The title of this post might be slightly confusing. I do not mean the best animated Disney movies. I mean the ones that are the best drawn. I was originally going to only have five in the list, but I decided to expand to ten. Here are my top ten.
Tied for #1: ‘Jungle Book’ and ‘Bambi’
In my opinion, CGI can never replace the old way of hand drawing. The “April Showers” scene is, in my opinion, the best-animated scene of all the Disney movies. Disney was also, back when they drew their cartoons, the best at animating animals. The whole scenery mixes wonderfully with the animals to paint a great portrait of a forest.
Yet again, the animals are painted in vibrant colors, as is the background. The jungle in this movie is full of ferns, trees, and other jungle foliage. The background during the whole movie is full of rivers, ruins, and animals to make it tied for the best animation in a Disney movie.
#2. ‘ Alice in Wonderland’
Yet another classic hand-drawn movie. This movie has several scenes which are animated wonderfully. The first one that comes to mind is the Tulgey Woods. The Tulgey Woods is a strange forest with paths going in all directions, signs made to get you lost, and a cat that is absolutely no help at all. The other scene that comes to mind is the flower scene. In this scene, a shrunken Alice finds herself in a garden full of multi-colored singing flowers and gets run out when they think she’s a weed.
#3. ‘Peter Pan’
This movie also has some scenes that were animated really well. The most obvious is when Peter Pan and the Darlings fly over London and end up landing on top of Big Ben’s hands. Neverland is a very Hawaii-like place, full of greenery and lagoons. It is also surrounded by ocean, making it a favorite vacation destination for children who refuse to grow up.
‘Up’ is the only Pixar movie on the list and one of the only two full CGI movies. The most wonderfully animated scene in this movie is the part where Mr. Fredrickson releases the balloons and flies to South America. The jungle which they trudge through to get to Paradise Falls is also like a CGI version of ‘Jungle Book.’
#5. ‘101 Dalmations’
While not full of bright colored scenery like the others, this is on the list for two reasons: being the start of my favorite era of character animation and being one of my first impresions of London. We recently visited London (which my mom and dad have done many great posts about, check them out!) and noticed many streets that reminded us of this movie. It is also amazing how the animators could have animated all the puppies moving at one time.
This is a lame movie in all but one way: animation. Fantasia was famous at the time for its bright colored scenes themed to classical music. This does still not make up for its lack of any storyline and narration by that random creepy dude.
While this does use CGI, one cannot forget the lantern scene in this movie. Other than that scene, the whole movie is animated very well.
#8. ‘Beauty and the Beast’
This movie is here by request of my dad (who saw it in the theater.) The scene with the wolves, the castle, and of course Gaston’s Tavern are some of the well animated scenes. The scene that stood out the most to my dad however, was the ballroom scene. I had forgotten completely about that; so I used the amazing tool that is YouTube. The scene is very well animated and looks convincingly 3D. This convinced me that this movie deserves a place on this list.
#9. ‘Winnie the Pooh’
This movie is one of my all time favorites. There is no particularly well animated scene, but the whole movie is animated wonderfully. The Disney animators truly made the Hundred-Acre-Woods and its inhabitants come to life.
Tied for #10: ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and ‘Aladdin’
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ is an obvious choice, as it is the first Disney full-length feature film. The forest, the cottage, and of course the animals are all animated wonderfully.
While most of this movie is CGI, I couldn’t help but have it on this list for one specific scene. The chase through the city is all animated perfectly, with Aladdin running through streets and houses and jumping out of windows. That scene convinced me to give it the final place on the list.
These are the best (In my opinion) animated movies. Next time you watch them, look out for the things I have mentioned. There are many other movies that are animated really well, but these are the best.