Top Ten Disney Films from 1990 to the Present

By: Emily Kellas

With the re-release of The Lion King in theaters using the 3D format, it got us here at Reel 2 Reality thinking about the best Disney films from our childhood to the present. As a child of the 90’s I’m fairly partial to those films that bring me back to my living room floor, a sippy cup, and a baggie of pretzels. With that said, some new films make the list for reminding me that you are never to old to be a kid! So check out my list of the Top Ten Disney Films from 1990 to the present day… I dare you not sing along to at least one song!

10. Tangled (2010)

The newest to the Disney family Princess Rupenzel will quickly become a classic.  Tangled is a truly funny and well done film that takes the fairytale format and brings it into the modern day. Rumored to be the last film shot in the classic Disney animation style the medium certainly goes out with a bang. Not to mention that leading man, Flynn Rider, is really good looking… is that weird to say about an animated character? Perhaps, but all my girls out there, you can’t disagree!

9. Up! (2009)

The previews left much to the imagination, but the film blew everyone away. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more and then cried like a small child again. The characters are odd and endearing, the plot just as strange, but everything comes together in a truly breathtaking film. Up! gives so many the hope that their dreams can come true no matter your age.  The film helps me to believe it’s never to late for me to get that pony I whined for every year as a child!

8. Wall-E (2008)

Any movie that can make a robot so lovable and full of emotion with such a limited vocabulary deserves a place on this list. Wall-E was able to do something that I wasn’t sure any movie would be able to do… make the love between two machines possible, and very real. This view of the future although not the most positive, leaves room for a lot of hope!



7. Mulan (1998)

This woman kicked major butt! I am all for films that show strong opinionated women who mean business, therefore Mulan has my respect. Not only is Mulan a wonderful role model for little girls, but she also shows what women can accomplish if they work hard, and are fearless. Not to mention the fun musical numbers, and the representation of the Chinese culture finally highlighted in a Disney film.

6. Pocahontas (1995)

Another strong leading lady, Pocahontas, although completely historically inaccurate, is a compelling love story. For a film that many believed would leave children bored and disappointed, it managed to really leave an impression on those of us who grew up in that era of Disney films. While the film is fantastic, the music is what sustains it. No matter what, every time I get in a canoe I belt out “Just Around the River Bend,” although I restrain myself from paddling over a waterfall.


5. Finding Nemo (2003)

This little fish with a gimpy fin forever changed the worlds of Disney and Pixar, and truly rang in an entirely new era in animated film. After a few big flops, the Disney corporation in conjunction Pixar came back in a huge way with Finding Nemo that became a smash hit. A tale of true love between a parent and their child, this endearing film about the wonders found under the sea is both clever, and inspiring. Who knew that all it would take to bring a multi-billion dollar corporation back from the brink was a little orange clown fish?



4. Aladdin (1992)

The film that brought us “A Whole New World” has quickly become a favorite among both men and women. The story of a young man with big dreams gives audience’s young and old the opportunity to consider what three wishes they would make. With a quirky cast of characters, the strangest looking villian, and a wise cracking genie, the Middle East comes alive, the Disney way!


3. Toy Story (1995)

A historical moment for both the Disney and Pixar corporations heralded in a new era of animation. Every kid had that one toy they believed was somehow alive; Toy Story brings that desire to life. Woody and Buzz show the power of friendship and loyalty to kids of all ages. Not to mention Toy Story reminded us to take good care of our toys, because if we don’t… well just ask Sid what happens.


2. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast wowed audiences with it’s sophisticated story, stunning visual techniques, and wondrous musical numbers. The film won two academy awards, and was nominated for the greatest honor, Best Picture. A picture of animated perfection this film showed the world that cartoons are not just relegated to the Saturday morning crowds. Not to mention it helped women everywhere realize that maybe their boyfriends/husbands chest hair wasn’t all that bad!


1. The Lion King (1994)

The title says it all, it is “the king” of all Disney films. The Lion King is considered by many, this reviewer included, as the quintessential Disney film. It has all of the magical elements necessary to connect with audiences young and old.  Based loosely on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Lion King is a heart warming story about the love of a family, and that not even the circle of life can erase that love. Spawning one of the most successful broadway plays in history, the original animated film has gone on to inspire generations of film makers, and animators. For those reasons, and so many more I name The Lion King as the number one Disney film made since 1990… a true honor!


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