With the release of Disney’s 50th Theatrical Feature, Tangled, it seemed timely to list my five favourite Disney films:
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Awarded the accolade of being the first animated film to be nominated in the Best Picture Category at the Oscars, Beauty and the Beast is certainly Disney’s finest. With its intelligent heroine, the film wonderfully and successfully mixes pathos with humour. Despite admirable efforts from Pixar, for me, Beauty and the Beast is arguably the greatest animated film there is.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Beautifully animated, The Little Mermaid is another joyous Disney classic. Its adventurous heroine Ariel is both entirely memorable and delightfully engaging.
Eddie Murphy brings much of the humour in this later Disney film, resulting in some brilliant comic moments. Aside from the comedy, the story of a young brave girl, caring enough to take up her elderly father’s place in the Army is both hugely affecting and thoroughly admirable: Mulan is not your typical Disney Princess, and her character is all the more entertaining because of it.
Basil: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Relatively unknown and often unjustly ignored in favour of the better known Disney Classics, this reimagining of Sherlock Holmes features a plucky young heroine, an intelligent protagonist and some genuinely thrilling moments. Basil: The Great Mouse Detective is a Disney hidden-gem.
With a beautifully realised central romance between Pocahontas and John Smith, this 1995 film is one of those rare things: a Disney film without a happy ending. With Oscar winning songs, and superb animation, Pocahontas, despite criticism over its historical inaccuracy is still a delight to watch.