I recently posted something on my Facebook to the effect that there are three classes of Disney movies: genuine classics, genuinely bad, and those that Disney keeps trying to tell us are classics but are actually a little boring. Some people were indignant that I classified both The Aristocats and Robin Hood in the final category. To those offended, I’m sorry. To clear up all confusion I thought it only fair that I rank all 53 Disney movies. This will make sure all future arguments are taken care of.
Some ground rules:
- I haven’t seen all the movies on this list. But if the internet has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t need to see a movie to pass judgement.
- I spent a lot of time on these rankings. Like, I think it was more than 15 minutes.
- I cannot emphasize this last point enough: THESE RANKINGS ARE DEFINITIVE.
53. Saludos Amigos
52. The Three Caballeros
51. Make Mine Music
50. Fun and Fancy Free
49. Melody Time
48. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
These are all the anthology movies that Disney made during World War II. I can get away with ranking them all this low, because almost none of them get released as full movies. They’ve been broken up into little mini-movies like “Mickey and the Beanstalk”. You can’t argue, because you probably haven’t seen them in their full form either.
47. Home on the Range – Never did see this one, but it’s tagline was “Bust a Moo.” I’m pretty sure that’s checkmate.
46. The Black Cauldron – Plus five points for swinging for the fence and trying something new. Minus 51 points for being an incomprehensible mess with an entire cast composed of annoying sidekicks.
45. Chicken Little – None of you have seen this, but none of you are going to argue with me are you?
44. Pocahontas – A Disney embellishment that is actually a lot less interesting than what really happened. Also has a bad case of annoying-sidekick.
43. Brother Bear – Set around the time of mammoths and cave drawings, this is the first movie ever made to actually be as entertaining as the cave wall in Lascaux.
42. Oliver & Company – The movie where everyone realized that Billy Joel might not be as relevant as everyone thought. It was either this or River of Dreams, but I’m sure this didn’t help.
41. Dinosaur – One on hand, hey, dinosaurs. On the other hand, life is too short.
40. The Aristocrats – Last time I watched this, I noticed that the cats are really well-animated. How boring does a movie have to be that I have to bring that up as a positive?
39. The Fox and the Hound – It’s like a glass of warm milk ending with a bear attack.
38. The Sword in the Stone – The last of these movies that Walt Disney was alive for, which is a little like if the Beatles had broken up after releasing Let It Be. Oh, wait…
37. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – He’s more cute ugly, not really ugly, you know?
36. Bolt – Been a while since I’ve seen this one, but I’m pretty sure it’s about how Miley Cyrus crashed the VMAs with her celebrity dog.
35. Mulan -Disney’s extended apology for their portrayal of Asians up to this point, but then offset by altogether too much Eddie Murphy.
34. Meet the Robinsons – I remember a t-rex who complains about his tiny arms, which isn’t a bad standout joke.
33. Alice in Wonderland – This movie came out in the 1950s, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually something that they meant to make 20 years later.
32. Treasure Planet – I saw this while I was in college. My favorite line from this movie was, “That was more fun than I ever want to have again.” So basically my freshman dorm.
31. Atlantis: The Lost Empire – This is what happens if The Black Cauldron actually works, only instead of annoying sidekicks everyone is a token minority.
30. Robin Hood – Did anyone else notice that Prince John and Sir Hiss share a bedroom? Kind of a Mr. Burns/Smithers thing going on there I think.
29. Peter Pan – One of the most offensive movies for one of America’s most oppressed minorities: pirates.
28. Lady and the Tramp – Once again, outstanding animal animation. Also once again, a vast array of racial stereotypes. But they’re dogs and cats, so now I’m confused.
27. Fantasia 2000 – Not bad, but it’s telling that the one segment from the original Fantasia is still the most interesting part in this movie.
26. Hercules – Somehow goofier than most Greek myths, but more James Woods is never a bad thing.
25. Sleeping Beauty – Animation like a stained-glass window, which seems appropriate for the story of two mannequins who fall in love.
24. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – I miss Sterling Holloway.
23. Winnie the Pooh – This might be a sympathy vote for a movie that had to open opposite the last Harry Potter movie.
22. Tarzan – When Rosie O’Donnell dies, this will be the movie that keeps her career from being a long list of national regret.
21. The Princess and the Frog – Wait, a movie where both the “prince” and the “princess” are actually interesting people? And it only took 70 years to get there!
20. Lilo & Stitch – Hawaii makes for a heck of a backdrop, and Elvis makes for a heck of a soundtrack. I also really love the character designs on the aliens.
19. The Rescuers Down Under – For being a proof-of-concept for computer animation in animated movies, I’d say it’s still pretty darn entertaining.
18. The Rescuers – Disney Animation takes a break from farting around in the 1970s to release an actual story with an actual villain.
17. The Great Mouse Detective – You know what more cartoons need? Vincent Price.
16. Dumbo – “Elephants on Parade” is the first drug hallucination that most kids will ever seen, and still one of my favorite animated sequences in any movie.
15. Wreck-It Ralph – Made as much for the 30-something parents as the kids with whom they’ll watch it.
14. The Jungle Book – Do you know how many dancing monkeys are in this movie? Also it’s probably the last really amazing Disney soundtrack until they released The Little Mermaid.
13. The Little Mermaid – A girl changes everything about herself for a man she just met, but probably one of the best villains in Disney history. And dat soundtrack…
12. 101 Dalmations – Want to know why The Aristocats got made? Maybe they were hoping for results like this one. Is there anyone who isn’t a little scared by Cruella deVille?
11. Tangled – Disney goes a little Pixar, and no one is complaining.
10. Frozen – A soundtrack good enough that it actually sold albums in 2013. Think about that for a minute. Also, the central relationship is a familial one, instead of romantic. I think that’s pretty…(wait for it)…cool.
9. The Emperor’s New Groove – “The peasant in the restaurant…he didn’t pay his check.”
8. Cinderella – The prototypical princess movie, one that actually makes talking mice bearable.
7. Bambi – Bambi’s mother is killed, and with her vanishes a generation of potential hunters. Also, it’s a super-beautiful movie.
6. Aladdin – Disney leaves the Western world for the first time, and finds a way to actually match Robin Williams’ insanity.
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – Sergei Eisenstein allegedly called it the greatest movie ever made. This from the guy who made The Battleship Potemkin.
4. Fantasia – I just proved a pretentious jerk I am by admitting to how much I love this movie.
3. The Lion King – If you are in your late 20s or early 30s, there’s a 95% chance you have this movie memorized.
2. Pinocchio – Whenever I want to do something vaguely rebellious, a small part of me is still worried I’ll turn into a donkey.
1. Beauty and the Beast – Shut up! I’m not crying! Leave me alone!