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My Top 10 Favourite Disney Films Part 2 (Disney 100th Anniversary Special)


Title card

Continued from Part 1.


Number 5: Tarzan

Tarzan

Shouldn't surprise you this is on the list given how much I gushed about it in my review earlier this year.


Tarzan was the last movie in the 1989-1999 period known as "The Disney Renaissance" and needless to say, it ended that era on a major bang for it's one of the best films of that era in my eyes. It's a strong story that adapts the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story into an action-packed Disney flick for all ages that is an enjoyable watch for me every time. I love the story for its strong themes on family and what makes one a true family to you, how it manages to be intense, exciting, heart-warming and funny all at once without any of the tones clashing with each other and Tarzan's personal growth as he tries to earn acceptance from his fellow gorilla despite not being one himself. I know many of us have gone through something like that in our lives and it makes for compelling viewing. This all adds to the strong emotional core of the story that makes us root for Tarzan throughout his adventures and want him to be accepted and also to learn more about who he really is overall.


Tarzan is also enjoyable to me not only because of its strong story, but for many other reasons too. I love the adorable romance between Tarzan and Jane, I love the strong cast and the roles they all play in the story, I love the voice-acting, I love the comedy and I ESPECIALLY love the animation. I already gushed about what glorious eye-candy this movie is in my review and I still stand by what I say when I say this is some of Disney's most beautiful animation ever crafted. It allows for the movie to really make Tarzan's jungle home look lush and beautiful and makes the action scenes feel more intense and exciting with the great execution and fast-paced action to them. The Sabor fights and the baboon chase are still visual highlights for me. And naturally, I also adore the amazing soundtrack too. When you have Phil Collins working on the songs, you know you're in for a great soundtrack and the songs are all unforgettable highlights from "Two Worlds" to "Son of Man" to "Strangers Like Me" and of course, the signature song of the movie "You'll Be In My Heart". Phil didn't need to go so hard on the soundtrack, but he did anyway and bless him for it. :D


I don't know what else I can say about this masterpiece that I didn't already say in my review. Tarzan's just such an awesome movie! And that is why I call it one of my favourites of all time. The story is great, the characters are unforgettable, the action is intense, the visuals are gorgeous and the soundtrack is a banger. Two worlds came together to create one family that made for one awesome movie...


Number 4: The Fox And The Hound

The Fox and the Hound

This film tends to get overlooked a bit amongst Disney fans but it still has its admirers at least. And I can say I'm one of them. I can recall always being rather fond of this one as a kid and I still love it now.


The Fox and the Hound is notorious for being among Disney's darker works and even if it's still not as dark as the original book it's based on, it's still more emotionally weighty than what you might expect from the studio. All that did was just make the movie stand out all the more for me and I feel it handled its emotional subject matter very well. Yes, some of the comedic scenes can feel at odds with its darker story but I welcome them for they provide some much needed brevity to keep the story from being too depressing. As is, the story is ultimately one about friendship and how prejudice can be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of it. With two animals who befriend each other but learn they have to be enemies, it's quite an emotionally gripping story as you want to see these two remain friends in the end despite what life throws their way. Ultimately we have one of Disney's more bittersweet endings that you don't often see in their movies where Todd and Copper still go their separate ways but at least are on better terms with one another. Is it sad? A little. Is it painfully realistic? Very. But is it still a good ending for the movie? Absolutely.


The story is also helped by other factors that make this film enjoyable for me and why it's one of my favourites. The cast are well-handled and play their roles well, Todd and Copper are likeable protagonists that are adorable together when they're friends and it really hurts to see them become enemies later on, Big Mama, Dinky and Boomer are lovely supporting characters and Widow Tweed is just the woman that Todd needed to raise him after his mother's death. Even Amos Slade is well-handled too, being a more complex character and not just a straight-up villain for the sake of it and even if we're against him, his actions feel more justified so we understand why he does what he does. Once again, having no real villain only made the story stronger for the prejudice Todd and Copper face as nature expects them to be enemies is all the conflict that's needed for this story.


And of course, the animation is another highlight for the movie. While not the prettiest looking movie ever animated, it's still really well-done and was a sign that the new animators were more than ready to take over from the old ones at the time. That bear fight especially still remains one of Disney's most intense, scary and thrilling climaxes ever animated! The animators did so well on making this move funny to watch during the comedic scenes, intense to watch during the scary scenes and thrilling to watch during the action scenes. It's the whole package and a Disney fan like myself couldn't ask for anything more.


It may be more emotionally heavy than what you'd expect from Disney, but this doesn't deter from the film's overall quality in my eyes. I loved it as a child and I still love it now. Its dark-but-hopeful story, great cast of characters, heavy themes, fantastic animation and occasional fun moments make this one of Disney's best works and it stands proud as one of my all-time favourites for those very reasons. Foxes and hounds may be natural enemies, but this fox and hound duo became friends and gave us one heck of a great Disney film as a result...


Number 3: Zootropolis

Disclaimer: Zootropolis is the UK title of the movie, and I'm a Brit, so that's why I'm calling it that and not "Zootopia"!


While Frozen is most people's favourite Disney film of the 2010's, for me it's this one.


The 2010's was a great decade for Disney's Animation studio for they pumped out a lot of quality hits starting from Tangled all the way up to Frozen II. But out of all of them, this is the best one and easily my favourite of the bunch. Zootropolis may seem like your typical talking animals move but it ended up being way more clever and inventive with the concept than you might think. Making this a detective buddy-buddy cop story with a mystery about missing animals made for a great premise for the film and mixing it up with some bitingly relevant social commentary on racism, prejudice, classism and social issues only made for a much stronger narrative than what we would've had and also made the film more poignant as a result. Even to this day the topics Zootropolis covers is still a major issue so the film will only continue to remain relevant as time goes by. And yet as heavy as some of these themes are, the film is still told in a way that makes it a lot of fun to watch so you don't end up feeling down when it's over. I know I found a lot of the comedy really funny in this movie and I'm sure many of you did too. And being a mystery story, there's a lot of clever twists and turns that show a lot of thought went into this story and they planned it out well. Who the villain was may not have been so great, but it still worked out in the end I'd say.


And that's not all Zootropolis has to offer either. The cast are all a fun, memorable bunch with distinct personalities and a lot of charm to them that make the film more entertaining as a result. From the hopeful and hard-working Judy Hopps to the snarky and cynical Nick Wilde to the grouchy but fair Chief Bogo and many more, these characters have become huge fan-favourites for a reason and I love the dynamics many of them have, especially Nick and Judy. They're such a treat whenever they're onscreen together. I also love how well they used Shakira's appearance here and made her feel a part of the movie and not just a cheap celebrity appearance to attract attention and her song "Try Everything" fits so beautifully with the themes of the movie and Judy's story. It helps it's such a banger of a tune as well. :D


But the highlight of the movie aside from the strong social commentary is the sensational animation. They managed to make a world of talking animals feel new again with a very creative looking city that they take full advantage of with some clever jokes, unique looking architecture and a lot of careful thought that went into making Zootropolis feel believable. It makes me kinda want to live there with how cool it looks! The animation had as much careful and clever planning put into it as the story did and it makes for one of Disney's most visually unique looking movies of their library.


Zootropolis has all this and more to make for a great movie that is easily my favourite of the 2010's decade. Its smart story, strong social commentary, charming cast and unique looking animation make this an all-time classic and I hope it continues to inspire the world out there to try everything. If Judy can succeed in her dream of becoming a cop, then maybe we can succeed in our dreams too...


Number 2: Mulan

Mulan

It's unreal how good this movie is and how much it holds up!


Mulan is another classic from the Renaissance era like Tarzan and Beauty and the Beast earlier and it's among the best of that era, which is high praise I know since pretty much every movie from that era is of extremely high quality! As is, Mulan takes the number two spot for a myriad of reasons.


First of all, the story is great as it follows Mulan as she goes against what society expects of her in order to protect her family and save her country from invaders and much like The Fox and the Hound, it isn't afraid to get dark at times. But it still remains a very fun watch as well with some excellent comedy that still makes me laugh to this day whether it's Mushu's antics, Eddie Murphy's comedic performance, the training montage fails or especially some clever adult jokes you might've missed as a child. Yes it can suffer from tonal whiplash at times like The Fox and the Hound but that doesn't stop the movie being as awesome as it is. The film's themes of honour and going against what's expected of you make for a strong narrative to push our heroine forward and unlike some media nowadays where they think "strong female character = being emotionless and flawless", this movie tackles the whole subject of sexism more maturely than those medias do and shows us how a strong female character should be done. Mulan struggles through problems presented to her, she has to work to overcome her own flaws and all that development for her pays off in a satisfying way that makes for a really great conclusion to the story. Take notes writers, this film is the example to follow on how a strong female character should be handled.


Speaking of characters, there's a great bunch carrying this movie here and they bring a lot to the table. Mulan is an awesome heroine, Mushu is an hilarious comic relief, Shan-Yu is an intimidating villain, Yao, Chien-Pao and Ling are also great comic reliefs and Li Shang is a great supporting character. These characters are why this film is such a fun ride from beginning to end for me and I always enjoy watching them all in action whenever I watch the film. They all play their roles well and some are especially very funny to watch. The voice cast too also help in bringing these characters to life. And I'd be amiss if I didn't bring up everybody's favourite part of the movie...the soundtrack. You know all the songs and just like you, I love them too! "Honour To Us All", "Reflection", "A Girl Worth Fighting For" and everyone's favourite, "I'll Make A Man Out Of You" are classic tunes that every Disney fan knows and loves and I can't get enough of them whenever they start playing. It's so fun just singing along with the characters here!


And just like all Renaissance era movies, the animation is a visual spectacle to enjoy. The Chinese art-style mixed with the Disney art-style looks great in motion and helps in bringing out the film's strengths I mentioned earlier. The comedic scenes look even funnier thanks to how expressive and lively these characters can get, the action scenes are a thrill ride (especially the avalanche scene) and China itself looks really pretty to explore thanks to the backgrounds doing the country justice and making it look so grand. It also make the musical moments look even grander due to how great the animation is.


With its strong story, maturely handled subject matter, memorable characters, banging soundtrack and beautiful animation, Mulan isn't just a woman who saved China. She's a woman who brought honour to us all with this awesome movie...


And my Number 1 Favourite Disney Film Is...The Lion King

You're shocked, I can tell. XD I mean this IS my all-time favourite movie so why wouldn't it be Number 1 here? It's even because of that as to why I made it the subject of my very first blog post.


I just don't know what else I can say at this point. Everybody on planet Earth has exhausted this movie for all the praise it deserves. I mean...IT'S THE LION KING! What more needs to be said?! As is, I'll still talk about why it's my overall favourite Disney movie. The nostalgia I have is real for this one and it was the Disney movie I was the most regularly watching as a child, but nostalgia has nothing to do with why I love it so much. It still holds up impressively well to this day thanks to its incredible story that sees Simba wanting to be king but learning the hard way that life shouldn't be taken for granted when his father is killed by his wicked uncle and he can't escape his destiny. In the end, he's the next king of the Pride Lands and he'll have to take responsibility in the end, which leads to him having to take that next step to bring Scar down and take his place in the Circle of Life. The story has all the right ingredients that make it as enjoyable as it is. It's well paced, it's told well, it's funny, it's exciting, it's intense, it's heart-warming, it's emotional, the scope makes everything feel just gigantic and epic and it makes for a viewing experience that gives you all sorts of emotions and feels that you won't soon forget. It's just a great time beginning to end and I never get tired of it.


The story is one thing that makes it so great but the characters are another thing too. The characters are all memorable from the young Simba who's soon-to-be-king to the wise Mufasa to the conniving Scar to the comedic Timon and Pumbaa to the fussy Zazu to the loyal Nala and the wise old Rafiki, these are some of Disney's most beloved characters for a reason. Simba's character arc is an all-time great and the characters only add to his story to make it even better. The voice cast only help in that regard with everybody being absolutely perfect for their characters and giving them their memorable personalities and charm that we love them for. And you can't also forget about the sensational soundtrack that made the movie such a pop-culture hit in the 90's. Every song is fantastic and highly memorable with "Circle of Life", "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", "Be Prepared", "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" being all-time classics among Disney's music library. These songs only add to how much fun this movie is and combine all that with Hans Zimmer's epic score, you have one heck of a show that you can't afford to miss. Why else do you think this movie also got adapted into a stage show?


And finally, there's the animation. If anyone went much harder than they needed to in this movie, it's the animators. The way they bring this movie to life just makes the film seem so epic in all the right ways, even if it's just a talking animals movie. From the opening sequence of "Circle of Life" to the wildebeest stampede to Simba's final tussle with Scar, the animators make this movie about talking lions just seem like the most amazing thing ever and they deserve all the praise they get for this incredible animation. It's beautiful to look at, lush with colours that make the animation even more lovely to look at, the characters are given a tonne of personality with their expressions and body language and the musical numbers just feel like giant show-stopping tunes you'd see in a stage show. They were given one job to do and they accomplished it in the best way possible.


What else can I even say here? It's The Lion King! I know it's great, YOU know it's great and there's nothing else I can say about it that can sum up how much I love it. It's my all-time favourite movie for a reason and that alone makes it my Number 1 Favourite Disney Film of all time...


And that's it for this post. I hope you enjoyed it and I invite you all to share your lists down below. What are YOUR Top 10 Favourite Disney Films? I'd love to hear all about it. ^^


The celebration has only just begun my friends for there are plenty more Disney related blog posts to come this month. Next week, me and my friend, The Wandering Fox, will be doing a collaboration review on The Fox and the Hound. See you then media fans!


Honourable Mentions: Bambi, Encanto, Big Hero 6, Tangled, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, The Aristocats and Cinderella





4 Comments


Erin Delgado
Erin Delgado
Oct 07, 2023

Great picks with the Top 5 as they are each great films in their own right. :)


No contest as the Lion King is still a masterpiece years later. ^^

For my own 10 Favorite Disney Films:

*Aladdin

*The Lion King

*Pinocchio

*Big Hero 6

*Zootopia

*Lilo & Stitch

*Treasure Planet

*Fox and the Hound

*Tarzan

*Mulan


HM: Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Beauty and the Beast, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Sleeping Beauty, Oliver and Company, Wreck It Ralph, Peter Pan, Jungle Book

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My family had the Tarzan VHS and we wore it out watching it so much. Also the soundtrack by Phil collins slaps so hard.


Actually never watched the Fox and the Hound.


Zootopia and Lion King are great movies.


Mulan I only saw late in life, never as a kid, only as an adult but it is awesome. MUlan really grew from a girl whom didn't know how to do anything to a warrior woman whom bests the Hun leader and blows him to kingdom come with fireworks. I never watched the remake, but it wouldn't hold a candle to this one for sure.


Not sure which ten I'd put in my personal top ten favs though and in which…

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Guest
Oct 06, 2023

No surprise that Lion King is Number 1, but awesome that Mulan and Zootropolis are also Top 3. I’ve not seen Fox and the Hound in full in a long time, but I can admire its mature message. And I have fond memories of Tarzan as well. ;)

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Guest
Oct 06, 2023

I’m not at all stunned by most of these choices, but Zootropolis being on there is something as you haven’t talked about it in quite a while, but it’s nice it’s there. What a list ^^

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