Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Worst: 10 – Robin Hood (1973)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

It should speak volumes that this childhood classic is on the “worst” list, despite being very well-known. To be fair, there’s honestly quite a bit to criticize in this movie (particularly its use of recycled animation, which is pretty shameless), but who cares when its audience score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at a comfortable 81%.

Worst: 9 – Home On The Range (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Sadly, this totally forgettable Disney movie was one of the final traditionally animated Disney films, only followed by two others (The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh), and this film bombing at the box office certainly didn’t help things.

Worst: 8 – Oliver & Company (1988)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

I watched this all the time as a kid, and while I have no idea if it holds up to adult scrutiny, it can’t be that bad

Worst: 7 – A Goofy Movie (1995)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 90s, but this was a pretty beloved movie to kids my age. The less said about the sequel, the better, but this movie’s okay.

Worst: 6 – Cars 2 (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst
 

The first Cars is a totally solid movie that probably shouldn’t have had a sequel. But considering that Cars was far and away one of Disney’s biggest money-makers in terms of merchandise, the money gods demanded a sequel, and we got a weird combo of a C-grade James Bond movie and a Larry the Cable Guy comedy routine for an hour and a half.

Worst: 5 – Chicken Little (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Even when I was a kid, I knew this movie was bad. The first fully-CGI animated film by Disney (not made by Pixar), Chicken Little’s attempt to combine the “sky is falling” story with science fiction invasion is a decent concept stretched into a very forgettable movie.

Worst: 4 – Brother Bear (2003)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

There’s a really odd moment in Hollywood where no one knew what do with Joaquin Phoenix. Case in point, the fact that he’s the lead voice in this often forgotten Disney movie musical, with songs by Phil Collins. Aside from one pretty novel twist in the story, there’s a reason no one really talks about this movie much. It’s not awful, it’s just not that memorable.

Worst: 3 – Planes (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

If Cars 2 was a naked ploy to sell more toys, then Planes isn’t even naked, it’s just a corpse stripped down to its bones. Not even actually animated by Pixar (this is a Disney animation project), there is no escaping that this completely forgettable film is completely a toy commercial.

Worst: 2 – The Wild (2006)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Holy [email protected]#t, I forgot this a movie. There was a while in the 2000s where it became clear that Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar were ripping each other off, or at the very least, releasing movies closely together that were… Eerily similar. Sometimes, it went in Disney’s favor, like A Bug’s Life (1998) vs. Antz (1998), where Disney’s film won over critics and the box office.

In this case, Madagascar not only won the box office war against The Wild, no one even remembers that this film (with an $80 million budget, starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Belushi, Eddie Izzard, and William Shatner) even exists. Simply put, it sucks, and there’s a damn good reason no one remembers it.

Worst: 1 – Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst
 

Now, this is a straight-to-video sequel to a movie that came out in 1950, so even counting this feels like cheating. At first.

You see, despite being something that’s a bad idea in concept, this straight-to-video nonsense managed to make an astonishing $120 million in the direct-to-video scene, so we’re not exactly punching down here. Plus, this movie was clearly one of Disney’s failed TV shows cut into a movie.

For those of you who don’t know, Disney released two other movies like this, Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World, and Atlantis: Milo’s Return to video, and those two films and this mysteriously share the same structure: Three loosely connected vignette stories with an overarching story barely connecting them, as if the three vignettes might have been TV episodes for proposed TV shows that were killed before they could enter full production

Best: 10 – The Incredibles (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

The way you know this list is being dictated by Rotten Tomatoes critics scores and not myself is that this isn’t at number one. I love The Incredibles, it’s one of my favorite superhero movies of all time, and my personal favorite Pixar film.

An effortless combination of everything Pixar does great, I can hardly think of anything wrong with this movie (besides the fact that some of the animation looks rough by modern standards, but by 2004 standards, this looked fantastic, and the art direction really helps smooth those rough edges).

Best: 9 – Coco (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

I almost didn’t see this movie because I was afraid it was just going to be a rip-off of the unfortunately underrated 2014 film The Book of Life. Thankfully, the only things these movies share in common is using Día de Los Muertos as their backdrops. Coco evolves into a deep family story about memory, and as someone who watched two different grandparents suffer from dementia, this film hit me right it hurts.

Best: 8 – Up (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Let’s be honest, this a damn good movie, but what makes it legendary is that opening scene. If you’ve seen it, you know. If you don’t, watch this as soon as you can, but get ready to have your heart ripped out by the beginning. If you’ve ever wondered if a film could represent decades of human life without dialogue, this film’s answer is a resounding yes, with an extra side of heartache

Best: 7 – Inside Out (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

It’s not a coincidence that this film and Up both share a director, Pete Docter. Docter is the secret weapon of Pixar animation, a man so damn talented that he managed to make an animated movie with no traditional antagonist, set almost entirely in the mind of a young girl, all while making a movie that adults and kids can easily understand. That’s a hell of an achievement.

Best: 6 – Zootopia (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Hey! It’s not a Pixar film! Of Disney animation’s modern run, this is far and away their best effort. Using allegory in some really clever ways, Zootopia successfully navigates the tightrope of being a family film while telling a smart story, making it one of the rarest types of family films out there.

Best: 5 – Toy Story 3 (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Look, you damn well know that if Toy Story 3 is on this list, the other two will be featured shortly. And while that’s true, it’s still unbelievable that Pixar managed to make a phenomenal third film in a series that started in 1995 in the year 2010.

It certainly helped that Pixar had perfectly timed this film’s release and centered the story on Andy going off to college (you know, how old most of the kids who saw Toy Story originally back in 1995 were by the time this movie was out), but what helped the most is that they blended The Great Escape into a kid’s movie with flying colors

Best: 4 – Finding Nemo (2003)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

Narrowly missing a 100% rating, Finding Nemo still remains as one of Pixar’s most emotional stories. Directed by Andrew Stanton (who went on to direct WALL-E and, well, Finding Dory), this film works against all odds. What could have easily been a hollow “road-trip” style movie is backed up by some phenomenal voice-acting and great writing.

Best: 3 – Toy Story (1995)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

From here on out, only 100% movies reign. Like many early Pixar films, the animation may not look up to par for modern CGI animated movies, but the one thing that never ages poorly if you do it right is a great story. The first feature-length CGI animated movie ever, Toy Story had the incredible luck of getting a great story and a great cast together for the landmark occasion and still ranks at damn near the top of Disney’s output

Best: 2 – Toy Story 2 (1999)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

…And against all odds, the sequel is even better. You know what’s really funny about this movie? It started as a straight-to-DVD special that was supposed to be cranked out quickly, but Pixar managed to convince Disney to let them go all-in on making a true successor to their landmark. In other words, this could have easily become a “Cinderella II” situation.

Somehow, they topped it, crafting some surprisingly emotional moments that have become Pixar’s bread and butter (that Jesse montage is still depressing to this day)

Best: 1 – Pinocchio (1940)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Disney’s Best And Disney’s Worst

This might require a bit of an explanation.

Among film critics, Pinocchio has always ranked as Disney’s greatest animated film. Does it necessarily hold up to modern scrutiny? Not quite. But for an animated film released in 1940, it’s way beyond the competition. The animation in this movie is years ahead of its time, with wildly complicated techniques, to the point that modern animators looked back on this movie’s techniques to figure out how to make their own movies decades later.

I can think of other Disney movies I enjoy more from this time period (I LOVE Fantasia, holy [email protected]#t I love that movie), but film critics over the years have always defaulted to this movie.

 
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