The 59 Disney Animated Classics

by countbeefer | created - 29 Apr 2013 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

This list contains all of the officially numbered feature "Classic" films Walt Disney Animation Studios has released. Disney maintains these numbered films, so personal opinion cannot just add or remove films from the list based on popularity.

This list does not include the Disney/Pixar films (such as Finding Nemo or Coco), nor does it include the many Direct-to-Video sequels (The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, for instance) produced by Disney over the years.

I've divided the Disney films into 8 Distinct Eras:

The Golden Age: These are Walt Disney's first 5 feature films, and are undisputed classics that remain an essential part of the legacy of animation.

The Package Era: These 6 films feature a combination of shorter "packaged" animated features that lack the staying power of the more feature quality pictures, and although very entertaining, they are largely forgotten when compared to Disney's earlier and later classics.

The Silver Age: These 5 films bring Disney back to center stage, ending with Sleeping Beauty, a distinct stylized masterpiece.

The Transition Era: Some might call these 3 films part of the Silver Age, but they have a distinct look that sets them apart (due to a lower budget and the new Xerox animation process). These films were the last to have Walt Disney's direct impact, with The Jungle Book being the final film in this era.

The Bronze Age: Also, known as the "Dark Ages" of Disney Animation. Hey, just because it's the Dark Ages, does not mean these 8 films are lacking in quality, they just lack in cultural impact when compared to earlier and later films. I happen to love The Black Cauldron and many films in this period, so there!

The Disney Renaissance: Although Oliver & Company was pretty awesome and made a pretty penny, it was The Little Mermaid in 1989 that really made a splash, kicking off the fantastic Disney Renaissance where Disney pumped out hit after hit, reinvigorating its classic animation legacy. Sadly, this Renaissance came to an end with the phenomenal Tarzan in 1999.

The Post-Renaissance Era: These Disney films are a mix of hand-drawn and computer-generated films, many (such as Treasure Planet) use both techniques. In this "Post-Renaissance Era," Disney gradually moved further away from traditional hand-drawn animation and fairy tales in favor of computer-generated movies. This era could also be seen as a Second Dark Age Disney, with a few standout releases, but a definite step down from the previous batch of Renaissance Disney films.

The Revival Era: Much like The Little Mermaid heralded the beginning of the Disney Renaissance nearly two decades prior, The Princess and the Frog signaled a revival of sorts in Disney Animation. This era, like the Post-Renaissance era, also features a mixture of hand-drawn and computer-generated films. And although Disney is still relying more on CG films, there has been a definite shift in focus—fairy tales like The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen have come back in style, and are made along with modern classics like Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. I still think it's time for a bigger revival of hand-drawn animation, even though there is much to love and admire about computer animation. Something along the lines of a Second Disney Renaissance would be nice. Oh, to dream...

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1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Approved | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 179,412 | Gross: $184.93M

The Golden Age:

Golden Age Film #1

2. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

99 Metascore

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 129,520 | Gross: $84.25M

Golden Age Film #2

3. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

96 Metascore

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Corey Burton

Votes: 87,674 | Gross: $76.41M

Golden Age Film #3

4. Dumbo (1941)

G | 64 min | Animation, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.

Directors: Samuel Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, John Elliotte | Stars: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, Herman Bing, Billy Bletcher

Votes: 118,345 | Gross: $1.60M

Golden Age Film #4

5. Bambi (1942)

G | 70 min | Animation, Drama, Family

91 Metascore

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright, Arthur Davis, Clyde Geronimi | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn

Votes: 129,795 | Gross: $102.80M

Golden Age Film #5

6. Saludos Amigos (1942)

Passed | 42 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

60 Metascore

Disney animators tour South America and present four animated shorts inspired by their trip.

Directors: Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Norman Ferguson | Stars: Fred Shields, José Oliveira, Lee Blair, Mary Blair

Votes: 5,371

The Package Era:

Package Film #1

7. The Three Caballeros (1944)

Approved | 71 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

85 Metascore

Donald receives his birthday gifts, which include traditional gifts and information about Brazil (hosted by Zé Carioca) and Mexico (by Panchito, a Mexican Charro Rooster).

Directors: Norman Ferguson, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts, Harold Young | Stars: Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina, Dora Luz, Sterling Holloway

Votes: 12,221

Package Film #2

8. Make Mine Music (1946)

Passed | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

60 Metascore

Animation done to contemporary popular music.

Directors: Robert Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Joshua Meador | Stars: Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters

Votes: 3,679

Package Film #3

9. Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

Approved | 73 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

Jiminy Cricket hosts two Disney animated shorts: "Bongo," about a circus bear escaping to the wild, and "Mickey and the Beanstalk," a take on the famous fairy tale.

Directors: Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, William Morgan, Bill Roberts | Stars: Edgar Bergen, Dinah Shore, Luana Patten, Anita Gordon

Votes: 6,951

Package Film #4

10. Melody Time (1948)

Approved | 75 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

69 Metascore

An anthology of animated vignettes set to contemporary music.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske | Stars: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Dennis Day, The Andrews Sisters

Votes: 4,910

Package Film #5

11. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Approved | 68 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

74 Metascore

An animated adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows" followed by an adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".

Directors: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney | Stars: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, John McLeish

Votes: 12,962

Package Film #6

12. Cinderella (1950)

G | 74 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

85 Metascore

When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske | Stars: Ilene Woods, James MacDonald, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton

Votes: 144,079 | Gross: $85.00M

The Silver Age:

Silver Age Film #1

13. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

G | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

68 Metascore

Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney | Stars: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway

Votes: 127,500

Silver Age Film #2

14. Peter Pan (1953)

G | 77 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

76 Metascore

Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney | Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson

Votes: 124,915 | Gross: $87.40M

Silver Age Film #3

15. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

G | 76 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

78 Metascore

The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Jack Cutting | Stars: Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Peggy Lee, Bill Thompson

Votes: 121,285 | Gross: $93.60M

Silver Age Film #4

16. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

G | 75 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

85 Metascore

After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton

Votes: 133,882 | Gross: $51.60M

Silver Age Film #5

17. One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

When a litter of Dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella de Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, J. Pat O'Malley, Martha Wentworth

Votes: 150,975 | Gross: $144.88M

The Transition Era:

Transition Film #1

18. The Sword in the Stone (1963)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

61 Metascore

A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in English history.

Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, Clyde Geronimi, David Hand | Stars: Rickie Sorensen, Sebastian Cabot, Karl Swenson, Junius Matthews

Votes: 88,503 | Gross: $22.18M

Transition Film #2

19. The Jungle Book (1967)

G | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

65 Metascore

Bagheera the Panther and Baloo the Bear have a difficult time trying to convince a boy to leave the jungle for human civilization.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, Bruce Reitherman

Votes: 164,376 | Gross: $141.84M

Transition Film #3

20. The Aristocats (1970)

G | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 92,511 | Gross: $37.68M

The Bronze Age:

Bronze Age Film #1

21. Robin Hood (1973)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

57 Metascore

The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.

Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, David Hand | Stars: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 114,279 | Gross: $32.06M

Bronze Age Film #2

22. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

G | 74 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

In this collection of animated shorts based on the stories and characters by A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh, a honey-loving teddy bear, embarks on some eccentric adventures.

Directors: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Sebastian Cabot, Junius Matthews, Barbara Luddy, Howard Morris

Votes: 32,229

Bronze Age Film #3

23. The Rescuers (1977)

G | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

74 Metascore

Two mice of the Rescue Aid Society search for a little girl kidnapped by unscrupulous treasure hunters.

Directors: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Art Stevens | Stars: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page, Joe Flynn

Votes: 57,580 | Gross: $71.22M

Bronze Age Film #4

24. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

65 Metascore

A little fox named Tod, and Copper, a hound puppy, vow to be best buddies forever. But as Copper grows into a hunting dog, their unlikely friendship faces the ultimate test.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens, David Hand, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson

Votes: 83,847 | Gross: $63.46M

Bronze Age Film #5

25. The Black Cauldron (1985)

PG | 80 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

59 Metascore

A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich | Stars: Grant Bardsley, Freddie Jones, Susan Sheridan, Nigel Hawthorne

Votes: 31,189 | Gross: $21.29M

Bronze Age Film #6

(I love this film - release it on Blu-ray already, Disney!)

26. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

G | 74 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

73 Metascore

Basil, the rodent Sherlock Holmes, investigates the kidnapping of a toy maker and uncovers its link to his archenemy, Professor Ratigan.

Directors: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener, John Musker | Stars: Vincent Price, Barrie Ingham, Val Bettin, Susanne Pollatschek

Votes: 44,469 | Gross: $38.60M

Bronze Age Film #7

27. Oliver & Company (1988)

G | 74 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

58 Metascore

A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York City.

Director: George Scribner | Stars: Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin, Richard Mulligan

Votes: 43,295 | Gross: $74.15M

Bronze Age Film #8

28. The Little Mermaid (1989)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

88 Metascore

A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain in an attempt to become human and win a prince's love.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes

Votes: 234,811 | Gross: $111.54M

The Disney Renaissance:

Renaissance Film #1

29. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

G | 77 min | Animation, Adventure, Crime

70 Metascore

The R.A.S. agents, Miss Bianca and Bernard, race to Australia to save a little boy and a rare golden eagle from a murderous poacher.

Directors: Hendel Butoy, Mike Gabriel | Stars: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, John Candy, Tristan Rogers

Votes: 37,956 | Gross: $27.93M

Renaissance Film #2

30. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

A prince cursed to spend his days as a hideous monster sets out to regain his humanity by earning a young woman's love.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart

Votes: 413,905 | Gross: $218.97M

Renaissance Film #3

31. Aladdin (1992)

G | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

86 Metascore

A kindhearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman

Votes: 370,275 | Gross: $217.35M

Renaissance Film #4

32. The Lion King (1994)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

88 Metascore

Lion prince Simba and his father are targeted by his bitter uncle, who wants to ascend the throne himself.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg

Votes: 929,203 | Gross: $422.78M

Renaissance Film #5

33. Pocahontas (I) (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

58 Metascore

An English soldier and the daughter of an Algonquin chief share a romance when English colonists invade seventeenth century Virginia.

Directors: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg | Stars: Mel Gibson, Linda Hunt, Christian Bale, Joe Baker

Votes: 168,485 | Gross: $141.60M

Renaissance Film #6

34. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

G | 91 min | Animation, Drama, Family

74 Metascore

A deformed bell-ringer must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, Mary Kay Bergman, Corey Burton

Votes: 140,274 | Gross: $100.14M

Renaissance Film #7

35. Hercules (1997)

G | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

74 Metascore

The son of Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods, Josh Keaton

Votes: 203,384 | Gross: $99.05M

Renaissance Film #8

36. Mulan (1998)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

71 Metascore

To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China's greatest heroines in the process.

Directors: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook | Stars: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong, Miguel Ferrer

Votes: 252,399 | Gross: $120.62M

Renaissance Film #9

37. Tarzan (1999)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

79 Metascore

A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human.

Directors: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima | Stars: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed, Glenn Close

Votes: 201,328 | Gross: $171.09M

Renaissance Film #10

38. Fantasia 2000 (1999)

G | 75 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

59 Metascore

An update of the original film with new interpretations of great works of classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Hendel Butoy, Francis Glebas, Eric Goldberg, Don Hahn, Pixote Hunt | Stars: James Levine, Steve Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Quincy Jones

Votes: 34,769 | Gross: $60.66M

The Post-Renaissance Era:

Post-Renaissance Film #1

39. Dinosaur (2000)

PG | 82 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

56 Metascore

An orphaned dinosaur raised by lemurs joins an arduous trek to a sanctuary after a meteorite shower destroys his family home.

Directors: Eric Leighton, Ralph Zondag | Stars: D.B. Sweeney, Julianna Margulies, Samuel E. Wright, Alfre Woodard

Votes: 52,666 | Gross: $137.75M

Post-Renaissance Film #2

40. The Emperor's New Groove (2000)

G | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

70 Metascore

Emperor Kuzco is turned into a llama by his ex-administrator Yzma, and must now regain his throne with the help of Pacha, the gentle llama herder.

Director: Mark Dindal | Stars: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton

Votes: 177,782 | Gross: $89.30M

Post-Renaissance Film #3

41. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

PG | 95 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

52 Metascore

A young linguist named Milo Thatch joins an intrepid group of explorers to find the mysterious lost continent of Atlantis.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Corey Burton, Claudia Christian

Votes: 103,039 | Gross: $84.05M

Post-Renaissance Film #4

42. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

73 Metascore

A Hawaiian girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive.

Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers

Votes: 166,203 | Gross: $145.79M

Post-Renaissance Film #5

43. Treasure Planet (2002)

PG | 95 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

60 Metascore

A Disney animated version of "Treasure Island". The only difference is that this movie is set in outer space with alien worlds and other galactic wonders.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson, Martin Short, Roscoe Lee Browne

Votes: 101,143 | Gross: $38.18M

Post-Renaissance Film #6

44. Brother Bear (2003)

G | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

48 Metascore

When a young Inuit hunter needlessly kills a bear, he is magically changed into a bear himself as punishment with a talkative cub being his only guide to changing back.

Directors: Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Jason Raize

Votes: 95,736 | Gross: $85.34M

Post-Renaissance Film #7

45. Home on the Range (2004)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy