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Eric Web

Box Office Theory Forum’s Top 100 Disney Movies

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Yep. It's time. After months of lists and several days of compiling and reviewing, we can now officially begin our Top 100 Disney movie countdown. There were a lot of lists that came in, each one very distinct. Though I did find it interesting how much bias there were in certain lists. You could really tell who was a cartoon nerd, a Marvel nerd, a Pixar nerd, a classic Disney nerd, even a few Miramax nerds thrown in there. It caused a lot of changes for the list, but I think we managed to have a strong top 100 that solidly represents all the amazing things about Disney in one strong package. But if you want to know some interesting statistics about our lists and what to expect...

 

  • 41 lists were submitted. Just one more than the WB countdown. Some people only submitted for Warner, others only for Disney, a majority voted for both. But it's all good. In fact, this is now a record for one of my countdowns in terms of submissions, which was what I was hoping for. So good on you guys.

  • Over the 41 lists, a whopping 522 movies got submitted. Lower than WB’s 607, but Disney’s library is quite smaller, especially their classic back catalog, so it kind of makes sense. And with 47 movies getting at least 1,000 points, the passion is there. Which I love. The entire top 11 got at least 2,000 points, which is also great. For WB, only the top 3 got above that threshold.

  • The most represented decade, like WB, was the 2010s with a whopping 30 movies. That’s a lot. The least represented is a tie with the 1930s and 1970s, both of which had a whopping 1. Now to be fair, there was only one movie that came out in the 1930s. So uh...sorry to spoil the fact that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made it on the list. Not like that was a surprise. And if you know Disney history, you know the 70s were not a good time for Disney. So it’s not that egregious. But again, if we do this another time, get some culture and watch the classics.
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  • As one might expect from a Disney countdown, animation overperformed big time. Ignoring live-action/animation hybrids, a whopping 54 animated movies made the final top 100. So to all you cartoon nerds, you came out strong. I won’t say how much exactly are from which studio just yet, but it is a good blend of Disney Animation proper, Pixar, Studio Ghibli, and a few standout animated films that were from other studios. So I think there is still a good variety and diversity of animations here that will make us all happy.

  • I’m not going into too much detail with the other subsidiaries like Lucasfilm, 20th Century, or Searchlight, though they are pretty light compared to, say, Pixar. But I did want to bring up the MCU. Because, surprise surprise, the MCU cleaned up. Of the 27 movies that were eligible, 12 of them made the top 100. So about 45% of the options available. Pretty impressive. In fact, all the MCU movies got points, with the sole exception of one. Not gonna say what, but you can connect the dots when we get to it.

  • Ties (4 in the top 100) were broken up by which one had the least number of submissions and/or which had the better average ranking. This was done to represent the higher-ranked movies having more passionate voters compared to the other film. The honorable mentions have a few films that tied and had the same number of entries/same average ranking, so those are just complete ties. But those are the lower tier stuff you don't care about.

  • “This movie I hate ranked higher than a movie I like? I lost all my respect for this list!” Yes, believe it or not, the general consensus of the forums will not automatically fit your tastes and sensibilities. All I ask is to please try to be respectful and courteous during the duration of this countdown, both to myself and to fellow BOT members. You don't have to agree with this, but you can act like a gentleman.

  • "This movie doesn't count as a Disney movie because of X, Y, and Z. I lost all my respect for this list!" I got some complaints over this recently, and I just wanted to say I understand the definition is fluid. I know that there's a certain type of Disney movie that people associate with. But I wanted to make the definition broad because that meant more variety, more interest from other users, and just makes the list more interesting. If every movie on here was just stuff you see at the theme parks, it just gets kind of boring, no? So please, if something you think shouldn't be allowed for whatever reason makes the list, just...be nice. Please.

  • If you are going to complain about something, and you didn't submit a list, just know that it's on you. Much like with government elections, you can't complain about something if you didn't vote in the first place.

 

I’ll be alternating between revealing honorable mentions and the actual top 100. All rankings were determined by points, # of lists, and average placement.

 

Expect the first few entries later today.

 

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#100

West Side Story (2021)

522 points, 12 lists

"All my life, it's like I'm always just about to fall off the edge of the world's tallest building. I stopped falling the second I saw you."

west-side-story-md-web.jpg

 

Box Office: 76M

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Metacritic: 85

Awards: 1 Academy Award and 6 nominations, 2 BAFTA Awards and 3 nominations, 3 Golden Globe Awards and 1 nomination, 2 National Board of Review Awards, 1 NAACP Image Award nomination, 1 Grammy Award nomination

 

Roger Ebert's Review: N/A

 

Its Legacy: Considered one of Spielberg's greatest films and one of the greatest musicals of all time. Kickstarted the film careers of Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and Mike Faist, among others. #5 on Collider's Top 30 Musicals. #20 on IndieWire's Best Cinematography of the 21st Century, and #50 on Top 60 Musicals. Made Steven Spielberg the most nominated director at the Academy Awards. Made Ariana DeBose the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBT women of color to win Best Supporting Actress. Gave Rita Moreno a paycheck.

 

Commentary: As the musical genre has seen some stumbles recently, both at the box office and creatively, Steven Spielberg, the legend himself, showed people how to make them shine...at least, when it came to critics. The god of movies himself adored the original West Side Story and its music when he was a boy, which in turn led to him inspired to take the original stage show, which already had an iconic film adaptation, and give the idea his own spin. What resulted was an instant classic for the genre that immediately stood toe to toe with the Robert Wise original.

 

This iteration of the tale was a bit grittier and more brutal compared to the more fanciful, Hays Code-hit 1961 film. Yet that didn’t make the film bad or uncomfortable to watch. Nor did it mean Spielberg skimped on the whimsy and fanciful aspects of the stage show. What we soon got was a tremendous feature that includes phenomenal visuals, gorgeous dance numbers, dynamite, emotionally stirring sequences of love, and capturing the power of this Romeo and Juliet tale. A tale of two lovers divided by the evils of society, both trapped in the slums, unable to break out. Groups who fight each other for petty reasons, ultimately to stay alive in a world that hates them. And its through these divisions that it causes loss and bloodshed for all parties.

 

Sadly, because the box office sucks and nostalgic toy commercials are the only movies that can find success anymore, the film was an unfortunate bomb. Yet even still, we are seeing its impact on the cinema landscape. It’s already been cited as one of the greatest musicals ever made, introduced millions to the works of Stephen Sondheim, Bradley Cooper would later tell the tale of Leonard Bernstein to...well, he tried, and the young starlet cast, including Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and Mike Faist, are all rising up in Hollywood, with the potential to do incredible things in the industry. Even failures can lead to amazing things, and Speilberg’s latest masterpiece has already done just that.

 

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#99

Howl's Moving Castle

536 points, 12 lists

"Here's another curse for you - may all your bacon burn."

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Box Office: 236M

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Metacritic: 82

Awards: 1 Academy Award nomination, 4 Tokyo Anime Awards, 1 Saturn Award nomination, 1 Nebula Award

 

Roger Ebert's Review: "All of this is presented, as only Miyazaki can, in animation of astonishing invention and detail. The Castle itself threatens to upstage everything else that happens in the movie, and notice the way its protuberances move in time with its lumbering progress, not neglecting the sphincteresque gun turret at the rear. Sophie, old or young, never quite seems to understand and inhabit this world; unlike Kiki of the delivery service or Chihiro, the heroine of "Spirited Away," she seems more witness than heroine. A parade of weird characters comes onstage to do their turns, but the underlying plot grows murky and, amazingly for a Miyazaki film, we grow impatient at spectacle without meaning."

 

Its Legacy: Hayao Miyazaki's favorite film. One of the highest-grossing Japanese films of all time. Earned an Osella Award at the Venice Film Festival. Appeared in the top ten lists of critics Ella Taylor, Kenneth Turan, Tasha Robinson, and Jonathan Rosenbaum, among others. Revitalized the popularity of the Diana Wynne Jones novel. Gave Lauren Bacall a paycheck.

 

Commentary: One of the biggest critical and commercial hits in the Japanese film industry, Howl’s Moving Castle exemplifies many of the qualities that make Hayao Miyazaki such an incredible filmmaker. It’s of course visually incredible and highly creative. It’s full of charming characters, with a strong heroine protagonist in Sophie Hatter. The film features breathtaking visuals of the sky, some of that classic anti-technology and pro-environment attitude that Miyazaki puts in many of his films. Even an interesting look into old age and how oddly freeing and exciting being old can provide. 

 

Yet much of what makes Howl’s so powerful, and what I feel makes it a classic decades later, is its anti-war message. This film was made in response to the Iraq War, and Miyazaki’s vile hatred against America for invading the country. It’s a film that shows how pointless war can be, how devastating they are to people and to nature. How war itself turns people into inhuman killing machines, as seen in Howl.

 

It’s the kind of charm and storytelling that can only come from Miyazaki, and this film was a crucial reason why the man became an icon within Japanese cinema and is seeing great success with his most recent, presumably final film.

 

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#98

Ed Wood

539 points, 9 lists

"This is the one. 'This' is the one I'll be remembered for."

Ed-Wood-Vintage-Movie-Poster-Original-1-

 

 

Box Office: 13.8M

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Metacritic: 70

Awards: 2 Academy Awards, 2 BAFTA Award nominations, 1 Golden Globe Award and 2 nominations, 3 Saturn Awards and 2 nominations

 

Roger Ebert's Review: "It was widely known even at the time that Wood himself was an enthusiastic transvestite, and when Tim Burton, director of the "Batman" movies, announced a project named "Ed Wood," I assumed it would be some kind of a camp sendup, maybe a cross between "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Sunset Boulevard." I assumed wrong. What Burton has made is a film which celebrates Wood more than it mocks him, and which celebrates, too, the zany spirit of 1950s exploitation films - in which a great title, a has-been star and a lurid ad campaign were enough to get bookings for some of the oddest films ever made."

 

Its Legacy: One of Tim Burton's most beloved films ever. Brought to light and celebrated the life of Edward D. Wood Jr. after years of mockery. Criticized for its numerous inaccuracies. Competed for the Palme D'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. 5th place for 1994 from the National Board of Review. Appeared in numerous top ten lists from critics like Gene Siskel, Peter Travers, and Kevin Thomas, among others. Gave Bill Murray a paycheck.

 

Commentary: Do you ever feel like you just suck at something? Suck so bad you’re the worst person to do something? Well, if you’re a movie director, you don’t suck as bad as Ed Wood. Known for a good while as the worst filmmaker to ever live, in no small part thanks to right-wing asshole Michael Medved, this biographical feature humanizes and contextualizes Edward Davis Wood Jr., analyzing what exactly made him such a fascinating filmmaker, even if what he made wasn’t often considered very good.

 

There’s a lot of fun comedy here, watching director Tim Burton recreate the campiness and oddities of 50s exploitation movies and Wood himself, with Johnny Depp selling the oddities of the man quite well. Yet Burton also remembers an important aspect. That Ed Wood was a person. And he deserves better than what he was given at the time. Yes, his movies were low-budget and awkward. Yes, his ambitions were too high and his understanding on what made a good movie were misguided. Yes, he had his own eccentricities and habits that would seem strange to others. But that doesn’t matter.

 

Ed Wood was passionate about what he loved and the work he put into the world. He had people he was close to. He was willing to keep trying, despite the world telling him no. And in some weird way, he found success, as many find Wood’s work to be wholly unique and fascinating to analyze. He won in the end. And for better or worse, there will never be another man like Ed Wood.

 

In a way, there’s something awe-inspiring in seeing Tim Burton in particular direct this story. This is a man who loves the macabre, the odd, the surreal. A man who loves looking at underdogs, outcasts, figures who don't seem to fit in with the rest of the world. In many ways, the gothic horror and genre blending found in his features take from the B movies and exploitation features Wood created and popularized, and Wood is a prototypical Burton protagonist. It’s a director celebrating somebody who, inadvertently, inspired him and countless others. And that’s beautiful.

 

 

 

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Time to reveal just a few of the honorable mentions.

 

And to clarify some stuff, the way I divided each movie in terms of ranking is a combination of points and the average ranking it received. This is because, as an example, a movie could get one point and still rank at #100 or #50 or even #25 or #10. So saying a movie that got one point from a #100 ranking is the same as a #25 ranking is unfair, so I divided things accordingly. If this is confusing, it'll likely make more sense once you actually see the posts that will be made.

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#425 - Death on the Nile, Escape from Witch Mountain, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1 point, 1 list, avg. ranking #100)

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#424 - Kronk's New Groove (1 point, 1 list, avg. ranking #75)

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#423 - The Lion King (2019) (1 point, 1 list, avg. ranking #50)

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#422 - Bionicle: Legends of Metru Nui, Dumbo (2019), The Shaggy DA, Thor: Love and Thunder (2 points, 1 list, avg. ranking #98)

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#421 - Bionicle: Mask of Light, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Jump In! (3 points, 1 list, avg. ranking #98)

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36 minutes ago, Eric George said:

#100

West Side Story (2021)

522 points, 12 lists

"All my life, it's like I'm always just about to fall off the edge of the world's tallest building. I stopped falling the second I saw you."

west-side-story-md-web.jpg

 

Box Office: 76M

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Metacritic: 85

Awards: 1 Academy Award and 6 nominations, 2 BAFTA Awards and 3 nominations, 3 Golden Globe Awards and 1 nomination, 2 National Board of Review Awards, 1 NAACP Image Award nomination, 1 Grammy Award nomination

 

Roger Ebert's Review: N/A

 

Its Legacy: Considered one of Spielberg's greatest films and one of the greatest musicals of all time. Kickstarted the film careers of Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and Mike Faist, among others. #5 on Collider's Top 30 Musicals. #20 on IndieWire's Best Cinematography of the 21st Century, and #50 on Top 60 Musicals. Made Steven Spielberg the most nominated director at the Academy Awards. Made Ariana DeBose the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBT women of color to win Best Supporting Actress. Gave Rita Moreno a paycheck.

 

Commentary: As the musical genre has seen some stumbles recently, both at the box office and creatively, Steven Spielberg, the legend himself, showed people how to make them shine...at least, when it came to critics. The god of movies himself adored the original West Side Story and its music when he was a boy, which in turn led to him inspired to take the original stage show, which already had an iconic film adaptation, and give the idea his own spin. What resulted was an instant classic for the genre that immediately stood toe to toe with the Robert Wise original.

 

This iteration of the tale was a bit grittier and more brutal compared to the more fanciful, Hays Code-hit 1961 film. Yet that didn’t make the film bad or uncomfortable to watch. Nor did it mean Spielberg skimped on the whimsy and fanciful aspects of the stage show. What we soon got was a tremendous feature that includes phenomenal visuals, gorgeous dance numbers, dynamite, emotionally stirring sequences of love, and capturing the power of this Romeo and Juliet tale. A tale of two lovers divided by the evils of society, both trapped in the slums, unable to break out. Groups who fight each other for petty reasons, ultimately to stay alive in a world that hates them. And its through these divisions that it causes loss and bloodshed for all parties.

 

Sadly, because the box office sucks and nostalgic toy commercials are the only movies that can find success anymore, the film was an unfortunate bomb. Yet even still, we are seeing its impact on the cinema landscape. It’s already been cited as one of the greatest musicals ever made, introduced millions to the works of Stephen Sondheim, Bradley Cooper would later tell the tale of Leonard Bernstein to...well, he tried, and the young starlet cast, including Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and Mike Faist, are all rising up in Hollywood, with the potential to do incredible things in the industry. Even failures can lead to amazing things, and Speilberg’s latest masterpiece has already done just that.

 

Love this movie and happy it made it but deserved so much higher

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11 minutes ago, Bob Train said:

My top 10 Prediction:

 

1) Spirited Away

2) Pulp Fiction

3) The Lion King

4) Princess Mononoke

5) Coco

6) Ratatouille

7) Aladdin

8.) Beauty and the Beast

9) Inside Out

10) Infinity War

I think Incredibles will be in the top 10, while Inside Out won't

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#97

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

542 points, 13 lists

"I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world! And my entire family is gone! Have I not given everything?"

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Box Office: 859.2M

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

Metacritic: 67

Awards: 1 Academy Award and 4 nominations, 1 BAFTA Award nomination, 1 Golden Globe Award and 1 nomination, 10 NAACP Image Awards and 5 nominations, 3 MTV Movie Award nominations, 2 BET Awards and 1 nomination, 3 Grammy Award nominations

 

Roger Ebert's Review: N/A

 

Its Legacy: One of the highest-grossing films of the Multiverse Saga. The first MCU film to receive an acting nomination. Introduced Namor and Ironheart to the MCU. Set up Shuri as the next Black Panther. Became the sixth-highest grossing film of 2022. Served as Rihannah's epic return to music. Gave Winston Duke a paycheck.

 

Commentary: The pressure that director Ryan Coogler had in making a sequel to his beloved Marvel hit was utterly tremendous. Even when it was first in development back in 2018, trying to top the epic scope and biting commentary of his pop art masterpiece was a tough task. And after we lost the incomparable Chadwick Boseman in 2020, that only put more pressure on this film to deliver. It had to not only be a thrilling superhero adventure with strong themes and ideas, but also serve as a tribute to a great man and set the future for both the Black Panther series and the MCU.

 

But thanks to strong direction, great characters, great action, creative visuals, and beautiful moments of solace, Coogler succeeded. The film was a massive box office hit and successfully expanded the characters we know and love from the last movie, while also adding tons of new elements that made the Marvel universe all the more interesting.

 

In particular, there’s the sea king Namor, who serves as a threatening, but also sympathetic antagonist. A man in charge of a lost civilization, who just wants to protect the people he cares for from the inevitable colonizers. A perfect parallel to T’Challa’s story in the last movie, and allows for tons of fun underwater VFX sequences. And with T’Challa gone, Shuri is upgraded from the goofy comic relief to a determined figure still grappling with the loss of her brother, and a fear over whether or not she can lead her people and don the Black Panther mantle. It allows an incredible arc that Letitia Wright easily sells. And Angela Basset’s work here...well, you already know that she does amazing stuff. Even got an Oscar nomination, which is insane to think about.

 

Add on an epic climax and a fantastic, heartfelt final scene, it’s a film that stuck the landing and gave us something heartfelt and beautiful, serving as one of the Multiverse Saga’s absolute bests. Chadwick would have been proud.

 

 

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