This is obviously going to have nothing to do with Stephen King. Let's all agree to just be okay with that.
But, just because I feel like doing it (and because a brand-new Disney animation just opened in theatres), here is a Worst to Best list of the 53 animated feature films produced by the Walt Disney Studios feature animation division(s).
We begin with a series of Honorable Mentions, for movies that are not, technically-speaking, counted as Disney Feature Animation releases, but include segments animated by the Studios.
But before that, we actually begin with a Dishonorable Mention:
Dishonorable Mention -- Enchanted (2007)
Obviously, Enchanted is courting nostalgia for classic Disney animated fairy tales, and to prove it, there is about 13 minutes of animation.
None of which were animated by Disney Feature Animation, on account of how the entire department had been disbanded by Michael Eisner before he was forced out of the company.
So . . . yeah. Great movie; but for those in the know, it can't help but leave a bit of a sour taste in the mouth.
Honorable Mention #8 -- So Dear to My Heart (1948)
Never seen it; no clue what it's about. I bought the DVD a few years back, and I'll get around to watching it the next time I plow my way through my Disney movies.
It's mostly live-action, but has animated segments.
Honorable Mention #7 -- Pete's Dragon (1977)
This is a live-action film, but with a major character who was entirely animated by Disney Feature Animation.
I loved this movie as a kid, but the last time I tried to watch it, I thought it was kinda terrible.
Honorable Mention #6 -- Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Again, live-action with animated segments. It is obviously an attempt to replicate the success of Mary Poppins; it isn't a failure, but it's certainly no Mary Poppins.
Honorable Mention #5 -- The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
Not sure why this one doesn't count, to be honest. There is about 40 minutes of animation, which is more than is in Saludos Amigos; and that one counts. So what gives?
It's a mystery, but either way, this is a fun movie, one that mixes live-action scenes (consisting of a semi-fictional tour of the Disney Studios) with the titular animated short. Good stuff.
I'll leave it for others to debate the issue of whether this movie is racist. All I know is that it's entertaining, with awesome music, gorgeous animated sequences, and a wonderful performance by James Baskett. It's a shame you have to resort to piracy to find a copy.
Or is it?
You be the judge.
Honorable Mention #3 -- Victory Through Air Power (1943)
Here's another one that really ought to be counted, and isn't. But in this case, the reasons are obvious: the movie was not made for entertainment purposes, but was produced as a piece of wartime propaganda, one designed to boost the strength of America's air force.
And evidently, it worked.
This is a fascinating piece of work, with terrific animation (though there is a fair bit of live-action, as well).
Honorable Mention #2 -- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
With no doubt, this movie's success was a key component in the late-eighties resurgence of Disney animation, and maybe of the medium in general. It's a blast, and the fact that there has never yet been a sequel seems vaguely criminal. Or, at the very least, a shame.
And, for the record: the title does NOT include a question mark. Just sayin'.
Honorable Mention #1 -- Mary Poppins (1964)
One of the best movies ever made, as far as I'm concerned. There isn't a lot of animation in it, but what's there is superb.
And now, on to the 53 films that DO get counted on the list. We begin with:
#53 -- Winnie the Pooh (2011)
I am putting this in last place, but only because I have not actually seen it. Which I keep forgetting, and which I kind of feel terrible about. The movie came out during a particularly rough time for me personally, and between that and the quick death the movie died at the box-office, I just didn't have time to see it in its initial release.
And since then, I've been busy working on this (mostly) Stephen King blog, plus my James Bond blog. I've just not been in Disney mode.
But, I do own a copy, and I'll get around to it. Eventually. A friend who is also a Disney fan assures me that I will like it; he did, and he actively dislikes the Pooh characters.
#52 -- The Sword in the Stone (1963)
It has its fans, and I apologize if you are one of them . . . but boy, do I hate this movie. I hate the music; I hate the animation; I hate the "humor"; I hate the voice acting. It's just not good, in any way.
Your mileage may vary.
#51 -- The Three Caballeros (1944)
The Disney studio came very close to dying in the mid-'40s, partially as a result of labor disputes but mostly due to the economic strain caused by World War II, which not only shut the studio off from numerous important foreign theatrical markets, but also -- remember Victory Through Air Power? -- found the company having to devote a huge amount of resources to the war effort. All things considered, that was probably a bad thing for the company, which had been on a streak of sheer brilliance up to this point, but found it impossible to continue Bambi-level projects in the face of the numerous challenges.
Part of the solution involved producing cheap, easily-produced "package features" consisting of loosely-connected animated shorts, sometimes supplemented with live-action sequences. In the case of The Three Caballeros, the package was also aimed at the Latin American markets.
There are a few good sequences, but it's also an incredibly weird movie; the extent to which Donald Duck wants to have sexual congress with Carmen Miranda is disturbing.
#50 -- Chicken Little (2005)
Because combining the story of Chicken Little with an alien invasion makes so much sense, he said sarcastically...
This is a lame, unfunny piece of work that has none of the charm and elegance one expects from Disney animation. It's a DreamWorks wannabe, and boy, that's not what I expect from Disney.
#49 -- The Black Cauldron (1985)
I don't hate this movie the way a lot of people seem to hate it. In fact, I actually kinda like it. But in deference to popular opinion, I am placing it close to the bottom.
It was a box-office car-crash, and very nearly got the animated division permanently shuttered.
#48 -- Meet the Robinsons (2007)
It isn't as dire as Chicken Little, but essentially, this movie suffers from the same problem: it was evidence that nobody at Disney had any idea how to make Disney movies for a half a decade or so there.
I'm sure there are kids who love this flick; good on 'em, I guess.
#47 -- Saludos Amigos (1942)
The first of the two Latin America-themed package features, this one is, for my money, easily the better. If nothing else, it's got a terrific Goofy segment.
I am a sucker for Goofy. This is likely a surprise to nobody. And like Vern in Stand By Me, I, too, have no clue what he is.
#46 -- Melody Time (1946)
One of two mildly low-brow package films that served as less artistically engaging companion pieces to Fantasia, this is the second, and the lesser, of the two. I do like the "Johnny Appleseed" sequence, though.
#45 -- The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
It's a fun movie, but it feels mechanical and uninspired in some way I can't quite put my finger on. Still, fun.
#44 -- Hercules (1977)
I hate this movie. I was tempted to rank it near the bottom of the list, but out of deference to some odd mental impulse I do not understand, I am ranking it here, which is as high as my conscience will allow me to place it.
Who put the "glad" in "gladiator"?
Ain't no gladness in me for this movie, though.
#43 -- Home on the Range (2004)
"Bust A Moo," y'all.
One of the worst taglines ever, there can be no doubt. But I like the movie; it's very funny, and the songs are terrific. I think it's about time people began rediscovering this one.
#42 -- Brother Bear (2003)
Do I own a copy of that poster? Yes, I do. Do I currently have it hanging in my bathroom above the toilet?
Yes, I do.
This is not to say the movie is crap. It isn't. It's actually quite good, with good Phil Collins songs and gorgeous animation.
#41 -- Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
Another package film, this one consisting of two stories: the bear-centric "Bongo," and a Mickey / Donald / Goofy team-up that takes on the Jack and the Beanstalk tale. It's that latter story which really makes the movies, despite weirdo introductory scenes involving Charlie McCarthy.
#40 -- Oliver & Company (1988)
This canine reboot of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist was arguably a weird idea, but ends up being a lot of fun. Good songs, including a great one by Billy Joel and another great one by Huey Lewis.
#39 -- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
This one is a cheat, but Disney counts it, so I have to, too.
It's a cheat because it was a collection of previously-released theatrical shorts starring the A.A. Milne characters. So not, in the strictest sense, an original production, and therefore dubious, as far as I'm concerned.
It's pretty good, though. Pooh is made for the wee kiddies, and if you aren't able to enter that mindset a bit, you may be bored to tears by this movie.
#38 -- Alice in Wonderland (1951)
I hate this movie. Hate, hate, hate it.
Which is not to say that I think it's a bad movie. I don't. It's a good movie. But I do hate it. These are not contradictory opinions.
The animation is wonderful, the music is terrific, the voice actors all do great work. But for me, the cumulative effect of the movie is draining, wearying, and galling.
It's better than the Tim Burton movie, though.
#37 -- Robin Hood (1973)
If you were a child during the seventies, as I was for a bit more than half of that decade, then you almost certainly have some fondness for this movie.
If I were being objective, though, I'd have to say it's a bit of a mixed bag. That is the case with pretty much all of the animated films the Disney studio turned out after Walt's death in the late '60s, and remained the case up until the late '80s, when The Little Mermaid ushered in a new era of glory.
Still, Robin Hood has its moments, many of them courtesy of the voice actors.
#36 -- Dinosaur (2000)
The funny monkeys almost wreck the entire movie for me, so unfunny do I find them to be. Still, this is a fairly strong movie overall, with exceptional animation and my favorite James Newton Howard score not named The Village.
#35 -- The Rescuers (1977)
Pretty good stuff here; the animation is shaky at times (as was typical of the '70s studio output), but the story compensates for it. The music isn't all that great, which is a mild problem. Still, pretty good.
#34 -- Treasure Planet (2002)
One of my favorite Disney posters, if nothing else...
To be honest, though, I think this movie is way better than its reputation. It died a miserable death at the box-office, and to this day I do not quite know why. It is a beautifully-animated movie, with exciting sci-fi sequences and a solid score. Some of the jokes don't quite land, and it is an admittedly goofy concept (although given how mashup-oriented our culture has become, it seems a bit ahead of its time now).
Needs to be rediscovered.
#33 -- Bolt (2008)
What's not to love about a movie featuring a hamster in a wheely-ball?
This is another underrated Disney flick, one that --blessedly -- broke the curse established by crapola like Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. It didn't do well at the box-office, though; such is the extent to which those movies had poisoned the well.
#32 -- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Of the Disney films that are generally acknowledged as classics, this is probably my least favorite. But it's pretty good, with sumptuous widescreen animation and lush music. The problem for me is that it feels like watered down Snow White.
#31 -- One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Evidently, there is some discrepancy over whether to spell out the "101" or use numerals; I leave it to you to pick which you prefer. I prefer to vacillate.
It's a good movie; a bit thin, in some respects, though.
#30 -- The Aristocats (1970)
Featuring (among others) the voice of Dick Hallorann himself, Scatman Crothers, this is a delightful little movie with great music and occasionally iffy animation. It was the first animated studio release to have been entirely produced after Walt's death; his absence shows in some ways, but his legacy shows through in others.
Either way, I like the movie.
#29 -- Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Stepping outside its comfort zone for (arguably) the first time since the disastrous Black Cauldron two decades previously, Atlantis was a moderate hit. It ought to have been a bigger one; this is a fun, technically-brilliant adventure film with great voice acting and another dynamic James Newton Howard score.
Vastly underrated, for my money.
#28 -- The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Released in between the twin cannon-blasts that were The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers Down Under got lost in the shuffle a bit, and seems a bit on the obscure side these days.
That's a shame. This is a very fun movie that is even better than the pretty-good original.
#27 -- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
This two-story package flick adapts The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and while I've read neither, I can say that my perception is that the latter was better-suited to the sort of lean, economical treatment the two stories receive in this movie. The Mr. Toad segment is fun; the Ichabod segment, on the other hand, is an all-time classic.
#26 -- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
One of the many Disney movies of this era to deal with the topic of learning with be okay with being whoever you are, I would have this particular one ranked much more highly if not for those damned singing gargoyles. Those things . . . well, I was about to say they suck, but that's not entirely fair; they aren't horrible, and they have one great song. But they do, in my opinion, weigh the movie down a bit.
Otherwise, it's kind of great. Some of THE best songs ever to appear in a Disney movie.
#25 -- Tangled (2010)
It should have been (and, in some countries, was) titled Rapunzel, but by any name, this is a pretty damn solid movie. Surprisingly so; I expected, based on the marketing, another lame-o Disney CGI 'toon. Instead, I got a witty, lush, semi-modernistic/semi-classical fairy tale with good music and great voice acting.
#24 -- Make Mine Music (1946)
I probably have this one ranked a bit too far up the list, but I'm doing so based on the strength of three segments: "Peter and the Wolf" (with its terrific animation of the Prokofiev piece), "Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet" (which will break your heart), and "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met" (which break the fuck out of your heart).
I also like "Blue Bayou" a lot; it contains footage that was animated for Fantasia but was cut from that movie. On the Fantasia DVD you can see it in its original form, set to "Claire de Lune"; it's pretty good here, but there, it's magnificent.
#23 -- Pocahontas (1995)
I probably should care about the historical inaccuracies and whatnot, but boy, do I not care. Only a fool would look to this movie for anything other than mythology and fairy-tale, and frankly, I like the idea of taking a story like this one and turning it into a fairy tale. Maybe that's a bad impulse on my part; if so, it must be my ka to not give a crap.
Either way, the movie is lovely; great music, excellent animation, and strong voice acting. Just as I'll take the Disney versions of most of the fairy tales, I'll take this over "real life" (whatever that is...).
And yet, the alterations to Greek mythology in Hercules piss me off to no end.
So yeah; I'm a hypocrite. Ka.
Ka like a wind. Which, according to this movies, has colors.
#22 -- Tarzan (1999)
This is a strong movie in almost every facet . . . but boy, do I hate Rosie O'Donnell in it. And that "Trashin' the Camp" sequence is just abysmal.
Otherwise? It's great. And I love the music. The reputation of the songs has suffered over the years, mainly because Tarzan was unlucky enough to win an Oscar that ought to have been won by one of the songs from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. That was a hell of a year for animation: in addition to the South Park movie, animation classics from 1999 include The Iron Giant and Toy Story 2. Tarzan has maybe gotten a bit lost in the shuffle.
That's not as it should be; it's a very, very good movie.
#21 -- Frozen (2013)
The marketing of this film has been god-awful. For one thing, the title ought to have been The Snow Queen; Frozen will make more sense as a title after you've seen it, but still. For another thing, the marketing has mostly tried to keep it a secret that this is a sumptuous old-school Disney musical.
And it's a good one. "Let It Go" is an immediate Disney-song classic, and a few others come close.
It's funny, it's romantic, it's great to look at, and the acting is top-notch . . . there's really nothing to not like here.
#20 -- The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Look . . . if you hire Tom Jones to sing the couplet "an enigma and a mystery / in Meso-American history," then you automatically get my approval.
This is one of THE funniest Disney movies, and it's even funnier if you were with me at Disney World in the mid-'00s, when, for about two days, I was able to do a flawless Kronk imitation on command. And then the ability died, without warning or explanation. But while it lasted, it was glorious.
I gather that a lot of people don't like this movie much. Their loss, says I.
#19 -- The Princess and the Frog (2009)
This is just a beautiful movie. It's got great songs from Randy Newman, it's got that classical hand-drawn style, it's got a rather upsetting death. Why this sucker didn't make $300 million at the box-office is a mystery to me; I suspect it might end up being a bit of a last gasp for traditional hand-drawn animation.
If so, it's a fine one to go out on.
#18 -- The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Yeah, to be honest, it probably is; this is perhaps a bit of nostalgia at play. Specifically, nostalgia based around the fact that this was the only Disney animated movie I ever saw in a theatre when I was a kid; the only other ones that came out when I was in the prime Disney demographic were The Rescuers (which came out when I was only three) and The Black Cauldron (which I was not interested in). So really, this was it for my Disney childhood, which was surprisingly nonexistent. I knew about most of the movies, but somehow never actually saw any of them; not in their rereleases, and not on television.
But I saw The Fox and the Hound. And for that, I have a special place in my heart.
It's a good movie; I wish the music were a bit better, but I also wish Scarlett Johansson liked shiftless fat dudes. Some wishes go ungranted.
#17 -- Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Saw this one back-to-back with Minority Report, which is a fine day at the movies.
It's one of the all-time great marketing campaigns, with Stitch crashing into various Disney classics. But apart from that, it's a great movie; tender and affecting at times, raucous and hilarious at others. Bonus points for the obvious Elvis reverence.
#16 -- Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Among modern American animated films, this is one of the very few non-Pixar films that can actually stand shoulder-to-shoulder in quality with Pixar films. It's better than at least a few, and for my money, it's the best animated Disney movie in the better part of two decades.
It's witty, it's touching, it's got flat-out awesome voice acting, and it's bound to tickle anybody who enjoys video games, or did once upon a time. Back when they came in arcade form.
Great stuff. I'm gonna wreck it!
#15 -- Mulan (1998)
Let's get down to business (to defeat the Huns); did you send me daughters when I asked for sons?
This one didn't receive a huge amount of attention when it came out, and I think it's still underrated. But boy howdy, is this a good movie. Yeah, yeah; some of the humor falls flat at times. But a lot of it doesn't. The songs are great; the Jerry Goldsmith score is great; the animation is as good as it gets; and the use of Chinese culture in an American kids' movie is a welcome change of pace.
I saw this one in tandem with The X-Files: Fight the Future on opening day back in summer 1998. Thought I had a date, but that turned out to not be the case. Said the heck with it; went anyways; was bummed out, but still had a great time.
#14 -- The Jungle Book (1967)
Louis Prima, playing an orangutan, singing the lines "I'm the kind of the swingers, oh / the jungle V.I.P. / I've reached the top and had to stop / and that's what's worryin' me." Does it get much better?
"The Bear Necessities" comes close, though, and based on those two sequences alone, this has to rank near the top of any Disney animation list.
I think the scene with the vultures weighs it down a bit, though; that hasn't aged terribly well.
#13 -- Peter Pan (1953)
As far as I'm concerned, this is the version of the Peter Pan story to beat, and is likely to remain such for quite some times to come. It's not a flawless movie -- the "What Makes the Red Man Red?" sequence kinda makes you grimace these days -- but when it works, it WORKS.
The flight out of London to Neverland is still one of the best animated sequences ever filmed; it's even better if you've been on the corresponding dark ride at one of the Disney theme parks.
#12 -- Fantasia 2000 (1999)
Technically, it was released in 1999, so . . . yeah.
This isn't as good as the original Fantasia, but it's awfully good on its own merits. There are seven new segments, and every single one of them is genius; the music is awesome, the animation is awesome, and together, something magnificent is created that exceeds the sum of the two things being merely added together.
My personal favorite segment? That's a tough one. Pressed, I think I would say "Pines of Rome"; but the Donald Duck-as-Noah "Pomp and Circumstance" is awfully good, too, and "Rhapsody in Blue" is superb.
Flip a coin among those, really.
More people need to talk about this movie, dammit!
#11 -- Aladdin (1992)
I'm not entirely sure how well I think Robin Williams' schtick has held up in the past two decades. Despite that hesitancy on my part, I would have to say this movie is a nearly-unqualified triumph in every way.
It's funny, it's a fun adventure, it's a killer musical; the animation is great; it's just a classic, really. I'm sure that there are people who don't like it . . . but do you want to talk to them?
#10 -- Cinderella (1950)
When I Googled to find the above poster image, the search engine offered me the option of clicking on posters not for the animated movie, but for the '80s hair-metal band. To which I saw: it's a fair question; you know me well, Google; you know me well.
Look, seriously . . . who doesn't love this movie? My frickin' DAD loves Cinderella.
#9 -- Lady and the Tramp (1955)
The only downside to this movie is the extent to which it has harmed the reputations of Siamese cats. Although, to be fair, it's probably well-deserved.
Speaking of that sequence, do we consider it racist today? Beats me. Even if it is, I don't care too much. We are Simese if you please; we are Siamese if you don't please. Now we're looking all around your domicile; if we like, we stay for maybe quite a while.
My favorite song in the movie, though, is "He's a Tramp," sung -- like all the songs -- by the super-hot Peggy Lee.
#8 -- The Lion King (1994)
Ain't no passing craze; this one is simply a classic, now and forever. What a year 1994 was for movies! It boasts four legitimate all-time classics: this, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and (see how I keep finding ways of mentioning Stephen King?) The Shawshank Redemption.
The Lion King might actually be the most revered of all of them, though. And if so, it's a fair state of affairs.
Funny story: I was at Disney World once, doing what I do at most of the indoors theatrical-type attractions (i.e., falling asleep from exhaustion). This was a puppet-show recreation of The Lion King, with audio from the movie. During the sequence in which heavenly Mufasa appears to Simba, the voice of
The movie? Unreservedly.
#7 -- The Little Mermaid (1989)
It's probably not a dignified choice, but my favorite song from this one is "Les Poissons," in which the guy who played Odo on Deep Space Nine sings maniacally about murdering fish. The song has the gall to rhyme the phrase "les poissons, les poissons" with that steretypical "hee-hee-hee, hawhn-hawhn-hawnn" Frenchman laugh. Genius; among geniuses, that would still be genius.
That aside, the movie is just terrific in every way. One great song after another, and such a return to fairy-tale form that it's almost hard to imagine a world in which this movie never happened. What a piece of crap that world would have been.
#6 -- Pinocchio (1940)
I've got one major problem with this movie: Pinocchio drowns toward the end, and yet, elsewhere in the movie there is an entire sequence in which he's just fartin' around on the bottom of the ocean. Look, dude can either breathe underwater or not; and if he can, seems like drowning ought to maybe be off the table.
That aside, this is gloriously good filmmaking. The multiplane animation is so good it's staggering. And "When You Wish Upon a Star" is one of the best things created in all of American history; we've done a lot wrong, but dadgum it, we did that right!
#5 -- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
A great many people would probably have this at #1, and I wouldn't argue with them much. This is a nearly perfect movie. When a character sings "I'm especially good at expectorating!" in your movie, your movie being at #1 on a list is almost always going to pass muster with me; and if I don't quiiiiiiite have it that high on my own, don't take it as a slight.
One of my favorite songs in the movie is not technically in the movie. "Human Again" was written for the film initially, but the sequence was cut before final animation happened; later, it was resurrected and put into the Broadway musical, and when a special edition of the movie got released, Disney decided to go back and animate the sequence and drop it in.
Typically, I frown on those sorts of re-editing shenanigans, but in this case, I think it worked like a charm. It's a great song, and ought to have been kept in the first place.
#4 -- Dumbo (1941)
I remember watching the (hilarious and underrated) Steven Spielberg movie 1941 years ago and seeing the scene in which an Army general is watching Dumbo in a theatre and weeping, and thinking the scene was funny as hell. What moron would cry at a cartoon? What a doof!
Years later, I see Dumbo for the first time when I buy the special-edition DVD; alone in my apartment, I watch the movie, and the resultant cascade of tears is sufficient to make one think I was the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy had just slapped me on the nose. It was an embarrassing, unmanly moment; one of many, I am chagrined to say.
But if it was okay for Robert Stack, it was okay for me.
And it's okay for you, too.
#3 -- Bambi (1942)
Hailed by Stephen King as the first movie to scare him in his entire life, Bambi is also one of the most beautiful films ever made. The animation is as good as animation gets; to this day, it is as good as it gets. This is the sort of thing that WWII kept the Disney studio from being able to continue to make; and as far as the shames resultant from that war go, that's low on the list . . . but still, it's a genuine shame,
Evidence indicates that this was also the final animated film that Walt himself devoted huge amounts of personal attention toward; afterward, he was less involved, partially as a result of not being able to bear the indignity of having to produce package films to weather the war years, and partially because he was a man constantly driven to succeed in new ways.
So in some ways, this can be looked at as the final Walt Disney animated film. What a gorgeous one to end on.
I also offer for your consideration a bit of knowledge about Walt himself: in 1938 he and his brother Roy, flush with their massive success, bought their beloved mother a new home in California. She complained of a gas problem, and the Disneys sent studio repairmen to fix the problem, but the fix did not take, and a month later, she died of asphyxiation in the home her sons had lovingly bought her. This accident is said (understandably) to have haunted Walt and Roy to the end of their days.
Cut to 1942, and Bambi is released; it includes one of the most profoundly upsetting deaths in all of cinema history. The death is, of course, of Bambi's mother.
If that doesn't break your heart, then you, sir (or madam, as the case may be), are a hard-hearted bastard.
#2 -- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
The first full-length animated movie ever remains one of the all-time best. It is impossible for modern audiences to understand the extent to which this movie was considered a technical marvel at the time of its release; in modern memory, only Toy Story gets close to replicating it, and really, it didn't get all that close. Nobody had ever seen anything like this before.
And only occasionally did they see anything like it again.
This is about as close to flawless as movies get.
#1 -- Fantasia (1940)
This might make my all-time Top 10 list of movies; I'd have to think about it a while. But I think it probably would.
I would go so far as to say that this is as close to perfect as art gets. NO art can actually be perfect, of course; but it can get close, and I'd argue this does.
I wrote a 4600-word essay on the movie about a decade ago, and I'd intended to pop that sucker into the end of this post. However, the Word document and Blogger do not like each other at all, and the formatting is treating each paragraph in such an insane manner that I don't even want to consider dealing with it.
So that will have to do it for now, I guess. I hope I've angered at least a few Sword in the Stone fans; if not, then honestly, what good is life anymore?
Be back soon with a series of reviews of Four Past Midnight.