Disney films are the closest thing to real magic (except for Harry Potter). In my expert opinion, there is nothing better than laying down in bed, with a nice hot mug of coffee/tea/hot chocolate/beverage of choice and a good Disney movie. Even the idea alone will turn a bad day into an extremely, awesome, very-good day.
There are SO MANY Disney films to chose from, so for this list I’ll be examining the classics only. Just to clarify, there won’t be any films on this list released after the year 2000. Maybe I’ll do another list including more recent films, but anyway, here are my top ten favourite classic Disney films.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies. – from IMDb
Sleeping Beauty is my favourite Disney ‘Princess’. Why I here you ask? Her sole want in life is to marry a man she met once and only has around twenty minutes of dialogue in the whole film. I believe there is much more to Aurora than the film presents. Also, in terms of retellings (which are a firm favourite of mine) there is so much more scope for development and exploration for her character. The film itself is visually stunning, the three fairies are fairy godmother goals af, and Maleficent is probably one of the best villains out there.
The Aristocats (1970)
With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country. – from IMDb
Cats. Cat burglars. Cats receiving inheritance. On paper, you would be laughed out of your film pitch meeting. In practice, coming from Disney, it’s certified genius. With jazz music aplenty (played by cats), a road trip from the outer French countryside back to Paris (because cats have excellent navigation skills), and saving the day by sending the mean old butler off to Timbuktu (outwitted by many cats), this cat-crazy-classic is one you won’t forget easily.
(Did I mention it’s got cats in it?)
Peter Pan (1953)
Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan. – from IMDb
How many children have dreamed of being visited by Peter Pan in the middle of the night and swept off to Neverland for fun, frolics and flying!? Just don’t mention the pirates… or the crocodile… Anyway, despite being based off of JM Barrie‘s original book, Disney‘s image of Peter Pan is what makes this film bonafide classic in it’s own right.
To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process. – from IMDb
Mulan is my favourite Disney ‘Warrior’. Notice I didn’t say she was a Princess, because she isn’t, and that’s why I love her. Mulan is an ordinary girl who goes to extraordinary lengths to defend her family and her country. Her passion and drive is something I admire in her, and coupled with her feel-good friend Mushu (my personal highlight of the film) this film is Disney at it’s finest.
When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her. – from IMDb
My love for Aladdin stems for my love of Robin Williams. Even though the film is called Aladdin, it’s the Genie voiced by Williams himself, that steals the show. One of my favourite trivia facts from Aladdin was that Disney had over sixteen hours of material from Robin Williams ad-lib-ing throughout the recording. Also, it’s a very bittersweet feeling knowing we can keep Robin Williams’ memory alive through watching this film, knowing our genie, is in fact, free at last.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way. – from IMDb
As we’re getting into the top five now, it’s difficult to detach my personal feelings from the following films. Created from Lewis Carroll‘s bizarre novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this adaptation serves as one of the most recognisable. Despite a lack of structure, and flitting from one sub-plot to the next, it’s Alice in Wonderland‘s scatty charm that makes this film so appealing.
Robin Hood (1973)
The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals. – from IMDb
Cheeky Robin Hood and charming Little John are the perfect double act. But it’s the community that suffers under the reign of King John that makes this film such a classic. The story of robbing the rich to feed the poor is one we can all sympathise with, and it’s Robin Hood determination to end the poverty of his friends that strikes a chord in the hearts of the viewers.
The Sword in the Stone (1963)
The wizard Merlin teaches a young boy who is destined to be King Arthur. – from IMDb
The tale of King Arthur and Merlin is one that is so well known that it’s almost not worth repeating, but it’s this particular adaptation of the tale that I find myself watching again and again. If it’s not the endearing grumpiness of Archimedes the owl, or the scatty charm of Merlin, it’s the childhood wonder of Arthur, or Wart, that makes this film one of my top three.
Mary Poppins (1964)
A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family. – from IMDb
I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t have Mary Poppins in their top ten. This movie musical captured the hearts of many when it was adapted from the original novel by PL Travers. This adaptation process was documented in the incredibly crafted Saving Mr Banks, which made me love the film even more than I already do.
And finally at number one…
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical conman search for the missing component to a magic spell useful to the defense of Britain. – from IMDb
You may find my number one choice to be a slightly strange one, but I’ve already said how difficult I may find it to stay impartial when choosing my top five. My ultimate go-to Disney film is Bedknobs and Broomsticks, just filled with such song-driven delight, a mixture of animation and life action, with a rich depth of history and mystical happenings.
I’ve so enjoyed making this list! Let me know if you’d like to see more top ten’s, and get talking in the comments if you agree or disagree with me.