I am a HUGE Disney fan. I grew up watching these movies and I know most (if not all!) of them by heart. There’s just something magical about these classics and I can continuously rewatch them without worrying that I’ll get tired of them. If you’re not familiar with Disney classics or if you’re just looking for something to watch, I’ve compiled a short list of my favourites for you. It was pretty difficult narrowing it down and it changes from time to time, but without further ado, here are my current top five classic Disney films:

1. Mulan (1998)

Okay, who wouldn’t love a movie about a brave girl fighting for her country alongside her lucky cricket and sassy dragon sidekick voiced by Eddie Murphy? Mulan is my all-time favourite Disney classic. It has some of the catchiest songs (if you’ve never jammed out to ‘I’ll Make A Man Out of You’, you’re lying to yourself), likeable characters, fun action, and beneath it all, a heartwarming story. Being Asian, this was the only Disney movie at the time where I could see my culture being represented. Although I didn’t recognize it then, I can now see the importance and significance it had on me as a child. But it wasn’t just that, Mulan was also the first Disney ‘princess’ I saw who actually fought for herself. Even as I grew up and continued to rewatch this movie, its themes on family, bravery, and honour still resonated with me. Because of this, the movie is still as touching and uplifting as the first time I saw it. Having grown up with this movie and having loved it all this time, Mulan (1998) just feels like such a personal and special movie to me.

2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

This one may come as a surprise to many, but I absolutely love The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I actually didn’t see this movie until much later in my life (maybe around high school?), but I fell in love with it immediately after my first watch. Since then, I have consistently returned to it. It’s darker than most Disney films, discussing themes such as justice, suffering, and lust, but that’s what I enjoyed so much about it. While it has it’s lighthearted and funny moments, it’s not afraid to explore the darkness and cruelty of humanity. Yes, Quasimodo is deformed and objectively ugly, but you’ll find yourself rooting for his freedom and sympathizing with him when he’s in pain. Disney contrasts him perfectly against Judge Frollo and they really nail the “appearances are deceiving” moral of the story. I think Quasimodo is such a lovable character with a good heart, and alongside Esmerelda and Phoebus, they make a solid trio. This is probably more of an uncommon pick, so if you haven’t seen this one, I highly recommend it.

3. Hercules (1997)

Now Hercules is just a good time. It’s such a fun, entertaining movie and I love watching this one when I need to be cheered up (it just makes me so happy). Sure there are a lot of historical inaccuracies, but who cares? This movie’s so full of heart and love I can’t complain. From the sassy Muses narrating the whole story to the wimpy kid turned hero, every bit of this movie is so lively and cheerful. I think what really makes the movie for me is the dynamic between Hercules and Meg. I love how sarcastic and snarky Meg is, and how it isn’t the typical ‘love at first sight’ situation for her (did I mention she sings one of the best songs, “I Won’t Say I’m in Love”?). Even Hades, though he is portrayed as evil, feels more like a lighthearted, comedic villain compared to other Disney villains. If you’re wanting something more upbeat, I’d recommend this one.

4. Pocahontas (1995)

I have to say, out of all the Disney movies, Pocahontas has one of the best, most beautiful scores. Alan Menken is truly a genius. There’s so much emotion in the music, it really helps compliment every scene in the movie. This is just one of those Disney movies that I can’t help but constantly rewatch and enjoy; I loved it as a kid, and I still do. It has important messages about nature and the environment, but also about choosing and following your own path. I’ve always admired and appreciated Pocahontas’ strong belief in independency and she voices a beautiful message about doing what’s right. Regarding the film itself, I also love how they use a lot of colour and that everything is always really vibrant and bright. There’s just something very visually pleasing about this movie overall (I think her hair is one of the best that Disney’s ever animated – so silky looking!)

5. Cinderella (1950)

In my opinion, there’s no better classic film that beautifully captures the magic and essence of Disney’s animations than Cinderella. As a child, I fell in love with the concept of princesses, talking animals (her band of animal friends are absolutely adorable), and happy endings from watching this movie. This story is so iconic and culturally impactful that even today, when I think of ‘fairy tales’ I think of Cinderella. I’ve always admired her motto of kindness and courage, and I think it’s a good message for children to learn. The hand-drawn frames are stunning and still hold up wonderfully in todays time despite all the advancements in animation; in fact, I prefer the hand-drawn style of the classics because they feel more intimate and personal. Whenever I’m really wanting a princess vibe, this is my go to watch.

Behold, my top 5 favourite class Disney films! Let me know in the comments below what your favourites are! Did you agree with mine?