FilmOpinion

Top Ten Disney Movies to Watch on Netflix Right Now

Jenna Haskins ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Even though they’re technically under the “Just for Kids” section of Netflix, we all know that Disney movies are for people of all ages. (Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves when we watch Beauty and the Beast for the 18th time.) Disney movies can bring back all kinds of good memories from childhood, and re-discovering and watching one when your older can be a whole new experience! (In mostly a good way! But man, there was a lot of animated death in old Disney movies huh…)

10. The Cheetah Girls (2003)

Sabrina Bryan, Kiely Williams, Raven Simone and Adrienne Bailon in The Cheetah Girls.
Sabrina Bryan, Kiely Williams, Raven-Symońe and Adrienne Bailon in The Cheetah Girls.

 

Run Time: 100 mins

Starring: Raven-Symońe, Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

Okay so when you think of a Disney movie, you usually think of animation. But The Cheetah Girls is on Netflix and you can’t make a nostalgia list without them. Bringing back all the fashion glory of the early 2000’s and the catchy songs you know you sang along to, it’s glittery, overdramatic and most of all fun. The movie centers around four teens, Galleria (Raven-Symońe), Chanel (Bailon), Aqua (Kiely), and Dorinda (Bryan) who form an all girl music group and quickly rise to stardom. But all the fame comes with more pressure and the girls must decide what’s more important: their newfound star status, or each other.

9. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Still from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. © 2001 - Walt Disney Productions.
Still from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. © 2001 – Walt Disney Productions.

Run Time: 95 mins

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Corey Burton

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 5.5/10

One of those Disney films you might not remember until reminded of it’s existence, Atlantis: The Lost Empire remains interesting and visual in it’s own way. Milo Thatch works at a museum and dreams of continuing his late grandfathers quest to find the lost city of Atlantis. When he receives the money to do so from an eccentric millionaire, Milo gathers a crew and begins his adventure. After an exciting battle with a sea monster, they discover the civilization and Milo soon falls in love with Princess Kida. However, when it is revealed that members of his crew had shifty intentions, he must choose a side. Set in the early 20th century, it’s an action packed adventure that actually may appeal less to a young child and more to a procrastinating college student. (Who knew.)

8. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Still from The Fox and the Hound. © 1981 - Walt Disney Productions.
Still from The Fox and the Hound. © 1981 – Walt Disney Productions.

Run Time: 83 Mins

Starring: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.6/10

This is an example of those Disney movies you go back to and realize how sad it actually was. Tod is an orphaned fox who befriends a hunting dog named Copper. However, as Copper grows up, he learns that it is his job to be hunting foxes just like his best friend. Eventually Copper must decide between duty and friendship. The Fox and the Hound is all at once adorable, heartbreaking, and carries an important message about nature vs nurture and learning not to judge others until you’ve made your own decision. Great for kids, and equally fantastic for any age. Just be prepared with tissues.

7. The Rescuers (1977)

Still from The Rescuers. © 1977 - Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved..
Still from The Rescuers. © 1977 – Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved..

Run Time: 78 mins

Starring: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.6/10

The Rescuers is another less talked about Disney movie, but it deserves a first or second glance. Members of the Rescue Aid Society, two mice names Bernard and Miss Bianca go in search of a kidnapped little girl named Penny who human law enforcement officials have failed to find. Fun, colorful animal characters as well as some actually frightening scenes, it’s classic Disney and undeniably charming.

6. Cadet Kelly (2002)

Hillary Duff and Christy Romano in Cadet Kelly. Photo Courtesy of www.starpulse.com.
Hilary Duff and Christy Romano in Cadet Kelly. Photo Courtesy of www.starpulse.com.

Run Time: 101 mins

Starring: Hilary Duff, Christy Romano, Gary Cole

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A

If you were an avid Lizzie McGuire fan then you know that old school Hilary Duff could do no wrong. In Cadet Kelly, Duff plays girly, artistic Kelly Collins who is sent to a military school at the request of her new stepfather, a retired general. However, Kelly doesn’t acclimate well, and soon clashes with her sour faced squad leader, Jennifer (Romano). Considering desertion, Kelly must find a way to fit in or break out. It’s actually a pretty good movie, if a bit outdated. But with a simple, positive message, it was the type of Disney channel movie we knew and loved.

5. James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Still from James and the Giant Peach. © 1996 - Walt Disney Studios.
Still from James and the Giant Peach. © 1996 – Walt Disney Studios.

Run Time: 79 mins

Starring: Paul Terry, Joanna Lumley, Pete Postlethwaite

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7/10

An adaption of a Roald Dhal classic, James and the Giant Peach is not your average Disney movie. Young, orphaned James is forced to live with his two cruel aunts. However, when a mysterious stranger visits, James finds an escape, by way of a giant peach. Ever curious, he ends up inside the fruit and must survive a journey across the Atlantic with a number of bugs that he meets inside the peach. A little darker overall than most Disney films, it’s also awash in whimsy and a sense of adventure and wonder that is exciting no matter what your age. If you missed out on it the first time around, give it a chance now.

4. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Still from Alice in Wonderland. © Disney. All rights reserved.
Still from Alice in Wonderland. © Disney. All rights reserved.

Run Time: 75 mins

Starring: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.4/10

Better received than the recent Tim Burton update, classic Alice in Wonderland is called classic for a reason. After chasing a mysterious rabbit, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into the surreal world of Wonderland. She then has a number of strange, entertaining interactions with odd character such as the philosophical Cheshire Cat and the absolutely batty Mad Hatter. Interestingly psychedelic for a Disney film, it’s a great homage to Lewis Carroll’s work with gorgeous animation work.

3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Still from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. © 1996 - Walt Disney Studios.
Still from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. © 1996 – Walt Disney Studios.

Run Time: 91 mins

Starring: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, Mary Kay Bergman

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.1/10

Proving once again that Disney can disguise pain and heartache with catchy songs, The Hunchback of Notre Dame can be an entirely different movie the second time around. Based on the Victor Hugo classic, the film revolves around Quasimodo, a hermit with a back deformity, who falls in love with a gorgeous gypsy girl. Darker than you might expect, it is a bit of a downer as far as Disney films go. However, it’s sophistication and message bring it a step above the rest.

2. Hercules (1997)

Still from Hercules. Photo by Walt Disney Pictures – © 1997.
Still from Hercules. Photo by Walt Disney Pictures – © 1997.

Run Time: 93 mins

Starring: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods, Danny DeVito

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7/10

Greek mythology, great songs, and an engaging storyline, Hercules isn’t a Disney movie that should be missed. The son of Zeus and Hera, Hercules (Donovan) is stolen as a boy by the minions of the evil Hades (Woods). Hercules is forced to live among humans as a half-god, and soon realizes that he is not like the other adolescents his age. In order to return to his former home on Mount Olympus he must first prove that he is a true hero. He enlists a trainer, Phil (DeVito) and learns to handle his strength while simultaneously singing an incredibly catchy son set to a montage. However, Hades sends the beautiful Megara (who is dry, and witty, and also pretty much all around awesome) to seduce Hercules into failure. It’s a classic and rightfully so.

1. Mulan (1998)

Still from Mulan. © 1998 - Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved.
Still from Mulan. © 1998 – Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved.

Run Time: 88 mins

Starring: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.5/10

Speaking of classics, Mulan is almost as high quality Disney story as you can get. Gorgeous and hardy Mulan is a young peasant girl who disguises herself as a man in order to take her elderly fathers place in the Chinese army. When the Huns attack, she must prove herself worthy of the spot. This film turns the traditional boy saves girl fairy tale upside down, and gives a refreshing twist on the idea of a princess. A great societal statement as well as a fun movie with voice work from Eddie Murphy, Mulan can’t be missed.

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