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10 Greatest Disney Films Ever
Disney's domination may have ended, with the proliferation of animation studios, but they still remain the leader in animated movies. While today's animation landscape is more competitive, Walt Disney Movies solidified its place atop the mountain with the acquisition of Pixar Studios.
However, Disney is much more than the animated films studio from which it began. Now Disney is a major player in family-oriented live action movies. In recent years, they have dominated live action family movies with such classics as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Princess Diaries, Cheaper by the Dozen and High School Musical series (TV and Films).
Disney and its filmmakers understand that good family movies are not just about laughs, they understand how to tug at our heartstrings and generate tears of both sadness and laughter. The create suspenseful movies that keep us wondering what will happen next and leave us always wanting more.
You may not realize it but Walt Disney actually invented the animated movies genre back in 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Prior to that time, cartoons had been used as brief shorts shown as entertainment prior to the start of the movie while movie trailers were shown at the end of the movie (thus the name). That first film created a huge stir and it remains as one of the Top 10 highest grossing films of all time when adjusted for inflation.
This list of the best Disney films is based on the blended average of all rankings of Disney movies at Rankography top ten movies.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2011 Rankography
10. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
A Classic Rich Girl, Poor Boy Love Story
Lady and the Tramp is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. Even though it came out in 1955, the story still feels as relevant today as it must have been then. The idyllic setting in a lovely valley nestled in the New York hills always make me think fondly of simpler times.
The two concurrent stories revolve around Lady, a pampered cocker spaniel living in an upper class home, and Tramp, a wily junkyard dog with a big heart and a passion for life. Their stories become intertwined when Lady's family has a baby and she is relegated to a "second class citizen" in the household.
This Disney film has a charming story with rich characters, an intriguing storyline and a wonderful happy ending. It should be in every family's library of classic Disney movies, especially if your family has young children.
If you enjoyed The Lady and the Tramp... - You could also enjoy The Jungle Book
This charming Disney movie was first released in 1967. Based on the Rudyard Kipling book of the same name it is a romp through the jungle with a young boy named, Mogli
The Original Disney Movies Preview for Lady and the Tramp - I love Vintage Movie Trailers, what do you think?
9. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Pixar Does it Again in their Second Animated Film
This was the second big hit for the Pixar Studio and it is one of my personal favorites. Pixar uses computer-generated imagery ("CGI") to design their films and their technology provides excellent realism. However, what really set this studio's films apart are the stories that John Lassiter and his team develop. It is only natural that Disney would acquire Pixar because Pixar had become better at weaving animated tales than Disney was.
This Pixar film is a buddy movie starring Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. "Sully" Sullivan (John Goodman). It centers on the electric company in Monstropolis, which is powered off of the screams of human children whose bedrooms Monsters enter each night. The whole concept of portals to another world was so interesting and unique that sci fi nuts like me really loved this Pixar movie.
What really made this movie though is the excellent script and the great give and take between Mike and Sully. It is a very funny movie with a lot of high speed and action and suspense. It was a great sophomore effort for Pixar.
8. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
This Disney Film is based on a Classic Princess Fairy Tale
Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's classic princess movies, in the vein of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and based on a classic French fairy tale. This Disney film was so well done that it was actually nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, the first time ever for an animated movie.
It is the tale of Belle (Paige O'Hara), a merchant's daughter who feels trapped in her small provincial French town. She is also trying to avoid unwanted advances from the boorish, but powerful Gaston (Richard White). When her father is imprisoned by Beast (Robby Benson), a prince living under a spell that made him hideous, Belle meets Beast and offers herself in exchange.
It is a wonderful Disney princess film with several life lessons including not judging a book by its cover and finding satisfaction in life no matter where you are. Certainly, this is one of the classic disney movies which are perfect for young girls, but young boys can also find it fun and entertaining.
7. Mary Poppins (1964)
One of the Best Live Action Disney Movies of All Time
Mary Poppins remains one of the best family movies of all time even though it is close to 50 years old. There are so many priceless scenes and musical numbers in the classic Disney film. When one of my daughters was two years old, we had to play "Steppin' Time" over and over as she delighted in watching the chimney sweeps dancing with their brooms.
In this Disney movie, Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) is hired through a bit of magic as a nanny for a pair of impossible children in 19th century London. Mary becomes an instant hit with the children as she takes them on magical outings that provide valuable life lessons. One of her partners in training the children, is Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a loveable street artist and entertainer.
Ultimately, this wonderful Disney movie becomes more of a moral tale for the children's father, Mr. Banks (David Tomlinson), as he learns what is really important in life. This is a great Disney film for the entire family, young and old.
If you loved Mary Poppins... - You might also check out The Princess Diaries
Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway team up in this cute modern day princess tale. The film launched Hathaway's career and is a must see for any household with young girls.
6. Up (2009)
This Disney Pixar Film is Destined to be a Classic
Disney Pixar's Up was a very different find of animated movie. Released in 2009, this Disney film dealt with some weightier issues than most Disney movies, including aging, unfulfilled dreams and lost love. Despite these heavier themes, Up was a cinematic triumph and one of the best Disney films.
Facing an eviction to senior housing, 78 year old Carl Fredickson (Ed Asner), ties thousands of balloons to his house and sails away to fulfill his promise to his dead wife, Ellie; travel to a Lost Land in South America. An 8-year-old Boy Scout, Russell, accidentally becomes a stowaway while seeking his "helping the elderly" badge.
From there the pair begrudgingly become friends and embark on an exciting adventure to fulfill Carl and Ellie's dream. It is a magical Disney Pixar movie that should stand the test of time for years to come.
If you loved the Disney film, Up... - You should also check out the WALL-E
This funny Disney Pixar romantic comedy features a lovable trash monitoring robot and the futuristic robot.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Johnny Depp was Born to Play Captain Jack Sparrow
Certain acting roles just fit an actor like a glove and such is the Captain Jack Sparrow role for Johnny Depp. Depp is an incredible actor with an ability to take a wide range of roles, but Captain Jack fits better than any other role. We have all come to love Sparrow, the adventurous, fun-loving scoundrel of a pirate in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Dead Man's Chest is the second film in the series and was a very good sequel to the original. Disney brought back most of the original cast and added a couple of new faces such as Billy Nighy, as the crusty Davy Jones.
This Pirate movie is as action packed as the first and will keep you entertained throughout. If you loved the first one then should enjoy the sequel, and if you have not yet seen a Pirates film, what are you waiting for? This is a great Disney movie series and fun for the whole family.
4. Ratatouille (2007)
A Delicious Tale About Chasing Your Dreams
Disney and Pixar went outside the typical animated film mold when they released Ratatouille in 2007. In this Pixar movie, our hero is a rat named Remy (Patten Oswalt) and what is a natural setting for a rat? In the kitchen of one of the finest restaurants in Paris, of course. Remy is a self-taught chef with the "absurd" dream of becoming a chef in a wonderful restaurant.
However, Remy is able to make his dream come true by partnering with a struggling young sous chef and controlling his actions to develop wonderful soups. This is a highly entertaining Disney movie in which we can all learn a bit about food while enjoying the antics of a superb cast of animated characters.
This Disney Pixar movie is probably loved as much by adults as it is by children because of its wonderful and interesting storyline
If you loved Ratatouille... - Then you might also like The AristoCats
An oldie but a goodie and still one of my all time favorite animated movies. Originally released in 1970s, it is the story of Duchess and her three kittens that get kicked out of their Parisian home when their master dies. But streetwise O'Malley helps them get back, claim their inheritance and foil the mean butler.
3. Toy Story (1995)
A Wonderful Story of Friendship and Teamwork
Toy Story is Pixar's first feature length film and a magical story about toys. This Pixar film is a fantastically original story about what happens to toys when humans aren't looking. But it is also a life lesson both for children and parents about growing up and living in the moment. The concept of Andy's (their owner) changing tastes in toys is a metaphor for a child's independence from their parents.
This Disney movie will tug at your heartstrings while you and your children laugh wildly at the antics of the toy crew. It really is an animated film masterpiece. Surprisingly the sequel, Toy Story 2, was nearly as good as the original. Pixar established themselves as masters of storytelling with this film and its sequels. It is another must own Disney film for your DVD library.
If you are a big fan of Toy Story... - Then you might also like The Iron Giant
One of the best animated films that few people have heard of, The Iron Giant is set in the 1950s. When a giant robot lands on Earth and befriends a young boy, the boy and his friend must protect it from evil military forces.
2. The Lion King (1994)
The Best Disney Animated Film Made in 2G Format
This enduring Disney classic is an all time favorite for most Disney fans. It is a classic tale of responsibility and taking charge of your life told through the eyes of Simba (Matthew Broderick), an adventurous but irresponsible lion cub. Simba is deceived by his evil uncle Scar (brilliantly voiced by Jeremy Irons) and Simba's own irresponsible mistake results in the accidental death of his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones).
After initially running away, Simba decides to assume responsibility for his actions and take back the kingdom from his evil uncle. While story is a simple one, the execution of the script and voices is excellent. Irons and Jones are both fantastic and the irrepressible Nation Lane is hilarious as the Meer Kat, Timon. This Disney animated movie has been so beloved it has been made into a Broadway play and a long-running live action show at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It is a classic tale deserving of the title as one of the best Disney films of all time.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
The Pirates Saga Begins in this High Powered Action Film
Curse of the Black Pearl was the first of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series. With Pirates, Disney has proved that it is truly the master of all forms of family cinema. With Pixar, Disney dominates animated and CGI movies, but now with the Pirates series they also dominate live action family movies.
This first Pirates movie is a triumph both for Johnny Depp's outstanding performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, but also for the many other pirate characters. Geoffrey Rush is a truly brilliant actor and it is refreshing to see him assume a role in a family movie. He is so fantastic as Barbosa that they had to reprise his roles in the third and fourth installments of the series.
This a fun action movies with lots of twists and turns, incredibly rich characters and amazing set and costume design. Everyone in the family can enjoy the Pirates movies time and time again.
If you love the Pirates of the Caribbean series... - You might also enjoy The Lord of the Rings series
Possibly the greatest epic fantasy tale ever told, this JRR Tolkien classic is a must see young boys, and most young girls too. With the fantasy backdrop, it is really the tale of friendship, determination and an epic struggle between good and evil.