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The Top 5 Disney Movies of the 1980's

Today, I’m taking a look at the top 5 Disney Movies of the 1980’s, continuing my  chronological journey of Disney movies on Disney Plus. 

The 80’s had a lot of misses, and very few sure-fire hits. Despite that, some top-class classics emerged. Let’s take a look at some of them: 

5th Best Disney Movie of the 1980’s: The Black Cauldron (1985)

Black Cauldron, The (film) - D23

The Black Cauldron is a personal favourite of mine, so much so that I intentionally didn’t re-watch it during lock-down. I know that it’s not the best Disney film, and I know that it’s full-to-the-brim with problems, and I didn’t want to ruin my memory of it. Is it one of the greatest Disney films of all time? No. Is it a critical masterpiece? No. Is it a film that is imprinted and cherished in the memories of millions of Disney fans of all ages? Yes. And, with Disney films, that’s often what matters most.

4th Best Disney Movie of the 1980’s: Popeye (1980)

Popeye (1980) directed by Robert Altman • Reviews, film + cast ...

I adore Popeye. I was a big fan of the cartoons, and the live-action doesn’t disappoint. It’s so unbelievably 80’s, so over-the-top, so melodramatic. But the hammy, slap-stick comedy works, and who better to lead it than the legendary Robin Williams? Although this film may have wilted at the hand’s of critics (spinach pun, you’re very welcome), it was still relatively popular at the time, and remains in the hearts of Disney and Popeye fans alike.

3rd Best Disney movie of the 1980’s: The Fox and the Hound (1981)

The Fox and the Hound (1981) Disney movie

There are Disney films, then there are sad Disney films, then there is The Fox and the Hound. This film is tragic, but teaches children valuable lessons about celebrating differences, about being inclusive, and – perhaps cruelly – about death and grieving. Despite these important messages and lessons, or perhaps even because of them, this film is powerful, high-quality, and a true Disney classic.

2nd Best Disney Movie of the 1980’s: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Reboot May Bring Back A Big Name From The ...

For those who have been following my Disney journey over the past few weeks, the majority of films in my lists have been animated movies. In the late 80’s/early 90’s,  this began to change quite a lot. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, was a monumental film for Disney. It was quirky, incredibly inventive, hilarious and heart-warming. As an early 90’s kid, this film was quite a hit in my household, and I watched it relatively recently, and surprisingly, it nearly completely held up. 

The Best Disney Movie of the 1980’s: The Little Mermaid (1989)

The Little Mermaid: All the women who have played Ariel |

Any Disney fans aware of the release year of The Little Mermaid will be completely unsurprised to know that this iconic Disney movie would be at the top of this list (or the bottom of this page). The film is packed with loveable characters, memorable songs, a brilliant villain and so much more. It is, in many ways, a return to some of the top Disney movies of the 50’s/60’s. Of course, like many Disney films, it hasn’t aged spectacularly well, and there are some quite important points that will need addressing in the upcoming remake. Until the remake comes along and (hopefully) knocks our flippers off – you’re welcome – this film is on Disney + and ready and waiting for you to re-watch.

What would your top 5 Disney movies of the 1980’s be? Comment below, tweet, or just shout from the high heavens and maybe I’ll hear you. 

Clink the links: to see the top 5 Disney movies of the 40‘s, 50‘s, 60‘s and 70‘s. 

And, if you want to follow me on the rest of my Disney movie journey, click to sign-up, and get alerts for the latest blog posts, as well as a weekly “What’s on Disney Plus, Prime Video and Netflix” this week. 



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