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Everyone loves a good Disney movie and even though the greats are all in the past there is still hope for Disney with hits like The Princess and the Frog or Tangled which is by Disney or through their animating partner Pixar which is dominating the animation world. I wanted to make a list of my personal favorites which have some classics as well as some recent movies. They aren’t in any particular order though.

Finding Nemo (2003)

How can you not like Finding Nemo? It is charming, funny, and pulls a little at those heart strings. It is my favorite Pixar movie of all time and is a testimony to outstanding animation. It is lead by both the narcissism and lovableness of Albert Brooks as Marlin but gets carried by the humor of Ellen DeGeneres as Dory who is easily the most notable character of the film. My reason for this being on the list is first just the outstanding and beautiful animation it brings. You feel the entire time like you are actually underwater and the distinct realism really sells you from the very first moment. The other reason is just how fun it is; it is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again and it will never get old. It always has that fresh, entertaining feel to it. If you haven’t seen this recent classic you must check it out.

The Lion King (1994)

This is another movie that is just tough to find someone who just dislikes it. It’s a classic and is just plain awesome. This staple Disney movie is still a large phenomenon and is even getting a re-release in the next few days in 3-D that’s how popular it is still! (And they know it makes money) But besides that it’s a very well animated and well acted movie. My favorite things in this movie have to be the music first off. Elton John wrote the unforgettable songs that people are still singing today whether it’s for the movie or the musical and Hans Zimmer wrote the score to go along with it. Each are equally epic and create an outstanding atmosphere. The second thing is just how unforgettable this story is. It is like Finding Nemo in that you can watch it over and over again and it never gets old. This is one of the staple Disney movies and easily one of my favorites.

Toy Story 3 (2010)

This movie came out last year and even though that’s not very long ago it still cements a spot in my top 5. This also kind of links to the first two Toy Story movies as well but the third was by far the best of the lot. It gave you everything you’d want in a movie (much less an animated movie) by taking these characters farther than you thought they could go as well as tying up this memorable story. Led by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, the cast of the movie makes it so enjoyable. Each character gives a different flavor and will add humor or wit to the stellar script put before them. The reason I put #3 on the list is because of how it tied up the movies as well as just how perfect it was. It was nearly flawless and should of been considered as a legitimate Best Picture candidate due to how well the script worked and how much of a good job everyone involved did in making the movie. This movie is fantastic and is a must see for everyone.

Robin Hood (1973)

Not many people really have seen this movie as it was one of Walt Disney’s early works. But nonetheless it is a fun, entertaining early film that makes you enjoy a little nostalgia. It follows the normal Robin Hood story but with a few added Disney songs and some historic context if you thought Prince John was a lion and Robin was a fox. The best part of this movie is probably how entertaining it is even though it is an older movie as well as the songs it has. The fight scenes and archery scenes are both fun and hilarious watching all of the different characters fighting to some typical Disney quirky music. The songs featured in the movie are great to sing to and were written and performed by Roger Miller. The most famous one, “Oo De Lally,” starts off the movie with a funny kick that lets you know your in for a very fun time. Make sure to check this movie out which was recently put on DVD.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Tim Burton’s stop motion masterpiece is a phenomenal film and one people really need to see. Not only are the songs fantastic but the animation is so cool to watch knowing that it was hours and hours of moving clay figures to make this work of art happen. It’s become a kind of cult classic as many people still wear stuff that pertains to the film but I love it for how amazing and fascinating the movie is. Danny Elfman wrote and sung the sensational score which has spurned many re-recordings by popular bands. They are an easy sing-along and I’m not ashamed to admit that I can sing most of the songs in the movie. I love watching it both around Christmas time as well as Halloween as it incorporates both themes. The story is also well put together and is something unreal and original. The characters are very odd and kind of funny in the ways that they act as they are so naive to anything but Halloween. This is a joy of a movie and should be given a chance if you have it.

Honorable Mention
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) and Spirited Away (2001)

I put these two movies as honorable mention because they are not fully a Disney movie even though Disney distributes them in the United States. These are both movies by Hayao Miyazaki the renown Japanese animation director who is way above his time. These are my two favorites of the countless movies he’s made and I wish more people in the US knew him and gave him a chance. His movies are generally absurd and weird at first glance such as Spirited Away but once you get into the story and look past the odd characters you find that it is a beautiful movie that deserves your attention. Spirited Away is probably his most well known film since it won the Best Animated Movie at the 2003 Oscars beating out the mega-movie Shrek. It has a very odd premise and that’s what I think scares off most viewers but if just accepted this movie gives a outstanding story as well as stunning animation. Just watch the part late in the movie where the girl rides a train along the ocean and witness one of the most beautiful scenes in animation history if not movie history. Kiki’s Delivery Service is little known and is older than the other. It follows a young girl who is becoming a witch and gives us a nice, safe story with breathtaking animation and a fun script. It also has the talented Phil Hartman lending his voice as her faithful black cat. These two movies are amazing and all I ask is to give them a chance. They won’t disappoint.

Make sure to list off some of your favorite Disney movies in the Comments below!

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