I’m throwing it back to my childhood with my favorite Disney movies. Like many in our generation did, I grew up watching most of the following animated films. They sparked my wonder, curiosity and shaped my younger view of the world for better and for worse. I’ve recently re-watched some of these films after visiting the most magical place on Earth in May 2016. There are many greats that didn’t make the list, but here are 10 that excite me most.
Phil Collins’ score to this film is universally adored. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t belt out the chorus to “Strangers Like Me” when it came on. I also admire the storyline and gravitated toward it as a child, as I was never the biggest fan of Disney princess films like “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
9. “Lion King”
A heart-wrenching classic with equally light-hearted fun and humor. Who doesn’t love Timon and Pumba? Plus it’s the origin of our renowned motto of inner peace: “Hakuna Matata.”
8. “Finding Nemo”
In high school, I saw this film in 3D at my hometown movie theater and literally cried at the end when Nemo and Marlin reunite even though I had seen the film numerous times before. Its message about having faith in others and in oneself is unmatched.
7. “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”
I just really love the characters in this film. They’re so old-school and charming. Pongo boy. Anita darling. Roger. Even Cruella de Vil. She’s the cruelest! And don’t even get me started with all those cute animated puppies watching TV and running all over the place. Classic.
6. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Is this a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? The world is constantly debating and may never reach a conclusion. I’ve personally landed on Halloween because it never fails to get me in the spooky spirit. Also I was Sally for Halloween two years ago.
5. “Monsters, Inc.”
I’ve always viewed “Monsters, Inc.” as the most creative and clever of all the Disney films. It figures that it’s one of Pixar’s finest, sitting among classics like “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and “Inside Out.” The dialogue is funny, the characters are super loveable and again, I just couldn’t think of a more kid-friendly, imaginative fictional world.
This film is special in that among all the mediocre Disney films released within more recent years, it proved exceptionally non-mediocre and made it to No. 4 on this list. I watched “Zootopia” on Netflix over the summer and was so happily surprised by the sociological message behind it all, while still retaining a Disney-esque, childlike charm.
3. “Lilo & Stitch”
Amazing music. Amazing characters. Everything about “Lilo & Stitch” gives me warm, fuzzy feelings. It’s a perfect amount of silly and serious that I can relate with. Lilo is so precious, and the film’s take on familial love is beautiful to the core.
This movie is straight-up majestical, and Jasmine was always my favorite Disney princess. “Aladdin” takes me to a “whole new world” and makes me wish I had a magic carpet of my own to escape on. Plus the beloved Genie sends the film to new heights with its humor. R.I.P. Robin Williams.
This film proves Disney’s ability to take traditional fairy and folk tales and revamp them into something truly engaging and magical. Disney brings the story to life with a bold score, trusty sidekicks Pascal and Maximus, sneaky villains and plenty of righteous frying pan assaults. I never fail to feel so whimsically inspired when I watch it.