Me and my sisters recently bought every single film from the Walt Disney Animated Classics canon. I have been working my way through them, and have given small reviews on the ones I have watched in a Word document. I've got about half way through so far. I was gonna post the full document in one go when I had finished them all, but I won't be finished for a while, so I'm gonna do it in parts instead.
Firstly, I need to establish some things. I've given the films an overall score, and then individual scores on plot, characters, soundtrack and comedy, as well as a small comment to accompany them. All scores are out of 10. The scores correlate as follows:
10 - Absolutely phenomenal.
9 - Amazing.
8 - Really good
7 - Good.
6 - Average.
5 - Meh.
4 - Bad.
3 - Really bad.
2 - Terrible.
1 - Painfully awful.
Just to be clear, a score of 10 does NOT necessarily mean flawless, but closer to a 10 than a 9. I have considered the age of the film in my overall scores. Only films from the official Walt Disney Animated Classics canon will be in this review. No live action, Pixar, or films like A Goofy Movie will be reviewed here. If a WDAS film isn't in this blog, then it means that I haven't watched it yet. The films are reviewed in chronological order, and I have given my personal ranking of them at the bottom of the list. For non-musicals, I have given a score of NA (not applicable) in the soundtrack section.
Finally, before I actually show you my reviews, I must make thing one thing absolutely clear: This is MY opinion. Don't get mad if I gave your favourite film a lower score than you'd have expected. Just because I think one film is good/bad, doesn't mean you have to agree. I'm not intending to upset anyone with these reviews. If I don't mention any flaws with a film, this doesn't mean that I think the film is flawless (no Disney film is flawless btw). If you have any feedback, feel free to leave a comment. Anyway, lets get into the reviews.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (5/10)
- Plot (3/10) – Pretty dull and predictable.
- Characters (6/10) – Dwarfs were fun. All of the others were pretty boring.
- Soundtrack (5/10) – Dwarfs’ songs were acceptable. Snow White’s voice was quite irritating.
- Comedy (4/10) – Dwarfs had some funny moments. That was it really.
- I gave +2 overall score because it was the first one. Despite the fact that it was really quite dull, it is largely possible that many other Disney classics may not have happened if it weren’t for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Plot (5/10) – Good enough to keep me engaged, but still not all that exciting.
- Characters (7/10) – Entertaining and likeable, although sometimes a bit contradictory.
- Soundtrack (6/10) – “When You Wish Upon A Star” has become the anthem of Disney and that must be appreciated. Some were quite catchy albeit annoying at times.
- Comedy (7/10) – All characters had some funny moments.
- +2 overall score awarded for the age of the film and the fact that “When You Wish Upon A Star” has become an iconic Disney song. Overall a decent film.
- Plot (7/10) – Interesting overall. Occasionally got a little dull or weird.
- Characters (7/10) – Some pretty good characters. Dumbo was very sweet.
- Soundtrack (4/10) – “When I See an Elephant Fly” was nice and catchy. The others weren’t great.
- Comedy (6/10) – Some funny moments e.g. the clowns.
- +1 score given for the age of the film. Overall a nice film with some very strange moments, but also some heart warming ones.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (6/10)
- Plot (5/10) – Fairly simple yet enjoyable plot. Did get dull at points.
- Characters (7/10) – The Dalmatians were pretty good. Cruella was a decent villain, although quite undeveloped. Roger and Anita didn’t get enough screen time, but still had good moments. Nanny, Horace and Jasper were also decent characters.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical, but “Cruella De Vil” was catchy.
- Comedy (4/10) – Not many funny moments. Horace and Jasper were quite entertaining.
- Despite its dull moments, this film is still one that I could enjoy. On the whole a decent film.
The Jungle Book (6/10)
- Plot (2/10) – Really odd one to judge as there is hardly a plot to begin with. Seemed more like a collection of random scenes thrown together.
- Characters (7/10) – Some of them were very underdeveloped, but on the whole quite likeable. Shere Khan, despite his lack of screen time, was a good villain.
- Soundtrack (8/10) – Without a doubt this film’s strongest point. Some very catchy and enjoyable songs.
- Comedy (5/10) – Some funny moments, but not many.
- Overall, I struggle to see why this film is considered such a classic. Whilst it has catchy songs and good characters, there is barely a plot. I feel like this is one of the best cases of nostalgia blinding people’s opinions.
The Great Mouse Detective (9/10)
- Plot (9/10) – Really interesting plot, although I think some of the scenes were a bit overdone.
- Characters (8/10) – Ratigan was a brilliant villain. Basil was interesting, but quite weird and sometimes a bit rude. Olivia was really sweet.
- Soundtrack (6/10) – “World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” was great. “Let Me Be Good to You” was a very weird scene. Not enough songs to give a higher score.
- Comedy (5/10) – Ratigan was entertaining and charismatic. Basil was sometimes funny in a weird way. Overall there wasn’t much comedy.
- A really underrated story. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy a Sherlock Holmes style Disney film, but it was excellent.
The Little Mermaid (7/10)
- Plot (6/10) – A relatively simple plot which followed some classic ideas which have since become quite cliché.
- Characters (5/10) – A real mixed bag here. I found Ariel to be quite dumb and reckless, and Eric was just a typical, bland good guy. On the other hand, I thought Ursula was a very good villain – one of Disney’s best in fact. Sebastian and Flounder also provided some good moments.
- Soundtrack (8/10) – “Under the Sea” is without a doubt my favourite song from this film. “Part of Your World”, “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Kiss the Girl” were also pretty good songs too. Overall, the film’s soundtrack was a definite strong point.
- Comedy (7/10) – Sebastian was very entertaining. I thought that Ursula provided some witty lines as well. I would’ve liked to have seen more comical moments coming from the main characters.
- It's good, but definitely vastly overrated. However, I must appreciate that this was the film that signalled the beginning of the Disney renaissance era.
Beauty and the Beast (9/10)
- Plot (9/10) – Really nice and moving plot with some great individual scenes as well.
- Characters (8/10) – Characters were also very well done. Belle is one of the most likeable characters in Disney history, and you can really feel Beast’s struggle throughout the film. Only big negative was that I felt that Gaston was a bit of a weak villain.
- Soundtrack (8/10) – Really nice soundtrack. “Belle” was a very good opening song which gave us a good introduction to Belle and Gaston. “Beauty and the Beast” was a beautiful song which has rightly gone down as a classic. “Human Again” was the only weak song in an otherwise good soundtrack.
- Comedy (8/10) – Gaston and Lefou’s interactions were entertaining, and the dialogue between Lumiere and Cogsworth was also funny. However, I’d like to see the main characters provide more comedy themselves, but this may not have been easy.
- A really great film with moments that made me laugh and cry. Probably Disney’s best film that centres around romantic love. Only real negative to this was the “love will break the spell” cliché.
- Plot (9/10) – A very interesting and unpredictable plot.
- Characters (10/10) – Some of the best characters in any Disney film. Aladdin and Jasmine both suffered understandable struggles, Genie and Iago were hilarious, and Jafar was an excellent villain.
- Soundtrack (9/10) – Another serious strength. “Prince Ali” was definitely my favourite. Funnily enough, my least favourite song from the film was “A Whole New World”. A few too many reprises, though.
- Comedy (9/10) – As mentioned above, Genie and Iago were very funny. All of the characters provided some funny moments.
- Easy to see why this one went down as a classic. This film has barely any weaknesses.
The Lion King (9/10)
- Plot (9/10) – Really exciting plot, although the parts between Mufasa’s death and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" are dull.
- Characters (10/10) – Near perfect. Scar is a simply brilliant villain. Only real weakness was that Simba was quite bratty and annoying at the start of the film.
- Soundtrack (9/10) – Really good. “Be Prepared” is my favourite villain’s song. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was also good, although I prefer Elton John’s version.
- Comedy (8/10) – Some really funny moments, although it sometimes seemed a little out of place. Pumbaa, Timon, Zazu and Rafiki were all very funny. Scar also provided some entertaining moments. However, fart jokes…really Disney?
- On the whole this is a truly brilliant film that would've been perfect if it weren't for a dull 20 minute period in the middle. Nonetheless, the “remember who you are” scene is probably the best scene in any Disney film. A certain classic.
- Plot (7/10) – An interesting plot with a nice dark theme. However, despite some tense scenes, it got dull at points. Also, the ending had me rolling my eyes.
- Characters (5/10) – Pocahontas was interesting but a little weird. John Smith was also a decent character. Most of the other characters were quite dull and Ratcliffe was a fairly average villain. The talking tree was simply ridiculous.
- Soundtrack (7/10) – No denying that some of the songs were good, but there were none that really stood out for me.
- Comedy (6/10) – Flit, Meeko and Percy all provided some laughs, but this was often some slapstick humour which seemed like it was only there to fill space. Sometimes ruined the tense moments of the film.
- Had potential to be a classic, but certain things let it down. I didn’t like the animation, the romance between Pocahontas and John Smith was a Romeo and Juliet type cliché, and the moral behind the story becomes fairly obvious when you have characters who would literally say stuff like “they’re not like us so let’s kill them”. However, there were some very tense scenes throughout, and the opening scene was very good.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (9/10)
- Plot (9/10) – Really interesting and dark.
- Characters (9/10) – Frollo is the best Disney villain there is. Quasimodo was a very good character. Esmeralda is one of the best female characters that Disney has made. Overall some excellent characters.
- Soundtrack (8/10) – “Hellfire” and “The Bells of Notre Dame” were brilliant. Most of the others were also good.
- Comedy (5/10) – This movie’s main drawback. The Gargoyles were the main source of comedy during the film. Whilst they got better as the film progressed, I found them to be quite annoying and they really upset the tone of the film.
- A wonderfully dark film that deserved better. Frollo was simply brilliant and his motivation of God’s will was unique and interesting.
- Plot (4/10) – The plot to this film was really quite dull.
- Characters (7/10) – I liked Meg and Hades. Hercules wasn’t very interesting. Phil and the Muses were alright.
- Soundtrack (9/10) – Definitely the best thing about this film. The Muses had some good songs. “Go the Distance” and “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” were excellent.
- Comedy (8/10) – Funny film. Hades is definitely one of Disney’s funniest villains. Pain and Panic were also funny. Meg and Phil also provided some laughs.
- A pretty dull film brought up by comedy and music. Not terrible, but certainly overrated.
- Plot (9/10) – Really good, different plot. A slightly dark theme of war and a good message that didn’t feel forced or preachy. The romance between Mulan and Shang seemed a little out of nowhere.
- Characters (8/10) – Most of the characters brought something good to the film. Shan Yu, although scary, was a bit of a disappointing villain
- Soundtrack (8/10) – “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is one of my favourite Disney songs. “Reflection” was also good. The other two were acceptable.
- Comedy (9/10) – Really funny. Mulan pretending to be a man in the camp was hilarious. Mushu was really funny. Yao, Ling, Chien Po and Grandmother Fa also had some funny lines. Comedy was sometimes a little out of place, however.
- Great film. Had some really good scenes which stood out, yet was still interesting throughout.
- Plot (7/10) – Interesting and sometimes very moving. However, sometimes felt a little messy and thin.
- Characters (7/10) – I really liked Tarzan and his relationships with Kala and Jane, who were also both good characters. Clayton was a very weak villain. The other characters seemed a little pointless.
- Soundtrack (10/10) – Best Disney soundtrack ever. All of the songs in here were great.
- Comedy (6/10) – Terk and Tantor were quite funny, and Tarzan and Jane’s first interactions provided some laughs.
- On the whole an enjoyable film. Not perfect, but some memorable moments and a few scenes that made me cry.
The Emperor’s New Groove (9/10)
- Plot (6/10) – An odd one as this film didn’t really take itself very seriously. Even then, still had some nice moments.
- Characters (10/10) – There is not a single bad character in this film. They’re all just great.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical so I can’t judge here, but the opening song “Perfect World” was catchy.
- Comedy (10/10) – Without a doubt the funniest Disney film ever made.
- A really non-traditional Disney film that I ended up enjoying much more than I expected.
Lilo & Stitch (6/10)
- Plot (6/10) – Very weird plot. First few minutes bored me. Some really nice heartfelt moments which were soon spoiled by some ridiculous scenes.
- Characters (7/10) – Main characters were good, and the relationship between Lilo and Nani was nice. The other alien characters were quite annoying.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical, but included some of Elvis songs. Sometimes this worked; sometimes it felt out of place.
- Comedy (8/10) – Lilo and Stitch were funny characters. Jumba and Pleakley seemed like they were supposed to be funny, but ended up quite annoying.
- Could’ve been a really emotional, heart warming film. Unfortunately, the emotional element got somewhat destroyed by the ridiculous alien scenes. I think they should’ve focussed more on the relationship between Lilo and Nani. Overall a very strange film.
Treasure Planet (7/10)
- Plot (7/10) – A weird mix between a sci-fi adventure film and a heart warming story. This sometimes worked but was sometimes a bit confusing. Tone of the film was odd.
- Characters (5/10) – I really liked Jim and related to him well. Wasn’t sure what to make of Silver. Most other characters were alright but forgettable. Jim’s relationship with his mother was really nice and I wish we had seen more of it.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical, but “I’m Still Here” was a good song.
- Comedy (4/10) – Serious negative. Ben and Morph had some funny moments but that was about it. Massive overuse of fart jokes.
- Not a brilliant film, but one that I could watch again. Had some really heartfelt moments that made me tear up, but there were some obvious negatives too. Certainly deserved a better box office performance.
Chicken Little (2/10)
- Plot (2/10) – Just ridiculous. The whole thing was an absolute mess.
- Characters (1/10) – I can barely remember anyone’s names from this film. The characters were poor. Special mention to Buck Cluck who is probably the worst “good guy” that Disney has ever made.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Wasn’t a musical, but used some existing songs. The inclusion of these songs felt a bit weird and out of place.
- Comedy (5/10) – To be honest, this film still had the occasional funny moment.
- Overall a genuinely awful film. The CGI animation was horrible too.
The Princess and the Frog (7/10)
- Plot (6/10) – Not bad, but quite predictable.
- Characters (8/10) – Tiana was a very good and relatable character. Dr Facilier is one of my favourite villains as he had so much charm and charisma. The rest of the characters were decent.
- Soundtrack (8/10) – “Almost There” and “Friends on the Other Side” were great. None of the songs in this film were bad. Overall a strong soundtrack.
- Comedy (7/10) – Naveen, Louis and Ray had some funny moments.
- An enjoyable but predictable film. Certainly deserved a better box office performance though.
- Plot (9/10) – Really interesting and moving.
- Characters (10/10) – Rapunzel was very likeable. Flynn is probably my favourite Disney prince (if that’s a thing). Mother Gothel was also a very good villain. Rapunzel and Flynn are, in my opinion, the best Disney couple.
- Soundtrack (8/10) – Some very good songs. The whole “I See the Light” lantern scene is one of my favourite Disney scenes – it really is beautiful.
- Comedy (10/10) – All of the characters in this film provide some comedy which was nice to see.
- A wonderful film that I hope will not be forgotten in years to come.
Wreck-It Ralph (8/10)
- Plot (8/10) – One that surprised me. I expected the plot to be a kind of Toy Story rip off, but it really wasn’t. Some moments left me crying.
- Characters (9/10) – The best thing about this film. Ralph and Vanellope were interesting and relatable.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical. The inclusion of “Shut Up and Drive” was alright.
- Comedy (7/10) – Some funny moments, but sometimes felt quite childish.
- A film that really surprised me. Made me cry more than most Disney films too.
- Plot (10/10) – An incredibly moving plot which had a bit of everything.
- Characters (9/10) – The characters were excellently done. You could really feel the emotions along with Anna and Elsa. Olaf got the right amount of screen time to be funny and not annoying. Hans, whilst not the best villain, was certainly interesting and manipulative, although I would’ve liked to have seen more of his back story.
- Soundtrack (10/10) – Almost perfect. “Fixer Upper” and “In Summer” were the only ones I didn’t love, but they were still alright.
- Comedy (9/10) – Really funny. The dialogue between Anna and Kristoff is certainly entertaining. Olaf and Sven were also very funny without interrupting tense scenes.
- My favourite Disney film. The sheer range of emotions that I experience whilst watching this film blows me away. The whole “Let It Go” sequence is beautifully animated and you can really feel Elsa’s happiness as she can finally be free. Also really liked how this film looked at the “love will break the spell” cliché from a new angle.
Big Hero 6 (10/10)
- Plot (10/10) – A brilliant plot which wonderfully portrays Hiro’s and Callaghan’s reactions to losing a close family member.
- Characters (9/10) – Hiro, Baymax and Callaghan were very well done characters. The others could’ve been better but were still good enough.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical, but Fall Out Boy’s “Immortals” was simply excellent.
- Comedy (9/10) – Baymax is hilarious. Fred, Wasabi and Aunt Cass also provide some very funny moments.
- One of my favourites. Often harshly dismissed as a “dumb superhero movie”, but it’s genuinely so much more than that. Hiro’s breakdown and Baymax’s sacrifice had me weeping like a little girl. Also had a villain with a very understandable and unique motivation.
- Plot (9/10) – A really interesting and unique plot. Takes a while to get going but gets very good.
- Characters (9/10) – Several characters which provided a lot of different elements to the film. Nick and Judy were excellently done characters. Only real weakness was that Bellwether was a really weak villain.
- Soundtrack (NA) – Not a musical. Shakira’s “Try Everything” wasn’t my favourite to be honest.
- Comedy (9/10) – All of the characters in this film seemed to provide funny moments. Comedy occasionally interrupted serious scenes.
- A very good film that was prevented from being perfect by a couple of things: the political message behind it was way too obvious and made the film seem very preachy, and the villain twist at the end of the film wasn’t that much of a shock.
- Plot (6/10) – A very simple plot. Beginning and middle were interesting enough to keep me interested, but the ending felt very anti-climactic. Quite generic.
- Characters (7/10) – I really liked Moana, Maui and Gramma Tala, although we’ve seen them before. However, I found the people on the island to be quite stupid, and Hei Hei and Pua were just pointless. Didn’t really like the whole “the ocean is a character” thing.
- Soundtrack (10/10) – One of the best Disney soundtracks. “You’re Welcome” is my favourite Disney song, and “How Far I’ll Go” and “Where You Are” are also both excellent. Even “Shiny” is decent.
- Comedy (7/10) – Some funny moments from Moana and Maui. However, Hei Hei was more annoying than funny.
- Unfortunately, I believed the hype around this film and was left disappointed. Not a bad film by any means, but certainly not one of my favourites.
2) Big Hero 6
4) The Lion King
6) The Hunchback of Notre Dame
8) The Great Mouse Detective
9) Beauty and the Beast
10) The Emperor’s New Groove
11) Wreck-It Ralph
16) The Princess and the Frog
18) The Little Mermaid
19) Treasure Planet
21) Lilo and Stitch
23) The Jungle Book
24) One Hundred and One Dalmatians
25) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
26) Chicken Little
So there you have it. That is my reviews of every WDAS film I've watched so far. Yes, I cry at Disney films. Judge me. I must emphasise that this is MY opinion. Don't get upset that I said Frozen was better than Lion King, or that I said The Little Mermaid was overrated. Hope you enjoyed :)
NB: After previewing this blog, I realise that the layout is a bit off. I've tried to fix it, but I really don't think there's much I can do about it.