With over 50 animated films to date,
Disney movies have been a huge part of all of our childhoods. In fact, they've made far more hits than misses, which makes it tough to narrow down the very best Disney has to offer, but we’re gonna try. To be as accurate as possible, we meticulously went back and carefully rewatched every theatrically released animated film Disney's ever made in chronological order for the sole purpose of giving you the most complete and unbiased list known to man. You're welcome in advance.
So without further ado, these are the 10 Best Disney Animated Movies!
What's your favorite Disney movie?? Watch the video at the top of the page to see if your personal preference made our list, or if you're trying to quietly distract yourself at work, feel free to scroll on down to read about our choices!
Slide 1/10 – 10. Peter Pan Starting off the list at No. 10 is Peter Pan. Released in 1953, this movie is still the quintessential take on the J.M. Barrie novel about the boy who wouldn’t grow up. Despite half a dozen live action remakes or prequels, Hollywood still hasn't been able to top what Disney made, which is quite the feat for a film that's over 60 years old. Even Hollywood powerhouse director Steven Spielberg knew making an adaptation was pointless which is why he instead focused on a loose sequel with Hook.
Slide 2/10 – 9. Pinocchio Released in 1940, try to imagine how groundbreaking the animation of Pinocchio was almost 80 years ago! After debuting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's second full length animated feature managed to be an improvement in almost every single way. To this day, “When You Wish Upon a Star” is still the de facto Disney theme song.
Before it was released, nobody thought Zootopia, some animated buddy cop crime noir story, was going to be nearly as good as it was, but leave it to Disney to drop an animated classic outta nowhere. Disney's return to anthropomorphic animals wrapped up within this crime mystery story turned out to be a gamble that paid off, and the movie earned rave reviews from both critics and audiences alike.
Slide 4/10 – 7. Alice in Wonderland No. 7 is Alice in Wonderland. Still to this day, one of the most visually stunning animated movies ever made, which is remarkable considering it was released in 1951. Many critics felt Alice fell a smidge on the bland side (we'd argue maybe "naive" is a better word) when compared with other female protagonists. Even Walt Disney himself said later on that he felt Alice, as a character, deserved more "warmth." But as the years ticked by, Alice in Wonderland steadily gained traction as Disney's first cult classic and people began to appreciate the craft behind one of the company's strangest movies.
No one was prepared for the success of Frozen when it came to theaters and took off like a rocket. The loose adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen offered a clever twist on the classic fairy tale narrative that taught a new generation of young girls that not every Princess needs a Prince Charming to save them.
Slide 6/10 – 5. The Little Mermaid No. 5 is The Little Mermaid, the movie that kick started the Disney Renaissance and felt more classically “Disney” than any of their movies had for 20 years before it. With brilliant underwater animation and ridiculously catchy tunes like "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl," it's no wonder why this was the movie that course corrected Disney animation.
Slide 7/10 – 4. Cinderella To this day, Cinderella is still probably the most classically well known “princess” story there is thanks to this animated gem. When it was released in 1950, it became the greatest critical and commercial hit for the studio since Snow White and helped reverse the studio's fortunes, even earning three Academy Awards in the process.
Slide 8/10 – 3. The Lion King No. 3- The Lion King, the peak of Disney’s box office dominance in the 90s that proved they didn’t have to rely on adaptations of literary work to make a hit (though to be fair, it is loosely based on Shakespeare's Hamlet but with, ya know, lions instead). With this, their fourth major hit in four years running, Disney could seemingly do no wrong and tapped Sir Elton John himself to pen some of the now-classic songs for the soundtrack, including "The Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?".
In the second spot is Aladdin. These days, it seems like all kinds of A-list actors attach themselves to animated features, so it's easy to forget that pre- Aladdin, most Disney movies were made with relatively unknown voice actors. That all changed when Disney paid big money to bring on the late, great Robin Williams, who delivered a tour-de-force performance as the scene stealing Genie. It proved to be a brilliant move on Disney's part, turning this into an instant classic. Slide 10/10 – 1. Beauty and the Beast But the very best Disney movie has to go to Beauty and the Beast. From the amazing score, to the breathtaking animation, to the elegant fairy tale adaptation, Beauty and the Beast might be a perfect Disney movie. It clicks all of the boxes and even manages to appeal beyond the young girl demographic that Disney often speaks to and goes beyond with a heart warming picture for the entire family.