Our band of film critics named Pinocchio the best animated film of all time, but you don’t need to be a historian to see why the tale of the little wooden boy seeking to become real is the high water mark for Disney. From the puppet’s ever-growing nose to the climax within a whale, the Blue Fairy to Jiminy Cricket singing ‘when you wish upon a star,’ nearly every minute is iconic and awe-inspiring. Rated G.
Disney is a prime example of the concept that two things can be true at the same time. Is it an entertainment monolith hell-bent on swallowing the entire world under its massive corporate umbrella? Absolutely. Has it also produced some of the greatest animated movies in history – and a few awesome live-action ones, too – many of which were crucial to the childhoods of multiple generations going back to the 1940s? Also, yes.
But the House of Mouse has produced a lot of stuff, much of it now available on the treasure trove of Disney+ – and to say that even the majority of it is worth your time would be a stretch. For every stone-cold classic, there are three direct-to-video sequels you’ve never heard of, some forgotten disasters and most recently a stream of unnecessary remakes. In order to sort the Lion Kings from the Mars Need Moms-es, we journeyed into the vast Disney catalogue and ranked the 50 can’t-miss picks for your next family movie night.