Ellie Wells ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
In 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs forever changed the landscape of animation. With Snow White, Walt Disney had been up against immeasurable odds because few believed that he would succeed in his quest to create an animated feature film. Yet he proved them all wrong, and in doing so he set the stage for the other films he created that would later cement his legacy. Eighty-seven years later, that legacy is still alive and well, made evident by the massive success of Frozen and Big Hero 6.
Disney has stuck with many people through thick and thin, nurturing them through their childhoods and teaching them important life lessons. It taught audiences not only of the bad and good in the world, but also delivered impeccable messages of hope, no matter the odds. No matter which film is your favorite, many will agree that there is nothing quite like Disney. To honor that, here’s a look at the top ten scenes that exemplify the best of what these films have had to offer.
10. The Evil Queen’s Transformation – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Evil Queen remains one of Disney’s most memorable villains, perhaps due to her sheer insanity or her plan for Snow White’s demise. Not only is the poisoned apple an iconic symbol, but her transformation into a terrifying old woman showed just how ruthless she was. However, it was composed so perfectly that it made audiences fear for Snow White. It has left an impact on many and still does to this day.
9. Prince Phillip Fights Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty’s climax stands out from its counterparts for its pure epic scale. Trapped by Maleficent, Prince Phillip makes a daring escape and embarks on a race against time to reach Aurora so that he may save not only her, but the entire kingdom. When he is able to make it through the forest of thorns unscathed, Maleficent turns into a dragon in one last desperate attempt to destroy him. What ensues is a battle that, while short, evokes the most daring of fantasy.
8. The Other Slipper – Cinderella
When her evil stepmother realizes that Cinderella was the mysterious girl that the prince danced with at the ball, she locks her in her bedroom. By doing this, Cinderella will not be able to try on the slipper and have her happy ending with her prince. She is able to escape just as the Duke takes his leave. The Stepmother is shocked, and tries desperately, once again, to prevent Cinderella from living happily ever after. When it seems that all is lost, Cinderella shocks everyone by revealing that she has the other slipper, cementing the message that good will come into the lives of others if they work for it.
7 .You Have Saved Us All – Mulan
After a premature celebration of the war’s victory is interrupted by invading Huns, Mulan comes to the rescue of China’s Imperial City. Despite having been disgraced after being discovered as a woman, she is able to slay the ruthless leader of the Huns. Her accomplishments are also celebrated by none other than the Emperor.
6. Prologue – Beauty and the Beast
In a world chock-full of unnecessary prologues, the one to Beauty and the Beast stands above the rest. Not only does it introduce the main conflict in a stunning way, but it sets up the Beast’s complex inner turmoil and cements the main message. Additionally, music, pacing, and sharing the story through stained glass windows combine to create something truly unforgettable.
5. Genie, You’re Free – Aladdin
At the end of Aladdin, once Jafar has been defeated and all in Agrabah has been set right, Aladdin is left with a tough choice — uphold his promise to free the Genie, or turn back into a prince so that he can marry Jasmine. Aladdin chooses and although he too, is allowed his happy ending, it is a testament to the friendship between the Genie and Aladdin that has been established.
4. Part of Your World Reprise – The Little Mermaid
Although Ariel’s desire to be human was in place long before she met Eric, a chance encounter with a sinking ship leads her to save his life. After taking him to safety, we see her fall in love with him, and her determination to find a way to be human strengthens even more. We see that she will take whatever cost necessary to be with her prince, which not only admirably sets up the rest of the film but powerfully depicts the power of love.
3. You Can Fly – Peter Pan
Faith, trust, and pixie dust is all it takes to fly in the world of Peter Pan. As Peter and the Darlings travel to Neverland, music and stunning visuals of the London sky create a truly magical sequence that powerfully exemplifies the ideology of Disney.
2. Finale – Bambi
Over fifty years before The Lion King, Bambi told the story of the circle of life. Its titular character had been through much; the death of his mother, a devastating forest fire, but the ending is hopeful. As Faline gives birth to Bambi’s children, he watches from above as his father did before him. The Great Prince knows that his time has come and past, thus he takes his leave and passes the torch to Bambi. In doing so, the finale so succinctly conveys this idea that life goes on in a way that is truly beautiful.
1. The Transformation – Cinderella
Of all of the films that Walt Disney made, Cinderella was his most personal. This is nowhere more apparent than when Cinderella’s rags are transformed into her beautiful ball gown. While short, it shows that not only do we all deserve beauty in our lives and that it will hit us in the most unexpected of moments.