“Why do we have to grow up…?” – Walt Disney
Everybody likes Disney movies, right?
Some say that Disney movies are their guilty pleasure, but there’s absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. Disney movies have been apart of my life ever since I first sat down in front of a television. They’ve taught me some valuable lessons over the years and in truth I’m still learning new things every time I watch a Disney movie. They give us that longing sense of nostalgia, but also often prepare us for our inevitable future, no matter what age we are.
Creating a list of All Time Favourite Disney Movies hasn’t been an easy feat by any means so I’ve narrowed it down to fifteen and even that was extremely difficult with many of the movies trading places every time I looked back at the list. The rules are pretty simple. I’ve only included animated movies (including Pixar flicks) and as a general rule I’ve omitted any sequels. I’m basing much of this list on how much I love these films and how important they have been to me over the years so this is very much an opinion piece not a detailed critical breakdown. Here goes:
15. The Sword In The Stone
It may be based on the classic fable but much of the body of this Disney classic really has nothing to do with the title of the movie. The wizard Merlin comes upon a chance meeting with young Arthur and decides to train him in the ways of magic, celebrating a powerful moral that size doesn’t always matter. It also contains one of my favourite Disney sequences ever; the battle between Merlin and Madam Mim in which they quickly transform into various different types of animals to fight each other.
14. A Bug’s Life
Often overshadowed by other more successful Pixar titles, A Bug’s Life still remains one of the most charming animal adventures of recent years. Like Toy Story before it, A Bug’s Life thrived on it’s original concepts and stunning animation, much of what is way better than a lot of animated movies now. The storytelling absorbs adults just in the same way it does children and in Flik creates a character that we can all cheer for. The merry band of circus performers mistakenly paraded as mighty heroes make for a gag filled caper.
13. Basil the Great Mouse Detective
Based on the children’s book Basil Of Baker Street – itself written as a tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest invention ever, Sherlock Holmes – Disney created this little masterpiece in 1986. Unfortunately it will never rank very highly on Disney movie lists and ultimately is forgotten about. The songs aren’t exactly memorable but in Ratigan, the villainous rat, Disney have created something truly terrifying to children. His nasty sidekick with the peg leg is also scary but does bring some comedy too. A genuinely entertaining mystery riddled with fun nods and a climatic ending.
12. Robin Hood
Disney’s take on another time-honoured hero. He steals from the rich and gives to the poor and Disney kinda does the same with this adaptation. It’s very simple but the characters, holy hell the characters brings this one to life. It might be the first Disney feature that I ever watched. At the very least it was definitely the first one that I ever truly loved. I’m aware that the animation isn’t as neat and tidy as it could be – due to budget restrictions some sequences were actually traced from previous films – and the inclusion of good songs might have given it more of an upbeat feel but I love that all the different characters are given some time instead of just pandering around Robin Hood’s self discovery. It will always remain a favourite of mine.
11. 101 Dalmatians
One of the most famous Disney movies ever, its villain Cruella De Vil is without a doubt as iconic as any movie villain in the history of cinema. Since the movie doesn’t really have a definite hero so to speak, it’s Cruella who has to take much of the weight and she does it with ease. It’s a lot more emotional than you’re average Disney movie from around this era and the dogs are so charming I’ll defy anyone who doesn’t pine for a dalmatian after watching. I can take or leave the other human characters and their relationship, after all it’s really all about Cruella and the love story between the dogs. The final picture with which Walt Disney was actively involved in gives it even more poignance and sentimentality.
As always I’m always up for hearing what your thoughts are. Tell me your favourite Disney movies and don’t forget to check out Part 2.
Gavin Logan – Follow me on Twitter