Picking the best Disney movies is like picking your favorite child! It’s almost impossible. Here are our 20 favorite Walt Disney productions that are definitely worth watching.
What are The Best Disney Movies?
Over the years, Disney has released countless films that have quickly become classics of the genre. It’s also worth mentioning that all those movies are available on Disney+, so you can watch them anytime!
101 Dalmatians – in pursuit of the dogs
101 Dalmatians debuted in 1961 along with the famous antagonist, Cruella DeMon. The production shows the fate of a designer who dreams of a fur coat sewn from Dalmatian furs. The film received a BAFTA award in the Best Animated Feature category. The voice of the demonic heroine was given by Betty Lou Gerson. The movie also got it own live-action adaptation in 1996 with sequel released in 2000. There’s also a spin-off from 2021 called Cruella.
Lilo & Stitch – Hawaii adventures
Another best Disney movie that is worth mentioning is Lilo & Stitch – a 2002 movie directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. The Oscar-nominated production tells the story of a girl living in Hawaii, Lilo, who befriends a strange creature from another planet – Stitch. The film was followed by several sequels and a TV series.
Lion King – pure classic
Awarded two Oscars, three Golden Globes and many other statuettes, The Lion King is one of the most beloved Disney movies of all time. The production, which is loved by generations, tells the story of a young lion, Simba.
His father, Mufasa, is the leader of the pack, but his brother, Scar, wants to take over the power over the animals. After Mufasa’s death, Simba’s life becomes very complicated. Will he found his courage to become a new king? The film was directed by Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers. There’s also a live-action adaptation that was released in 2019.
The Little Mermaid – the desire to be human
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 movie directed by John Musker and Ron clements. The title character dreams of becoming human. Her dream comes true thanks to the witch Ursula, who, however, takes away Arielka’s wonderful voice. And all this so that the mermaid could win Prince Eric’s heart. The film received two Oscars and two Golden Globes. There is also a live-action adaptation that is still in the works.
Pinocchio – believe in the dreams
Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske directed the 1940 movie called Pinocchio. The picture tells the story of a carpenter named Gepetto, one of whose wooden toys has been brought to life by a fairy. Pinocchio must show that he is a loyal and good boy. The film won two Academy Awards and the voices of the main characters were lent by Dickie Jones and Christian Rub. Definitely one of the best Disney movies of all time.
Hercules – greek mythology in a twist
Hercules, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, debuted in 1997. The main character of the production is the titular Hercules, or the son of Hera and Zeus. Thanks to his uncle, Hades, Hercules goes from being a god to a man with no access to Olympus. When he discovers his history, he begins to fight to return to the divine realm. The film won four Annie Awards, among others.
Aladdin – a lamp that makes wishes come true
In the 1992 the creators of Hercules released another classic – Aladdin,, which won two Academy Awards. The movie tells the story of the title character who falls in love with Princess Jasmine. The young man comes into possession of a lamp inhabited by a Genie. He is able to fulfill the wishes of its owner. Robin Williams was one of the actors who gave voices to the characters. There is also a live-action adaptation that was released in 2019.
Frozen – let it go!
Frozen is One of the newer Disney movies, as it was released in 2013. It was directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The production was immediately a worldwide hit and won two Oscars, including one for the iconic song Let It Go. It tells the story of two sisters, Princess Elsa and Princess Anna, the first of whom can wield ice and snow. She cannot control her powers and accidentally causes a piercingly cold winter in the kingdom. The movie got its sequel in 2019.
Bambi – deep in the forest
Bambi debuted in 1942 and was directed by Ben Sharpsteen and David Hand. The title character is a young deer, learning to function in the forest and learning about the nature around him. His life changes when his mother dies. The production received three Oscar nominations. Definitely one of the best disney movies that you cannot miss.
Toy Story – to the moon and beyond!
Toy Story – the legendary 1996 animated film directed by John Lasseter that tells the story of Andy, or rather his toys…that are alive! When a new figure, Buzz Lightyear, joins the group, the leader of the pack, Woody, becomes terribly jealous, which results in an unexpected series of unfortunate events. The movie got 3 sequels and the last one – Toy Story 4 was released in 2019.
Ratatouille – the rat that can cook
Ratatouille is a 2007 movie directed by Brad Bird. The film tells the story of Remy, a rat that doesn’t quite fit in with his family. Because he has an absolute sense of smell and refined taste, he refuses to eat garbage like the other rats. One day he goes to a restaurant and meets the dishwasher Linguini. As a result of unexpected events, they become partners and cook together.
Tarzan – man living with the gorillas
Tarzan is definitely one of the best Disney movies of all time! Released in 1999 and directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Bruck movie became an instant classic and it earned an Oscar for the best song. The story tells of the titular Tarzan, who as an infant comes under the protection of gorillas and becomes part of their family. Things start to get complicated when an expedition from England arrives on his island – eccentric professor Porter, his daughter Jane and white hunter Clayton
Mulan – can a girl become a warrior?
Mulan is an adaptation of an old Chinese legend about a brave girl who puts on men’s armor and stands up to defend her beloved emperor. The animated feature was released in 1998 and was directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook. The movie got its sequel in 2004 and live-action adaptation in 2020.
The best live-action Disney movies
Disney creates not only wonderful and touching animations, but also created on a grand scale live-action films. The creators are very eager to transfer the iconic animations to a modern format. Here are the best film adaptations of Disney classics.
Cruella – the beginnings of a great antagonist
Cruella is one of the latest Disney film production. It was released in 2021 and directed by Craig Gillespie. It tells the story of Cruella DeMon, known from 101 Dalmatians. Maintained in the comedy-crime atmosphere, the story presents the beginnings of the demonic fashion designer, played by Emma Stone. Other actors who appeared on the screen included Emma Thompson, Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry. Soon after the premiere it was announced that the second part of the film will be made as well.
Maleficent – the fate of the cruel Diabolina
Maleficent is a 2014 film directed by Robert Stomberg. that was based on Sleeping Beauty. The role of the title character was played by Angelina Jolie. The plot focuses on the fate of the mysterious Diabolina, who cast a curse on Princess Aurora. Apart from Jolie, the film also starred Elle Fanning and Imelda Staunton. The Witch was directed by Robert Stromberg. A sequel to the production was released in 2019.
Aladdin – Will Smith grants wishes
In the same year that Maleficent 2 debuted, Aladdin was also released. Guy Ritchie’s production tells the story of Aladdin, infatuated with Princess Jasmine, who comes into possession of a magic lamp inhabited by a Genie. The role of the wish-fulfilling hero was played by Will Smith. Other cast members include Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud.
The Jungle Book – Man of Wolves
The Oscar-winning The Jungle Book debuted in 2016. It was based on an animated film from the late 1960s. Its main character is a boy Mowgli, who was raised by animals in the jungle. When danger begins to threaten him, the son of wolves together with his friends embarks on an adventurous journey. The main role was played by Neel Sethi and the production was directed by Jon Favreau.
Cinderella – an all-star cast in a timeless story
Cinderella, which was directed by Kenneth Branagh, premiered in 2015. The production presents the story of a girl who has to face the malice of a cruel stepmother and her daughters. On her way appears a fairy, thanks to whom Cinderella gets to the ball and meets the prince. The film stars: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden and Nonso Anozie. That’s definitely one of the best Disney movies of all time!
Beauty and the Beast – love is blind
Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon, was released in 2017. It tells the story of Bella, who, with the intention of saving her father, takes up residence in the mansion of a terrifying beast. Enchanted objects live in her room, and a feeling develops between her and her roommate. In the meantime, the hunter Gaston wants to free the girl from the palace.
Lady and the Tramp – animal love story
Charlie Bean directed the live-action version of Lady and the Tramp, which debuted in 2019. The musical tells the romantic story of two dogs – the titular Lady and Tramp. The production featured Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux and Sam Elliott, among others. The picture was based on the 1955 animation of the same name.
A brief history of Disney
Walt Disney released his first film, Alice’s Wonderland, in the early 1920s. The short production opened the door to a great career for the animator, who after the collapse of his studio began working with his brother. They opened the Walt Disney Studio company. Oswald Rabbit became the hero of one of their first series, and already in 1928 the first animations with the famous Mickey Mouse were released. The first feature film of the studio appeared in 1937 and it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Many titles that are still cherished today came out in the 1950s. It was, among others, Cinderella. The world’s first Disneyland was also created at that time. In 1964, Mary Poppins debuted, and a few years later both Disney brothers died. Starting in the mid-1980s, the director of Walt Disney Pictures was Michael Eisner. Animations such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast debuted during his tenure. The next director was Robert Iger, who took the post in 2005. It was under his direction that Frozen and Zootopia were created. In early 2020, Iger was replaced by Bob Chapek.
Disney movies are productions that connect generations. Each of them will be perfect for the screening with the family and not only. They include the best fairy tales for children and the most touching productions for slightly older viewers. Let us know in the comments which Disney movies are your favorites.