Finally, my "Top 10 Classic Animated Disney Movies" is finished! Why would such a simple list take more than an hour to write? Because I had to watch all the movies on the list to determine an official order, of course. That's totally normal, right? That's what the voices in my head tell me. ;D
#1 - Peter Pan (1953)
A girl being forced to grow up is visited by an orphan and his pixie friend who whisks her and her brothers away to a fantasy land filled with mermaids, Indians, pirates and orphans dressed in adorable animal costumes.
Wendy was nuts for wanting to come home. There, I said it. Aside from the island in Swiss Family Robinson, Neverland has always been my favorite Disney location. It's just flat-out beautiful. (I might just admire Mermaid Lagoon from a distance, though.) I love Peter Pan for its great classic animation, the old time-y music, the fun characters, and the fun villains. Peter Pan everything a Disney movie should be.
#2 - Robin Hood (1973)
A vigilante hero and his merry band of BFFs rise up to free the people and protect them from the phony, greedy king of England and his sleazy minions.
Forget the princes and princesses, give me Robin Hood & Maid Marian. Or forget all the romance and just give me cute little bunnies. Yeah, that'll work too. Robin Hood is the kind of hero mankind always needs, and this movie has all the Disney elements we need too - fun songs, love songs, epic fights, badass heroes, villains who get what's coming to them, and cute little bunnies. (Have I mentioned that I love Skippy and his little posse?)
#3 - The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
A detective mouse teams up with a doctor mouse and a little girl mouse to find her father, overthrow an evil criminal mastermind rat, and save the Queen. It's Sherlock Holmes with mice.
Olivia Flangerhanger is so cuuute. =D She's one of my favorite Disney characters, and I love her very different relationships with both Basil and Watson. And Toby! The Great Mouse Detective isn't a very musical movie, but that's fine with me. There's an evil plot, baaad bad guys, a lot of creativity when it comes to escaping (and killing), and it's so cool seeing everything from a mouse's perspective. (Everything's so big!)
#4 - Beauty and the Beast (1991)
A bookish social outcast sacrifices herself to save her father and ends up falling in love with her captor, a cursed beast, in a house full of also-cursed talking objects.
I spent most of my childhood with my nose stuck in a book, so having a character who did that too was nice. The giant library in the giant castle, far away from other humans, was nice too. =P
#5 - The Rescuers (1977)
A fancy lady mouse and an average boy mouse team up with a seagull to rescue a kidnapped orphan being forced to dig for diamonds in the swamp.
I am such a Bernard. He's overly cautious, usually scared, probably doesn't really want to be there. I feel ya, Bernard. But Bernard gets to go on rescue missions with a beautiful, classy lady mouse, so that's cool. Bernard and Bianca are so different, but they make a great team, and they work hard to save a human that the other humans couldn't save. It doesn't matter how small or scared you are, you can still make a difference.
#6 - Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Instead of reading like she's supposed to, a girl falls asleep and dreams she falls down a rabbit-hole and lands in a fantastically odd and crazy place.
This is such a weird movie. But it's very creative. The characters are plentiful, diverse and interesting. The colors are bright, even in the old VHS copies. It's a fantastic adventure, and I find myself going down this rabbit-hole even more now than I did as a kid.
#7 - The Lion King (1994)
A lion cub is scared away from his home and rightful place as king by his murderous, power-hungry uncle, and hides out with a meerkat and a warthog until he's convinced to go back and reclaim his home. It's Hamlet with lions.
My love of The Lion King has faded a little over the years, but it's still a pretty damn good movie. It's a great tale of redemption, with a lot of good songs and one of the best bad guys ever. "Be Prepared" is still the best Disney villain song, period.
#8 - Cinderella (1950)
Mistreated orphan with lots of animal friends gets a fairy godmother, a prince, and a happy ending.
Some girls have all the luck, eh? =P My love for this one is mostly for Cinderella's relationship with her animal friends. She's just a nice person. She takes care of them, and they take care of her. (Don't worry, Cinderella, this tiny horde of mice has your back!)
#9 - 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Crazy lady hires dumb guys to kidnap a bunch of sweet, innocent Dalmatian puppies so she can have a faaabulous spotty coat.
Puppies! This movie was one of my earliest obsessions. Even had a Dalmatian named Lucky when I was a kid. Cruella is one of the most frightening villains out there. I love the puppies, and Pongo and Perdita, and all the friends they meet along the way when searching for their puppies. I'm a sucker for animals teaming up against an evil human.
#10 - Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Monstrous science experiment escapes custody, hijacks ship, forgets that he's programmed to destroy when he finds a family to love.
I was hesitant to use this one, since was always meant for the Classic Disney spot, but you know what? I don't care. This movie is a teenager, so it probably doesn't care either. Lilo & Stitch has one of the best sibling relationships in Disney, great music, the coolest little blue monstrosity, and is what restored my faith in Disney animation after a long string of movies I hated. Lilo & Stitch was something new - not a princess, not a talking toy or a bug, not a sequel. Lilo & Stitch deserves to be on my top 10 list. (Sorry, Dumbo, you almost made it.)