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All Five Disney Golden Age Movies, Ranked

When you wish upon a star...

I am officially done with the first era of Disney movies in my Disney rewatch! I know it's taken long to get through these films, but this is a long, epic project. Anyways, if you don't know, Disney's movies are divided up into seven different eras. The first era is the Golden Age. The classic, original Disney movies. These five were...interesting upon revisiting. I have endless amounts of nostalgia for Snow White and even some for Pinocchio and Fantasia, but not Dumbo or Bambi, so this list turned out to be interesting. That said, here's my ranking of the five Disney Golden Age flicks.

5. Bambi

I did not like Bambi. It felt like a Fantasia-esc movie that was showing off animation while not actually having a story. It also felt a little bit like a proto-Lion King with the circle of life theme to it, but it's a really bad version of that. The animation is, of course, beautiful. Thumper was a fun character. I loved the portrayal of Man as the villain. But that's where the positives end. The songs aren't good. The story is almost non-existent. None of the characters besides Thumper and Man really stand out. I did not like this movie. At all.

4. Fantasia

Unlike Bambi, I can appreciate Fantasia more than I can actually like it. This is a masterful work of sound and art that meshes together to create a very unique and interesting on-screen experience...but it's really frickin' boring. Besides The Sorcerer's Apprentice (which is fantastic), this movie feels like a two-hour tour of an art museum. There's no meat. None of these segments really have a story. They are just putting a visual to go with a sound, and that gimmick loses steam very quickly. It's well-made. It's definitely artistic. But I don't enjoy it.

3. Dumbo

I don't think Dumbo is very good. I hated it when I rewatched it, but I've warmed up to it slightly since. The music is surprisingly good and the characters are endearing, but I think that this movie struggles to really get off the ground because it's only an hour long. And it's not a very fun hour, because about forty minutes of it is just watching this poor baby elephant getting bullied. Dumbo's eventual redemption doesn't even really feel that satisfying because the story and characters just haven't been developed enough. This movie isn't as bad as Bambi, but it's not that good, either.

2. Pinocchio

Huge leap in quality from Dumbo to Pinocchio. I think this movie is great. I was going back and forth on which of these I was going to put in first. Pinocchio has the best story of the Golden Age films. It's a classic morale tale with some great, iconic Disney moments in it. Jiminy Cricket is one of my favorite Disney characters. He's a great narrator for this story. Pinocchio himself is a solid central protagonist. This movie can be terrifying. It can be thrilling. It's got the full range of emotions. Of course, it has possibly the most iconic song in a Disney movie with When You Wish Upon a Star. Pinocchio is great. I love it.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White has to be first. It isn't the best Disney movie. If you didn't have nostalgia for it, I'm sure it wouldn't hold up. But if you do, this movie is just so special. It is the start of a century of animation and child-like wonder. The characters are so lovable. The Evil Queen is still one of the most effective and chilling villains in the Disney canon. The songs aren't top tier, but they are still good. I love this movie to death. I have since I was three years old. Sure, it doesn't hold up great, but I have so much nostalgia for it and it's made with such heart that I have to put it at number one. It's the best of the Golden Age and the first in a long line of amazing, classic Disney films.


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