Top 5 Disney films of the 90s to 2010s

By Alondra Romero, Reporter

As spring and summer break near, there are many activities to consider, but every once in a while, you should give in and watch a film or movie that reminds you of your childhood. Think about rewatching these top 5 nostalgic Disney films from the 90s and 2010s if you are spending quality time with family or friends.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

#5 Moana 

After it was released on November 23, 2016, Moana had twenty-one wins and 90 award nominations within a two-year period; one of its main awards arrived back in 2018 at the Grammys, where Moana won Best Song Written for Visual Media with its tune “How Far I’ll Go”. The song earned around one million views on YouTube.

Moana is one of the few Disney princesses who suggests female empowerment: she ignores her father’s command of going beyond the reef to follow what she loves most: the sea. Moana also makes a great friend as she helps Maui regain his confidence and get his magical fish hook, all the while saving him, her family, and the whole Pacific islands. The movie offers animations with many beautiful colors, shows off Polynesian culture/islands, and has an amazing storyline.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

#4  Zootopia 

Zootopia won the eighty-ninth Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film in the two-year period following its release on March 4, 2016. 

Zootopia is entertaining and intriguing, and many plot twists occur in the film that will mesmerize viewers. The Disney film also attacks stereotypes sometimes placed on women, as Judy Hops is looked down upon for being a bunny, as is therefore seen as fragile. She becomes the first bunny to work in the police department, pushing through the harsh standards imposed upon her and eventually showing off that she is more than just a bunny. Zootopia also attacks the topic of racism: in one scene involving the police department, the cheetah is neglected, the foxes are known as the “bad animals”. Many of these concepts, if taken into deeper consideration, suggest a critique of racist behavior, implying there is more to Zootopia than one might think.

Movieclips Classic Trailers

#3 Aladdin  

This older animated classic, released on November 25, 1992, earned two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song), as well as a nomination for Best Original Song, Best Sound Editing (Mark A. Mangini, and Best Sound (Terry Porter, Mel Metcalfe, David J. Hudson, and Don Kane. If such critical acclaim does not suggest Aladdin is a great movie, surely the unique plot will.

Aladdin contains the ideal romantic idea of a man saving a princess and falling in love in the end for Disney films, while still maintaining its stance as one of the popular twentieth-century productions.

In the film, a ‘low-grade’ protagonist turns hero when he saves the love of his life, Princess Jasmine. Jafar and Iago, with a little sidekick between them, are the perfect antagonists who want the princess and all the power they wish to have.

Although a live-action remake came out on May 24, 2019, there were mixed reactions: some fans were disappointed, but others felt the film was fun, for the most part. Sometimes the live-action remakes of Disney films do not come out as well as they did the first time, and so many fans have mentioned they would prefer Disney not recreate its classics, but instead just focus on making different films. The animated version of Aladdin was surely better than its remake and deserves a spot in the top 3.

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#2  The Lion King

Almost making it to number 1 on the list, The Lion King is one of the main nostalgic films people think of when they hear the name, Disney. Many (young) adults remember the film: from the melody behind Elton John’s “The Circle of Life” to the bright red-orange and yellow bright scenes featuring Pumbaa and Timon to the heartbreaking scene of Mufasa dying.

Although the movie came out on June 24, 1994, its popularity has remained, launching a hit Broadway musical in 1997, and a live-action film made back in 2019. Even the live-action movie did not disappoint, earning $1.5 billion in sales at the global box office. The real-life visuals created for the play and live-action film made the movie come to life, giving fans every bit of the animated story they love.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

#1  Frozen 

Since its release on November 27, 2013, Frozen has become one of the most successful animated films and was actually chosen as the world’s most popular Disney film with 1.9 million Google searches globally every year. Frozen also won two Oscars (Best-Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song), a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA. Its multi-platinum soundtrack, featuring the song “Let it Go”, charted in the top 10 on the U.S.’s Billboard Hot 100 back in 2013-2014 before racking up around 2 billion views on YouTube. The songDo You Wanna Build a Snowman” was popular as well, earning around 2 million views on YouTube

Frozen featured not one, but two, Disney princesses and neither fit within the typical “love at first sight” royal engagement found in so many other princess films. Even though Princess Anna falls for a prince, in the finale, she ditches him for the sisterly devotion, an important message for young viewers. Both Anna and Elsa support each other throughout the storyline, something most Disney films are lacking, which is why this megahit ranks #1.