So, during lockdown, I’ve decided to take advantage of the vast amount of original titles available on Disney + by taking a chronological journey through Disney’s films.
Yesterday, I talked about my top 5 Disney movies of the 1940’s. You can take a look at this post here.
Interestingly, although the majority of Disney and RKO films in the 50’s were either live-action or blended, the best from the 50’s are all animated. Let’s take a look:
5. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Sleeping Beauty is a pretty dark film. That isn’t surprising considering it’s based on a medieval fairy-tale, which are notorious for sparking the fear of gd into its young readers. Maleficent is a terrifying and brilliant antagonist, a character who absolutely deserved their own spin-offs – even if it took 50+ years to get them.
4. Cinderella (1950)
Cinderella is great; it’s visually stunning, the characters are fully realised, this film essentially encapsulates the “magic” that Disney is about, but the overall “message” of the film just doesn’t resonate as healthily as it should today. It’s pretty passive, and it essentially says that if you keep your head down and work hard, then Mr Right will come along and save you. It comes across more of a dated rom-com concept rather than a fantastical fairy-tale.
3. Peter Pan (1953)
Peter Pan has had some fantastic adaptations over the years, from animation to live-action, even to a pretty stellar Audible original audiobook. Do I think that this film is the best, simply because it was the first? No. Hook took this film, subverted it and will always overshadow this film for me, unfortunately. It’s not all bad though. It’s original, it’s magical and it’s incredibly impressive, especially when you consider it’s from 1953.
2. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
This film is just so sweet and wholesome, and actually helped me get over my childhood fear of dogs. Bearing in mind, I was only 4 or 5 at this time. The research and effort that went into characterizing different types of dogs really makes this film. And the scene pictured above is potentially one of the most iconic film scenes of all-time.
1. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Alice in Wonderland was the film that got me going “down the rabbit hole” into reading as a kid. I was fascinated with just how weird and wonderful the film was, and sought out the book immediately. This film is beautiful, and the story is an anthem to outcasts, weirdo’s or anyone who feels “other”, and ironically, that’s why millions of people adore it.