Walt Disney Animation Studios Ranking #60-#51
Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Welcome to a new series that has been months in the making! On November 23rd, just five weeks away, Walt Disney Animation Studios will release their 61st film: Strange World. I’ve always held a special interest in the Disney Animated canon, so over the summer I rewatched all 60 films to compile my ULTIMATE WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS RANKING, to be released in installments leading up to Strange World’s release.
I am really excited to share this with you all!
Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown, starting with the movies I’ve ranked #60-51!
60. Dinosaur (2000)
There are a few reasons that awarded Dinosaur the bottom spot in this ranking. First, of all, I just hate looking at it. I hate the color palette, or lack thereof. The animation and character design is not pleasant to the eye. Also, I don’t think the story is good. It’s either too dark (thematically and lighting-wise) or boring. I could barely hold my attention while watching it. I was glad when it ended.
59. Make Mine Music (1946)
Make Mine Music is a 10-segment package film, and is the only film of the Walt Disney Animation Studios canon that is not available on Disney Plus, and in my opinion, the modern audience is not missing anything. Most of the segments are either boring or at least a little bit offensive. The one I like the most is "Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet," the rest I could take or leave. I can appreciate the classic animation, though.
58. Melody Time (1948)
Melody Time is another package film set up like Make Mine Music. Unlike Make Mine Music, where I had a slight-to-significant dislike of many of the segments, I found most of Melody Time to be pretty forgettable, until the last two. I enjoyed the penultimate segment, “Blame it on the Samba,” which featured characters from Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, and I didn’t like the final segment, “Pecos Bill.”
57. Chicken Little (2005)
I think Chicken Little misses the mark in a few ways. First, for one of Disney’s first big computer generated animated movies, it’s not very aesthetically pleasing to look at. Also, the writing style is so mean. Finally, while this is in Disney’s era of trying wacky movie concepts, the pacing is so weird that the emotional beats that the audience is supposed to feel don’t land. At least the package films are pretty to look at. I do like the song “One Little Slip,” though, and I appreciate the mental exercise of trying to figure out what works and does not work in this movie.
56. The Three Caballeros (1945)
In the beginning of the package film era, Disney produced two package films based on Latin American culture. The Three Caballeros the best-remembered of the two, yet it isn’t even close to being the best. It feels very detached from the real-world culture it’s supposed to represent, and half of it is Donald Duck chasing after live-action women, which gets boring and uncomfortable after a while.
55. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
This one wasn’t to my taste. The story is pretty sad and dark, and setting it against the backdrop of hunting does not help. My favorite part was when Widow Tweed yells at Amos Slade. I laughed at that scene. Overall, though, the movie is not for me.
54. The Sword in the Stone (1963)
This one really didn’t do much for me. Merlin is insisting that he give Arthur an education because education is the most important thing (not untrue), yet Merlin’s lessons all involve…turning into different animals? I don’t think Merlin teaches Arthur anything useful, and the big moment of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone is an accident, totally disconnected with anything else that had happened in the movie thus far. In fact, at that point, Merlin had left Arthur when he strayed from the path Merlin wanted him on! And then Merlin returns when Arthur becomes king, and then the movie’s over? Not much here adds up. At least Madame Mim is fun.
53. Home on the Range (2004)
I wasn’t expecting to like this movie, even a little bit. It’s pretty silly, and I don’t care much for the farm aesthetic. However, I was surprised by how many of the jokes made me chuckle (in spite of the jokes that didn’t work). I think I like that it’s comfortable in its own stupidity, as opposed to The Sword in the Stone, which pretends to be smart.
52. The Black Cauldron (1985)
The Black Cauldron is dark, like its predecessor The Fox and the Hound, but I’m more accepting of darkness in the fantasy genre. The aesthetics reminded me of Sleeping Beauty, but not as good (The Horned King wishes he could be as cool as Maleficent). The story wasn’t terribly exciting, but I did find myself laughing at a handful of scenes. I also thought Gurgi was cute.
51. Pocahontas (1995)
I like the song “Just Around the Riverbend,” but not much else. Maybe I went into this movie with a cynical mindset, but much of it felt overly dramatic and uncomfortable.
Check back next week for the next installment of this series!