Friday, December 9, 2011

Ten Animated Disney Movies You Should See

Well okay, this is a hard one.  There are lots of Disney movies to choose from.  And before all of you independent forward thinkers start groaning about Disney and their steamroller approach to marketing, let me explain.  Some people like to talk about the old classic fairytales and how Disney has run over them, made them all have gigantic eyes and tiny waists, and lost the essence of the stories completely.  Not so.  Come now, fellow readers.  The movies below have been done masterfully, if not improving the stories of some, at least bringing pictures to fairytales that need to be known throughout the world.  I know, I've read most of these stories in their original forms.
So here we go:

The Little Mermaid (1989)This movie caught me at that impressionable age of ten.  It's hard not to love it when the heroine survives and marries the prince versus the old Hans Christian Anderson tale where she dies and becomes bubbles.

Sleeping Beauty (1959)
The tale of Sleeping Beauty is made all the more interesting by Eyvind Earle's beautiful and fantastic scenery painting.  This particulary version is also close to my heart as it has (in my opinion) the most interesting Disney prince.  He is hero willing to fight and we love to cheer Prince Phillip on. 

The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh (1977)
Now, I do love A. A. Milne and have read his works so let's get one thing straight.  This is not A. A. Milne.  These characters are not very similar to the stories that Milne conjured up but they are charming.  This little set of stories is quite fun and both myself, my husband, and our children have enjoyed the series.  Check out The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh (1988-1991) if you want more stories about this group. 

Tarzan (1999)
Possibly my favorite Disney film.  Beautifully retold.  Lovely score.  Really just a Disney masterpiece in my opinion.

Mulan (1998)
This tale is beautifully told and even though Eddie Murphy has been cast as the talking sidekick, Mushu is a cutie pie.  Ming-na does a great job of voicing Mulan and the story is lovely.

Beauty In The Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast is up there for me too.  When you think about the actual story, you realize how much Disney has put into this film.  The opening credits of the stained glass story over the Saint-Saen type score is simply stunning.  I love the characters, the songs are good, and the color is rich and lustrous.  This is definitely one of Disney's best.

Fantasia (1940)
Fantasia is a little off the beaten path as not many people are drawn to a collection of cartoons illustrating musical pieces.  I do find a little of the orchestra preparing to be on the slow side but some of the actual pieces in this film are beyond reproach.  If I had to pick favorites I'd say that these three top my list: First has to be the Dance of the Hours with the alligator, hippos, ostriches, and elephants.  Amazing.  Secondly, I love Beethoven's pastoral symphony with the creation of the world and all mythical creatures.  When I was little I wanted to brush the Kentaurides hair and play in the rainbow water with the little pegasus babies.  Thirdly, I love the Tchaikovsky pieces from the Nutcracker and the little fairies changing the seasons.  I can't remember if those two go together but I do enjoy them both.  

Aladdin (1992)
I don't know.  The original to this story was a bare bones sort of tale and Disney has added quite a bit to it.  I loved this movie when it came out.  I still think it's towards the top of Disney's lists.  Just some good old fashioned fairytale fun.

Lilo And Stitch (2002)
This movie will hold a special place in my heart as it came out the same year my son was born and he has always loved it.  You have to love Stitch, Pleakley, Jumba, and little Lilo.  I love when Disney does originals well and this is one of those.

Emperor's New Groove (2000)
If a movie is going to be sarcastic, it might as well go all the way.  The combination of the voices of David Spade and Patrick Warburton are pretty much unbeatable.  It's almost like they animated those two guys and wrote a story for them.  Warburton is one of my all-time favorites.  Watch this film with your kids.  You'll snicker and haw all the way through.

Well, that's it.  Here are ten movies you can add to your watching repertoire or you can purchase them for Christmas.  If you haven't seen one of these I encourage you to give it a chance.  They're all worth an hour or two of your time.  


  1. Definitely a great list, but no Tangled?

  2. I would bump "Tarzan" & "Lilo & Stitch" for Robin Hood & Lion King.

    Tangled is great, but it's too new to really hold a special place in my heart.

    "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts..."

  3. No Tangled. It is good but not that good. I do cry at the lantern scene every time, though and laugh at the horse and chameleon lots. If I had been ten when it came out, it would probably replace The Little Mermaid for me. As far as "bumping" goes I can't bump my own favorites but can appreciate yours Miss K., though you bumped my #1 for my #17 or so. The Lion King was good but I haven't had to re-watch it the way I have had to with the above mentioned.