We all loved the Disney Renaissance of the 90s, and it seems as though they’re back!
Even the movies not included on this list were serious contenders; it’s been a great decade to be a Disney fan! Down below is a list of my favourite Disney movies of the past decade, ranked. Please bear in mind that Pixar movies are not included on this list, only movies released under the umbrella of Walt Disney studios are.
Without further ado, here are my top 5 best Disney movies of the past decade (2007-2017)
5. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It Ralph creates what may be one of my favourite fictional worlds ever: a world where, after the arcade closes, characters from each game can travel through the power chords in a subway style set up to meet up with characters from different games. The movie incorporates some of our favourite video game characters and is a total trip down memory lane!
After 30 years of being the bad-guy in his video game, Ralph thinks it’s about time to get some recognition for his contributions instead of being hated all of the time. This sees the character hoping from game to game in order to get a coveted gold medal.
The story can get a little complicated with the rules of what characters can/ can’t jump into other games, characters dying in their game vs. other games, and has a lot of characters to juggle in the 2 hour runtime. All this and the movie’s mysterious Turbo character leaves the movie a little oversaturated, but it’s fun nonetheless.
4. Princess and the Frog (2009)
Princess and the Frog sees Disney’s brief return to hand-drawn animation, and it is glorious. The movie is mainly set in the swamps of New Orleans, which gives us lush greens and deep-set blues until we get to Marti Gras and everything gets better. It introduces Disney’s first black princess, Tiana, who, against the princess tropes, is hard working and self-sufficient.
The villain in this movie is one of the best I’ve seen in recent years; Dr. Facilier is given a bad-ass song that not only introduces him, but carries the plot forward, and Keith David’s voice compliments the character extremely well.
That said, the story can get a little complicated between the Shadow Man’s debts and his plans to pay them, Lawrence’s affinity for power, the two mains falling in love, figuring out themselves and figuring out how to become humans again.
3. Moana (2016)
I saw Moana in theatres last December and whoa: it’s probably the single most gorgeous movie I’ve ever seen, and I’m not even being hyperbolic. Every aspect of the animation in this movie, from the rolling waves to the blowing sand, is such a treat on the eyes, and I usually hate watching movies in 3D.
For its music, How Far I’ll Go, I am Moana and You’re Welcome are some stand out tracks in my opinion, and ones that I have listened to time and time again on Spotify. That said, Jemaine Clement’s Shiny is probably the most fun song bop to.
I’ll be honest though: the criticism I’m about to give may be completely unfounded because I had juuuust gotten the flu that day and every part of me was in pain, but the movie felt like it began to drag in the middle. I remember wishing that they would just get on with it at certain points. But again, I felt AWFUL that day, so it may not be Moana’s fault at all. I’ll let you know upon second viewing.
2. Frozen (2013)
Frozen was a POWERHOUSE. And, because of the steam it created, there are a loooot of people who simply love to hate it. But, as a previous Let It Go enthusiast myself, I am not one of those people.
I’ll admit it: I loved the shit out of this movie when I’d first watched it. I thought the animation was astounding, the characters were (mostly) well rounded, and the story was easy to follow with little complications. And it was touching as hell.
Love it or hate it, Let It Go did what I haven’t seen any other Disney song in the past 20 years do. It was unstoppable; everyone and anyone knows the lyrics to this song, and it’s only been around for 3.5 years. Not to mention, the scene where it’s sung is truly a powerful one.
There were some elements of this movie that definitely fell short for me, like the trolls. Why did we need trolls? Who asked for this? Can I meet that person? Also, the ‘twist’ ending, although eluded to in previous scenes, was a little too contrived for me. And the Duke of Weselton… was he supposed to throw us off, or something? His inclusion felt unnecessary to me, given the turn of events.
1. Zootopia (2016)
I saw this movie in theatres twice last year, and would’ve seen it a third time if the theatre wasn’t full. The movie sees the joining of a lovable bunny cop and a shiesty fox to solve a mystery that has been plaguing the city of Zootopia.
The parallels from this movie to the real world are pretty obvious, as the movie takes on stereotypes and how certain groups really feel about other groups. The execution is brilliant and stupidly entertaining as it challenges our own prejudices and makes discernible references. Jason Bateman shines as Nick Wilde, and Ginnifer Goodwin makes possibly the perfect Judy Hopps.
I really enjoyed this movie way more than I thought I was going to; talking animals with cell phones and their own pop singers doesn’t necessarily sound good to me, but it’s what the creators did with it that makes this movie so remarkable, and makes it my number 1 pick.
What movie do you think I missed? Let me know down below!