Cos’ Blog Editorial: What is the Best current Disney animated movie – musical and non-musical

Like a perfect storm both Disney+ and my kids’ interest in animation has exploded in the last few months. 

A few years ago when Miles was little we showed him ‘Zootopia’, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ and ‘Big Hero 6’. At the time I would have said he loved them. Current era Miles took a little longer to get into watching these.

This current era is called the Revival Era. From 2009-present. The movies that are included in this era (so far in April of 2020) are:

  • Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • Tangled (2010)
  • Winnie the Pooh (2011)
  • Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  • Frozen (2013)
  • Big Hero 6 (2014)
  • Zootopia (2016)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
  • Frozen II (2019)

We now watch a bunch of these (mostly on repeat). 

I’m fairly certain we’ve seen ‘Frozen II’ at least 30 times. It is very difficult to throw on an older Renaissance Era (1989-1999) movie. ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ are hard to put on because, as Miles says “That’s for girls!” 

They aren’t, but, you can’t argue with a 4 year old.

Every now and then you have to just sneak a random movie in like I did today and started watching ‘Beauty and the Beast’. 

But I’ve seen enough of the Revival Era movies that I started asking myself some questions. 

What is the best musical and non-musical?

It might be obvious but let me explain the difference between musical and non-musical. 

A Musical would encompass any movie where the characters break out into songs every ten-fifteen minutes or so (‘Frozen’ as an example of this).

A Non-musical would be any movie where none of the characters sing a song. (‘Wreck-it Ralph is an example of this…however, I would also put ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ as a non-musical even though (spoiler!) Vanellope sings a Disney parade song during the movie).

To be fair, I’ve seen almost all these movies save for ‘Winnie the Pooh’. So, I won’t be taking that fim into account. Also, this is completely subjective. 

Musical wise, while I love ‘Frozen’ I don’t think it’s nearly as good of a film as my top choice. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Frozen’ is great, but, I don’t think the story is as well put together as it can be.

‘Moana’, in my opinion, is the best current era musical. It has the best characters, adventure. Every character feels fully fleshed out. Moana and Maui both have backstories. Everything is so well connected. I can probably sing each and everyone of the songs (by heart) and I think the story is fun. 

If there is one thing I like from movies like this is being taken to a different world and disengaging from life. Put ‘Moana’ on at any point in time and I’m hooked. The ending really gets my heart pumping. And the twist (spoiler) that the lava monster Te Kā is in fact Te Fiti, the Island goddess is perfect storytelling.

Jumping to Non-musicals, there are a lot more non-musicals in Disney current repertoire than in the past. But there is one that I constantly think is my favorite. And that would be: ‘Zootopia

Very innovative, fresh and different. I didn’t think much about this movie until I saw it and fell in love with the story. I’m a huge huge fan of movies that take a nobody, an underdog, someone that shouldn’t succeed enda up the hero. (‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ anyone?)

This was a very Pixar-esque Disney movie. (I know, I know, Pixar is owned by Disney, but not every Disney movie is like this. Disney thought waaay outside the box with this movie. There is such a huge world that was built for this movie. The districts that make up Zootopia are so creative. 

‘Zootopia’ blew me away and I still love seeing it whenever we watch it.

Runner up would be ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ followed by ‘Big Hero 6’.

But enough of my rambling, what are your favorite musical and non-musical Disney animated movies from 2009 to present!

Let us know below!

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