The Best Animated Disney Films of the 21st Century

We’ve already looked at Disney in the 1990s, but what are their best films from this century?


The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)


The Emperor’s New Groove was stuck in development hell for a long time (at first, it was a straight-laced musical with songs by Sting), but you wouldn’t know that from the finished product which is an assuredly hilarious and quotable film – epitomized by loveable buffoon Kronk.


Lilo and Stitch (2002)


Lilo and Stitch continues on from the clash of elements approach of Emperor, by swapping llamas and Incas for aliens and Hawaii – and Stitch is one of the most adorable Disney creations ever. The Mouse House is returning to a Hawaiian setting for the upcoming Moana, so it’s probably time to give this one a rewatch.


Treasure Planet (2002)


A childhood favourite, this one – you just can’t beat the entrancing visual of old-fashioned sailing ships flying through space. Conversely, Treasure Planet is often criticised for shortchanging character for special effects – which I think couldn’t be further from the truth. The central father-son relationship between Jim and Silver is hugely touching.


Tangled (2010)


Disney returned its efforts to animated movies with the decent The Princess and The Frog, but for my money Tangled is where they properly found their feet again. The new CGI style matches well with their traditional look, and there are lots of good jokes flying around. Plus, Rapunzel is a suitably spirited lead.




4 thoughts on “The Best Animated Disney Films of the 21st Century

  1. I missed zootopia when it was out but I pre ordered a sexy little steelbook so I’ll be looking forward to it.
    The Emperors new groove is just fantastic. I go back and forth but I like it’s my favourite if only for that simple line “SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER” it makes me smile even thinking about it!
    I’d love say frozen is over rated but it’s crafted perfectly. It hits everywhere and it’s got a lot to do with that soundtrack. Conversely tangled does really stand out for the music but the story it’s wonderful and taught us all frying pans are really handy.
    Wreck it Ralph was geek awesomeness and utterly adorable and big hero 6 was this gorgeous departure and I really hope it gets a sequel.
    As much as I grew up in the 90s the most recent films have captured me more. Maybe I’m just paying more attention these days.
    Great piece loved thinking about these movies. Rather tempted to do a marathon of them now. Haha!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Have fun with Zootopia – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
      Emperor is just so quotable and, yeah, Frozen is inarguably very well done. The same with Tangled.
      I would love a Big Hero 6 2. Now that Ralph is getting a sequel, hopefully that will too.
      Really, that’s interesting – certainly some of them are better than a number of the 90s ones. Ha thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t feel Ralph needs a sequel it was a perfect stand alone. Disney have a poor sequel rep. I think the rescuers is the only one that worked. Maybe return of jafar but honestly I haven’t seen it since I was a child so I may be romantacising.
        Disney has changed over the past 10 years they can take risks on their animated titles because Marvel are shipping money to their door. It feels like the writers and ideas thrown around are in a far more creative space. Then again maybe I’m just getting old and am gravitating toward animation as a nostalgia or longing for kids of my own.
        Can’t wait for zootopia end of July till I get my copy! Well I hope!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It probably doesn’t need one, though it could well be good. I used to love the Aladdin sequels as a kid, but they probably don’t hold up to much now. Yeah, I think sequels are safer bets for modern Disney. Hopefully they’ve learnt from Pixar – only do a sequel if you’ve got a strong story.

        Liked by 1 person

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