Well folks, it’s about time that I open up my latest section of this blog: my “Top 13” Lists! Face it, we all love lists and love reading other people’s opinions, and I’m no exception. So I thought to myself that I should start making a few lists and hopefully some people would be interested in reading them!
So I went ahead and decided my first list to be, “My Top 13 Favorite Animated Disney (Canon) Films”! It seemed an appropriate list to start with seeing as I’m already doing a project involving the Disney Canon. Maybe some of you were curious as to which films are my personal favorite?
After looking through the list of the Disney Canon films and after much painstaking editing and re-arranging (I never realized how hard ranking things can be! To those of you who make lists often, I tip my hat to you!),
I’m ready to share the results with you all!
Note: I personally find one’s favorites and preferences can vary over time, minutely, if not majorly! So keep in mind that as of January 2013, this is my list! Maybe when I look back at this list in the future, I’ll wonder why my #6 film was not #12? Or why my #10 film was not my #3? Or why my #7 film was even on the list to begin with?
Also, I have not seen “Wreck-It Ralph” yet, but I have seen all the other films in the Disney Canon! Hopefully, I don’t love “Wreck-It Ralph” so much that it affects my top 13! Oh, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “Why top 13?” Well, it’s because I’m not superstitious!
With that said, sit back and enjoy my top 13 favorite animated Disney (Canon) films!
#13: MEET THE ROBINSONS
I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I know you’re all here to see which one of the great masterpieces of Disney I personally adore, and I start off with this less than credible creation.
I understand that it’s not a good film. I understand that it has problems. But what can I say? I am quite fond of it, and that’s what this list is about: my FAVORITES, not the ones that I think are best!
Anyway,“Meet the Robinsons”, based on a book by William Joyce, is about a young inventor orphan named Lewis whose inventions don’t work as he plans.
At his school’s science fair, a boy named Wilbur approaches him and tells him that he’s a time cop from the future and has to take Lewis back to the future with him. Lewis of course doesn’t believe Wilbur, until he actually sees the time machine that Wilbur used to travel into the past.
After that, they both climb aboard the machine and whisk their way into the future where a villain by the name of the “Bowler Hat Guy” is close behind them!
In the future, Lewis meets Wilbur’s family after agreeing to repair the time machine due to a crash landing. All this occurs while our villain is in the background trying to…do what villains do! And that’s pretty much the gist of the story!
I’m not sure why I like this film so much! (Well, obviously not so much, since it’s at my thirteenth spot)! I guess I’m a fan of time travel in fiction and this movie provides that outlet for me. The animation, of course not stellar, is actually quite enjoyable, colorful, and creative. The main characters are memorable, the minor ones aren’t (good for my project 😀 ), and the villain is enjoyable although not menacing. Sort of like Edgar from “The Aristocats”, except more likable!
The film was Disney’s 2nd CGI film that they produced themselves after “Chicken Little”. (Somehow they don’t consider “Dinosaur” as their first CGI film; maybe it’s because the backgrounds were real and not computer animated, oh well!)
Regardless, I think it was quite a good effort on their part. I agree that story-wise and substance-wise, the film isn’t much; but heart-wise and enjoyment-wise, I believe this film packs a punch! Well, it entertained me, at least! I’ve seen it a few times and I’m sure I’ll watch it many times more!
This timeless classic definitely has to be on my list. It’s one of the Disney films that I grew up watching and it’s a joy of darkness every time!
The film is about a wood-carver who creates a marionette and wishes for him to be a real boy. That night, the Blue Fairy comes and grants the wood-carver’s wish; and the marionette, named Pinocchio, comes to life! If he can prove himself worthy, he will become a real boy later. The rest of the movie is about Pinocchio falling into temptation numerous times and coming across some of the darkest characters and scenes that the Disney Canon has to offer.
Kids transform into donkeys! The kid-donkeys are taken and sold to use in heavy work!
Kids are drinking and smoking!
The movie is downright freaky, and that’s why it’s so awesome!
The animation is perfect and the atmosphere gets as dark as the tone of the film. The voice acting is precise and the characters are lovable! The lessons and morals that Pinocchio learns throughout the movie are still applicable today. The songs are extremely catchy, although I wouldn’t rank them as Disney’s best.
All in all, Disney’s take on this rather dark tale is exceptional and it still manages to please me till this day!
This is actually a film that I didn’t grow up watching. I’ve only seen this film twice. The first time was maybe 6 or 7 years ago and I don’t remember much except for the fact that I DIDN’T LIKE IT! I was actually planning on making a list, “Top 13 Animated Films that I Don’t Like, But Everyone Else Does!” and was going to include this film in it. However, I decided to re-watch this film in late 2012, and….I was like OMG!
How could I have hated this movie before?! It’s amazing! The main thing is the animation! Oh my goodness, the animation literally blows you away! The 3D painting and rendering technique called “Deep Canvas” really brings the movie to life!
What about the story? The story is the basic “Tarzan” story: an orphaned boy grows up amongst the animals of the jungle!
Well ok, maybe Edgar Rice Burroughs was inspired by Rudyard Kipling.
But nonetheless, the story is precise, concise, and enjoyable!
The characters are likable and relatable! Everyone can understand how Tarzan feels because we’ve all felt different from everybody else at one point or another in our lives. So we relate totally with this character!
The side characters range from annoying apes
to incredible supporting roles!
The voice casting is excellent with the exception of Minnie Driver as Jane. I don’t hate her performance, but I believe someone else would have been a better choice than her. But it’s not a big issue!
The only complaint that I have now with this movie is the songs. I don’t like the songs at all. I believe they are quite forgettable. And I personally don’t like “background songs”. But hey, I can’t be expected to like everything.
So all in all, that second viewing of “Tarzan” has made my feelings towards this movie transform from “hate” into “adoration”! And the adoration level was sooooo high that I had to put it on my top 13 list!
I actually spent some time battling with myself whether my newfound love for “Tarzan” was greater than my love for “Aladdin”. I kept switching their places back and forth, until I decided that my love for “Aladdin” was older and hence, it deserved the higher ranking.
“Aladdin” was a childhood film that I loved since I first saw it and watched innumerable times since! And what’s not to love? It has a likable character who wants something more in life,
it has a beautiful princess who also wants something more in life,
it has one of the best Disney villains ever,
it has fights,
it has humor,
it has Robin Williams,
and it has Gilbert Gottfried!
And although I love this film, I do agree with “The Nostalgia Critic” that the novelty of this film wears out over the years as opposed to other classics like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast”.
And maybe that’s the reason why it’s near the end of my list.
But other than that, the animation is what you expect from the Disney Renaissance,
the songs are classic Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice fare, and other than its wearing novelty; I have no further problems with this film! I loved it, I love it, and hopefully will still continue to love it!
#9: THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE
I believe this is one of the most underrated of the animated Disney films. But at least I’m giving it honor by placing it in my list!
The story is basically a traditional “Sherlock Holmes” story that takes place in the world of rodents. A mouse detective named Basil along with a doctor mouse named Dawson work on a case that involves them reuniting a young girl mouse with her Scottish father and taking on the criminal mastermind himself, VINCENT PRICE!
This is an example of a celebrity voice done right! Vincent Price plays the villain, Ratigan, so perfectly! You can tell he’s having fun with the character and has even said that Ratigan was his favorite role that he’s every played!
Now, why do I enjoy this film so much? Well, first it’s a mystery/detective story which is a genre that I adore! And I’m a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, although my favorite detective is somebody else!
Secondly, the characters are enjoyable! You have to love Basil’s ego and haughtiness! You have to love Dawson’s kindness and trying to comprehend everything! You have to love Ratigan and just how happily evil he is!
And lastly, the film is just fun! Every twist and turn of the movie keeps you entertained and loving it! The animation is great too with one of the first usages of CGI in animated Disney films!
All in all, this film is an entertaining journey of fun that I’ve went on many times before and hope to experience many times more!
#8: THE SWORD IN THE STONE
Disney’s last animated film released during his life, “The Sword in the Stone” has always been a personal favorite of mine! I grew up with it, so nostalgia plays a part in this. But the film is so unique when compared to the other animated Disney films that it stands out on its own!
The film is about a young King Arthur (pre-kingdom) who happens upon an enjoyable old wizard named Merlin and his pet owl Archimedes. They both take it upon themselves to educate Arthur and teach him…things! And that’s pretty much the whole story!
The movie doesn’t really have a villain. The movie doesn’t have a princess to be rescued. The movie is more like “Alice in Wonderland”. It’s just a character going through different experiences and learning from them. Only this time, the character has two mentors to guide him along the way.
This was also the first animated Disney film to use the classic Sherman Brothers’ work and admittedly it’s not their best, but even that is exemplary!
So is nostalgia the main reason I love this film? Is the simplicity of the story the reason I love this film? Is it the lovable characters and great voice acting? Is it the catchy songs? Is it the sketchy animation? All of the above play a part, but my number one reason that I love this film is because of….THE WIZARDS’ DUEL!!!
The scene is just so creative! So many animals to choose from, so many cards to play, etc. You can tell that the animators had a blast animating that scene! This is probably my second favorite scene (non-song) in any animated Disney film! My number one will come later on in the list!
Wrapping up, although the actual sword in the stone is loosely relevant to the story, the other parts make up for it perfectly!
#7: THE LION KING
Hakuna Matata! I couldn’t and didn’t forget to include this one! Arguably, the most famous animated Disney film, it still holds the record (as of January 2013) for the highest-grossing traditional animated film! It’s hard to believe that very few people actually wanted to work on this film. Pretty much everyone loves it now! And what’s not to love?
The story is about a young lion cub who believes he’s killed his father and runs away from everything. After learning that he can’t run away from his problems, he decides to head back to his homeland and regain control of the kingdom from his evil uncle!
The animation is first-class Disney Renaissance fare with a great scene involving the CAPS process!
The voice actors, albeit a bit more celebrity-based than usual for Disney standards, are quite enjoyable. And the songs range from extremely awesome
to pretty basic and possibly annoying!
Some people, like the “Nostalgia Critic”, consider this film overrated; and although I can see the arguments they make, I don’t believe they’re enough to stamp this film with the overrated seal!
Why do I love this film? Well basically for all the reasons listed above, not to mention that I grew up with this (as did almost everyone else reading this) and watched this numerous times. I don’t really know what else to say about this film. What else can one say? It’s “The Lion King”!
#6: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
This film, like “Tarzan”, is one that I didn’t grow up watching and have only seen twice. But unlike “Tarzan”, I absolutely LOVED this film both times that I saw it! Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, the story is about a hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, a gypsy, a Captain of the Guard, and a lust-filled evil judge!
Considered to be Disney’s most adult animated feature, the film could easily have been an extreme blockbuster and instant classic! The animation is awesome and beyond belief (just watch its pathetic sequel and you’ll appreciate it),
the voice acting is stupendous,
and the songs for the most part are pure awesomeness!
Sadly, for every good thing that the movie has, it has bad aspects as well. And that’s the reason why it’s not as revered a classic as it could have been or as high a blockbuster as it could have been. The film has some petty humor thrown into it (mostly from the gargoyles) that backfires most of the time. The plot has a few holes here and there. And there are other problems with the movie. But I’m pretty forgiving and know that every cloud has to have its silver lining (I think I just misused that phrase), so the bad things don’t bother me much.
This movie is a masterpiece in my opinion, and I hope to view it more times!
#5: THE JUNGLE BOOK
The last animated film that Walt Disney worked on before he died is definitely on my list as well! The film, loosely based on Rudyard Kipling’s book, is about an orphaned boy who grows up amongst the animals of the jungle!
When the enemy Shere Khan hears of the boy’s existence, it’s up to Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear to help take the boy safely to the “man village”. Why do I like this movie?
Well, one reason I think is its simplicity. It’s just about taking a boy to safety. There’s no kingdom involved, no overcomplicated plot; it’s just a mission. And that’s not to say that the mission is free of colorful characters or free of danger. Oh, no! Although he’s not on-screen for the majority of the time, Shere Khan just leaves a formidable impression on one! Probably my favorite Disney villain, he’s evil and he knows he’s evil and is proud of it! Also being voiced by George Sanders helps a lot!
And the other characters are extremely likable and enjoyable: Bagheera,
Colonel Hathi and his elephant brigade,
King Louie and the monkeys, etc.
The songs are classic Sherman Brothers and Terry Gilkyson and are instantly memorable and hummable.
Every time I watch this film, I’m pleased and I hope to continue to experience the same feeling!
#4: ROBIN HOOD
This has always been a cherished film of mine since childhood. And now that I’m older, I hear many people considering it one of the WORSE Disney movies! And I’m like:
I mean, what possible reasons can you provide that make it bad? I mean I can understand how “The Aristocats” may be a bad movie, although I personally like it; but “Robin Hood”?! Really?! “Home on the Range” is bad, “The Black Cauldron” is bad, you can even consider “Saludos Amigos” as one of the weaker Disney films, but “Robin Hood”?! The only case I can see that one can make is the fact that a lot of animation was re-used as was the tradition of director Wolfgang Reitherman and that the animation studios were on a tight budget.
But I don’t believe that’s enough to stamp this film with the mark of disapproval. Anyway, that’s just my two cents!
The film is the legend of “Robin Hood” as portrayed by animals. Walt Disney had always wanted to make an animated film about Robin Hood or Reynard the Fox; so this film killed both of those birds with one stone, so to speak.
And this film is the one that contains my favorite Disney scene that I mentioned earlier: THE CLIMAX! The film itself has many fun and fast fight scenes which are enjoyable, but the climax alone gives you a high! It starts out all quiet and quickly moves into a fast-paced escape scene! I’d put a picture of it, but sadly can find none 😦 ! For those of you who haven’t seen this movie, watch it at least for the climax!
The film has fun villains,
and songs written by Roger Miller.
What else can I say about this film except “Oo-de-lally!”
#3: ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS
It’s interesting to see that so many of the “sketchy animation Disney films” from the ’60s and ’70s are on my top 13 list! Maybe I quite enjoy this type of illustrated work.
Oh well, whatever the case, “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”, is a pure classic! The story we all know is about a mad woman named Cruella De Vil
who steals Dalmatians in order to make beautiful fur coats. I personally see this movie as the story of Pongo and Perdita and how far parents would go for the sake of their children! I think the emotional aspect of the film is the main reason why I love it so much!
You can see the 101 Dalmatians dead tired, about to collapse, and extremely grateful when shelter is provided for them. You can see the camaraderie between all the canines and how each one is concerned about the stolen puppies. You can see how each one of them is willing to do whatever they can to help and protect Pongo, Perdita, and the other 99.
All that and more are why this film holds a special place in my heart.
#2: ALICE IN WONDERLAND
“Alice in Wonderland” is a film that I’ve always loved and adored. But only after re-watching it recently for my Forgotten/Minor Characters Project, did I realize exactly HOW MUCH I loved this film! This film is just…perfect!
You have a young schoolgirl who wishes for a world of nonsense and gets exactly what she wishes.
She ventures through Wonderland meeting strange, frustrating creatures (see my Forgotten/Minor Characters article for pictures). She’s trying her best to find her way home, but nobody is willing to help her. She’s trying her best to understand the logic of this place, but understandably, keeps getting frustrated. She’s trying her best to dodge certain characters only to meet them again later on or bump into even weirder characters.
I personally can relate with Alice a lot, and I think I’d consider her to be my favorite Disney female. The Tim Burton movie has nothing on this film.
This movie is amazing and always will be.
AND MY #1 FAVORITE ANIMATED DISNEY (CANON) FILM IS:
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
It would be an act of insanity to not include this masterpiece on anyone’s favorite animated Disney films list! This film is probably the most perfect Disney film! The animation is incredible,
the songs are incredible,
the voice acting is incredible, the characters are incredible,
everything about this film is incredible!
This was the first animated film to get nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture! And in my opinion, it would have continued to be the only animated film to be nominated for that award if they hadn’t change the rules to allow for more nominees! This was the film that cemented the Disney Renaissance in my opinion! This was the film that had us emotionally connected with it! This was the film that had us laughing, this was the film that had us crying!
This was THE film! ‘Nuff Said!
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed that incredibly long post! Feel free to leave a comment and/or tell me what your favorite animated Disney films are! Also if you liked this, feel free to give me a suggestion for another top 13 list that you’d like to see! Thanks!