Walter Elias Disney, the man who laid the foundation of Walt Disney Studios, has been a part of everyone’s childhood. The splendour and grandeur of Disney Animated movies have successfully awed the generations. Whether it is about talking about humility and kindness or bravery and courage, Disney films continue to inspire everyone who watches them. The movies have a cult following, have garnered millions of dollars and are appreciated by the critics and public alike.
Perhaps the success of Disney movies stems from the lessons they teach—family values, a spirit of togetherness, the triumph of good over evil and some classically melodious songs, weaved together, they make a perfect way to end a day.
However, despite their success, Disney movies have remained more or less synonymous with childhood—a misconception that you need to be a child or be with him/her to enjoy their magic. A quick revisit at these movies will dispel this notion.
With Disney bringing back some of its most beloved movies like The Lion King and Aladdin this year, let us take a look at the most popular Disney movies of all time. So, any evening, after a hectic day in the office, slow down and enthral yourself with these alluring Disney movies.
The movie, released in 2013, is inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, “The Snow Queen.” The story narrates the story of 2 sisters—Elsa, the elder sister who possesses powers to create ice and Anna, her younger sister. When Elsa is to be crowned the queen of Arendelle, her magic accidentally engulfs Arendelle in eternal winter. She leaves the palace to become a hermit and the story follows Anna as she tries to find her sister.
Frozen was noted for its feminist storyline and focused on family love rather than romantic love. Besides, who would not love Olaf, a snowman, who loves warm hugs.
There would not be any individual present who hadn’t wept after watching the tragic scene of Bambi’s mother dying. Sure to go down as one of the most tragic scenes of Disney, the movie was based on Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten. “Man”, a hunter, who is the antagonist. The movie is a tale of survival and narrates the story of Bambi—an innocent deer who grows up to become the Great Prince of the Forest.
Bambi is noted for its simplicity and for its message for the conservation of nature.
The fourth movie of Disney’s renaissance, Aladdin became the highest grossing film of 1992. The movie was based in Agrabah—a fictional city near river Jordan. It narrates the adventures of Aladdin, a street urchin who finds a magic lamp and a genie who grants three wishes. The movie developed a cult following and became the entertainer not just for kids but for the entire family. The performance of Genie—voiced by Robin Williams became very popular and it marked the start of the transition of celebrities voicing the characters rather than trained voice artists.
One of the original Disney princesses, Cinderella has the credit of being the most loved princesses of all time. The movie was released in 2015 and it continues to influence and inspire awe in generations coming after. When Cinderella’s cruel stepmother forbids her from attending the ball, a fairy godmother helps her who transforms a pumpkin into a carriage and mice into horses.
Although the movie has faced backlash for its portrayal of female characters, the old folklore has inspired adaptations and has become one of the most culturally significant movies of all time.
The movie was released in 1940, three years after the massive success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Based on the Italian children’s novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, the story follows a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. He is told that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish. The movie was groundbreaking in terms of effects animation, becoming the first animated movie to win an Academy Award. The song “When you wish upon a star”, has become the representative song of Walt Disney Company.
· Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast will forever be a never seen before movie interpretation of a fairy tale. Belle is not a damsel in distress, she values books over anything else—she is beautiful but is least concerned about it. Belle is courageous and kind. Her love with the beast progresses naturally, not overnight. She writes her own story and is a welcome change from Cinderella and Princess Aurora who are silent victims. Rather than changing herself, she transforms the beast into a human being, thus becoming one of the earliest Disney role models that young girls aspired to be.
· The Lion King
Unarguably, the most beloved of Disney films, The Lion King is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Lion King is the third highest-grossing film of Walt Disney Animation Studios and, “Can you feel the love tonight” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song along with the Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance.
The story is told through the eyes of Simba, a young lion cub who will succeed his father, to become the king of the Pride Lands. His father is killed by his jealous uncle, Scar and the movie narrates how Simba avenges his father’s death and completes the circle of life by becoming the king of Pride Lands.
The movie resulted in a Broadway musical but the charm of the old tale takes a person back to watch the Lion King repeatedly.