Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Walt Disney is one of the greatest film studios of all time and paved the way for animation on the big screen.

It was 1937 when the first feature length animation movie was released by Disney and this week sees the fifty second hit the big screen, in the form of Wreck It Ralph.

Over the years Disney has delivered movies packed with memorable characters and wonderful music - thrilling audiences of all generations along the way.

To celebrate the release of Wreck It Ralph we take a look at some of the best Disney films of all time.

- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

You can't talk about the best Disney films without talking about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as this was the movie that kicked it all off.

The movie was an adaptation of the tale by Brothers Grimm and was a film that showed what could be achieved on the big screen with animation.

It may be the first full length film in this genre but the animation was top draw and you can understand why it captivated audiences when it was released.

There is a magical feel to this film from start to finish and it is one of the greatest artistic achievements in cinema history.

Click here to buy Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

- Bambi (1942)

Bambi is almost seventy years old and yet it remains one of Disney's most loved and cherished movies.

For it's time Bambi was visually striking as Disney used oils instead of watercolours for the backgrounds and they really just leap off the screen - even now the feel of the movie is still so fresh and vibrant.

But it's not just for the visuals and the quality of the animation that Bambi is remembered but it was a milestone in children's cinema with the story that told.

Never before had a children's movie depicted the death of a parent as Bambi did back in 1942 as Disney were willing to tackle something a little darker than usual - something for which it was applauded then and admired for now.

This is widely regarded as one of Disney's richest periods and it really shows with this movie.

Click here to buy Bambi on DVD

- The Jungle Book (1967)

One of the Disney movies that has the most famous soundtrack came in 1967 with the release of The Jungle Book.

The movie was inspired by the tales of Mowgli by Rudyard Kipling and they were really brought to life in this wonderful movie.

There is no Disney movie that is more entertaining than The Jungle Book and songs such as Bare Necessities and I Wan'na Be Like You will forever be remembered.

The Jungle Book may lack the heroic lead of other Disney films but instead it has a real social feel to it as we see the animals of the jungle all interacting and living together.

But there is a real joyous feel to this movie and that is what makes it a classic and ensured that it has stood the test of time.

Click here to buy The Jungle Book on DVD

- Beauty and the Beast (1991)

It is hard to believe that Beauty and the Beast over twenty years old and yet it remains my favourite.

Beauty and the Best is widely regarded as one of the best animation movies of all time as it was the first animation movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars - and we had to wait until 2009 to see a second, which came in the form of Up.

The enduring legacy of Beauty and the Beast is the movie's heart and soul, the telling of a simple fairy story with unforgettable characters who deliver the message that the greatest thing that you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return.

And for an animation to deliver so profound a message in so convincing a way is, even to this day, an amazing achievement, the ballroom scene is one of the best moments ever committed to film.

Mix that with a wonderful score and some of the best loved Disney songs of all time and you have one of the greatest movies ever released by this studio.

Click here to buy Beauty and the Beast on DVD

- Aladdin (1992)

The early nineties was a real rich period for Disney and Aladdin came hot off the heels of the success for Beauty and the Beast.

As we have come to expect from Disney over the years the animation is damn near perfect as the city of Agrabah is brought to life in all it's splendour as well are swept away to a different land.

This really is a magical carpet ride of a movie that mixes action, comedy and romance almost seamlessly as well as brings a whole host of colourful characters to the screen.

Aladdin is just a treat from start to finish and a movie that you cannot help but get lost in as you will the central characters to triumph over evil.

Robin Williams delivered one of the most loved performances of his career as he voiced the character of the genie.

He really kicked off the trend of the super famous actors voicing animation characters and the genie remains one of the most loved of all time.

Click here to buy Aladdin on DVD

- The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King will celebrate it's twentieth anniversary next year and it is the move financially successful hand drawn film in history - taking in excess of $951 million at the global box office.

The Lion King remains a jewel in Disney's crown as this was a movie that was not just fluffy and fun but was deep and dark and tackled some interesting issues.

But along with all that is bags of humour and some great songs - written by Elton John and Tim Rice - Circle of Life and I Just Can't Wait To Be King will always be classics of this film genre.

Last year we saw the movie return to the big screen in 3D and the new technology really did something extra special to this movie.

The Lion King was the animation film for a generation of kids and it is as much loved today as it was back in 1994.

Click here to buy The Lion King on DVD

Wreck It Ralph is released 8th February.

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