Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten (10) Favorite DISNEY Animated Films

Below is a list of my top ten (10) favorite Disney animated films of all time . . . so far:


1. "The Incredibles" (2004) - It still surprises me that a story produced by Brad Bird and Pixar and released by Disney about a family of superheroes would end up being my favorite animated film of all time. It is also one of the best action films and best comic book hero films I have ever seen, hands down. Filled with memorable characters - including the unforgettable designer of superhero costumes, Edna E. Mode - and a fantastic plot about family obligations and the revenge of a superhero wannabe (voiced by the always talented Jason Lee), the movie earned a much deserved Academy Award Best Animated Feature.

2. "101 Dalmations" (1961) - Based upon Dodie Smith's children's book, this 1961 film has one of the best written plots I have ever come across in a Disney film. The plot centered on the fate of the kidnapped puppies of Pongo and Perdita, a pair of Dalmations in 1960 London. Not only is the movie a first-class adventure, it humorously spoofed the public's growing fascination with television and has one of the best villainesses - Cruella DeVille - in the studio's history.

3. "Aladdin" (1992) - This movie caused a bit of controversy with its Middle Eastern setting. But I must admit that this tale of an Arabian street hustler named has also been a big favorite of mine, which featured beautiful animation; a strong story co-written by Ron Clements, John Muser, and the "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN" franchise duo Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio; and memorable songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. But it was Robin Williams' memorable performance as the Genie in the Lamp that stole the show.

4. "Peter Pan" (1953) - Frankly, I think that this animated version of J.M. Barrie's play is one of the best written Disney animated films ever made. I also feel that it has been vastly underrated by many critics, who seemed to harbor very little thought about it. This is a beautiful film that featured great animation, a solid story and entertaining songs by Oliver Wallace.

5. "The Lion King" (1994) - Loosely based upon William Shakespeare's "Hamlet", yet set in Pride Lands of the Serengeti, this tale about a lion cub who loses his father and kingdom via the machination of his evil uncle has been a favorite of mine for over a decade. It boasts an excellent story; great drama; great humor thanks to the voice work of Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Cheech Marin and Whoopi Goldberg; a superb score by Hans Zimmer and Oscar worthy songs written by Elton John.

6. "The Little Mermaid" (1989) - Based upon Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, this excellent film breathed life back into the Disney animated feature film genre after a string of critical and/or commercial failures that dated back to the early 1980s. It also marked the start of the era known as the "Disney Renaissance". The movie included a number of memorable songs written by Alan Menken.

7. "Ratatouille" (2007) - Produced and directed by Brad Bird at Pixar and released through Disney, this charming and hilarious tale is about Remy, a country rat who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant's garbage boy. The movie won a much deserved Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

8. "The Jungle Book" (1967) - Based upon Ruyard Kipling's famous book, this movie would end up as the last one produced by Walt Disney before his death. Although slightly episodic, it was a fun-filled tale about an orphan boy raised by a panther named Bageera and a bear named Baloo in India. The movie also featured some great songs written by Terry Gilkyson and the Sherman Brothers - Robert and Richard.

9. "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986) - Based on the children's book series "Basil of Baker Street" by Eve Titus, this movie drew heavily on the tradition of Sherlock Holmes with a heroic mouse who consciously emulates the detective. His name, Basil, came from the famous actor who portrayed Holmes. And I must say that Basil turned out to be a lot more interesting as a character than Holmes could ever be. I could say the same for the other characters - including the villain Rattigan (deliciously voiced by Vincent Price).

10. "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) - For some reason, I rather like this adaptation of Renault's classic fairy tale. Both the main heroine and hero - Princess Aurora and Prince Philip - are mildly entertaining. And Eyvind Earle, Marc Davis and Ken Anderson's animation were charming. But what made this film for me were the three fairy sisters - Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. They stole the show, along with the elegant villainess, Maleficent.

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