Disney in 3…2…1


photo via San Diego Family Center

I am almost 100 percent positive that if I were to say Disney, every human being across the globe would be taken back to movies, cartoons, television shows and the infamous million-dollar mouse: Mickey Mouse.

Yet even still, there are quite a few differences in the Disney films and shows that each person has watched whether it be as a child or as an adult with kids and grandkids.

Now, I personally have a whole range of different themes and storylines that I was a fan of as a kid or that I watched with my younger brothers, and so, in a time where there is darkness and cruelty, I would like to bring back a bit of light, joy and innocence.

Here are my top 10 favorite Disney movies of all time.

10. The Highschool Musical Trilogy

Ahh, yes. The Wildcats, the dancing, the singing, the highschool dream. Of course, it’s a wildly inaccurate portrayal of highschool, which is why I placed it at ten but it was fun to watch as a kid anyhow. We all remember the 2 stars, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgins, and the interesting romance between them both on screen and real life. Although I was sad to see it end, I found the plot quite interesting and the songs extremely catchy–to the point where they still manage to stick in my head from time to time.

9. Cinderella, Live Action Version

Cinderella was by far my favorite Disney princess as a child (I’ve since changed my opinion, but we’ll get to that later). Of course, I enjoyed watching the cartoon version, but seeing the live action version was like a childhood fantasy come to life; the quiet, sweet, and beautiful soon-to-be princess, the evil stepmother and stepsisters, the kind fairy godmother, and the handsome and intriguing Prince Charming (I’m a hopeless romantic, don’t hate on me now). And the dress Cinderella wore to the ball? Absolutely stunning. I placed this one at nine because it’s a relatively old and extremely well-known story, but either way it was magical and fun, definitely worth watching.

8. Beauty and The Beast

Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Well, not exactly true, but you get the point. Belle’s desire for adventure like the fairy tales depicted in books was basically the ideology of my childhood. No offense to Ohio, but in my mind, it wasn’t exactly the greatest place to live. Nevertheless, this movie has more to it than adventure and fairytales. The idea that even the most miserable of people can be transformed if they are shown love and compassion has always been something I keep in mind, and this is shown through Belle’s relationship with the Beast, a former prince. It reminds me that the smallest gestures matter and that with love, wounds begin to heal.

7. The Princess and The Frog

Tiana: the bold, brave and beautiful young woman starring in the only film to depict a black princess (so far). In all honesty, I wished she hadn’t been a frog for basically the whole movie. In fact I strongly disliked the notion. But I am glad that Tiana paved the way for princesses who had more on their minds than just finding a man, who were independent, strong, and had goals to work towards. Of course, yes, there is a prince, but I won’t spoil that part for you. Either way, Tiana is by far my favorite princess, and though she deserves a second movie, I still thought the first movie was pretty darn good.

6. Mary Poppins: The Original

Although I highly discourage filling a spoon with sugar and digesting it (I jest), Julie Andrews gives a sweet and motherly accent to Mary Poppins. I was introduced to Andrews by my father, who had my brothers and I watch the Sound of Music as kids. I have to admit, even though I’ve watched it just about a million times, Andrews’ character stood out to me as comforting and loving, and the same revealed itself in her portrayal of Mary Poppins. It’s lively, fun and most definitely a good family movie that I would recommend.

5. McFarland, USA

McFarland is a film based off of true events depicting the stories of young latino runners and their coach, Jim White. What makes the movie so unique is how the coach, at first, holds prejudices against the immigrant runners, and slowly overtime begins to adopt them as if they are his own children–which is truly touching and beautiful. It’s also a way to understand the struggle of immigrants, and especially latino immigrants, in our country, which is essential. A movie that educates and moves the audience, McFarland, USA is a must watch.

4. Hercules

Greek mythology has always intrigued me. And so, naturally, I was drawn to the movie Hercules. Narrated by the Muses, who in Greek mythology are the goddesses of the arts and sciences, the story moves through the work of black gospel singers. Honestly, for me, these five women are the best part. And the twists and turns, with Hades as the villian and Meg as the lover in a confusing and rather tight situation, keep viewers on the edge of their seat.

3. Aladdin, Live Action Version

While I may be fangirling over Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, with poise and control, I will finish this article. It’s truly a quite enchanting film, and it’s extremely lively and fun. Oh, and by the way, Will Smith is the genie, so you’d better believe it’s funny. The age old story of Aladdin is brought to life in an even more powerful and entertaining way, and it incorporates themes that help relate it to real life: all the money and power in the world can’t satisfy anyone (shown through Jafar) and that women must use their voices and power to make a difference in this world, despite any odds (shown through Princess Jasmine). This movie made it to the top three, and it most definitely belongs.

2. Mulan

Let’s get down to business. Yes, I was at one point completely obsessed with this movie. The prospect of a girl redefining gender roles in society and proving that women can be just as strong and brave as men excited me, and Eddie Murphy’s humor speaks for itself. Not only does it have a surprising and lively plot, it also has one of the best Disney songs of all times, “I’ll Make A Man Out of You,” and frankly, if you haven’t listened to it before, I am somewhat disappointed in you. No worries though, you can redeem yourself by watching this movie and admitting that song is absolute fire.

1. The Greatest ShowmanAnd so now, we have my favorite Disney movie of all time, and of course I must explain to you why it’s number one (and no, Zac Efron truly has nothing to do with it). The concept of  working hard to achieve dreams speak for itself. By accepting our flaws and differences, we learn to be proud of them. A dramatic plot and touching score help make the Greatest Showman Spotify playlist a fan favorite. And yes, my heart did ache at the end. Please, please, please, if you are looking for a Disney movie to watch with your kids, grandkids, or maybe just your younger siblings like I do, watch The Greatest Showman, and be prepared to find yourself singing along.