BEST DISNEY MOVIES
Aladdin / Pirates of the Caribbean
Eric Norcross: If it’s okay, I’ll choose one animated and one live action. For animated, I choose Aladdin, I love the music, the story and the general look of everything. For live action, the first Pirates of the Caribbean.
Brandon Groppi: To this day HERCULES is one of my favorite Disney films. From the music to the story I love it all. Granted it is mythologically inaccurate with a lot of the gods but it’s still highly entertaining! And damnit that music is fantastic and catchy. Tell you can’t listen to “Zero to Hero” and not get into it!
Caliber Winfield: Arguably the greatest comic book film of all time, and pretty much the benchmark for how a mainstream comic book film should be. A great cast of characters that had been established already that helped serve up everything you were hoping for. From The Avengers battling one another, an interesting villain, fantastic special effects that are planted along an incredible visual landscape, and a solid storyline that brings everything to a crescendo in the form of a massive battle along the New York City skyline. On top of all that, this film had better humor than most comedies strive for. I can’t say enough about The Avengers, fantastic piece of work.
Something Wicked this way Comes
Ruby Le Rouge: Something Wicked this way Comes (1983), based on the story by Ray Bradbury. I think they did an amazing job making this into a movie, and I believe it still holds up today, even down to the special effects. This was before they were overly worried about scaring children too much, and were exploring some really out there concepts, like in Watcher in the Woods and Escape to Witch Mountain. Nowadays their made for kids movies all seem to be bland schlock filled with bathroom humor, and fail to challenge their viewers into thinking anything beyond buying their brand, and preparing their minds for a world of reality television.
Beauty and the Beast
Derek Johns: I know I could easily choose a Marvel or a Pixar film but when I think Disney films, I think Beauty and the Beast. Made at the height of Disney’s Renaissance period, the film greatly benefits from having truly memorable characters and superb animation. This modern classic also has the best music ever made from Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, which is really saying something. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it was the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and the only animated film’s to achieve this feat ever since (Up, Toy Story 3) have had the benefit of an expanded field.
Flight of the Navigator
James Cochrane: Damn this is a great movie. The story of a boy who comes home after after being gone for merely 15 minutes, to find that 8 years had passed. He is still the same 12-year old he was, but his family is older. He learns that he had been abducted by aliens, after a rogue spaceship with hyper-intelligent UI finds him. This is a perfect kid movie, but never flinches from allowing the characters to feel the loss of those 8 years. The scene when David meets his greying Mother and Father is a perfect scene. And, the action scenes are smart, and alot of fun… and to top it off the VFX still holds up today.
Shawn S. Lealos: You know, I was trying to come up with a good unique movie that others wouldn’t choose. I was considering Pulp Fiction, since that was the first movie that Miramax made after Disney purchased the company, but then decided I would rather go with a straight Disney movie instead of a Disney owned company like Pixar or Marvel. So, I am going with what I consider to be one of the best Disney animated movies made under their actual banner. Sure, Frozen is the movie that seems to have made Disney animation relevant again, but Wreck It Ralph is still the best Disney animated movie since The Lion King. It is also the best “video game” movie ever made, hands down.
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Bethany Lewis: I am a massive fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and almost anything related to the character. Not only are there in jokes and references to the original stories and some of the screen adaptions, but it’s just a darn fun adventure with great songs, lovable characters, fantastic voice acting, and Disney’s first use of computer animation. I am very critical about my Sherlock Holmes movies, but I love this one completely and unconditionally. Plus, you can go wrong with Vincent Price as Ratigan, the rat king of crime.
I would also like to say that it was extremely hard to choose between this one and Robin Hood (1973). They are a tie for number one in my heart.
Caleb Masters: Aladdin is one of the true classics that came out of the Disney Renaissance of the 80s and 90s and I think it’s easily my favorite of the bunch. It may not have had the grandiose feel of The Hunchback of Notre Dame or mythos to draw from like Hercules or Mulan, but I think it had the right balance of playful humor, fairytale whimsy, fantastical music, and all around exciting drama. “Friend Like Me”, “Prince Ali”, and “A Whole New World” are all classically hummable and bring a warm touch to my heart just at the thought of them.
There are plenty of classic films to love(Beauty and the Beast is no exception), but Aladdin has stuck with me over the years in a way few Disney movies have.