The Best Disney Animated Film (45-55)

45. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) This adaptation of A.A Milne’s stories works best as nostalgia. Pooh Bear, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, and my favorite, Eeyore, are unforgettable characters and the artwork resembling storybook illustrations hasn’t dated, still every bit as charming today as when it first was released.

46. Sleeping Beauty (1959) This is my lowest rated Disney film centered around a princess. The studio usually turns classic fairytales into classic movies, and while this one is still being watched today, it lacks that added magic that stays with you past the closing credits.

47. Dumbo (1941) Regarded by many to be amongst Disney’s greatest efforts, I unfortunately missed this one as a child. Viewed as an adult, Dumbo is a simple tale that manages some great artistic, humorous touches such as the famous alcohol scene that culminates in a brilliant expressionistic sequence of purple elephants, while also not seeming to have one superfluous frame.

48. Bambi (1942) One of the essentials of the studio, but not one I’m especially fond of. The art design, story, characterization, music, are all solid, but unspectacular to me.

49. Winnie the Pooh (2011) An homage to the original, this update should garner new fans for Pooh and the gang, which is fine but not very ambitious.

50. Chicken Little (2005) Made during one of the company’s lulls, this early CGI picture has a fun premise, good voice work and animation but fails to deliver enough thrills or humor to last in the memory. Very anti-climactic.

51. Saludos Amigos (1942) At less than fifty minutes running time, this shouldn’t really qualify as feature film. It is one of many compilation films Disney made during the fifties that strung together several short films. As impressive as these short films are, they cannot measure up with the best the studio has to offer. This one focuses on South America which adds some fun cultural touches.

52. Sword in the Stone (1963) Working from T.H White’s classic The Once and Future King, the Sword in the Stone loses much of the internal drama and philosophy of White’s work in the translation. The character design is overly straightforward to my eyes. The wizard Merlin looks exactly how every wizard has ever looked. There are no chances taken here. The narrative is also very episodic with no real climax.

53. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) Enjoyable but not special telling of two stories based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Wind in the Willows. Exciting at times, there is however nothing memorable present in this film.

54. Make Mine Music (1946) A compilation of ten short films, the standouts being Peter and the Wolf and The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met. The short films by their selves are all superlative. As a whole there is no reason for them to be together and as a result, this can hardly be considered a true feature film.

55. Fun and Fancy Free (1947) Probably the least recognized film from Walt Disney, and for good reason. As a compilation film, it’s short films aren’t particularly interesting, and this is possibly the only Disney movie that can be described as boring.

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-Walter Tyrone Howard-

The Best Disney Animated Films (34-44)

34. Lady and the Tramp (1955) Disney’s most romantic film.

35. Three Caballeros (1944) Separates itself from the half-dozen other compilation films Disney was turning out in the forties by creating a strong link between its short films.

36. Lilo and Stitch (2002) A girl and her supervillain alien pet make for charming company surprisingly, and its message of family sticking together hits home. This one feels odd though in Disney’s canon as it seems more like an offbeat, quirky independent film rather than a big-budget studio offering.

37. Fantasia (1940) This may seem sacrilegious to some, but as I don’t care about classical music, there is a limit to how much enjoyment I can have with this film. Considered by many to be one of the greatest animated films of all time, I consider it nice to look at.

38. Robin Hood (1973) Pretty straightforward telling of the Robin Hood legend with the only fresh draw being that it’s done with animals.

39. Fantasia 2000 (2000) Similar to its predecessor, this artistic venture is beautiful to look at but bores my primitive ears.

40. Brother Bear (2003) Shows a different culture than we are used to seeing in a Disney film and does so respectably, but its message is understood before it is even revealed. It’s obvious.

41. The Rescuers (1977) A huge hit for the company in a time when they weren’t doing so well, the idea of two mice voiced by Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor is a fun one and makes for a nice enough time at the movies.

42. Bolt (2008) Reminiscent of Buzz Lightyear’s struggles in Toy Story, the canine superstar Bolt doesn’t know that his heroics are all for show. He is the star of a sci-fi series on the television. This was when Disney was starting to get its powers back, but Bolt is still just a good movie. Not a special one.

43. 101 Dalmations (1961) One of the most popular films of all-time, apparently I am too apathetic to animals to love this movie. Cruella De Vil is a memorable villain, but I was not overly interested in any of the exploits on display.

44. Home on the Range (2004) Audiences have largely ignored this picture, and it’s not great, but it is good and worth seeing for Disney fans. The voice work is all well done and the adventure is appealing enough.

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-Walter Tyrone Howard-

The Best Disney Animated Films (23-33)

23. Pocahontas (1995) Viewed as a weaker outing for Disney during their strongest era of feature filmmaking, this film features beautiful animation and music while tackling racism and bigotry in a way that will stick with you.

24. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Not altogether well received, perhaps compared too closely to the director’s previous films, Beauty and the Beast and Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis nevertheless has some great moments of adventure and mystery, and the design of the characters and setting represent the studio at its best. However, the story is a little thin and fails to achieve the scope its story sets up.

25. Dinosaur (2000) Innovative animation bolsters a pretty generic script.

26. The Jungle Book (1967) The last film Walt Disney himself had his hands on before he passed on, it’s fitting that it should be one of the studio’s most beloved pictures. A beautiful combination of music, humor, story, and setting with a great group of characters.

27. Melody Time (1948) Disney’s best compilation film. The shorts are all fantastic.

28. The Aristocats (1970) Rewatching this film, I expected it to lose most of the appeal it had for me when I was a child. I was pleasantly surprised to find it amusing as ever. “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” is a great song and its accompanying animation is perfect.

29. The Rescuers Down Under (1990) Small in scope and mostly forgotten, the world traveling mouse duo’s escapades in Australia are better than the original in my opinion.

30. Oliver and Company (1988) Slight but fun urban take on the famous Dickens’ tale. Billy Joel provides the tuneage to Oliver’s capers.

31. Wreck-It-Ralph (2012) Gorgeous, lively animation to go with a clever exploration of video game existentialism.

32. Alice in Wonderland (1951) As an exercise in style and imagination, this feature is one of Disney’s top efforts but the plotless voyage of Alice is more interesting as prose than a motion picture.

33. Big Hero 6 (2014) Its incredible imagery is let down by a somewhat limited origin story. The relationships between the protagonist and his brother and the protagonist and his robot make up for whatever the plot lacks in surprises.

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-Walter Tyrone Howard-

 

 

The Best Disney Animated Film (12-22)

12. Tangled (2010) The first Disney Princess film done in CGI rather than the traditional hand-drawn animation, this retelling of Rapunzel’s story set the new standard in a lot of ways. Ed Catmull, a big-time exec at Disney said it would be the last Princess movie done by the studio. Well, that didn’t last, and I suspect this film had a lot to do with it.

13. Hercules (1997) Following their success with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, directors John Musker and Ron Clements turned their talent to Roman mythology. Featuring tons of clever jokes and an inspired villain-Hades is more like a malevolent car salesman than your usual run of the mill foe-Hercules is an excellent movie.

14. The Princess and the Frog (2009) A spectacular return to 2-d animation after CGI had become the norm, this Disney Princess tale, the first to star black leads, was not as well received as its predecessors. That’s a shame because it measures up in my opinion, and it stands as one of Disney’s very best visual achievements.

15. Meet the Robinsons (2007) Kind of slipped through the cracks of popular appeal, and critics were mostly indifferent towards it, but Meet the Robinsons cleverly navigates time paradoxes in a way children can understand and adults can still appreciate. It’s also noteworthy for being a rare positive vision of the future that contrasts the dozens of dystopian visions we get in film.

16. Treasure Planet (2002) 2-d animation was on the decline. Whether this film expedited this or fell victim to it I couldn’t say, but the characters are strong and the visuals are impressive.

17. Emperor’s New Groove (2000) Disney’s funniest film. Possibly the funniest animated film period.

18. Fox and the Hound (1981) Sad, nostalgic, beautiful film.

19. Peter Pan (1953) Perfect adaptation of J.M Barrie’s work. Tinker Bell. Captain Hook. Smee. Classic.

20. Frozen (2013) Massive hit that focuses more on the relationship between sisters than on romance with the prince. It’s easy to be swept up in the global phenomenon this film became, whether positively or adversely, but this is one of Disney’s better films period.

21. Cinderella (1950) Saved the studio after it had fallen into a box-office funk, the titular character might be Disney’s most beloved.

22. The Black Cauldron (1985) Very underrated. There’s a lot that doesn’t work or isn’t satisfying, but I love cheesy fantasy films from the 80s. Gurgi is hilarious to me, and John Hurt makes the most out of a pretty basic villain. It’s a shame to think what could have been had they not fired a young Tim Burton from its production.

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-Walter Tyrone Howard-

The Best Disney Animated Films (1-11)

  1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) This may seem an odd choice for the greatest Disney animated film of all time, but it’s the only honest choice for me. Dark, thematic, mature, the story of Quasimodo deals with alienation, sin, hypocrisy, religious darkness, tolerance, all in a span of ninety minutes. The animation is incredible, the music and lyrics are rich, and Victor Hugo’s classic tale is reshaped and rendered powerfully.
  2. Beauty and the Beast (1991) The first animated film to be Oscar-nominated for Best Picture, this retelling of the French fairy tale is perfect. The idea of making the household items characters was a brilliant stroke. The ballroom sequence which used early computer technology to create that sweeping motion is as impressive as ever.
  3. Mulan (1998) Doesn’t get enough credit for its themes of femininity and empowerment, Mulan also happens to be extremely entertaining. Eddie Murphy’s Mushu is a great modern successor of Jiminy Cricket.
  4. Pinocchio (1940) A masterpiece; technically, creatively. Every aspect of its production was carefully crafted by greats. Jiminy Cricket is a good candidate for best Disney character, and the simple, dark story is forever haunting.
  5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) The first ever full-length animated feature, people thought Disney was crazy. The stakes were high, and he and his artists delivered. Almost eighty years later, who hasn’t seen this film?
  6. The Lion King (1994) Powerful, if you’ve ever heard anyone discuss archetypes and Disney, this feature is as great an example as any. It’s Shakespeare. It’s Biblical. The father figure. The son who wants to measure up. Betrayal. It’s all here disguised as a Disney musical. And Uncle Scar is a villain for the ages.
  7. The Little Mermaid (1989) Terrific fun with some of the catchiest music, and an engaging romance. Kicked off the Disney renaissance.
  8. Tarzan (1999) Great storytelling, first-rate, innovative animation, with some great Phil Collins songs.
  9. Zootopia (2016) Time will tell where this film really stands, but for right now, based on my first three viewings, I’d say it’s a bona fide classic. Timely, funny, and inspired, just like all the best Disney features.
  10. Aladdin (1992) Falls short of one of the Disney masterpieces, but it is infinitely watchable. R.I.P Robin Williams.
  11. The Great Mouse Detective (1986) Creepy and intriguing, this rodent Sherlock Holmes caper has some great scenes. The fist-fight inside the shifting gears of Big Ben being chief among them.

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-Walter Tyrone Howard-

100 Greatest Films

  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • 12 Monkeys (1995)
  • The 39 Steps (1935)
  • The Age of Innocence (1993)
  • AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Amadeus (1984)
  • The Apartment (1960)
  • Apocalypse Now Redux (1979)
  • The Bandwagon (1953)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  • Being There (1979)
  • The Best Years of Our lives (1946)
  • The Big Country (1958)
  • Black Narcissus (1947)
  • Castle in the Sky (1986)
  • Charade (1963)
  • Children of Men (2006)
  • Le Corbeau (1943)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  • Django Unchained (2012)
  • Dodsworth (1936)
  • For a Few Dollars More (1965)
  • The Godfather (1972)
  • The Godfather part II (1974)
  • Gosford Park (2001)
  • Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  • The Great Silence (1968)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • Hara-kiri (1962)
  • Howard’s End (1992)
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Inglourious Basterds (2009)
  • It Happened One Night (1934)
  • L.A Confidential (1997)
  • The Lady Vanishes (1938)
  • Lagaan (2001)
  • Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
  • The Long Goodbye (1973)
  • Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • Lost Horizon (1936)
  • The Man from Nowhere (2010)
  • Manon des Sources (1986)
  • The Master (2012)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
  • McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
  • Memories of Murder (2003)
  • Midnight in Paris (2011)
  • Minority Report (2002)
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • My Man Godfrey (1936)
  • Night of the Hunter (1955)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Le Passé (2013)
  • Paths of Glory (1957)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  • Pixote (1980)
  • The Prestige (2006)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
  • Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
  • Ran (1985)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • The Red Shoes (1948)
  • Remains of the Day (1993)
  • Ride the High Country (1962)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Sabrina (1954)
  • Samurai I,II,III (1954-1956)
  • Samurai Rebellion (1967)
  • Sanjuro (1962)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • A Separation (2011)
  • Seven Samurai (1954)
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1951)
  • The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • The Skin I Live In (2011)
  • Spirited Away (2002)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
  • Talk to Her (2002)
  • Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • There Will Be Blood (2007)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • To Live (1994)
  • Top Hat (1935)
  • Total Recall (1990)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010)
  • The Truman Show (1998)
  • Unbreakable (2000)
  • Unforgiven (1992)
  • Wall-E (2008)
  • Warlock (1959)
  • Whiplash (2014)
  • The Wild Bunch (1969)
  • Zootopia (2016)

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-Walter Tyrone Howard-

 

Oscar Nominations 2019- Predictions

Here follows my predictions for tomorrow morning’s Academy Award nominations. This is not in any way, shape, or form what I think should happen, but instead, my shot in the dark at nailing the nominations to a tee:

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Best Picture

BlackKklansmen

Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

Eighth Grade

The Favourite

Green Book

If Beale Street Could Talk

Roma

A Star is Born

Vice

*I’m predicting ten nominations in the Best Picture category this year to compensate for the failure of their Best Popular Film category.

Best Director

Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Debra Granik, Leave No Trace

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Spike Lee, BlackKklansmen

*I could also see Lynne Ramsay getting nominated over somebody.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

John David Washington, BlackKklansmen

Best Actress

Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Toni Colette, Hereditary

Lady Gaga, A Star is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me

*Has anyone seen The Wife? Though I’m sure Glenn Close is fantastic in it.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me

Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actress

Claire Foy, First Man

Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Regina King, If Beale Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

-Walter Tyrone Howard-