Greatest Disney Films
There’s no denying that in the last century, there’s been some absolutely breathtaking works of art shown on the silver screen, but the infamous Walt Disney Company seem to get it right nearly every single time. With their films branching out from musicals and cartoons, to film franchises, superheroes, and even online slots, the company has become a multi-billion dollar industry and one of the most powerful businesses in the entertainment industry. We take a look at just a handful of their greatest films.
The Lion King
Selected in 2016 for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the 1994 musical is the 32nd animated feature film by Disney, and features an ensemble cast including Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons and Rowan Atkinson. The film unfolds with the story of Simba, a young lion who is set to follow on from his father as King of the Pride Lands. Things take a turn however, after Simba’s uncle Scar murders his brother Mufasa and Simba flees into exile. Over the years, Simba grows up with his new friends Timone and Pumba, and meets a wise Shaman, Rafiki, before finally returning to avenge his father and put an end to Scar’s reign of tyranny and take his place as the rightful King.
Beauty and the Beast
Earning itself a 2017 live action remake starring Emma Watson and Luke Evans, the 1991 Romantic Fantasy Beauty and the Beast has been a success since its initial release. It is based on the French fairy tale La Belle et la Bête published in 1740, and follows the story of a young Prince, who is cursed to live his life as a monster until he can feel true love with another person. In 1994, it became Disney’s first ever animated film to feature on Broadway. It spawned two follow-ups and a television series.
Disney’s 1940 animated film begins with the character of Jiminy Cricket as the narrator of the story. The story unfolds in the shop of a carpenter by the name of Gepetto, who makes a wish upon a star that his new handmade marionette will become a real boy. The film is considered one of Disney’s best, and made over 40x its budget, with a live action remake rumored to be on its way.
The oldest film to feature on our list, and based on the German fairy tale by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is the first full-length cel animated feature film and the first ever Disney animated feature film. The tale follows Snow White, a young girl living with her wicked step mother, The Queen, who is jealous of Snow White’s beauty, and demands that The Huntsman take her into the forest and kills her. The Huntsman cannot find it in himself to kill Snow White, and sends her into the woods alone to flee the evil Queen. Lost and on her own, she discovers a cottage, which in turn belongs to seven dwarves, all with different and individual personalities.
Grossing over an incredible $504 million dollars, this 1992 blockbuster hit starred the voices of Robin Williams, Scott Weinger and Linda Larkin. It is based on the Arabic collection of stories “One Thousand and One Nights”. It follows Aladdin, a young street urchin who is tricked by the evil Jafar into stealing a magic lamp, whilst desperately trying to gain the attention of the Princess Jasmine. The film proved a huge success for Disney, unleashing a wave of toys, video games and even a Broadway adaptation that debuted in 2014.
The Little Mermaid
Credited as breathing life back into a slowly declining Disney after a run of both criticial and commercial failures, The Little Mermaid earned a cool $211 million at the box office, and began the start of a new era of success for the company. The story is based around Ariel, a young Mermaid who becomes bored and dissatisfied with her life, and takes an interest in the human world above water. It features the voice talents of Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes and Pat Carroll.
The first feature length computer animated film in history, and the first theatrical film ever produced by the now infamous Pixar, Toy Story has gone down as both one of the greatest family films in history, and also possibly the greatest animated features ever. It spawned two sequels in 1999 and 2010, with a fourth installment due in 2019. The film changed the dynamic of previous Disney films, by not being a musical, and by following a “Buddy Comedy” format with the voice talents of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen playing the central characters Woody & Buzz.