Ranking The Disney Renaissance Movies

Just to wrap up our series of retrospectives, here’s a ranking of the 1990s Disney movies from worst to best…


10. Pocahontas


From FFlashback: Pocahontas (1995):

It is clear that Disney really wanted another hit sweeping romance like Beauty & The Beast with this – unfortunately, they forgot to add in the charm that made that one work. While Pocahontas breaks new ground by featuring the first non-white Disney Princess, it largely lacks the imaginative sparkle of its contemporaries, with the imposed serious tone threatening to make it dull. Plus, Mel Gibson’s half-hearted accent is just distracting.”


9. The Rescuers Down Under


From FFlashback: The Rescuers Down Under (1990):

The Rescuers Down Under is definitely the odd one out of the Renaissance… it is Disney’s first and last theatricality-released sequel – after this one received lukewarm reviews and financially-bombed. It isn’t particularly hard to see why when the public were hungry for more Mermaid-style movies. Instead, Down Under is a perfectly charming film… but it is probably only slightly higher quality than Disney’s straight-to-home-video/TV output.”


8. The Little Mermaid


From FFlashback: The Little Mermaid (1989):

The Little Mermaid’s importance in the history of Disney cannot be overstated, as it restarted the studios’ cinematic dominance. Looking back at it now, Mermaid clearly sets out the formula which following films would repeat – young hero/ine (whose only friends are a band of animals) longs for adventure and is exploited by a trickster villain while falling in love. As such, it feels quite familiar – not to mention its ‘love-at-first-sight’ story seems trite in a post-Frozen world. Still, it’s always worth a trip under the sea.”


7. Hercules

Hercules and Megara

From FFlashback: Hercules (1997):

“After two films that tried to ape Beauty & the Beast, Hercules takes the Aladdin route of being an all-out comedy adventure flick. Myth mavens might take umbrage with the loose take on the source material (Hercules is made more of a Superman figure than usual), but the rest of us can enjoy all the fun. There are some terrific designs for the different Greek Gods too. With a stronger score and a more focussed plotline, this would be in the upper tier of this era.”


6. Mulan


From FFlashback: Mulan (1998):

“A weird quirk of fate that meant I never saw this as a young-un keeps it from being one of my favourites but Mulan remains a very enjoyable late Renaissance era Disney flick, chiefly because of its against-type heroine. I’ve always thought there should have been more of Mulan at war (though I understand why Disney would be reluctant to do that), as that part of the film produces its best moments. This one is actually a prime contender for a live-action remake.”




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