Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
With the positive reviews for its latest release Frozen, Walt Disney Animation Studios seems to be doing pretty well as a distinct brand from the company’s more esteemed subsidiary Pixar. The latest resurgence in quality might not be as noteworthy as the early ’90s revival (begun with 1989’s The Little Mermaid), but between this, Wreck-It-Ralph and Tangled, we’re seeing a upturn in recognition and popularity for more traditionally styled — albeit computer-generated — animated features.
But are any of these titles among your favorites? In total, not counting the DisneyToon brand that has put out sequels to Disney classics and Pixar rejects like Planes, the studio has now produced 53 titles, many of them beloved and timeless monuments from film history, including Fantasia, Peter Pan, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp and the one that started it all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Then there are the renaissance features, which a number of you seem to favor, such as Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. I’m still waiting for the trend where flops like The Black Cauldron, Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire are deemed underrated cult classics, though, especially since I think two of my top three favorites of all time, since childhood, have also been among the less loved.
And outside of the following trio I also have a lot of love for Bolt, The Fox and the Hound and The Three Cabelleros in addition to the acknowledged early masterpieces (especially Fantasia).
Here are my top three Walt Disney Animation Studios movies:
1. Pinocchio – I admit I latched onto this classic a long time ago as my heyday choice after seeing that it was one of the favorite films of all time of Terry Gilliam (my favorite director), but it’s stuck with me, and I don’t think I’m being too objective when I compare its brilliant animation and storytelling against the others of its era. The greatest cinematic combination of music, message and magic Disney ever produced, I firmly believe it’s the most perfect among the 53 releases.
2. Alice in Wonderland – I won’t deny this film’s faults, but it was the movie that made me fall in love with Lewis Carroll’s stories, and it’s still the least creepy translation of all that weird and extraordinary imagination from the page. I’m pretty sure that besides my dad, I owe my love of puns and surrealism and ’60s music (well, at least Jefferson Airplane) to this feature. Even though it’s not the most faithful adaptation of the source, now among my favorite piece of literature ever, I’ve never really liked any film version except this one.
3. Robin Hood – I don’t want to defend my choice here, as I just can’t explain what drew me to love this one. It’s just something I’ve favored since before I can remember. Nowadays I watch and am amazed at how bad some of the art is, but I still don’t care. I don’t know anyone else who loves it as much as I do. I love the metaphoric use of animals as the legendary characters, I love their voices, I love their songs and I love saying this when I’m excited about anything: Oo-de-lally!
Your Picks (the top three being Beauty and the Beast and then a two-way tie between Fantasia and The Lion King ):
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