This might be the most controversial blog post I’ve ever written, but it is something that I feel needs to be said. I hope I don’t offend any of my readers or lose any friends over this, but I can’t hold it back anymore. I’ve got to let it go.
I do not think Frozen is the best Disney animated film of all time. In fact, I don’t even think it’s in the top ten.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Frozen a lot. My sister and I saw it together and, since it was about sisters, naturally we both cried and loved it. Leaving the theater, I remember thinking, “Aw, I like Olaf. And I like Elsa’s dress. Definitely a cute story. I’d see it again.”
But then the hype started. Suddenly, everyone everywhere was all about Frozen. Buzzfeed articles, Pinterest boards, list upon list of why Frozen is the best thing Disney has ever done in the history of ever. I’ve never seen so many YouTube cover videos in my life. I like Let It Go, but if I hear one more person who ISN’T Idina Menzel trying to sing it, I might just punch someone. In the face. With a computer.
Today, the newest Disney short, Frozen Fever was announced and naturally, the Internet is completely losing it over the impending arrival. I’m not upset about the upcoming short. I love Disney. And like I said, I really do like Frozen. I just like lots of other Disney movies a whole lot more.
Let’s begin with my sister’s favorite Disney movie of all time, Mulan. Mulan ROCKS. For some reason everyone seems to think that Frozen is this groundbreaking movie that proves that women don’t need a man to save them. Um, HELLO people. Mulan saved ALL OF CHINA. She also saved Captain Shang and her entire army of men like, fifty times. Mulan also features one of the most iconic Disney songs ever recorded (I’ll Make a Man Out of You), an ingenious script (“I’m doomed! And all because Miss Man decided to take her little drag show on the road!”), and more GIRL POWER than all five of the Spice Girls put together.
The Lion King
Talk about a classic. Featuring the voice talents of James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons AND a soundtrack by Sir Elton John, The Lion King is easily one of the best Disney movies out there. On top of that, it’s based off of Hamlet. This is Shakespeare with lions and meerkats and Rafiki. Sorry, Elsa, but you can’t beat that. And that scene when Mufasa comes back to talk to Simba? Does anyone NOT tear up at that moment?
“Remember who you are…”
This might be one of the most underrated Disney movie of all time, but it also happens to be one of my absolute favorites. This is just a beautiful story with beautiful animation, a fantastic soundtrack by Phil Collins (one of the best), and so many beautifully bittersweet moments that I never make it through a viewing without crying. There are also killer whales in it. HOW can you beat a movie with KILLER WHALES? It’s one of the most moving Disney films out there if you ask me.
Okay, I’ve already dedicated an entire blog post to Hades and how he’s my absolute favorite Disney Villain of all time (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/why-hades-is-actually-the-best-disney-villain/), but if you ask me, Hercules itself is near the top as far as Disney’s best animated features go. Greek Mythology is cool. That is pretty much indisputable. And Disney took those cool stories and made them bright, colorful, and kid-friendly, all the while keeping them surprisingly historically accurate (speaking as someone who yes, used to watch the animated TV series on Disney Channel). In my oh so humble opinion, Hercules is one of Disney’s most clever and creative franchises.
It’s hard to think about this one without drawing a few tears, especially due to recent events. Aladdin truly will never be the same without our beloved Genie, but it has always held a special place in my heart, even before the late, great Robin Williams’ departure. I loved Aladdin so much as a child that I named my first kitten Jasmine after Princess Jasmine. She also recently passed and I got a tattoo of Jasmine flowers on my ankle in her honor. But all that sadness aside, Aladdin is one of the most awesome, colorful, and FUN Disney movies out there. Heartwarming with high adventure, magic, great music, and probably one of the most charming Disney Princes in history, Aladdin wins all the way around.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This is another of my favorite Disney films that is SO completely underrated. This is a beautiful movie with a touching story, a heartwarming hero, a completely kick-butt heroine, and one of the best soundtracks with some of the best vocal performances that Disney has EVER created. I could listen to the opening number, Bells of Notre Dame, on repeat. In fact, I have. But seriously, let’s talk about Esmeralda for a minute. She is the BOMB. She stands up for what she believes in, is brave, smart, snarky, she sees the inner beauty in people, and she sings one of the most beautiful songs in Disney’s repertoire, God Help the Outcasts.
Meet The Robinsons
I feel like a lot of people forget that this is a Disney movie, but again, it is one of my absolute favorites. I love everything about this movie. The characters are wonderful, the script is brilliant, and the ending makes me cry every single time I watch it. It’s such a wonderful film and again, so underrated. I wish they would make a sequel to this one! I’d watch it in a heartbeat.
Beauty and the Beast
Of course, this has to be on the list. It’s the tale as old as time, one of the most beautiful animated classics of all time, and the first ever animated film to be up for an Academy Award for best picture. I understand that Frozen won a few Academy Awards, but Beauty and the Beast was a film ahead of its time. And it’s just beautiful. Is there a scene or a song more beautiful than the ballroom scene? Or more chilling than the fight between Gaston and the Beast on the roof? Or more magical than the Beast’s transformation back into a Prince?
Not even close, Frozen.
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella
These three are all together because story-wise, none of them are stellar. However, as far as storytelling and animation goes, these are MASTERPIECES of their time. The work of GENIUS. The heroines, true, are not all that much. In fact, Snow White is dumber than the apple that almost killed her. But they were all true works of art and will remain historic classics for all time. These were the movies that broke down barriers, the magic that started it all. Disney would not be where it is today without the early Princesses.
All of Pixar. Ever.
True, these are not just the work of Disney, but Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Toy Story, UP, all rise above and beyond Frozen in terms of pretty much everything.
Finally, the Best of All…
THE LITTLE MERMAID
I think I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about The Little Mermaid, but if anyone doesn’t know, you can just check out this blog post here…
Growing up, I truly believed that Ariel was one of my best friends. I loved everything about The Little Mermaid, and to this day, I can’t hear the opening theme without getting the chills. Ariel was absolutely my hero growing up. She was beautiful, she was brave, she followed her heart even when everyone else thought she was weird, and she ALSO saved her Prince (eh-hem… did not need a man to rescue her). And she was a mermaid and come on, what little girl didn’t want to be a mermaid? Not to mention Ariel got three movies, her own television series, AND her own Broadway musical. I think it’s pretty clear that she is the ultimate winner of best Disney Princess ever.
So, that’s just to name a few of the movies which, in my opinion, beat out Frozen as far as best Disney animated classics go. I didn’t even get to all of them. Tarzan, Atlantis, and Princess and the Frog are also on the list. But I’m afraid if I type any more, my computer might actually explode.
Frozen was great. Again, I’m not trying to say it wasn’t. But when I look back and really compare it to other Disney films, I’m afraid it pales in comparison.