Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top 10: Disney Animation

With the release of The Princess and the Frog, Disney's first hand-drawn movie musical in nearly a decade, I've decided to do a quick rundown of my 10 favorite animated films of all-time from the House of Mouse. Please note that I am excluding the fare of independent companies that Disney distributes, like Studio Ghibli and Pixar, because then that would pretty much eliminate all of Disney's in-house product. Here we go:

10. Mulan - Not the masterwork that it could have been, but it is still an action packed, adventure-filled rendition of the classic tale of the female warrior, Mulan.

9. The Jungle Book - This one is just pure fun. While it may not reach the dazzling heights of some of Disney's other fare, the entertainment value alone sets it high above the rest.

8. Peter Pan - While it deviates a great deal from the original J.M. Barrie story, this adventure-filled romp alongside Peter Pan and his Lost Boys is too much fun to pass up.

7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - This is what I call the cop out answer. It was Disney's first feature length film, but not only that, it is also still to this day one of their better adaptations to ever produce.

6. Beauty and the Beast - Yeah, I know this is a girly pick, but I don't care. This film is one of Disney's finer artistic achievements in the realm of animation, and it features probably the most recognizable Disney song of all-time.

5. Aladdin - This was the Disney film of my childhood. While it is no longer my favorite, it is still an extremely well-made entry into the Disney pantheon. Not to mention, Robin Williams is probably the best comic relief to ever appear in a Disney movie.

4. Tarzan - Disney outdid themselves here with their own interpretation on the myth of Tarzan. The film was filled with action, spectacle, and some genuine heart. It was an emotion-filled experience from beginning to end, and what's more is that it was never boring or mushy either, it was an adult story emotionally, told toward children.

3. The Emperor's New Groove - This is Disney's funniest movie, no doubt about it. The story was original, funny, and exciting to watch unfold, but the true mastery of this film lied in the fact that the film managed to play hilariously to both the adults, and the children in the audience, which is a tricky feat for sure.

2. Sleeping Beauty - None of Disney's other lush fairy tales felt as breathtaking or magical as Sleeping Beauty. The story was told with a dark cinematic edge. The artistry was beautiful, and the evil Malificent is a terror to behold, especially when she transforms into a fire-breathing dragon.

1. The Lion King - Epic is the word that comes to mind when I think of this particular Disney classic. What can you really say about The Lion King that hasn't been said over the years. It features probably the most lovable cast of characters to ever appear in any of Disney's films, the songs have never been catchier than they were here, and who doesn't get emotionally rocked to their core when Mufasa dies. Even if Disney stole the story from a Japanese anime, it doesn't matter, cause Disney told it to such perfection that there really is no debating it.

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