails to make me cry.
12. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
I’m a sucker for dog movies and this has been one of my favourites since I first watched it. I can’t really think of any flaws for it- I never used to be a fan of the sketchy background animation but it’s really grown on me over the years, and I love the setting. It also has two of my favourite Disney couples in Anita & Roger, and Pongo & Perdita; their interactions are very natural and realistic and the latter are 2 of Disney's best parents. Cruella is also a fantastic villain, “blast this wretched pen!”. Basically I love the characters the most.
11. Finding Nemo
My very favourite Pixar movie- I don’t think it will ever stop being one of my favourites, it has an engaging plot, endearing characters that you really root for and mesmerising animation. In fact I think the animation still holds up really well and wouldn’t look out of place if released now. I’m fascinated by the deep ocean so of course that’s a bonus. I initially envisaged this being in my top 10, but after careful consideration I just love the others more.
10. The Aristocats
This isn’t the most exciting Disney movie ever released, but it’s one of the most charming. I love that it has a pretty simple storyline but still has some depth to it. The villain is probably one of the weakest Disney villains, but part of me prefers that in this instance because The Aristocats is just a great form of escapism for me. It’s just very relaxing and the characters are very charming (I know I said charming twice, but I think it’s the most suitable word here), especially Duchess & Thomas O'Malley. Also this movie makes me want a cat (or 5) even though I’m severely allergic lol.
9. A Goofy Movie
This movie may not be a masterpiece (cough...I think it is… cough.) but it’s certainly one of the most overlooked Disney movies. I maintain the belief that, if you look past the anthropomorphic dogs, it’s one of the most realistic Disney movies in terms of the way it deals with its themes. The relationship/conflict between Max and Goofy and their development is portrayed and written very naturally; it’s not just rushed and you can visibly see them changing and understanding each other more as the movie progresses. It’s just very relatable, generally speaking. The plot isn’t too intricate, but it’s extremely enjoyable, and the Max/Roxanne romance is cute.
I have to add: the soundtrack is one of Disney’s best. If there was a music apocalypse and the only two songs left in the world were ‘Stand Out’ and ‘I2I’ I'd be content because no other songs matter.
I can hear Mushu shouting "dishonor on your cow" at me due to this being lower than I thought it'd be. This movie has such a good mix of action and humour; the plot is among my favourites from Disney; I love zero to hero movies. The characters on the ‘good’ side are extremely admirable in their actions and the villain is bone-chillingly terrifying, and his defeat in the climax is epic. The songs are fun and the score fantastic (especially “Mulan’s decision” which is one of the best Disney scores). I love the character development and while I’m a sucker for romance I appreciate that there’s no overt romantic relationship here.
7. The Great Mouse Detective
In my opinion this is the most underrated Disney movie, bar none. I love most Sherlock Holmes, or mystery in general, type stories and a mouse version, whilst weird on paper, oddly works. The plot is intricate (for Disney standards) but not convoluted, and the characters lovable, especially the main character. The animation style isn’t up there with Disney’s best but it fits the movie and I like the character designs, as well as the perfect voice acting for each character. Oh, and the villain is ~fantastic, one of the best Disney villains, he has a great motive and a catchy song.
6. Sleeping Beauty
I admittedly never used to like this movie much at all, in fact it was my least favourite Disney Princess movie for years as I found it an absolute snoozefest. However, over the years I’ve grown to appreciate it considerably more and now it’s one of my favourites. It’s unique in almost every aspect. The plot at face-value seems ordinary but the way it’s executed/presented is very unique and I love the characters as well as the fairy-tale romance (guilty pleasure). Watching this movie is like watching a visually stunning moving painting. To summarise, it’s a musical and artistic masterpiece.
5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
My opinion of this movie over the years is actually similar to that of Sleeping Beauty. I used to find it boring and it was among my least favourite Disney movies, but the darker themes that went over my head as a kid are able to be appreciated so much more as an adult. It’s actually borderline disturbing at times, but I appreciate that Disney took risks with making the villain so vile. The soundtrack, in my opinion, is Disney’s BEST. The score especially is absolutely phenomenal. The characters have depth and flaws. The only thing that lets the film down is those damn gargoyles, I like to pretend they’re figments of Quasimodo's imagination (though realistically I know they’re not) because it makes their scenes more bearable. Otherwise it’s pretty much perfect.
4. Wreck-It Ralph
I think this is the most original, creative movie Disney has ever made. The end result could easily have been forgettable, regardless of creativity, but they really made it work. I could watch this countless times and not get bored, the animation is great (in terms of the movie’s setting) and the characters lovable – I even root for Vanellope who I’m not a huge fan of. I love the overall message of the movie about embracing who you are and the last line of the movie, "Turns out I don't need a medal to tell me I'm a good guy, because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?" is so poignant and makes me cry every time. I hope the sequel is as good because there's just so much scope and potential in such a vivid, large universe. I just love that they made this movie.
3. Lady and the Tramp
This movie is wonderful, it doesn’t have an intricate, detailed plot but it doesn't require it as it still holds my interest. I just love the relaxing, pleasant simplicity of it and the good cast of characters help carry the movie. The romance between Lady and Tramp is my favourite Disney romance, so of course that helps considering the movie revolves around their love story. I find the ‘dog’s point of view’ animation style a really neat aspect and I also like how there’s not really a villain in this movie, not in the same way that there is in most other Disney movies anyway. Also the soundtrack can often be overlooked, “Bella Notte” is a beautiful song.
2. Beauty and the Beast
While putting this article together I didn’t expect Beauty and the Beast to be this high – I thought it’d be in the middle- but I just couldn’t put it any lower. I really think it’s an amazing movie, in spite of its flaws. It has so many incredible moments- the prologue, the West Wing scene, the Ballroom scene, the end transformation scene, among others. I often watch clips of those scenes and I still get chills. I’ve always loved all the characters from the main to the supporting, as well as the soundtrack and the animation. I find it hard to summarise why I like this movie, I just always have. It's iconic.
This has been my favourite Disney movie for years, I don't think any movie is perfect but to me it’s very close to perfection. Even when I look at it objectively I think pretty much every aspect of the movie is as good as it could possibly be. The animation is beautiful-I love the Deep Canvas technique they used; the jungle feels ‘real’. The characters are (mostly) incredibly likeable, relatable, humorous and endearing with a lot of depth; the villain could potentially be better but I think he fits his purpose for the movie. The relationship between Tarzan and Jane is portrayed and written so beautifully and naturally; what I love about them is that their love for each other is so pure but also very realistic - in how they bond with each other, I mean, not the whole jungle situation. They're also great characters individually, not just as a couple. The soundtrack is fantastic (but then I’m biased because Phil Collins), but not just the songs, the score too. It also, in my opinion, has the best Disney mother-role in Kala. I feel pretty much every emotion watching this movie, it just has so much sincerity and heart to it.
Thanks for reading. :)