It may surprise you to know that I enjoy movies, and, as a human, I especially love Disney movies. Nostalgia aside, Disney has made some incredible classics in their time. Having recently watched Zootopia (2016), I got to thinking about my childhood favourites – movies that I would figuratively force any future child of mine to watch.
The following list only contains movies I myself have seen, so I’m sure I’ve missed plenty. If you feel that I’ve left one of your favourite Disney movies off, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new Disney movies!
Cool Runnings (1993)
Man, this is a funny movie. Starring John Candy as coach Irv, Cool Runnings was very loosely based on the real start to the first Jamaican Bobsled Team.
National Treasure (2004)
Starring Nicolas Cage as historian Benjamin Franklin Gates, National Treasure is a fantastic adventure and exploration film that revolves around Hollywood’s national treasure discovering a hidden map on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
I’ve talked about Hocus Pocus before, and why it’s such a fantastic Halloween movie. Hocus Pocus stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as three ancient witch sisters resurrected in ‘modern’ 1993.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Other than being a fantastic song, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is about the miraculous journey of three lost pets and their quest to reunite with their owners. Bonus points for the rebel American Bulldog being voiced by Michael J. Fox.
When searching for an image for the above screencap I had to take a break from the constant cringing of the pure 90-ness of everything – but Brink! was the movie that made rollerblading cool again. I think this is why it was such a great movie all around. The 90s-ness of it just made it so incredibly relatable to my childhood. A simpler time, with YO-YOs and Crazy Eggs.
Bonus: The main character Andy “Brink” Brinker was played by Erik von Detten – who was the voice of Cid in Toy Story.
Another alumni of a previous Design By Pixel Halloween Movie article, Halloweentown was a Disney TV Movie about Marnie Piper, a young girl who discovers she is a witch. When she follows her estranged grandmother (played by the super talented Debbie Reynolds) to Halloweentown, she finds herself in a secret town whose residents are monsters, ghosts, werewolves, warlocks and of course, witches.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Based on a true story of a newly appointed African-American football coach (Denzel Washington) and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit. Remember the Titans delved into a risky topic for a Disney movie – the racism and segregation of a not-so-long-ago American 1971 – and it sure paid off with a fantastic movie.
The Sword in the Stone (1963)
This movie is just insanity. With the mythical and magical Merlin being a sort of mentor to a young Arthur, he shows the legendary future king of the world by transforming themselves into animals such as fish and squirrels. And also dragons.
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The Muppets have made a previous Christmas list before, but The Muppet Movie is such a better film. After Kermit the Frog decides to pursue a movie career, he starts his cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along the way, he meets and befriends Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and others.
Other than the veiled racism of the 1940’s (the lead crow is literally called Jim Crow in the script), Dumbo is about a young elephant with unnaturally large ears which causes him to be ostracized.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Sleeping Beauty is a movie I’ve probably only seen once when I was very young, so I remember very little of it except that it has a badass villain in Maleficent. After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.
Another film I barely remember, Cinderella is the classic story of a young girl abused by her step mom and evil step sisters and then finds a prince or something. Also, a magic glass shoe was involved. The one thing I can say about Cinderella is that it has spawned countless retellings and is heavily ingrained in our story tellings.
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
A classic story of love, Lady and the Tramp is about the romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt. Also, it made me hate evil hairless cats.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
A surprisingly good film, Wreck-It Ralph is about a video game villain who just wants to be a hero for once. Starring countless video game character cameos, this Disney movie tells an old story in an interesting new way.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Probably where most of you gained your knowledge on England (the rest of you from Monty Python), Mary Poppins has floated down on an umbrella straight into movie history. The film is about when a magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family.
The film that made children everywhere hug their moms, Bambi is the story of a young deer who will one day take over from his father as Great Prince of the Forest. Befriended by an eager, energetic rabbit named Thumper, Bambi learns how to navigate the world.
In a world where people are replaced with cars, A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets stuck in an old town where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. Also, it has a very Cool Runnings style ending.
The Incredibles (2004)
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Big Hero 6 (2014)
The Mighty Ducks (1992 – 1996)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2016)
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Peter Pan (1953)
Robin Hood (1973)
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
A Bugs Life (1998)
Toy Story (1995)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Finding Nemo (2003)
The Jungle Book (1967)
The LionKing (1994)
So, how did I do? Did I miss any great Disney Movies?