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Just days before the release of "Tangled," Disney shocked the world by announcing the film would be their last fairy tale princess story. But while there was much wailing, another, more positive milestone has been somewhat overlooked: "Tangled" marked the studio's 50th animated feature.
We know what you're thinking: Surely Disney has made more than 50 movies, right? And it's true, they have. But if there's one thing Disney knows even more than animation, it's how to protect their brand, which is why they've designated some of their features to be official classics and others -- like "The Jungle Book 2" or "Pete's Dragon" -- to be, you know, just something they do on the side for giggles and grins.
To celebrate the release of "Beauty and the Beast 3D," we review and rank all 50 official Disney animated features. Let the subjectivity begin.
50. 'Brother Bear' (2003)
Hey guys, remember "Brother Bear," the flick about a boy who is turned into a bear and then learns all the wise things animals can teach mankind? No? Well, that's fine, because this one is memorable for all the wrong reasons, beginning with its dim trailer and ending with its patronizing depiction of Inuit culture. You could argue whether this is better or worse than Disney's other Bear-themed movie misstep, "The Country Bears," but our suggestion: Just block them both out of your mind.
49. 'Chicken Little' (2005)
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Zach Braff, Joan Cusack and Adam West are just a few of the normally reliable voice stars who sank with the ship on "Chicken Little," one of Disney's recent ill-fated attempts to claim a portion of the new CGI animation market. The failure of this film helped convince Disney to finally cut a permanent deal with Pixar to run their combined animation efforts in order to make sure nothing like "Chicken Little" gets made again. So at least something good came out of it.
48. 'Oliver & Company' (1988)
Here's the idea: Take the Charles Dickens classic "Oliver Twist," set it in modern day New York, substitute kittens and dogs instead of people and then add in voicework from Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel and Dom DeLuise, all while using generally mediocre animation backed by a theme song from Huey Lewis. Holy ugh. Amazingly, "Oliver & Company" was so successful when it was released that it spurred Disney to begin annual animated feature releases -- a decision that paid off one year later when "The Little Mermaid" started the Disney Renaissance. Talk about making silk from a sow's ear.
47. 'Make Mine Music' (1946)
Following World War II, Disney was so short on money and manpower that they resorted to releasing "movies" that were just collections of random short cartoons strung together. The "highlight" of "Make Mine Music" was "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met," which ends with the happy-go-lucky opera whale being hunted down and slain by whalers. The only reason to watch this is for the abbreviated adaptation of "Peter and the Wolf" -- unless, of course, you're looking to traumatize your kids forever, in which case, watch the whole thing.
46. 'The Black Cauldron' (1985)
Speaking of traumatizing viewers, "The Black Cauldron" was such a critical, commercial and artistic disaster that Disney essentially disavowed its existence for nearly two decades before finally owning up to having made it. A new generation of animators wanted to bring Disney into modern times, but instead they almost sank the studio thanks to a villain who bounces from the ridiculous (see: his signature fur-lined mink bathrobe) to the terrifying (the titular cauldron is filled with undead monstrosities). Add in a section where a character is nearly crushed to death by a fat witch's giant breasts and now you know why "The Black Cauldron" has become synonymous with failure.
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45. 'Melody Time' (1948)
Another of Disney's postwar anthologies, "Melody Time" is a true mish-mash of castoffs and ill-fated experiments. The movie does have a couple brief bright spots -- namely, the shorts "Pecos Bill" and "The Legend of Johnny Appleseed" -- but not even an appearance by Roy Rogers can make this salvageable. Only hardcore Disneyphiles should even think of watching this movie.
44. 'Fantasia 2000' (2000)
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When "Fantasia" came out in 1940, Walt planned to re-release it every few years, rotating in new musical numbers to replace outdated ones. Sixty years later, the studio finally got around to actually doing it, with "Fantasia 2000" the result. The main problem with "2000": almost everything that is cool about it comes directly from the original "Fantasia." So why would you ever watch this instead of the original "Fantasia?" Answer: you wouldn't.
43. 'The Sword in the Stone' (1963)
Ah, the Arthurian legends brought to life in an adaptation of T. H. White's epic series "The Once and Future King." But while we do enjoy the occasional moment in this one -- Merlin's performance of the goofy song "Higitus Figitus" stands out -- most of this "Harry Potter"-esque story of a boy being trained for his destiny by an old wizard and a friendly owl falls sadly flat. Somehow, goofy villain Madam Mim just doesn't have quite the same heft as Lord Voldemort.
42. 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' (2001)
This is a love it or hate it film; on the one hand, most critics disliked it, giving it just a 46 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it bombed at the box office as well when it debuted in 2001. On the other hand, the movie does feature a great cast, including Michael J. Fox and James Garner, along with animation by legendary comic book artist and "Hellboy" creator Mike Mignola. Because of this last factor, "Atlantis" has become a bit of a cult favorite in some circles, but for the rest of the world it falls somewhere between a WTF and a yawn.
41. 'Home on the Range' (2004)
Here's the voice cast: Roseanne Barr, Dame Judi Dench, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Randy Quaid, Jennifer Tilly and Steve Buscemi. Honestly, could you possibly come up with a weirder assortment of people if your life depended on it? That outright bizarre mix does provide some bits of oddball humor in this '04 comedy about cows fighting back against wranglers, but while we'd love to attend a party with this guest list, we're not sure we really want to watch this film again. As they say online, random is random.
40. 'Fun and Fancy Free' (1947)
This was probably the hardest film for us to rank: issued in '47 as part of Disney's postwar anthology series, "Fun and Fancy Free" features just two stories. The first of these, "Bongo," is about a bear who runs away from the circus and is, frankly, terribad. The second, "Mickey and the Beanstalk," is an all-time classic, as it replaces Jack with Mickey, Donald and Goofy for one of the best known and best loved shorts in the Disney archives. Still, you can't really make something that is half-awesome and half-crap without, you know, getting crap on everything, so "Fun and Fancy Free" will have to settle for a low ranking. We encourage you to rent it -- just don't watch the first half.
39. 'Dinosaur' (2000)
The animation is exceptional in this experimental film from 2000, which blended high-quality CGI dinosaurs with live-action HD backgrounds to provide a unique visual experience. Unfortunately, the story, while serviceable, doesn't quite live up to the animation, while the cartoony voicework undermined the photo-realistic imagery. Like a cross between "Ice Age" and a Discovery Channel special, "Dinosaur" was basically two good ideas that really didn't mesh together at all. Nice try, though.
38. 'Saludos Amigos' (1943)
So if Disney wasn't making features during World War II, what were they doing? "Saludos Amigos" provides the strange-but-true answer: Walt and his band of animators were sent by the U. S. government to South America on a propaganda tour to counter-act pro-Nazi influences there. The result is a half-documentary travelogue about the trip inter-spliced with short cartoons featuring Donald and Goofy in South American settings. A great film? Not hardly. An interesting historical artifact? Without question.
37. 'Treasure Planet' (2002)
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You have to give Disney credit for at least trying to stay current, as "Treasure Planet" offers one of their bolder experiments: The movie takes the beloved novel "Treasure Island" and reworks it as a futuristic space epic, all done with anime-inspired artwork. Despite being nominated for an Academy Award in the new Best Animated Feature category, "Treasure Planet" was one of the studio's biggest failures ever, taking in $38 million domestically against a production cost of $140 million. Failures like that discourage innovation, which is too bad, because we kind of like what they were trying to do even if they didn't succeed in getting there.
36. 'Hercules' (1997)
During the 1990s, the animation powerhouse was in the middle of the great Disney Renaissance, which saw the studio churn out one instant classic after another, just like in the good ol' days. That's one reason why "Hercules" was such a big disappointment when it came out; the flat animation and the corny storyline just seemed kind of half-assed compared to stuff like "The Lion King" or "Mulan." James Woods saves the whole thing from disaster with his inspired voicework as the villainous Hades.
35. 'The Great Mouse Detective' (1986)
Squeezed in between two of the studio's worst movies of all time, "The Black Cauldron" and "Oliver and Company," 1986's "The Great Mouse Detective" is easy to overlook. But surprisingly enough, this movie is actually pretty good, at least compared to those stinkburgers; an adaptation of the kids story "Basil of Baker Street," it's basically "Sherlock Holmes" only with mice and whatnot instead of people, which is kind of cool. Of special note is the villainous Ratigan, who is voiced by legendary horror-meister Vincent Price. This movie may not be great, but it might be worth a second look.
34. 'Meet the Robinsons' (2007)
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Pixar's John Lasseter took over Disney animation while "Robinson's" was in development, leading to wholesale changes in order to Pixarify the movie. The result: a pleasant and entertaining if not exactly memorable CGI adventure about a kid and a time machine and the mayhem that follows. Coming out just three years ago, "Meet the Robinsons" had a limited 3-D release, just missing the current wave of animated megahits using that extra dimension to snare viewers. A solid movie that was, ironically enough given its storyline, a victim of being released in the wrong year.
33. 'The Rescuers Down Under' (1990)
This sequel to 1977's "The Rescuers" tried to do a lot of different things and ended up doing most of them somewhat poorly. Set in Australia for basically no reason, the movie took a story about a kid fighting environmental menaces in The Outback and added the mice protagonists from "The Rescuers" to it. It also featured the first extensive use of CGI in a Disney film and, unusually, had no musical numbers. The result is a mish-mash where the mish is kind of crappy but the mash -- i.e. The Rescuers themselves, Bernard and Miss Bianca -- is sweet.
32. 'The Aristocats' (1970)
The last Disney film to actually be worked on by Walt himself, "The Artistocats" was a good idea at the time. And the story of some cats in Paris doing a bunch of cat stuff is still fine today. But for modern audiences, the Rat Pack-esque lead character and the subpar animation turn this 1970 offering into one of the most out-of-date films in the entire Disney catalogue. Bright spot: Comic relief dogs Napoleon and Lafayette are still cool.
31. 'The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad' (1949)
The best of Disney's postwar anthologies, "Ichabod and Mr. Toad" features two unconnected adaptations of classic non-fairy tales: The Ichabod section, of course, covers "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," while "Mr. Toad" is a Disneyfied version of "The Wind in the Willows." Like the other anthologies, this 1949 film suffers from its disjointed nature -- despite the title, Ichabod and Mr. Toad sadly don't actually adventure together -- but the individual segments were strong enough to turn the movie into a hit and allow Disney to start doing full-length features again, starting just a year later with the significantly more classic "Cinderella."
30. 'Bolt' (2008)
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The hand of Pixar chief John Lasseter is all over Disney's '08 holiday crowd-pleaser "Bolt;" after canning the original director because the movie was too weird for Disney audiences, Lasseter revamped the plot and installed a new regime with order to bang it out in record time. Throw in some voicework from Disney Channel megastar Miley Cyrus and you pretty much have a surefire hit. "Bolt" is also a genuinely entertaining movie, so even though we kind of wanted to see the original (which featured a one-eyed cat and a radioactive rabbit), we're happy enough with the version Disney actually put out.
29. 'Lilo & Stitch' (2002)
In the years since its '02 release, the profile of "Lilo & Stitch" has been boosted by several direct-to-video sequels and a popular animated series on the Disney Channel. The original film, though, shouldn't be hyped up for more than what it is: an entertaining and somewhat atypical Disney adventure where the bad guy (Stitch) is the good guy and the good guys (space cops) are trying to protect everyone from him. Moral ambiguity takes a backseat to jokes, which is too bad, but the voice performance by "Kids in the Hall" stalwart Kevin McDonald is still certainly worth your time.
28. 'The Fox and the Hound' (1981)
Behind-the-scenes office drama crippled the production of this adaptation of Daniel P. Mannix's popular 1967 kids book; animator Don Bluth abruptly quit Disney in a disagreement over how the movie should proceed, stealing nearly a dozen other Disney artists to form his own competing studio. As a result, the movie took four years to complete and it shows, as the result is a watered down movie that offends -- and satisfies -- nobody. Feel free to put this on to entertain your kids while you play online poker, but don't expect to get too much out of it yourself.
27. 'The Three Caballeros' (1944)
Following the success of "Saludos Amigos," Disney returned to South and Central America for this sequel, which landed in theaters just in time for Christmas in 1944. The movie itself, which is another anthology comprised of South American-themed shorts, is elevated by the title sequence, where Donald Duck and his two feathered friends, the Brazilian parrot Jose Carioca and the Mexican rooster Panchito, sing their theme song, "The Three Caballeros." Fans of Latin music and culture will especially appreciate this film, though kids probably will fall asleep. That's why sometimes it sucks to be a kid.
26. 'The Emperor's New Groove' (2000)
OK, we were justly skeptical after hearing the admittedly lame name of this movie. And the film, which features voicework from the likes of David Spade, John Goodman and Eartha Kitt, does in fact revolve around an emperor who has lost his "groove." But thanks to some very clever dialogue and an extremely funny turn by Patrick Warburton as the dopey henchman Kronk, "Groove" turned out to be a surprisingly good and consistently underrated movie. Definitely worth another look if you gave up on it based on the title; this is no "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," that's for sure.
25. 'Tangled' (2010)
Yep, it's a good showing for Disney's latest heroine, as Rapunzel powers her way into the top half of our list thanks to some spiffy use of 3-D CGI animation and fun characterization. The fact that Disney has announced that "Tangled" will be their final princess fairy tale adaptation is made particularly bittersweet considering this movie seems to prove that the genre can still be relevant for today's audiences. Go see it and find out for yourself.
24. 'The Princess and the Frog' (2009)
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Last year's entry in the princess genre also happened to be the first Disney film to feature an African-American princess -- or, really, an African-American protagonist of any kind. And no, don't even say "Song of the South," please Jesus. But all the "black princess" talk may have overshadowed the fact that this is probably the best movie Disney has made in the last decade or more. For whatever reason, audiences didn't take to "Princess," leading to it underperforming at the box office -- and leading Disney to cancel adaptations of other fairy tales in the future. A sad legacy for a really good movie.
23. 'Mulan' (1998)
Of all the films on the list, "Mulan" probably generated the most disagreement regarding where it should be ranked. Some felt that the film's combination of memorable characters, catchy tunes, white-knuckle action and girl-power message make it one of the best movies in Disney history. Others felt that by the time it came out in 1998, the creative energy from the Disney Renaissance had stagnated into a predictable formula that doomed "Mulan" to be nothing more than serviceable but disposable entertainment. You'll have to watch it yourself to decide whether we got it right in the end or not.
22. 'Robin Hood' (1973)
Everything we can say about this retelling of the Robin Hood legend can be summed up like so: critics don't like it but audiences do. That's because this movie has two major things going for it: Everyone is familiar with the beloved story of Robin Hood, and the movie has a lot of dumb fun telling it. Sure, the way they go about it is pretty disjointed and the animation isn't great and, frankly, the coolest parts are almost all entirely stolen cel for cel from earlier Disney classics. But bottom line, it's a fun film to watch. Isn't that what really matters?
21. 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1996)
This adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic 1831 novel wasn't a huge success when it was first released back in 1996 during the height of the Disney Renaissance; critics panned the film for being too sanitized, but the surprisingly adult themes were still far darker than movie crowds looking for standard Disney fare were expecting. For this same reason, though, the movie has become a cult hit, especially for the creepy-cool supporting character Clopin and the sexually charged musical sequence where Judge Frollo fantasizes about the gypsy Esmerelda. Hide your eyes, Bambi, because this isn't your mother's Disney.
20. 'Pocahontas' (1995)
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Not everyone was on board with this retelling of the near-mythical relationship between Native American icon Pocahontas and English settler John Smith; many, including those in the Native American community, thought it was a politically correct whitewashing of history. Well, tish tosh. While it isn't perfect, "Pocahontas" features typically excellent animation and an engaging romp through America's colonial past. Of special interest to movie buffs: The character of Thomas is voiced by Christian Bale, who would later play Pocahontas's husband John Rolfe in Terrence Malick's live action version of the story, "The New World."
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19. 'The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' (1977)
Technically speaking, '77's "Pooh" was neither new nor truly a feature film per se; it's actually a compilation of three previously released shorts, "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree" (which first came out in 1966), "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" (1968) and "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" (1974). Regardless of how you classify it, though, these adaptations of A. A. Milne's classic kids books remain family favorites to this day and for most people provide the definitive version of Winnie and friends. A 3-D sequel is set to come out next summer.
18. 'The Rescuers' (1977)
Based on the popular series of children's books from Margery Sharp, "The Rescuers" features a couple of heroic mice, Miss Bianca and Bernard, as they try to save people in need through their international association of helpful mice, the Rescue Aid Society. Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor supply the voicework for this film, which was popular enough to spawn a direct sequel in 1990. "Rescuers" was also just about the only honestly good movie Disney put out between 1967's "Jungle Book" and 1989's "The Little Mermaid," so that's something to keep in mind if you ever find yourself stuck in the late-'70s with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon.
17. 'Alice in Wonderland' (1951)
No, not the 3-D "Alice in Wonderland" with Johnny Depp that shattered box office records around the country; this is the original 1951 Disney version of the classic Lewis Caroll psychedelic adventure. Needless to say, the movie's intensely weird visuals were ahead of their time, but though the film was panned in the buttoned-up '50s, it became a cult sensation in the drug-fueled late-'60s as a new generation discovered the film's crazy good animation -- animation which more than makes up for any choppiness in the storytelling.
16. 'Tarzan' (1999)
Music fans may remember "Tarzan" mainly for the Academy Award-winning song "You'll Be in My Heart" from Phil Collins, but animation buffs know this modern masterpieces more for the fantastic backgrounds and the whirlwind jungle-chases. The last bonafide box office smash from Disney's animation department, "Tarzan" grossed nearly $450 million worldwide while racking up an 88 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There's pretty much nothing bad you can say about this film.
15. 'Sleeping Beauty' (1959)
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Here's how crazy people were in 1959: "Sleeping Beauty" was such a box office disappointment that Disney fired much of the production staff and the movie was never re-released during Walt's lifetime. Since then, of course, we wiser folk of the future have come to appreciate the gorgeous score, the great art design and, most of all, the epic climactic battle between the noble Prince Phillip and perhaps Disney's greatest villain of all time, the witch-dragon Maleficent. Totally awesome.
14. 'Pinocchio' (1940)
No joke guys: This movie is scary. Say what you will about "Saw" or "Hostel," but at least those movies don't feature depraved adults turning kids into animals to provide cheap slave labor. It's like an animated Nike sweatshop or something. But the film also features timeless musical hits like "When You Wish Upon a Star" as well as some of the greatest animation ever seen on the silver screen. Watch it and be amazed -- just don't watch it with anyone squeamish.
13. 'The Jungle Book' (1967)
Cuddly bear mentor Baloo and his signature song "The Bare Necessities" immediately launched themselves into the realm of pop culture classics when this adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's children's book hit theaters in '67. Sure, some elements seem a little dated -- the sketchy animation technique, for instance, and the chorus of vultures modeled on the Beatles -- but the final film to be produced by Walt before his death remains a family favorite. It's also no coincidence that Disney's biggest box office smash, "The Lion King," drew heavily from Baloo and company to create that whole Hakuna Matata mindset.
12. '101 Dalmations' (1961)
Like "Alice in Wonderland," "101 Dalmations" has the distinction of also being adapted into a successful live-action film by Disney as well. That's a testament to the strength of the premise and storytelling of this hit (the biggest grossing film of 1961) rather than the animation, which was forced to go to a shabby Xerox system after the financial tanking of Disney's previous film, "Sleeping Beauty." But really, here's all you need to know; a mom and dad dog go on a quest to save a batch of puppies from being turned into a fur coat. How can you not tear up at that?
11. 'Aladdin' (1992)
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Disney may have had better, more dramatic and more technically excellent movie than "Aladdin," but they've certainly never had a movie that was funnier or more fun to watch. Thanks to the manic antics of comedian Robin Williams at the height of his powers as the wish-granting Genie, this rags-to-riches story just about jumps right off the screen, no 3-D necessary. Nearly two decades later, "Aladdin" still remains one of the most popular Disney movies of all time.
10. 'Peter Pan' (1955)
Funny thing about this adaptation of J. M. Barrie's famous play -- Peter Pan himself isn't even close to the most beloved character in the movie. That honor goes to either strangely loveable villain Captain Hook or the enchantingly devilish pixie Tinkerbell, depending on who you're talking to. Some aspects of the movie don't necessarily hold up for modern audiences (the Native Americans of Tiger Lily's tribe have offended some sensibilities) but the movie's celebration of childhood and its charms (and dangers) remains timeless.
9. 'The Lady and the Tramp' (1955)
The American Film Institute named this hit one of its top 100 romantic films of all time, thanks in large part to one of the most iconic sequences in all of film, the accidental spaghetti-eating kiss between Lady and Tramp. Interesting trivia note: The film took so long to develop (nearly 18 years depending on how you figure it) that Disney had time to issue a novelization of the script a full two years before the movie's release in order to build up buzz.
8. 'Dumbo' (1941)
Clocking in at barely over an hour long, "Dumbo" was rushed into production in order to recoup losses from the failure of "Fantasia;" the movie, which was based on a toy prototype of all things, features simplified storytelling and animation in an attempt to cut the budget. The result? Only Disney's biggest box office success of the decade, thanks to emotionally wrenching scenes like Dumbo's tearful meeting with his imprisoned mother and innovative flights of fancy such as the infamous "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence. Chalk one up for spontaneity.
7. 'The Little Mermaid' (1989)
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Like "Cinderella" almost 30 years earlier, "Little Mermaid" was a return to greatness following a creative drought that had dogged Disney for almost two decades. The classic calypso-tinged soundtrack helped turn a whole new generation on to Disney and launched a new golden era of animation in America. Twenty years later, Ariel remains the cutest ginger in movies, all apologies to Jessica Rabbit.
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6. 'Cinderella' (1950)
Ever since "Cinderella" first hit theaters back in 1950, it has been hailed as one of the studio's best movies. And it needed to be; at the time it came out, Disney, which had been plowed under by the demands of World War II, hadn't put out a full-length animated movie in eight long years. Everything was riding on "Cinderella" and thanks to classic songs like "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo" -- and a minimalistic art style that influenced American animation for decades to come -- the film didn't, and still doesn't, disappoint.
5. 'Fantasia' (1940)
Undoubtedly the most experimental and risky work attempted by Disney, "Fantasia" was a massive flop when it debuted in 1940, due in large part to the fact that most theaters weren't equipped to handle the film's groundbreaking audio technology. As a result, most people never had the chance to see it in the theater, which is part of the reason the film didn't actually turn a profit until 1969. By then, of course, a new (and possibly -- just possibly – drug-fueled) generation was ready to embrace the breathtaking fusion of animation and classical music. Over 70 years after its creation, "Fantasia" still manages to seem ahead of its time even today.
4. 'Bambi' (1942)
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Remember what we were saying earlier about "Pinocchio" being traumatizing for the kiddies? Well, multiply that by 10 billion and you have "Bambi," the story of how evil humans burn and shoot cartoon animals just for the sheer hell of it. Of course, the unforgettable line "Your mother can't be with you any more" wouldn't have the same emotional impact if not for all the great character work, finely crafted storytelling and beautiful artwork that led up to it. Still, this is maybe the saddest moment in movies, which is why "Bambi" probably created more vegetarians than every other film in Hollywood history combined.
3. 'The Lion King' (1994)
Speaking of movies which inspired Broadway musicals, "The Lion King," which shattered box office records when it landed in '94, translated so well to other mediums in large part because it is essentially the culmination of Disney's entire animation line: From the great soundtrack and the unforgettable sidekicks to the emotionally wrenching death of Simba's father, "Lion King" offers callbacks to just about every great movie from Disney's past, from "Dumbo" to "Bambi" to "The Jungle Book." A nearly perfect movie.
2. 'Beauty and the Beast' (1991)
Here's what you need to know about "Beauty and the Beast:" Until the Academy Awards expanded their Best Picture field to 10 nominees last year, "Beauty and the Beast" was the only animated film to ever earn a nod in the category. Oh, and the film, which was hailed as an instant classic when it was released, also spawned a wildly popular Broadway show. Plus, the bad guy uses antlers in all of his decorating. Yep, that pretty much covers it all when it comes to the movie that would be the greatest animated film in movie history if not for…
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1. 'Snow White' (1937)
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When it comes to any ranking of Disney films -- or animated films in general -- the first is still the best. Debuting in 1937, "Snow White" did more than just tell a perfectly balanced story with memorable music, complex characters and incredible art --as the first feature-length animated movie, it also created an entirely new artistic medium. And anyone watching "Snow White" today will immediately see that this was no experiment; the new animation genre was born fully formed, as this classic is as great now as it was 73 years ago. "Snow White" is, and will always be, the number one Disney movie of all time.
Originally published Nov. 29, 2010.