So it seems like I jumped the gun a little bit on this day – in an earlier post about my favourite movies, I included 5 of my top Disney movies. Well, Day 26 is all about favourite Disney movies, so I’ll be talking about 10 more of my favourites! Can you tell I’m a Disney fanatic yet? I focused a bit more on some of my ‘hipster’ favourites, because everyone already knows that Frozen and Tangled are great movies. If you want to see what I had to say about my top 5 (Mulan, Tarzan, Coco, Hercules, and Big Hero 6) check out my post for Day 10.
Day 26: Favourite Disney Movie?
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
This was the last 2D, hand drawn movie that Disney ever produced, and I absolutely loved it. Tiana is easily one of my favourite princesses – she’s hard-working, sensible, and easy to relate to. Her relationship with Prince Naveen was also one of the better fleshed out romances in Disney princess movies. They really bring out the best in each other, and it’s not the tired love-at-first-sight story. This movie also has one of my favourite villains of all time in Dr. Facilier. He’s criminally underappreciated. This movie just has a great storyline, with great characters to carry it.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Treasure Planet had a really rough go of it – check out this video here if you’re interested in learning more about its rocky development, and the fact that it was essentially sent out into theaters to die. This movie is a riff on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, but in space. Though not all elements of it are executed perfectly (looking at you B.E.N.) it has a fantastic antagonist that is redeemed in the end, and a likeable main character, Jim Hawkins. The animation style, so-called 2D/3D (hand-drawn animation on top of computer generated animation) is stunning. It also has a phenomenal soundtrack, and though it isn’t one of Disney’s triple-A releases, it’s definitely one of my favourites, and I’d recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it.
Moana is a strange movie for me, because I adore it – especially the characters, the music, and the setting – but I’d consider it to have some of the weakest writing in terms of plot in any modern Disney movie. It just lacks a certain tension, or driving force throughout the middle of the movie – however, it says a lot that, despite my issues with its writing, it’s still one of my favourites of all time. Moana and Maui are fantastic protagonists, Grandma is the real MVP, and Tomatoa is a hilarious addition. I loved Moana’s story arc and the growth that she experiences throughout the film.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
This movie is quite dark and heavy in its religious themes, which of course, all went completely over my head as a child. I always appreciated the story of Quasimodo and how he was able to step into the light and be accepted by the end of the movie. I enjoyed Phoebus and Esmeralda as supporting characters, with Frollo being one of the best Disney villains of all time. This is another one of the classic Disney films with a great soundtrack, and it’s still one of my favourites to this day.
I mean, this one doesn’t need a lot of explaining. Aladdin is my favourite Disney prince of all time (next to Flynn Rider) and his story is so endearing. He’s easy to cheer for, and Jasmine is one of the less passive princesses from this period of time, when the princesses were not always given the best characterization. Robin Williams as the Genie is easily one of the factors that push this movie into “best ever” territory – his performance is over-the-top and yet still manages to create a down-to-earth, lovable character. The soundtrack for this movie is absolutely iconic. Jafar is also my favourite Disney villain ever. The live action movie ruined him.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
This is another Disney movie that I feel is slept on – though its popularity seems to have increased somewhat recently, I rarely see this one included in “favourite” lists. It’s a really heartwarming story about an Emperor who learns to be less selfish (through his transformation into a llama, as you do) through a journey with peasant-farmer, Pacha. The antagonist in this movie, Yzma, is honestly one of my favourite characters ever. She is me. And of course, you can’t forget Kronk, who is both classically stupid, and lovable.
The Sword in the Stone (1963)
Jeez, is that really the year this movie came out? Way before my time, but still a classic that I grew up watching in the 90’s. Merlin is a great character – his personality was always the high point of this film for me. Arthur’s wide-eyed innocence as Merlin guides him through the ways of the world is always a joy to watch. The film ends on a bit of a strange note, but regardless, its still one that I’ve always loved.
Up is the heartwarming tale of an old man who, having lost his wife, learns to open up again after (reluctantly) befriending youngster Russell. Their journey takes Carl (and his house) through Paradise Falls, as they both learn to rely on each other. Up is also another classic example of a children’s movie that possesses the ability to stomp all over my heart and make me bawl like a baby every time I watch it. Seeing Carl reward Russell at the end of the film with the Grape Soda “Ellie” badge just pulls on my heartstrings so much, I literally can’t.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
Hoo boy, this movie is old. This is a film that I have fond memories of renting over and over again when I was a kid – much to my parents delight, I’m sure. This film is split into two re-tellings of the classic stories The Wind in the Willows, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Toad’s character from the first section was endlessly hilarious to me when I was young – particularly the scene where they’re trying to quietly sneak into Toad Hall and spy a guard on the bridge. Toad shouts “I’ll pop him off!” before blasting a deafening gunshot, as all the other characters leap to stop him. I have no idea why I found that so funny. Ichabod’s story, on the other hand, used to scare the living daylights out of me because of the Headless Horseman. It was a movie my sister and I would watch on Halloween, and 100% of the time would result in a sleepless night. But in retrospect, maybe that was just the sugar from all the candy.
I always thought Zootopia was a really clever movie – it deals with a form of racism, in its depiction of predator/prey relations, and I feel that its an important topic for kids to experience. Its a take on a buddy-cop movie, and both protagonists, Judy and Nick, are extremely well-written characters. As always, Disney’s animation is stunning, and the script for this movie is genuinely hilarious. I think this is one of those Disney films that is overshadowed somewhat by other popular titles, but this one is executed very well and I have no problems watching it over and over again.
There we have it – 10 more of my favourite Disney movies. What are some of your favourites? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out Megan (A Geeky Gal’s) post for today here.