30 December 2012

The Disney 52 Ranked

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Twelve months ago I embarked on an endeavor of absolutely ridiculous proportions, an enormous undertaking for a man of my committed leisure, in an effort to both deepen my knowledge of a specific cinematic canon and force myself to write more consistently. Over the course of 2012, this Disney Daze project became many things to me. At times it was a blast, occasionally it became a chore, and once or twice it was a genuine surprise, but the project remained steadfastly worthwhile throughout. I finally got to watch a few great films that I had heard such wonderful things about (Lilo & Stitch) and I unearthed a few unexpected gems (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Indeed there were long stretches of dreck but I learned to seek out the brief and subtle moments of inspiration tucked away in otherwise abysmal creations.

I am gratified to know that I can sustain enthusiasm for such a long term, relatively mammoth project. I typed out well over 50,000 words this year analyzing roughly three straight days of cartoons and that has to count for something. I'm still not quite sure what, but something dang it! Lately I've been toying with the idea of editing, expanding, and rewriting these posts and maybe turning it into a cheap Kindle book or something. That is a project for a fresh-faced new year. In the meantime, I present the fifty-two theatrically-released Disney animated features in order of their quality.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2. Dumbo
3. Sleeping Beauty
4. Pinocchio
5. Bambi
6. Lady and the Tramp
7. Fantasia
8. Alice in Wonderland
9. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
10. Lilo & Stitch

11. The Little Mermaid
12. Peter Pan
13. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
14. The Jungle Book
15. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
16. Make Mine Music
17. The Princess and the Frog
18. Beauty and the Beast
19. Wreck-It Ralph
20. The Aristocats

21. Winnie the Pooh
22. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
23. The Black Cauldron
24. Robin Hood
25. Tangled
26. Cinderella
27. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
28. Aladdin
29. The Lion King
30. Fantasia 2000

31. Saludos Amigos
32. Treasure Planet
33. Bolt
34. Tarzan
35. The Sword in the Stone
36. Mulan
37. Brother Bear
38. Pocahontas
39. The Fox and the Hound
40. Melody Time

41. The Great Mouse Detective
42. The Rescuers Down Under
43. Fun and Fancy Free
44. Meet the Robinsons
45. The Three Caballeros
46. Home on the Range
47. Dinosaur
48. The Rescuers
49. The Emperor's New Groove
50. Oliver & Company
51. Hercules
52. Chicken Little


  1. Great work, it was a lot of fun to read.

    My own Disney Top Ten:

    1. Fantasia
    2. Sleeping Beauty
    3. Bambi
    4. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    5. Pinocchio
    6. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    7. Alice in Wonderland
    8. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
    9. Dumbo
    10. Lady and the Tramp

    1. Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

      And nice list yourself, sir. You should definitely give some of the great later features a shot when the kids are a little older.

  2. Also, did I miss why you didn't count Song of the South?

    1. Song of the South is conveniently exempt from the official tally because it contains too much live action to be considered an animated feature. The closest the 52 comes is in Fun and Fancy Free with its abominable appearance of Edgar Bergen. Another film that is disqualified for its abundance of live action is The Reluctant Dragon.