Mouse said:“Ohhhhhhh I do not like this movie. Not. One. Little. Bit. Dinosaur premiered at #1 and went on to gross almost $350 Million thereby setting the stage for Disney’s shift to computer generated movies and marking the beginning of the long, slow death of traditional animation at the studio. Oh, and it’s now part of the canon. That’s like forcing Sharon Tate’s family to invite Charles Manson to Christmas dinner.”
Mouse said: “I’ve reviewed movies for this blog that have made me angrier (Song of the South, Aristocats,Pocahontas, Brother Bear and my God yes Dinosaur). Home on the Range is so slight, so pointless, so utterly irrelevant that it can’t raise any emotion stronger than mild irritation. Watching it, an uncomfortable guilt starts to steal over you. What am I doing? Why am I watching this? It’s just a cartoon. Just a silly little cartoon. Kid’s stuff. I never thought a Disney movie would make me feel that.”
Brother Bear #58
Mouse said: “I honestly have never watched any Disney movie so slack jawed with utter disbelief at what I was watching. Never have I stared at the screen, silently mouthing the words “No. NO! No. No…No.”
Mouse said: “It’s terrible. It is just awful, an awkward, misbegotten, unpleasant mess . And I know this movie has a cult following. But so does L. Ron Hubbard. Terrible things can have cult followings.”
Ralph Breaks the Internet #56
Mouse said: “It’s not the worst movie in the canon, but it’s easily the one for which I have the most contempt.”
The Aristocats #55
Mouse said: “Want to hear a joke? A talent agent is sitting in his office. He looks up when a family of cartoon cats comes through the door.“What’s your act?” he says, and the father cat (who sounds weirdly like renowned jazz singer Phil Harris) says “Well, it’s an utterly subpar Disney movie with animation that barely rises to the level of competent, characters that are largely nondescript when they’re not either unlikable or totally superfluous to the plot (which by the way makes little to no logical sense), possibly the worst villain in the entire Disney canon and some wasted songs by the Sherman Brothers.” The talent agent turns white as a sheet, pukes into his wastebasket and stammers “What do you call this act?!” And the cat smiles and says “The Aristocats!”
Mouse said: “Final analysis? Bongo is dull, and the mouldy old antics of Edgar Bergen are pretty creepy. But Mickey and the Beanstalk is a real gem, probably my favorite cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse. It also makes good use of Goofy and Donald, and shows just why those three characters were such a good fit together. But to be honest, I would definitely recommend the sixties version with Ludwig Von Drake over this one. It’s funnier, leaner, and most importantly it has no puppets.”
Mouse said: “The movie’s bad. Really bad. Like, a failure on all but the most technical level. Technically, it’s fine. The story structure is pretty much text-book. The animation is largely excellent if joyless and devoid of any real inspiration. But this thing is dead inside. It’s like someone killed a Disney movie and staged a macabre puppet show with the body.”
Oliver & Company #52
Mouse said: “I’ve been sitting here for like two hours trying write something about this movie and I got nothin’. I really, really don’t like Oliver and Company (sorry, spoilers) but my God if I’m having difficulty putting it into words why. I mean, it’s not like it’s the worst Disney movie I’ve had to review. But, Jesus, this one just rubs me the wrong way.”
Melody Time #51
Mouse said: “You want my review of Melody Time? It’s Make Mine Music but not as good. There. Read the Make Mine Music review and induce a mild sense of disappointment. See you next week.”
Peter Pan #50
Mouse said: “Peter Pan was a critical and box-office success at the time of its release, helping the studio regain its footing after the disappointing reception that Alice in Wonderland received. And it still has its fans today of course. But personally, I just do not like this film. Not for the racism, though that certainly doesn’t help, but because the whole thing just stinks of missed opportunity. I just get the feeling that they didn’t get Hook or Pan. Peter Pan is probably one of the very few stories where I’d recommend another movie version over the Disney version.”
Mouse said: “Ultimately it feels like a faberge egg, a shiny, beautiful surface with an empty, hollow core.”
Mouse said: “It’s kind of a hot mess.”
Three Caballeros #47
Mouse said: “Didn’t like this one. Not going to lie. Some very good shorts in the beginning, but it really falls apart towards the end. When the segments aren’t overlong they’re just aggressively, almost obnoxiously bizarre.”
Saludos Amigos #46
Mouse said: “What a weird little movie. Not bad, don’t get me wrong. I mean, I liked it.”
Chicken Little #45
Mouse said: “ATTENTION INTERNET! CHICKEN LITTLE IS NOT THAT BAD! I REPEAT! CHICKEN LITTLE IS NOT THAT BAD! PLEASE ADJUST YOUR OPINIONS ON THE BADNESS OF CHICKEN LITTLE ACCORDINGLY!”
Mouse said: “Cinderella is not a bad movie, not by any stretch of the imagination. But it does feel a lot safer than the Tar and Sugar movies. It really doesn’t reach for the same emotional levels that something like Bambi or Pinocchio did. It also seems to deliberately avoid the darkness that was so prevalent in those movies. This is Disney toned down, trying to satisfy the widest possible audience.”
Mouse said: “The Disney Animators Strike of 1941 occurred around halfway through the production of Dumbo and led to the movie being completed by scab labour. And boy, if there ever was a movie that looked like it was partly done by trained professionals before being finished by desperate, guilt-ridden blackleg hacks…”
Mouse said: “I kinda feel that Meet the Robinsons is the ultimate Lost Era movie. Not that it’s bad (it’s not). But it is thoroughly weird and constantly searching for a tone. There’s also a wild, “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” style to its comedy, and in fairness to it, a lot of it does indeed stick. It’s a movie that feels more like several little movies strung together rather than a single, cohesive whole.”
Frozen 2 #41
Mouse said: “If Frozen was a sumptuous banquet, Frozen 2 is a box of chocolates. There’s lots of gorgeous little bits. An awesome song here, a sumptuous shot there, a fantastic little moment of character animation and a funny line whither and whence. But it’s not a cohesive whole and eating it all in one go is not a meal. It’ll just leave you feeling over-stuffed and a little queasy.”
The Rescuers #40
Mouse said: “As I said, I don’t hate The Rescuers, but the success and popularity of this movie have always been a little baffling to me. I like it, I just don’t love it. But it was nevertheless a very important movie in the canon. This movie shows the studio slowly and painfully relinquishing its hold on the past and charting a new course without Walt and many of the Nine Old Men and embracing new techniques, younger animators and new technologies. It isn’t always successful, but it was very necessary.”
Mouse said:“Basil the Great Mouse Detective is not one of the all time great Disney movies but it may well be one one of the most important ones. After the utter catastrophe of The Black Cauldron one more failure would have sunk the animation studio utterly. But it didn’t fail. It actually made a pretty decent profit (although it lost at the box office to An American Tail) and more importantly was made quickly and cheaply. This cheap and cheerful vibe permeates the movie and is a very welcome relief after the mind-bending horror of The Black Cauldron. Disney were still a long way from their former greatness, but this movie was a very important first step on the way back.”
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad #38
Mouse said: “Believe it or not, I don’t hate the Never Heard of ‘Ems. In fact, I really enjoyed most of them. It was just a nightmare to review these things.”
Mouse said: “I was willing to consign Princess and the Frog to the Lost Era, writing it off as another misstep on the road back to cultural relevancy. But now…there is something that Princess and the Frog has in common with the other canon movies of this as yet unnamed modern era that we are now in. And it’s this: The modern crop of Disney movies are about recapturing the charm and magic of the old classics while openly acknowledging that some of the messages and themes and lessons of those movies were at best simplistic and at worst downright regressive. I see movies like Princess and the Frog, Frozen and Wreck It Ralph as part of a wider push by Disney to be more progressive, more inclusive and…well…better. To redress the more iffy parts of their legacy, while joyfully celebrating everything that made those movies great. Princess and the Frog, while I don’t think it’s perfect, is very much in keeping with that spirit with its updating of an old Disney mantra: “When you wish upon a star, you still have to work hard to get what you want.”
Make Mine Music #36
Mouse said: “The ending may strike you as a cheat. But personally, I found it incredibly moving. And by the end? I was in tears.”
Mouse said: “Alice in Wonderland is a big leap forward from Cinderella. Where Cinderella was safe and almost passive, Alice is bold and striking in its use of colour and also a much funnier film. I would also say that it’s the most beautiful Disney film since Bambi.”
101 Dalmatians #34
Mouse said: “101 Dalmatians has a great deal of charm, one great song and some very impressive crowd animation. But I can’t really call it a good movie. There are serious pacing problems, a whole lot of padding and the early London scenes are overall a lot stronger than the ones that come later meaning the movie is on a constant downward slide.”
Mouse said: “I can’t help but feel a lot of affection for this movie. It’s brave, it’s different, it took big risks and clearly a lot of love and thought went into the design of Atlantis, the Ulysses and the overall look of the film. If the same love and attention had been given to the script this might have been a real classic. As it is, it’s pretty much the perfect cult film, not for everyone, but certainly plenty to recommend it.”
Mouse said: “Not fantastic, but there’s a great deal to love with some excellent voice work, appealing characters and of course the great songs of the Sherman Brothers.”
Treasure Planet #31
Mouse said: “A fun romp, a solid and often beautifully animated adventure movie that certainly did not deserve the box-office keelhauling it received on its release.”
Robin Hood #30
Mouse said: “This movie, probably more than any other, perfectly encapsulates the Scratchy Era aesthetic: We got no money, we’re ugly as sin, but we got the charm and we got the tunes. Robin Hood has buckets of charm and some really great songs. It also has the kind of manic energy you would expect from a movie animated by starving hobos who were being paid in hot dogs.”
Mouse said: ” If I had to describe Hercules it would be, “Aladdin, but more.” Actually no, it would be “Aladdin, but too much.” Hercules sees Aladdin’s celebrity voice actors, heavy emphasis on comedy, deliberate anachronisms and pop culture references and raises the stakes like a wild-eyed gambler in a saloon who won’t listen to his wife pulling at his arm and screaming at him not to bet the farm.”
Mouse said: “I am just so gratified that this groundbreaking, unique and artistically vital film has such a strong and devoted following and I’m definitely not stalling for time because I’m terrified of admitting to you that…I…don’t…really…like…it. Sorry.”
Snow White #27 (Originally #32, reappraised in 2017)
Mouse said: “Definitely one of the four or five most influential films of all time, and while it might show it’s age here and there, it has held up stunningly well. I began this blog to find the best Disney movie to show my daughter first, and while Snow White mightn’t be her favourite she absolutely loves it. And that’s incredible, isn’t it? I certainly can’t think of another film from 1937 that my daughter would happily sit through from beginning to end.Know what’s even more incredible? Decades from now, her children will probably do the same.”
Fantasia 2000 #26
Mouse said: “Like the original, there are sequences in 2000 that I love, and ones that leave me cold, but what gives 2000 the slight edge for me over the 1940 movie is that it’s willing to make concessions to narrative.”
Mouse said: “But Rescuers Down Under does have one other, very important legacy. Like most YouTube comments, Rescuers Down Under was done all in CAPS, a new process that allowed ink and paint drawings to be digitized so that scenes could be arranged by computer. CAPS would continue to be used pretty much until the end of the traditional animation era and was as big a revolution in animation as the use of xerography was in the sixties. Oh, and it’s also why the movie is FUCKING GORGEOUS.”
Mouse said: “I didn’t really have great expectations for Lady and Tramp going into this review. There are some Disney movies that I can recite word for word and some that just slipped through the cracks and for me this was one of the latter. But now that I’ve had a chance to rewatch it, there is so much to love about this film. Highly recommended.”
Mouse said: “This movie has so much going for it; peerless animation, a seriously heavyweight cast, fantastic music and a great story well told It also improves vastly on the source material, turning Edgar Rice Burrough’s badly written mishmash of sexist and racist tropes into an epic with real emotional heft and heart. It’s a beautiful, deeply rewarding film and honestly, if it wasn’t for the lacklustre villain I’d be putting it near the top spot. This movie deserves a bigger following and a better reputation that it’s gotten to date.”
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh #22
Mouse said: “Underneath the million tons of merchandising, DVD movies, cartoon series, spin-offs, T-Shirts and various other crap there is one of the sweetest, most good-hearted films you are ever likely to see. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a true classic and a perfect grace note to Walt’s career in animation. Pure magic.”
Mouse said: “Bolt is a really, really good movie. Great animation, great characters, wonderful script, a flat out awesome production.”
Mouse said: “Allers left and it fell to Dindal to pull off one of the most amazing salvage jobs in modern movie history. Out of the ashes of Kingdom of the Sun, came Emperor’s New Groove, which I have now rewatched and feel confident in saying is the single greatest comedy in the entire Disney canon. Funnier than Robin Hood and Jungle Book. It’s hilarious.”
Mouse said: “”My dislike of this movie is, I freely admit, largely irrational. It’s kind of hard to put into words but…Okay, the animation is top flight, the music and songs are some of Howard Ashman’s and Alan Menken’s best work, it has one of the best leads in the Disney canon…But it’s just. So. WHITE.”
Winnie the Pooh #18
Mouse said: “If the age of hand-drawn animation at the Disney studio was to end, which movie should draw down the curtain? It’s a difficult question to answer, if, like me, you’d rather that it never ended. While it may not have been an obvious choice, Winnie the Pooh is actually a rather fitting end to the era. Like its predecessor, which in the canon represents a farewell to a whole generation of Disney mainstays (The Sherman Brothers, Sterling Hollaway, Barbara Luddy, Sebastian Cabot and of course Walt himself), this movie is a simple, charming farewell. I liked it. I liked it a lot. And I will never forget the movies of which it is the last. Not even when I’m a hundred.”
Wreck it Ralph #17
Mouse said: “Put it on your “Must See” list.”
Mouse said: “Seriously, this animation is just….it’s on the same level of quality as Pinocchio but in a very different way. Whereas Pinocchio invites you to marvel at all the wonderfully crafted detail,Bambi is all about the textures. The forest is just so wonderfully lush you can practically smell the bark and feel the mist on your skin. After the rushed angry doodling of Dumbo, this is like eyewash.”
Big Hero Six #15
Mouse said: Gorgeous, sweet, funny and a pretty darn good superhero movie to boot, Big Hero 6 is a cracking good fusion of the best of both Marvel and Disney’s respective traditions.
Mouse said: Ultimately, we get a messy but beautiful film with some phenomenal songs and an important message.
Mouse said: It’s anti-racist in the same way that Fury Road is feminist, letting the story carry the message rather than stopping the story to declare the message from a soapbox. This is a wonderful movie, highly recommended.
Lilo & Stitch #12
Mouse said: “The success of Lilo and Stitch is one of those rare instances where my faith in humanity is fleetingly restored. This was a big hit and deservedly so because this is a great, great movie. It’s funny and warm and big-hearted and beautiful and smart and honest. If this movie was a person, you’d want it to look after your kids if anything happened to you. It’s good people.”
Sleeping Beauty #11
Mouse said: “Disney decided to attempt an animated film that was as beautiful and distinctive as its concept art. Spoiler alert. He did it.It took eight long years, but he did it. It cost six million dollars, more than any animated film up to that point, but he did it. It cost so much to make that, despite being the second most successful animated movie in history at the time, Walt was forced to make massive layoffs in the animation department in 1960. But he did it. The movie is Sleeping Beauty. And it is a glory to behold.”
Jungle Book #10
Mouse said: “The Jungle Book was a rare beast, a box office smash at the time of its release and a huge hit with the critics. It was also the last movie that Walt had any involvement in, he had already passed on by the time it was released. And by all accounts he played a huge role in the creation of this film, far more than he had with say, Sword in the Stone. Walt made many of the choices regarding characters and music that have made this movie the crowning achievement of the Scratchy Era.”
Mouse said: “Tangled continues the Redemption Era tradition of building on and improving the studio’s legacy (as opposed to the Lost Era’s attempts to break from it entirely). In a traditional retelling of this story, Rapunzel would probably be one of the most passive of all the Disney princesses. Instead, she’s one of the most active, swinging, running, fighting, planning, always moving forward, always dynamic, and she’s a great addition to the ranks of the Disney princesses. No, it’s not as good as Frozen, but viewed on its own terms it’s still a definite must watch.”
Mouse said: “More of a greatest hits album than a groundbreaking new sound, Moana nonetheless makes up in execution what it lacks in originality. It’s a beautiful film, a great musical and very, very worthy addition to the canon.”
Mouse said: “We are only two movies into this project and already I have a feeling that Pinocchio is going to be holding the top spot for a very, very long time. Pinocchio was Walt Disney’s crowning achievement as an animator”
Mouse said: “So as you can probably guess from the fact that this review is longer than some editions of the King James’ Bible, I absolutely adore this movie.”
Mouse said: Watching this movie for the first time, I was in tears. Tears of pure joy. This is such a beautiful, warm-hearted, wonderful movie and it represents Disney at its finest.”
Mouse said: “I love this movie. I do. I love every minute of it. I love everything about it. I love the fact that my daughter will have a character like Mulan to watch as a little girl, even if her mother and grandmother did not. That means the world to me.”
Mouse said: “Biggest film of 1992. Highest grossing animated film to date. Still to this day the third highest grossing traditionally animated movie of all time. Aladdin immediately entered the popular consciousness, won near universal critical acclaim and remains one of the most influential animated films of all time (for good and ill). It marked the beginning of what we would recognise as the modern animated film. It is also a fantastic, funny, beautiful and often very sweet movie and I love it to bits.”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame #2
Mouse said: “If you want to know what the greatest Disney movie of all time is, you’re going to have to keep following the blog until we come to the end. But if you were just reading this to know what my favourite Disney movie is?”
Mouse said: “It’s the king.”
I don’t think anyone is surprised that Dinosaur is at the bottom. Lion King on top though? Why do I get the feeling that there’s going to be a “I knew everyone would vote for Lion King. It just shows how overrated it is” vibe coming from future comments? I hope that’s not the case.
Can’t wait for the eventual (looooonnnggg awaited) review of Big Hero 6 and where it would go on the list.
Wonderful. I only started reading this blog at the very end of 2013, but I’m glad I did. Even though I came in grasping onto the tailcoat, I feel like I’ve been here from the beginning. What a remarkable experience. This blog is, in my opinion, the best thing to happen to the internet since Hyperbole and a Half. If you one day published a book titled “Unshaved Mouse Reviews the Disney Canon” or something like that, you bet I’d have it on pre-order. I wouldn’t care how much it costs. Absolutely remarkable.
Thanks so much! Though honestly, getting the rights to all the images would probably be more hassle than it’s worth.
Wow, has Hunchback been usurped as your favorite then? I’m glad to have gone on this journey with you, Mouse
No, it’s still my favourite but I just think LK is an objectively better film.
After 2+ years, it’s great to see this list!
But, BATB at #15? I’m hurt…
I’m on your side, man! I’d put it at number 1!
You FUCKING said it, Mouse! NAAAAAANTS INGONYAAAAAAAAMA BAGITHI BABAAAA (sithi uhm ingonyaaaamaaa). This was a fun ride, that movie was the one that brought me to this blog and it is (as you said) the king. Btw, where’s your opinion on Big Hero 6? You couldn’t find any plutonium to generate the 1.21 gigowatts of power?
Btw, I’m the fourth comment, I LOVE number four. This day keeps getting better and better. 😀
Looks really good. But I swear, if Disney do a death fakeout on Baymax I will go on a spree.
Yikes. Harsher in hindsight. I should probably delete that.
Aside from the number 1 spot, this ranking is probably the most different from any other Disney canon ranking I’ve seen. I haven’t seen any other official ranking where Snow White didn’t at least make the top 10, Hunchback made top 5, Chicken Little managed to escape the bottom 10, or BATB not in top 5 status. A nice deviation from what I’ve seen before!
Unshaved Mouse: Contrarian Crank.
How did Hunchback and my movie get the exact same percentage and Quasimodo still gets the higher ranking? Why you infidel Mouse!
Ties are decided by which had the better animation.
Well I can’t argue about that then because Hunchback is insanely gorgeous, more so than the moderately insanely gorgeous Aladdin.
However, if you had a category for screenplay as well, then Aladdin would’ve left all these suckers in the dust! 😀
Great list! A little different from my personal rankings, but over-all very good. Lion King will probably always be my favorite Disney movie because it is the subject of my earliest memory and is so tied up in nostalgia I’d probably still love it even if it were objectively horrible. And considering it’s objectively NEAR PERFECTION, it’s just that much better.
I think Robin Hood has to be the movie that suffered most from your objective ranking system. The animation score just brings it down so far. I really think it deserves to be a top 10 Disney film, such great characters, wonderful humor, excellent songs (A Pox on that Phony King of England gets stuck in my head on the most random of occasions), and even though the animation isn’t technically that great, I really enjoy the style.
Also finally nice to see a ranking that doesn’t put Snow White at the top just because it came first. Every time I see a list like that I can’t help but think “Are you REALLY telling me that in the nearly EIGHTY years since that movie came out, it’s never been topped? That the first animated film EVER was the best? Why don’t we just quit making these things if that’s the case”
I absolutely agree, without the animation issues Robin Hood and Emperors New Groove would have killed. But it’s not like I could ignore it. They’re animated films after all.
Yeah, you’re absolutely right about that. I guess it just comes down to the disparity between what makes a film good from a technical perspective and what makes it good from a storytelling/emotional/entertainment perspective.
I always kind of get that with Sleeping Beauty- it comes just above Black Cauldron for me because I’m not an animation nerd, but I care a lot about the story. Sleeping Beauty- story is crap. Otherwise it’s great. But i hate it. Because of the damn story.
(And on Black Cauldron- I WANT to like it because it’s a cool premise, and there’s a potential for Dark Disney, but this is ruined with stupid storytelling and plot motion, a really f***ing annoying lead character and other characters that I can’t remember. So, I hate that one too.)
Beautiful pictures. Where did you get them from?
There are a lot of differences between yours and my rankings, but a lot of similarities, though I did understand all of your criticisms. I am sure Lion King, Hunchback, Frozen, Chicken Little, Sleeping Beauty, Bambi, Emperors, etc will be lower on mine, but yours has a nice variety. I like that you added a small snippet of what you said in your reviews for this post.
Got ’em from the Disney site. They’re spiffy, no?
VERY spiffy. Might use them myself.
I think it’d actually be pretty cool if you listed the best out of every category. Like, the characters that got a perfect 20, or the music that got a perfect 20, or the animation that got a perfect 20. That’d be wonderful to see. 🙂
Only the things that got perfect scores. Anything that got less doesn’t need a mention. 🙂
Actually, I just took the liberty and did it for you. 🙂
Because all of these films got perfect scores in these categories, I ranked them based on their final score.
Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Aladdin & Jasmine (Aladdin)
Elsa & Anna (Frozen)
Lilo & Stitch (Lilo & Stitch)
Scar (The Lion King)
Judge Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
Best Supporting Character(s):
Genie, Abu, Iago, & Carpet (Aladdin)
Kronk (The Emperor’s New Groove)
The Lion King
Thanks, that saved me a lot of work.
No problem. 😊
Awesome rankings, Mouse. This list is really unique and different from a lot of Disney canon rankings floating around the Internet. For the most part, it’s pretty close to my rankings (Hunchback is #1 and movies like Pocahontas and Black Cauldron are a bit higher and Chicken Little and Sleeping Beauty are much lower for me).
Let’s pray that Big Hero 6 will land somewhere high on your updated list. From the looks of it, the critics who’ve seen it before us common movie watchers seem to like it thus far.
Very nice list Mouse:-) Wow, even though not the exact order, 7 of your top 10 would also be in mine:-) I would replace, The Jungle Book, Mulan and Pinocchio with Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast and either Tarzan or Hercules. It’s weird because I respect Pinocchio and think its technically one of the best Disney films, it’s just not my personal favorite and I’m really not sure why. I always used to be really hard on Aladdin and think its overrated because of the pop culture references, but now I really love it, even though it wouldn’t make my top 5. That why I was surprised that I liked Hercules enough to make it tied with Tarzan for # 10, even though I hated it on my first viewing. Which makes me think that I may need to rewatch Atlantis because I remember hating it, and you made it sound like it was worth a watch. The one disagreement I have is with your Tarzan rating; as a huge villian fan, I admit that Clayton is a weak villian but think that there are so many other good qualities that the score shouldn’t be so greatly affected by that one weaknesses. Great job nonetheless:-)
In my personal list
1. Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (I have not seen the sequel yet)
3. Wreck It-Ralph
4. New Groove
5-9 in no particular order Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo (Here are rankings are way different), Lilo and Stitch, Mulan, and Lady and the Tramp.
In no particular order after that include Aladin, Lion King, Frozen, Rescuers, Hercules, Bambi, and Snow White, and Bolt
The bottom tier includes Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver nd Company, and Sword in the Stone.
3rd to last Black Cauldron
2nd to last is Rescuers Down Under (very flat characters, pointless scenes, and forgeting the other trappe animals to starve to death). The villain’s reverse physcology plan to find the nest was the only good part.
The bottom film is the only film that had me praying “just be over and make the characters shut up.” Robin Hood. Comrade Crow could convert me to Communism if he just said he hates Robin Hood.
I have watched nineteen of the canon, and this is my ranking of them, and a short explanation as to why.
19. Black Cauldron- This was a huge hot mess. Actually, it’s just a huge mess, it’s not even pretty. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie where I was so actively annoyed by the lead. I hate Taran, I hate Taran and I hate Taran. More than f*cking Gurgi (who I hate too)!
18. Sleeping Beauty- A very pretty film. But then it can’t go very high, because I think that it is too slow, the music to me isn’t very memorable and the only non-cliche/bland characters are the fairies, and they can’t make up for my hate for the story.
17. Hercules- Don’t remember a damn thing apart from the fact that Hades and Meg were quite cool.
16. Little Mermaid- I don’t like the leads- Ariel annoys me (for too many reasons to list here), Eric is bland. And Flounder is whiny. Sebastian, Triton and Ursula have some good moments, but that can’t rescue the fact that I must spend most of the time with ARIEL!
15. Tarzan- It’s not that beautiful to me, but animation is very good. I like the leads a lot, but the supporting characters are not that great, can’t remember the music.
14. Lion King- I don’t find it that great. The backgrounds aren’t great, however I will fully admit the awesomeness of the stampede scene. Simba is an obnoxious child and a bland adult. Scar- not a perfect for me. Frollo is the ONLY perfect villain. Mufasa is great, but he dies halfway through. Nala is just the childhood friend who OF COURSE turns into a love interest. Music- fine. Some quite catchy stuff, but I’m not a huge fan. I’m sorry.
13. Rescuers- SUCK ON THAT, LION KING! (Sorry) No, really, I like this. Penny is really sweet, and she does have a personality. I think you’re a bit hard on Bernard, and I love him and Bianca’s dynamic. Medusa is awesome, and she has good sidekicks.
12. Bolt- I love Bolt, Mittens and Rhino. I love the story, I love the idea, I love the animation, it just doesn’t quite want to make you love it. I like it, but no huge passion and no urge to defend it in the comments when people are mean about it.
11. Frozen- Anna and Elsa- great, but not a perfect (Quasi, Mulan, Lady and the Tramp and Lilo and Stitch are the ONLY perfect leads). Hans is- fine. Kristoff is sort of bland. However, I love Let it Go and Do You Wanna Build A Snowman. Also, I fricking love Olaf.
10. Aladdin- Sorry. I like Aladdin and Jasmine, but I stand by what I said in the brackets in my Frozen explanation. Supporting cast is amazing, songs are great, Jafar is- eh.
9. Beauty and the Beast- I know, I have just utterly dissed all of the Big Four of the Renaissance. I like Belle, and Beast- but I agree with you, Mouse. It seems so- planned to pan out that way. Not spontaneous at all.
8. I don’t want to say it, because- well- you might realise after I explain what I love and give some hints, but I’m just going to say that they go under the sea and there are lots of explosions. Love animation there, some of my favourite. I quite like the characters, I like their backgrounds and life stories and ambitions. I like the villain- and I like the twist. I like everything, but the story could do with more. Still.
7. Lady and the Tramp- LEADS! LEADS! LEADS! They are awesome, they are developed, their dynamic is great, their relationship is great. I didn’t expect that in a Disney movie from the fifties, I thought they’d be more like Aurora and Philip in Sleeping Beauty. The supporting characters are good too. There is a lot of sweetness here, but not sugar.
6. Tangled- LEADS! LEADS! LEADS! They are awesome, they are developed, their dynamic is- look at the first sentence of the Lady and the Tramp explanation. But what gives this the edge is that the supporting characters match up to the power of the leads, and I prefer the music.
5. Princess and the Frog- Look at the Tangled explanation, and add on the fact that I love the songs enough in this to LEARN THEM ON THE PIANO.
4. Emperor’s New Groove- I love the leads, and the villains, and Pacha’s family, and this is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I laughed so hard. And it is hard to make me laugh.
3. Lilo and Stitch- I’m not crying! In all seriousness, this is amazing. Lilo’s voice actress is amazing, Stitch is great, even Nani, who could have been really bland if this was pulled off wrong, is amazingly developed and has a real arc. They put three arcs into this and pulled off every one. In my view, Nani is a lead because it’s her story too. Jumba, Pleakley, Gantu and the Grand Councilwoman are also great.
2. Mulan- There’s a sense of action in this, but it doesn’t take away from emotion or script or character development, Mulan and Mushu are great. Shang is very likeable, the soldiers are fun, and I won’t stop singing Be A Man till the day I die.
aaaaannnnd our No. 1 is…..
HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME!- I know this is flawed. One terrible song (in a midst of fantastic ones), misplaced ‘comedy relief’, plotholes and the like. But….. the characters, the other songs *cough* HELLFIRE! *cough*, the performances, the amazing animation, especially of Notre Dame, the score- remember what you said about great movies? This has things wrong with it, but the strengths, while not only far outweighing the weaknesses, are so strong that they practically cancel it out.
There, I’m going to massage my fingers after this essay-like comment.
Thanks for making this list! Its is really helpful… If you get the time in the future, maybe you can do a similar list for the non-canon movies, which you have reviewed on this site?
Hmm, I wonder why I didn’t notice this until now. It’s nice to see the ranked list of Disney movies. Since I’m an attention whore, I’ll throw up my list for people to send death threats at me over. Since I keep it up to date, it has Big Hero 6.
54. Home on the Range
53. Alice in Wonderland
52. Saludos Amigos
51. The Rescuers
49. Fun and Fancy Free
48. Peter Pan
47. Melody Time
46. The Three Caballeros
45. The Black Cauldron
44. Chicken Little
41. The Aristocats
40. Make Mine Music
39. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
38. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
37. Fantasia 2000
35. The Sword in the Stone
34. Meet the Robinsons
31. Winnie the Pooh
29. The Rescuers Down Under
28. Oliver and Company
27. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
26. The Little Mermaid
25. Sleeping Beauty
24. Brother Bear
23. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
22. The Fox and the Hound
21. The Great Mouse Detective
19. Robin Hood
18. The Princess and the Frog
17. Lady and the Tramp
16. The Jungle Book
14. Beauty and the Beast
13. Big Hero 6
12. The Lion King
11. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
7. The Emperor’s New Groove
4. Treasure Planet
3. Lilo and Stitch
1. Wreck-It Ralph
Just because I thought it would be fun, I will now list your “worst” movie (WM) and “best movie” (BM) from each era.
Tar and Sugar: WM “Dumbo”, BM “Pinocchio”.
Never heard of ’ems: WM “Fun and fancy free”, BM “Make mine music”.
Restoration: WM “Peter Pan”, BM “Sleeping Beauty”.
Scratchy era: WM “Aristocats”, BM “The Jungle Book”.
Mourning era: WM “The Black Cauldron”, BM “The Rescuers”
Renaissance: WM “Pocahontas”, BM “The Lion King”
Lost era: WM “Dinosaur”, BM “Lilo & Stitch”
Redemption era: WM “Princess & The Frog”, BM “Frozen”
Interesting to see a more different and personal ranking here rather than the more mainstream ones you see on every animation historian´s blog and book.
Here´s mine. I´ve seen about 40 of the Disney Classics of the 54 out there.
1. Beauty and the Beast
2. The Lion King
5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
7. Basil the Great Mouse Detective
8. Robin Hood
9. Sleeping Beauty
11. Peter Pan
12. The Rescuers Down Under
13. The Fox and the Hound
15. The Jungle Book
16. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
17. Lilo & Stitch
18. Alice in Wonderland.
19. Princess and the Frog
21. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
22. The Rescuers
23. Lady and the Tramp
24. The Little Mermaid
26. Atlantis the Lost Empire
28. Treasure Planet
30. 101 Dalmatians
31. The Aristocats
32. The Sword in the Stone
33. Brother Bear
34. The Emperor´s New Groove
35. The Black Cauldron
36. Fantasia 2000
39. Oliver & Company
40. Home on the Range
Are you going to do Zootopia?
Well of course!
I love ranked lists of the Disney classics like this one, they’re so much fun to read. I think a few of mine would be different (Frozen, Chicken Little and Robin Hood would be lower, Dinosaur, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast would be higher, for starters), but it was interesting to see a more opinionated take on this instead of the expected ordering. And you’ve actually seen the package films! Always a bonus. I’ve only just discovered your blog but I’m enjoying it a lot – I’ll have to start working my way through all the individual reviews.
Thanks very much Paul, welcome to the blog!
I admire your courage in placing Hunchback as number 1. Although I’m not sure I agree, I love the way you justify it, and I also agree on the strengths far outweighing the weaknesses. Thank you for this list. I really appreciate it. I truly think that Hunchback is very underrated as a Disney movie, and as a movie in general.
I was starting to panic when I was nearing #1 because you hadn’t mentioned The Lion King! I needn’t have worried.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is Disney’s 57th in the canon. But…there are only 56 movies on this page. One of the movies is missing.
Oh wait, I was wrong. The Black Cauldron and Ralph Breaks The Internet are both listed as #53.
Hey, I think that under Snow White, you should include a second link to the second review you did of the movie much later. That review in itself was a worthy review, going into a lot of interesting details on the production history, and it deserves more attention in the spotlight. Both reviews are good, and both should have a link in the main index.