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DAR Films: The Best Disney Animated Films

(Compiled by @TrueGodImmortal, @CherchezLaPorsh, @CurlsAndSports, @Phranchize19, @JellyBellyBam, and @SpeedOnTheBeat)



Introduction By @CherchezLaPorsh
-The only thing that is from the pre-world war era, and is still going strong and weaved into every demographic and culture is Disney. Disney is the biggest conglomerate to hit…well….the world. Starting with silent films with the most basic images and graphics in short films, Disney introduced “Alice In Wonderland” and by 1928, we would be introduced to Mickey. The history of the early years is quite lengthy. Walt Disney Studios would go through some struggles financially, but they would of course recover. They became the leading production company of these short films so by 1934, amidst WW2, they developed their first full length film “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs". It was evident that as technology become more accessible and advanced, Disney kept up. It wouldn’t take long before Disney was known for their kid friendly, feel good fairy tales and happily ever after stories.


By the time most of us were born, Disney already had over a hundred movies so of course, much like other kids, Disney became a part of our lives as children. Over the years, Disney has made some of my favorite animated films but as much as I love them, I also hate them (that’s a whole different article topic). However, what is undeniable is that each movie is timeless, and it pushes the envelope with characters and villains but no matter what, we love them and enjoy them. Today, DAR is taking a look at the immense animated catalog of Walt Disney and listing the very best. Here are the movies that we fell in love with the minute that we watched them and ones that will remain our favorites forever. Let's get into it.

*The Lion King (1994)
(Chosen By @SpeedOnTheBeat, @TrueGodImmortal, @CurlsAndSports, @Phranchize19 & @CherchezLaPorsh)




-The holy grail of Disney animated movies, this 1994 release is regarded as the best of the best. One of the highest grossing films ever, this cinematic epic looks into the world of the Pride Lands, where Mufasa is king. His son Simba will someday become king and is in waiting for that day ("Oh I just can't wait to be king"), but Mufasa's brother Scar decides a different fate for both of them. After Scar kills Mufasa and runs Simba off into exile, Scar takes over. Simba eventually returns and takes over the kingdom once again after defeating Scar, earning the title of The Lion King.  The story in this movie is executed perfectly, the music is amazing, and truthfully, it's probably the greatest Disney movie ever and the greatest animated movie in history. Point blank period.


Speed- This was one of the greatest stories ever for multiple reasons. Of course this is on my list. There's no way you have a Disney list without it.

CherchezLaPorsh- My personal second favorite animation came in the form of “The Lion King” and this one had an incredible cast that truly brought the animal kingdom to life. James Earl Jones was the perfect voice for Mufasa, as he had a presence and power that fit the King of the Pride Lands and Jeremy Irons as Scar was a great balance because he executed a manipulative and deceitful character so well. As much as I love the characters, songs, music, and humor, it’s the story and lessons that I loved the most. We learned that family doesn’t always mean loyalty, as well as that being a leader takes sacrifices as well as love. This film also taught that true friendship happens at random, but will always manage to overcome obstacles. The only negative thing I can think of in the Lion King series were the spin-offs and sequels. Disney tried to bank on the success of the original, and fell short time and again.


Phranchize- Well The Lion King is special to me because that was the first time I remember going to the movies, so it holds a place in my heart. Plus, it's got every element that a movie needs from  drama to comedy to a great story to a lesson to a tragedy, and more. It's probably the most complete Disney film and the Circle of Life is the GOAT song.

*Inside Out (2015)
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh)




-One of the more recent Disney animated films, the story of Inside Out hits all audiences, something that Disney has become king of over the decades honestly. From the director of Monsters Inc. and Up, you knew the film might have some heavy elements in it, and it does. Going inside the mind of a young girl, the film shows the psychology of her emotions, from Joy to Disgust to Sadness to Anger to Fear, in their own personified ways. It's a film that is much deeper than your usual animated film and for that, this one is special.

CherchezLaPorsh- I was skeptical about watching “Inside Out”, but I am so glad I did. This was such a sweet and heartfelt story that had me in tears. While I cry during movies often, this was the first time I cried in an animation. It was so touching and such an interesting view on our emotions and upbringing. Another element I really appreciated about "Inside Out" was what Disney has mastered the best and that's creating a superficial story for the kids and an in depth one for the adults. They really managed to appeal to every demographic and this was the perfect display.

*Frozen (2013)
(Chosen By @SpeedOnTheBeat)




-One of the most popular films of all time in the Disney land, this one was inspired by the old fairy tale "The Snow Queen". The story itself is not my favorite, but it's widely loved by children all over the world. It made Speed's list because of the infectious nature of the music and the overall feel of the film. It is currently the highest grossing animated film ever and the biggest success that Disney has ever had.

SpeedOnTheBeat- Frozen is another eye raiser of a film. It was either between that or Big Hero 6 for me on this list. Frozen won out because of the whole family over "love" shit it lampooned so well. I kinda high key hate Let it Go now, but I really enjoyed this movie and it's going to be remembered as a classic.

*Zootopia (2016)
(Chosen By @SpeedOnTheBeat & @CherchezLaPorsh)




-At this point, Disney can't miss at all. This was no different as last year's huge Disney release earned over a billion dollars in worldwide receipts. The film centers around an unlikely alliance between a rabbit police officer and a fox that happens to be a con artist. The film is fun, like most Disney movies and is likely to be remembered by the Disney viewers as a classic in the Disney catalog.

SpeedOnTheBeat- Zootopia is the one that'll raise some eyes brows, I know. It's a BLM movie disguised as an ALM movie disguised as a kids flick about a bunny cop and her fox sidekick. But the comedic dynamic between Nick and Judy reminds me of some of the classic buddy cop movies we grew up on. Rush Hour, Beverly Hills Cop, etc. It was a greatly executed film. The plot was engaging, and the message was resounding in this era of "you're wrong I'm right" political disagreements. Plus, it was still cutesy enough that it could work as this dark film about police stereotypes, racism, and all that and still sell toys.


CherchezLaPorsh- Another fun movie came in the form of “Zootopia”, which was absolutely adorable and such a fun movie to watch. The reason why I love this movie is really only because of one scene. The recreation of the “Godfather Pt. 1” scene and the incorporation of the mafia flick did it for me. It was such a pleasant and absolutely adorable surprise. The fact that all the predatory animals are afraid of a “Godfather" mouse and his family is great. Although the scene is brief, the writers stayed true to the story and recreated it in the best way.

*Aladdin (1992)
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal, @SpeedOnTheBeat, @Phranchize19, & @CherchezLaPorsh)




-One of the more iconic films in the Disney lineage, this particular film was one of the first to really feature something outside of the ordinary (in Disney terms at least). Set in the Middle East, this story centered around a number of characters from Aladdin himself, Princess Jasmine, the evil Jafar (he was hilarious though), the show stealing Genie (voiced by Robin Williams), Abu and more. This was another Disney classic that sticks out to us all.

SpeedOnTheBeat- I chose Aladdin because it's memorable. Robin Williams helped define many an 80s/90s baby's childhood with his antics as Genie. Additionally, the characters weren't teens really so they could explore a bit more darker details of love and ownership and a slew of other topics kind of glossed over in other films.


Phranchize- Aladdin is one of my choices because Robin Williams snapped on that performance. The lessons were deep too in this movie as well. You don't need to be rich to be happy and that's something everyone needs to know.


CherchezLaPorsh- Although nothing could ever beat Beauty and the Beast, some would come close and the first one to me was “Aladdin”, which was released the year after. Aladdin had a totally different angle, this was set in the middle east and touched on (quite loosely) what makes up sultanates and empires. Once again, the characters were well chosen and developed. While this movie wasn’t as whimsical as its predecessor, the Genie would bring a bit of magic and fun to offset the dark and eerie Jafar, "Cave of Wonders" and Iago. We learned the rules of “making three wishes” and while we all wanted Aladdin and Jasmine to end up living happily ever after, we also anticipated Genie’s freedom. Carpet and Abu also became favorites and of course Rajah also.

*Toy Story
(Chosen By @CurlsAndSports, @Phranchize19, & @TrueGodImmortal)



-One of my favorite trilogies ever kicked off with a truly great opening that I think is top 5 in the Disney animated world. The story of Buzz Lightyear and Woody and their essential "battle" for the affections and attention of the young Andy, who has a slew of toys that are brought to life when he's not around. This is one of the most engaging and fun Disney films, and if I'm being honest, the music in this one is entertaining yet hilarious. Randy Newman singing "You've Got A Friend In Me" is one of the fun moment of my childhood, and while Toy Story isn't always regarded with the Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty And The Beast, it definitely should be because it's one of the best.


Phranchize- It was a great story and somehow the hilarity of an astronaut and a cowboy toy fighting over the attention of a kid isn't lost on me. Regardless, it was a great story and one of the best movies I've ever seen.

*Toy Story 3 (2010)
(Chosen By @SpeedOnTheBeat)



-You have to follow up the first Toy Story with the perceived end to the story and the final one in the trilogy. They are making a 4th in 2019, but regardless, I think the third one is where the story should have ended. It's a case of out with the old, in with the new, but it's much darker than you'd expect and when it does get even  darker, you never see it coming. When we expect to see the demise of Buzz and Woody, they are saved and things change.


SpeedOnTheBeat- I think that the 3rd Toy Story is the best of them all. The dark turn that the story took was what puts it over the first two.

*Cinderella (1950)
(Chosen By @CurlsAndSports and @JellyBellyBam)



-One of the oldest stories ever in the Disney universe, this is your traditional story of a princess attempting to find love. Though I've personally never watched this movie in full, I've heard it's one of the first true princess stories in the Disney universe and one that has influenced the lives of many girls and women. For better or worse.

CurlsAndSports- It's safe to say... I'm a girl. I love this story. I love the movie. There's not much else to say here. Cinderella is a classic.


JellyBellyBam- Like most of the great Disney movies, this is full of great music and a nice story about a girl and finding love. Of course I enjoyed this.

*101 Dalmatians (1961)
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal & @CherchezLaPorsh)



-This is my personal favorite of them all. As a kid, I was always interested in watching the movie centered around the animals for some reason and this one was exactly what you'd want in an animated feature. A perfect villain, adorable puppies, a silly yet hilarious owner of the puppies, and a great story helped to make this one of my personal favorites and a true Disney classic.


CherchezLaPorsh- Disney always seems to do the animal themed stories the best and “101 Dalmatians” is another one of my favorites. From the storyline of the humans to Pongo and Perdita and their 101 puppies to Cruella, the story came together perfectly. There is an element of suspense when the dogs are trying to escape and hide. There is a great illustration of loyalty when all the dogs communicate and help each other out and of course a sense of victory when Cruella and her henchmen are defeated. This movie was so well executed, and they even paid enough attention in the writing that we fell in love with the puppies. The personalities were great and of course this movie becomes another timeless classic.

*The Little Mermaid
(Chosen By @JellyBellyBam)



-One of those "love it or hate it" films, this movie is centered around a sea princess named Ariel. The film weaves through another interesting Disney story which ends with somewhat of a happy ending. The music was fun, the characters were interesting, and of course, it's something both kids and adults can enjoy.


JellyBellyBam- Honestly, like most Disney movies, this has a good story and great music. Plus, she's a sea princess. You have to love that, right?

*Finding Nemo (2003)
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)




-One of the movies that snuck up on me, I didn't see Finding Nemo originally in the theaters. When I did watch it, about a year after it came out, I admittedly was hooked and enjoyed what I was watching. The story of Nemo being lost and needed to be found by his father and his newfound friend Dory is one that's really fun to watch. The film is one that's special in the way it's handled and though it's mostly a movie that appeals to kids, it has enough family moments and laughs to make everyone enjoy.

*Beauty And The Beast (1991)
(Chosen By @SpeedOnTheBeat, @CurlsAndSports & @CherchezLaPorsh)



-One of those films that didn't hit me growing up, Beauty And The Beast is a true favorite of many in the Disney catalog. Based around an interesting and unlikely romance surrounding Belle and The Beast, this movie shows that love knows no bounds apparently. Overall, this film is fun to watch, with a lot of memorable characters.

SpeedOnTheBeat- The story never seems to get old. Though it was made into a live action film recently, the original animated one is still king. The secondary characters are also fun.


CherchezLaPorsh-  The 90's are the era that fills up the majority of my favorite list and of course the no.1 is “Beauty And The Beast”, which was released in 1991. This is my most favorite Disney movie of all time. The setting being in France with a beautiful and odd girl named Belle who seeks “so much more” than she can get in her quaint little town was great. I love that they made Belle a bookworm and one who has depth and substance. When we finally meet Beast and the occupants of his castle, we see a whimsical side that is truly captivating. Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip, Mrs. Potts and Featherduster (the 2017 live action version would call her Plumette) all make our viewing experience in the castle an exciting one and of course, who can forget all the songs. This movie was unlike anything before it.


CurlsAndSports- One of the greatest stories ever told in the Disney land. I always enjoy watching it.

*The Princess And The Frog (2009)
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)




-Don't get me wrong, this movie isn't without its flaws. However, my daughter is a beautiful black girl who will grow up and continue to see images of black animated characters and this is the real first attempt by Disney to appeal to young black girls. The story of Tiana and her interesting journey makes the list because of what it means outside of being a standalone film in the Disney land. It's fun, though some scenes miss the mark, but overall it's really a great movie to watch with the family and especially for those with young black daughters. Imagery is important.

*Up (2009)
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal and @CurlsAndSports)





-The story for this one tends to tug at your heart strings just a bit. Based around an older man who just lost his wife and a young boy who shows up at his door to annoy him, this is a really fun and heartwarming story that will delight any viewer of Disney films. It's one of the most emotional films by the company ever and the opening sequence of Up is undefeated.

*Dumbo (1941)
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh)



-One of the oldest stories in the Disney land, this story from 1941 is about an adorable mini elephant with huge ears that went through a lot of problems, but he manages to persevere as always in Disney films. Overall, this is one of the first Disney movies that really tugged at the heart a little bit, and with the adorable title character, it's one of the most sincere Disney movies ever.


CherchezLaPorsh- “Dumbo” dates back to 1941, you would never even know it. The title character has no lines, but the animators did such an incredible job with facial expressions that words weren’t even needed. The plot is simple, as it is centered around a circus elephant who has a baby with overly gigantic ears and who is ridiculed. He relies on a mouse friend to help and guide him after being separated from his mother. As much as it saddens me, I loved that it tugged on the heartstrings when Dumbo’s mom went somewhere else and I also loved the songs, the storks and every other animal and character. Overall this is one of Disney’s best works and belongs on every top list.

*The Jungle Book (1967)
(Chosen By @Phranchize19)




-A movie that does tend to go slept on in the Disney universe, we see a young boy named Mowgli that was raised in the jungle and his relationship with the animals in that jungle. Raised up by wolves, Mowgli is a strong and fierce warrior in his own right. Eventually Mowgli gets to be more familiar with other humans, but he never loses his love for the place and the animals that raised him to be who he was.

Phranchize- The story is really interesting when you consider that this boy was raised by animals and ended up becoming something great. If I had to make a comparison, being a wrestling fan, I'd call him the Seth Rollins of the jungle. That might sound odd to you, but I think it's accurate.

*A Goofy Movie (1995)
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)




-The final choice is one of the most slept on films of them all. Simply put, A Goofy Movie is the exact fun that you'd want from a Disney movie. Point blank period. The film features Goofy and his son Max together and explores their relationship with a lot of fun moments overall. If you haven't seen or experienced the greatness of the Goofy Movie, please do so, now. You won't regret it.


Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-You will see some films missing on this list that you might have expected like Ratatouille (word to Quavo), Hercules, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Tarzan, WALL-E, Mulan, A Bug's Life, The Emperor's New Groove, Finding Dory, Cars, Bambi, and of course, The Incredibles. However, surprisingly, none of these movies made our personal lists, and for that reason, they won't be here, but a number of those are still pretty good. However, these are the best Disney movies as decided by our panel and if you have one or two you think should have been here, feel free to discuss in the comments below.

-DAR 

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