March to Disney: Disney Animated Feature Ranking

This is a series of posts this month wherein I will focus on Disney films. For more on my background with Disney films and about the timing of this focus please read the introductory post here.

To be honest, this list was part of the motivation for me to do this theme. Another, as has been the case for a lot of what I’m planning this year, is a not insignificant stack of unseen DVDs and Blus (that I’ve now amazingly gotten through, so far as Disney films are concerned!).

So, to cut a long story short: this list was an imperative, but not one I looked forward to compiling. Any list is really splitting hairs. That becomes even more apparent when you’re picking from a group of films you generally love, some of which have been with you since early childhood. Any list can have a decent amount of pliability. Meaning that come next year I could revisit the concept and change the order. So I thought it more important to stratify my Disney films seen rather than be obsessed about “Well, is this one #3 or is it closer to #7?”

To split the films up in this way, should render a lot of these selections immutable, rather than losing sleep over which films crack the top 10.

Lastly, a few footnotes: I have excluded hybrid films for the purposes of this list (things like Song of the South and Bedknobs and Broomsticks) because it’s not fair to compare mixed medium films with wholly animated ones. Also, only films by Walt Disney Animation Studios are eligible (So Pixar titles, and things like A Goofy Movie and The Brave Little Toaster, produced by different divisions, but released by Disney are also ineligible) essentially these are the films that were “counted” (e.g. back in the days when Disney would announce its “35th full length animated feature”).

Any films I have yet to see will be noted at the bottom. Should I see them between now and next year, I will update the post accordingly.

As I tend to say for every list: all things are relative. For the most part I absolutely adore Disney animated films so some films that I love will slip when ranked and be branded with a moniker of “Middling.” That’s a comparative label. Many of them get very high scores on their own.

Three Caballeros (1943, Disney)

Package films are included and sprinkled throughout. It’s hard to compare a package films to a standard feature narrative so the ranking of some may belie their quality. If you’ve not seen The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Fun & Fancy Free, Make Mine Music and Melody Time they come highly recommended.

The Crème de la Crème

Robin Hood
Peter Pan
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Little Mermaid
Sleeping Beauty
Alice in Wonderland

Excellent Works

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
The Fox and the Hound
Beauty and the Beast
The Jungle Book
The Sword in the Stone
Lady and the Tramp
101 Dalmations
The Aristocats

Great Works

The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
The Great Mouse Detective
Wreck-It Ralph
Winnie the Pooh

Middling Works

Saludos Amigos
The Three Caballeros
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Black Cauldron
Oliver and Company

Lesser Works

Fantasia 2000
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Chicken Little

Films Unseen to Date

The Emperor’s New Groove
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Lilo & Stitch
Treasure Planet
Brother Bear
Home on the Range
The Princess and the Frog