Disney Animated Films are classic. No matter what age you are, the odds are good that you grew up on them. You may have seen Cinderella soon after it came out or years later, thanks to VHS tapes, TV, or DVDs. Disney animated films contain their own kind of magic, a brand of happily-ever-after that may not always be realistic, but is still necessary because those films let you believe in that kind of fantasy, even if it's only for an hour and a half. There are many, many Disney movies, but some are more popular, more classic, more beloved than others, so take a look at the very top Disney animated films and see what you think.
1 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Out of nine decades of Disney animated films, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the very first. It's still one of the best, because the story is well loved and, frankly, it's like a work of art, especially for something that came out in the 1930s. I've seen it thousands of times, and I still have trouble naming every one of the seven dwarfs, though. Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy … who was the sixth one? Oh yeah – Happy!
Speaking of works of art, what's better than Fantasia? It's scary, magical, and marvelous. Within the eight vignettes, there was something for everyone, although The Sorcerer's Apprentice is arguably the most well known. The music was incredible in this film, and I still consider it one of the best soundtracks to any Disney film. When it came out it did terribly, but over the years it has significantly redeemed itself, especially among adults.
Disney's version of Cinderella has always been well loved, ever since it's release in 1950. It, too, had an iconic soundtrack – when I was a child, all of my friends, both boys and girls, knew the words to «A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes» by heart. We all also wished desperately for a lot of little animals willing to do our housework. Out of all the characters, Jaq and Gus were my favorites.
4 Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite Disney animated films because it is just so pretty. I love the story, based on La Belle au Bois Dormant, and I adore this version of it. Maleficent still scares the hell out of me, in or out of dragon form, but the music more than makes up for that. And Aurora is just spectacular.
Pinocchio is a popular Disney film as well, and I personally think Jiminy Cricket has a lot to do with that. I can think of lots of children and plenty of adults who still to this day can empathize with Pinocchio's desire to be a real boy – and, most especially, with his desire to see a bit of the world. And can I just confess that the scenes from Pleasure Island still scare the crap out of me. As well, «When You Wish Upon a Star» can still make me shed a tear.
6 The Lion King
Ask most people what their favorite Disney movie is, and they'll name this one. The Lion King was absolutely incredible, to the point where it went on to become a successful Broadway musical. As a 12 year old, I fell in love with it primarily because I'm a Leo, but after seeing the movie, I just loved it for itself. Simba is a fantastic character, the animation and scenery are absolutely breathtaking, and the soundtrack is phenomenal. «The Circle of Life» is still one of my favorite songs. I loved the hyenas, I loved Timon and Pumba, and I even loved Scar. That jerk.
7 Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is probably my top favorite Disney movie, though. I still have the entire soundtrack memorized. I love the vibrant colors, the gorgeous animation, the story, and Belle as a heroine. I mean, she read books! Omg! Gaston is a total creeper, though. He's got such a creeptastic leer.
Bambi is still one of the most touching Disney animated films I have ever seen. This movie sent me into hysterics when I was a kid, because I just could not bear the loss of Bambi's mother. The bubbling cast of woodland characters like Thumper, Flower, and Faline, soothed me a little, and that ending is just majestic. I hate that they made a sequel to this, though.
9 The Little Mermaid
As a 7 year old, I had a serious obsession with The Little Mermaid. I played Ariel whenever I went swimming, even though I didn't have long hair. I even had The Little Mermaid bedding. The real story by Hans Christian Andersen is quite a bit more disturbing than the cartoon, but I still love this take on the tale. A musical adaptation of this also had a decent run on Broadway, but I don't think anything will ever beat the technicolor cartoon.
Dumbo is so sad and sweet. It's a classic, because even though it came out in 1941, it can still resonate for anyone who has ever been picked on or bullied. The film's only about an hour long, but it's packed with a lot of story. Who else just adored the little twist on the relations between mice and elephants? And surely I'm not the only one who cries like a baby over «Baby Mine,» right?
I've been in love with Disney animated films ever since I was a child. As a kid I was most crazy about The Little Mermaid, but if pressed I'd claim Beauty and the Beast as my favorite, with The Lion King following a very close second. Of course, I also have a soft spot for movies like Robin Hood (love that fox!), The Fox and the Hound, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. However, the aforementioned films seem to be the most popular for the majority of Disney fans. From the first to the last, there are Disney animated films that speak to everyone. Maybe you're the outcast who reads too many books, the girl who wants desperately to explore another world, or the mischievous person who believes in giving back to those who have less than you. So tell me, which Disney animated films mean the most to you?
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