#22 – The Sword in the Stone – 1963
This film surprised me a great deal. Part of it was how similar the story was to the Karate Kid (master teaching valuable techniques through mundane tasks) and part of it was just how well it made that story work. Arthur has a lot of heart and Merlin is truly hilarious. Add to that some really great animation that stands the test of time and this is really one of the most underrated Disney films.
#21 – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 1977
This is one of the Disney films that is most for Kids. There isn’t a lot for an adult audience to enjoy here, but what’s great is that it doesn’t matter. From the general humour of the characters (Eeyore is my favourite) to the terrifying Hephalumps and Woozles, it’s hard to believe that these were actually three small animations before being put together for this release.
#20 – Oliver and Company – 1987
This was the film that gave Disney the faith to put money into the big Broadway style musicals that would define them for the next decade. Unfortunately it gets lost behind Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid despite being a great film in its own right (and obviously better than Mermaid). The songs are great and feeling of the animation and soundtrack is just pure New York.
#19 – The Jungle Book – 1967
The Jungle Book surprised me. The music has always been great and Baloo, Bagheera and Sheer Khan have always been great supporting characters. But this film gets right what Tarzan got wrong. Mowgli leaves. It’s sad and bittersweet, but it makes the film just that much better.
#18 – Cinderella – 1950
I’m still very divided about this film and #17. Both films are totally enjoyable and have truly great aspects to them. However I just can’t bump tis up to the next ranking with the other Disney classics. The music here is what makes the film awesome. Despite the high voices, the mice singing never gets tired or old and its very sweet entertainment.
#17 – Alice in Wonderland – 1951
The animation in this film can compete with anything and everything done since. It’s cartoonish without being distracting. It’s got a lot of depth without feeling like they’re showing off. Alice is a tryly wonderful film and I just wish it had that something more so I could push it into the next tier.
#16 – Tangled – 2011
I only wish the music were catchier, but the story is significantly better than anything Disney had done in a while. The animation was top-notch especially with the different ways that her hair could glow.
#15 – The Lion King – 1994
When I was a kid I wore out our VHS tape of this film. Today I don’t think my love for it holds quite that high. Without a doubt there is great animation (the stampede scene) and great songs (Hakuna Matata) but it’s not quite as good as Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast.
#14 – Treasure Planet – 2002
Treasure Planet didn’t make any money for Disney and it’s rather unfortunate because the animation in this film is truly astounding. It’s a swashbuckling adventure and it’s a great update of the classic Treasure Island story.
#13 – Hercules- 1997
James Woods as Hades and the Muses’ songs give this movie the heart and humour that I need for re-watch value. The animation (which I like) is highly stylized and isn’t as nice as some of the more classic looking films. But the novelty of this film definitely keeps it among the Disney classics.
#12 – Pocahontas- 1995
There is a lot I can say about Pocahontas and how it talks about race and gender, but none of it takes away from how great this film is. The songs are powerful and dramatic, the story is tragic and well rounded, and the animation is really beautiful.
#11 – Aladdin – 1992
When I finished the 52nd movie I couldn’t believe my eyes that Aladdin had fallen out of the top 10. And really it simply says more about the quality of everything above it than anything bad about this film itself. Robin Williams’ Genie makes this movie worth watching on its own, but add to that some of the best songs in any Disney film and a great villain in Jafar and you do have one of the best Disney films around.
The final post in this series will be here in a few days with the top 10 films of the Disney Canon.